Academic Professional (L7)
End Point Assessment (EPA) represents an opportunity for each apprentice to showcase their skills as an academic professional and demonstrate how what they have learnt during their apprenticeship has benefitted their students, colleagues, and the organisation they work in.
We seek to celebrate creativity, innovation and transformative practice by offering assessments that are wholistic and rigorous. Our communication with and responsiveness to the needs of individuals and HEIs sets us apart from other End Point Assessment Organisations and results in employer/providers choosing to return to us for successive cohorts of apprentices.
"During the apprenticeship programme, The [WeST] Learning Institute have provided support and guidance throughout the process, also recognising the impact of the KSBs within my discipline of Nursing. Completing the apprenticeship has been enriching, with the assessment process helping me to realise my growth and development in my knowledge, behaviours, and skills as a lecturer."
Why choose WeST Learning Institute as your End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) for the Academic Professional apprenticeship?
The Learning Institute has been on the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) EPAO register since 2018. We were approved to deliver EPAO of Academic Professional apprenticeships by Open Awards in 2019, and commenced EPA work on that standard in 2020. We gained Ofqual recognition in 2022.
- The Learning Institute’s EPAO service is endorsed by ESFA, Ofqual and the Department for Education (DfE). We joined the register of EPAOs in 2018, and have been completing end point assessment of Academic Professional apprentices since 2020.
- The Learning Institute has been an apprenticeship provider since 2017, delivering apprenticeships within the education and childcare sectors.
- The Learning Institute works in partnership with two UK higher education institutions (HEIs), employing over 20 Academic Professionals to deliver academic qualifications at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in professional practice, including Early Years, Inclusive Education, Learning and Education and Mental Health and Wellbeing of Children and Young People.
- The Learning Institute is a DfE provider of Initial Teacher Training, and ensures that all staff remain current and conversant with developments in teaching and learning pedagogy.
- The Learning Institute is a provider of CPD training for professionals in both academic and applied roles to ensures that all partners have access to the latest information on learning and teaching, and TLI staff are expected to participate in or undertake their own active research projects - with four international funded projects being spearheaded by The Learning Institute currently.
Our Academic Professional Assessment Team
Our team of independent assessors is led by Lead Assessor Mel Feek; an experienced senior academic who has designed and delivered programmes of higher education to students, apprentices and trainees in multiple learning environments; leading programmes that aim to challenge personal barriers and promote social inclusion. Mel is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), and as a Senior Academic Professional has written and delivered training to postgraduate level across a number of HEIs.
Our Academic Professional assessment team are all currently senior academic professionals. They are Fellows, Senior Fellows or Principal Fellows of the HEA. They come from a range of HEIs across the UK, and are experienced not only in assessment at Level 7, but also in the design, creation and delivery of Academic Professional Apprenticeship programmes. Collectively they have completed over 300 assessments to date; completing these online to meet the needs of apprentices from FE and HEIs across the country. They have assessed apprentices from a wide range of academic, professional and applied disciplines.
Characteristics of the experienced Senior Academic Professionals who make up our team of independent assessors:
- Design, deliver and lead the Academic Professional Higher Apprenticeship in their respective institutions
- Design programmes of academic development with HEA accreditation
- Work as and with employer-provider and external employer apprenticeships
- Have Fellowship, Senior Fellowship or Principal Fellowship of the HEA and continue their CPD and research around academic development and higher education pedagogy to remain in good standing with this professional status
- End Point Assessors of apprentices from across the spectrum of subject specialisms, for example; Engineering, Health and Social Care, Professional Services (Library, Career, TEL colleagues), Sciences, Maths, Arts, Social Sciences, Business, Marketing, Accounting, Law, Architecture, the Built Environment, Earth Sciences, Philosophy, Politics, History, Music, Education, Social Work and Community Wellbeing, psychology, sports sciences, criminology, policing, Modern Languages, computer science
- Design and deliver programmes for apprentices in higher education settings beyond the conventional academic role, such as Clinical Education
All these factors enable us to ensure a Sector led design and delivery of the EPA process by those who understand the challenges EPA can pose and know how to make the most of on the benefits it offers your academic professionals.
