We’ve changed the way we schedule end-point assessments

To help you better prepare your apprentices, we’ve recently changed the way we schedule end-point assessments (EPA).

The changes were rolled out on 1 September 2019, and now, instead of us contacting you to book an assessment, we’ll ask that you contact us once you and your apprentices have completed your Gateway meetings. 

We know from speaking to the businesses and providers we work with on EPA that many of you discuss plans and preparations with your apprentices at Gateway, meaning details of assessment arrangements are better received after this point.

We also know from our own experience of having booked in thousands of EPAs, that this approach leads to fewer cancellations and changes, resulting in less disruption for all concerned, especially the apprentices. 

And so far, the new process has been a great success. Here’s what you need to do:

Though we’ve made these changes, we appreciate one size doesn’t fit all and are committed to offering flexibility in our services. So if you’d prefer your apprentices continue to be scheduled as they have been or by following an alternative process, please get in to touch so we can discuss your individual needs.

If you have any questions about the information above, please contact your account manager, who will be happy to help.

For more on Highfield Assessment, go to www.highfieldassessment.com

Round-up of our recent EPA approvals

It’s not long now until Christmas and a brand new year (yes, we know….).

So as we begin the countdown to the end of 2019, here’s a summary of the latest of the 37 standards we’ve recently been approved to deliver end-point assessment (EPA) for:

Regulatory Compliance Officer:
https://www.highfieldassessment.com/apprenticeship-standards/business-administration-management/regulatory-compliance-officer

Pharmacy Services Assistant:
https://www.highfieldassessment.com/apprenticeship-standards/business-administration-management/regulatory-compliance-officer

Security First Line Manager:
https://www.highfieldassessment.com/apprenticeship-standards/protective-services/security-first-line-manager

Improvement Practitioner standard:
https://www.highfieldassessment.com/apprenticeship-standards/business-administration-management/improvement-practitioner

Why choose Highfield for your EPA?
We’ve done the hard work, so you don’t have to.

We can offer your business a full range of assessment services, support and advice to help you and your apprentices achieve your goals.

In fact, we’re one of the leading authorities on EPA in the country and have already worked with some of the biggest and best-known organisations in the UK, delivering thousands of successful assessments across over 30 different apprenticeship standards.

This all stems from our unbeatable offer and complete assessment service, which includes:

  • assessment resources and guidance
  • engagement with external quality assurance organisations
  • training and standardisation for assessors to ensure fair, consistent and reliable assessments
  • our own dedicated employer engagement team
  • a simple scheduling process, with a scheduling team on hand to support you
  • a digital dashboard that tracks every point of a learner’s journey, allowing you to gather data, generate reports and action tasks
  • and most importantly, our understanding of both apprentice and employer requirements

All of which adds up to thousands of happy apprentices, providers and employers!

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

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

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.

 

Further success for Highfield Assessment

People celebratingIt’s been a fantastic 2019 for Highfield Assessment, with the organisation consolidating its position as one of the leading end-point assessment organisations (EPAO) in the country.

Of course, it’s easy to sing your own praises. So we thought we’d let our figures, and more, importantly, our customers, speak for themselves.

To date, we have:

  • assessed over 4000 learners
  • been approved for 37 separate standards
  • contracted with 800 employers and 180 training providers

So how have we achieved such success? Here’s what our customers had to say:

‘Highfield provides a flexible and professional end-point assessment service that has been tailored to our needs. Their guidance and support helps to prepare our apprentices for their assessments, which is demonstrated in the incredible results they achieve.’
Howdens

‘We have worked with Highfield for a number of years and have had nothing but positive experiences. Highfield’s customer service is exceptional which has helped us build a positive relationship with them. Highlights for us are that their EPA process is flexible and accommodates the needs of the learner and the employer.’
Southampton Football Club

‘Providing high quality, compassionate healthcare is at the heart of everything we do at HCA Healthcare UK. Highfield deliver a consistent, high quality, EPA experience for our colleagues which makes them the perfect partner for our business.’
HCA Healthcare

To find out more about how we can help you with end-point assessment, go to www.highfieldassessment.com

We’ve improved our EPA offer even further

We already have one of the biggest and best offers for end-point assessment (EPA) in the apprenticeship sector.

But we’re not ones to sit on our laurels and think the job’s done.

So we’re delighted to have been approved to deliver EPA for TWO new apprenticeship standards, the Regulatory Compliance Officer standard and the Pharmacy Service Assistant standard.

That brings to 37 our grand total for standards we’re approved to deliver EPA for. And we’ve no doubt we’ll be hitting the big 4-0 very soon!

How do these roles fit within my business?
Regulatory compliance officers support compliance activities within a range of businesses and liaise with frontline regulators, providing monitoring and oversight of compliance activities in the wider supply chain to assure product and process quality and safety, as well as legality. In the public sector, they perform regulatory services functions within local authorities such as environmental health, fire safety, licensing or trading standards, as well as monitoring compliance teams within national regulators.

Pharmacy services assistants provide a variety of pharmacy and medicine services to patients, the public and healthcare teams, and are involved in the supply, preparation and assembly of medicines and products. They are responsible for ordering and receiving medicines, as well as their storage, and work to standard operating procedures (SOPs).

You can find the full range of standards we cover here: https://www.highfieldassessment.com/apprenticeship-standards

Why choose Highfield for your EPA?
We’ve done the hard work, so you don’t have to.

We can offer your business a full range of assessment services, support and advice to help you and your apprentices achieve your goals.

