You can browse our Frequently Asked Questions below. If you cannot find what you are looking for then please Contact us.
You will find a list of approved EPA Standards on offer on our website EPA Standards | Open Awards
The training provider is responsible for selecting and negotiating the price with the End-point Assessment Organisation unless the employer wishes to do so. A list of approved EPAOs can be found from the Department for Education’s apprenticeship provider and assessment register (APAR) .
You can contact the team on 0151 494 2072 or firstname.lastname@example.org to talk through the services we offer and see if they are right for you and your apprentices.
If you know you want to use Open Awards to deliver your end-point assessments, please complete the expression of interest form. A member of the team will contact you to talk you through your requirements and discuss next steps.
No, there are no minimum number of apprentices or assessments required. We are set up to support employers with 1 apprentice, or employers with hundreds of apprentices. Please contact us on 0151 494 2072 or email@example.com to talk through your requirements with the team?
The cost will depend on the apprenticeship Standard your apprentices are registered on. Please see the individual Standard information for more information.
There is no cost to signing up with Open Awards to deliver end-point assessments with you. We charge a nominal registration fee of 5% of the overall cost, with the remaining 95% payable when your apprentice reaches gateway.
The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) funds apprentices to achieve qualifications in English or maths (or both), if they do not already meet the minimum requirements for certification.
The ESFA document listing current and prior qualifications accepted as meeting the minimum English and maths requirements for apprenticeships at level 2 and above can be found here. This document also identifies what the ESFA deems Acceptable Evidence of qualification achievement that Open Awards can accept.
If you would like more information about Open Awards Functional Skills qualifications in maths and English, please click here or contact us on 0151 494 2072 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The role of the End-point Assessor is to be independent, and responsible for assessing apprentices in line with the required assessment plan, providing an overall grade. All our IEPAs have the stipulated qualifications and occupational competence as set out within the assessment plan.
Open Awards have prepared and made available sample EPA materials to support apprentices to become familiar with how they will be assessed. These are likely to be used around the gateway period as employers and training providers prepare apprentices for EPA. As such their purpose is familiarisation with the assessment process, rather than to be used to support gateway decisions.
The decision to determine when each Apprentice is ready to undertake End-point Assessment is referred to as ‘the Gateway’ and should involve participation from the Employer, Training Provider and Apprentice. Agreement, or ‘Sign-Off’, is required to demonstrate that the Apprentice has the knowledge, skills and behaviours required within the Standard and to inform the End Point Assessment Organisation that the apprentice is ready for End-point Assessment. Employers are encouraged to register their apprentices with Open Awards.
Please note that Open Awards are only able to accept registrations from providers who are currently on the Register of Approved Providers (RoATP).
Open Awards requires at least three months advance notice of the potential gateway date.
This will depend on the standard assessment plan requirements. There will be a gateway declaration and authenticity form which must be completed between all parties to confirm the apprentice is ready for their End-point Assessment. There is normally a requirement to submit evidence of the apprentice meeting the required level of English and Maths. Some assessment plans require other evidence to be submitted such as portfolios, projects, evidence of qualifications completed. Please refer to the relevant standard EPA Handbook for more information.
Open Awards aim to complete gateway checks within five working days from receipt of the gateway declaration and authenticity form, subject to provision of all necessary information and ancillary evidence. Once gateway checks have been successfully completed, Open Awards will confirm this with the Provider.
Once your apprentices are registered with us for end-point assessments, you will be able to provisionally schedule assessments through our secure Portal. Assessment dates won't be confirmed until gateway checks are completed and all stakeholders have confirmed that the apprentice is ready for assessment.
Provisional bookings can be re-scheduled or cancelled at no charge. Confirmed bookings up to 10 workings days before the assessment day can be re-scheduled at no charge. Confirmed bookings cancelled or re-scheduled with less than 10 workings days’ notice will incur a charge in line with Open Awards Fees Policy.
This will depend on which assessment component it is, and the requirements of the specific Standard.
Many of Open Awards assessments, including multiple-choice knowledge tests, can be taken remotely. Please see the Standard EPA Handbook for more information or contact us on email@example.com to talk about your specific scenario.
The majority of assessments will take place in the apprentices workplace. The exception to this will be some knowledge-based assessments that may be taken at alternative venues or remotely.
The specific requirements will depend on the apprenticeship Standard your apprentice is registered on. Please see the EPA Handbook for the relevant Standard for details on assessment venue requirements or contact the team on 015 494 2072 or firstname.lastname@example.org to talk to a member of the team.
The first point that the apprentice will meet their Independent End-Point assessor will be on the day of their scheduled assessment. The exception to this will be where the assessment plan requires certain actions to be completed post gateway.
