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Playworker

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 given an ‘in principle’ commitment to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to deliver assessments on this apprenticeship standard. Once the ‘in principle’ commitment has been approved by ESFA, funding for apprentice starts will be permitted and this message will be removed.

Key information

  1. Status: Approved for delivery
  2. Reference: ST0867
  3. Version: 1.0
  4. Level: 2
  5. Typical duration to gateway: 18 months
  6. Typical EPA period: 2 months
  7. Maximum funding: £5000
  8. Route: Care services
  9. Date updated: 02/02/2023
  10. Approved for delivery: 2 February 2023
  11. EQA provider: Ofqual
  12. Review:

    This apprenticeship standard will be reviewed after three years

Print apprenticeship summary

Apprenticeship summary

Overview of the role

Care for and support children in taking responsibility for themselves and their own playing whilst creating a stimulating and adventurous space for children to learn and explore.

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in a range of play settings offering different models of Playwork. Most Playworkers are employed in the voluntary or public sector, while others work in the private sector. Playworkers may work in local community settings, such as Before and After School Clubs, Adventure Playgrounds and Mobile Play Provision, for example a Playbus. They may also offer play sessions in Women’s Refuges, Prisons and Hospitals, as well as play ranger sessions in open spaces such as parks and woodlands. Playschemes are also offered in sport and leisure centres where Playworkers may be employed.  Playwork jobs roles vary according to the type of service being provided and children being supported.  Typical employers include local councils and government, charities and voluntary management committees, private companies offering After School/Breakfast/Holiday clubs and private day care nurseries.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to care for and support children in taking responsibility for themselves and their own playing whilst creating a stimulating and adventurous space for children to learn and explore in their own way, following their own intent, ideas and inventions. The focus of all play settings is on child-directed and child-controlled play, with Playworkers planning for and providing an ever-changing environment that allows children to choose what and how they play. Playworkers observe and monitor this play for children’s development, engagement and safety, both physical and emotional.

Playworkers subtly observe play rather than overtly leading activities in order to:

  • understand individual children’s needs and behaviours, as well as their likes and wants in playing.
  • support individual children’s emerging capabilities and competences.
  • understand how to better resource the play environment so that children are provided with opportunities to engage with the elements and their senses to explore, create and change the world around them.
  • reflect on how their adult presence is impacting on the children’s play, in both positive and negative ways, to ensure that children can play and explore without interruption or the necessity to seek approval or permission. Reflections are undertaken individually and as a team in order to improve the quality of play provision and to improve their own practice.
  • undertake dynamic risk-benefit assessments during play sessions to support children’s playful risk-taking. This includes being aware of generally accepted abilities relating to ages and stages, but not being bound by them in order to support individual speed of development. Playworkers support children to naturally stretch their boundaries physically, mentally, socially and emotionally, whilst balancing both the risks and the benefits that this incurs.

Playworkers use the outcomes of their observations to make better informed decisions about whether their intervention is needed and how to do this without taking away from children’s own faculties, abilities and growing expertise. In doing so, Playworkers develop significant and non-hierarchical relationships with the children they support. 

 

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with:

  • Children and young people and families from a range of backgrounds
  • Team members
  • Healthcare Professionals
  • Police and other members of the Emergency Services
  • Child Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
  • Social Services
  • Youth and Community Workers
  • Representatives from the relevant Local Authorities
  • Local residents
  • Park Wardens.

Playworkers need to have excellent communication skills to support children and their families. Depending on the setting they work in, they may also interact with a range of people in the public and professional community.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for working in a team of Playworkers managed by a Level 3 Team leader. Operating as a team, they support children in their play, are an advocate for play to parents and local community members, regularly resource and create a range of stimulating play spaces, undertake risk-benefit assessments and contribute to ongoing reflective practice both personally and as a team.

The main varying factor in everyday Playwork practice is the type of setting. They will implement the organisation’s policies and procedures, reporting all difficulties and concerns to the line manager. They will have an understanding of different theories of play and Playwork and know when and how to implement these to support children’s individual needs. They will also participate in all necessary training and continuing professional development, maintaining an up-to-date knowledge of play and the legal requirements for an environment where children play.

Working as part of a team, Playworkers ensure that the play area is operating to legal standards, undertaking all necessary checks on the environment and resources in order to protect the health and well-being of all children using the facilities. They also ensure that play spaces and activities are made accessible and equipment is adjusted where necessary for children with additional needs and/or impairments, providing opportunity for all children to reach their full play potential.

Playworkers may also co-ordinate and take part in off-site trips and overnight residentials. 

