Apprenticeships standards and EPA
Read the latest guidance on how COVID-19 is changing standards and EPAs whether you're an apprentice or a training provider
Our apprentice has been made redundant, can they still undertake EPA?
Yes, If an apprentice is made redundant, they can proceed with EPA and we do not need a signature on the tri party agreement from the employer. Instead IMI will require confirmation in writing regarding redundancy or breaks in learning.
Click on the links below for further guidance on disruption to employment for an apprentice;
- Providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak - page 11 explains redundancy and disruption to employment.
- Apprenticeship funding rules for mainproviders - pages 12-13 states the exemption for minimum duration.
My Employer is currently shut due to COVID, can my certificate be sent to an alternative address?
Yes – flexibilities regarding where certificates can be sent have been approved. More detail can be find here.
When do the flexibilities/temporary discretions for End-Point Assessment end?
The latest guidance published by the IfATE states flexibilities currently in place due to COVID-19 in the link here will be available until at least the end of August 2021. There will be 12 week notice before removal of any flexibility.
What are the temporary discretions or flexibilities available for apprentices due to undertake End-Point Assessments where delivery has been affected/restricted due to COVID-19?
IfATE have identified a series of optional adjustments to the assessment to allow EPAs to continue where rescheduling of EPA or scheduling a break in learning is not feasible option. These are:
- general flexibilities across all standards
- flexibilities available for use, with prior approval from external quality assurance provider (EQAP) on a case-by-case basis
- flexibilities specific to an apprenticeship standard; we call these ‘temporary discretions’
List of all current flexibilities by apprenticeship standard approved by the IfATE can be found here.
However IfATE do advise that EPA should be carried out inline with the assessment plan where possible; See here for full guidance from IfATE.
Are there any flexibilities for Functional Skills requirements to be met prior to EPA Gateway for an apprentice?
A new temporary flexibility has been introduced to allow apprentices at all levels that are ready and waiting to take their FSQ assessments in English and maths, to go through to take their end-point assessment (EPA), and later return to complete FSQ assessment.
This flexibility is only available to apprentices where all possibilities to access FSQ assessment via face-to-face and remote assessment have been exhausted, and they have confirmed their intent to continue and complete their FSQ within three months of starting their EPA. Confirmation of this must also be evidenced in the learner file/evidence pack.
To be eligible to take their EPA before achieving the required functional skills qualifications, the apprentice must:
- not be on a break in learning (an apprentice may return from a break in learning to take their end-point assessment)
- meet all other gateway criteria to progress to their EPA as specified in the apprenticeship standard (except meeting the English and maths requirements)
- have been confirmed by training provider and apprentice employer as ready for both their EPA, and to take a functional skills qualification assessment
- start their EPA on or before 31 May 2021
Important: Apprentices will still only complete their apprenticeship once they have passed their EPA and achieved their FSQ in English and/or maths as required. After these achievements have been confirmed by the EPAO they can request a completion certificate.
For full guidance please click here.
Are there any flexibilities for Level 2 apprentices wishing to pass through gateway and functional skills requirement?
Yes – The rule requiring level 2 apprentices to study towards, and attempt, level 2 functional skills assessments is suspended temporarily for apprentices due to take their EPA on or before 31st March 2021. Main providers should retain evidence if an apprentice did not take the level 2 assessments due to coronavirus (COVID-19). A level 2 apprentice will still require a level 1 functional skills in English and/or maths to complete their apprenticeship.
Main providers should retain evidence if an apprentice did not take the level 2 assessments due to coronavirus (COVID-19). A level 2 apprentice will still require a level 1 functional skills in English and/or maths to complete their apprenticeship.
Full and latest guidance see click here.
What guidance is there for furloughed apprentices or centres that have closed?
There is guidance for Apprentices, Employers and Training Providers on the Government website.
Will we be charged for EPA's that are cancelled within the cancellation period due to COVID-19?
No - there will be no charge for EPA cancellations, if they are cancelled due to Covid-19. You must provide written confirmation upon request that the EPA is to be cancelled due to COVID-19.
Are the IMI still taking new EPA bookings / What is the current EPA situation with regards to booking EPA?
Yes - EPA bookings are still being accepted. Depending on the Apprenticeship Standards, some variations to the assessment schedules may occur. Contact a member of the IMI EPA team or review our EPA assessment updates for more information.
As a training provider, we are now reopening for our learners and apprentices with the latest government update. Can we book/reschedule face-to-face EPA assessments that have been postponed due to COVID-19 lockdown?
Yes - IMI will be taking face-to-face EPA bookings. However this will be subject to ensuring you have a full risk assessment available on site for EPA to take place. IMI will equally supply a risk assessment for our assessors to travel to and from the EPA venue.
All risk assessments should be in line with the governments guidelines.
IMI will require a copy of your risk assessment to be uploaded to IMI Centres Hub and reviewed by an IMI EQA prior to any external activity taking place.
For full guidance on how to upload your risk assessment prior to EPA or any external activity with the IMI, please click here.