Apprenticeship Standards differ from Frameworks in that they include an End Point Assessment). The End Point Assessment takes place toward the end of the apprenticeship. End-point assessment can only take place when any mandated on-programme classroom, online and vendor qualification learning has been passed.
The Apprenticeship End Point Assessment is made up of different parts – see diagram below – each of which contributes something different to the assessment process (note, the assessment process is slightly different for degree apprenticeships):
The summative portfolio
The summative portfolio is put together towards the end of the NowSkills Apprenticeship. In the portfolio, apprentices present evidence from real-work projects illustrating the application of all the knowledge, skills and behaviours set out in the Apprenticeship End Point Assessment.
The summative portfolio is not evidence that the learning has taken place, but is evidence that the apprentice has applied that learning in their working role.
The evidence will comprise a small number of complete pieces of work which, together, cover the requirements of the Apprenticeship End Point Assessment. They are able to showcase their very best work and the portfolio enables learners to demonstrate how they have applied their knowledge and understanding in a real-work environment to achieve real-work objectives.
Reference from the Employer
This part of the Apprenticeship End Point Assessment allows employers to provide feedback about the apprentice and the quality of the apprentice’s work. NowSkills will provide employers with guidance and if required a template that will enable the employer to make comments against the grading minimum standards and criteria as set out in the Occupational Brief. Employers will not be asked to provide a rating.
The synoptic project or competence activity
The synoptic project presents evidence from a business-related project testing the application of a selection of the knowledge, skills and behaviours defined in the standard. Each project will specify which selection of knowledge, skills and behaviours it is designed to test.
The project does not need to cover every competence, but must cover a broad breadth of the competence outcomes, including the use of tools to problem-solve and trouble-shoot non-routine problems. It is designed to assess apprentices in a consistent way, irrespective of their particular work place and their particular role within their company, and is therefore completed outside of day- to-day work pressures in a controlled environment.
The Apprenticeship End Point Assessment interview is the last and final part of the end-point assessment, as it is informed by the other elements. It is a structured discussion between the apprentice and their independent assessor, focusing on the summative portfolio and the synoptic project, with reference to the employer reference or knowledge test as appropriate.
It covers both what the apprentice has done in terms of the standard of their work, and also how they have done it. This enables the end-point assessment to include the full range of technical knowledge and competencies as well as the underpinning skills, attitudes and behaviours.
The grading takes after the interview – and is based on all of the evidence that has been looked at in the end-point assessment. There is only one grade for the apprenticeship.
The purpose of grading is to motivate apprentices and to differentiate between those at the minimum level and those who are significantly above the minimum level.
Grading is done by the independent assessor, based on a holistic assessment of everything the assessor has seen.
There are three sets of criteria on which the assessment and grading is made. The three criteria are
- The What: what the apprentice has shown they can do,
- The How: the way in which the work has been done
- The With Whom: The personal and interpersonal qualities the apprentice has brought to all their work relationships. Each of these three criteria has minimum (expected) requirements, which must be satisfied for a pass.
Each of these criteria has a number of dimensions which should be considered to determine if the apprentice is significantly above the minimum (expected) level of quality in this occupation.
The Apprenticeship End Point Assessment Grading Decision
The purpose of Apprenticeship End Point Assessment grading is to differentiate between those apprentices whose work is at the expected level of quality against the totality of the skills, knowledge and behaviours specified in the standard and those whose work is significantly above this expected level:
- For a pass, each of the three sets of criteria must demonstrate at least the expected (minimum requirement) level of quality
- For a merit, the What has to be significantly above the level of quality and one of either the How or the With Whom has to be significantly above the level of quality expected
- For a distinction, each of the three sets of criteria must be significantly above the expected level of quality
The assessor takes a holistic judgement of whether or not their assessments demonstrate that the apprentice is “significantly above the expected level of quality” in each of these three areas and can then determine which grade should be awarded.
Apprenticeship End Point Assessment and grading: who does it?
Any organisation on the ESFA’s Register of Apprentice Assessment Organisations (RoAAO) can undertake Apprenticeship End Point Assessment against the standard for which they are registered. These organisations are responsible for delivering Apprenticeship End Point Assessments based on the specifications produced by the employers.
NowSkills would normally arrange a learner’s Apprenticeship End Point Assessment, if employers would like to make their own arrangements, please inform us during the first 6 months of the apprenticeship. Additional charges may apply.