This apprenticeship standard has been approved for delivery by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. However, starts on the apprenticeship will only be possible once a suitable end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) has obtained Ofqual recognition. Once the EPAO has obtained Ofqual recognition, funding for apprentice starts will be permitted and this message will be removed.

Key information

  1. Status: Approved for delivery
  2. Reference: ST1356
  3. Version: 1.0
  4. Level: 6
  5. Degree: integrated degree
  6. Typical duration to gateway: 60 months
  7. Typical EPA period: 9 months
  8. Maximum funding: £27000
  9. Route: Health and science
  10. Date updated: 16/10/2023
  11. Approved for delivery: 16 October 2023
  12. Lars code: 731
  13. EQA provider: Office for Students
  14. Example progression routes:
  15. Review:

    This apprenticeship standard will be reviewed after three years

Print apprenticeship summary

Apprenticeship summary

Overview of the role

To guide sustainable development and stewardship of the natural and built environment.

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in a wide range of sectors and environments. Typical settings can require the discovery, development and utilisation of natural resources, environmental protection or consideration of the built environment. Geoscientists work onshore and/ or offshore. They typically work for local authorities, government organisations, environmental consultancies, mining, quarrying, energy resources, water industry, multidisciplinary consultancies, ground investigation/engineering contractors and consultancies. Geoscientists may conduct their activities in an office, a laboratory, in the field or on site. 

The broad purpose of the occupation is to guide sustainable development and stewardship of the natural and built environment. Geoscientists evaluate earth systems and advise on the viable exploration, management, development, remediation, and storage of earth resources. This advice may relate to, minerals, water, aggregates, hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide and radioactive waste, housing development or infrastructure alignment. Geoscientists also advise on the mitigation and management of geohazards (for example, flooding, coastal erosion, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and landslides), the energy transition and alternative forms of energy that underpin the route to net zero carbon and sustainability. They may use engineering geology and geotechnical engineering approaches in activities that include land restoration, site investigations, geohazard assessment, waste disposal and the development of civil engineering infrastructure or construction activities.

Geoscientists investigate past climates to understand climate change and its impact on the environment and society. They manage and communicate potential risks and opportunities, with an awareness that the application of their expertise should be considered within a wider socioeconomic and environmental context. Geoscientists gather and analyse evidence to develop predictive models that assist resilience planning and safe development across a range of sectors. Data can be collected from examination of the ground surface, examination of past records (such as mapping and academic research), sub-surface investigation (for example, by drilling, probing and geophysical methods) followed by monitoring, examination and laboratory testing on the samples obtained.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with internal and external stakeholders at all levels. They are likely to deal with specialists such as scientists, engineers, other professionals, as well as project managers and society at large. Typical activities range from visiting sites to collect geological information, looking at the consistency of information collected to find anomalies and trends, for example, ore concentrations, soft ground, or contamination.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for working on projects in areas such as resource management, environmental conservation and sustainability, renewable energy, water management, and the natural and built environment. Geoscientists are responsible for conducting scientific investigations of the geological materials, processes and products of the past and present. They interpret data to assess risk, identify potential opportunities and influence and advise on present day decisions. This can inform policy direction and adaptation strategies for a changing climate. They are versed in the commercial, contractual, and legal aspect of the projects they support and manage, and they work in accordance with their employer’s processes, procedures and relevant professional and ethical standards. Geoscientists are likely to report to a senior geoscientist, manager, project managers, clients, or shareholders. They can be specialists within a business or work independently on a consultancy basis. Geoscientists will have a high level of autonomy and identify what balance of work is required for each project.

Typical job titles include:

Engineering geologist Exploration geologist Geo-environmental engineer Geochemist Geological engineer Geomorphologist Geophysicist Geoscientist Hydrogeologist Hydrologist Mine geologist Quarrying/industrial minerals geologist Resource geologist Sedimentologist Structural geologist

Duties

  • Duty 1 Manage and apply geoscience information to deliver outputs and support client and organisational objectives.
  • Duty 2 Conduct geoscientific assessments within multi-disciplinary projects.
  • Duty 3 Conduct research using tools and documents such as maps, remotely sensed imagery, existing data sets.
  • Duty 4 Develop preliminary geoscientific understanding of data using digital and non-digital methods.
  • Duty 5 Evaluate geoscientific representations to determine whether they are sufficient for project needs and identify gaps in data.
  • Duty 6 Design and conduct geoscientific investigations and produce predictive computer-based models.
  • Duty 7 Undertake and supervise relevant fieldwork activities, e.g., geological mapping, site investigation.
  • Duty 8 Update geoscientific representations using new information. Collect and correlate additional data to continue to develop understanding of project requirements.
  • Duty 9 Prepare factual and interpretative reports, figures, and diagrams.
  • Duty 10 Present findings and contribute to developing cost effective solutions and providing advice on possible geoscientific solutions.
  • Duty 11 Develop and follow health and safety plans to cover identified works.
  • Duty 12 Develop and maintain relationships, adapting communication style and format to different audiences.
  • Duty 13 Manage change and schedule programme activities to ensure projects are delivered on time and within budget.
  • Duty 14 Keep up to date with advances in working practices and technological developments, sharing good practice.

Apprenticeship summary

ST1356, geoscientist (integrated degree) level 6

This is a summary of the key things that you – the apprentice and your employer need to know about your end-point assessment (EPA). You and your employer should read the EPA plan for the full details. It has information on assessment method requirements, roles and responsibilities, and re-sits and re-takes.

What is an end-point assessment and why it happens

An EPA is an assessment at the end of your apprenticeship. It will assess you against the knowledge, skills, and behaviours (KSBs) in the occupational standard. Your training will cover the KSBs. The EPA is your opportunity to show an independent assessor how well you can carry out the occupation you have been trained for.

Your employer will choose an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) to deliver the EPA. Your employer and training provider should tell you what to expect and how to prepare for your EPA.

The length of the training for this apprenticeship is typically 60 months. The EPA period is typically 9 months.

The overall grades available for this apprenticeship are:

  • fail
  • pass
  • merit
  • distinction

When you pass the EPA, you will be awarded your apprenticeship certificate.

EPA gateway

The EPA gateway is when the EPAO checks and confirms that you have met any requirements required before you start the EPA. You will only enter the gateway when your employer says you are ready.

The gateway requirements for your EPA are:

  • achieved English and mathematics qualifications in line with the apprenticeship funding rules
  • for the professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence, you must submit a portfolio of evidence

  • passed any other qualifications listed in the occupational standard

For the geoscientist (integrated degree), the qualification required is:

Geoscience degree that fully aligns with the KSBs within the apprenticeship standard

Assessment methods


Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence

You will have a professional discussion with an independent assessor. It will last 90 minutes. They will ask you at least 8 questions. The questions will be about certain aspects of your occupation. You need to compile a portfolio of evidence before the EPA gateway. You can use it to help answer the questions.


Project with report

You will complete a project and write a report. You will be asked to complete a project. The title and scope must be agreed with the EPAO at the gateway. The report should be a maximum of 5500 words (with a 10% tolerance).

You will have 20 weeks to complete the project and submit the report to the EPAO.

You need to prepare and give a presentation to an independent assessor. Your presentation slides and any supporting materials should be submitted at the same time as the project output. The presentation with questions will last at least 60 minutes. The independent assessor will ask at least 8 questions about the project and presentation.

The EPAO will confirm where and when each assessment method will take place.

Who to contact for help or more information

You should speak to your employer if you have a query that relates to your job.

You should speak to your training provider if you have any questions about your training or EPA before it starts.

You should receive detailed information and support from the EPAO before the EPA starts. You should speak to them if you have any questions about your EPA once it has started.


