Last month, I came across an informative and insightful article by Sallyann Baldry titled Considering Changing EPAO? A guide to ensuring a smooth transition. A positive and constructive discussion on the topic, Sally provided an interesting perspective for customers to consider when choosing to work with an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO).
The information shared highlighted the value of factoring in all elements when changing EPAO, outlining to providers and employers what should be considered important to their organisational requirements.
Following this article’s publication, our team here at NCFE took the opportunity to review the information listed in Sallyann’s comparison grid and decided to use this as a framework to carry out an internal quality check against our own offering.
We performed this check to assess whether we’re meeting the current needs of the sector and, most importantly, to ensure that we’re providing the best service we can – one that continues to keep the apprentice, employer and independent training provider (ITP) at the heart of everything we do.
Evaluating our own offering
As an experienced and Ofqual-recognised EPAO, we hold ourselves to a high standard. We’re therefore delighted to confirm that our offer exceeds the expectations of our current and potential customers, including what is widely recognised as a top-rated end-point assessment (EPA) provision with specialisms in health, care, education and business.
To demonstrate NCFE’s EPA offer and its various elements, we’ve created our own comparison table, allowing providers and employers to see at a glance the service that we provide.
We’re proud to share that our offer surpasses many of the comparison grid’s requirements, such as the provision of a named contact within the relationship team to work in partnership with; customer support available across multiple levels; a system that is easy to use with no integration required; and access to a range of resources and guidance materials covering the end-to-end EPA journey via our customer resource library.
Our advice when changing your EPAO
As stated by Sallyann, there are many considerations when thinking about switching your EPAO. Here are the key requirements that we recommend being aware of:
- Customer service: access to support and guidance across multiple levels throughout the EPA journey will be essential.
- Collaborative working: it’s important to work with an EPAO that is forward-thinking, proactive and keen to work in partnership with customers.
- Communication: the importance of the apprentice, employer and ITP having visibility and an open line of communication throughout the EPA journey can’t be understated. In my experience, support, guidance and feedback are imperative to successful outcomes.
Changing EPAO can be a smooth and stress-free transition when the right organisation is chosen, as well as being a decision that can deliver many benefits for you as a provider of apprenticeships to the next generation.
By Sacha Finkle, Head of EPA Operations at NCFE
Find out more about our end-point assessment offer:
Email : EPARelationshipTeam@ncfe.org.uk
Phone : 0191 2408950