Key information

  1. Status: Approved for delivery
  2. Reference: ST0539
  3. Version: 1.1
  4. Level: 3
  5. Typical duration to gateway: 18 months
  6. Typical EPA period: 3 months
  7. Maximum funding: £9000
  8. Route: Transport and logistics
  9. Date updated: 18/09/2023
  10. Approved for delivery: 20 April 2018
  11. Lars code: 264
  12. EQA provider: Ofqual
  13. Review: this apprenticeship will be reviewed in accordance with our change request policy.

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Apprenticeship summary

Overview of the role

Helping organise large-scale freight imports and exports.

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in the UK and across the world in the freight services industry. Freight forwarding organisations deal with both imports and exports and are found exclusively in the private sector. They are concentrated at or near airports, seaports, distribution centres and inland customs clearance facilities. These businesses vary in size and in the number of employees they have, ranging from small, single site, freight forwarding businesses serving a small number of clients, through medium-sized companies with a number of UK locations and multiple clients, to divisions of large European or global logistics companies serving a large, diverse customer base.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to support the movement of goods between countries. Freight forwarding specialists book shipments and prepare the documentation required to move goods in and out of the UK and countries anywhere in the world. They ensure that the goods are shipped in accordance with all relevant customs and regulatory regimes. Shipments are organised and booked using online systems and electronic and paper documentation which has to accompany the goods, is prepared. They use in-house IT systems and on-line sources to find information about relevant customs rules, regulations and terms of trade. They escalate problems and issues to senior staff in their organisation. This ensures that the company they work for and their clients remain compliant with all applicable customs, import and export laws and regulations. This is an office-based role, mostly in normal working hours, but with occasional work outside those hours.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with colleagues in their own company, their customers and also with staff in a range of private sector organisations in the UK and abroad. This includes handling agents, ports agents, hauliers and shipping lines. They may also deal directly with staff from public sector organisations such as government departments and customs and revenue services.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for making the shipment bookings required to move customers goods internationally and within the UK. They identify, choose and book the most appropriate transport services (air, ocean, road and rail) to undertake the journey. International freight forwarding is often a balancing act between time, cost and environmental concerns. Other responsibilities include the monitoring of the progress of shipments, dealing with the consequences of delays, preparing and submitting sales quotations for international shipments and preparing invoices in compliance with international trade rules. Effective communication with customers ensures that they are kept informed of the progress of shipments. Most freight forwarding specialists work as part of small teams. Typically they will move regularly between duties in the occupation, for example customs entry or invoicing. In this way they gain experience across all aspects of the occupation. This is most common in large companies while in small organisations they may work on all aspects of the occupation at the same time. They work with colleagues to prepare and check documents and if they identify issues and risks, they will escalate them to the appropriate person in their company. All International freight forwarding specialists have direct responsibility for goods in transit across the UK (for instance from a warehouse to the channel tunnel, port or airport). Foreign transit is very complex due to the different rules and systems in force in each country around the world. Therefore, when goods are in transit abroad, a person in this occupation will typically specialise in either air freight, ocean freight or international road freight. This means that, in some cases, an international freight forwarding specialist will be personally responsible for the transit of goods from start to finish; but in instances where multi-modal transport is needed, they will more typically need to liaise with others in the team to provide handovers and ensure a seamless journey. This Apprenticeship Occupational Standard therefore takes a core and options approach. All apprentices will complete the core and their employer must select the one, most appropriate, option to their role, from the air, ocean or road freight routes. An apprentice following the Air option will communicate with external customers, suppliers and internal stakeholders. They will develop their IT skills by using various programmes required to process a shipment bespoke to the company. They will typically be dealing with airlines to seek solutions, pricing and book air freight services. They ensure that the correct paperwork is supplied and all movements are compliant with customs and aviation security regulations. An apprentice following the Ocean option will typically contact shipping lines to price and book space on ships (for containers or loose cargo) and ensure the correct bills of lading and shipping instructions are in place. An apprentice following the Road option will typically contact road haulage companies for information regarding their collections and deliveries, primarily to and from the EU, and checking border crossing and customs documentation is in place. They may be required to obtain quotations for road freight services.

 

Typical job titles include:

Air freight forwarder Freight forwarder Freight forwarding specialist Import/export administrator Import/export clerk Import/export customer service operator Import/export freight co-ordinator Import/export freight forwarder Import/export operator Seafreight freight forwarder Shipping co-ordinator

Duties

  • Duty 1 Make international shipment bookings for customer goods, which balance time, cost and environmental impact.
  • Duty 2 Monitor the progress of shipments to ensure they are on time and in line with the requirements of the booking.
  • Duty 3 Use appropriate methods of communication to keep customers informed about shipment progress in line with the booking and advise customers in the event of delays to enable them to make contingency plans.
  • Duty 4 Prepare quotes for customers regarding the shipment of goods, both within the UK and internationally.
  • Duty 5 Enter details of booked shipments into own organisation's electronic operating system.
  • Duty 6 Co-ordinate own activities with those of internal colleagues to meet operational priorities.
  • Duty 7 Manage cost throughout the whole shipment from despatch to final destination.
  • Duty 8 Ensure that any specific documents required by a destination country are available at time of shipment. (e.g. Certificate of Origin, Carnet).
  • Duty 9 Respond to enquiries from colleagues, customers and authorities about shipments.
  • Duty 10 Manage complaints about shipments, escalating to senior staff in own organisation where necessary.
  • Duty 11 Submit a customs declaration and/or provide clearance instructions to a third-party customs broker.
  • Duty 12 (Air) Assess and provide recommendations to customers on international air freight options, including cost, time, airport and country specific regulations, tariffs and any other unique requirements that impact.
  • Duty 13 (Air) Book and process air freight by determining the relevancy of air freight services, matching the nature of goods for international air transit with the availability of space and appropriate services.
  • Duty 14 (Air) Arrange and ensure the security of goods during international air transit to required standards, both in terms of the contract and in accordance with international aviation security rules and regulations.
  • Duty 15 (Ocean) Assess and provide recommendations to customers on international ocean freight options, including cost, time, and the port and country specific regulations, tariffs and any other unique requirements that impact.
  • Duty 16 (Ocean) Book and process ocean freight by determining the practicality of transporting goods by sea, matching the nature of goods for international ocean transit with the availability and suitability of the equipment and resources such as shipping containers, that will be needed.
  • Duty 17 (Ocean) Create and handle the correct Bill of Lading for export and imports (contract of carriage), thereby helping to ensure the cargo can be released to the customer as applicable.
  • Duty 18 (Road) Assess and provide recommendations to customers on international road freight options, including cost, time, and the road networks and country specific regulations, tariffs and any other unique requirements that impact.
  • Duty 19 (Road) Book and process road freight by determining the practicality of transporting goods by road, by matching the nature of goods for international road transit with the nature and availability of road transport equipment and service schedules.
  • Duty 20 (Road) Monitor the impact of international road transit times, road conditions and road features, providing guidance to colleagues and customers as required. For example, this could involve the impact on permitted driver hours and associated service solutions.

Apprenticeship summary

ST0539, international freight forwarding specialist level 3

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 18 months. The EPA period is typically 3 months.