Reasonable adjustments

If you have a disability, a physical or mental health condition or other special considerations, you may be able to have a reasonable adjustment that takes this into account. You should speak to your employer, training provider and EPAO and ask them what support you can get. The EPAO will decide if an adjustment is appropriate.


Professional recognition

This apprenticeship aligns with Geological Society of London for Fellow

Please contact the professional body for more details.

This apprenticeship aligns with The Science Council for Registered Scientist (RSci). Upon successful completion of the apprenticeship and upon receipt of the apprenticeship certificate, individuals are eligible to apply for RSci through a shortened application route. Individuals also need to be a member of a professional body that is licensed by the Science Council to be awarded this status. Further information is on the Science Council’s website.

Please contact the professional body for more details.

This apprenticeship aligns with Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining (IOM3) for Member (MIMMM) as Registered Scientist

Please contact the professional body for more details.

Print occupational standard

Details of the occupational standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in a wide range of sectors and environments. Typical settings can require the discovery, development and utilisation of natural resources, environmental protection or consideration of the built environment. Geoscientists work onshore and/ or offshore. They typically work for local authorities, government organisations, environmental consultancies, mining, quarrying, energy resources, water industry, multidisciplinary consultancies, ground investigation/engineering contractors and consultancies. Geoscientists may conduct their activities in an office, a laboratory, in the field or on site. 

The broad purpose of the occupation is to guide sustainable development and stewardship of the natural and built environment. Geoscientists evaluate earth systems and advise on the viable exploration, management, development, remediation, and storage of earth resources. This advice may relate to, minerals, water, aggregates, hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide and radioactive waste, housing development or infrastructure alignment. Geoscientists also advise on the mitigation and management of geohazards (for example, flooding, coastal erosion, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and landslides), the energy transition and alternative forms of energy that underpin the route to net zero carbon and sustainability. They may use engineering geology and geotechnical engineering approaches in activities that include land restoration, site investigations, geohazard assessment, waste disposal and the development of civil engineering infrastructure or construction activities.

Geoscientists investigate past climates to understand climate change and its impact on the environment and society. They manage and communicate potential risks and opportunities, with an awareness that the application of their expertise should be considered within a wider socioeconomic and environmental context. Geoscientists gather and analyse evidence to develop predictive models that assist resilience planning and safe development across a range of sectors. Data can be collected from examination of the ground surface, examination of past records (such as mapping and academic research), sub-surface investigation (for example, by drilling, probing and geophysical methods) followed by monitoring, examination and laboratory testing on the samples obtained.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with internal and external stakeholders at all levels. They are likely to deal with specialists such as scientists, engineers, other professionals, as well as project managers and society at large. Typical activities range from visiting sites to collect geological information, looking at the consistency of information collected to find anomalies and trends, for example, ore concentrations, soft ground, or contamination.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for working on projects in areas such as resource management, environmental conservation and sustainability, renewable energy, water management, and the natural and built environment. Geoscientists are responsible for conducting scientific investigations of the geological materials, processes and products of the past and present. They interpret data to assess risk, identify potential opportunities and influence and advise on present day decisions. This can inform policy direction and adaptation strategies for a changing climate. They are versed in the commercial, contractual, and legal aspect of the projects they support and manage, and they work in accordance with their employer’s processes, procedures and relevant professional and ethical standards. Geoscientists are likely to report to a senior geoscientist, manager, project managers, clients, or shareholders. They can be specialists within a business or work independently on a consultancy basis. Geoscientists will have a high level of autonomy and identify what balance of work is required for each project.

Typical job titles include:

Engineering geologist Exploration geologist Geo-environmental engineer Geochemist Geological engineer Geomorphologist Geophysicist Geoscientist Hydrogeologist Hydrologist Mine geologist Quarrying/industrial minerals geologist Resource geologist Sedimentologist Structural geologist

Occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Manage and apply geoscience information to deliver outputs and support client and organisational objectives.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K16 K17 K20 K22 K23 K24

S1 S2 S3 S5 S6 S7 S9 S10 S13 S14 S17 S18 S19

B1 B2 B3 B5 B6 B7 B8 B9 B10

Duty 2 Conduct geoscientific assessments within multi-disciplinary projects.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K20 K24

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S9 S10 S13 S14 S17 S18

B1 B2 B3 B5 B6 B7 B8 B9 B10

Duty 3 Conduct research using tools and documents such as maps, remotely sensed imagery, existing data sets.

K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K20 K24

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S9 S10 S13 S15 S17 S18

B1 B2 B3 B5 B6 B7 B9 B10

Duty 4 Develop preliminary geoscientific understanding of data using digital and non-digital methods.

K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K20 K24

S1 S2 S3 S5 S6 S7 S9 S10 S13 S18

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8 B9 B10

Duty 5 Evaluate geoscientific representations to determine whether they are sufficient for project needs and identify gaps in data.

K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K16 K20 K24

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S9 S10 S13 S18

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8 B9 B10

Duty 6 Design and conduct geoscientific investigations and produce predictive computer-based models.

K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K20 K24

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S9 S10 S13 S15 S17 S18

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8 B9 B10

Duty 7 Undertake and supervise relevant fieldwork activities, e.g., geological mapping, site investigation.

K4 K9 K15 K17 K20 K22 K23

S1 S2 S4 S5 S7 S8 S10 S13 S14 S15 S17 S18

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8 B9 B10

Duty 8 Update geoscientific representations using new information. Collect and correlate additional data to continue to develop understanding of project requirements.

K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K16 K20 K23 K24

S1 S2 S4 S5 S6 S7 S9 S10 S13 S15 S18

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B9 B10

Duty 9 Prepare factual and interpretative reports, figures, and diagrams.

K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K18 K20 K23 K24

S1 S2 S5 S6 S7 S9 S10 S11 S13 S14 S18 S19

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B9 B10

Duty 10 Present findings and contribute to developing cost effective solutions and providing advice on possible geoscientific solutions.

K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K18 K20 K21 K22 K23 K24

S1 S2 S5 S6 S7 S9 S10 S11 S13 S14 S18 S19

B1 B2 B3 B5 B6 B7 B9 B10

Duty 11 Develop and follow health and safety plans to cover identified works.

K9 K13 K15 K17 K18 K20 K22 K23

S5 S7 S8 S13 S14 S15 S17 S18

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8 B9 B10

Duty 12 Develop and maintain relationships, adapting communication style and format to different audiences.

K4 K18 K19 K22 K23

S2 S5 S11 S14 S16 S18 S19

B1 B2 B3 B5 B6 B8 B9 B10

Duty 13 Manage change and schedule programme activities to ensure projects are delivered on time and within budget.

K17 K20 K21 K22 K23

S1 S2 S5 S7 S8 S13 S15 S16 S17 S18 S19

B1 B2 B3 B5 B6 B7 B8 B9 B10

Duty 14 Keep up to date with advances in working practices and technological developments, sharing good practice.

