Covid 19 and the impact on Exams and EPA
The Institute for Apprenticeships is supporting a new temporary flexibility that will enable apprentices to take end point assessment (EPA) ahead of receiving their calculated functional skills qualifications (FSQ) later on in the summer.
Sally Collier, Chief Regulator, Ofqual, said:
“In the unprecedented circumstances we face this summer, these exceptional arrangements are the fairest way of making sure students have the grades they need in time to progress to further study or employment. It is important that students; their parents, carers and teachers; and others who rely on these qualifications, such as universities and employers, have had an opportunity to feed-back views. I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to respond”.
If apprentices are ready to undertake their end point assessments it is imperative that these happen remotely, wherever possible. The Chief Executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) Jennifer Coupland has backed this, saying there should be a “significant shift” towards online assessments, but acknowledging there will be challenges ensuring quality, which is a concern not just for the apprentice but for the sector as a whole.
“With immediate effect as of May 22nd and during the Covid-19 crisis we 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. This will apply to:
- all apprentices due to take an FSQ test and receive a result between 20 March and 31 July;
- those apprentices that are deemed by their training provider to have the required level of functional skills and sufficient evidence to demonstrate this to receive a calculated FSQ pass; and
- occupationally competent apprentices at gateway who are ready to progress to sit their EPA.
This change to the EPA process will only be applied to qualifying apprentices during the Covid-19 crisis. This measure will ensure that apprentices can continue with their apprenticeship and sit their EPA where possible. Apprentices will not be able to achieve their apprenticeship until after the FSQ pass is received and the apprenticeship certificate can be issued.