A big three familiar names dominate the updated list of 33 approved assessment organisations – taking responsibility for end point assessments with almost a third of new apprenticeship standards.
City and Guilds tops the list, having signed-up to assess 18, followed by Pearson Education with 16, and NOCN with 11, according to the updated register published by the Skills Funding Agency this morning.
It means they are together responsible for assessments with 45 out of a total of 153 standards cleared by the agency as ready for delivery.
Edwina McQueen, director of apprenticeships at City & Guilds, said: “City & Guilds has made a significant investment in developing end-point assessments to date as we know that they are an essential part of creating a high quality and efficient apprenticeship system in the UK.
“We have already developed end-point assessments for 18 occupations, more than any other awarding organisation, and have many more in the pipeline which will be released next year, including customer service and digital.”
She added: “Developing end-point assessment for each occupation requires a significant investment in creating assessment instruments and in developing the right support systems.
“At City & Guilds we have been planning this for some time and have a plan in place which includes assessment of existing published occupations and a strong focus on the needs of the future marketplace.”
Courses to be assessed by City and Guilds include for golf greenkeepers and property maintenance operatives at level two, and level four software developer.
City and Guilds has also developed end-point assessment for some occupations that are not yet out for tender.
Pearson covered standards including dental laboratory assistant, motor vehicle service and maintenance technician (light vehicle), and water process technician, all at level three.
A spokesperson for Pearson said: “We welcome the opportunity to continue to apply to the register and are reviewing each standard on a case by case basis.
“We are committed to ensuring that our end-point assessments deliver high quality apprenticeships.”
NOCN has approval to assess standards, for example covering adult care workers, and financial services customer adviser at level two, science manufacturing technician at level three.
Graham Hasting-Evans, managing director of NOCN, told FE Week: “We have [actually] been successfully appointed to deliver 14 end-point assessments in seven sectors [because the portal is not yet fully updated] making us third in the national league.
“We have worked towards this for the last four years, being fully committed financially and operationally.
“We have systems and staff now in place and we are ready to deliver, that is why we’re featuring so heavily in the AAO list – we’re here because we can do the job, plain and simple.”
It comes as FE Week revealed today (December 15) that under half of apprenticeship standards approved for delivery still have no approved assessment organisation, according to exclusive analysis of new data, despite recent assurance by SFA boss Peter Lauener and apprenticeships and skills minister Robert Halfon.