K17 K18 K19 K20 K21 K23 K25

S1 S5 S7 S8 S10 S11 S12 S16 S17 S18 S19

B1 B2 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8 B10

KSBs

Knowledge

K1: Formation of the earth and the solar system and how this informs our understanding of planet earth. Back to Duty

K2: Earth layers, their movement, distribution of materials, composition and properties of materials and how this can be used to predict natural events. Back to Duty

K3: Petrography and petrology of rocks and minerals, including metamorphic processes, sedimentary processes and igneous processes. Back to Duty

K4: The role of modelling in earth system science. Back to Duty

K5: Earth surface processes, including superficial deposits, hydrology, geomorphology and the impact on landscape natural resources and natural hazards. Back to Duty

K6: Sub-surface processes, including hydrogeology, fluid flow, rock deformation and mechanics and how this informs 4D distribution of Earth materials, natural resources and natural hazards. Back to Duty

K7: Earth history, evolution and stratigraphy and how this can inform modelling and geoscientist predictions. Back to Duty

K8: Long term and anthropogenic climate change and how it can be influenced by the management and development of natural and renewable resources, and how this affects natural and human related geohazards. Back to Duty

K9: Applied geoscience, including engineering geology, geophysics, environmental geology, urban geology, mining geology. Back to Duty

K10: Socio-environmental global development frameworks (for example, UN Sustainable Development Goals) and the concepts of geoethics and environmental justice. Back to Duty

K11: Socio-economic, commercial and business principles relevant to the earth sciences. Back to Duty

K12: Global perspectives on the historical development of the geosciences and how these influence the approach of current practices and geopolitics. Back to Duty

K13: Coding to facilitate analysis, modelling and interpretation of Earth and other planetary systems across a range of scales. Back to Duty

K14: Creation, analysis and interpretation of geospatial data (including maps and cross-sections) in both digital and analogue formats, using appropriate professional software such as a Geographic Information System (GIS). Back to Duty

K15: Instrument-based investigation of the surface and sub-surface of the Earth, including drilling, remote sensing, geophysical and geochemical techniques. Back to Duty

K16: Handling of data and drawing conclusions, taking into account uncertainty and incomplete data. Back to Duty

K17: Health and safety risk, hazard and consequence definitions and how they apply to carrying out geoscientific tasks, including design. Back to Duty

K18: The importance of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), how it is managed within the employer and geoscientific community. Back to Duty

K19: The impact of exploitation of other cultures and geopolitical landscape. Back to Duty

K20: The implications, limitations and consequences of applying different geoscientific theories, paradigms, concepts and principles. Back to Duty

K21: Methods used to cost geoscientific projects, and the principles of cost management and control. Back to Duty

K22: How to establish the client brief, the form of contract and terms of engagement. Back to Duty

K23: Company procedures and policies and organisational objectives. Back to Duty

K24: Numerical, statistical, geostatistical and qualitative techniques in the evaluation of data and information. Back to Duty

K25: The importance of keeping up to date with advances in working practices and emerging technologies and how this can positively impact the wider business. Back to Duty

Skills

S1: Integrate and critically evaluate information from different sources to test findings and hypotheses. Back to Duty

S2: Consider, appraise and inform ground related issues to multidisciplinary teams. Back to Duty

S3: Define complex geoscience related problems, a strategy to understand the problem and evaluate possible solutions. For example: resource scarcity, foundations, sustainability energy supply. Back to Duty

S4: Test geological models to inform and design investigations. Back to Duty

S5: Plan, conduct and present independent geoscientific projects with appropriate guidance. Back to Duty

S6: Consider inconsistencies and uncertainty and gaps in data when developing geological models. Back to Duty

S7: Apply geoscientific theories, paradigms, concepts and principles. Back to Duty

S8: Conduct and supervise fieldwork, geoscience mapping and laboratory investigations as appropriate and in accordance with safe working practices and legal requirements. Back to Duty

S9: Apply appropriate numerical, statistical, geostatistical and qualitative techniques in the evaluation of data and information. Back to Duty

S10: Utilise digital technologies, instrumentation and remote sensing for the collection, analysis and modelling of data. Back to Duty

S11: Communicate relevant geoscience insights to external stakeholders using different formats and media. Back to Duty

S12: Evaluate personal strengths and weaknesses and develop personal development goals. Back to Duty

S13: Plan and organise own workload and contribute to the completion of geoscientific projects. Back to Duty

S14: Collaborate with stakeholders online, remotely and in person, using appropriate techniques. Back to Duty

S15: Carry out geoscientific site surveys independently across a range of environments. Back to Duty

S16: Keep up to date with advances in working practices and emerging technologies and disseminate learning across the organisation. Back to Duty

S17: Prepare geoscience risk assessments in accordance with associated legislation for health, safety and wellbeing. Back to Duty

S18: Apply equality, diversity and inclusivity good practice to inform decision making. Back to Duty

S19: Produce recommendations that align to client requirements and organisational objectives that demonstrate the application of ethical, environmental sustainability and compliance with relevant legislation. Back to Duty

Behaviours

B1: Act as a role model and advocate for ethical, social, environmental and sustainable professional practices. Back to Duty

B2: Collaborate and promote teamwork across disciplines. Back to Duty

B3: Adapt to and show resilience in challenging or changing situation. Back to Duty

B4: Commit to their own and supports others' professional development. Back to Duty

B5: Act as an advocate for equality, diversity, and inclusion. Back to Duty

B6: Act as a role model and advocate for health, safety and wellbeing. Back to Duty

B7: Reflect on the process of learning and evaluate personal strengths and weaknesses. Back to Duty

B8: Inspires, guides and motivates others. Back to Duty

B9: Takes responsibility for decisions, designs and procedures. Back to Duty

B10: Recognise and respect the views of others and acknowledges different perspectives. Back to Duty

Qualifications

English and Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Other mandatory qualifications

Geoscience degree that fully aligns with the KSBs within the apprenticeship standard

Level: 6 (integrated degree)

N/A

Professional recognition

This standard aligns with the following professional recognition:

  • Geological Society of London for Fellow
  • The Science Council for Registered Scientist (RSci). Upon successful completion of the apprenticeship and upon receipt of the apprenticeship certificate, individuals are eligible to apply for RSci through a shortened application route. Individuals also need to be a member of a professional body that is licensed by the Science Council to be awarded this status. Further information is on the Science Council’s website.
  • Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining (IOM3) for Member (MIMMM) as Registered Scientist
Print EPA plan

End-point assessment plan

V1.0

Introduction and overview

This document explains the requirements for end-point assessment (EPA) for the geoscientist (integrated degree) apprenticeship. End-point assessment organisations (EPAOs) must follow this when designing and delivering the EPA.

Geoscientist (integrated degree) apprentices, their employers and training provider should read this document.

A degree-apprenticeship awards a degree with the achievement of the apprenticeship. The degree learning outcomes must be aligned with the knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) in the apprenticeship. The degree must be completed, passed and awarded alongside the geoscientist (integrated degree) apprenticeship.

The apprentice must complete their training and meet the gateway requirements before starting their EPA. The EPA will assess occupational competence.

A degree-apprenticeship must be delivered by a Higher Education Provider (HEP) that is on the apprenticeship providers and assessment register (APAR). The selected HEP must be the training provider and the EPAO. The apprentice's employer must select a HEP from this register.

If the HEP is using a credit framework, the EPA must contribute to the total credit value, and must be delivered in line with this EPA plan. However, the number of credits devoted to EPA may vary across HEP’s. The recommended EPA contribution is 40 of the total credit value.

A full-time geoscientist (integrated degree) apprentice typically spends 60 months on-programme. The apprentice must spend at least 12 months on-programme and complete the required amount of off-the-job training in line with the apprenticeship funding rules.

This EPA should then be completed within an EPA period lasting typically 60 months.

Occupational competence is outlined by the EPA grade descriptors and determined, when assessed in line with this EPA plan, by an independent assessor who is an occupational expert and confirms the overall EPA grade.

This EPA has 2 assessment methods.

Assessment method 1 - professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence:

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

Assessment method 2 - project, presentation and questions:

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

The result from each assessment method is combined to decide the overall degree-apprenticeship grade. The following grades are available for the degree-apprenticeship:

  • fail
  • pass
  • merit
  • distinction

EPA summary table

On-programme - typically 60 months

The apprentice must:

  • complete training to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) outlined in this degree-apprenticeship’s occupational standard
  • complete training towards English and mathematics qualifications in line with the apprenticeship funding rules
  • work towards all required elements of the geoscientist (integrated degree) apprenticeship except undertaking the EPA.

The qualification required is:

Geoscience degree that fully aligns with the KSBs within the apprenticeship standard

  • compile a portfolio of evidence

End-point assessment gateway

The apprentice’s employer must be content that the apprentice has attained sufficient KSBs to complete the degree-apprenticeship.

