Apprenticeship portfolios of evidence play a crucial role in end-point assessments (EPAs), enabling apprentices to systematically accumulate examples of their work, thereby demonstrating they have met the required standards. Portfolios are also important for training providers, who can prove through moderation that their EPA systems are robust and withstand scrutiny. With portfolios of evidence, both students and institutions can benefit from greater confidence and trust in the training course.
The Importance Of Communication
At the beginning of an apprenticeship, all parties – the employer, apprentice, and training provider – should ensure they understand the requirements of the apprenticeship standards.
Agreeing the division of time between desk-based learning and on-the-job training is essential, as is reviewing the assessment expectations. This will help to prevent miscommunications or misunderstandings later. Additionally, all parties should have access to the apprenticeship standards and any associated EPA requirements.
Planning The Portfolio of Evidence
Thorough planning of the portfolio from the earliest opportunity will improve the likelihood that the most appropriate and relevant items of evidence are selected for inclusion. There are several key principles that underpin effective portfolio planning:
- The apprentice should align the requirements of the portfolio to evidence from learning and practice so they can be clear about what is expected of them during their training.
- A draft plan will identify the evidence that could be included in the portfolio to ensure it can be captured promptly during the apprenticeship. It is always harder to collect evidence in retrospect.
- The employer and the training provider should provide input about the types of evidence that could be included in the portfolio, so that specific learning opportunities in the workplace can be planned.
Selecting The Right Evidence
From the outset, the apprentice should understand which types of evidence they can choose to include in their portfolio. Clear written guidance should be available via the apprenticeship assessment plan to support students in choosing the most suitable evidence. A streamlined approach to managing portfolio evidence is also useful to simplify the process and improve assessment.
Portfolio evidence takes many forms, including:
- Work-based reports
- Project plans
- Reflective journals
- Written assignments
- Oral presentations
- Photographs and videos
Accumulating huge quantities of general evidence is unnecessary, particularly if it doesn’t meet the established assessment criteria. Instead, evidence should showcase the achievements of the apprentice in line with the assessment standards. It should also model expected behaviours when the apprentice is working collaboratively with others in team situations.
Using EPAPro To Support Your End-Point Assessments
EPAPro is our flagship end-point assessment software and can actively support every aspect of your EPA process, including portfolio management. Evidence can be easily uploaded to the platform so that all stakeholders can access it quickly for review and moderation.
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