Exams watchdog Ofqual is to take the lead in a  “new simplified external quality assurance (EQA) system” for apprenticeships it has been confirmed this afternoon.

The Institute for Apprenticeship and Technical Education (IfATE) had been consulting on ending the current complex arrangements in which employer bodies and even the IfATE themselves are responsible for oversight of the end-point-assessment organisations (EPAOs) for apprenticeship standards.

The IfATE will however “retain oversight of the system, and EQA will still be delivered within the Institute’s framework. The Institute will continue to have a statutory responsibility to evaluate the quality of end-point assessments.”

Chief executive at the IfATE, Jennifer Coupland, said: “We believe that the new system will be stronger and much simpler for end-point assessment organisations. Most importantly it will ensure quality for apprentices. I’d like to thank all those who took the time to respond to our consultation and we now look forward to taking the next steps.”

Sally Collier, chief regulator of Ofqual, welcomed the decision and said: “we hope that the new arrangements will increase confidence in the apprenticeship system and provide clarity and consistency for employers and end point assessment organisations.”

Read the IfATE statement in full here.

Read the Ofqual statement in full here.