The apprentice must:

  • confirm they are ready to take the EPA
  • have achieved English and mathematics qualifications in line with the apprenticeship funding rules

  • have completed and passed all required elements of the geoscientist (integrated degree) apprenticeship except the EPA

For the professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence, the apprentice must submit a portfolio of evidence.

The apprentice must submit the gateway evidence to their EPAO, including any organisation specific policies and procedures requested by the EPAO.

End-point assessment - typically 9 months

The grades available for each assessment method are below

Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence:

  • fail

  • pass

  • distinction

Project, presentation and questions:

  • fail

  • pass

  • distinction

Overall EPA and degree-apprenticeship can be graded:

    • fail
    • pass
    • merit
    • distinction

Professional recognition

This degree-apprenticeship aligns with:

  • Geological Society of London for Fellow

This degree-apprenticeship aligns with:

  • The Science Council for Registered Scientist (RSci). Upon successful completion of the apprenticeship and upon receipt of the apprenticeship certificate, individuals are eligible to apply for RSci through a shortened application route. Individuals also need to be a member of a professional body that is licensed by the Science Council to be awarded this status. Further information is on the Science Council’s website.

This degree-apprenticeship aligns with:

  • Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining (IOM3) for Member (MIMMM) as Registered Scientist

Re-sits and re-takes
  • Re-take and re-sit grade cap: pass
  • Re-sit timeframe: typically 2 months
  • Re-take timeframe: typically 4 months

Duration of end-point assessment period

The EPA is taken in the EPA period. The EPA period starts when the EPAO confirms the gateway requirements have been met and is typically 9 months.

The EPAO should confirm the gateway requirements have been met and start the EPA as quickly as possible.

EPA gateway

The apprentice’s employer must be content that the apprentice has attained sufficient KSBs to complete the degree-apprenticeship. The employer may take advice from the apprentice's training provider, but the employer must make the decision. The apprentice will then enter the gateway.

The apprentice must meet the gateway requirements before starting their EPA.

They must:

  • confirm they are ready to take the EPA
  • have achieved English and mathematics qualifications in line with the apprenticeship funding rules

  • have completed and passed all required elements of the Geoscience degree that fully aligns with the KSBs within the apprenticeship standard degree-apprenticeship except the EPA

  • submit a portfolio of evidence for the professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence

Portfolio of evidence requirements:

The apprentice must compile a portfolio of evidence during the on-programme period of the apprenticeship. It should only contain evidence related to the KSBs that will be assessed by this assessment method. It will typically contain 10 discrete pieces of evidence. Evidence must be mapped against the KSBs. Evidence may be used to demonstrate more than one KSB; a qualitative as opposed to quantitative approach is suggested.

Evidence sources may include:

  • workplace documentation and records, for example:
  • workplace policies and procedures
  • witness statements
  • annotated photographs
  • video clips (maximum total duration 10 minutes); the apprentice must be in view and identifiable

This is not a definitive list; other evidence sources can be included.

The portfolio of evidence should not include reflective accounts or any methods of self-assessment. Any employer contributions should focus on direct observation of performance (for example, witness statements) rather than opinions. The evidence provided should be valid and attributable to the apprentice; the portfolio of evidence should contain a statement from the employer and apprentice confirming this.

The EPAO should not assess the portfolio of evidence directly as it underpins the discussion. The independent assessor should review the portfolio of evidence to prepare questions for the discussion. They are not required to provide feedback after this review.

The apprentice must submit the gateway evidence to their EPAO, including any organisation specific policies and procedures requested by the EPAO.

Order of assessment methods

The assessment methods can be delivered in any order.

The result of one assessment method does not need to be known before starting the next.

Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence

Overview

In the professional discussion, an independent assessor and apprentice have a formal two-way conversation. It gives the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate the KSBs mapped to this assessment method.

The apprentice can refer to and illustrate their answers with evidence from their portfolio of evidence.

Rationale

This assessment method is being used because it:

  • allows the holistic assessment of KSBs
  • enables the independent assessor to draw on examples of work carried out by the apprentice
  • allows the use of the portfolio followed by questioning. This will assist the apprentice to amplify their examples and to demonstrate the work carried out
  • will enable the independent assessor to test underpinning knowledge and understanding
  • will enable the consistent assessment of activities that might be carried out in different locations at different times of the year
  • enables criteria to be assessed that would not occur regularly or would take too long to observe

Delivery

The professional discussion must be structured to give the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate the KSBs mapped to this assessment method to the highest available grade.

An independent assessor must conduct and assess the professional discussion.

It will include the following themes:

  • earth processes, materials, systems and cycles
  • application of investigation techniques
  • evaluation and analysis
  • equality, diversity and inclusion
  • communication and collaboration
  • professional development

The EPAO must give an apprentice 14 days' notice of the professional discussion.

The independent assessor must have at least 2 weeks to review the supporting documentation.

The apprentice must have access to their portfolio of evidence during the professional discussion.

The apprentice can refer to and illustrate their answers with evidence from their portfolio of evidence however, the portfolio of evidence is not directly assessed.

The professional discussion must last for 90 minutes. The independent assessor can increase the time of the professional discussion by up to 10%. This time is to allow the apprentice to respond to a question if necessary.

The independent assessor must ask at least 8 questions. The independent assessor must use the questions from the EPAO’s question bank or create their own questions in line with the EPAO’s training. Follow-up questions are allowed where clarification is required.

The independent assessor must make the grading decision.

The independent assessor must keep accurate records of the assessment. They must record:

  • the apprentice’s answers to questions
  • the KSBs demonstrated in answers to questions
  • the grade achieved 

Assessment location

The professional discussion must take place in a suitable venue selected by the EPAO for example, the EPAO’s or employer’s premises.

The professional discussion can be conducted by video conferencing. The EPAO must have processes in place to verify the identity of the apprentice and ensure the apprentice is not being aided.

The professional discussion should take place in a quiet room, free from distractions and influence.

Question and resource development

The EPAO must develop a purpose-built assessment specification and question bank. It is recommended this is done in consultation with employers of this occupation. The EPAO must maintain the security and confidentiality of EPA materials when consulting with employers. The assessment specification and question bank must be reviewed at least once a year to ensure they remain fit-for-purpose.

The assessment specification must be relevant to the occupation and demonstrate how to assess the KSBs mapped to this assessment method. The EPAO must ensure that questions are refined and developed to a high standard. The questions must be unpredictable. A question bank of sufficient size will support this.

The EPAO must ensure that the apprentice has a different set of questions in the case of re-sits or re-takes.

The EPAO must produce the following materials to support the professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence:

  • independent assessor assessment materials which include:
    • training materials
    • administration materials
    • moderation and standardisation materials
    • guidance materials
    • grading guidance
    • question bank
  • EPA guidance for the apprentice and the employer

The EPAO must ensure that the EPA materials are subject to quality assurance procedures including standardisation and moderation.

Project, presentation and questions

Overview

A project involves the apprentice completing a significant and defined piece of work that has a real business application and benefit. The project must meet the needs of the employer’s business and be relevant to the apprentice’s occupation and apprenticeship.

This assessment method has 2 components:

  • project with a project output

  • presentation with questions and answers

Together, these components give the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate the KSBs mapped to this assessment method. They are assessed by an independent assessor.