 

Typical job titles include:

Engagement worker Inclusion/support playworker Play ranger Playground assistant Playworker

Duties

  • Duty 1 Support children and young people’s freely chosen, self-directed play by enhancing the play using appropriate intervention style. Foster children and young people’s development in line with their culture, age and stage of development.
  • Duty 2 Build playful relationships with children, recognising professional boundaries.
  • Duty 3 Provide a diverse, inclusive and accessible setting for all children and young people, taking into consideration any additional requirements they may have.
  • Duty 4 Observe children and young people playing, including how they interact with different environments, other children and young people and staff. Keep reflective records to inform future planning.
  • Duty 5 Reflect individually and as part of a team to improve Playwork practice.
  • Duty 6 Advocate for all children and young people’s right to play when liaising with parents, carer givers, colleagues, local residents and other professionals.
  • Duty 7 Facilitate the creation of inspiring play spaces with opportunities to include a range of loose parts which foster and stimulate children and young people’s imagination, and build an understanding of sustainable attitudes.
  • Duty 8 Contribute to the process of risk-benefit assessment in children and young people’s play.
  • Duty 9 Choose intervention styles that support children and young people, responding to their behaviour and extending their play.
  • Duty 10 Build and maintain a professional relationship with parents and caregivers in relation to their children’s experiences in the Playwork setting/local community.
  • Duty 11 Assist in regular health and safety checks and the maintenance of equipment, resources, play structures, identifying and reporting any issues.
  • Duty 12 Respond calmly to any accidents or emergencies that may occur during a Playwork session and record appropriately.
  • Duty 13 Work in line with safeguarding policies and procedures to prevent and protect all children from harm.
  • Duty 14 Contribute to appropriate administration and financial record keeping in relation to the play setting.
  • Duty 15 Follow policies and procedures that support the health and wellbeing of children and young people, including preparing and providing food and activities.
  • Duty 16 Work as part of a team to assist in cleaning and tidying up, including site opening and closure procedures.
  • Duty 17 Work as part of a team to support and supervise children in off-site activities, including trips, outings, residentials and other community events.
  • Duty 18 Participate in appraisals, professional development and training opportunities.
  • Duty 19 Work within the professional boundaries of a Playworker, to protect the child’s welfare.
  • Duty 20 Use their knowledge of child development, adapting to different behaviours and possible learning needs.

Apprenticeship summary

ST0867, playworker level 2

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 2 months.

The overall grades available for this apprenticeship are:

  • fail
  • pass
  • 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



Assessment methods


Multiple-choice test

You will complete a multiple-choice test. It will be closed book, meaning you will not have access to any books or reference materials.

The test will have 40 multiple-choice questions. You will have 60 minutes to complete it.



Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence

You will have a professional professional discussion with an independent assessor. It will last 60 minutes. They will ask you at least 7 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.


Observation with questions

You will be observed by an independent assessor completing your work. It will last at least 3 hours. They will ask you at least 4 questions.

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 Playwork Foundation for Playwork Level 2

Please contact the professional body for more details.

Print occupational standard

Details of the occupational standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in a range of play settings offering different models of Playwork. Most Playworkers are employed in the voluntary or public sector, while others work in the private sector. Playworkers may work in local community settings, such as Before and After School Clubs, Adventure Playgrounds and Mobile Play Provision, for example a Playbus. They may also offer play sessions in Women’s Refuges, Prisons and Hospitals, as well as play ranger sessions in open spaces such as parks and woodlands. Playschemes are also offered in sport and leisure centres where Playworkers may be employed.  Playwork jobs roles vary according to the type of service being provided and children being supported.  Typical employers include local councils and government, charities and voluntary management committees, private companies offering After School/Breakfast/Holiday clubs and private day care nurseries.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to care for and support children in taking responsibility for themselves and their own playing whilst creating a stimulating and adventurous space for children to learn and explore in their own way, following their own intent, ideas and inventions. The focus of all play settings is on child-directed and child-controlled play, with Playworkers planning for and providing an ever-changing environment that allows children to choose what and how they play. Playworkers observe and monitor this play for children’s development, engagement and safety, both physical and emotional.

Playworkers subtly observe play rather than overtly leading activities in order to:

  • understand individual children’s needs and behaviours, as well as their likes and wants in playing.
  • support individual children’s emerging capabilities and competences.
  • understand how to better resource the play environment so that children are provided with opportunities to engage with the elements and their senses to explore, create and change the world around them.
  • reflect on how their adult presence is impacting on the children’s play, in both positive and negative ways, to ensure that children can play and explore without interruption or the necessity to seek approval or permission. Reflections are undertaken individually and as a team in order to improve the quality of play provision and to improve their own practice.
  • undertake dynamic risk-benefit assessments during play sessions to support children’s playful risk-taking. This includes being aware of generally accepted abilities relating to ages and stages, but not being bound by them in order to support individual speed of development. Playworkers support children to naturally stretch their boundaries physically, mentally, socially and emotionally, whilst balancing both the risks and the benefits that this incurs.

Playworkers use the outcomes of their observations to make better informed decisions about whether their intervention is needed and how to do this without taking away from children’s own faculties, abilities and growing expertise. In doing so, Playworkers develop significant and non-hierarchical relationships with the children they support. 

