New charging system comes in for external quality assurance (EQA) of end point assessments (EPA).The charge will allow the Institute to maintain the service on a sustainable basis.

The Institute has started charging for the external quality assurance (EQA), where it is the provider.

EQA evaluates the quality of end-point assessment (EPA) for apprenticeships.

Apprentices must pass the EPA to complete their apprenticeship, proving they are able to do their job to the high standards required.

The Institute has launched a charge of £40 per apprentice. The first invoices have now been sent out.

Nikki Christie, the Institute’s Deputy Director for Apprenticeship Assessment and Quality, said:

“Our priority is making sure apprentices and employers receive the high standard with apprenticeships assessment they deserve. As we explained in June, if we are to do that on a sustainable basis, we need to charge for the EQAs carried out by the Institute.”

It had been the position of government from the outset that the Institute should charge for delivery of EQA, where employers have nominated it as the provider.

Ms Christie said:

“We hadn’t charged previously to allow time for the system to bed in, but the time is now right to do this. We will make no profits from these charges, they will only recover our costs.”

For Background:

  • EQA can be carried out by a professional body, employer group, Ofqual or the Institute.
  • The Institute officially announced its intention to start charging for EQA in June this year. A decision was made to begin doing this from November, to allow more time for employers and training providers to prepare. Invoices have now been sent out.
  • Since January 2018, legislation has enabled the Institute to charge anything up to £56 per apprentice for its EQA service. The charge is an eligible cost as part of the conditions of being on the Register of EPAOs and other providers already charge for their service.
  • EQA is also an eligible cost in the ESFA funding rules for EPA organisations.
  • The £40 charge will only apply where employers have chosen the Institute as their EQA provider.
  • Charitable organisation Open Awards delivers EQA on behalf of the Institute.