The overall grades available for this apprenticeship are:

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction


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, you must submit a portfolio of evidence

Assessment methods




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.

Print occupational standard

Details of the occupational standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in the UK and across the world in the freight services industry. Freight forwarding organisations deal with both imports and exports and are found exclusively in the private sector. They are concentrated at or near airports, seaports, distribution centres and inland customs clearance facilities. These businesses vary in size and in the number of employees they have, ranging from small, single site, freight forwarding businesses serving a small number of clients, through medium-sized companies with a number of UK locations and multiple clients, to divisions of large European or global logistics companies serving a large, diverse customer base.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to support the movement of goods between countries. Freight forwarding specialists book shipments and prepare the documentation required to move goods in and out of the UK and countries anywhere in the world. They ensure that the goods are shipped in accordance with all relevant customs and regulatory regimes. Shipments are organised and booked using online systems and electronic and paper documentation which has to accompany the goods, is prepared. They use in-house IT systems and on-line sources to find information about relevant customs rules, regulations and terms of trade. They escalate problems and issues to senior staff in their organisation. This ensures that the company they work for and their clients remain compliant with all applicable customs, import and export laws and regulations. This is an office-based role, mostly in normal working hours, but with occasional work outside those hours.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with colleagues in their own company, their customers and also with staff in a range of private sector organisations in the UK and abroad. This includes handling agents, ports agents, hauliers and shipping lines. They may also deal directly with staff from public sector organisations such as government departments and customs and revenue services.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for making the shipment bookings required to move customers goods internationally and within the UK. They identify, choose and book the most appropriate transport services (air, ocean, road and rail) to undertake the journey. International freight forwarding is often a balancing act between time, cost and environmental concerns. Other responsibilities include the monitoring of the progress of shipments, dealing with the consequences of delays, preparing and submitting sales quotations for international shipments and preparing invoices in compliance with international trade rules. Effective communication with customers ensures that they are kept informed of the progress of shipments. Most freight forwarding specialists work as part of small teams. Typically they will move regularly between duties in the occupation, for example customs entry or invoicing. In this way they gain experience across all aspects of the occupation. This is most common in large companies while in small organisations they may work on all aspects of the occupation at the same time. They work with colleagues to prepare and check documents and if they identify issues and risks, they will escalate them to the appropriate person in their company. All International freight forwarding specialists have direct responsibility for goods in transit across the UK (for instance from a warehouse to the channel tunnel, port or airport). Foreign transit is very complex due to the different rules and systems in force in each country around the world. Therefore, when goods are in transit abroad, a person in this occupation will typically specialise in either air freight, ocean freight or international road freight. This means that, in some cases, an international freight forwarding specialist will be personally responsible for the transit of goods from start to finish; but in instances where multi-modal transport is needed, they will more typically need to liaise with others in the team to provide handovers and ensure a seamless journey. This Apprenticeship Occupational Standard therefore takes a core and options approach. All apprentices will complete the core and their employer must select the one, most appropriate, option to their role, from the air, ocean or road freight routes. An apprentice following the Air option will communicate with external customers, suppliers and internal stakeholders. They will develop their IT skills by using various programmes required to process a shipment bespoke to the company. They will typically be dealing with airlines to seek solutions, pricing and book air freight services. They ensure that the correct paperwork is supplied and all movements are compliant with customs and aviation security regulations. An apprentice following the Ocean option will typically contact shipping lines to price and book space on ships (for containers or loose cargo) and ensure the correct bills of lading and shipping instructions are in place. An apprentice following the Road option will typically contact road haulage companies for information regarding their collections and deliveries, primarily to and from the EU, and checking border crossing and customs documentation is in place. They may be required to obtain quotations for road freight services.

 

Typical job titles include:

Air freight forwarder Freight forwarder Freight forwarding specialist Import/export administrator Import/export clerk Import/export customer service operator Import/export freight co-ordinator Import/export freight forwarder Import/export operator Seafreight freight forwarder Shipping co-ordinator

Core occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Make international shipment bookings for customer goods, which balance time, cost and environmental impact.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K9 K11 K13 K15 K21

S2 S3 S7

B1 B3 B4

Duty 2 Monitor the progress of shipments to ensure they are on time and in line with the requirements of the booking.

S3 S8 S11

Duty 3 Use appropriate methods of communication to keep customers informed about shipment progress in line with the booking and advise customers in the event of delays to enable them to make contingency plans.

K17 K18 K19 K20

S1 S8 S9 S10 S11 S12 S13

Duty 4 Prepare quotes for customers regarding the shipment of goods, both within the UK and internationally.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K18 K19 K20 K21 K22

S1 S6 S7 S9

B2 B3 B5

Duty 5 Enter details of booked shipments into own organisation's electronic operating system.

K5 K17 K18

S2 S3 S7

Duty 6 Co-ordinate own activities with those of internal colleagues to meet operational priorities.

K5 K17 K18 K19

S7 S8 S11 S12 S13

B5

Duty 7 Manage cost throughout the whole shipment from despatch to final destination.

K2 K3 K5 K7 K8 K15 K16 K21 K22

S1 S3 S6 S7 S8 S11

B2

Duty 8 Ensure that any specific documents required by a destination country are available at time of shipment. (e.g. Certificate of Origin, Carnet).

K3 K4 K5 K11 K14

S3

Duty 9 Respond to enquiries from colleagues, customers and authorities about shipments.

K5 K17 K18 K19 K20

S7 S8 S9 S11 S12 S13

B3 B5

Duty 10 Manage complaints about shipments, escalating to senior staff in own organisation where necessary.

K5 K19 K20

S7

B3 B5

Duty 11 Submit a customs declaration and/or provide clearance instructions to a third-party customs broker.

K1 K3 K4 K5 K11 K12

S4 S5

Option duties

Air duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 12 Assess and provide recommendations to customers on international air freight options, including cost, time, airport and country specific regulations, tariffs and any other unique requirements that impact.

K1 K3 K7 K9 K10 K11 K13 K14 K15 K17 K18 K19 K20 K22 K23 K24 K25 K26 K27 K28 K29

S6 S7 S8 S11 S14 S15

B1

Duty 13 Book and process air freight by determining the relevancy of air freight services, matching the nature of goods for international air transit with the availability of space and appropriate services.

K2 K3 K5 K6 K7 K11 K23 K26 K27 K28 K29

S2 S3 S14 S15

B4

Duty 14 Arrange and ensure the security of goods during international air transit to required standards, both in terms of the contract and in accordance with international aviation security rules and regulations.

K4 K28 K29

S14 S15

Ocean duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 15 Assess and provide recommendations to customers on international ocean freight options, including cost, time, and the port and country specific regulations, tariffs and any other unique requirements that impact.

K1 K3 K7 K9 K10 K11 K13 K14 K15 K17 K18 K19 K20 K22 K30 K31 K32 K33 K34 K35

S6 S7 S8 S11 S16 S17

B1

Duty 16 Book and process ocean freight by determining the practicality of transporting goods by sea, matching the nature of goods for international ocean transit with the availability and suitability of the equipment and resources such as shipping containers, that will be needed.

