The government’s end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) register is set to be shut down and merged with the register of apprenticeship training providers (RoATP).
From August 1 the new single register will be called the “apprenticeship providers and assessment register” (APAR).
The move will drop a current requirement on training providers to prove that the employer has itself chosen which organisation should deliver their apprentice’s end-point assessment (EPA), and switch to a default position of the provider choosing the EPAO. Employers can however continue to select the EPAO themselves if they wish.
Under this new system, when an organisation receives recognition for an apprenticeship standard from Ofqual or the Office for Students they will automatically be placed onto APAR.
New EPAOs will still need to create an account on the apprenticeship service to confirm their place on the register, but they will no longer have to undertake two application processes.
Skills and apprenticeships minister Robert Halfon and the Department for Education’s director of apprenticeships Peter Mucklow teased this change during last week’s Federation of Awarding Bodies EPA conference, telling the audience they planned to help cut bureaucracy in EPA, but stopped short of announcing the registers would merge.
‘Welcome any efforts to streamline and reduce bureaucracy’
Announcing the change today, the government said: “From the August 1, 2023, when an organisation receives recognition for a standard from Ofqual or the OfS they will automatically be placed onto the list of approved EPAOs. DfE will merge this list with the ROATP and rename it the ‘apprenticeship providers and assessment register’ (APAR).
“Maintenance of the register will be undertaken automatically through data exchanges between the regulators and the awarding bodies, and we are now developing that process.
“Although DfE are merging RoATP with the new APAR the application process for providers and supporting providers will remain the same.
“Both Ofqual and OfS are fully supportive of these changes and are working alongside DfE to implement them.”
Further information and guidance on both changes for employers, providers and EPAOs will be made “in the next few weeks”.
Tom Bewick, chief executive of the Federation of Awarding Bodies, said: “FAB members welcome any efforts to streamline and reduce bureaucracy associated with apprenticeship delivery and post-16 qualifications reform. Cutting down on the number of different registers is a great place to start.”