 

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with:

  • Children and young people and families from a range of backgrounds
  • Team members
  • Healthcare Professionals
  • Police and other members of the Emergency Services
  • Child Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
  • Social Services
  • Youth and Community Workers
  • Representatives from the relevant Local Authorities
  • Local residents
  • Park Wardens.

Playworkers need to have excellent communication skills to support children and their families. Depending on the setting they work in, they may also interact with a range of people in the public and professional community.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for working in a team of Playworkers managed by a Level 3 Team leader. Operating as a team, they support children in their play, are an advocate for play to parents and local community members, regularly resource and create a range of stimulating play spaces, undertake risk-benefit assessments and contribute to ongoing reflective practice both personally and as a team.

The main varying factor in everyday Playwork practice is the type of setting. They will implement the organisation’s policies and procedures, reporting all difficulties and concerns to the line manager. They will have an understanding of different theories of play and Playwork and know when and how to implement these to support children’s individual needs. They will also participate in all necessary training and continuing professional development, maintaining an up-to-date knowledge of play and the legal requirements for an environment where children play.

Working as part of a team, Playworkers ensure that the play area is operating to legal standards, undertaking all necessary checks on the environment and resources in order to protect the health and well-being of all children using the facilities. They also ensure that play spaces and activities are made accessible and equipment is adjusted where necessary for children with additional needs and/or impairments, providing opportunity for all children to reach their full play potential.

Playworkers may also co-ordinate and take part in off-site trips and overnight residentials. 

 

Typical job titles include:

Engagement worker Inclusion/support playworker Play ranger Playground assistant Playworker

Occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Support children and young people’s freely chosen, self-directed play by enhancing the play using appropriate intervention style. Foster children and young people’s development in line with their culture, age and stage of development.

K1 K19

S2 S13 S23

B2 B4 B6

Duty 2 Build playful relationships with children, recognising professional boundaries.

K2 K7 K20

S2 S10 S11 S16

B2 B5 B6

Duty 3 Provide a diverse, inclusive and accessible setting for all children and young people, taking into consideration any additional requirements they may have.

K3 K4 K21

S3 S7 S26

B2 B5 B6

Duty 4 Observe children and young people playing, including how they interact with different environments, other children and young people and staff. Keep reflective records to inform future planning.

K5 K6

S1 S3 S5 S11 S23

B2 B3 B4

Duty 5 Reflect individually and as part of a team to improve Playwork practice.

K5 K6

S1

B4

Duty 6 Advocate for all children and young people’s right to play when liaising with parents, carer givers, colleagues, local residents and other professionals.

K1 K11

S7

B5 B6

Duty 7 Facilitate the creation of inspiring play spaces with opportunities to include a range of loose parts which foster and stimulate children and young people’s imagination, and build an understanding of sustainable attitudes.

K4 K8 K18

S6 S8 S9 S10

B1 B2 B3

Duty 8 Contribute to the process of risk-benefit assessment in children and young people’s play.

K7 K9

S8 S9

B1 B3 B4

Duty 9 Choose intervention styles that support children and young people, responding to their behaviour and extending their play.

K1 K10 K21

S10 S11 S16 S23 S26

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 10 Build and maintain a professional relationship with parents and caregivers in relation to their children’s experiences in the Playwork setting/local community.

K11

S7 S12

B4 B5 B6

Duty 11 Assist in regular health and safety checks and the maintenance of equipment, resources, play structures, identifying and reporting any issues.

K12

S14 S17

B1 B3

Duty 12 Respond calmly to any accidents or emergencies that may occur during a Playwork session and record appropriately.

K13

S15 S17 S25

B1 B3 B6

Duty 13 Work in line with safeguarding policies and procedures to prevent and protect all children from harm.

K2 K3 K14 K20

S16 S17

B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 14 Contribute to appropriate administration and financial record keeping in relation to the play setting.

K15

S17 S18

B3

Duty 15 Follow policies and procedures that support the health and wellbeing of children and young people, including preparing and providing food and activities.

K4 K16

S4 S19 S20

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 16 Work as part of a team to assist in cleaning and tidying up, including site opening and closure procedures.

K17

S14 S20 S21

B1 B3 B4

Duty 17 Work as part of a team to support and supervise children in off-site activities, including trips, outings, residentials and other community events.

K12 K21

S14 S22

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 18 Participate in appraisals, professional development and training opportunities.

K19

S24

B7

Duty 19 Work within the professional boundaries of a Playworker, to protect the child’s welfare.

K1 K2 K3 K14 K20

S12 S14 S25

B7

Duty 20 Use their knowledge of child development, adapting to different behaviours and possible learning needs.

