‘Final exams day is pretty intensive. It takes place with the employer in the workplace’

Mar 5, 2019 by

From the cost through to certification, we take a look at end-point assessments – the final exams sat by apprentices

National Apprenticeship Week 2016

You’ve got 75 minutes to debone a meat carcass and present it to a standard that any butcher would be proud of. Succeed and you’ll receive your butchery apprenticeship level 2 certificate. Fail and you’ll need to train some more and repeat the experience to qualify. “It’s a bit like MasterChef,” says Terry Fennell, chief executive of FDQ, which carries out final exams for apprentices in the food sector, testing butchers, bakers and fishmongers. Along with a practical test, there is typically a 90-minute multiple choice paper and a 45-minute interview where candidates display their understanding of their industry.

“It’s a pretty intensive day of examinations,” says Fennell. “Sometimes it takes place with the employer in the workplace, either externally at college or at the butcher’s shop. It’s an important exam so we have to make sure the environment is conducive to the purposes, so there must be no disruption, no ability to cheat and no one else is allowed in the room.”

To gain an apprenticeship certificate in any of the 400-plus standards created under the government’s new regime, apprentices sit a series of exams at the end of the course, rather than being judged on continuous assessments as with the old system. The final tests – known as end-point assessment or EPA – check whether apprentices have learned the skills, knowledge and behaviour outlined in their course.

End-point assessments are one of the biggest changes ushered in by the government’s apprenticeship shake-up. They are designed to offer apprentices a certificate they can use to find work across their industry.

Final tests are tailored to each apprenticeship. A master’s in business administration might require a 10,000-word dissertation followed by a PowerPoint presentation and an interview. A plumbing and heating technician would complete a multiple choice exam, a practical skills test and an interview. They’ll receive a certificate qualifying them as a plumbing and domestic heating engineer.

Source: ‘Final exams day is pretty intensive. It takes place with the employer in the workplace’ | Education | The Guardian

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