Level 5 – End Point Assessment & Grading


All apprentices must take an independent assessment at the end of their training to confirm that they have achieved occupational competence. Rigorous, robust and independent end-point assessment (EPA) is essential to give employers confidence that apprentices completing an apprenticeship standard can actually perform in the occupation they have been trained in and can demonstrate the duties, and knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) set out in the occupational standard.

View Standard on Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education

The L5 programme is assessed through 2 sections:

Assessment Method Area Assessed  Grading 
Multi Choice Examination Knowledge elements of the
Professional Discussion,
underpinned by Log
Knowledge, skill and behaviour
elements of the Standard


Assessment Method Requirements

Professional discussion, underpinned by portfolio of evidence

  • This must be a discussion between the apprentice and their assessor, with a technical expert from the apprentice’s employer present. The technical expert’s role is to provide the assessor with clarifications around specific company policy and procedure or technical knowledge only. They must not provide information on behalf of the  apprentice, ask the apprentice questions or influence the apprentice in any way. The technical expert must not amplify or clarify points made by the apprentice. Note that the EPA judgement lies solely with the assessor who grades the professional discussion.
  • It must last 2-hours to 2-hours 20 minutes in duration.
  • Assessors must ask open/competency based questions to cover the KSBs mapped against this method as shown in Annex A.
  • Questions must be devised by the apprentice’s assessor following a review of the evidence in the apprentice’s portfolio of evidence, including the video of the training session, prior to the professional discussion.
  • The skill/judgement of assessors will be necessary to formulate and ask sufficient questions (including follow-up questions if required to seek clarification) to make a sound assessment against the grading criteria set-out in Annex B.
  • Apprentices may refer to the portfolio of evidence when answering questions.



  • Apprentices must complete an examination consisting of eight separate mini case studies, covering topics where there is a series of right/wrong answers (this has potentially now changed to 4 case studies).
  • Each case-study must include a brief description of a scenario and a set of data in Excel, Minitab or an alternative software package. It must require the apprentice to work with the set of data in Excel, Minitab or an alternative software package, apply tools and draw conclusions. The case studies and the questions must be constructed such that capability to link outputs from one tool into another is tested.
  • Apprentices must answer 10 multiple-choice questions in relation to each case-study.
  • Apprentices must select the correct answer from a multiple-choice set of four possible answers where one answer is correct.
  • Each question answered correctly must be assigned 1 mark; any incorrect or missing answers must be assigned 0 marks, with each case-study having a maximum 10 marks.
  • Each case study must cover a different topic from the following list: Sampling, Measurement System Analysis, Capability Analysis, Transformation, Hypothesis Testing, Correlation/Regression, Statistical Process Control.
  • Apprentices must have four hours to complete the examination, allowing approximately 30 minutes to answer the questions for each mini case-study.
  • The examination must be open-book i.e. apprentices can refer to notes or materials, since this is representative of the working environment of Improvement Specialists; however, the quantity and complexity of questions must mean that apprentices will not have time to consult reference material for every question.
  • The examination must be conducted on a computer with the necessary software package(s).
  • The examination must be completed under exam conditions i.e. quiet space free from distraction and influence with an EPAO invigilator present. The ratio of apprentices to invigilators must not exceed 16:1 if face-to-face and 5:1 if remote.
  • The examination must be marked by EPAO independent assessors or markers following a marking guide produced by the EPAO; electronic marking is permissible.
  • EPAOs must devise a bank of case-studies and questions of sufficient size to prevent predictability and review them regularly (and at least once a year) to ensure they, and the specifications they contain, are fit for purpose. EPAOs must ensure that both assessment methods are conducted suitable controlled environments i.e. quiet room free from distraction and influence, with the necessary equipment for each assessment method, for example computer for the examination and observation and questioning (if required). It is anticipated that EPAOs will use the apprentice’s employer’s premises wherever possible to minimise costs. Assessments may be conducted face-to-face or via an online platform, for example. video-conferencing.


Improvement Specialists must also build a Training Video into their evidence portfolio:

  • A continuous video recording of the session must be included in the portfolio of evidence
  • Video must cover a subject selected from the following list: Project Management, Change Management, Process Mapping and Analysis, Lean Principles and Tools, Measurement System Analysis, Data Collection Planning, Graphical Analysis, Process Capability, Root Cause Analysis, Designed Experiments, Statistical Process Control
  • The training materials must be prepared by the apprentice (i.e. they must not deliver published training material prepared by someone else and this requirement will be authenticated by a signed statement provided by the apprentice’s employer)
  • The video must be delivered to a group of Level 4 delegates in their normal working environment and last 35-40 minutes in duration
  • Training materials may include for example PowerPoint presentation, lesson plan, training notes, photographs of white boards, handouts, flipcharts
  • All training materials and records of delegate feedback must be included in the portfolio of evidence

EPAOs must ensure appropriate methods to prevent mis-representation are in place. For example, screen share and 360-degree camera function with an administrator/invigilator when taking the examination on-line. Each assessment method must assess the KSBs as set out in Annex A.



The EPA must be completed within a 20-week period, after the apprentice has met the EPA gateway requirements. Assessment methods can be completed in any order, allowing EPAOs flexibility in scheduling and cost-effective allocation of resources.

EPAOs must ensure that each assessment method is scheduled for an apprentice within their maximum 20-week EPA period. It is recommended that the professional discussion and examination components be completed on the same day however this is not a requirement.

The apprentice should be notified of the EPA outcome in writing within 4 weeks of the completion of the EPA, including detail of areas for further development and improvement where they have failed.


Overall Grading Matrix


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