Rationale

This assessment method is being used because it:

  • enables the assessment of KSBs where the work cycle is too long to be reasonably observed
  • allows for a broad set of KSBs to be evidenced during the post-gateway period
  • can produce something that is of genuine business benefit to the apprentice’s employer
  • tests knowledge, skills and behaviours holistically, including the potential to assess a wide range of practical, analytical and interpretive skills, as well as the wider application of KSBs to real situations
  • assesses knowledge and skills in an occupation that cannot be directly observed in practice
  • the presentation element assesses presenting recommendations, interacting with others and the ability to structure information and the respond to questions
  • provides the opportunity to use authentic workplace contexts

Delivery

The apprentice must complete a project based on any of the following:

  • a work based geoscientific investigation/ project that allows the apprentice to demonstrate how the associated skills have been applied in the field in which the apprentice is employed
  • it will include the following themes:
    • project management
    • evaluation and analysis
    • commercial considerations
    • health and safety

To ensure the project allows the apprentice to meet the KSBs mapped to this assessment method to the highest available grade, the EPAO must sign-off the project’s title and scope at the gateway to confirm it is suitable. The EPAO must refer to the grading descriptors to ensure that projects are pitched appropriately.

The project output must be in the form of a report and presentation.

The apprentice must start the project after the gateway. The employer should ensure the apprentice has the time and resources, within the project period, to plan and complete their project.

The apprentice may work as part of a team to complete the project, which could include internal colleagues or technical experts. The apprentice must however, complete their project report and presentation unaided and they must be reflective of their own role and contribution. The apprentice and their employer must confirm this when the report and any presentation materials are submitted.

Component 1: Project report

The report must include at least:

1. An executive summary (or abstract).

2. An introduction describing the purpose.

3. An investigation/ project plan

4. The collation of data and information and identification of data sources.

5. Analysis and modelling.

6. Interpretation and evaluation.

7. Recommendations.

8. References.

9. Appendix containing mapping of KSBs to the report.

A project plan and title should be submitted to the EPAO within 3 weeks of gateway. The plan should contain a maximum of 500 words. The plan does form part of the overall word count of the final project.

The project report must have a word count of 5500 words. A tolerance of 10% above or below is allowed at the apprentice’s discretion. Appendices, references and diagrams are not included in this total. The apprentice must produce and include a mapping in an appendix, showing how the report evidences the KSBs mapped to this assessment method.

The apprentice must complete and submit the report and any presentation materials to the EPAO by the end of week 20 of the EPA period.

Component 2: Presentation with questions

The presentation with questions must be structured to give the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate the KSBs mapped to this assessment method to the highest available grade.

The apprentice must prepare and deliver a presentation to an independent assessor. After the presentation, the independent assessor must ask the apprentice questions about their project, report and presentation.

The presentation should cover:

  • an overview of the project
  • the project scope (including key performance indicators)
  • summary of actions undertaken by the apprentice
  • project outcomes and how these were achieved

The presentation with questions must last 60 minutes. This will typically include a presentation of 30 minutes and questioning lasting 30 minutes. The independent assessor must use the full time available for questioning. The independent assessor can increase the time of the presentation and questioning by up to 10%. This time is to allow the apprentice to complete their last point or respond to a question if necessary.

The independent assessor must ask at least 8 questions. They must use the questions from the EPAO’s question bank or create their own questions in line with the EPAO’s training. Follow up questions are allowed where clarification is required.

The purpose of the independent assessor's questions is:

  • to verify that the activity was completed by the apprentice
  • to seek clarification where required
  • to assess those KSBs that the apprentice did not have the opportunity to demonstrate with the report, although these should be kept to a minimum
  • to assess level of competence against the grading descriptors

The apprentice must submit any presentation materials to the EPAO at the same time as the report - by the end of week 20 of the EPA period. The apprentice must notify the EPAO, at that point, of any technical requirements for the presentation.

During the presentation, the apprentice must have access to:

  • audio-visual presentation equipment
  • flip chart and writing and drawing materials
  • computer

The independent assessor must have at least 2 weeks to review the project report and any presentation materials, to allow them to prepare questions.

The apprentice must be given at least 14 days’ notice of the presentation with questions.

Assessment decision

The independent assessor must make the grading decision. They must assess the project components holistically when deciding the grade.

The independent assessor must keep accurate records of the assessment. They must record:

  • the KSBs demonstrated in the report and presentation with questions
  • the apprentice’s answers to questions
  • the grade achieved

Assessment location

The presentation with questions must take place in a suitable venue selected by the EPAO for example, the EPAO’s or employer’s premises. It should take place in a quiet room, free from distractions and influence.

The presentation with questions can be conducted by video conferencing. The EPAO must have processes in place to verify the identity of the apprentice and ensure the apprentice is not being aided.

Question and resource development

The EPAO must develop a purpose-built assessment specification and question bank. It is recommended this is done in consultation with employers of this occupation. The EPAO must maintain the security and confidentiality of EPA materials when consulting with employers. The assessment specification and question bank must be reviewed at least once a year to ensure they remain fit-for-purpose.

The assessment specification must be relevant to the occupation and demonstrate how to assess the KSBs mapped to this assessment method. The EPAO must ensure that questions are refined and developed to a high standard. The questions must be unpredictable. A question bank of sufficient size will support this.

The EPAO must ensure that the apprentice has a different set of questions in the case of re-sits or re-takes.

EPAO must produce the following materials to support the project:

  • independent assessor EPA materials which include:
    • training materials
    • administration materials
    • moderation and standardisation materials
    • guidance materials
    • grading guidance
    • question bank
  • EPA guidance for the apprentice and the employer

The EPAO must ensure that the EPA materials are subject to quality assurance procedures including standardisation and moderation.

Grading

Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence

Fail - does not meet pass criteria

Theme
KSBs
Pass
Apprentices must demonstrate all of the pass descriptors
Distinction
Apprentices must demonstrate all of the pass descriptors and all of the distinction descriptors
Earth processes, materials, systems and cycles
K1 K2 K3 K5 K6 K7 K8 S7

Explains earth formation and analyses how metamorphic, sedimentary, and igneous processes have influenced earth history and surface processes and the impact these have had on sub surface landscape and natural resources. Analyses how earth history, evolution and stratigraphy can inform modelling and geoscientist predications. (K1, K3, K5, K7)

Explains 4D distribution of Earth materials and layers, the relationship between these and the distribution of materials, hydrology and rock deformation and evaluates how they can be used to predict natural events. (K2, K6)

Explains how applying geoscientific theories, paradigms, concepts and principles helps develop an understanding of climate change and how this affects natural and human related geohazards. (K8, S7)

 

Evaluates how rock forming processes influence earth layers, their movement, distribution of materials, composition and properties of materials. (K2, K3)

Application of investigation techniques
K9 K13 K14 K15 S8 S10 S15

Explains how they conduct geoscientific investigations and site surveys independently in a safe way, applying geoscientific methods to engineering geology, geophysics, environmental geology, urban geology, mining geology by utilising digital technologies and instrument-based investigation. (K9, K15, S8, S15)

Explains how they create, analyse and interpret geospatial data in both digital and analogue formats (including maps and cross-sections), by utilizing digital technologies and instrumentation and remote sensing tools. (K14, S10) 

Justifies how coding can facilitate analysis and interpretation of Earth and other planetary systems. (K13) 

 

Evaluates how professional software and legal requirements impact on geoscientific site surveys and how these facilitate or constrain the creation, analysis and interpretation of geospatial data. (K14, S8, S15)

Equality, diversity and inclusion
K10 K12 K18 K19 S18 B1 B5

Explains socio-environmental global development frameworks, how they have been influenced by the historical development of geoscience, exploitation of other cultures and why it is important to act as an advocate for ethical, social, environmental and sustainable professional practices (K10, K12, K19, B1)

Evaluates the importance of EDI in decision-making and why it is important to act as an advocate for equality, diversity, and inclusion (K18, S18, B5)

 

Evaluates how EDI influences their approach to current practices and geopolitics in geosciences. (K12, K18, S18)

Communication and collaboration
S2 S11 S14 B2

Evaluates how they collaborate with stakeholders to promote teamwork, when communicating ground related issues and relevant geoscientific insights to a variety of audiences both inside and outside the organisation, and to multidisciplinary teams via different in person formats and online media. (S2, S11, S14, B2)

