End-Point Assessors: What does their role involve?

Updated: Apr 7, 2021

What does an end-point assessor do?

The job of an end-point assessor is to accurately determine whether or not an apprentice has gained the required Knowledge, Skills and Behaviour (KSBs) needed to pass their apprenticeship and gain their qualification. To do this, the assessor needs to have gained a prior understanding of the apprenticeship specification against which they are assessing.

This means that they need to have gained some previous training in assessment as well as possessing an understanding of the relevant assessment plan and having some suitable industry experience. As the process of end-point assessment only occurs at the end of an apprenticeship, when the apprentice should have learnt everything they needed to learn, the presence of an end-point assessor is therefore only needed at the end of an apprenticeship programme. EPA assessors can seek opportunities as full-time employees or they can work for many different EPAOs on a freelance basis.

What training and support is available to assessors?

As assessors are normally employed by specialist apprenticeship bodies known as End-Point Assessment Organisations (EPAOs), it is they that will normally play a leading role in the training and support given to EPA assessors.

EPAOs should provide assessment training, relevant support materials and standardisation sessions to all of the assessors in their employment. This is especially true for assessors who are new to assessing, for which introductory training sessions are usually provided. All EPAOs including ORCA are required to ensure that their assessors are familiar with the processes of assessment and the assessment plans for whichever apprenticeship specifications they are assessing for. The training provided can often take the form of online learning resources, such as webinars, quizzes and standardisation sessions that can be recorded for future viewings.

What qualifications or experience do I need to become an EPA assessor?

As with other educationally related roles, EPA assessors have to meet certain criteria with regards to their qualifications, experience and level of assessment training.

An important aspect of the role which all assessors must adhere to is to be completely independent of the employer, training provide and apprentice for which they are end-point assessing. This is to ensure that the result of the assessment being carried out is completely fair and objective and will not result in any potential conflict of interest. Any assessor wishing to undertake assessment work for any EPAO such as ORCA must declare any potential conflicts of interest before they can be allowed to assess for a particular training provider or apprentice through their EPAO.

Many apprenticeship specifications also stipulate that an assessor must either have or be working towards an approved assessor qualification, such as CAVA, A1 or D32/D33. At ORCA we ensure that all of our assessors hold appropriate assessor qualifications where these are required, whilst training can cover either the Level 3 CAVA Award or the Level 3 Highfield Award in Undertaking End-Point Assessment. Other apprenticeships can be more flexible in only needing the assessors to undergo assessment training without needing to study for a qualification.

Other requirements that assessors usually have to meet include having a certain number of years of relevant industry experience and possessing the time and resources needed to carry out an end-point assessment. Assessors are also expected to maintain current and up-to-date CPD, particularly in assessment which EPAOs such as ORCA can provide.

How do I get started as an assessor?

If you’re considering becoming an end-point assessor, a good place to start is the Institute for Apprenticeships website which lists all of the apprenticeships available for end-point assessment in the UK. Each available apprenticeship has its own information page in which you can find out further details about the specification and the specific criteria for assessors.

Here at ORCA we are always on the look-out for new assessors to join our ever expanding pool of apprenticeship specialists. If you think you’ve got what it takes to assess for us, then please fill out our online assessor application form on our website at www.orca.ac.uk. We look forward to taking it from there!