Ofqual presented a full report on External Quality Assurance of Apprenticeship EPA’s to the Institute’s Quality Assurance Committee on 14 May 2019. This version of the report represents redacted content in order to remove any sensitive data and is now a published open report for wider consumption.

See the full Ofqual report.

The report presents very interesting reading and instils confidence that a quality framework is in progress by Ofqual that is designed to safeguard the valid achievement of our future workforce. As quoted within the report:

“It is in no-one’s interest to allow organisations to deliver EPAs without confidence in their capacity and capability to consistently develop, deliver and award EPAs”.

Our Capacity and Capability Study

The Assessors Guild completed a Capacity and Capability Study earlier in the year and sent this to the relevant regulatory stakeholders with a call for consistency of assessment plans based on the sample of plans and standards that we reviewed.

The outcome from our study was:

a) that the inconsistencies posed clear and present risks that assessors may not be sufficiently occupationally or assessment competent

b) that they may not be up to date with professional development because some of the assessment plans did not detail clearly or in any way, the specifics required of assessors to ensure consistency, validity and comparability overtime.

Approved Standards not yet in operation

As mentioned in the Ofqual Corporate Report, there are still approved standards not yet in operation. It is clear that we are still waiting for the full impact of the numbers for both End-point assessors and the uptake of current resting assessment plans and standards that have yet to be operational.

Time to act

Now would be a good time for stakeholders to work together to plan a risk-based strategy, to address not only the inconsistencies across assessment plans, but also to find solutions to the capacity and capability issue.

If any EPAOs, Training Providers, Employer Providers, FE or HEIs wish to take part in consultative forums or wish to be involved in any other way, please contact Sam Taylor.