Apprenticeship assessment arm of GP Strategies to close

‘Mixed emotions’ decision comes after the company shut its apprenticeship training delivery provider earlier this year

‘Mixed emotions’ decision comes after the company shut its apprenticeship training delivery provider earlier this year

The apprenticeship assessment arm of GP Strategies will close its doors at the end of January, it has been announced.

It comes after the company, which is part of Learning Technologies Group (LTG) plc, pulled out of apprenticeship training delivery earlier this year following a damning ‘inadequate’ Ofsted report which found “demotivated and disengaged” apprentices walking away from their courses.

The firm has now also decided the shut its end-point assessment (EPA) division. Exams regulator Ofqual published a conditions notice today that said GP Strategies would “surrender recognition in respect of all its regulated qualifications” by January 31, 2024.

The assessment arm, which trades as GP Strategies Assessment Services Limited (GPSAS), completed 720 EPAs between March 2022 and February 2023, Ofqual data shows. It had offered EPAs in adult care, business administration and project management, from levels two to five.

The decision means GPSAS will not be able to complete any EPAs from the end of January, and will not be able to register any more learners for its EPAs, as of October 31.

In a statement on its website, the firm said it was closing its EPA provider “with mixed emotions”.

“Rest assured, we will work closely with our clients to continue to provide support and assessments for registered learners,” the statement added. “We understand that this may also cause some disruption and uncertainty for apprentices, who should contact their training provider for further information.”

GPSAS vowed to ensure “a seamless transition and minimis[e] any disruption” for its apprentices and clients.

Ofqual’s notice said GPSAS is now required to “take all reasonable steps to protect the interests of apprentices in relation to its qualifications” and comply with a “written withdrawal plan, which must specify how the interests of apprentices will be protected”.

The organisation must also provide “clear and accurate information about the withdrawal to apprentices, training providers, and purchasers of qualifications who are likely to be affected by the withdrawal”.

GPS Strategies’ apprenticeship training provider was teaching almost 5,000 apprentices at the time of its decision to exit the market. Around 95 jobs were lost when it closed.

It is not clear how many jobs are at risk amid the closure of GPSAS. The company has been approached for comment.

LTG bought GP Strategies in October 2021. At the time it said the acquisition would help the business generate a revenue of around £500 million.

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