In fact, we’re one of the leading authorities on EPA in the country and have already worked with some of the biggest and best-known organisations in the UK, delivering thousands of successful assessments across over 30 different apprenticeship standards.

This all stems from our unbeatable offer and complete assessment service, which includes:

  • assessment resources and guidance
  • engagement with external quality assurance organisations
  • training and standardisation for assessors to ensure fair, consistent and reliable assessments
  • our own dedicated employer engagement team
  • a simple scheduling process, with a scheduling team on hand to support you
  • a digital dashboard that tracks every point of a learner’s journey, allowing you to gather data, generate reports and action tasks
  • and most importantly, our understanding of both apprentice and employer requirements

All of which adds up to thousands of happy apprentices, providers and employers!

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

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

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’re approved for the Improvement Practitioner standard

Highfield approved for Improvement Practitioner standardWe’re already one of the country’s leading providers of end-point assessment (EPA) services for one of the widest ranges of apprenticeship standards.

But it’s always good to add another string to our bow.

And now you can too,  as Highfield Assessment has been approved to deliver end-point assessment (EPA) for the Improvement Practitioner standard.

Improvement Practitioners lead smaller projects or play a key supporting role in a larger programme, tackling issues that may require swift problem solving, or re-occurring challenges that require in-depth analysis and the implementation of a range of effective and sustainable countermeasures.

The standard has been put together through the expertise and knowledge of some of the most successful businesses in the UK including BT Group, Toyota, Jaguar Land Rover, Wincanton Plc, Britvic and GlaxoSmithKline. 

Why choose Highfield for your EPA?
We’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to. We can offer your business a full range of assessment services, support and advice to help you and your improvement practitioner standard apprentices achieve your goals.

In fact, we’re one of the leading authorities on EPA in the country and have already worked with some of the biggest and best-known organisations in the UK, delivering thousands of successful assessments across over 30 different apprenticeship standards.

That all stems from our unbeatable offer and complete assessment service, which includes:

  • assessment resources and guidance
  • engagement with external quality assurance organisations
  • training and standardisation for assessors to ensure fair, consistent and reliable assessments
  • our own dedicated employer engagement team
  • a simple scheduling process, with a scheduling team on hand to support you
  • a digital dashboard that tracks every point of a learner’s journey, allowing you to gather data, generate reports and action tasks
  • and most importantly, our understanding of both apprentice AND employer requirements

All of which adds up to thousands of happy apprentices, providers and employers!

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

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

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.
ENDS

We’ve been approved for the SHE Technician Standard

Highfield Assessment approved to deliver EPA for SHE Technician Apprenticeship standardOur end-point assessment (EPA) portfolio is growing!

We’ve received official approval from the government to deliver EPA for the Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) Technician Standard.

That’s our second EPA approval in protective services, and 35th overall. So you can be sure that you’re in safe hands when you work with Highfield.

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, just ask Highfield.

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.

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

Don’t leave your apprentices in the lurch – support tools for apprentices during end-point assessment

Apprentices need clarity and reassurance.

To help them, we’ve produced ‘Think About’ guidance documents so they know what to expect in their practical observations.

Already available for a range of apprenticeship standards (and with more on the way), our ‘Think About’ guidance explains each assessment method and provides hints and tips relevant to the knowledge, skills and behaviours your apprentices will need to demonstrate throughout the end-point assessment process.

The guidance explains the observation process and structure so that apprentices are clear on how they work.

It also explains:

  • what activities they are required to cover during the observation
  • the skills and behaviours they need to demonstrate
  • the total time duration of the observation
  • the importance of time management, and tables to help them allocate their time to each key subject of the assessment

And the results of providing this guidance? Your apprentices will know what to expect and have a better understanding of the EPA process relevant to their individual standard.

Which means happier, more confident and, most importantly, better-prepared apprentices ready for any challenge their practical observations may throw their way.

To find out how to support your apprentices better, get in touch or go to www.highfieldassessment.com

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.

 

PRESS RELEASE: Support for protective services on apprenticeships

Organisations working in protective services looking to make the most of their apprenticeship levy contributions will now have help from one of the UK’s leading awarding organisations.

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

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

The changes also mean new apprenticeship standards like those in security 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’.

Jason Sprenger, Highfield Chief Executive, said, ‘Many employers are coming to terms with the introduction of the new apprenticeship standards and in particular the apprenticeship levy, so we understand that it is a complex and changing training environment for many.

Highfield’s approach has been to do the hard work, so employers don’t have to. With our recognition as an end-point assessment organisation, we are in a position to provide specific assessment services for those businesses already taking on apprentices or considering it.

He added, ‘Apprentices are great for business and can provide a welcome boost to staff development and productivity when it is most needed, but it’s vital that organisations understand from day one how to make sure the changes are of benefit to them and their employees’.

For more information, go to www.highfieldassessment.com

You can also contact Highfield at info@highfieldassessment.com or by calling 0845 226 0350/01302 363277.

Regular social media updates are available at https://twitter.com/askhighfield and www.facebook.com/askhighfield 

ENDS
Notes to editors:

  1. Highfield Qualifications has been approved by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) as an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) for the Level 3 Custody and Detention Officer Standard. Highfield’s apprenticeship services are delivered through its Highfield Assessment brand.
  2. Highfield Qualifications is one of the UK’s top five awarding organisations (AO). It is winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2016 and Awarding Organisation of the Year in 2018.