In a sea of standards and multiple EPA management systems, EPAOs need to know that they are a safe shore for their apprentices and educational providers to rely on.
Neglecting your processes can lead to risks, which could see your apprentice miss out on critical parts of their education - or even leave. In the 2020/2021 academic year, 35% of apprentices quit their apprenticeship standard early.
Admittedly, this statistic has not been helped by the impact of high job losses over the last couple of years, which has had a knock-on effect on the number of available apprenticeships. However, there is rarely just one reason behind such a significant drop in successfully-completed apprenticeship programmes.
One area that comes up time and time again - and one that surely doesn’t help the successful completion of apprenticeships - is that a high proportion of apprentices are unsatisfied with the level of teaching they receive.
As an EPAO, you need to ensure that the journey is seamless from start to finish for all parties involved.
So, here are the risks you need to watch out for in an assessment process.
It may be a tried and tested method, but with so much information required for an assessment, keeping track of it manually is a huge risk. Vital communications can be missed, new requirements for standards won’t be implemented, and (at worst) an apprentice may miss their end-point assessment.
With the increasing number of apprentices and standards, spreadsheets are not an effective long-term answer for accurate and efficient apprentice tracking.
As any apprentice will know, deadlines are vital to success. You need to be prepared to help them meet each one. As apprentices are now required to consistently upload evidence in preparation for their final examination, they need to ensure that they can manage their time effectively.
epaPRO has a notification and calendar system built in, so all parties can see at a glance when and where assessments will take place, as well as receive messages on new assessments and updates.
According to an apprentice panel survey, many apprentices do not know who their EPAO is. Communication is a vital component to any apprentice learning their standard. They need to know where and when their EPA will take place, as well as any upcoming deadlines.
However, they aren’t the only ones who need consistent, correct information.
Independent assessors and businesses running the standard also need to know any updates: passes or failures; who is taking the assessment; how many candidates there are, and when the deadline is.
A streamlined EPA management system like epaPRO will allow you to automate your communication through a calendar and send notifications to all parties so that no one misses a test or deadline.
Lack of security
Keeping information in different places can make processes vulnerable to data breaches. The information on the apprentices your customers manage is confidential, so whether accidental or through a hack, this is a risk you want to mitigate from the start.
An EPA management system will secure this information, as well as minimise any data losses and errors through manual tracking, as updates will be shared with the relevant people.
Undocumented changes to assessments
Standards constantly update and change as new information and technologies are introduced. However, if you are manually tracking your standards, you will need to ensure that you are staying up to date with any changes yourself.
It is down to the EPAO to ensure that changes to the standard or the Assessment Plan have been updated. epaPRO can run different standard and assessment plan versions concurrently, and will automatically select the correct version based on the apprentice’s program start date.
Limited access to learning resources
Though the majority of the learning comes from first-hand experience, there will be times when the business can’t provide that education, and when it has to come from source material provided by the curriculum.
You could keep it in your office, tucked away in boxes until someone needs it, or hope that the business has kept up with the latest learnings. However, that is a huge risk to the quality of the apprentices’ education, as well as your reputation for management.
By having learning resources in one place, you, the apprentices and businesses can access all the necessary learning materials instantly.
Having insight into your apprentices’ progress is vital to their success. We’re only human, after all, and it’s natural to forget or to make mistakes. But, that’s where an EPA management system can help. Used properly, it will remember the small things so that you don’t have to.
At Skilltech Solutions, we’ve created epaPRO to help you effectively control your assessment workload, so that everyone on the learning journey can meet the same goal for their apprentice.
If you know that there are gaps in your current approach, it could be worth booking a demo. Just send an email to email@example.com, and we can get it booked in.