LONDON, 10th October 2018. The Federation of Awarding Bodies (FAB) and the Federation for Industry Sector Skills and Standards (FISSS) have agreed to work together to support quality apprenticeships.

The partnership will help join-up the unique expertise of end-point assessment organisations (EPAOs), sector skills councils, the individual assessors guild and end-point quality assurance providers (EQAs).

The aims of the partnership are:

– To support the wider community of assessment organisations and individual assessors via a new dedicated annual conference for EPAOs, assessors and EQA providers, to take place next spring;
– To help build capacity and capability of the assessment and quality assurance market for apprenticeships;
– To bring greater coherence, consistency and standardisation, where it is felt necessary, to the quality assurance of EPAOs and apprenticeships;
– To coordinate the work of FAB and FISSS to maximise the benefits to members of being a part of both trade associations;

Commenting on the initiative, Tom Bewick, Chief Executive of the Federation of Awarding Bodies, said:“After nearly 6 years since England’s major apprenticeship reforms were announced, we’re reaching a critical point in the relentless focus on quality.
“Our members are the end-point assessment organisation for 65% of the new standards. We have a collective interest in ensuring the ongoing integrity and independence of the system that underpins quality apprenticeships.
“However, the system faces a real capacity challenge. We need to ensure EPAOs are able to access the tools they need to work more collaboratively and effectively across the whole eco-system. Our strategic partnership with FISSS will help us achieve that goal.”

Mark Froud, Managing Director, of the Federation for Industry Sector Skills and Standards, added:
“We welcome this new partnership with FAB. One of the genuinely innovative aspects of the reforms to apprenticeships has been the requirement that apprentices are independently assessed for competence and that the system is better quality assured overall.
“With initiatives such as The Assessors Guild Professional Membership Body, we can play a key part in working with EPAOs and EQAs to grow the capacity and capability of the industry. This partnership is about adding value to what exists already and it will result in a much stronger community of practice in future.
“Like FAB’s members, our members are committed to the highest quality in apprenticeship delivery. Government and employers demand it, and we need to ensure apprentices are not short-changed either.”