K7

S1 S2 S4 S11 S26

B2


KSBs

Knowledge

K1: Playwork theory, The Playwork Principles and introduction to child development. Back to Duty

K2: Active listening and communication techniques to build relationships with children and young people. Back to Duty

K3: The importance of professional conduct and implementing boundaries in your own practice. Back to Duty

K4: Diversity and inclusion in Playwork settings, including acknowledging and addressing own reactions and likely responses. Back to Duty

K5: Observation and record keeping methods to enhance play and inform future Playwork practice. Back to Duty

K6: Methods of self and group reflection and how to implement these to enhance play and inform future Playwork practice. Back to Duty

K7: How to support the development of resilience in children and young people. Back to Duty

K8: Principles of designing stimulating play spaces and how to create and resource them. Back to Duty

K9: Risk-benefit assessment and the importance of children managing risks for themselves. Back to Duty

K10: Different types of behaviour, why they need to be addressed and when and how to address them. Back to Duty

K11: Parents and caregivers expectations and how to respond to these. Back to Duty

K12: Health and safety procedures in the play setting. Back to Duty

K13: How to respond to accidents and different emergency situations (fire, extreme weather, serious injury, common illnesses and infections). Back to Duty

K14: Local and national Safeguarding and Child Protection policies and procedures. Back to Duty

K15: Financial and administrative policy and procedures within open and closed settings. Back to Duty

K16: Basic food hygiene procedures and practice., taking into consideration cultural and dietary needs and the importance of consuming healthy balanced meals. Back to Duty

K17: Roles and responsibilities in opening, closing, cleaning and tidying the setting. Back to Duty

K18: The importance of recycling, reusing, reducing, repairing and inspiring sustainable attitudes. Back to Duty

K19: Off-site policies and procedures, including trips, visits and residentials. Back to Duty

K20: Professional boundaries of self and other Playworkers’ interaction with children. Back to Duty

K21: How to deal with the individual learning and or behavioural needs of a child. Back to Duty

Skills

S1: Observe and reflect on play behaviours. Back to Duty

S2: Communicate sensitively using relevant language and behaviour. Back to Duty

S3: Promote diversity and inclusion in Playwork practice. Back to Duty

S4: Identify ways to remove barriers which can prevent some children and young people playing. Back to Duty

S5: Undertake reflective observations to improve own practice and the quality of the provision for children and young people. Back to Duty

S6: Contribute to play audits. Back to Duty

S7: Promote the value and benefits of play for all children and young people. Back to Duty

S8: Assist with planning, creating and identifying loose parts to encourage and inspire sustainable practices, including recycling, reusing, reducing and repairing. Back to Duty

S9: Recognise the benefits of risk taking in play and contribute to dynamic risk-benefit assessment. Back to Duty

S10: Recognise that children and young people communicate with a range of different types of behaviour and may need Playworker support. Back to Duty

S11: Support children and young people to understand and manage their emotions, feelings and actions. Back to Duty

S12: Manage interactions with parents/caregivers professionally. Back to Duty

S13: Recognise the importance of respecting professional boundaries when lone working or conducting intimate care with children and young people and using social media with children, young people and families. Back to Duty

S14: Contribute to health and safety checks. Back to Duty

S15: Follow emergency incidents or common illness/infections policies and procedures, administering first aid and completing records when required. Back to Duty

S16: Use active listening and communication techniques when interacting with children and young people playing, identifying any potential concerns if they occur. Back to Duty

S17: Contribute to recording and reporting procedures as required by the play setting. Back to Duty

S18: Contribute to administrative and financial record keeping. Back to Duty

S19: Promote healthy eating and an active lifestyle, ensuring specific dietary and cultural needs are met. Back to Duty

S20: Maintain a clean environment according to local and national policies and procedures. Back to Duty

S21: Contribute to ensuring security arrangements are followed, such as children’s arrival and departures from the setting. Back to Duty

S22: Work as part of a team to support and supervise children and young people on off-site trips, complying with formal risk assessment of venues visited. Back to Duty

S23: Apply Playwork approaches in own role, incorporating new and emerging themes. Back to Duty

S24: Reflect on own practice to create a personal development plan with supervisor. Back to Duty

S25: Recognise the boundaries of own self and other Playworkers’ interaction with children, and when it is necessary to report incidents to the appropriate safeguarding lead and Local Authority Designated Officer – LADO if appropriate when a Playworkers’ behaviour towards a child may pose a risk of harm. Back to Duty

S26: Apply the play work approach depending on the individual need. Back to Duty

Behaviours

B1: Work flexibly with an understanding of health and safety to support risk taking in play. Back to Duty

B2: Work flexibly and adapt to both children and circumstances. Back to Duty

B3: Take responsibility and show initiative. Back to Duty

B4: Team-focused, working collaboratively and reflectively with others. Back to Duty

B5: Behave in a polite and courteous way with a positive attitude. Back to Duty

B6: Treat people with dignity, respect, and empathy. Back to Duty

B7: Seek out learning and continuing professional development opportunities. Back to Duty


Qualifications

English and Maths

English and maths qualifications form a mandatory part of all apprenticeships and must be completed before an apprentice can pass through gateway. The requirements are detailed in the current version of the apprenticeship funding rules.

Professional recognition

This standard aligns with the following professional recognition:

  • Playwork Foundation for Playwork Level 2
Print EPA plan

End-point assessment plan

V1.0

Introduction and overview

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

Playworker apprentices, their employers and training providers should read this document.