K2 K3 K5 K6 K7 K11 K30 K31 K35

S2 S3 S16 S17

B4

Duty 17 Create and handle the correct Bill of Lading for export and imports (contract of carriage), thereby helping to ensure the cargo can be released to the customer as applicable.

K31

S16 S17

Road duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 18 Assess and provide recommendations to customers on international road freight options, including cost, time, and the road networks and country specific regulations, tariffs and any other unique requirements that impact.

K1 K3 K7 K9 K10 K11 K13 K14 K15 K17 K18 K19 K20 K22 K36 K37 K38 K39 K40 K41

S6 S7 S8 S11 S18 S19

B1

Duty 19 Book and process road freight by determining the practicality of transporting goods by road, by matching the nature of goods for international road transit with the nature and availability of road transport equipment and service schedules.

K2 K3 K5 K6 K7 K11 K36 K40 K41

S2 S3 S18 S19

B4

Duty 20 Monitor the impact of international road transit times, road conditions and road features, providing guidance to colleagues and customers as required. For example, this could involve the impact on permitted driver hours and associated service solutions.

K36

S3 S18 S19

KSBs

Knowledge

K1: The structure and functions of the freight forwarding industry. Back to Duty

K2: The principle of the consolidation of goods. Back to Duty

K3: Country specific factors that influence freight forwarding, including world geography, political boundaries, time zones and transit times and their influence on modal selection. Back to Duty

K4: The function of the key regulatory organisations and trade associations in logistics and international freight forwarding. Back to Duty

K5: Domestic and cargo booking procedures including haulage to and from departure and arrival ports. Back to Duty

K6: The differing environmental impacts of road, ocean, and air transport. Back to Duty

K7: Factors that affect insurance premiums including origin destination, mode of transport, route, commodity. Back to Duty

K8: The principles of carriers liability. Back to Duty

K9: Dangerous and hazardous goods and the specific modal restrictions applied to their movement. Back to Duty

K10: The function of documentary letters of credit in reducing financial risk in international trade. Back to Duty

K11: The differences in how goods are moved under the different customs controls that apply to and from the UK and the purpose, function, and range of procedure codes. Back to Duty

K12: Direct and indirect customs representation and the rules of establishment. Back to Duty

K13: The structure and key contents of the UK Trade Tariff. Back to Duty

K14: Data sources for the preferences and trade agreements that may apply in international trade, including rules of origin. Back to Duty

K15: The terms of international trade rules (Incoterms) and their part in customs valuation and financial risk transfer. Back to Duty

K16: Techniques for pricing, spot-quoting, invoicing and accruals. Back to Duty

K17: Written communication techniques, plain English principles, including Industry terminology. Back to Duty

K18: Verbal communication techniques, giving and receiving information, matching style to audience, barriers to communication and how to overcome them. Back to Duty

K19: Own companies customer service standards and complaints handling process. Back to Duty

K20: Techniques for forming and maintaining business relationships. Back to Duty

K21: Principle of value build-up in customs documentation. Back to Duty

K22: Currency conversions, exchange rates and risks on pricing and invoicing calculations. Back to Duty

K23: Air. The terminology used in air freight services. Back to Duty

K24: Air. The structure and organisation of the air freight industry. Back to Duty

K25: Air. The role of regulatory organisations in world-wide air freight, including airport authorities and handling agents. Back to Duty

K26: Air. Documentation specific to international air freight, including air waybills and where to find industry information and data from systems regarding schedules and space availability. Back to Duty

K27: Air. Air Cargo Tariff and Rules (TACT) and OAG World Airways Guides. Back to Duty

K28: Air. The rules and regulations relating to aviation security Back to Duty

K29: Air. Different ULD (Unit Load Device) types, their purpose and usage. Back to Duty

K30: Ocean. The terminology used in ocean freight services. Back to Duty

K31: Ocean. Documentation specific to international ocean freight, including; Bills of Lading/sea waybills, export cargo shipping instructions. Back to Duty

K32: Ocean. The structure and organisation of the ocean freight industry. Back to Duty

K33: Ocean. The role of regulatory organisations in world-wide shipping including port authorities. Back to Duty

K34: Ocean. The purpose and usages of the different container types and their respective benefits. Back to Duty

K35: Ocean. Non-containerised ocean shipments Back to Duty

K36: Road. The terminology used in international road freight services. Back to Duty

K37: Road. The structure and organisation of the international road freight industry. Back to Duty

K38: Road. The role of regulatory organisations in international road freight. Back to Duty

K39: Road. Driving hours regulations and working times in the UK and internationally. Back to Duty

K40: Road. Documentation specific to international road freight services, including; road consignment notes (CMRs) and vehicle movement documentation. Back to Duty

K41: Road. The principles of load planning and vehicle or container loading. Back to Duty

Skills

S1: Select freight forwarding services based on customer requirements, taking into account country specific factors, delivery times and modes. Back to Duty

S2: Use generic or bespoke ICT systems in order to enter and monitor data on importing or exporting goods. Back to Duty

S3: Book, plan and monitor international shipments, using manual or ICT systems, in accordance with the rules and regulations that apply to that area of the world and to the goods consigned. Back to Duty

S4: Prepare a customs declaration to a national standard, or give custom clearance instructions to a third party. Back to Duty

S5: Use data systems to submit the information required by customs authorities as part of the management of the international movement of goods. Back to Duty

S6: Produce freight costings and invoices in line with Incoterms, customer profile or sales contract. Back to Duty

S7: Identify and source data from customers, systems or colleagues. Back to Duty

S8: Identify and resolve problems in line with responsibilities. Back to Duty

S9: Create and maintain productive working relationships with internal and external customers. Back to Duty

S10: Adapt communication based on the situation and the audience. Back to Duty

S11: Identify problems outside of limits of responsibility and escalate within company policy. Back to Duty

S12: Communicate in writing, preparing communications on technical matters. Back to Duty

S13: Communicate with others verbally, including internal and external customers. Back to Duty

S14: Air. Use and adapt terminology appropriate to the air freight industry. Back to Duty

S15: Air. Select and use documentation appropriate to the air freight industry. Back to Duty

S16: Ocean. Use and adapt terminology appropriate to the ocean freight industry. Back to Duty

S17: Ocean. Select and use documentation appropriate to the ocean freight industry. Back to Duty

S18: Road. Use and adapt terminology appropriate to the road freight industry. Back to Duty

S19: Road. Select and use documentation appropriate to the road freight industry. Back to Duty

Behaviours

B1: Takes accountability for own actions Back to Duty

B2: Commercially driven Back to Duty

B3: Flexible in response to client needs and requirements Back to Duty

B4: Takes personal responsibility for their own sustainable working practices Back to Duty

B5: Collaborate with others for example, within teams, across disciplines, and external stakeholders 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.

Print EPA plan

End-point assessment plan

V1.1

Introduction and overview

This document explains the requirements for end-point assessment (EPA) for the international freight forwarding specialist apprenticeship. End-point assessment organisations (EPAOs) must follow this when designing and delivering the EPA.

International freight forwarding specialist apprentices, their employers and training providers should read this document.

A full-time international freight forwarding specialist apprentice typically spends 18 months on-programme (this means in training before the gateway). 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.

