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End-point assessment service

End-point assessment service

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

8-stage epa diagram

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.

Employers can use our guide to choosing an EPA organisation.

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, 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. Our first-rate, fully trained end-point assessors can put your apprentices at ease too.

The EPA Preparation tool 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 email the EPA contact you assigned when you applied to use our EPA. They’ll get a welcome email with a link. 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. Once the apprentice has logged in and they’ve had their name assigned to the EPA preparation tool, that’s it! They can start using it.

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.


What sort of assessments are there?

Methods include: professional discussions, skills observation, portfolios of work and online multiple choice tests. There must be at least two assessment types. They are set in the assessment plan by the employer groups that put together the apprenticeship standard.

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?

If you are a new customer and you want to use our EPA-only service, but do not want to offer qualifications, you need to complete the form below. If you do want to offer additional qualifications, you’ll need to apply for centre approval first – visit our help and support section for information on how to do this.

If you wish to buy EPA only and there is no mandatory qualification: complete this form to apply for EPA only.

If you are already an approved centre with City & Guilds, you can now make applications for EPA through your quality portal. Please select EPA Application from the drop-down list in ‘Online Forms’.


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.

If you are adding Employer and EPA details to you order, our EPA Additional Info User Guide contains the information you will need and how to find your order.


Can I book EPA if I am a sub-contractor?

City & Guilds can only have a contractual agreement with a main, employer and/or supporting provider that is listed on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP). We’ve created a guidance document on provider customers and sub-contract relationships to help you. Sub-contractors can make registrations, book knowledge tests and place bookings for EPA on behalf of a provider customer once the provider customer has completed our sub-contracting request form.


When can I book EPA?

Standards specify the amount of learning for an apprentice before they can take EPA – the shortest possible time is 12 months – and the time between booking request and assessment is usually 90 days. We recommend you register apprentices as early as possible with us so they can start using our EPA preparation tool and so you can plan your booking. 

The 90-day booking window gives you time to manage gateway, submit any evidence needed and confirm the booking dates with us. The booking window may be smaller (60 days) depending on when you make your booking request. Look at our Manual for the EPA Service for more.

Once you make a booking request, our team will manage the scheduling with you. 


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 includes on-programme resources 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.

Our EPA pack for customers (available once you've registered for our EPA) includes a gateway declaration form. The form asks you to confirm that the apprentice has met all the gateway requirements under the standard.


When do we get the apprenticeship certificate?

The ESFA and IfA issue apprenticeship certificates after we’ve sent the EPA results to the ESFA and managed any queries they have. They send the certificate directly to the employer. We cannot guarantee the ESFA’s timelines for this.

We also issue our own City & Guilds-branded EPA statement of achievement which includes a breakdown of results and grades by assessment event.


How do I make an enquiry about EPA results?

To make an enquiry about an end point assessment (EPA) you will need to complete this form. Please ensure that you include all the requested information and any other information that may be relevant to your enquiry and email to EPA.quality@cityandguilds.com.

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?

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 as part 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. You can find our venue and resources lists, for the standards where we offer EPA, on our standards page. They detail the venue requirements. Our own venues are checked and signed off by occupational experts.

If your venue doesn't meet the right standards, our independent end-point assessor may have to cancel the EPA and you may still be charged.


How do I become a City & Guilds independent end-point 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.

Policies

To manage our work consistently and fairly, we have set procedures and policies. We have specific EPA policies for malpractice, as well as enquiries about results and appeals. You can read our conflict of interest policy, which gives information about what we ask of our independent end-point assessors.

End-point assessment case studies

Runshaw College

Runshaw College logoCity & Guilds recently worked with Runshaw College, a leading college located in Chorley, Lancashire, who successfully put their apprentices through the new end-point assessment standards for the first time. The apprentices enjoyed the experience, which set them up for success within their fields.

"Here at Runshaw College we were understandably apprehensive about moving towards the new standards, however we had full support from City & Guilds every step of the way which enabled us to set high expectations of our apprentices. City & Guilds has been the catalyst to Mel and Charlotte’s fabulous achievement and we are so proud of them both.

Meg Bamber - Head of Studies for Apprenticeships, Runshaw College

 

Charlotte Kirk “Throughout my apprenticeship, I have gained valuable skills and business acumen which I am very excited to utilise in my current and future career plans. The course enabled me to experience many aspects of the professional working environment; from organising corporate events to managing budgets, presenting to a number of stakeholders to general administrative duties. Alongside the core learning, this qualification encourages ‘off-the-job’ training which gave me the opportunity to liaise with different departments and gain insight to all aspects of the organisation; something invaluable in any role.”

Mel Hamer – Apprentice

 

Mel Hammer “Through support from both Runshaw College and City & Guilds, I have had the opportunity to achieve a ‘distinction’ grade, of which I’m very proud of. Although undertaking a new qualification can be daunting, City & Guilds’ use of gateways and on-programme materials have enabled me to prepare for the new end-point assessments, which I found a very enjoyable experience.

After graduating university with a degree in psychology, I had no relatable work experience, however by completing the new apprenticeship standard with City & Guilds, I have been able to gain an insight into real world business practices. By achieving this qualification, I am confident in all aspects of my role and feel as if I can use these skills to further develop my career. After completing my business administration apprenticeship, I have been offered a full time position within Runshaw College.”

Charlotte Kirk – Apprentice

 

City & Guilds are delighted to be working with Runshaw College and look forward to continuing the partnership and in doing so, guide many more skilled apprentices into the workplace.

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.