End-point assessment News


Price Changes

NCFE EPA Plus is committed to continuous improvement and as a result of activity to improve our efficiency, and learning from the Covid-19 situation, we have been able to review our EPA prices.  

From Monday 1 March, we’re reducing the majority of our full EPA prices! We’re also pleased to inform you that the remaining full EPA costs will be maintained across all the standards except for Public Sector Compliance Investigator Officer. You can access our current and new price list here. 

Covid-19 Dispensations  

As you may already be aware, IfATEhas announced Covid-19 temporary dispensations or a variety of Apprenticeship Standards. These agreed temporary dispensations relate specifically to the observation assessment and can be found on the individual standard pages of the Institute’s website, we have also included a list of these below. The dispensations have been confirmed to be in place until the end of August 2021. You can find our published guidance and templates within the Resources Platform.   


Observation Dispensation 

Healthcare Support Worker  

Reflective Statement  

Senior Healthcare Support Worker  

Reflective Statement   

Healthcare Assistant Practitioner   

Reflective Statement   

Nursing Associate (Retired)  

Must meet Gateway requirements  

Dental Nurse  

Record of Observed Practice  

Teaching Assistant  

Reflective Statement  

Customer Service Practitioner  

Witness Testimony  

Customer Service Specialist  

Witness Testimony  


Adult Care Worker and Lead Adult Care Worker  

IfATE has authorised a dispensation relating to the order of assessments for Adult Care Worker and Lead Adult Care Worker standards to be removed. 

We recently announced that going forward the order of assessments will be controlled for Adult Care Worker and Lead Adult Care Worker and any apprentices that requested EPA from Tuesday 1 December 2020 onwards. Any apprentices that would still like to take advantage of the dispensation and change the order of assessments will be required to submit a request for special consideration. 

Functional Skills Exemptions  

For Level 2 (intermediate) apprenticeships, apprentices must achieve a Level 1 in both English and maths Functional Skills qualifications to complete their apprenticeship. Intermediate apprentices are also required to study towards and attempt the Functional Skills assessments at Level 2. Due to ongoing disruptions to assessments, the ESFA has extended this suspension until Wednesday 31 March. A Level 2 apprentice will still require a Level 1 Functional Skills in English and/or maths to complete their apprenticeship. The temporary suspension applies to both apprenticeship standards and frameworks.  

Microsoft Team Assessments  

Apprentices are able to sit assessments via Microsoft Teams on a desktop/laptop, tablet or mobile phone. We have produced guides to support apprentices with preparing and starting an assessment undertaken through Microsoft Teams using the various devices. Please share the guides with apprentices ahead of their assessments, you can find copies on the Resources Platform.  

Webinar update 

If you’ve missed any of the monthly ‘check in’ webinars and would like to watch them, you can view them on our website. 

Our next webinar is going to be hosted on Thursday 11 March, where we will discuss our full apprenticeships offer, including our qualifications and support from Skills Forward.  

Sign up here- we’ll email out slides and recordings to everyone who signs up.  

Team Leader  

We will be going live with version 2 of Team Leader and Supervisor from Thursday 1 April. Any apprentices that request EPA and successfully pass-throughGateway from this date will be assessed on version 2 of the assessment plan. Special considerations can be requested for any apprentices that customers feel will not be able to be assessed on version 2 from Thursday 1 April. 

EPA Dates  

To ensure assessments can be allocated the earliest available date, please ensure that apprentices are registered on SEPA a minimum of 90 days before their expected EPA date. Please also ensure that you check the expected EPA date is correct and amend this accordingly for NCFE to use this information to ensure resource is in place to meet any EPA requests.  


De-activating and withdrawing apprentices  

If an apprentice is no longer continuing with their apprenticeship, they should be removed from the SEPA platform. This can be done by changing their status to withdrawn on the EPA details tab and then de-activating them using the appropriate button in the top right of the platform.  

Online Assessments – Remote Invigilation 

ProctorExam is a proctoring (remote invigilation) platform that works in conjunction with Surpass, enabling the digital delivery of tests without the need for an invigilator. Find out more by watching this video.  

Candidates need access to a smart phone, laptop or PC and have a strong Wi-Fi/Internet connection. We would recommend apprentices sit the assessments on their own equipment rather than work equipment as we have found apprentices often face issues with security and firewalls set by their employers. Apprentices must also present photographic ID at the start of the assessment; this could also include a work pass. Please contact us for further guidance.  

