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.

 

Safer workplaces for apprentices and the role of off-the-job training

This month Highfield is putting a focus on safer workplaces as part of our campaign to raise awareness of safer working practices.

But how do you ensure you can offer apprentices a realistic introduction to the world of work while keeping them safe?

Apprentices are often new to the world of work, and on the first rung of the career ladder. This can leave them vulnerable to bad practice and at risk of coming to harm in the workplace.

The on-programme phase of the apprenticeship is designed to equip the learner with the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for their specific apprenticeship standard. We can help ensure the apprentice meets these requirements, but does this relatively narrow set of knowledge, skills and behaviours go far enough to ensure a safe working environment?

20 percent off-the-job training
The 20 percent off-the-job training requirement, which can often be seen as a burden to employers, can, if utilised effectively, be an ideal time to broaden an apprentice’s knowledge and ensure that they are working safely and efficiently.

Off-the-job training doesn’t have to relate to the day-to-day tasks of the apprentice, but it does have to be relevant to the sector the apprentice is looking to work within.

Additional qualifications
Off-the-job training can take many forms. It can include gaining additional qualifications that are relevant to the type of job being performed. It may include subjects such as manual handling, fire safety or, depending on the sector, COSHH or security qualifications.

E-learning
E-learning courses offer another chance for learners to meet their 20 perecent off-the-job training requirement while also picking up valuable skills that lead to safer workplaces. Highfield e-learning offers a range of courses that can contribute to a safer working environment including manual handling, an introduction to fire safety in the workplace, and a suite of health and safety in the workplace courses. Each comes with a completion certificate that provides a simple way to evidence an apprentice’s off-the-job training.

Protecting employers
As an employer you may be thinking, ‘What’s in it for me?’ when it comes to training an apprentice beyond the scope of the apprenticeship they are undertaking. It’s a fair question. By training an apprentice effectively in a wide range of subjects related to workplace safety, you not only have a highly engaged, well-developed apprentice, but you also protect yourself. You protect yourself from potential reputational damage should an untrained employee come to harm. You protect yourself from litigious claims and higher insurance premiums. You position yourself as an employer that cares about their workforce, doing all you can to ensure the safety of all of your employees.

How Highfield can help
We’ve been providing industry-leading training materials that have supported the delivery of safety qualifications for four decades. We offer a range of e-learning safety courses that can be worked through at an apprentice’s own pace.

If you’d like more information on how we can support your off-the-job training and on-programme delivery, call us today 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 cabin crew standard EPA

We’re already one of the leading end-point assessment organisations in the country with one of the widest portfolios of standards covered.

But now we can include cabin crew to the standards we can deliver EPA for, after receiving official approval from the government.

If you are an employer or provider in the recruitment sector and are interested in hearing more about the services we can provide around assessment for these standards, just drop us a line at info@highfieldassessment.com

Or you can talk to us on 0845 226 0350 / 01302 363 277, where one of our team members will be happy to talk you through the options available.

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.

Serco apprentice first in England to complete new aviation qualification

Serco apprentice Brook Bloomfield, who has become the first ever to complete the new Aviation Ground Operative Standard apprenticeship in England.

Serco apprentice Brook Bloomfield has become the first ever to complete the new Aviation Ground Operative Standard in England, passing his training with a distinction. 

Brook joined Serco as a Level 2 Aviation Ground Operative Apprentice working at RAF Brize Norton in June 2017, a job role he describes as his life ambition.

The apprenticeship was delivered by Serco in partnership with Highfield Assessment, which is part of Highfield Qualifications and recognised as an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO).

Aviation ground operatives work to ensure the efficient and effective arrival, turnaround and departure of aircraft. Safety, security and compliance with aviation regulations are at the heart of the role and the focus of day to day duties.

Brook’s apprenticeship has given him 18 months of on the job practical experience working alongside more than 40 colleagues that make up the Serco Ramp Services team at the RAF base.

Brook said, ‘I’ve wanted to work in aviation since I was old enough to talk, it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do and, it’s my life ambition so when I saw this opportunity come up with Serco I jumped at the chance.

With this being the first time the new Apprenticeship Standard has been delivered we have had to navigate our way through the new requirements, but I love this job, it ticks all of my boxes and I’m so proud to be where I am now.’

Airfield Services Manager Mark Cridland, who along with his two Ramp Trainers has been responsible for managing the delivery of Brook’s Aviation Ground Operative apprenticeship said, ‘This has been an exceedingly challenging yet rewarding project.  My Training Supervisors and Brook should be proud of what they have achieved; between them, they have set an exceedingly high standard for those that follow, to replicate’.

RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire is the Royal Air Force’s largest station and is used as the main Air Point of Embarkation (APOE) for deploying UK troops overseas. Serco have delivered a range of services on behalf of the MOD at RAF Brize Norton for more than 20 years.

For more information on the Level 2 Aviation Ground Operative Apprenticeship Standard can be found here

For more on Serco, click here

Highfield approved for recruitment EPA

We’re already one of the leading end-point assessment organisations in the country with one of the widest portfolios of standards covered.

But now we can include Recruitment Consultant and Recruitment Resourcer to the standards we can deliver EPA for, after receiving official approval from the government.

If you are an employer or provider in the recruitment sector and are interested in hearing more about the services we can provide around assessment for these standards, just drop us a line at info@highfieldassessment.com

Or you can talk to us on 0845 226 0350 / 01302 363 277, where one of our team members will be happy to talk you through the options available.

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.

Introducing the Apprenti-kit PLUS

The new Highfield Apprenti-kits are designed specifically to support the on-programme delivery of the new apprenticeship standards.

They are:

• mapped to the standards that they support
• available as an e-kit that is compatible with most e-portfolio systems
• broken down into manageable-sized modules that can be completed at the apprentice’s own pace
• used to evidence the knowledge, skills and behaviours required by the apprentice
• packed full of over 1,000 hours of our experience, expertise and knowledge
• ideal for tracking learners’ progress towards gateway and evidencing their readiness for end-point assessment

The new Apprenti-Kit Plus enhances the value and learning experience of an apprentice by including:

• a health and wellbeing book
• an end-point assessment support document
• a choice of 5 e-learning short courses
This enhanced bundle that truly benefits your apprentice is available for just £15.

Find out more here.

Updates to level 5 health and social care qualifications

Changes to frameworks that will affect Highfield qualifications in the health and social care sector have been announced by Skills for Care (SfC), the industry’s sector skills council.

It has been confirmed that the assessment plan for the new Level 5 Leader in Adult Care Apprenticeship Standard is still awaiting sign-off from the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA), and is expected to published later in the year.

As a result, current SASE framework apprenticeships, including the Highfield Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care, and Children and Young People’s Services (England) (RQF) qualification (including the adult pathways), will remain open for registrations until 31 December 2019, when the SASE framework is closed.

SfC has also confirmed that once available, the new level 5 standard will include a named mandatory qualification.

In anticipation of this, Highfield has developed a new Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management for Adult Care qualification, which will be available for registration from 1 September 2018.

This new qualification has been approved against the SfC specification and developed to reflect updated practices and challenges of leadership and management in the sector.

Once the SASE frameworks have been closed for registrations, the current Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People’s Services for Adult Care Leaders and Managers (adult pathways) will also close for registrations and will be replaced by the new Level 5 qualification.

There will be a period of dual running between the current SASE apprenticeships and the new standard apprenticeships therefore, centres must be clear which qualification option they will take (once the standard is live). 

For further info please visit the Skills for Care website