Yes, the same End-point Assessor will undertake the full End-point Assessment, unless there is any requirement within the assessment plan that requires parts of the Assessment to be completed by different Assessors/Specialists. Where an apprentice requires a resit, depending on availability, this may result in another End-point Assessor being used.
The outcome for each individual assessment and the overall grade are provided to the training provider, who is then responsible for informing the apprentice and the employer. Results will be released within 10 working days of the assessment being undertaken.
Where there is a knowledge test as one of the required components of the End-point Assessment, results are normally released within 2 working days.
Apprenticeship certification will be from the ESFA once Open Awards has confirmed apprenticeship completion. Open Awards will provide a record of component achievement for all assessment components taken as part of the End-point Assessment process.
The Apprenticeship completion certificate will be sent directly to the apprentices employer.
We offer resits and retakes for apprentices who fail their assessment. The number available will be in line with the requirements of the specific apprenticeship Standard. Feedback will be given to help you prepare your learner for their resit or retake.
A resit involves the apprentice attempting one or more failed assessment components again, without the need to undertake further training.
It is the responsibility of the employer, supported by the Training Provider to decide whether the apprentice requires a resit or retake. Open Awards will provide a recommendation, but decision is ultimately down to the employer.
Where an apprentice is to complete a resit, this will need to take place within the assessment window set out within the specific assessment plan.
Where the result notification suggests a re-take may be appropriate, the ESFA recommend the employer and provider consider a supportive action plan that responds to the performance weaknesses identified within the feedback. This action plan should clearly state the nature and extent of the re-training and include the estimated time to prepare the apprentice for the retake. When a retake is booked, Open Awards will require confirmation from the provider that the apprentice has received further training and is ready to be assessed.
If an apprentice is not satisfied with their result, they can request an enquiry about results (Stage 1 of the Enquiries and Appeals Policy and Procedures). Open Awards will review the documentation for administrative errors and correct these if identified. An enquiry about results must be made by the apprentice within 10 workings days of notification of the results concerned being sent to the provider.
Alternatively, or subsequent to an enquiry (Stage 1), if an apprentice is not satisfied with their result, they may lodge an appeal (Stage 2). Appeals can be made by the provider on behalf of the apprentice, but they must have the written permission of the apprentice to do this.
Appeals made in respect of the final overall grade will result in a delay to the completion certificate being requested by Open Awards. For further details regarding the process, timelines and fees, please refer to Open Awards’ Enquiries and Appeals Policy and Procedures which can be found on the Portal
Open Awards is required by the ESFA to retain information about the end-point assessments undertaken and payment received for six years after the activity took place. This information includes details of what assessments were undertaken, against which versions of the standard and assessment plan, when and by whom, along with assessment outcomes and evidence of the internal quality assurance of those assessments. Open Awards is also required to share end-point assessment information with the external quality assurance provider to ensure they are able to undertake their regulatory role. The External quality assurance provider for this standard is Ofqual.
Open Awards requires the apprentice to present photographic identification to an Open Awards invigilator or assessor immediately prior to each assessment on each assessment day. This is a requirement to ensure Open Awards can confirm an individual completing an assessment is the person they are claiming to be.
The following are acceptable forms of evidence of an apprentice’s identification:
- a valid passport (any nationality)
- a signed UK photo card driving licence
- valid warrant card issued by HM Forces or the Police
- other photographic ID card, e.g. employee ID card (must be current
- employer), student ID card, travel card
- UK biometric residence permit.
Where this identification is not available to be checked, the assessment will not be allowed to commence.
Where an apprentice does not have access to the necessary identification or where the name on the identification does not match the name registered with Open Awards, the training provider must contact Open Awards to make arrangements for alternative or additional authentication checks to be made.
Open Awards is committed to ensuring access to fair assessment for all learners and to protecting the integrity of assessments and qualifications.
There may be circumstances whereby arrangements need to be made to take account of particular learners’ requirements in order to ensure that this is achieved without giving any unfair advantage over other learners.
The Reasonable Adjustments and Special Considerations Policy and Procedures, sets out the principles which should be followed when making decisions about adjustments to assessment. It outlines Open Awards’ reasonable steps to ensure it avoids disadvantage (directly or indirectly) in line with the requirements of The Equality Act 2010 (Disability) Regulations 2010. The policy and procedures are accessible through the Open Awards Secure Portal.
Any action that helps to reduce the effect of a disability or difficulty that places a learner at a substantial disadvantage in the assessment situation. Reasonable adjustments are adjustments made to an assessment for a qualification so as to enable a disabled learner to demonstrate his or her knowledge, skills and understanding to the levels of attainment required by the specification for that qualification.
