The government wants employers to be at the centre of the new process for designing and delivering apprenticeships. This is why apprenticeship standards are now designed by groups of employers, known as trailblazers to ensure the new standards meet employers own skills needs and those of their broader sector. Trailblazers are a huge opportunity for employers to get involved and define what they need in terms of apprenticeships for their sector and to improve the quality of apprenticeships in England. The new apprenticeship standards also require employers to decide when their apprentices are ready for end-point assessment. End-point assessment occurs when the employer is satisfied that the apprentice is working consistently at, or above, the level set out in the apprenticeship standard.
Training providers are a key resource to employers, supplying specific learning and development solutions for the apprenticeship. Some employers with significant apprenticeship programmes may choose to deliver some, or all, of the apprenticeship themselves, and access the funding directly or as a sub-contractor to the main provider.
Organisations that deliver apprenticeship training are subject to the Education and Skills Funding Agency rules and must be on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers.
There are three types of provider that can access funding. For each apprentice there will be one ‘main provider’, which takes on the responsibility for the entire programme and must deliver some of the apprenticeship training and/or on-programme assessment associated with each apprenticeship programme.
All providers must be on the register of apprenticeship training providers.
Apprenticeship end-point assessment organisations
Apprenticeship end-point assessment organisations (EPAOs) must demonstrate clear lines of separation from the on-programme training organisation and conduct the ‘independent end-point assessment’, which verifies that the apprentice is fully competent at the end of their apprenticeship.
Independent End Point Assessors
Are responsible for assessing apprentices during end point assessments. They must be independent of the Apprentice’s training journey and meet the role requirements detailed in the relevant assessment plan.
Of course, an apprenticeship cannot go ahead without the apprentices themselves!