Following a number of concerns that the Apprenticeship system was overly complex, Trailblazer Groups were created in order to ensure the qualifications reflected industries real needs.
These trailblazer groups identify a set of knowledge, skills and behaviours which would represent their industry and set out an assessment strategy which culminates in a process called End Point Assessment.
- Stages of assessment identified through employer recommended activities and industry-recommended assessment strategies, both being part of the Apprenticeship and mandated within the standards.
- Training Organisations and Employers will be involved in the provision of on-programme training and formative assessment.
- Any off the job training needs will also be detailed in order that Apprentices acquire the mandatory knowledge qualifications for their industry, e.g Health and Safety Certificates.
- Apprentices who haven’t achieved their L2 English and maths qualifications will be required to attain a level identified as appropriate for their Apprenticeship, this being either GCSE or Level 1 or 2 Functional Skills in English and maths, according to industry requirements.
- Trailblazer Groups have identified mandatory on-programme learning and assessment, which Apprentices need to be complete, alongside the evidencing of each individual Apprentices’ ongoing achievements and personal development in line with the required industry knowledge.
- Only when Apprentices have acquired the identified mandatory knowledge qualifications, have demonstrated the appropriate level of English and maths, have evidenced their achievements and personal developments and have been on-programme for 12 months or more can they progress to the practical synoptic End Point Assessment stage.
- End Point Assessment involves the expertise of an Independent Assessor, who will agree a final, overall grade for each Apprentice.
End Point Assessment may take a number of forms, which are outlined within the each of the New Apprenticeship Standards. They range from multiple choice questions and case studies to workplace observations and one-to-one interviews.
One of the key aspects of the End Point Assessment is the identification of the developmental process undergone by learners. It is the evidencing of knowledge and skills and identification of core behaviours which have been developed during the 12 months plus duration of the Apprenticeship that require showcasing in a way in which both the learner and the End Point Assessor can identify and confidently trace an individual’s progression and achievement of Apprenticeship Standards.