An approved EPAO must conduct the EPA for this apprenticeship. Employers must select an approved EPAO from the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s Register of end-point assessment organisations (RoEPAO).

A full-time apprentice typically spends 18 months on-programme (this means in training before the gateway) working towards competence as a playworker. All apprentices must spend at least 12 months on-programme. All apprentices must complete the required amount of off-the-job training specified by the apprenticeship funding rules.

This EPA has 3 assessment methods.

The grades available for each assessment method are:

Assessment method 1 - multiple choice questions test:

  • fail
  • pass

Assessment method 2 - professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence:

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

Assessment method 3 - observation with questions:

  • 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 complete safeguarding training

The apprentice must compile a portfolio of evidence.

Apprentice must complete safeguarding training

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 a playworker
  • has the evidence required to pass the gateway and is ready to take the EPA

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

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

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

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

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

End-point assessment (typically 2 months)
Grades available for each assessment method:

Multiple choice questions test

  • fail
  • pass

Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

Observation with questions

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

Overall EPA and apprenticeship can be graded:

    • fail
    • pass
    • distinction
Professional recognition
This apprenticeship aligns with Playwork Foundation for Playwork Level 2

The apprenticeship will either wholly or partially satisfy the requirements for registration at this level.





Re-sits and re-takes



  • Re-take and re-sit grade cap: distinction
  • 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 2 months.

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

EPA gateway

The apprentice’s employer must confirm that they think their apprentice is working at or above the occupational standard. The apprentice will then enter the gateway. The employer may take advice from the apprentice's training provider(s), but the employer must make the decision.

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

These are:

  • achieved English and maths qualifications in line with the apprenticeship funding rules
  • for the professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence the apprentice must submit 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 15 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 of playwork approaches
  • annotated photographs of playwork approaches in practice
  • 1 dynamic risk benefit assessment
  • video clips (maximum total duration 30minutes); 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 any policies and procedures as 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 questions test

Overview

In the 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

Delivery

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

The multiple choice questions test can be computer or paper based.

The multiple choice questions test must consist of 40 multiple-choice questions.

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

The apprentice must be given at least 10 days notice of the date and time of the multiple choice questions test.

Test administration

The apprentice must have 60 minutes to complete the test.

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

The multiple choice questions test must be taken in the presence of an invigilator under the responsibility of the EPAO.

The EPAO must have an invigilation policy setting out how the multiple choice questions 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 is responsible for the security of the multiple choice questions test including the arrangements for on-line testing. The EPAO must ensure that their security arrangements maintain the validity and reliability of the multiple choice questions test.

Marking

The multiple choice questions 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 type supports 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 multiple choice questions test. The EPAO must ensure standardisation and moderation of multiple choice questions test.

Assessment location

The apprentice must take the multiple choice questions 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 multiple choice questions test may take place remotely if the appropriate technology and systems are in place to prevent malpractice. The EPAO must ensure invigilation of the apprentice for example with, and not limited to, 360-degree cameras and screen sharing facilities.

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 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 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 multiple choice questions 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, training, and moderation.

Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence

Overview

In the discussion, an independent assessor and apprentice have a formal two-way conversation.

The apprentice can refer to and illustrate their answers with evidence from their portfolio of evidence. It gives the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate their competency across the KSBs mapped to this EPA method.

Rationale

Due to the nature of the work undertaken and the safety and security requirements within the sector, some KSBs cannot be reliably assessed in the observation and a professional discussion is the most appropriate way to assess those KSBs that will not naturally occur during the observation, allowing the apprentice to draw on their experience to demonstrate competence.

It also allows the opportunity for the apprentice to demonstrate their knowledge and competency of a wide range of KSBs necessary for a playworker role, to ascertain the professional competency of the apprentice against KSBs mapped to this assessment method.

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 underpinning portfolio will have been submitted in line with EPAO requirements, and at the gateway, and must evidence all of the KSBs mapped to this assessment method. The independent assessor can use the contents of the portfolio to identify discussion topics for the professional discussion.

The professional discussion will be undertaken by an independent assessor. During the professional discussion, the independent assessor must use the EPAO's question bank as a source for questioning and are expected to use their professional judgment to tailor those questions appropriately. Independent assessors may ask further questions for clarification purposes and to allow the apprentice the opportunity to cover the KSBs mapped to this assessment method.

The themes that must be covered are:

  • Playwork approach to relationships and behaviours
  • Playwork practice
  • Reflective observations
  • Reflective practice
  • Advocate for playwork
  • Relationships with parents and caregivers
  • Supporting health and wellbeing
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Current and emerging playwork practice

The apprentice and the independent assessor will have access to their own copies of the porfolio of evidence throughout the professional discussion and both can refer to it as needed.

Questioning should be used to assess KSBs mapped to this method and to explore the apprentice's ability to demonstrate against the KSBs in different circumstances. KSBs should only be assessed once. Apprentices will be expected to refer to examples in their portfolio to support their answers.

