The Future of Improvement – Learn More

Level 6 – End Point Assessment & Grading

Overview

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 L6 programme is assessed through 2 sections:

Assessment Method Area Assessed  Grading 
Professional discussion, underpinned by portfolio of evidence Knowledge elements of the
standard
Fail/Pass/Merit/Distinction
Dissertation, presentation and questioning Knowledge, skill and behaviour
elements of the Standard
Fail/Pass/Merit/Distinction

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.

 

Dissertation, presentation and questioning

  • Apprentices must produce a dissertation during the EPA period, which will be the basis of a presentation to the apprentice’s assessor and a technical expert from the apprentice’s employer, with follow up questioning immediately after the presentation.
  • The dissertation must have been reviewed by the apprentice’s assessor prior to the presentation and questioning components.
  • The main body of the dissertation must be 4,000 to 4,500 words. A summary and appendices must be included, additional to the word count. The summary must be a concise one-page of A4, visual, follow the principles of ‘A3 Thinking’ and convey key points in a way that enables messages to be grasped ‘within 3 seconds.’ Appendices must contain supporting evidence, such as meeting minutes, extracts from business strategy, key performance indicator dashboards, risk log and organisation charts (not included in the word count).
  • The dissertation must focus on the development and deployment of improvement strategy in their business and of sufficient scope to demonstrate the knowledge and skills as set out in Annex A. For example, ‘A Continuous Improvement Strategy and Deployment plan for department x’.
  • The title and scope of the dissertation must be agreed between by the EPAO and the employer as a gateway requirement. The EPAO will have the final say on the title and scope.
  • The dissertation must be submitted to the EPAO three weeks prior to the presentation and questioning components, to allow the assessor to review the contents and prepare for the questioning component.
  • The presentation on the dissertation must be delivered by the apprentice to an assessor and technical expert. 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 dissertation, presentation and questioning.
  • Apprentices can use presentation aides as they see fit e.g. PowerPoint, A3 posters, handouts; any technology requirements must be arranged with the EPAO ahead of the day of the presentation and questioning components.
  • The presentation must be 45 to 50 minutes in duration.
  • The presentation must outline the focus of the dissertation, approach, outcomes and evaluation.
  • The presentation must be followed by questioning lasting 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Questions must be devised by the assessor based on the dissertation and presentation observed.
  • 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 can refer to their dissertation and/or presentation materials in answering the questions.
  • The apprentice’s assessor must holistically assess the dissertation, presentation and questioning against the KSBs as set out in Annex A, using the grading criteria set-out in Annex B.

 

EPAOs must ensure that both assessment methods are conducted in suitable controlled environments i.e. quiet room free from distraction and influence, with the necessary equipment for each assessment method for example, computer (if required by the apprentice). 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. EPAOs must ensure appropriate methods to prevent misrepresentation are in place. For example, screen share and 360-degree camera function with assessors when the assessments are undertaken remotely.

Overall Grading Matrix

Related

Join our LinkedIn Network

Keep up to date with all the latest performance improvement resources to inform and inspire as you continue to grow.

Follow PMI on LinkedIn