Evaluates how online media impacts the way they communicate ground related issues to multidisciplinary teams. (S2, S11)

Professional development
K25 S12 S16 B4 B7

Evaluates personal strengths and weakness and the development of personal development goals. (S12, B7)

Evaluates how they keep up to date with advances in working practices and emerging technologies, how they disseminate the learning across the organisation to support the professional development of others and the impact this has on the organisation. (K25, S16, B4)

N/A

Project, presentation and questions

Fail - does not meet pass criteria

Theme
KSBs
Pass
Apprentices must demonstrate all of the pass descriptors
Distinction
Apprentices must demonstrate all of the pass descriptors and all of the distinction descriptors
Evaluation and analysis
K4 K16 K20 K24 S1 S3 S4 S6 S9

Analyses complex geoscience problems and defines strategies to help create solutions. Evaluates how earth system modelling can help define problems and solutions within their limitations, and the consequences of applying theories, paradigms, concepts, and principles. (K4, K20, S3)

Evaluates the role of numerical, statistical, geostatistical techniques and how they apply these techniques to draw conclusions, evaluate data, and test geological models and hypotheses to inform design investigations taking into account inconsistencies and uncertainty gaps. (K16, K24, S1, S4, S6, S9) 

 

Evaluates how they reconcile inconsistencies, uncertainty and gaps in data and how these affect the synthesis of models that inform the design of investigations. (K4, S4, S6)

Commercial
K11 K22 K23 S19 B9

Articulates how they develop a client brief which is incorporated into a contract, ensuring they apply all relevant socio-economic and business principles whist following company procedures to meet organisational objectives (K11, K22, K23)

Discusses how they produce ethical, environmentally sustainable recommendations that align with client responsibilities and organisational objectives. (S19, B9) 

 

Evaluates how they analyse client requirements when creating the client brief to produce ethical and environmentally sustainable recommendations that match the client brief and meet organisational objectives. (K22, S19)

Health and safety
K17 S17 B6

Articulates Health and Safety, risks and hazard definitions and applies these in the creation of a geoscience risk assessment. Evaluates how they act as a health and safety role model. (K17, S17, B6)

N/A

Project Management
K21 S5 S13 B3 B8 B10

Evaluates the approaches they apply when costing, planning and conducting geoscientific projects and how they motivate others and consider different perspectives in the overall final project approach. (K21, S5, B8, B10)

Explains how they deal with challenging/changing situations when organising a geoscientific project and evaluates how these may affect own workload and contribution to geoscientific projects. (S13, B3)

 

Analyses different costing and cost control methods, how these may need to be adapted in challenging/changing situations and how they impact the overall final project approach. (K21, B3) 

Overall EPA grading

Performance in the EPA determines the overall grade of:

  • fail

  • pass

  • merit

  • distinction

An independent assessor must individually grade the professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence, project and presentation and questions in line with this EPA plan.

The EPAO must combine the individual assessment method grades to determine the overall EPA grade.

If the apprentice fails one assessment method or more, they will be awarded an overall fail.

To achieve an overall pass, the apprentice must achieve at least a pass in all the assessment methods. If the apprentice fails either the professional discussion or the project, presentation and questions the resulting overall grade will be a fail. If they achieve a pass in both methods they will receive an overall pass grade. Achievement of a pass in one method and a distinction in one method results in an overall merit. To achieve an overall distinction, the apprentice will be required to achieve a distinction in both the professional discussion and the project, presentation and questions.

Grades from individual assessment methods must be combined in the following way to determine the grade of the EPA overall.

Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence Project, presentation and questions Overall Grading
Any grade Fail Fail
Fail Any grade Fail
Pass Pass Pass
Pass Distinction Merit
Distinction Pass Merit
Distinction Distinction Distinction

Re-sits and re-takes

If the apprentice fails one assessment method or more, they can take a re-sit or a re-take at their employer’s discretion. The apprentice’s employer needs to agree that a re-sit or re-take is appropriate. A re-sit does not need further learning, whereas a re-take does. The apprentice should have a supportive action plan to prepare for a re-sit or a re-take.

The employer and the EPAO should agree the timescale for a re-sit or re-take. A re-sit is typically taken within 2 months of the EPA outcome notification. The timescale for a re-take is dependent on how much re-training is required and is typically taken within 4 months of the EPA outcome notification.

If the apprentice fails the project assessment method, they must amend the project output in line with the independent assessor’s feedback. The apprentice will be given 8 weeks to rework and submit the amended report.

Failed assessment methods must be re-sat or re-taken within a 6-month period from the EPA outcome notification, otherwise the entire EPA will need to be re-sat or re-taken in full.

Re-sits and re-takes are not offered to an apprentice wishing to move from pass to a higher grade.

The apprentice will get a maximum EPA grade of pass for a re-sit or re-take, unless the EPAO determines there are exceptional circumstances.

Roles and responsibilities

Roles Responsibilities

Apprentice

As a minimum, the apprentice should:

  • complete on-programme training to meet the KSBs as outlined in the occupational standard for a minimum of 12 months
  • complete the required amount of off-the-job training specified by the apprenticeship funding rules and as arranged by the employer and training provider
  • understand the purpose and importance of EPA
  • prepare for and undertake the EPA including meeting all gateway requirements
  • ensure that all supporting evidence required at the gateway is submitted in line with this EPA plan

Employer

As a minimum, the apprentice's employer must:

  • select the EPAO and training provider
  • work with the training provider (where applicable) to support the apprentice in the workplace and to provide the opportunities for the apprentice to develop the KSBs
  • arrange and support off-the-job training to be undertaken by the apprentice 
  • decide when the apprentice is working at or above the occupational standard and is ready for EPA
  • ensure the apprentice is prepared for the EPA
  • ensure that all supporting evidence required at the gateway is submitted in line with this EPA plan
  • confirm arrangements with the EPAO for the EPA (who, when, where) in a timely manner
  • provide access to any employer-specific documentation as required for example, company policies
  • ensure that the EPA is scheduled with the EPAO for a date and time which allows appropriate opportunity for the apprentice to meet the KSBs
  • ensure the apprentice is given sufficient time away from regular duties to prepare for, and complete the EPA
  • ensure that any required supervision during the EPA period, as stated within this EPA plan, is in place
  • ensure the apprentice has access to the resources used to fulfil their role and carry out the EPA for workplace based assessments
  • remain independent from the delivery of the EPA
  • pass the certificate to the apprentice upon receipt from the EPAO

EPAO

As a minimum, the EPAO must:

  • conform to the requirements of this EPA plan and deliver its requirements in a timely manner
  • conform to the requirements of the RoEPAO
  • conform to the requirements of the external quality assurance provider (EQAP)
  • understand the apprenticeship including the occupational standard, EPA plan and funding
  • make all necessary contractual arrangements including agreeing the price of the EPA
  • develop and produce assessment materials including specifications and marking materials (for example mark schemes, practice materials, training material)
  • maintain and apply a policy for the declaration and management of conflict of interests and independence. This must ensure, as a minimum, there is no personal benefit or detriment for those delivering the EPA or from the result of an assessment. It must cover:
    • apprentices
    • employers
    • independent assessors
    • any other roles involved in delivery or grading of the EPA
  • have quality assurance systems and procedures that ensure fair, reliable and consistent assessment and maintain records of internal quality assurance (IQA) activity for external quality assurance (EQA) purposes
  • appoint independent, competent, and suitably qualified assessors in line with the requirements of this EPA plan
  • appoint administrators, invigilators and any other roles where required to facilitate the EPA
  • deliver induction, initial and on-going training for all their independent assessors and any other roles involved in the delivery or grading of the EPA as specified within this EPA plan. This should include how to record the rationale and evidence for grading decisions where required 
  • conduct standardisation with all their independent assessors before allowing them to deliver an EPA, when the EPA is updated, and at least once a year 
  • conduct moderation of all their independent assessors decisions once EPAs have started 
  • monitor the performance of all their independent assessors and provide re-training where necessary 
  • develop and provide assessment recording documentation to ensure a clear and auditable process is in place for providing assessment decisions and feedback to all relevant stakeholders 
  • use language in the development and delivery of the EPA that is appropriate to the level of the apprenticeship
  • arrange for the EPA to take place in a timely manner, in consultation with the employer
  • provide information, advice, and guidance documentation to enable apprentices, employers and training providers to prepare for the EPA
  • confirm the gateway requirements have been met before they start the EPA for an apprentice
  • host and facilitate the EPA or make suitable alternative arrangements
  • maintain the security of the EPA including, but not limited to, verifying the identity of the apprentice, invigilation and security of materials
  • where the EPA plan permits assessment away from the workplace, ensure that the apprentice has access to the required resources and liaise with the employer to agree this if necessary
  • confirm overall grade awarded
  • arrange the certification of the apprenticeship
  • maintain and apply a policy for conducting appeals

