Skilltech Solutions and risr/: Revolutionising Apprentice Assessment, with Dannielle Murphy of risr/

For many EPAOs and training providers, managing end-point assessment (EPA) can feel like a battle with their own admin processes. Many still rely on using several overcomplicated systems to organise EPA, meaning apprenticeship delivery suffers as a result.

For many AOs and training providers, managing end-point assessment (EPA) can feel like a battle with their own admin processes. Many still rely on using several overcomplicated systems to organise EPA, meaning apprenticeship delivery suffers as a result.

Admin headaches for organisers can create an anxiety-inducing experience for apprentices, and when the time comes for apprentices to take their assessments, they don’t need the added stress of a frustrating online testing platform.

That’s why Skilltech is teaming up with risr/ to revolutionise apprentice assessment, giving AOs, assessors and apprentices access to an assessment platform trusted by leading awarding bodies in the medical field – all within Skilltech’s streamlined EPA management hub, epaPRO.

We talked to Dannielle Murphy, Customer Relationship Manager at risr/ about what the risr/ assess platform is capable of, how it streamlines this key part of the apprentice journey, and what benefits epaPRO users will soon see from the risr/ and Skilltech partnership.

Dannielle, can you tell us about risr/?

risr/ has supported institutions and examining bodies in the medical field to deliver oral and written digital assessments for over a decade.

Our assessment platform, risr/ assess, supports the delivery of high-stakes exams for institutions such as the General Medical Council, the Australian Dental Council, and many other leading universities in the UK, EMEA, North America and Asia Pacific.

This means that we have a proven track record in providing a positive, reliable testing experience for candidates in high-stakes environments – and we can apply the same approach to EPA.

Why did you decide to expand into apprentice assessment?

Simply put, we saw certain issues that AOs were facing and, thanks to our experience in providing robust assessment technology for medical assessment, we’re confident that our system provides a level of consistency and quality assurance that didn’t exist in the apprenticeship market before now.

What problems did you identify?

AOs have typically been forced to use overcomplicated systems for multiple-choice question (MCQ) assessments and other performance based assessments, or even multiple systems for different elements of EPA. Not only does this create an admin burden for them, it also has a knock-on effect on the candidate and assessor experience too.

Using multiple systems for assessment introduces greater security risks and compliance hurdles. But it also means there’s been a real lack of standardisation in EPA which doesn’t make for a totally level playing field. Having to log into multiple different platforms makes it harder for assessors to be consistent across every single standard, and it’s also confusing for apprentices who may be thrown by an unfamiliar or complex log in process.

What has risr/ done to make the assessment process better?

We have focused on making the platform easy for assessors and apprentices to use. Our assessment and learning technology provides the flexibility to support oral, knowledge and practical tests both in-person and digitally, or a mix of both.

For apprentices, it provides a single point of access, offering a consistent and streamlined experience for all types of assessments required during their EPA.

For assessors, our technology allows them to seamlessly conduct assessments online or offline in the field. They can use a mobile device to mark assessments, document evidence, provide detailed observations, and capture performance. Notably, our technology ensures that the assessment is automatically synchronised—either immediately if the device is online or as soon as it reconnects to the internet. This feature is a first in the EPA market.

Ultimately, we’ve worked really hard to simplify overcomplicated assessment systems, while reducing the admin burden for AOs and improving the testing experience for candidates. Our work to date is already industry proven too: it is being used by Construction EPA to assess construction apprenticeships across the standards they offer and has been thus far been successful.

Why did the risr/ team want to work with Skilltech?

Both risr/ and Skilltech are innovators in our industries, and we both want to transform the apprenticeship assessment landscape. Having such similar aims made teaming-up a no-brainer.

We know that Skilltech has made great progress in both streamlining and centralising the EPA management experience, and that, by integrating, we could deliver an assessment platform within epaPRO that would absolutely help to achieve that goal as efficiently as possible.

That’s why we formed the ‘Revolutionising End-Point Assessment and Candidate Testing’ (REACT) taskforce.

What are your hopes for the REACT taskforce partnership?

We want to have a powerful and integrated platform that’s easy for apprentices to use and assessors to navigate.

The partnership with Skilltech presents a chance to establish a new benchmark for digital assessment, fostering increased standardisation in assessment formats. Our collaborative work aims to enhance the fairness, validity, and reliability of apprenticeship testing – all of which are crucial elements for effective assessment.

Seeing the previous work that Skilltech has done with its epaPRO platform, and revolutionising EPA management within the industry, we have high hopes that this partnership can do the same for apprentice assessment.

Lastly, how have you found working with Skilltech?

Working with Skilltech has been brilliant. Not only has our collaboration tangibly improved the apprenticeship experience in its short existence, but it has also laid the groundwork for future projects that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on our industry.

Ian Jarvis, Managing Director of Skilltech Solutions, said: “Skilltech Solutions has been looking for several years for an e-assessment solution that we felt was good enough for epaPRO. We are incredibly excited to have found risr/ and look forward to working with them to bring a solution that we believe will transform the end-point assessment landscape.”

The REACT Taskforce is a partnership between Skilltech Solutions and risr/ to embed risr/’s industry-leading assessment platform, risr/ assess, into epaPRO.

This partnership will strengthen epaPRO as a one-stop shop for end-point assessment delivery, creating a single, streamlined, universal platform that reduces admin burden, centralises management platforms, and improves the apprentice experience.

If you are an AO or training provider looking to improve your apprentice’s outcomes and give your EPA delivery teams a powerful, time-saving tool for EPA management, don’t hesitate to book a demo to see how it works.

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