end point assessments

7 signs you’ve gone ‘Excel-blind’

If there’s one thing that unites accountants, statisticians and EPAOs, it’s an intimate familiarity with spreadsheets.

With so much time dedicated to managing every aspect of End Point Assessment, you might have an elaborate ecosystem of spreadsheets containing everything from apprenticeship standards to assessment bookings and candidate information.

If you do, you might also have gone ‘Excel-blind’.

If you’re starting to wonder whether there’s a better way to manage it all, then keep reading to check your symptoms - and learn just how many tasks EPA management platforms like epaPRO can do for you.

1) You have more deadlines than you can handle

Whether you’re responsible for one apprentice journey or a hundred, you’ll know that keeping track of every deadline from candidate registration to assessment submission can be a daunting task.

Even if you have mastered the VLOOKUP formula to give you an at-a-glance view of all of your apprentice’s assessment deadlines, you might still be wondering if there’s a way to automate it - and keep candidates, assessors and employers informed.

2) You’re tired of the Excel-to-email pipeline

Speaking of keeping key stakeholders informed: even if you have every single piece of information correct in your spreadsheet, it will inevitably need to be updated - and any update that affects them needs to be communicated.

This could be booking assessments and assessors, or notifying apprentices of any changes to their assessment method.

This all means wasting time diving in and out of spreadsheets, updating information, updating stakeholders and combing through emails to make sure you haven’t missed anything that could have a serious knock-on effect on an EPA.

3) You start to lose track of standards

There are nearly 600 apprenticeship standards in the UK - from Carpentry and Joinery to Counter Fraud Investigation - and they’re all constantly evolving: which means your spreadsheets constantly need tweaking.

If managing such diverse standards manually wasn’t difficult enough, you might even think you’re seeing double: when in reality, you’re managing two budding hairdressers at the same salon who are following a completely different curriculum because one joined a year later than the other.

If only a spreadsheet could automatically determine which standards apply to an apprentice based on their programme’s start date.

4) You wonder why you’re still copying and pasting links to learning materials

One thing you know your spreadsheet definitely can’t do is give your apprentices or employers instant access to their learning materials.

At best, you can start an email exchange to send them the links in your spreadsheet - but you wonder if it would be easier if they could simply access that material themselves.

5) Your security standards start to slip

Managing so much EPA information in spreadsheets can leave you feeling tight for time, which is where mistakes start to creep in. You might even leave confidential apprentice information in a publicly-accessible file by accident.

This can be more than just awkward: it can be seriously damaging to your apprentice’s journey if their details are obtained by malicious parties.

Prevention of cyber-attacks is always better than a cure.

6) You… could have sworn that you saw that before?

Inevitably, when managing so many different spreadsheets, you’ll know CTRL+C and CTRL+V - the copy-and-paste commands - better than any other.

However, if you just happen to copy and paste information from one sheet to another, you might end up with a few different versions of the same information to comb through - or worse, you’ve overwritten critical info, such as a candidate’s contact information, weeks ago.

7) You’re tracking everything yourself

Fundamentally, you’ve gone Excel blind if you’re manually tracking, updating and emailing everything by yourself.

If you’re going through the motions because ‘that’s how your EPAO has always done it’ you’re not working smartly - and if you’re struggling to manage EPAs, your candidates, assessors and employers certainly will be, too.

That’s why we created epaPRO. 

It’s a one-stop shop for end-point assessments that lets you manage your apprentices’ learning journeys seamlessly and securely - all in one intuitive platform.

From keeping track of standards to hosting learning materials and sending automated emails when booking assessments, it’s a bespoke platform that streamlines EPA management for your EPAO.

If you want to see how it could work for you, then book a demo by contacting us here.

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