Independent assessor

As a minimum, an independent assessor must: 

  • be independent, with no conflict of interest with the apprentice, their employer or training provider, specifically, they must not receive a personal benefit or detriment from the result of the assessment
  • have, maintain and be able to evidence up-to-date knowledge and expertise of the occupation
  • have the competence to assess the EPA and meet the requirements of the IQA section of this EPA plan
  • understand the apprenticeship’s occupational standard and EPA plan
  • attend induction and standardisation events before they conduct an EPA for the first time, when the EPA is updated, and at least once a year
  • use language in the delivery of the EPA that is appropriate to the level of the apprenticeship
  • work with other personnel, including additional assessors where used, in the preparation and delivery of assessment methods
  • conduct the EPA to assess the apprentice against the KSBs and in line with the EPA plan
  • make final grading decisions in line with this EPA plan
  • record and report assessment outcome decisions
  • comply with the IQA requirements of the EPAO
  • comply with external quality assurance (EQA) requirements

Training provider

As a minimum, the training provider must: 

  • conform to the requirements of the register of apprenticeship training providers (RoATP)
  • ensure procedures are in place to mitigate against any conflict of interest
  • work with the employer and support the apprentice during the off-the-job training to provide the opportunities to develop the KSBs as outlined in the occupational standard
  • deliver training to the apprentice as outlined in their apprenticeship agreement
  • monitor the apprentice’s progress during any training provider led on-programme learning
  • ensure the apprentice is prepared for the EPA
  • advise the employer, upon request, on the apprentice’s readiness for EPA
  • ensure that all supporting evidence required at the gateway is submitted in line with this EPA plan
  • remain independent from the delivery of the EPA

Reasonable adjustments

The EPAO must have reasonable adjustments arrangements for the EPA.

This should include:

  • how an apprentice qualifies for reasonable adjustment
  • what reasonable adjustments may be made

Adjustments must maintain the validity, reliability and integrity of the EPA as outlined in this EPA plan.

Internal quality assurance

Internal quality assurance refers to the strategies, policies and procedures that EPAOs must have in place to ensure valid, consistent and reliable end-point assessment decisions.

EPAOs for this EPA must adhere to all requirements within the roles and responsibilities table and:

  • appoint independent assessors who also:
    • have relevant experience of the occupation to at least occupational level 6 gained in the last 5 years

Value for money

Affordability of the EPA will be aided by using at least some of the following:

  • utilising digital remote platforms to conduct applicable assessment methods
  • using the employer’s premises
  • conducting assessment methods on the same day

Professional recognition

This degree-apprenticeship aligns with:

  • Geological Society of London for Fellow

This degree-apprenticeship aligns with:

  • The Science Council for Registered Scientist (RSci). Upon successful completion of the apprenticeship and upon receipt of the apprenticeship certificate, individuals are eligible to apply for RSci through a shortened application route. Individuals also need to be a member of a professional body that is licensed by the Science Council to be awarded this status. Further information is on the Science Council’s website.

This degree-apprenticeship aligns with:

  • Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining (IOM3) for Member (MIMMM) as Registered Scientist

KSB mapping table

Knowledge Assessment methods
K1

Formation of the earth and the solar system and how this informs our understanding of planet earth.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K2

Earth layers, their movement, distribution of materials, composition and properties of materials and how this can be used to predict natural events.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K3

Petrography and petrology of rocks and minerals, including metamorphic processes, sedimentary processes and igneous processes.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K4

The role of modelling in earth system science.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
K5

Earth surface processes, including superficial deposits, hydrology, geomorphology and the impact on landscape natural resources and natural hazards.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K6

Sub-surface processes, including hydrogeology, fluid flow, rock deformation and mechanics and how this informs 4D distribution of Earth materials, natural resources and natural hazards.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K7

Earth history, evolution and stratigraphy and how this can inform modelling and geoscientist predictions.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K8

Long term and anthropogenic climate change and how it can be influenced by the management and development of natural and renewable resources, and how this affects natural and human related geohazards.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K9

Applied geoscience, including engineering geology, geophysics, environmental geology, urban geology, mining geology.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K10

Socio-environmental global development frameworks (for example, UN Sustainable Development Goals) and the concepts of geoethics and environmental justice.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K11

Socio-economic, commercial and business principles relevant to the earth sciences.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
K12

Global perspectives on the historical development of the geosciences and how these influence the approach of current practices and geopolitics.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K13

Coding to facilitate analysis, modelling and interpretation of Earth and other planetary systems across a range of scales.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K14

Creation, analysis and interpretation of geospatial data (including maps and cross-sections) in both digital and analogue formats, using appropriate professional software such as a Geographic Information System (GIS).

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K15

Instrument-based investigation of the surface and sub-surface of the Earth, including drilling, remote sensing, geophysical and geochemical techniques.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K16

Handling of data and drawing conclusions, taking into account uncertainty and incomplete data.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
K17

Health and safety risk, hazard and consequence definitions and how they apply to carrying out geoscientific tasks, including design.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
K18

The importance of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), how it is managed within the employer and geoscientific community.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K19

The impact of exploitation of other cultures and geopolitical landscape.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K20

The implications, limitations and consequences of applying different geoscientific theories, paradigms, concepts and principles.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
K21

Methods used to cost geoscientific projects, and the principles of cost management and control.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
K22

How to establish the client brief, the form of contract and terms of engagement.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
K23

Company procedures and policies and organisational objectives.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
K24

Numerical, statistical, geostatistical and qualitative techniques in the evaluation of data and information.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
K25

The importance of keeping up to date with advances in working practices and emerging technologies and how this can positively impact the wider business.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
Skill Assessment methods
S1

Integrate and critically evaluate information from different sources to test findings and hypotheses.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
S2

Consider, appraise and inform ground related issues to multidisciplinary teams.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
S3

Define complex geoscience related problems, a strategy to understand the problem and evaluate possible solutions. For example: resource scarcity, foundations, sustainability energy supply.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
S4

Test geological models to inform and design investigations.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
S5

Plan, conduct and present independent geoscientific projects with appropriate guidance.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
S6

Consider inconsistencies and uncertainty and gaps in data when developing geological models.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
S7

Apply geoscientific theories, paradigms, concepts and principles.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
S8

Conduct and supervise fieldwork, geoscience mapping and laboratory investigations as appropriate and in accordance with safe working practices and legal requirements.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
S9

Apply appropriate numerical, statistical, geostatistical and qualitative techniques in the evaluation of data and information.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
S10

Utilise digital technologies, instrumentation and remote sensing for the collection, analysis and modelling of data.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
S11

Communicate relevant geoscience insights to external stakeholders using different formats and media.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
S12

