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COVID-19 UPDATE - Wednesday 11 November 2020

Active IQ is proud that the success and safety of our customers and apprentices has remained at the heart of our business decision-making throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to be amazed at our customers’ resilience, and impressed at the way they have embraced our support and additional remote learning products, enabling them to continue delivering learning to their apprentices in some very difficult circumstances. 

End-point Assessment flexibilities and discretions during COVID-19

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) has published updates to standards that allow for the use of flexibilities and discretions to enable EPA to continue across a large number of apprenticeship standards during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The list of standards with flexibilities can be found here. IfATE has confirmed that the current flexibilities and discretions will remain in place until at least the end of March 2021, and they have assured us that they will provide at least 12 weeks’ notice of any revision to the current flexibilities.

Since the easing of lockdown earlier in the year, we have been able to respond to requests for live observations where no flexibilities are allowed, or where a request has been made on the basis that it is in the best interests of the apprentice. However, each request is carefully considered on an ad hoc basis, and we work with our customers to obtain venue risk assessments and ensure that the relevant health and safety protocols are in place.   

With the ever-changing situation with regard to lockdowns and the threat of higher tiers possibly being introduced, these opportunities may change. However, if you wish to discuss your assessment requirements with our EPA team, please email apprenticeships@activeiq.co.uk or call 01480 467 950, option 7.

Help and information update links:


End-point Assessment from Active IQ

Active IQ is pleased to offer End-point Assessment services for 14 apprenticeship standards with more in the pipeline, so please do get in touch if there are new standards you would like us to assist you with.

The new apprenticeship standards define the knowledge, skills and behaviours that an apprentice is required to learn in order to be deemed fully competent in a specific job role. The standard assessment plan sets out how the apprentice should be assessed in order to demonstrate that they have met the full standard criteria at the end of their apprenticeship journey.

These new standards contain on-programme training and assessment, plus a final End-point Assessment (EPA). This EPA must be delivered by an independent organisation that is recognised on the Register of End Point Assessment Organisations, such as Active IQ.

Active IQ was one of the first End-point Assessment Organisations (EPAOs) to join the register, therefore our assessors and apprenticeship team can offer an exceptionally knowledgeable, robust support service that helps achieve the best outcomes for our customers.

Our EPA services include a vast number of support resources for your delivery team as well as your apprentices, as you would expect from a leading awarding organisation. 

We pride ourselves on being customer-centric, putting customers and their success at the heart of our business. You can be sure of receiving a highly-responsive EPA service when partnering with us for your EPA. 

 

For more information, please view the documents below or contact us on apprenticeships@activeiq.co.uk


End-point Assessment FAQs

Please contact us either at apprenticeships@activeiq.co.uk or give us a call on 01480 467950 Option 7 and we will be happy to discuss your requirements

Our EPA fees can be found on the individual standards pages above, or in our prospectus.

We complement our EPA services by offering an abundance of differing packages depending on the apprenticeship standard, including free additional Active IQ qualifications (approved centres only) as well as comprehensive resources comprising fully mapped toolkits, video guides, lecture packs, eLearning, checklists and more, to keep your apprentice on track and fully prepared for their End Point Assessment.

We use the EPA Pro portal to administer and track the End-point Assessment process. You can register your apprentices via a single or bulk upload, upload documents and track progress right up to completion of the apprentice’s programme.

Apprentice evidence can be uploaded to the EPA Pro portal or you can provide our End-point Assessors with access to your ePortfolio platform. The assessor will however need to transfer evidence and upload it to EPA Pro for compliance and quality assurance purposes.

Yes, when you appoint Active IQ as your End-point assessment organisation, where the standard includes a Knowledge test, we automatically set you up on our Cirrus online assessment platform. You can manage your own mock knowledge test bookings, so that the apprentice can take multiple tests prior to gateway, in order to be fully prepared for the live assessment. We have also produced eLearning video guides on how to prepare for the knowledge tests. For live knowledge test bookings, once through gateway, the Apprenticeship Team will manage this booking for you. The live assessment booking form can be found in EPA Pro for you to request the date you would like your apprentices to sit the live knowledge test assessment, once your apprentice is through gateway.

No, you would only need to become an Active IQ approved training centre if you were delivering our regulated qualifications. If you are using our EPA Services alone, then you do not have to become approved.

Active IQ offer you regulated qualifications to deliver free of charge to your apprentices in order to further boost and underpin their learning experience and future prospects. Some standards have mandatory qualifications within them so you would need become an Active IQ approved centre if you were delivering any of our qualifications.

To become an Active IQ Approved Training Centre in order to deliver our qualifications to your apprentices, there would be no cost involved to become approved.

Active IQ will issue you with the completion certificates for these additional recognised qualifications directly.

We invoice 25% of the EPA Service fee upon apprentice registration and the remaining 75% at gateway declaration prior to End-point assessment.

We ask that you register your apprentice within 3 months of their ILR apprenticeship start date. This will enable us to forecast and plan efficiently for demand. The additional benefit to you is that you will then qualify for our apprenticeship swap out scheme promise, should your apprentice withdraw from programme.

If an apprentice withdraws from programme after they were registered with Active IQ within three months of their ILR apprenticeship start date, then their registration fee can be transferred to a new apprentice registration. The new apprentice must be registered onto the same standard as the early leaver and they must be registered within 3 months from the withdrawn apprentice’s withdrawal date, and again, within 3 months of their own ILR start date. This agreement is our apprenticeship swap out scheme promise.