We have published a proctoring guide which can be found herethe guide provides step by step instructions for setting up and running a proctored assessment. We've also created video demonstrations for apprentices on how to use the proctoring system: Conducting a pre-assessment system testandStarting a proctored assessment.  

Where assessments have been scheduled for face-to-face invigilation and can no longer be facilitated, please contact the allocated IEPA to rearrange this. We can reschedule assessments to be sat via proctoring, we would need the normal 5 working days’ notice. This time also allows the apprentice to undertake the system check and ensure their equipment is compatible.

Children, Young People and Families Manager standard  

We have received a communication from IfATE to confirm that a dispensation has been approved for the Children, Young People and Families Manager standard. NCFE EPA Plus, TQUK, the Trailblazer group, Ofqual and IfATE have all agreed that the dispensation allows apprentices to be able to move forward to EPA. 

We would like to assure you that NCFE EPA Plus are committed to working as quickly as possible in order for learners to be able to access EPA for Children, Young People and Families Manager. We will be sending regular communications to provide updates on the release of materials to support with the preparation of EPA. Please note that we strongly advise that you inform apprentices that they must have knowledge of current research before being put forward to complete EPA. 

As the Children, Young People and Families Manager standard has two pathways, Residential and Community we have outlined timescales below with expected go live dates as well as dates for the release of any guidance materials and example assessment materials. 

Residential Pathway - Timeline 

  • Go Live Date – Monday 8 March 2021 
  • Specification and Guidance 
  • Key Changes Document 
  • Evidence Tracker 
  • Example SJT Assessment 

 Community Pathway - Timeline 

  • Go Live Date – Week commencing 14 June 2021 
  • Specification and Guidance – Available on Friday 5 February 2021 
  • Key Changes Document - Available on Friday 5 February 2021 
  • Evidence Tracker - Available on Friday 5 February 2021  
  • Example SJT Assessment – Available Week commencing 12 April 2021 

All of the above guidance documents and resources are available now on the EPA Plus resources area. 

Please note that all learners must be registered on SEPA under the correct pathway. We have attached the Gateway checklist to confirm the Gateway requirements set out within the assessment plan. 

If you have any questions or require any support in registering learners, please contact our relationship team on 0191 240 8950 or at [email protected] and the team will be more than happy to provide support/training. 

Learning Mentor 

EPA Plus are now live for Learning Mentor Level 3 and we have a broad range of sector specialists in the following employment areas: 

  • Health 
  • Care and Education 
  • Business 
  • Management 

If you offer a sector or specialism which does not appear in the above list, please contact the Relationship team at [email protected] for further information. 

 Gateway declarations forms  

All standards have their own Gateway declaration documents that capture our regulatory requirements to conduct EPA, including confirmation from the apprentice that we can claim their apprenticeship certificate, upon completion.  

We have created these documents, available on SEPA (and the new resources platform) to satisfy these requirements, please ensure that you are using our Gateway declarations to minimise later delays.

These declarations must be signed by employer, provider and apprentices.  Where these documents have a typed signature, please upload an email trail as confirmation of authenticity, from the typed signee.  

Gateway Requests - Teaching Assistant  

The Teaching Assistant Standard requires evidence of attendance for Safeguarding and Prevent trainingAlthough this is not listed as a Gateway requirement, we are asking customers to upload this evidence to SEPA when requesting EPAas it is stated within the Assessment Plan that the evidence is required. If the evidence is not present when the Gateway audit is completed the NCFE EPA Plus team will be in touch to request this evidence is uploaded to SEPA before the request can be approved.  

Current versions  

Please ensure that you are using the most up to date version of the guidance documents. All the latest versions are available on the easily accessible EPA resources library.   

New Resources  

New resources have been added for the following standards:  

  • Early Years Practitioner   
  • Lead Practitioner in Adult Care  
  • Leader in Adult Care 
  • Team Leading Version 2  
  • Learning Mentor  
  • Assessor Coach  

End of Year Completion Timeline 

At EPA Plus, we want to ensure you are prepared for year-end so we have produced a timeline that will support with your planning to ensure your apprentices achieve EPA by the 31 July 2021. The timeline can be found on our EPA resources library.   

The timeline allows 4 working days for the Gateway audit to be carried out and the allocation to an Independent End-Point Assessor (IEPA). Not to worry, there’s no upfront registration or withdrawal costs for apprentices that haven’t been accepted through Gateway. To provide additional support through this difficult time, we have also extended our payment terms to 90 days. 

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Our EPA Plus Services team can advise and help you navigate your end-point assessment journey.

Give us a call: 0191 240 8950

Email: [email protected]

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