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

An approved EPAO must conduct the EPA for this apprenticeship. Employers must select an approved EPAO from the register of end-point assessment organisations (RoEPAO).

International freight forwarding specialist is a core and options apprenticeship standard.

Apprentices must be trained and assessed against the core and one option. There are three options:

  • Option 1: Air
  • Option 2: Ocean
  • Option 3: Road

This EPA has 3 assessment methods.

The grades available for each assessment method are below.

Assessment method 1 - multiple choice test:

  • fail

  • pass

  • distinction

Assessment method 2 - practical assessment:

  • fail

  • pass

  • distinction

Assessment method 3 - professional discussion:

  • fail

  • pass

  • distinction

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

  • fail

  • pass

  • distinction

EPA summary table

On-programme - typically 18 months

The apprentice must complete training to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) of the occupational standard.

The apprentice must complete training towards English and maths qualifications in line with the apprenticeship funding rules.

The apprentice must compile a portfolio of evidence.

End-point assessment gateway

The employer must be content that the apprentice is working at or above the occupational standard.

The apprentice’s employer must confirm that they think the apprentice:

  • is working at or above the occupational standard as an international freight forwarding specialist
  • has the evidence required to pass the gateway and is ready to take the EPA

The apprentice must achieve all of the qualifications listed in the International freight forwarding specialist occupational standard ST0539 relevant to their chosen option.

The apprentice must have achieved English and maths qualifications in line with the apprenticeship funding rules.

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

The apprentice must submit any policies and procedures as requested by the EPAO.

End-point assessment - typically 3 months

Grades available for each assessment method:

Multiple Choice Test

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

Practical Assessment

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

Professional Discussion

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

Overall EPA and apprenticeship can be graded:

    • fail
    • pass
    • distinction

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 3 months.

The expectation is that the EPAO will confirm the gateway requirements have been met and the EPA starts as quickly as possible.

EPA gateway

The apprentice’s employer must be content that the apprentice has attained sufficient KSBs to complete the 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 maths qualifications in line with the apprenticeship funding rules
  • submit a Portfolio of evidence for the professional discussion

The apprentices must submit any policies and procedures as requested by the EPAO. The EPA period starts when the EPAO confirms all gateway requirements have been met. The expectation is they will do this as quickly as possible.

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.

Multiple Choice Test

Overview

In the multiple choice test, the apprentice answers questions in a controlled and invigilated environment. It gives the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge mapped to this assessment method.

Rationale

This assessment method is being used because:

  • it allows for the efficient testing of knowledge where there is an objectively correct answer
  • it brings a consistent approach to an otherwise broad and varied occupation, ensuring fair testing to all apprentices
  • it allows for standardisation with the use of a large question bank
  • it allows for flexibility in terms of when, where, and how it is taken
  • it allows larger volumes of apprentices to be assessed flexibly i.e. potentially online, at one time providing cost effective delivery

Delivery


The multiple choice test must be structured to give the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge mapped to this assessment method to the highest available grade.

The test can be computer or paper based.

The test will consist of 40 multiple-choice questions.

Multiple-choice questions must have four options, including one correct answer.

The apprentice must be given at least 7 days’ notice of the date and time of the test.

Test administration

The apprentice must have 60 minutes to complete the test.

The test is closed book which means that the apprentice cannot refer to reference books or materials whilst taking the test.

The test must be taken in the presence of an invigilator who is the responsibility of the EPAO. The EPAO must have an invigilation policy setting out how the test must be conducted. It must state the ratio of apprentices to invigilators for the setting and allow the test to take place in a secure way.

The EPAO must verify the apprentice’s identity and ensure invigilation of the apprentice for example, with 360-degree cameras and screen sharing facilities.

The EPAO is responsible for the security of the test including the arrangements for on-line testing. The EPAO must ensure that their security arrangements maintain the validity and reliability of the test.

Marking

The test must be marked by an independent assessor or marker employed by the EPAO. They must follow a marking scheme produced by the EPAO. Marking by computer is allowed where question types support this.

A correct answer gets 1 mark.

Any incorrect or missing answers get zero marks.

The EPAO is responsible for overseeing the marking of the test.

Assessment location

The apprentice must take the test in a suitably controlled and invigilated environment that is a quiet room, free from distractions and influence. The EPAO must check the venue is suitable.

The test could take place remotely if the appropriate technology and systems are in place to prevent malpractice.

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 should 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 test:

  • independent assessor assessment materials which include:
    • training materials
    • administration materials
    • moderation and standardisation materials
    • guidance materials
    • grading guidance
    • test specification
    • sample test and mark schemes
    • live tests and mark schemes
    • 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.

Practical Assessment

Overview

In a practical assessment with questions, an independent assessor observes the apprentice completing a task or series of tasks set by the EPAO. The EPAO decides where it takes place. The assessment environment must closely relate to the apprentice’s natural working environment. It gives the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate the KSBs mapped to this assessment method.

Rationale

This assessment method is being used because:

The use of practical assessment facilitates consistent and timely assessment of candidates in carrying out workplace tasks.

The controlled environment takes candidates away from busy office environments which are distracting for both candidates and assessors and may hinder fair assessment.

Assessment can be carried out remotely (as an alternative to direct observation) using appropriate ICT equipment as the controlled nature of the practical assessment means that ICT equipment can be positioned or set up in a way that permits the independent assessor to conduct a fair assessment.

Delivery

The practical assessment 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 practical assessment.

The independent assessor must only observe one apprentice at a time to ensure quality and rigour. They must be as unobtrusive as possible.

The EPAO must give an apprentice 7 days' notice of the . practical assessment

The practical assessment must take 3 hours.

The independent assessor can increase the time of the practical assessment by up to 10%. This time is to allow the apprentice to complete a task or respond to a question if necessary.

The practical assessment cannot be split, other than for comfort breaks or to allow apprentices to move from one location to another. Where breaks occur, they will not count towards the total EPA time.

The EPAO must manage invigilation of the apprentice during the assessment, to maintain security of the EPA, in line with their malpractice policy. This includes breaks and moving between locations.

The independent assessor must explain to the apprentice the format and timescales of the practical assessment before it starts. This does not count towards the assessment time.

The independent assessor must observe the following during the practical assessment:

Each apprentice must carry out three practical assessments which will be set in the context of their option; air, ocean or road.

The three practical assessments will cover:

1. Planning and conducting a shipment

2. Preparing and presenting a costing

3. Customer service and complaints handling

Tasks must incorporate an issue or problem that enables the apprentice to produce evidence against the allocated KSBs. The issue or problem must be equivalent in complexity across tasks and options.

The three practical assessments must cover the KSBs assigned to the practical assessments. They may use whatever software is available and commonly used by the apprentice, and not introduce any new systems. The EPAO must ensure that the details within tasks differ enough to mitigate predictability.

These activities provide the apprentice with the opportunity to demonstrate the KSBs mapped to this assessment method.

The independent assessor must ask questions. The purpose of the questions is to assess any KSB's assigned to this method of assessment which the assessor feels have not been fully demonstrated through the three tasks.

The time allocated for questioning is 15 minutes.