Evaluate personal strengths and weaknesses and develop personal development goals.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
S13

Plan and organise own workload and contribute to the completion of geoscientific projects.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
S14

Collaborate with stakeholders online, remotely and in person, using appropriate techniques.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
S15

Carry out geoscientific site surveys independently across a range of environments.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
S16

Keep up to date with advances in working practices and emerging technologies and disseminate learning across the organisation.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
S17

Prepare geoscience risk assessments in accordance with associated legislation for health, safety and wellbeing.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
S18

Apply equality, diversity and inclusivity good practice to inform decision making.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
S19

Produce recommendations that align to client requirements and organisational objectives that demonstrate the application of ethical, environmental sustainability and compliance with relevant legislation.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
Behaviour Assessment methods
B1

Act as a role model and advocate for ethical, social, environmental and sustainable professional practices.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
B2

Collaborate and promote teamwork across disciplines.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
B3

Adapt to and show resilience in challenging or changing situation.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
B4

Commit to their own and supports others' professional development.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
B5

Act as an advocate for equality, diversity, and inclusion.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
B6

Act as a role model and advocate for health, safety and wellbeing.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
B7

Reflect on the process of learning and evaluate personal strengths and weaknesses.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
B8

Inspires, guides and motivates others.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
B9

Takes responsibility for decisions, designs and procedures.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
B10

Recognise and respect the views of others and acknowledges different perspectives.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions

Mapping of KSBs to grade themes

Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence

KSBS GROUPED BY THEME Knowledge Skills Behaviour
Earth processes, materials, systems and cycles
K1 K2 K3 K5 K6 K7 K8
S7

Formation of the earth and the solar system and how this informs our understanding of planet earth. (K1)

Earth layers, their movement, distribution of materials, composition and properties of materials and how this can be used to predict natural events. (K2)

Petrography and petrology of rocks and minerals, including metamorphic processes, sedimentary processes and igneous processes. (K3)

Earth surface processes, including superficial deposits, hydrology, geomorphology and the impact on landscape natural resources and natural hazards. (K5)

Sub-surface processes, including hydrogeology, fluid flow, rock deformation and mechanics and how this informs 4D distribution of Earth materials, natural resources and natural hazards. (K6)

Earth history, evolution and stratigraphy and how this can inform modelling and geoscientist predictions. (K7)

Long term and anthropogenic climate change and how it can be influenced by the management and development of natural and renewable resources, and how this affects natural and human related geohazards. (K8)

Apply geoscientific theories, paradigms, concepts and principles. (S7)

None

Application of investigation techniques
K9 K13 K14 K15
S8 S10 S15

Applied geoscience, including engineering geology, geophysics, environmental geology, urban geology, mining geology. (K9)

Coding to facilitate analysis, modelling and interpretation of Earth and other planetary systems across a range of scales. (K13)

Creation, analysis and interpretation of geospatial data (including maps and cross-sections) in both digital and analogue formats, using appropriate professional software such as a Geographic Information System (GIS). (K14)

Instrument-based investigation of the surface and sub-surface of the Earth, including drilling, remote sensing, geophysical and geochemical techniques. (K15)

Conduct and supervise fieldwork, geoscience mapping and laboratory investigations as appropriate and in accordance with safe working practices and legal requirements. (S8)

Utilise digital technologies, instrumentation and remote sensing for the collection, analysis and modelling of data. (S10)

Carry out geoscientific site surveys independently across a range of environments. (S15)

None

Equality, diversity and inclusion
K10 K12 K18 K19
S18
B1 B5

Socio-environmental global development frameworks (for example, UN Sustainable Development Goals) and the concepts of geoethics and environmental justice. (K10)

Global perspectives on the historical development of the geosciences and how these influence the approach of current practices and geopolitics. (K12)

The importance of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), how it is managed within the employer and geoscientific community. (K18)

The impact of exploitation of other cultures and geopolitical landscape. (K19)

Apply equality, diversity and inclusivity good practice to inform decision making. (S18)

Act as a role model and advocate for ethical, social, environmental and sustainable professional practices. (B1)

Act as an advocate for equality, diversity, and inclusion. (B5)

Communication and collaboration

S2 S11 S14
B2

None

Consider, appraise and inform ground related issues to multidisciplinary teams. (S2)

Communicate relevant geoscience insights to external stakeholders using different formats and media. (S11)

Collaborate with stakeholders online, remotely and in person, using appropriate techniques. (S14)

Collaborate and promote teamwork across disciplines. (B2)

Professional development
K25
S12 S16
B4 B7

The importance of keeping up to date with advances in working practices and emerging technologies and how this can positively impact the wider business. (K25)

Evaluate personal strengths and weaknesses and develop personal development goals. (S12)

Keep up to date with advances in working practices and emerging technologies and disseminate learning across the organisation. (S16)

Commit to their own and supports others' professional development. (B4)

Reflect on the process of learning and evaluate personal strengths and weaknesses. (B7)

Project, presentation and questions

KSBS GROUPED BY THEME Knowledge Skills Behaviour
Evaluation and analysis
K4 K16 K20 K24
S1 S3 S4 S6 S9

The role of modelling in earth system science. (K4)

Handling of data and drawing conclusions, taking into account uncertainty and incomplete data. (K16)

The implications, limitations and consequences of applying different geoscientific theories, paradigms, concepts and principles. (K20)

Numerical, statistical, geostatistical and qualitative techniques in the evaluation of data and information. (K24)

Integrate and critically evaluate information from different sources to test findings and hypotheses. (S1)

Define complex geoscience related problems, a strategy to understand the problem and evaluate possible solutions. For example: resource scarcity, foundations, sustainability energy supply. (S3)

Test geological models to inform and design investigations. (S4)

Consider inconsistencies and uncertainty and gaps in data when developing geological models. (S6)

Apply appropriate numerical, statistical, geostatistical and qualitative techniques in the evaluation of data and information. (S9)

None

Commercial
K11 K22 K23
S19
B9

Socio-economic, commercial and business principles relevant to the earth sciences. (K11)

How to establish the client brief, the form of contract and terms of engagement. (K22)

Company procedures and policies and organisational objectives. (K23)

Produce recommendations that align to client requirements and organisational objectives that demonstrate the application of ethical, environmental sustainability and compliance with relevant legislation. (S19)

Takes responsibility for decisions, designs and procedures. (B9)

Health and safety
K17
S17
B6

Health and safety risk, hazard and consequence definitions and how they apply to carrying out geoscientific tasks, including design. (K17)

Prepare geoscience risk assessments in accordance with associated legislation for health, safety and wellbeing. (S17)

Act as a role model and advocate for health, safety and wellbeing. (B6)

Project Management
K21
S5 S13
B3 B8 B10

Methods used to cost geoscientific projects, and the principles of cost management and control. (K21)

Plan, conduct and present independent geoscientific projects with appropriate guidance. (S5)

Plan and organise own workload and contribute to the completion of geoscientific projects. (S13)

Adapt to and show resilience in challenging or changing situation. (B3)

Inspires, guides and motivates others. (B8)

Recognise and respect the views of others and acknowledges different perspectives. (B10)

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Employers involved in creating the standard: Aecom, Angmering Secondary School, Atkins, BAM Nuttall, British Geological Survey, Cathie Group, Collyer's College, Cornish Lithium, Derby University, Equipe Group, Freelance Geotechnics, GDS Instruments, Geological Society of London, Geoquip, Hanson, Idris Consulting Limited, Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining, Jacobs, Jomas Associates, Land Quality Management , Maven Energy Services Ltd, PetroStrat, PL Projects, University of Portsmouth, Scottish Power, Socotec, Stantec, Tarmac, University of Newcastle, Wardell Armstrong

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.0 Approved for delivery 16/10/2023 Not set Not set

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