Latest Update on COVID-19 flexibilities

To maintain progress, achievement and delivery of EPA, the Institute has permitted flexibilities and discretions to assessment plans. These allow apprentices to complete their apprenticeship in the event of disruption.

The Institute has extended all EPA flexibilities and discretions put in place due to COVID-19 until 28 February 2022. Some flexibilities will be retained permanently and will apply to all apprenticeships. The Institute has published a framework to set out how these flexibilities will be applied from 1 March 2022.

Temporary discretions, which apply only to specific apprenticeships, began their notice period on 5 August 2021 and will now end on 28 February 2022. Some discretions will remain for occupations which are still experiencing disruption due to COVID-19. The Institute has set out when each discretion will end.

Further detail here

COVID-19 Update July 2020

COVID-19 Update July 2020

How are Accelerate People prepared to conduct End-point Assessment (EPA)?

We are currently able to conduct EPAs remotely for all digital standards we are approved to assess and it is within our ethos to support remote working and learning. Having set up at the start of the pandemic, we were in the position to design our processes to support apprentices, employers and training providers in the current climate.

Location of Synoptic Project and Professional Discussion Interview

Official guidance from NSAR outlines that Employers and Training providers may ask an End-point Assessment Organisation for permission to allow apprentices to complete the Synoptic Project at home. This is providing that the project has been designed to facilitate this. Training Providers and Employers should request that this can be facilitated in advance of the apprentice starting the Synoptic Project. As part of this request, they should be able to justify why this is needed.

The option to take the project at home is allowable until the 31st December 2020. This will be reviewed and extended if necessary.  Until this has been advised Employers and Training Providers should not plan for apprentices to do the project at home beyond this date.

Calculated Functional Skills Qualifications

As of May 22nd, 2020 and during the Covid-19 crisis, The Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA)are permitting the re-sequencing of the EPA process to enable gateway to be passed and EPA to be taken before the FSQ calculated result is received.

For further detail please visit the IfA website.

Knowledge Modules and / or Vendor Qualifications

NSAR (the digital EQA provider) has approved flexibility during this time to allow apprentices to pass Gateway without the evidence of achievement for Knowledge Modules and / or Vendor Qualifications, in order to allow apprentices to progress onto their End-point Assessment.

NSAR has approved this arrangement on the basis that before the final grade is awarded and the certificate requested the achievement of the KM and/or VQs is evidenced.

Apprenticeship Certification Address

A temporary flexibility has been introduced to allow apprenticeship certificates to be sent to the apprentice’s training provider address or to the apprentice themselves if the employer’s office is closed. The guidance from the government has been updated to reflect this temporary change, more information is available here.

Further updates and support for apprentices, employers and training

We will continue to engage with the EQA directly and any further updates will be published.  In the meantime we at Accelerate People are here to help so please do not hesitate to contact us: info@accelerate-people.co.uk