The independent assessor must ask at least 3 questions. The independent assessor must use the questions from their EPAO’s question bank or create their own questions in line with the EPAO’s training.

The independent assessor can ask follow-up questions to clarify answers given by the apprentice. These questions are in addition to the above set number of questions for the practical assessment.

The independent assessor must make the grading decision. The independent assessor must assess the practical assessment and responses to questions holistically when deciding the grade.

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

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

Assessment location

The practical assessment must take place in a simulated environment selected by the EPAO for example, the EPAO’s or employer’s premises. The simulated environment must relate to the apprentice’s natural work environment. Equipment and resources needed for the practical assessment must be provided by the EPAO, who can liaise with the employer to provide these.

Questioning that occurs after the practical assessment should take place in a suitable environment for example 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 tasks and questions in the case of re-sits and retakes, to minimise predictability.

The EPAO must produce the following materials to support the practical assessment:

  • 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.

Professional Discussion

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 provides an opportunity to assess some KSB's which may not have been assessed through the multiple choice test or in the practical assessments.

It allows for testing of responses where there are a range of potential answers that cannot be tested through the multiple choice test or the practical assessments.

It enables the apprentice to showcase the important aspects of their particular job role and the KSBs that support that.

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.

The purpose of the independent assessor's questions will be to allow the independent end assessor to ask the apprentice questions in relation to:

• Their understanding of their job role, duties and responsibilities

• Specific parts of the training they have received

• Personal development and reflection on the training they have received

• The portfolio prepared by the apprentice

The EPAO must give an apprentice 7 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 12 questions. The independent assessor must use the questions from the EPAO’s question bank.

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:

  • 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.

Grading

Practical Assessment

Theme
KSBs
Pass
Apprentices must demonstrate all the pass descriptors
Distinction
Apprentices must demonstrate all the pass descriptors and all of the distinction descriptors
(Core) Procedures
K3 K5 S1 S2 S3 S7 S8 B1 B2

Selects freight forwarding services based on customer requirements, country specific factors, delivery times and modes, seeking and identifying the relevant data in order to meet the needs of the client (K3, S1, S7)

Books, plans and monitors international shipments, using generic or bespoke ICT systems, in accordance with the relevant rules and regulations, ensuring timelines and budgets are upheld (K5, S2, S3)

Identifies and resolves problems in line with responsibilities, ensuring timelines and budgets are upheld to achieve the  best commercial outcome (S8, B1, B2)

 

Pre-empts and mitigates for potential issues before they impact customer, delivery times or budget, providing alternative solutions, to ensure an efficient service is maintained for the client and the best commercial outcome (S8, B1, B2)

 

 

(Air) Documentation and terminology
K23 K26 S14 S15

Uses terminology specific to air freight in line with company and client needs and expectations (K23, S14)

Selects and uses documentation specific to air freight, ensuring it is appropriate to the mode, country, legal and client requirements (K26, S15)

 

 

N/A

(Ocean) Documentation and terminology
K30 K31 S16 S17

Uses terminology specific to ocean freight in line with company and client needs and expectations (K30, S16)

Selects and uses documentation specific to ocean freight, ensuring it is appropriate to the mode, country, legal and client requirements (K31, S17)

 

 

 

 

N/A

(Road) Documentation and terminology
K36 K40 S18 S19

Uses terminology specific to road freight in line with company and client needs and expectations (K36, S18)

Selects and uses documentation specific to road freight, ensuring it is appropriate to the mode, country, legal and client requirements (K40, S19)

 

 

 

N/A

(Core) Complaints handling
K19 S11

Responds to complaints in line with own company’s handling process and customer service standards, identifying issues and escalating where they fall outside of the limits of responsibility (K19, S11)

N/A

(Core) Economic and cost considerations
K2 K16 K22 S6 B3

Provides a service level, including direct, indirect or consolidation option, that is appropriate to the needs and requests of the client (K2, B3)

Produces a freight costing and invoice within mode, in line with Incoterms, that meets the requirements of the client. Carries out currency conversion using appropriate exchange rate, in order to meet the requirements of the brief (S6, K16, K22)

 

Conducts freight pricing and calculations that take into account risk, giving justifications for recommendations (K22, S6)

 

Professional Discussion

Theme
KSBs
Pass
Apprentices must demonstrate all the pass descriptors
Distinction
Apprentices must demonstrate all the pass descriptors and all of the distinction descriptors
(Core) Customs
K11 K12 K15 K21 S4 S5

Explains how to prepare customs declarations, or give custom clearance instructions to a third party, meeting the requirements of HMRC (K11, S4)

Describes how they use software systems to submit customs declarations in order to ensure an efficient freight forwarding service (S5)

Explains how direct and indirect customs representation are applied and the rules of establishment (K12)

Explains how Incoterms relate to international trade and customs declarations (K15, K21)

 

Explains how to respond when declarations are rejected in order to resolve issues and meet client and HMRC requirements (K11, S4)

Discusses how risk transfer between seller and buyer is managed, including how this affects costs (K12, K21)

 

(Core) Communication and relationships
K17 K18 K20 S9 S10 S12 S13 B5

 

Discusses how they use written communication techniques suitable for the context, adapting style and using correct sector and industry terminology and plain English, to suit the audience (S10, S12, K17)

Discusses how they use verbal techniques, adapting style and use of terminology to overcome barriers, suit the audience and convey the message (S13, K18)

Explains how they create and maintain productive working relationships with internal and external customers that support the achievement of business objectives and client requirements (S9, K20, B5)

 

N/A

(Core) Industry Infrastructure
K1 K4 K13

Outlines the structure and function of the freight forwarding industry, including the key regulatory organisations and trade associations in logistics and international freight forwarding (K1, K4)

Outlines the structure and key contents of the UK Trade Tariff and its role in their day to day work (K13)

 

Evaluates the relationships and interdependencies between the key regulatory organisations, trade associations and functions of the freight forwarding industry (K1, K4)

(Core) Environment and sustainability
K6 K9 B4

Explains how they consider environmental impact in their role and how this informs their working practices (K6, B4)

Describes how hazardous goods are classified, and any specific modal restrictions applied to their movement (K9)

 

Discusses how they have made choices that take into account the environmental impact their actions will have, using the most up to date information and initiatives to mitigate environmental impact (K6, B4)

 

Overall EPA grading

Performance in the EPA determines the overall grade of:

  • fail

  • pass

  • distinction

An independent assessor must individually grade the: practical assessment and professional discussion 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. To achieve an overall EPA distinction, the apprentice must achieve a distinction in all assessment methods.

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

Multiple Choice Test Practical Assessment Professional Discussion Overall Grading
Fail Any grade Any grade Fail
Any grade Fail Any grade Fail
Any grade Any grade Fail Fail
Distinction Pass Pass Pass
Pass Distinction Pass Pass
Pass Pass Distinction Pass
Distinction Distinction Pass Pass
Distinction Pass Distinction Pass
Pass Distinction Distinction Pass
Distinction Distinction Distinction Distinction

Re-sits and re-takes

If the apprentice fails one or more assessment method,  they can 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 EPAO 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 2 months of the EPA outcome notification. 