The EPAO must give an apprentice 2 weeks 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 60 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 7 questions. Follow-up questions are allowed where clarification is required. 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 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 should maintain the security and confidentiality of EPA materials when consulting 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, training, and moderation.

Observation with questions

Overview

In the observation with questions, an independent assessor observes the apprentice in their workplace and asks questions. The apprentice completes their day-to-day duties under normal working conditions. Simulation is not permitted. It gives the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate the KSBs mapped to this assessment method.

Rationale

This EPA method is being used because this method will assess elements of the playworker role that would otherwise be difficult to assess through any other methods because the role relates to effective relationship building with children and young people while observing and supporting their play; which can only be demonstrated through observation.

It would be difficult to replicate the working environment in a way that is congruent and authentic without the independent assessor having the opportunity to observe the apprentice in their real work environment.

Delivery

The observation 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.

An independent assessor must conduct and assess the observation with questions.

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 10 days notice of the observation with questions.

The observation must take 3 hours.

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

The observation with questions may take place in parts but must be completed within 2 working days. A working day is typically 7.5 hours. The reason for this split is because a safeguarding incident that arises would take priority during the observation period. Where breaks occur, they will not count towards the total assessment 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 during the working day.

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

The independent assessor should observe the following during the observation:

The plans for the session will be drawn up by the apprentice and discussed with the end point assessment organisation at the gateway to ensure as many of the KSBs mapped to this assessment method can be covered. The planning process does form part of the assessment; the independent assessor must review the session plan prior to the assessment and ask questions about the planning process in the questioning element.

During the post-observation questioning session, the independent assessor must ask a minimum of 4 set open questions to assess related underpinning knowledge.

The independent assessor should observe the following 4 areas:

  • The playworker observing play behaviours.
  • The playworker's interactions between a child and a young person
  • The playworkers interaction with children and young people to manage risk for themselves
  • The playworker creating, resourcing and changing play spaces

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

They will directly address the knowledge skill and behaviour requirements mapped to the observation. Apprentices should be given the opportunity to explain how they have considered them when demonstrating their practice in playwork.

The independent assessor must ask questions. Questioning can occur both during and the observation. The time for questioning is included in the overall assessment time. The independent assessor must ask at least 4 questions. To remain as unobtrusive as possible, the independent assessor should ask questions during natural stops between tasks and after completion of work rather than disrupting the apprentice’s flow. Follow-up questions are allowed where clarification is required. 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.

The independent assessor must ask questions about KSBs that were not observed to gather assessment evidence. These questions are in addition to the above set number of questions for the observation with questions and should be kept to a minimum.

The independent assessor must make the grading decision. The observation and responses to questions must be assessed holistically by the independent assessor when they are 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
  • the KSBs demonstrated in answers to questions
  • the grade achieved 

Assessment location

The observation with questions must take place in the apprentice’s normal place of work (for example their employer’s premises or a customer’s premises). Equipment and resources needed for the observation must be provided by the employer and be in good and safe working condition.   

Questioning that occurs after the observation 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 should maintain the security and confidentiality of EPA materials when consulting 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 produce the following materials to support the observation with questions:

  • 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, training, 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
Playwork practice
K8 K20 K21 S6 S13

Describes a play audit and explains the principles that underpin the design of stimulating play spaces and how to create and resource them. (K8, S6)

Describes own responsibilities in relation to professional boundaries, lone working, use of social media and personal care, and how they apply that approach in practice. (K20, S13)

Recognises that different children have individual learning and behaviour needs (K21)

Explains the importance of a play audit, how they contribute to it and why this is appropriate to the setting. (S6)

 

Reflective observations
K5 S5

Describes the methods they use to observe and record children playing and how they reflect on these to inform own playwork practice and improve the quality  of playwork provision. (K5, S5)

 

 

Explains why they use the methods described to observe and record children playing, and how this can inform future play work practice. (K5, S5)

 

Reflective practice
K6 S24 B7

Explains the different methods of self and group reflection and their benefits, and how these inform future playwork practice. (K6)

 

Describes how they would create a professional development  plan after reflecting on their own practice and ways to seek out continual professional development opportunities. (S24, B7)

 

 

 

 

 

 

N/A

Advocate for playwork
S7

Explains the importance and value of play in a child's life and how they communicate effectively with adults, colleagues and/or other professionals about the child's right to play. (S7)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Explains how they adapt their advocacy and approaches when promoting the value and benefits of play for all children. (S7)

 

Relationships with parents and caregivers
K11 S12 B5

Explains how they engage with parents and care givers to determine their expectations and how they manage their interactions to respond to these expectations, with a courteous and positive attitude. (K11, S12, B5)

 

 

Explains how they adapt their approach when giving less positive feedback about a child to a parent or caregiver. (K11, S12, B5)

 

Support health and wellbeing
S19

Explains how they promote a healthy lifestyle and why it is important to meet the needs of children with specific dietary and cultural requirements. (S19)  

