Within the Apprenticeship Funding Rules August 2021 to July 2022 published in August 2021, the ESFA introduced two new rules around End-point Assessment (EPA):
- Dialogue with the end-point assessment organisation must commence at least 6 months before the planned end date of the apprenticeship.
- The employer must both select and negotiate the price with the End-point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) at least 6 months before the apprentice reaches the gateway.
More details can be found within the main provider funding rules:
- P157 The employer in consultation with the main provider must ensure that the apprentice is prepared and understands the end-point assessment process. Engaging the end-point assessment organisation can be at any time, but to ensure timely delivery of the end-point assessment, the dialogue must commence at least 6 months before the planned end date of the apprenticeship. As part of this process all information required for the end-point assessment must be ready to present to the end-point-assessment-organisation for the gateway.
- P159 At least 6 months before the apprentice reaches the gateway the employer must have:
- P159.1 selected an organisation from the Register of End-Point Assessment Organisations (RoEPAO) to deliver the end-point assessment,
- P159.2 negotiated a price with the end-point assessment organisation. Only those organisations listed on the RoEPAO will be eligible to be funded.
Similar rules are also available in the employer-provider funding rules (sections EP164 & EP166) and the employer funding rules (section E154 & 156).
What does this mean for you?
If you are an employer planning on using Open Awards as your EPAO (or a training provider working with Open Awards on behalf of an employer), you should contact us as early into the apprenticeship programme as possible and at least 6 months before the planned gateway date.
We require training providers to register apprentices with us within 60 working days of the start date of the programme to enable us to provide support and guidance on the end-point assessment requirements. Knowing who their EPAO is going to be will allow learners to prepare effectively.
If you need to register learners on an End-point Assessment outside of the 60 working day time period, we will work with you to understand the rationale for the late registration and/ or change to EPAO before accepting the registrations.
To find out about the apprenticeship Standards we offer at Open Awards, please click here.
If you have any concerns about how these funding rules impact your provision with Open Awards, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to speak to a meet of our Assessment team.