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:

  • participate in and complete on-programme training to meet the KSBs as outlined in the occupational standard for a minimum of 12 months
  • undertake 20% off-the-job training as arranged by the employer and training provider
  • understand the purpose and importance of EPA
  • undertake the EPA including meeting all gateway requirements

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 a minimum of 20% off-the-job training to be undertaken by the apprentice
  • decide when the apprentice is working at or above the level required by the occupational standard and so is ready for EPA
  • ensure that all supporting evidence required at the gateway is submitted in accordance with this EPA plan
  • remain independent from the delivery of the EPA
  • confirm arrangements with the EPAO for the EPA (who, when, where) in a timely manner (including providing 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 well prepared for the EPA
  • require the training provider and EPAO to ensure the EPA is booked in a timely manner

Post-gateway, the employer must:

  • confirm arrangements with the EPAO for the EPA (who, when, where) in a timely manner (including providing 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 KSBs to be met
  • remain independent from the delivery of the EPA
  • ensure the apprentice is given sufficient time away from regular duties to prepare for, and complete all post-gateway elements of the EPA, and that any required supervision during this time (as stated within this EPA plan) is in place
  • where the apprentice is assessed in the workplace, ensure that the apprentice has access to the resources used on a daily basis
  • 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 Register of end-point assessment organisations (RoEPAO)
  • conform to the requirements of the external quality assurance provider (EQAP) for this apprenticeship
  • understand the occupational standard
  • 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)
  • appoint suitably qualified and competent independent assessors and oversee their working
  • appoint administrators (and invigilators where required) to administer the EPA as appropriate
  • provide training for independent assessors in terms of good assessment practice, operating the assessment tools and grading
  • provide adequate information, advice and guidance documentation to enable apprentices, employers and training providers to prepare for the EPA
  • arrange for the EPA to take place, in consultation with the employer
  • where the apprentice is not assessed in the workplace, ensure that the apprentice has access to the required resources and liaise with the employer to agree this if necessary
  • develop and provide appropriate assessment recording documentation to ensure a clear and auditable process is in place for providing assessment decisions and feedback to all relevant stakeholders
  • have no direct connection with the apprentice, their employer or training provider; in all instances, including when the EPAO is the training provider for example, a HEI), there must be no conflict of interest
  • have policies and procedures for internal quality assurance (IQA), and maintain records of regular and robust IQA activity and moderation for external quality assurance (EQA) purposes
  • deliver induction training for independent assessors, and for invigilators and/or markers (where used)
  • undertake standardisation activity on this apprenticeship for all independent assessors before they conduct an EPA for the first time, if the EPA is updated and periodically as appropriate (a minimum of annually)
  • manage invigilation of the apprentice to maintain security of the assessment in line with the EPAO’s malpractice policy
  • verify the identity of the apprentice being assessed
  • use language in the development and delivery of the EPA that is appropriate to the level of the occupational standard

Pre-gateway, the EPAO must:

  • make all necessary contractual arrangements, including agreeing the price of the EPA
  • provide adequate information, advice and guidance documentation to enable the apprentice, employers and training provider to prepare for the EPA
  • arrange for the EPA to take place, in consultation with the employer

At the gateway, the EPAO must:

  • confirm all gateway requirements have been met as quickly as possible

Post-gateway, EPAOs must:

  • where the apprentice is not assessed in the workplace, ensure that the apprentice has access to the required resources and liaise with the employer to agree this if necessary.

Independent assessor

As a minimum, an independent assessor must:

  • have the competence to assess the apprentice at the level of this apprenticeship and hold any required qualifications and experience in line with the requirements of the independent assessor as detailed in the IQA section of this EPA plan
  • understand the occupational standard and the requirements of this EPA
  • have, maintain and be able to evidence, up-to-date knowledge and expertise of the subject matter
  • deliver the end-point assessment in-line with this EPA plan
  • comply with the IQA requirements of the EPAO
  • have no direct connection or conflict of interest with the apprentice, their employer or training provider; in all instances, including when the EPAO is the training provider for example HEI
  • attend induction training
  • attend standardisation events when they begin working for the EPAO, before they conduct an EPA for the first time and a minimum of annually on this apprenticeship
  • assess each assessment method, as determined by the EPA plan, and without extending the EPA unnecessarily
  • assess against the KSBs assigned to each assessment method, as shown in the mapping of KSBs to assessment methods and as determined by the EPAO, and without extending the EPA unnecessarily
  • make all grading decisions
  • record and report all assessment outcome decisions, for each apprentice, following instructions and using assessment recording documentation provided by the EPAO, in a timely manner
  • use language in the development and delivery of the EPA that is appropriate to the level of the occupational standard
  • mark open (constructed) test answers accurately according to the EPAO’s mark scheme and procedures

Training provider

As a minimum, the training provider should:

  • work with the employer and support the apprentice during the off-the-job training to provide the opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours as listed in the occupational standard
  • conduct training covering any knowledge, skill or behaviour requirement agreed as part of the Commitment Statement or the Individual Learning Plan
  • monitor the apprentice’s progress during any training provider led on-programme learning
  • advise the employer, upon request, on the apprentice’s readiness for EPA
  • remain independent from the delivery of the EPA. Where the training provider is the EPAO for example HEI, there must be procedures in place to mitigate against any conflict of interest

Marker

As a minimum, the marker must:

  • attend induction training as directed by the EPAO
  • have no direct connection or conflict of interest with the apprentice, their employer or training provider in all instances
  • mark test answers in line with the EPAO’s mark scheme and procedures

Invigilator

As a minimum, the invigilator must:

  • attend induction training as directed by the EPAO
  • have no direct connection or conflict of interest with the apprentice, their employer or training provider in all instances
  • invigilate and supervise apprentices during tests and in breaks during assessment methods to prevent malpractice in accordance with the EPAO’s invigilation procedures

Technical expert

As a minimum, the technical expert should:

  • have no direct connection or conflict of interest with the apprentice, their employer or training provider; in all instances
  • provide technical support, advice and guidance such as confirming company policies, procedures, processes, providing context on technical information or on emerging technologies
  • provide information only at the request of the independent assessor (who has the final say over the assessment and grade awarded)
  • not provide information on behalf of the apprentice, ask the apprentice questions or influence the apprentice or the assessment judgement in any way
  • not amplify or clarify points made by the apprentice

An additional person required during the practical assessment

As a minimum, the competent person must:

  • be occupationally competent and at the same level as this apprenticeship or higher
  • follow a brief provided by the independent assessor which confirms what is required
  • be at the assessment venue and be in situ prior to the assessment
  • be briefed prior to assessment by the independent assessor
  • adhere to confidentiality about all aspects of the assessment and the brief they have been provided with
  • act as a colleague for only those elements of the practical assessment where it is normal practice to do so
  • not direct any activity and must take instruction from the apprentice
  • not ask questions that indicate how to complete the practical assessment successfully
  • not provide guidance or influence the assessment outcome in any way
  • have no direct connection and no conflict of interest with the apprentice
  • provide a written statement to confirm that the task is attributable to the apprentice

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 how the EPAO ensures valid, consistent and reliable EPA decisions. The EPAO must adhere to the requirements within the roles and responsibilities section and:

  • have effective and rigorous quality assurance systems and procedures that ensure fair, reliable and consistent EPA regardless of employer, place, time or independent assessor
  • appoint independent assessors who are competent to deliver the EPA and who:
    • have recent relevant experience of the occupation or sector to at least occupational level 3 gained in the last 3 years or significant experience of the occupation or sector
  • operate induction training for anyone involved in the delivery or assessment of the EPA
  • provide training for independent assessors in good assessment practice, operating the assessment tools and making grading decisions
  • provide ongoing training for markers and invigilators
  • provide standardisation activity for this apprenticeship standard for all independent assessors:
    • before they conduct an EPA for the first time
    • if the EPA is updated
    • periodically as appropriate (a minimum of annually)
  • conduct effective moderation of EPA decisions and grades
  • conduct appeals where required, according to the EPAO’s appeals procedure, reviewing and making final decisions on EPA decisions and grades
  • have no direct connection with the apprentice, their employer or training provider; in HEI.

