In the driving seat for EPA success

West Suffolk College discuss their journey on moving from apprenticeship frameworks to standards.

16 December 2020

As any college or training provider delivering apprenticeships will know, moving from frameworks to standards can be a challenge, especially when setting up for and delivering end-point assessments for the first time.

We recently spoke to Ean Daniel, Head of Construction and Engineering at West Suffolk College, on his experiences with the Automotive apprenticeship standards.

Ean reflected on the differences and impact on their delivery: “We have delivered frameworks for many years, and in 2017 we started to work with City & Guilds.

As the world of standards is quite different to frameworks, we asked for support from the Technical Advisor at City & Guilds to guide us through each stage - from setting up, to registering learners, developing the on-programme resources and then preparing for EPA.

The shift from frameworks meant that the planned structure of learning was taken away, however the fantastic City & Guilds SmartScreen resources, such as the Apprentice Training Manual, Schemes of Work and E-Learning with Electude content, really helped to provide that structure, and it saved us time in doing that ourselves".

Ean had a number of learners working their way through their on-programme learning and was keen that they stayed on track leading up to their end point assessment.

"As our learners move through the on-programme period we used the resources and built them into our planning. At the same time, we had to schedule the EPA events, and had great support from the Booking Team to ensure the process was smooth” Ean said.

As the time approached for EPA, it wasn't just the apprentices that were feeling the nerves! Ean pointed out that this can be an anxious time for the college and employer as they are keen to ensure their apprentices are ready and are as prepared as they can be.

Ean explained: "When it came to the end-point assessment itself, the City & Guilds Independent End-Point Assessor really helped. The support was so appreciated, and we even had a run through the day before the assessment which helped to put us at ease and give us reassurance and confidence on the day. The IEPA really put the learners at ease, and over the course of the assessments, their confidence showed. This enabled a great experience for the apprentice."

The good news is that many of their apprentices passed and are on their way to the next stage in their careers. One of the apprentices, Harry, was delighted with his success. “In the weeks leading up to the EPA I was feeling nervous about someone I didn’t know assessing me on the various tasks, On the day though Steve was great and I soon relaxed after we got started” added Harry.
Making the move from frameworks to standards and EPA can feel daunting, but there is support available.

"The level of personal support from the Technical Advisor and Partnership Managers, the digital on-programme resources and quality of the IEPA made the whole experience a positive one, and a great experience for the apprentice” Ean commented.

For more details on EPA in the Engineering and Transport sector – visit our webpage here.