Following on from the article on ATT trailblazer apprenticeships in July’s Employer Focus, this month we are looking more closely at the End Point Assessment (EPA) and the benefits to ATT apprentices and their employers of completing this final step in their apprenticeship journey.
What is the End Point Assessment?
There are two elements to the End Point Assessment (EPA); the portfolio of evidence and the role simulation, both of which are reviewed by ATT’s independent assessors.
The Portfolio of Evidence
This follows on from the training logs maintained during the on-programme assessment phase, showing the work that the apprentice has carried out and demonstrating the required skills and behaviours. It also includes a Reflective Statement (see below) summarising their experiences.
The Role Simulation
This is effectively a case study exercise. The apprentice will receive a pack of information about a fictional organisation six weeks in advance. They will have the opportunity to think about the information, discuss it with their work colleagues and attend a course with their training provider. On the day, they will be given a small amount of additional information, the assessment tasks, and will have 2.5 hours to write their response in controlled conditions. The assessment is open book so apprentices will have access to study manuals and will be required to bring their Law and Ethics manuals.
What are the benefits of the Portfolio of Evidence?
Preparing a record of the good work they have undertaken and the skills and behaviours they have demonstrated will help the apprentice and their employer to see that the apprentice is getting enough opportunities to develop all the skills and behaviours required under the Level 4 Standard for the Professional Taxation Technician. You can find the published Level 4 Standard here.
The Reflective Statement provides the apprentice with the opportunity to summarise their experience and appreciate what they have achieved, while demonstrating the maturity to see what they might do differently in the future.
Both elements should help apprentice and employer appreciate the breadth of the apprentice’s capacity and support discussions over the apprentice’s role after qualifying.
What are the benefits of the Role Simulation?
The Role Simulation is designed to assess the elements shown in the Standard, such as communication skills and adaptability, in a situation closer to real life. To pass, the apprentice needs to demonstrate that they have wider skills beyond the technical skills developed during their ATT studies.
As tax and accountancy services become increasingly digitised, it is important that the apprentice can demonstrate not only that they have relevant technical knowledge, but that they can communicate it effectively and provide added value to clients.
What might the apprentice be faced with in the Role Simulation?
As an example of the kind of adaptability that the EPA is looking to test, the apprentice might be presented in their advance material with details of a capital disposal in March. A well-prepared candidate will use the preparation time to prepare a computation of the potential gain.
In the simulation they may then be presented with an email from a partner saying the disposal was delayed until June. The apprentice will then have to appreciate the impact of that change on the tax computation and demonstrate they can assimilate and adapt to the new position.