Value for money

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

  • completing applicable assessment methods online (for example computer-based assessment)
  • utilising digital remote platforms to conduct applicable assessment methods
  • assessing multiple apprentices simultaneously where the method of assessment permits this
  • using the employer’s premises
  • conducting assessment methods on the same day

Professional recognition

Professional body recognition is not relevant to this occupational apprenticeship.

KSB mapping table

Knowledge Assessment methods
K1: Core.

The structure and functions of the freight forwarding industry.

Back to Grading
Professional Discussion
K2: Core.

The principle of the consolidation of goods.

Back to Grading
Practical Assessment
K3: Core.

Country specific factors that influence freight forwarding, including world geography, political boundaries, time zones and transit times and their influence on modal selection.

Back to Grading
Practical Assessment
K4: Core.

The function of the key regulatory organisations and trade associations in logistics and international freight forwarding.

Back to Grading
Professional Discussion
K5: Core.

Domestic and cargo booking procedures including haulage to and from departure and arrival ports.

Back to Grading
Practical Assessment
K6: Core.

The differing environmental impacts of road, ocean, and air transport.

Back to Grading
Professional Discussion
K7: Core.

Factors that affect insurance premiums including origin destination, mode of transport, route, commodity.

Back to Grading
Multiple Choice Test
K8: Core.

The principles of carriers liability.

Back to Grading
Multiple Choice Test
K9: Core.

Dangerous and hazardous goods and the specific modal restrictions applied to their movement.

Back to Grading
Professional Discussion
K10: Core.

The function of documentary letters of credit in reducing financial risk in international trade.

Back to Grading
Multiple Choice Test
K11: Core.

The differences in how goods are moved under the different customs controls that apply to and from the UK and the purpose, function, and range of procedure codes.

Back to Grading
Professional Discussion
K12: Core.

Direct and indirect customs representation and the rules of establishment.

Back to Grading
Professional Discussion
K13: Core.

The structure and key contents of the UK Trade Tariff.

Back to Grading
Professional Discussion
K14: Core.

Data sources for the preferences and trade agreements that may apply in international trade, including rules of origin.

Back to Grading
Multiple Choice Test
K15: Core.

The terms of international trade rules (Incoterms) and their part in customs valuation and financial risk transfer.

Back to Grading
Professional Discussion
K16: Core.

Techniques for pricing, spot-quoting, invoicing and accruals.

Back to Grading
Practical Assessment
K17: Core.

Written communication techniques, plain English principles, including Industry terminology.

Back to Grading
Professional Discussion
K18: Core.

Verbal communication techniques, giving and receiving information, matching style to audience, barriers to communication and how to overcome them.

Back to Grading
Professional Discussion
K19: Core.

Own companies customer service standards and complaints handling process.

Back to Grading
Practical Assessment
K20: Core.

Techniques for forming and maintaining business relationships.

Back to Grading
Professional Discussion
K21: Core.

Principle of value build-up in customs documentation.

Back to Grading
Professional Discussion
K22: Core.

Currency conversions, exchange rates and risks on pricing and invoicing calculations.

Back to Grading
Practical Assessment
K23: Air.

Air. The terminology used in air freight services.

Back to Grading
Practical Assessment
K24: Air.

Air. The structure and organisation of the air freight industry.

Back to Grading
Multiple Choice Test
K25: Air.

Air. The role of regulatory organisations in world-wide air freight, including airport authorities and handling agents.

Back to Grading
Multiple Choice Test
K26: Air.

Air. Documentation specific to international air freight, including air waybills and where to find industry information and data from systems regarding schedules and space availability.

Back to Grading
Practical Assessment
K27: Air.

Air. Air Cargo Tariff and Rules (TACT) and OAG World Airways Guides.

Back to Grading
Multiple Choice Test
K28: Air.

Air. The rules and regulations relating to aviation security

Back to Grading
Multiple Choice Test
K29: Air.

Air. Different ULD (Unit Load Device) types, their purpose and usage.

Back to Grading
Multiple Choice Test
K30: Ocean.

Ocean. The terminology used in ocean freight services.

Back to Grading
Practical Assessment
K31: Ocean.

Ocean. Documentation specific to international ocean freight, including; Bills of Lading/sea waybills, export cargo shipping instructions.

Back to Grading
Practical Assessment
K32: Ocean.

Ocean. The structure and organisation of the ocean freight industry.

Back to Grading
Multiple Choice Test
K33: Ocean.

Ocean. The role of regulatory organisations in world-wide shipping including port authorities.

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Multiple Choice Test
K34: Ocean.

Ocean. The purpose and usages of the different container types and their respective benefits.

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Multiple Choice Test
K35: Ocean.

Ocean. Non-containerised ocean shipments

Back to Grading
Multiple Choice Test
K36: Road.

Road. The terminology used in international road freight services.

Back to Grading
Practical Assessment
K37: Road.

Road. The structure and organisation of the international road freight industry.

Back to Grading
Multiple Choice Test
K38: Road.

Road. The role of regulatory organisations in international road freight.

Back to Grading
Multiple Choice Test
K39: Road.

Road. Driving hours regulations and working times in the UK and internationally.

Back to Grading
Multiple Choice Test
K40: Road.

Road. Documentation specific to international road freight services, including; road consignment notes (CMRs) and vehicle movement documentation.

Back to Grading
Practical Assessment
K41: Road.

Road. The principles of load planning and vehicle or container loading.

Back to Grading
Multiple Choice Test
Skill Assessment methods
S1: Core.

Select freight forwarding services based on customer requirements, taking into account country specific factors, delivery times and modes.

Back to Grading
Practical Assessment
S2: Core.

Use generic or bespoke ICT systems in order to enter and monitor data on importing or exporting goods.

Back to Grading
Practical Assessment
S3: Core.

Book, plan and monitor international shipments, using manual or ICT systems, in accordance with the rules and regulations that apply to that area of the world and to the goods consigned.

Back to Grading
Practical Assessment
S4: Core.

Prepare a customs declaration to a national standard, or give custom clearance instructions to a third party.

Back to Grading
Professional Discussion
S5: Core.

Use data systems to submit the information required by customs authorities as part of the management of the international movement of goods.

Back to Grading
Professional Discussion
S6: Core.

