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End-point assessment service

City & Guilds delivers end-point assessment (EPA) across a broad range of apprenticeship standards and we add more all the time. EPA is the assessment process for the new apprenticeship standards in England, SASE frameworks continue as before.

Once you register an apprentice for our EPA, they can access our EPA preparation tool with content personalised to them and to the standard. It gives your apprentice targeted support in areas like presentation and interview skills, reflection and analysis and will build their confidence going into the assessment, watch our short video to learn more. And our first-rate, fully trained end-point assessors can put your apprentices at ease too.

What is EPA? Our video summarises the EPA process and how you can prepare for it – it’s for learning providers, employers and apprentices.

Employers get to choose which apprenticeship assessment organisation to use for EPA. They might decide based on the company’s reputation or their trust in the organisation helping their apprentice to learn and demonstrate the right knowledge, skills and behaviours.

As well as the apprenticeship standard, legislation and funding rules affects delivery.

Pricing, payments and funding

How much does EPA cost?

Our EPA price list gives you the cost though if you're already a City & Guilds customer you can see the full information on Walled Garden or talk to your business manager.

Cost varies with each standard as some assessment methods are more expensive than others. We set our prices once the Institute for Apprenticeships approves and publishes the assessment plan.

When do I have to pay?

We’ve tried to make things easier for our customers by charging the main payment towards the end of the apprenticeship journey. So we make two charges normally:

  1. Registration fee – a small fee upfront for each apprentice when you register them on Walled Garden.

  2. Balance – we charge you the remaining fee after the EPA once our assessors have submitted their results.

Who pays for EPA?

Costs for EPA are paid by the training provider who contracts with the assessment organisation on the employer’s behalf. This will often be colleges or training providers, so they should factor in the costs of EPA when they negotiate their contract with employers. Levy funding will cover EPA costs, and may cover resits – subject to restrictions and their own negotiations. For non-levy paying employers, the funding source is different (10% from the employer, 90% from government funding) but the payment set up is the same – paid by the training provider who contracts with the assessment organisation on the employer’s behalf.

Do I have to pay for resits?

Usually, yes. Some standards specify that all components of the EPA have to be retaken if an apprentice fails a section. Some standards let an apprentice take only the components they’ve failed.

Prices for resits are on Walled Garden.

Remember: only 20% of the apprenticeship funding band can be used to pay for EPA and resits. Costs above that must be paid by employers out of the final cost of the apprenticeship agreed between provider and employer. Centres and employers should agree who will pick up the cost of resits and confirm this in a written agreement. It's sensible for employers and providers to agree possible resit costs within the final agreed price for each apprenticeship.

Can I get a discount?

There may be some discounts if you bring a high number of apprentices. You should talk to your business manager if you’re already a customer or email apprenticeships@cityandguilds.com to ask about this.


Can qualifications be paid for out of apprenticeship funding?

If the qualification is mandatory, then you can use funding for this. Optional qualifications aren’t covered by funding. Employers and providers will have to agree how they’re going to pay for any optional or non-mandatory qualifications they use.

Preparing for assessment

What support can my apprentice expect?

To help your apprentice, once they are registered for our EPA, we give them access to our EPA preparation tool. This is online content to help them feel ready for their EPA experience. User-friendly technology takes the apprentice through a series of questions, to suggest material personalised to their apprenticeship standard and their confidence levels.

The content is curated from across the web and covers areas like revision and exam skills, multiple choice test strategies, professional discussion and interview skills. You can watch our short video to learn more.

How do my apprentices sign up for your EPA preparation tool?

About three days after you register your apprentice for our EPA on Walled Garden, we’ll contact you asking who we should set up with admin rights for the tool. We’ll send that person a welcome email with a link which they can share further if necessary. This link goes to our tutor and learning platform, SmartScreen, where they load the apprentice’s name and email address.

As soon as that person loads and saves the apprentice’s information, your apprentice will get an email with a link to the EPA preparation tool and a username and password. That’s it! Your apprentice just has to login.

There’s no additional charge for the tool and it does not need a licence to use SmartScreen.


What support can my team expect?

Our City & Guilds EPA team is already supporting employers, colleges and training providers through EPA events and we constantly update our service based on feedback and the changing regulations. As well as email and phone support, we deliver resources to help you through on-programme to gateway and onto EPA. Whichever part of an apprenticeship you choose to work with us on, we want the employer, tutor and apprentice journey to be as smooth as possible.

We also run training days to help you understand assessment strategies, review your programmes, prepare apprentices and more. Available nationally, you can also book sessions for your entire centre. Have a look at our CPD events for more information.


What resources are there to help me prepare?

We've put thogether some handy checklists to help you stay on top of some of the tasks in the run up, during and after EPA. They could help you manage the process.

Process

What is the organisation ID number for City & Guilds?

On the register of apprenticeship awarding organisations, our ID number is EPA0008. You will need this when you register your apprentice on the ILR to start their apprenticeship.


Where can I find your terms and conditions?

We’ve put all our terms and conditions, along with an overview of the EPA process, into our Manual for the End-Point Assessment Service.


How do I register for standards where you run only EPA and not on-programme?

To use our EPA-only service where there’s no qualification attached to the standard, you need to complete one of our short forms below. If the standard has a mandatory qualification, then use the relevant qualification approval on Walled Garden and we’ll add access to the EPA service (if you’re not already set up as a customer, you’ll need to apply for centre approval first – visit our help and support section for how to do this).