What employer/providers say about WeST Learning Institute
"I have worked with many EPAOs and The [WeST] Learning Institute are the most supportive and empathetic to the work that we are doing with our apprentices on programme. They have been there every step of the way to provide advice and guidance on the End Point Assessment (EPA) process. They provided me with individualised support that was tailored to my needs as an FE and HE provider. The breadth of experience of the assessment team endorses their expertise in assessing the range of sectors my apprentices were working in, and the support on offer from the Lead Assessor for the Academic Professional standard is outstanding. I would recommend The [WeST] Learning Institute to anyone looking for an EPAO."
"Within the applied sciences and professional disciplines education is rapidly evolving and apprentices are responding by developing their own signature pedagogies. Recognition of the influence of discipline diversity on the apprentice by The Learning Institute has been a central feature of the End Point Assessments. Assessors who maintain professional connections with practice, research, and contemporary education, have been highly effective at supporting learners to demonstrate achievement of the KSBs creatively and innovatively."
"The personalised approach offered to me when I started searching for an EPAO for my apprentices was crucial in ensuring that we set up this important relationship well and in advance. There was plenty of opportunity to discuss, negotiate and plan around our unique provision, but with the assurance of clear and expert guidance on the standard’s requirements and needs.
We are delighted with the progress and success of our Apprentices which we felt was celebrated during a well organised, highly competent and experienced process. Compassionate, supportive and proactive feedback was provided after the process to help us quality assure and improvement plan for the next cohort."
End Point Assessment: a timeline
Initial contact with our Lead IQA
Your message (to firstname.lastname@example.org) will be passed on to our Assessment Team, and you will normally receive a response within three working days.
Informal conversation with Lead Assessor
A video conference to discuss requirements and services. Our experienced, professional and responsive Lead Assessor understands the challenges of working towards Gateway and end point assessment, and the importance of supporting the uniqueness of your apprentices and their learning journey.
End Point Assessment Agreement
This agreement will be personalised to meet your specific needs, with schedule dates and costings agreed, and proposed dates for Gateway and end point assessment negotiated. You will need to provide a purchase order number.
Currently [as of January 2023], the costs are: £1,350 per apprentice, £165 per resit of each assessment method. There is an additional cost of £7.50 per apprentice for registration on to ACE360 for Gateway.
Information Sessions and ongoing dialogue
We provide a webinar information session for apprentices, which will include:
- a breakdown of the three assessment methods
- providing examples of evidence that can be used
- issue of supporting documents
Additional support for employer/provider includes:
- Ongoing dialogue with dedicated support team to aid the preparation of apprentices for End Point Assessment.
- Training provided by ACE360 to support upload of Gateway documents
To facilitate a smooth transition through Gateway, your admin team can register your apprentices on ACE360 at any stage of the apprenticeship. We would recommend that they are registered at least three months before end point assessment.
When apprentices are ready for end point assessment, employer/provider can then upload EPA evidence for each apprentice to ACE360. Once all evidence has been uploaded, this will trigger the assessment period.
Once EPA evidence has been uploaded, assessors are allocated to apprentices. They will contact apprentices and arrange a date for the Professional Conversation assessment. Assessments are carried out and moderated. It is anticipated that the assessment period will be completed within 25 working days.
Complete End Point Assessment
Grades are allocated on ACE360, and notification is provided to the employer/provider, together with details of any requirements for resits (please note, these need to take place within two months unless special considerations have been applied). ESFA will issue certification to the nominated institutional lead once the period for appeals has passed.
Invoice is issued by finance department to provider as set out in the EPA agreement.
This is an opportunity for us to share observations, discuss cross-cohort issues to aid development of courses, and for you to tell us how we can improve our services further.