 

 

 

Explains the consequences of not adhering to providing food that meets children's dietary requirements and cultural needs. (S19)

 

 

Roles and responsibilities
K19 S15 S17 S18 S20 S22 S25

Describes the correct cleaning procedures and disposal of waste for the different areas in a play setting, such as toilets, kitchens, indoor and outdoor play equipment. (S20)

Describes the procedures that should be followed when there is an emergency, incident or accident in the play setting. (S15)

Describes their own contribution to recording and reporting information as required by the play setting, including administrative and financial records. (S17, S18)

Describes own and team responsibilities in following policies and procedures when supporting children on off site trips. (K19, S22)

Works as part of a team recognising the professional boundaries of a playworker to support and protect children. (S25)

 

 

 

 

Explains why it is important to follow correct recording and reporting policies and procedures in play settings and for offsite trips. (K19, S17)

 

 

Current and emerging playwork practice
S3 S26

Describes how they promote diversity and inclusion within their own and others Playwork practice. (S3)

Uses the Play work approach to support children's individual needs. (S26)

 

 

 

Observation with 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
Playwork approach to relationships and behaviours
K2 S4 S16 B6

Uses active listening and communication techniques when interacting with children. Acts with dignity, empathy and respect to build positive relationships when supporting children during play and identifies ways to remove any barriers to young people playing. (K2, S4, S16, B6)

 

 

Explains why it is important to remove barriers that may prevent children and young people playing and the consequences if this is not done. (S4)

Behaviour contexts
K10 S10 S11

 

Shows how they support children to manage their emotions, feelings and actions. (S11)

Identifies the different types of behaviour children and young people may communicate with and demonstrates how to support their needs. (K10 S10)

 

 

 

 

 

Explains why children communicate different types of behaviours and describes how they adapt their approach in supporting them. (K10, S10).

 

 

Play behaviours
S1 B2

Observes and reflects on play behaviours, demonstrates a flexible and adaptable approach to both children and circumstances in responses. (S1, B2)

 

 

 

Responds to the changing shape and nature of the play without leading the play. (S1, B2)

 

 

Communications
S2

Listens actively to the children as they share information and make requests and communicates sensitively using relevant language and behaviour. (S2)

 

 

Explains how to recognise their communication style is not having the expected effect on children and how to modify their language to respond to the situation. (S2)

 

Creating/resourcing Play Spaces
S8 S23 B3 B4

Plans and works  collaboratively and reflectively with others to create and identify loose parts for sustainable practices including recycling, reusing, reducing and repairing. (S8, B4)

 

Applies playwork approaches including new and emerging themes and takes responsibility for the changes. (S23, B3)

 

 

 

The benefits of risk taking
S9 B1

Supports children to manage risk for themselves when playing, taking into consideration dynamic risk benefit assessment. (S9, B1)

 

N/A

Health and Safety
S14 S21

Follows procedures in play setting to carry out formal health and safety checks and security arrangements such as those regarding children's arrival and departures. (S14, S21)

 

 

Explains the importance of maintaining health and safety of children within the play setting and reflects on their own and others behaviours. (S14, S21)

 

 

Multiple choice questions test

Grade Minimum marks required Maximum marks required
Fail 0 25
Pass 26 40

Overall EPA grading

The EPA methods contribute equally to the overall EPA grade.

Performance in the EPA will determine the apprenticeship grade of:

    • fail
    • pass
    • distinction

Independent assessors must individually grade the: professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence and observation with questions according to the requirements set out in this EPA plan.

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

Apprentices who fail one or more assessment method will be awarded an overall EPA fail.

Apprentices must achieve at least a pass in all the EPA methods to get an overall pass. Performance in the EPA will determine the apprenticeship grade of fail, pass, or distinction. Independent assessors must individually grade each assessment method, according to the requirements set out in this plan. EPAOs must combine the individual assessment method grades to determine the overall EPA grade. Apprentices who fail one or more assessment methods will be awarded an overall EPA ‘fail’. In order to gain an overall EPA ‘pass’, apprentices must achieve a pass in all the assessment methods. In order to achieve an overall EPA ‘distinction’, apprentices must achieve distinction in two assessment methods.

Grades from individual assessment methods should be combined in the following way to determine the grade of the EPA as a whole.

Multiple choice questions test Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence Observation with questions Overall Grading
Any grade Any grade Fail Fail
Fail Any grade Any grade Fail
Any grade Fail Any grade Fail
Pass Pass Pass Pass
Pass Distinction Pass Pass
Pass Pass Distinction Pass
Pass Distinction Distinction Distinction

Re-sits and re-takes

Apprentices who fail one or more EPA method(s) can take a re-sit or a re-take at the 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.

Apprentices 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 4 months of the EPA outcome notification.

Failed EPA 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 apprentices wishing to move from pass to a higher grade.