Reasonable adjustments must not affect the reliability or validity of the assessment outcomes but may involve:
- Changing the usual assessment arrangements, e.g. allowing a learner extra time to complete an assessment activity
- Adapting assessment materials e.g. by providing large print or providing materials in Braille
- Providing assistance during an assessment e.g. by providing a trained signer, interpreter or a reader
- Changing the assessment method e.g. from a written assessment to a spoken assessment
- Using assisted technology such as screen reading or a voice activated software.
Reasonable adjustments must be approved and set in place before the assessment takes place. The work produced by the learner will be assessed in the same way as all other learners.
Where the employer and training provider believe reasonable adjustment(s) may be required, this can be identified at the registration stage. Open Awards requires a minimum of 20 days’ notice of any request for reasonable adjustments so this can be considered and where approved, arrangements made.
Adjustments which may be applied after an assessment where the learner has encountered exceptional circumstances that have disadvantaged them during their assessment.
The assessment plan for the apprenticeship standard defines permissible special considerations and the circumstances surrounding the apprentice’s End-point assessment that fall within this definition.
Maladministration is defined as any activity, neglect, default or other practice that results in an apprentice, training provider or employer not complying with the specified requirements for delivery of end-point assessment.
Malpractice is any act, default or practice which:
- Compromises, attempts to compromise, or may compromise, the process of assessment/ examinations, the integrity of any end-point assessment activity or the validity of an assessment result or certificate, including maladministration
- Damages the authority, reputation or credibility of Open Awards or any officer or employee
- Involves a failure by an apprentice, training provider or employer to provide Open Awards with such necessary information as required to enable it to investigate allegations of suspected malpractice also constitutes malpractice.
An apprentice, training provider or employer must report any allegation of suspected malpractice/ maladministration to Open Awards. Failure to report allegations of malpractice/ maladministration can lead to assessment results not being conferred and certification claims not being processed, and future registrations not being accepted.
Further information is available within Open Awards’ Malpractice and Maladministration Policy and Procedures, including how Open Awards will manage alleged or suspected malpractice or maladministration.
Where Open Awards is satisfied on the balance of probabilities that an allegation is substantiated, it reserves the right to impose a range of sanctions on an apprentice and/ or training provider and/ or an employer, depending on the seriousness of the situation and the risk to the interests of learners and the integrity of the end-point assessment and the effect on public confidence in Open Awards. Further information can be found within Open Awards’ Sanctions Policy.
Open Awards will ensure that in most cases alleged malpractice is kept confidential between itself and those directly impacted. However, in cases of serious malpractice, Open Awards may exchange information with the regulators, other end-point assessment organisations and other appropriate authorities.
It is an expectation that apprentices are registered with Open Awards at least six months (24 weeks) before the apprentice's planned gateway date. This supports Open Awards to make the necessary plans to deliver EPA as efficiently as possible. Where an apprentice is on an accelerated apprenticeship, Open Awards expects training providers to ensure this is reflected within the registration information. However, we have a minimum requirement of three months (12 weeks) notice in advance of the gateway date.
Open Awards recognises that the apprentice's planned gateway day when registered with us may change. However, we have a minimum requirement of three months (12 weeks) notice in advance of the gateway date. We may be able to accommodate gateway checks with less than this notice timeframe. However, this would be considered on an individual apprentice basis.
Wet signatures are our preferred option. E.g., the gateway declaration form can be signed as a single document and a scan uploaded, or the individual sections signed separately and scans uploaded. However, an electronic signature may be used to replace a wet signature where training providers can ensure authenticity can be proved and security maintained. E.g., a credible email audit trail.
Submission of the gateway declaration form to Open Awards indicates the apprentice is at gateway and triggers gateway checks. This form must only be completed on or after the gateway meeting. Where evidence suggests it was completed prior to the gateway meeting, it will be returned to the training provider.
This is the earliest anticipated gateway date for the apprentice(s) on that course run.
This is the date when the gateway window closes for apprentices on that course run.
No. Applications for Reasonable Adjustments must be submitted via the Open Awards portal as soon as possible after the need has been identified and, in any event, at least 20 working days before the assessment is due to take place. Open Awards expects reasonable adjustment requests to be made well in advance of the anticipated gateway date to ensure there is no impact on the EPA window. Please refer to our Reasonable Adjustments and Special Considerations Policy and Procedures for more information.
To ensure apprentices have the best possible opportunity to demonstrate their abilities, there is an expectation that all assessment requirements will be undertaken within a specific time period following the completion of the gateway checks. This time period is known as the EPA window. The duration of any window is normally specified within the assessment plan associated with the apprenticeship standard. Therefore, the duration of the EPA window will be standard specific. Please refer to the relevant EPA Handbook for more information.