Preparing apprentices for EPA is a major departure from the continuous assessment model of the old frameworks. In some examples, apprentices may need to communicate with people they don’t know in a digital environment they are not used to.
Intimidating? Not if you introduce tools and platforms used in EPA during on-programme training. Blended learning offers many ways of making learning rewarding. So look for opportunities in on and off-the-job training to familiarise your apprentices with the digital tools and platforms they may need to use later – this will improve their learning at the same time.
The Institute for Apprenticeships guidance for trailblazers on developing an end-point assessment plan states: ‘You should also consider the use of technology – online tests, video conferencing and e-portfolios can all be very effective and reduce the time and cost involved.’
Assessment plans vary from one standard to another, but many directly involve digital approaches such as:
Even if the approach taken at EPA is not digital, ensuring your apprentices are well prepared to enter the Gateway to EPA will almost certainly help.
Apprentices with access to digital tools and environments on programme will have had greater opportunities to communicate with others on a professional basis, learn faster from interactive or simulated learning resources and online tests, and record and reflect on their learning in an e-portfolio.
City and Guilds has created an EPA preparation tool to help apprentices. The online tool gets them ready for the EPA experience by using their responses to a series of questions to suggest personalised revision material suited to their apprenticeship standard and confidence levels. There are multiple choice tests and guidance on topics such as revision and professional discussion and interview skills. You can find out more about the tool in this short video.
EPA of adult care apprenticeship standards involves online situational judgement tests accessed through a web page, tablet or on a personal computer (PC) or desktop computer using a keyboard, mouse or adapted device.