Quest EPAO have gained recognition for a number of End-Point Assessments with more applications in progress. Quest EPAO are focussing on the following sectors initially:
•    Adult Care
•    Childcare
•    Supporting Teaching and Learning
•    The Generic Business and Management sector 
Quest EPAO will continue to apply for further End-Point Assessments as additional Apprenticeship Standards are developed.

Quest Training was formed after the founder had been working within the work based learning sector for a number of years, for both private providers and colleges.
At that time, there were very few true work based learning programmes, where everything could take place within the employer's premises. 
It was this realisation that led to the formation of Quest Training, and Quest began its journey working with a children’s home to train six of its staff. Since this first contract, we have built strong links with employers in a number of different sectors, and have successfully gained funding streams that have allowed us to support learners and employers progress and build their confidence. 
In 2010 Quest Training started to deliver apprenticeships as a sub-contractor but now have a direct contract with the ESFA. Since then we have continued to build expertise and a strong reputation in this area. 
Quest Training has embraced the new apprenticeship standards and the decision was made to support centres and employers further by becoming an End-Point Assessment organisation working throughout England delivering End-Point Assessment within the Sectors Quest has traditionally worked in.

The Institute for Apprenticeships is working with employers to create and develop new apprenticeship standards. There’re doing this to raise the quality of apprenticeships, and to replace all the old apprenticeship frameworks by 2020.

Standards meet the needs of employers

A standard contains a list of the skills, knowledge and behaviours an apprentice will need to have learned by the end of their apprenticeship.

Standards are occupation-focused; they are not qualification-led. The learning happens throughout the apprenticeship. And the apprentice is assessed at the end. They need to prove that they can carry out all aspects of their job.

They develop transferable skills and gain credibility as well.

The IFA are developing standards to raise the quality of apprenticeships by responding to the needs of employers, who know what they want from their employees. They can best describe what skills, knowledge and behaviours an apprentice will need at the end of their apprenticeship.

Trailblazers develop the standards for their relevant occupation themselves. This means that the standards are related to what is needed in the workforce and know what skills an apprentice will need to be capable and qualified in that future role.

End-Point Assessment

The purpose of the end-point assessment (EPA) is to test that an apprentice is fully capable of doing their job before they receive their apprenticeship certificate. It also helps to demonstrate that what an apprentice has learned can be applied in the real world.

Changing how apprentices are assessed

On a framework apprentices are assessed continuously throughout their apprenticeships, usually by compiling a portfolio consisting of lots of individual pieces of evidence. New apprenticeship standards include an EPA. We highlighted some of the differences between standards and frameworks previously.

The Richard review found that continuous assessment did not allow all apprentices to demonstrate that they can carry out the whole of their job. Employers wanted assurance that former apprentices they employed or planned to employ were fully competent.

The focus is now on the outcome of an apprenticeship and apprentices have to demonstrate the knowledge, skills and behaviours that employers have identified they need.

A Synoptic End-Point Assessment

The synoptic EPA has become a core feature of new apprenticeship standards because it assesses the apprentice’s performance across the whole standard rather than for individual tasks.

There are a range of assessment methods including:

•    practical assessment

•    interview

•    project

•    written and/or multiple-choice tests

•    presentation or sales pitch

The apprentice must be assessed by a minimum of 2 different assessments methods and the methods used will be the ones most relevant to the job.

After the EPA, the apprentice is graded by pass, merit or distinction. Clear grading descriptors set out the requirements for each grade.

Keeping consistency of quality

Assessment plans go through an approval process to make sure that the quality of each assessment is of the highest possible standard. Approval is done by the Institute for Apprenticeships led by our employer Route Panels and Board.

The EPA is then subject to external quality assurance (EQA) undertaken by an independent organisation to ensure all assessments are consistent in quality and approach.

Frameworks, developed by sector bodies, are used to assess apprenticeships. Each framework contains pathways which set out different roles. English Apprenticeships: Our 2020 Vision tells us there are now around 230 apprenticeship frameworks and over 700 pathways within them.
Frameworks are primarily qualification-focused. The main aim at the end of a framework is to have achieved a competency-based qualification, such as an NVQ, and a technical qualification, such as a BTEC.
It’s possible for an apprentice to achieve all qualifications in the framework but not actually have the right skills to carry out their job. This means some apprentices may need further training from their employer.
In a framework, apprentices are assessed throughout their apprenticeship. They have to obtain a number of qualifications during the apprenticeship. Once they’ve completed a unit, it is ticked off and they won’t necessarily need to demonstrate the skill again.
There is no overall end assessment, which means no one is actually checking if the apprentice has the right skills to do their role. 

Standards are occupation-focused; they are not qualification-led. The learning happens throughout the apprenticeship. And the apprentice is assessed at the end. They need to prove that they can carry out all aspects of their job. They develop transferable skills and gain credibility as well.

The IFA are developing standards to raise the quality of apprenticeships by responding to the needs of employers, who know what they want from their employees. They can best describe what skills, knowledge and behaviours an apprentice will need at the end of their apprenticeship.

Trailblazers develop the standards for their relevant occupation themselves. This means that the standards are related to what is needed in the workforce and know what skills an apprentice will need to be capable and qualified in that future role

Quest EPAO are supportive, delivering high quality End-Point Assessment through a seamless end to end assessment process from pre-gateway, through to summative assessment using Quest EPAO’s E-Portal. 

Quest EPAO recognise the need to be flexible when delivering End-Point Assessment taking into account the needs of the sectors we work in offering weekend and evening assessments, in addition to the normal working week.

Quest EPAO will support a centre during the delivery of learning period to an apprentice including:

  • Clarifying the breadth and depth of learning that is required by the standard

  • Providing learning materials to the centre where appropriate

  • Providing mock assessments

  • Explaining the End-Point assessment process to the centre

In 2010 Quest Training started to deliver apprenticeships as a sub-contractor but now have a direct contract with the ESFA. Since then we have continued to build expertise and a strong reputation in this area. 

Quest Training has embraced the new apprenticeship standards and the decision was made to support centres and employers further by becoming an End-Point Assessment organisation working throughout England delivering End-Point Assessment within the Sectors Quest has traditionally worked in.