How to….with Highfield: prepare effectively for EPA with our guidance documents

Getting your head around the new world of apprenticeship standards and end-point assessment can be tricky for the uninitiated. But here at Highfield, we’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to, and have published a range of completely free guidance documents to help you and your learners prepare effectively for EPA. 

Our Gateway Readiness Reports can be used to log the outcomes of your formal gateway meetings and be submitted to the end-point assessment organisation as evidence of your apprentices’ readiness to enter gateway and commence end-point assessment.

Meanwhile, our EPA Kits outline all you need to know about the EPA for each standard and provide an overview of the on-programme delivery requirements. In addition, they include authoritative advice and guidance for trainers on how to prepare apprentices for EPA and offer suggestions on different approaches. The EPA kits include:

  • a section focused on delivery, where the standard and assessment criteria are presented in a suggested format that is suitable for delivery
  • guidance on how to prepare the apprentice for gateway
  • detailed information on which part of the standard is assessed by which assessment method
  • a section focused on the end-point assessment method where the assessment criteria are presented in a format suitable for carrying out ‘mock’ assessments
  • suggestions on how to prepare the apprentice for each part of the end-point assessment
  • a practice test that you can use with apprentices

To download the Gateway Readiness Reports and EPA Kits, go to www.highfieldassessment.com,  click on ‘Standards’, then click on the standard you are interested in.You’ll find the downloads on each page.

Highfield Solutions: on-programme learning and off-the-job training – what does it all mean?  

This month at Highfield we’re shining a spotlight on apprenticeships. We’ll be covering everything you need to know from on-programme learning to gateway and the final stage of the process, end-point assessment.

The focus of this article will be the on-programme learning phase and the much talked about 20% off-the-job training. We’ll look at what is meant by off-the-job training, the activities that count towards off-the-job training and the support we can provide that brings a logical structure to on-programme learning.

What is off-the-job training?
Anyone involved in apprenticeships, whether as a learner, a training provider or an employer will have heard about the 20% off-the-job training. But, what does it actually mean?

Is it one day per week that the apprentice will be away from their place of work? Does the training have to cover anything in particular? Is there a way around this training?

The definition as defined by the ESFA in its funding rules is:

‘Off-the-job training is defined as learning which is undertaken outside of the normal day-to-day working environment and leads towards the achievement of an apprenticeship. This can include training that is delivered at the apprentice’s normal place of work but must not be delivered as part of their normal working duties.’

Calculating off-the-job training
You can’t avoid the 20% off-the-job training. The apprentice, and employers, are expected to evidence that they have met this ratio. But, the off-the-job training element doesn’t necessarily mean one day per week or, indeed, training that takes place outside of the workplace.

Many employers are known to be put off apprenticeships due to a misconception that the off-the-job training must take up one day per week. The ratio is set in stone, but it is up to the apprentice, training provider and employer to agree on a system that works for them. Some may take the approach of one day per week, others may prefer to work in blocks of a few days or a week at a time. As long as the 20% ratio is evidenced, there is flexibility to deliver it to suit the needs of the employer.

What counts towards the 20%?
There are a number of ways that apprentices can carry out their off-the-job training. Some of which may be standard practice within the business they are joining.

There are a number of activities that count towards the 20% off-the-job training that are likely to be part of an employer’s standard process including:

  • staff induction – staff inductions are likely the first thing any apprentice will undertake when starting their apprenticeships. An induction likely includes procedural training for the role in which they are employed, training from human resources, understanding the company’s ways of working and ensuring they understand health and safety policies and procedures
  • shadowing and mentoring – when starting a new role many businesses implement a shadowing scheme in the early stages. Learning from an experienced employee that has carried out the role for a period of time
  • industry-specific training – for example product training for retailers or first-aid training for social care apprentices
  • industry visits – if your apprentice attends visits to partner businesses or meets with suppliers it can count towards the off-the-job training requirement
  • attending industry-related events – expose your apprentice to the wider world of work and allow them to attend conferences, CPD events and award ceremonies – not only do they get to experience fantastic networking opportunities and see how other organisations work (ideal for new suggestions and continuous improvement) but it also counts towards the 20%!

There are also several activities that can be carried out that cause minimal disruption to the business, and can be completed while the apprentice is still at their place of work but not carrying out their day-to-day tasks including:

  • work/study for the apprenticeship – working through workbooks, reading textbooks, watching training videos and completing assignments can all count towards the 20%, it doesn’t necessarily need to be completed away from the office, or be completed on the same day
  • e-learning courses that develop the apprentice’s knowledge and skills. At Highfield we offer Short Courses that build on skills such as communication, team working and managing conflict.