So if you want to buy EPA only and there is no mandatory qualification:
Use this form if you're an approved centre with City & Guilds
Use this form if you're not an approved centre with City & Guilds


How do I book the EPA for my apprentice?

You must be a City & Guilds customer to book an assessment.

Customers make a booking request on Walled Garden. Someone from our EPA team will contact you to confirm your exact requirements and review dates with you. We’ll also check your apprentices meet the gateway criteria – this is an essential stage in all standards. We have created a guide to booking the EPA on Walled Garden to help you.

Depending on if you’re an existing customer or not, or if you’re working with us for on-programme and EPA or just EPA, there will be slightly different information you give us when you first set up the EPA account.


When can I reserve EPA?

An apprentice assessment organisation must be approved by the ESFA to deliver end-point assessment before it can take bookings. Remember that standards specify the amount of learning for an apprentice – the shortest possible is 12 months – and the time between reservation and assessment can be a maximum of three months. So you’ll use different timeframes for reservations depending on the standard.


How quickly can I get an apprentice from reservation request to assessment?

Once you make a reservation request, our team will manage the scheduling with you. Timing will depend on your apprentice having completed sufficient on-programme training – and successfully getting to gateway.


How do I know if my apprentice is ready for the EPA?

Employers and providers must decide together if the apprentice is ready for assessment by judging their learning and behaviours at gateway. Our offer provides on-programme resources and sample tests or assessments in many of the standards to develop and track the apprentices’ skills, knowledge and behaviours which could help them succeed at assessment.

Remember that getting to gateway always means passing English and maths at a level set by the standard.


When do we get the apprenticeship certificate?

The ESFA issues apprenticeship certificates after we’ve sent them the EPA results and managed any queries they have. They send the certificate directly to the employer. We cannot guarantee the ESFA’s timelines though bear in mind they let organisations claim certificates only once a month.

We also issue our own City & Guilds-branded EPA statement of achievement and these are sent out within four weeks to the customer.


How is the EPA plan set?

The EPA plan is decided by employer groups, known as trailblazers, when the new standards are created. Each standard has its own assessment plan. Assessment methods include: skills observation, professional discussions, portfolios of work, projects and online multiple choice tests.

Planning

How do employers and training providers agree which EPA organisation to use?

Employers get to choose which apprentice assessment organisation to use for EPA. This might be based on reputation and good standing or their trust in the organisation helping their apprentice to learn and demonstrate the right knowledge, skills and behaviours. If you're an employer, why not use our tips on how to choose an EPA organisation?

If you're a training provider, you'll probably know that your employer partner can benefit from using our quality EPA service. So we've put together some information to share with them to help them understand more about the service. Feel free to add your logo or simply copy the information.


How do employers and training providers manage the EPA process?

It’s really important that employers and providers understand each other clearly from the outset. Both sides must manage the contract negotiation and processes well so that it’s clear who pays what and when – and also what counts as success. We've put together some useful checklists to help employers and providers stay on top of the EPA process. And our recorded webinars could help or contact us for individual support.

Maths and English

What evidence do I need to show my apprentice has met the maths and English level set by the standard?

After sitting the functional skills assessment, you should have the results online and you need to upload these to the EPA portal. If your apprentice had already achieved the level of English and/or maths set by the standard, you would submit these results in the same way. Acceptable evidence is full certificate or e-certificate, statement of results issued by an awarding organisation, screenshot of the awarding organisation’s system showing the qualification has been achieved/awarded or a copy of the personal learner record.


Can my apprentices sit their English and maths assessments with the rest of the EPA?

No. As reaching the set level of English and maths is a requirement of gateway, the apprentice must show this before we can confirm them on EPA. You’ll need to submit proof of achievement to us and, in some cases, sitting the next level of functional skills too.


What if my apprentice doesn’t reach the English or maths level between making a reservation request and getting to gateway?

Because of ESFA rules, we cannot put an apprentice through EPA unless they’ve reached gateway with the right level of English and maths, we would have to cancel the assessment slot for your apprentice. Depending on how close this was to the booked slot, this may mean a cancellation charge.


Can my apprentice get an exemptions from the functional skills requirement?

Yes, if they can show prior achievement at the right level. The ESFA sets the English and maths qualifications and grades apprentices need to be exempted from the English and maths requirements of the standard.

Venues and assessors

How do I know your assessors are high quality?

To add to our large network of independent assessors, we use strict recruitment criteria such as membership of professional bodies or years of industry experience. We run bespoke assessment training for all new assessors plus on-going help and support to keep them up-to-date with quality assurance and apprenticeship requirements.


How do we know if our venue is suitable for EPA?

Each assessment plan has criteria for the EPA venue, so you can confirm that your venue meets this specification. Our independent assessors will sign off the venue on the day however some more technical venues will require a visit ahead of time. You can find venue requirement details in the documents section of the apprenticeship details in our qualification pages. Our own venues are checked and signed off by occupational experts.


How do I become a City & Guilds independent end assessor?

We’re always interested in hearing from talented and experienced people who can assess apprentices’ performance. Read our information on recruitment and the list of the standards where we’re looking for new assessors.

We were the first assessment organisation to deliver EPA. You can hear how we made it work with the senior team at HMRC in our short video.

Employers talk about our apprenticeships We were the first assessment organisation to deliver end-point assessment for the new apprenticeship standards in England.

If you want to talk about EPA with us in more detail please contact us and we’ll do our best to help.