The BIIAB is a well-established and respected Awarding Organisation; serving the Licensed Retail and wider service sector. Now, it is delighted to announce, it is also an End Point Assessment (EPA) organisation for the new Apprenticeships being introduced by The Government and which are funded by a new levy!
So what are End Point Assessments, what is the new apprenticeship system and how will it affect your business?
There are substantial changes to the English Apprenticeship system, and they affect all businesses, even those not currently delivering apprenticeships. For a start, if your business has a pay-bill of over £3 million from April 2017 you will have to pay a Levy at a rate to be 0.5% of your annual pay bill. This will be paid via PAYE. As such it is vitally important that all employers keep abreast of the levy requirements. However, worryingly, recent research indicated that even so close to implementation a third (33 per cent) of UK employers that must pay the levy are not aware of its existence and nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of heads of apprenticeships are not aware of the new apprenticeship system.
Funds raised by The Levy will help to pay for apprenticeships, primarily a new type devised by employer-led Trailblazers groups. The funds raised will be paid into digital accounts which can be spent on training and assessing apprentices. For those that pay the Levy not investing in apprenticeships effectively means paying out but getting no return. For those not paying into the levy there will be an initial transition period from the current apprenticeship funding system to the new one.
Once the new system is introduced Employers that do not pay into The Levy may be able to access funds for apprenticeship delivery as long as there are sufficient monies left in the levy pot (a contribution, currently 10% of the apprenticeship cost, is currently required from the employer). If you have less than 50 employees, do not pay the levy and have apprentices aged 16-18; the Government currently plans to fund 100% of the apprenticeship.
Funding provided from the Levy pot can only be used for Apprenticeship delivery and other specified related activities.
The New Apprenticeship System
The new Apprenticeships are delivered predominantly in the workplace and designed to ensure Apprentices have the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed to eff ectively and consistently work to national standards. The apprenticeships:
- Are developed by Employers as part of a Trailblazer Development group (hence why they are often known as ‘Trailblazer’ Apprenticeships)
- Contain a standard against which apprentices must demonstrate knowledge, behaviours and skills
- Have an end point assessment that, when deemed ready by their employer, the apprentice must complete and must be assessed by an independent assessor. In most instances this will be graded
- Last, at least, 12 continuous months
- Will require the demonstration of maths and English skills.
Unlike the current apprenticeships, the apprentice does not always have to undertake a qualification, although this is a requirement in some areas. BIIAB have been working with several Trailblazer groups to ensure there is suitable provision, including working with People 1st to develop Trailblazer Apprenticeships for the Licensed Retail sector, as well as across the wider hospitality and Retail sectors. BIIAB does not have a say on how the apprenticeships are structured; the design principles come primarily from the DfE and are tailored for specifi c sectors by industry employers.
End Point Assessments
As well as the removal of qualifi cations from many of the new apprenticeships, another major change is that the apprentice has to undertake an ‘end point assessment’ (EPA). Before moving onto the EPA; the employer will confi rm that they feel the apprentice is ready to do so. The EPA can only be undertaken with an approved End Point Assessment organisation.
The apprentice will then undertake a series of assessments with an independent assessor from the End Point Assessment Organisation who will determine if they are competent and which grade they should be assigned. They must pass all of the different assessments to achieve their apprenticeship. If they fail, depending on the apprenticeship, they will have to retake either the whole end point assessment or just the part they failed. The assessments vary from sector-to-sector but often contain, for example, a practical assessment, a knowledge test
and a professional discussion.
BIIAB provides on its website a guide to the new Apprenticeships that may be useful for many. It is available at:
BIIAB as an End Point Assessment (EPA) Organisation
BIIAB is delighted to announce that we have been approved as an End Point Assessment (EPA) organisation for the following ‘Trailblazer’ Apprenticeships:
- Hospitality Team Member
- (level 2) (which will contain a
- licensed retail pathway)
- Commis Chef (level 2)
- Retailer (Level 2)
- Retail Team Leader (Level 3)
This approval by the SFA for our first EPA submission is great news for BIIAB, our centres and partners. It confirms that the BIIAB’s delivery model is recognised as meeting all of the necessary criteria. Work has commenced on developing the assessments for these four standards and we will provide further details for their launch date shortly.
Applications for EPA status do not stop here. Additional applications have been made for a number of other apprenticeship standards, with more planned for the near future – where demand remains, BIIAB intends to be an EPA organisation for any Apprenticeship Standard which covers occupational areas in which we currently work.
End Point Assessments are critical to the new apprenticeship system as an apprentice cannot complete their apprenticeship without successfully achieving them. However, do not wait until then to contact us! BIIAB can help you from day one of delivery of the apprenticeship standards and to prepare your apprentices for the EPA. With public money, inspection and audit involved the risk profile for delivering the ‘new’ apprenticeships is high.
BIIAB has designed Quality Assured Delivery (QAD) Packs to support the ‘on programme training delivery’ and ‘quality assurance’ of Apprenticeship Standards and to maximise the potential of the apprentice being able to achieve the EPA. Details of how we can help you and your Teams with our QAD packs can be obtained by contacting us (see details below) or found by visiting our website and clicking on the link to view our offering at www.biiab.org/apprenticeships/TrailblazerApprenticeships
The BIIAB can talk you through the options available to you; please get in touch with any of the following:
Gareth Phillips 07967 796419
James Wingerath 07747 831001
Richie Phillips 07493 730246
Sally Power 07786 234299
Paul Humphrey 07766 251173
Customer support 01276 417842