iPET Network End Point Assessment Organisation Employer Guide

Why Choose iPET Network

iPET Network is an Ofqual Regulated End Point Assessment Awarding Organisation specialising in apprenticeships across the Animal Care and Veterinary Science sector and beyond. We were approved to deliver End-Point Assessment in September 2021 and our key mission links to our history bounded by animals, we are now supporting Apprenticeship End Point Assessments in a wider range of qualifications. 

What is End Point Assessment?

Since the introduction of Apprenticeship Standards, Employers, Training Providers and Apprentices have seen changes across many Apprenticeships, one of the key areas being the introduction of End Point Assessment.

The key purpose of Apprenticeships is to give Apprentices the knowledge, skills and behaviours to perform their role to the standard required and supports their development to higher skills.  

In England, every Apprentice on an apprenticeship standard must successfully undertake an independent assessment at the end of their training to confirm they have achieved occupational competence. If they do not pass the assessment, they have not completed their apprenticeship. This is known as an End-Point Assessment (EPA).

End-point Assessment is an independent assessment of the knowledge, skills and behaviours which have been learnt throughout the apprenticeship and tests the apprentice’s ability to apply them in the workplace. Assessments need to be conducted by approved independent end-point assessment organisations.  

An EPAO is a third party organisation, separate from the Employer and Training Provider. 

iPET Network are approved to be an End Point Awarding Organisation (EPAO) for the following standards:

Dog Groomer (Level 2)

Animal Care and Welfare Assistant (Level 2)

Who chooses the End Point assessment Awarding Organisation?

It is the Employer who makes the final decision about which EPAO is chosen for their Apprentices. However, many Employers take guidance from Training Providers on which organisation is the best fit for them. The EPAO is chosen before the apprenticeship begins and forms part of the sign up process between Employer and Training Provider.

Functional Skills

Before an Apprentice can progress to the End-Point Assessment stage, they must have achieved the relevant Functional Skills qualifications in English, Maths and ICT, or achieved equivalent qualifications such as GCSEs.

If the Apprentice is undertaking a Level 2 Apprenticeship Standard, they will need to have successfully completed a Level 1 Functional Skills qualification (or equivalent) and attempted Level 2 Functional Skills qualification in both English and Maths. 

If the Apprentice is undertaking a Level 3 or Higher Apprenticeship Standard, they will need to have successfully completed a Level 2 Functional Skills qualification (or equivalent) in both English and Maths. Training Providers can offer support with Functional Skills and will advise Employers and Apprentices of the requirements.

Gateway

When the apprentice has completed their training and been on programme for the correct time allocated for their apprenticeship, there will be a short period where the Employer, Training Provider and Apprentice will assess the apprentice’s progress. The Employer will then determine whether or not the Apprentice is ready to take on the End-Point Assessment. This period of time is known as Gateway, moving from one stage to another and passing through the ‘Gateway’ to reach it.

Generally, the Gateway stage is where all aspects of the apprenticeship must be completed. 

These could include:

- Any on-programme qualifications, including Functional Skills

- Any finalised projects, such as portfolios or projects

- Any additional pieces of evidence gathered

- Any other requirements outlined in the Apprenticeship Standard

For some apprenticeships, there will need to be a meeting between the Employer, Training Provider and Apprentice to decide how and when to proceed with the End Point Assessment.

Where, when and how is the End Point Assessment conducted?

The End Point Assessment usually takes place in the employees place of work.  This means an Apprentice can be familiar with the environments for assessment.  It is the Employer’s responsibility to ensure all equipment, resources and environments are available and suitable for the assessment to take place.

End-Point Assessment is made up of a number of elements which the apprentice must pass in order to complete the apprenticeship, this may include practical demonstration, written exam or oral discussion. These assessments are designed to give the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate all the required knowledge, skills and behaviours outlined in the Apprenticeship Standard. This is the criteria required for an Apprentice to be judged to be fully competent in their role and therefore achieve the Apprenticeship Standard. 

The person tasked with assessing the Apprentice is known as an Independent End Point Assessor (IEPA) and is hired by the EPAO to perform this duty. The IEPA will be a skilled professional who has demonstrated a high level of expertise, experience and knowledge in the sector of the assessment.

Depending on the EPA requirements, the IEPA will set assessment times/dates for the various assessments required with the Training Provider.  It is the Training Provider’s responsibility to ensure the Employer and Apprentice are aware of the EPA plan.

The Independent End-Point Assessor will conduct and lead the End-Point Assessment process and usually will be the only person other than the apprentice involved in the assessment. However there are exceptions. For example during a professional discussion, the Employer maybe or a representative maybe present to support and clarify answers. For some assessments the IEPA will actively engage with the apprentice. For others, they will remain a detached observer. 

What does the End-Point Assessment cost?

The overall cost of the End-Point Assessment is negotiated between the Employer and the End-Point Assessment Organisation although many End-Point Assessment Organisations will have set fees for their services. The cost of End-Point Assessment should not exceed 20% of the funding band maximum but margins will differ between EPAOs.

Results, Grading and Certificates

Once all assessments have been completed, the IEPA will score the appropriate grading for the Apprentice. Grading for an apprenticeship is split up into particular grading scales: either Pass/Distinction or Pass/Merit/Distinction, depending on the apprenticeship. The IEPA will report the results of the EPA back to the EPAO.  The EPAO will request a certificate on behalf of the apprentice from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). The ESFA aims to issue publicly funded certificates within 10 working days of the request.

Retakes

If an assessment is failed, the Apprentice will need to retake the assessment in order to achieve a pass. The cost of the retake may fall to the Employer if there is not enough funding left in the allocated Training Provider fund or Levy pot.