External quality assurance of apprenticeships – expanded role for Ofqual confirmed

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education has today (4 August 2020) published its consultation outcomes which confirm the arrangements to simplify the External Quality Assurance (EQA) of apprenticeship End Point Assessments.

Under the new arrangements, EQA will be delivered by Ofqual and the Office for Students, in alignment with the Institute’s framework.

Sally Collier, Chief Regulator, Ofqual, said: “We welcome the decision to expand our role in the provision of EQA for apprenticeship End Point Assessments, and look forward to building on our existing approach.

“We will act on the feedback from the Institute’s consultation, and ensure that we proactively engage with end point assessment organisations (EPAOs) so that they understand our requirements.

“We welcome the opportunity to work in partnership with professional bodies through the new arrangements, and we value the perspective and insight that occupational expertise brings. Drawing on this is something we have been doing successfully across a range of qualifications for some time.

“We hope that the new arrangements will provide clarity and consistency for EPAOs and increase confidence in the apprenticeship system.”

The transfer of additional EQA delivery to Ofqual will  mean some changes for EPAOs. Those who are not yet regulated will need to apply for recognition, and those who are already recognised will need to agree their increased range of regulated EPAs. We will contact EPAOs shortly to explain how and when they should apply.

There will be a transition period of 2 years as we implement these changes. We will work closely with the Institute, Open Awards and the other EQA providers through this period, building carefully on the work that they have done to-date to ensure a smooth handover process.

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