Produce freight costings and invoices in line with Incoterms, customer profile or sales contract.

Back to Grading
Practical Assessment
S7: Core.

Identify and source data from customers, systems or colleagues.

Back to Grading
Practical Assessment
S8: Core.

Identify and resolve problems in line with responsibilities.

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Practical Assessment
S9: Core.

Create and maintain productive working relationships with internal and external customers.

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Professional Discussion
S10: Core.

Adapt communication based on the situation and the audience.

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Professional Discussion
S11: Core.

Identify problems outside of limits of responsibility and escalate within company policy.

Back to Grading
Practical Assessment
S12: Core.

Communicate in writing, preparing communications on technical matters.

Back to Grading
Professional Discussion
S13: Core.

Communicate with others verbally, including internal and external customers.

Back to Grading
Professional Discussion
S14: Air.

Air. Use and adapt terminology appropriate to the air freight industry.

Back to Grading
Practical Assessment
S15: Air.

Air. Select and use documentation appropriate to the air freight industry.

Back to Grading
Practical Assessment
S16: Ocean.

Ocean. Use and adapt terminology appropriate to the ocean freight industry.

Back to Grading
Practical Assessment
S17: Ocean.

Ocean. Select and use documentation appropriate to the ocean freight industry.

Back to Grading
Practical Assessment
S18: Road.

Road. Use and adapt terminology appropriate to the road freight industry.

Back to Grading
Practical Assessment
S19: Road.

Road. Select and use documentation appropriate to the road freight industry.

Back to Grading
Practical Assessment
Behaviour Assessment methods
B1: Core.

Takes accountability for own actions

Back to Grading
Practical Assessment
B2: Core.

Commercially driven

Back to Grading
Practical Assessment
B3: Core.

Flexible in response to client needs and requirements

Back to Grading
Practical Assessment
B4: Core.

Takes personal responsibility for their own sustainable working practices

Back to Grading
Professional Discussion
B5: Core.

Collaborate with others for example, within teams, across disciplines, and external stakeholders

Back to Grading
Professional Discussion

Mapping of KSBs to grade themes

Multiple choice test

KSBS GROUPED BY THEME Knowledge Skills Behaviour

Practical assessment

KSBS GROUPED BY THEME Knowledge Skills Behaviour
(Core) Procedures
K3 K5
S1 S2 S3 S7 S8
B1 B2

Country specific factors that influence freight forwarding, including world geography, political boundaries, time zones and transit times and their influence on modal selection. (K3)

Domestic and cargo booking procedures including haulage to and from departure and arrival ports. (K5)

Select freight forwarding services based on customer requirements, taking into account country specific factors, delivery times and modes. (S1)

Use generic or bespoke ICT systems in order to enter and monitor data on importing or exporting goods. (S2)

Book, plan and monitor international shipments, using manual or ICT systems, in accordance with the rules and regulations that apply to that area of the world and to the goods consigned. (S3)

Identify and source data from customers, systems or colleagues. (S7)

Identify and resolve problems in line with responsibilities. (S8)

Takes accountability for own actions (B1)

Commercially driven (B2)

(Air) Documentation and terminology
K23 K26
S14 S15

Air. The terminology used in air freight services. (K23)

Air. Documentation specific to international air freight, including air waybills and where to find industry information and data from systems regarding schedules and space availability. (K26)

Air. Use and adapt terminology appropriate to the air freight industry. (S14)

Air. Select and use documentation appropriate to the air freight industry. (S15)

None

(Ocean) Documentation and terminology
K30 K31
S16 S17

Ocean. The terminology used in ocean freight services. (K30)

Ocean. Documentation specific to international ocean freight, including; Bills of Lading/sea waybills, export cargo shipping instructions. (K31)

Ocean. Use and adapt terminology appropriate to the ocean freight industry. (S16)

Ocean. Select and use documentation appropriate to the ocean freight industry. (S17)

None

(Road) Documentation and terminology
K36 K40
S18 S19

Road. The terminology used in international road freight services. (K36)

Road. Documentation specific to international road freight services, including; road consignment notes (CMRs) and vehicle movement documentation. (K40)

Road. Use and adapt terminology appropriate to the road freight industry. (S18)

Road. Select and use documentation appropriate to the road freight industry. (S19)

None

(Core) Complaints handling
K19
S11

Own companies customer service standards and complaints handling process. (K19)

Identify problems outside of limits of responsibility and escalate within company policy. (S11)

None

(Core) Economic and cost considerations
K2 K16 K22
S6
B3

The principle of the consolidation of goods. (K2)

Techniques for pricing, spot-quoting, invoicing and accruals. (K16)

Currency conversions, exchange rates and risks on pricing and invoicing calculations. (K22)

Produce freight costings and invoices in line with Incoterms, customer profile or sales contract. (S6)

Flexible in response to client needs and requirements (B3)

Professional discussion

KSBS GROUPED BY THEME Knowledge Skills Behaviour
(Core) Customs
K11 K12 K15 K21
S4 S5

The differences in how goods are moved under the different customs controls that apply to and from the UK and the purpose, function, and range of procedure codes. (K11)

Direct and indirect customs representation and the rules of establishment. (K12)

The terms of international trade rules (Incoterms) and their part in customs valuation and financial risk transfer. (K15)

Principle of value build-up in customs documentation. (K21)

Prepare a customs declaration to a national standard, or give custom clearance instructions to a third party. (S4)

Use data systems to submit the information required by customs authorities as part of the management of the international movement of goods. (S5)

None

(Core) Communication and relationships
K17 K18 K20
S9 S10 S12 S13
B5

Written communication techniques, plain English principles, including Industry terminology. (K17)

Verbal communication techniques, giving and receiving information, matching style to audience, barriers to communication and how to overcome them. (K18)

Techniques for forming and maintaining business relationships. (K20)

Create and maintain productive working relationships with internal and external customers. (S9)

Adapt communication based on the situation and the audience. (S10)

Communicate in writing, preparing communications on technical matters. (S12)

Communicate with others verbally, including internal and external customers. (S13)

Collaborate with others for example, within teams, across disciplines, and external stakeholders (B5)

(Core) Industry Infrastructure
K1 K4 K13

The structure and functions of the freight forwarding industry. (K1)

The function of the key regulatory organisations and trade associations in logistics and international freight forwarding. (K4)

The structure and key contents of the UK Trade Tariff. (K13)

None

None

(Core) Environment and sustainability
K6 K9

B4

The differing environmental impacts of road, ocean, and air transport. (K6)

Dangerous and hazardous goods and the specific modal restrictions applied to their movement. (K9)

None

Takes personal responsibility for their own sustainable working practices (B4)

Employers involved in creating the standard: bifa, Bollore Logistics, ceva logistics, DHL, Good Logistics, John Good Shipping, Kuehne-Nagel, Ligentia, Maltacourt, Metro Shipping, Neon Freight, OIA Global, Seetec Outsource, Skills for Logistics, Skills Office Network, Woodland Group, Yusen Logistics

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.1 Occupational standard, end-point assessment plan and funding band revised but remained the same. 18/09/2023 Not set Not set
1.0 Approved for delivery 20/04/2018 17/09/2023 Not set

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