Finally, there are those training elements that likely take place away from the place of work, which include:

  • seminars/lectures – time spent with the training provider, this is often training that covers key aspects of the standard or mandatory qualifications and means time spent away from the workplace
  • role play – popular training practice in customer service training, this is particularly popular within the hospitality sector but may also be utilised within retail too. This can be particularly useful for covering potentially tricky situations

Highfield’s Solutions

Apprenti-kits
Highfield Apprenti-kits and E-kits are designed to provide structure to the on-programme delivery of the apprenticeship standards.

Mapped to the standards, our range of Apprenti-kits is:

  • broken down into manageable-sized modules that can be worked through at the apprentice’s own pace
  • cover all the required knowledge, skills and behaviours the apprentice is expected to demonstrate
  • evidence readiness for gateway and the move on to end-point assessment
  • written by industry experts with real-world experience of the sector they support
  • are available in paper and digital formats

We also offer the chance to enrich apprentices’ learning experiences with our Apprenti-kit and E-kit PLUS. This enhanced bundle contains additional resources including a health and wellbeing booklet, a safeguarding booklet and a choice of 5 e-learning Short Courses.

You can view our full range of Apprenti-kits and e-kits here.

E-learning
At Highfield our award-winning e-learning takes all shapes and sizes. A popular addition for apprenticeships includes our e-learning Short Courses. These can be bundled with our Apprenti-kit and E-kits to provide an enhanced training bundle for your apprentice, or used as stand-alone modules. Our Short Courses cover topics including team working, communication and managing conflict, which can be particularly relevant to an apprentice at the start of their career journey.

You can view our full range of Short Courses here.  

Next Steps
If you’d like more information on any of our apprenticeship or end-point assessment services, you can visit us on stand A4 at the AAC Conference in Birmingham between 27 – 28 March or, if you’re not attending, feel free to contact a member of our team on 0845 226 0350/01302 363277 or email info@highfield.co.uk.

 

We’ve been approved for the Customer Service Specialist Standard

We’re delighted to announce we’ve been approved by the government to deliver end-point assessment (EPA) services for the Customer Service Specialist Standard.

That’s our third EPA approval this week.

And as we like to point out, we’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to, which means we can offer your business a full range of assessment services, support and advice to help you and your apprentices achieve your goals.

So whether you are considering taking on apprentices for the first time, wanting to have your existing in-house training recognised, or searching for services to ensure you claim your full share of levy funding, we’re here to help.

Find out more by dropping us a line at info@highfieldassessment.com or by calling 0845 2260350/01302 363277.

Or go to www.highfieldassessment.com

Highfield Qualifications is recognised as an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and sits on the Register of End Point Assessment Organisations. Our EPA services are delivered through our Highfield Assessment brand.

 

We’ve been approved for the High-Speed Rail and Infrastructure Technician Standard EPA

Are you a rail sector employer or training provider looking for assessment services to help your apprentices reach their destination?

Well, here at Highfield we’re on track for apprenticeship success after being approved to deliver end-point assessment (EPA) for the High-Speed Rail and Infrastructure Technician Standard.  

And we’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to, which means we can offer your business a full range of assessment services, support and advice to help you and your apprentices achieve your goals.

So whether you are considering taking on apprentices for the first time, wanting to have your existing in-house training recognised, or searching for services to ensure you claim your full share of levy funding, get on board with Highfield.

Find out more by dropping us a line at info@highfieldassessment.com or by calling 0845 2260350/01302 363277.

Or go to www.highfieldassessment.com

Highfield Qualifications is recognised as an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and sits on the Register of End Point Assessment Organisations. Our EPA services are delivered through our Highfield Assessment brand.

 

Highfield approved for onboard and station team member end-point assessment

It’s been a busy month for approvals. But coming hot on the heels of aviation and business administration, we’re delighted to announce we’ve been approved to deliver end-point assessment for another passenger transport standard.

Highfield Qualifications has been approved by the government to provide end-point assessment for Passenger Transport – Onboard and Station Team Member with immediate effect. This brings to eight the total number of standards we’re approved for in the transport and logistics sector.

If you are an employer or provider in this sector and are interested in hearing more about the services we can provide around assessment for this standard, just drop us a line at info@highfieldassessment.com Or you call us on 0845 2260350/01302 363 277, where one of our friendly team members will be happy to talk you through the options right for you and your learners.

Highfield Qualifications is recognised as an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and sits on the Register of End Point Assessment Organisations.

EPA services are offered through our Highfield Assessment brand.

Highfield approved for aviation end-point assessment

aviation end-point assessmentWe’re excited to confirm that Highfield has been approved to deliver end-point assessment (EPA) for aviation.

