Flexibility permitting EPA prior to FSQ achievement

As per the updated guidance from the government around Functional Skills relaxations Accelerate People have put in place a declaration form to support the gateway process and to ensure that the apprentice meets the below conditions of the relaxation:

  • Not to be on a break in learning (an apprentice may return from a break in learning to take their end-point assessment)
  • Meets all other gateway criteria to progress to their EPA as specified in the apprenticeship standard (except meeting the English and maths requirements)
  • Have been confirmed as ready for both their EPA and to take a functional skills qualification assessment
  • They will be starting their EPA on or before 31 May 2021

This flexibility is only available to apprentices where all possibilities to access FSQ assessment via face-to-face and remote assessment have been exhausted, and they have confirmed their intent to continue and complete their FSQ within three months of starting their EPA.

If you require a copy of this declaration form please contact us via info@accelerate-people.co.uk.

Extension of Apprenticeship Flexibilities

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the Institute) is further extending apprenticeship flexibilities until at least the end of August.

The Institute is prolonging special measures allowing for the completion of apprenticeships through the pandemic.

It will mean that no flexibilities will be withdrawn before the end of August.

The Institute has acted fast to reassure the sector, in view of latest escalations with the spread of COVID-19 over the festive period and important tougher restrictions on movement and interaction.

Jennifer Coupland, chief executive of the Institute, said:

“We are all too aware that the escalation of COVID-19 and resulting lockdown restrictions are hugely distressing for our sector and beyond.”

“I am determined that the Institute will continue to do all we can to support employers and providers. It is also hugely important that we do all we can to help apprentices continue their training and complete wherever possible”

“There are now flexibilities in place for over 130 apprenticeships and it would be wrong to disrupt them at this time. That is why we have made the decision extend.”

The flexibilities have been rolled out for apprenticeships to ensure learners are still able to complete their studies. In most cases they allow for high quality remote rather than face-to-face assessment.

It was previously announced in November that these special measures, agreed with employer and training groups for different apprenticeship sectors,  would be retained until the end of March 2021.

The Institute will now not consider the withdrawal of any flexibilities before May 1 and will provide at least three-months-notice of any decision to terminate. The earliest flexibilities could actually be withdrawn is the end of August.

Jennifer added: “As we’ve said before, our aim with the extension of these special measures is to provide everyone involved with much-needed stability. We continue to be open to requests to new or revised flexibilities and are monitoring closely the overall performance of standards to identify where new flexibilities might be required.”

Recruiting Apprentices Who Have Been Made Redundant

The Redundancy Support Service for Apprentices (ReSSA), introduced by the Department for Education, provides advice and guidance to apprentices following redundancy, while supporting their next steps. It will allow redundant apprentices to find new opportunities for work and complete their current apprenticeship.

The Department for Education is asking employers to support redundant apprentices by sharing any apprenticeship vacancies they have. Apprentices that have been made redundant may already have the valuable skills and experience that the organisation needs. Vacancy details will be shared with redundant apprentices through the new vacancy sharing service.

If you are aware of any apprentices who have been made redundant or might be made redundant in the future, please encourage them to visit facing redundancy during your apprenticeship or call 0800 015 0400 to speak to an adviser.

Accelerate People Christmas Opening Times 2020

In the lead up to the Christmas break please see the below information regarding timings during this period.  Any enquiries please contact us at info@accelerate-people.co.uk

Christmas Closure

We will be closing for Christmas at 5:30pm on Wednesday 23rd December 2020, and re-opening again at 8.30am on Monday 4th January 2021.

End-Point Assessment

Gateway requests will not be approved during this time.

Any Interviews conducted up until 5:30pm on the 22nd December will have gradings issued by the end of the 23rd December.  

Quality Assurance

Any working days between Thursday 24th December and Monday 4th January will not be included in the SLA timeframes for the following:

  • Complaints
  • Reasonable Adjustments & Special Considerations
  • Enquiries and Appeals

If there are any queries please contact qualityassurance@accelerate-people.co.uk