If an apprentice changes employer and wishes to continue with their apprenticeship, Active IQ can remain as the EPAO if the new employer wishes to continue the partnership. However, if the apprentice changes provider, a new End-point Assessment agreement is required between Active IQ and the new provider. The apprentice’s new employment must be started within 30 days, as the break between employment cannot be more than this duration. Employers are responsible for managing this by way of a break in learning, to ensure funds are not paid when the apprentice is not employed.

Depending on the requirements of the assessment plan within the apprenticeship standard, we offer live or remote assessments, with the use of technology such as Zoom recording.

In some circumstances, multiple assessments can be completed face to-face in a designated assessment centre. Active IQ will work with you to identify specific live face-to-face assessment dates before gateway is declared. We require 12 weeks’ notice to organise live assessment planning.

Some End-point assessments can only be completed face-to-face. And these are:

  • Assessor/Coach
  • Community Activator Coach
  • Community Sport and Health Officer
  • Early Years Educator
  • Learning Mentor
  • Leisure Team Member
  • Personal Trainer
  • Passenger Transport Service Operations (Onboard or Station) Team Member
  • Teaching Assistant

The apprentice must have been on programme for a minimum of 53 weeks (some standards require longer on programme). Once you deem your apprentice is competent in their job, ready to meet all the knowledge, skills and behaviours set out in the apprenticeship standard, they have collected all necessary evidence required and are ready to be assessed, you hold a gateway planning meeting with the apprentice and employer. Here you will work through our pre gateway on-programme checklist and toolkits, to sign off the apprentice. You then carry out the gateway declaration via our EPA Pro portal, only once you have all the pre requisites in place and all parties are confident that the apprentice is ready for End-point assessment.

For live assessments we require 12 weeks’ notice prior to gateway declaration in order to prepare and plan the logistics around the live assessments and organise dates. This will ensure that the planning elements required for live assessments do not take up any of the apprentices 12 week window for EPA completion.

For remote assessments we allocate our end point assessors at gateway declaration and the End-point assessments must be completed within 12 weeks. For assessments with special considerations please give 4 weeks’ notice prior to gateway in order to plan.

This will depend on whether it is a live or remote assessment. Our prospectus states which method of assessment we use for each standard.

For live assessments we ask for 12 weeks’ notice prior to gateway declaration so that we can liaise with all parties and ensure logistics are covered. There may be opportunities and in some circumstances, be more convenient for the employer to organise multiple assessments across a day or a few days for example. We have booking forms for live assessments which will tell you what necessary requirements need to be in place for the assessments. The booking form gives you the opportunity to let us know your needs and preferred dates. Once we receive your booking form, we will be in touch to clarify arrangements.

For remote assessments, you do not have to pre book unless you have any special circumstances. Once you carry out the gateway declaration, we take it from there by allocating an appropriate assessor who will carry out a planning meeting with your apprentice and book in the assessment directly. All bookings are confirmed to the apprentice by email and the employer/provider will be copied in, if you have given us this information prior.

Once the End-point assessment is completed our assessor will give the apprentice provisional grades verbally or in writing within 48 hours. Once IQA has taken place, a final grade will be input in to our EPA Pro portal and the apprenticeship certificate will be claimed from the ESFA. Certificates are sent directly to whoever holds the EPA Services agreement with Active IQ. Where any mandated or additional Active IQ qualifications are taken by the apprentice, these certificates will be issued directly by ourselves.

This will depend on the assessment plan and method. Usually the individual components that were failed just require to be retaken, however where professional discussions and interviews form part of the assessment, the entire process may need to be completed. This would be confirmed to you after the fail notification. Some apprentices may require a period of back into learning before retaking End-point assessment; again, we will give appropriate advice following the fail.

Resit fees are charged and vary from standard to standard depending on assessment method and time. Our resit fees can be found in our prospectus.

To attract government funding a 20% minimum threshold has been set for off the job training. This is the minimum amount of time that should be spent on occupational off-the-job training during an apprenticeship. It is training which is received by the apprentice, during their normal working hours, for the purpose of achieving the knowledge, skills and behaviours set within the Apprenticeship Standard. Active IQ offer several resources for use in meeting the off the job training element of the apprenticeship, including relevant eLearning and eManuals.

Where a training provider is an eligible body, such supplies are exempt from VAT. For details on VAT analysis, you can visit the Government website and view their VAT Notice 701/30 in relation to Education and Vocational Training.

Active IQ provides examination End-point assessment services.

Employers place apprentices with a training provider in order for them to receive training in the course of their apprenticeship (or they deliver the training themselves). Funding is drawn down by the training provider from the Employer’s Apprenticeship Levy account and in some instances additional payments are made by the employer. As part of the new Apprenticeship Standards, an End-point assessment (EPA) must be undertaken by an independent End-point Assessment Organisation (EPAO). The employer should select the EPAO from the Register of End Point Assessment Organisations listed on the Government website, where the EPAO is approved for EPA for the relevant apprenticeship standard. In practice many training providers assist with the selection on behalf of the employer.

When Active IQ is selected, it carries out the necessary work and issues an invoice to the training provider (in two stages – 25% on registration and 75% upon gateway). The funds will then, in part or in full, be drawn down by the training provider from the employer’s apprenticeship levy account.


NEW Guidance - Apprenticeship gateway and resits for end-point assessment (EPA)

For further information, please visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apprenticeship-gateway-and-resits-for-end-point-assessment-epa