End Point Assessments – what are they and how do they work?

End Point Assessments – what are they and how do they work?

At the end of every apprenticeship, there are end point assessments. Also known as EPA’s, this is where an apprentice can show everything they have learned during their apprenticeships to the assessor.

EPA’s can also give the apprentice a chance to see how they have progressed, what they have learnt and where the apprenticeship can take them. EPA’s do differ depending on the qualification completed, but all lead to the same destination, gaining an apprenticeship!

How are EPA’s assessed?

Before apprenticeship standards were introduced, frameworks were used in all apprenticeships. Frameworks were assessed throughout the qualification on a continuous basis, mainly through portfolios. Yet this didn’t successfully show if the candidate was able to take everything onboard or understand the role. Now, every apprentice has to complete an EPA and/or synoptic project that will show everything they have learnt. This can be from knowledge to skills.

What is a Synoptic Project?

The synoptic project is a chance for an apprentice to show the practical skills gained over the course of the apprenticeship. There are a range of assessment methods including:

  • practical assessment/project
  • interview
  • written and/or multiple choice tests
  • presentation or sales pitch

There is a good deal more involved in EPAs as they involve the whole apprenticeship process. What do our top 3 apprenticeship EPAs include?

Assessment Methods

Employer Reference

The training provider and assessors will require a reference from the employer to complete the apprenticeship. This is to confirm that the apprentice has been completing their qualification and how they have been progressing.

Functional Skills

If the apprentice wasn’t able to achieve GCSEs in Maths and English, they will be required to complete Functional Skills Level 2. This will be equivalent to GCSE Level.

interview with an independent end-point assessor (IEPA)

The final assessment is an interview conducted by an independent assessor. This must be with someone who is not affiliated with the employer or apprentice. Questions will be regarding coursework, synoptic project etc.


Apprentices will achieve an overall grade, Distinction, Pass or Fail for their End-Point Assessment. For an apprentice to gain a minimum Pass, they will need to achieve all pass criteria. For an apprentice to gain a Distinction, all Pass and Distinction criteria must be met.

Business Administration Assessments Method​

Knowledge Test

Apprentices will be given 60 minutes to answer 50 multiple choice questions. This test is delivered online and will be invigilated by an NEPA representative.

Portfolio-Based Interview

The apprentice’s portfolio will provide the structure to the interview, therefor the apprentice will need to discuss their performance over the apprenticeship. The interview should last between 30-45 minutes and will be scored out of 100.

Project Presentation

The apprentice will deliver a presentation on a project or process they have improved. The presentation will last 15 minutes and will be followed by a 15 minute Q&A.

Digital Marketing Assessments Method

Summative portfolio

The apprentice’s portfolio will cover and show different aspects that the apprentice has covered through working with the employer. 3-5 projects will be required which can include any marketing material during time with the employer. To achieve the best results, apprentices are given targets and subjects to complete.

Multiple choice Exams

Digital Marketing Apprentices are required to complete multiple choice exams. These are done after every module is completed. These are to ensure that the apprentice has taken everything on board. Apprentices will need to have 80% to pass each exam.

Synoptic Project

Near the end of the apprenticeship, the candidate will be required to complete a project, giving the apprentice chance to show everything they have learnt. Depending on the governing body, the apprentice can be given a choice of projects to complete. This will require the apprentice to be away from the office or in another location.

Information Communication Technician Assessments Method

Professional discussion underpinned by portfolio

This assessment will take the form of a professional discussion appropriately structured to draw out the best of the apprentice’s competence. It will involve questions that will focus on the knowledge, skills and behaviours mapped to this method of assessment. A portfolio of evidence containing examples of work sufficient to show the apprentice can apply the knowledge, skills and behaviours mapped to the professional discussion is submitted. The portfolio is not directly assessed, it underpins the professional discussion.

Project report with questioning

This is a practical assessment during which the apprentice will demonstrate the KSBs assigned to this assessment method based on a post-gateway work-based project. Therefore, the project’s subject, title and scope will be agreed between the employer and the EPAO. The employer will ensure that it has a real business application and the EPAO will ensure that it meets the requirements of the EPA (including suitable coverage of the KSBs assigned to this assessment method).

Synoptic Projects – How to prepare

If there is a synoptic project included in the apprenticeship, it is crucial to prepare! This is a chance to put everything that has been learned into place, so being ready will give you the upper hand. Tips to take into consideration include:

  • Read over the project – You will receive an outline of the project(s) you will be tasked to complete. This can give you a chance to understand what the project is and what the assessor is looking for. You will then be sent all the documents on the morning that your synoptic project is to start. Take notes and set a timeline of when to complete certain tasks. This will give you a better chance of knowing what you will need to do.
  • Set Up – Ensure that you are set for the project. Check that you have the right software, tools/equipment and a quiet location. Many now allow you to complete your synoptic project from home, but stay away from any distractions such as TV, consoles etc.
  • Make it your own – It can be easy to read to much into it and start to panic, so remember to enjoy yourself and make it your own. This project is for you to show your side and what you have learned. It will give you a chance to show both yourself and the assessor how far you have come.


Apprenticeships include a lot more than just work experience. End Point Assessments are vital to ensure that the apprentice learns everything they can to pursue a full-time career in that sector. Plus, it shows the apprentice what they are capable of and what they can achieve.

How 360 Apprenticeships can help

Whether you are looking to an apprentice or start your apprenticeship journey, 360 Apprenticeships can help. We provide a free service from first point of contact to the successful placement of each apprentice. Every apprentice who is successful will only be placed with the best training providers (Graded 1 and/or 2 by Ofsted) so you know that everyone is in safe hands.

You can find out more regarding the apprenticeship scheme on our website. To speak to one of our recruiters directly, you can contact us on:

0161 4644805

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