The standards we’ve been approved for are Aviation Ground Operative, Aviation Ground Specialist and Aviation Operations Manager, which means Highfield will be offering aviation employers a full range of assessment services to help them achieve the most of their apprenticeship levy payments.

The introduction of the apprenticeship levy from 2017 means larger employers are obliged to pay into a central fund that must be used for apprenticeship training, while smaller employers can claim 90 percent of their costs from the government.

The changes also mean new apprenticeship standards like those in the aviation sector now use EPA instead of continuous assessment, requiring individual apprentices to have their work and competence assessed towards the end of their learning against criteria established by groups of employers known as ‘trailblazers’.

Highfield Qualifications is recognised as an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and sits on the Register of End Point Assessment Organisations.

EPA services are offered through our Highfield Assessment brand.

You can also contact Highfield at info@highfieldassessment.com or by calling 0845 2260350/01302 363277.

Highfield approved for business administrator end-point assessment

We’re delighted to announce that Highfield has been approved to deliver end-point assessment (EPA) for business administration.

Highfield Qualifications has been approved by the government to provide end-point assessment (EPA) for the new business administrator standard, and will be offering employers a full range of assessment services to help them achieve the most of their apprenticeship levy payments.

The introduction of the apprenticeship levy from 2017 means larger employers are obliged to pay into a central fund that must be used for apprenticeship training, while smaller employers can claim 90 percent of their costs from the government.

The changes also mean new apprenticeship standards like those for business administrator now use EPA instead of continuous assessment, requiring individual apprentices to have their work and competence assessed towards the end of their learning against criteria established by groups of employers known as ‘trailblazers’.

Highfield Qualifications is recognised as an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and sits on the Register of End Point Assessment Organisations.

EPA services are offered through our Highfield Assessment brand.

You can also contact Highfield at info@highfieldassessment.com or by calling 0845 2260350/01302 363277.

New EPA qualification from Highfield

epa qualificationA new qualification has been launched that will support those who plan to assess apprentices undertaking end-point assessments (EPA).

The Highfield Level 3 Award in Undertaking End-Point Assessment (RQF) will provide specific knowledge and skills to those who already have sector competence within the areas of approved apprenticeship standards, but would like to gain a more specialised understanding of EPA processes and practices.

Covering assessment methods that are used in the majority of assessment plans for approved apprenticeships, it will support assessors in understanding the different types of EPA and the role of the EPA assessor.

The qualification has been designed to meet the needs of employers, training providers and assessors while embracing the wider changes happening to apprenticeships, and will ensure assessors have a qualification that is fit for purpose and covers the intricacies of the new EPA process. 

It can be delivered by training centres that are recognised as Highfield approved centres, and sits on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF), which is regulated by Ofqual.

Fees per registration per candidate are:

  • 0-99 £25
  • 100+ £20

For more information, go to the qualification page or the FAQs.

If you’re already a Highfield approved centre and interested in delivering this qualification, contact your account manager directly.

If not, give us a call on 0845 2260350/01302 363277 or drop us a line on sales@highfield.co.uk

Highfield Assessment receives ‘5 stars’ from FE Week

Highfield Assessment Update​Highfield Assessment

We had some great news this morning thanks to FE Week, who rated Highfield Assessment ‘5 stars’ in their investigation into apprenticeship assessment organisations (AAOs).

The weekly magazine, which is read throughout the further education sector, conducted mystery shopper tests on a number of AAOs and their end-point assessment (EPA) offers, with Highfield receiving full marks!

You can read the article for yourselves (pages 10-11) at http://feweek.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/FE209-Digi.pdf?mc_cid=3974ee5b08&mc_eid=8f4553ca0a

To read another article on Highfield Assessment, please visit here.

Apprenticeship EPA approval for hospitality and adult care

EPA approval – Highfield has been approved to deliver end-point assessment (EPA) for five more apprenticeship standards. 

The five standards are: 

  • Adult Care Worker 
  • Lead Adult Care Worker 
  • Commis Chef 
  • Hospitality Team Member 
  • Hospitality Supervisor 

The training sector is currently undergoing some of its biggest changes in over 30 years, and will see new apprenticeship standards – developed by groups of employers known as ‘trailblazers’ – being assessed by EPA instead of continuous assessment.

This means individual apprentices will have their work and competence assessed towards the end of their learning against criteria established by employers.  

There will also be the introduction of the apprenticeship levy from 1 May 2017, with larger employers paying into a central fund that must be used for apprenticeship training, while smaller employers will see 90 percent of their costs covered by the government.

To find out how we stack up against our competitors for end-point assessment, simply visit here.