An apprentice will get a maximum EPA grade of distinction 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
  • 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
  • meet the gateway requirements 
  • undertake the EPA  

 

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 that supporting evidence required at the gateway is submitted in line with this EPA plan 
  • liaise with 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 the opportunity for the apprentice to be assessed against the KSBs 
  • 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 regular 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 the EPA contractual arrangements, including agreeing the price of the EPA 
  • develop and produce assessment materials as detailed for each assessment method in this EPA plan 
  • appoint qualified and competent independent assessors in line with the requirements of this EPA plan to conduct assessments and oversee their working 
  • appoint administrators (and invigilators where required) to administer the EPA  
  • provide training for independent assessors in terms of good assessment practice, operating the assessment tools and grading 
  • provide information, advice, guidance and documentation to enable apprentices, employers and training providers to prepare for the EPA 
  • confirm all gateway requirements have been met as quickly as possible 
  • arrange for the EPA to take place, in consultation with the employer 
  • ensure that the apprentice has access to the required resources and liaise with the employer to agree this if necessary, where the apprentice is not assessed in the workplace 
  • develop and provide assessment recording documentation to ensure a clear and auditable process is in place for providing assessment decisions and feedback to stakeholders 
  • have no direct connection with the apprentice, their employer or training provider in all instances; there must be no conflict of interest 
  • have policies and procedures for internal quality assurance (IQA), and maintain records of IQA activity and moderation for external quality assurance (EQA) purposes 
  • deliver induction training for independent assessors, and for invigilators and markers (where used) 
  • undertake standardisation activity on this apprenticeship for an independent assessor before they conduct an EPA for the first time, if the EPA is updated and periodically (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  
  • use language in the development and delivery of the EPA that is appropriate to the level of the occupational standard 

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 occupation 
  • 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; there must be no conflict of interest 
  • attend induction training 
  • attend standardisation events when they start working for the EPAO, before they conduct an EPA for the first time and a minimum of annually for this apprenticeship  
  • assess each assessment method, as determined by the EPA plan  
  • assess the KSBs assigned to each assessment method, as shown in the mapping of KSBs to assessment methods in this EPA plan  
  • make the grading decisions 
  • record and report 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 must: 

  • work with the employer and support the apprentice during the off-the-job training to provide the opportunities to develop the KSBs as listed in the occupational standard 
  • conduct training covering the KSBs 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 

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 

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:

The EPAO must also:

  • have 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 2 gained in the last 2 years or significant experience of the occupation or sector
    • meet the following minimum requirements:

        • have worked with children and young people as a playworker in settings which do not conflict with the Playwork Principles and ethos of playwork
        • demonstrate practical work experience, knowledge and skills to be able to make accurate judgements about the competence of playworkers
        • practical knowledge of the playwork principles and playwork theory -specifically play cycle, play types, intervention styles, risk-benefit assessment and reflective practice
        • have a CPD record that includes up to date learning of current best playwork practice which is evidenced by a reflective account or reflective records, which includes face to face playwork, attendance at sector training days, seminars, conferences, training and reading
        • have achieved a recognised assessor's qualification and have preferably experience of working as a playwork assessor, giving details of where and when
      • operate induction training for independent assessors, markers and invigilators
      • provide training for independent assessors in terms of good assessment practice, operating the assessment tools and grading
      • where appropriate
        • provide ongoing training for markers
        • provide ongoing training for invigilators
      • undertake standardisation activity on 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 assessment decisions and grades
      • conduct appeals where required, according to the EPAO's appeals procedure, reviewing and making final decisions on assessment decisions and grades
      • conduct effective moderation of assessment decisions and grades
      • periodically as appropriate (a minimum of annually)
      • if the EPA is updated
      • before they conduct an EPA for the first time
      • undertake standardisation activity on this apprenticeship standard for all independent assessors;
      • provide ongoing training for invigilators
      • provide ongoing training for markers
      • where appropriate
      • provide training for independent assessors in terms of good assessment practice, operating the assessment tools and grading
      • operate induction training for independent assessors, markers and invigilators
      • have achieved a recognised assessor's qualification and have preferably experience of working as a playwork assessor, giving details of where and when
      • have a CPD record that includes up to date learning of current best playwork practice which is evidenced by a reflective account or reflective records, which includes face to face playwork, attendance at sector training days, seminars, conferences, training and reading
      • practical knowledge of the playwork principles and playwork theory -specifically play cycle, play types, intervention styles, risk-benefit assessment and reflective practice
      • demonstrate practical work experience, knowledge and skills to be able to make accurate judgements about the competence of playworkers
      • have worked with children and young people as a playworker in settings which do not conflict with the Playwork Principles and ethos of playwork
      • conduct appeals where required, according to the EPAO's appeals procedure, reviewing and making final decisions on assessment decisions and grades
  • 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.

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
  • using the employer’s premises
  • conducting assessment methods on the same day

Professional recognition

This apprenticeship aligns with:

Playwork Foundation for Playwork Level 2

Mapping of KSBs to assessment methods

Knowledge Assessment methods
K1

Playwork theory, The Playwork Principles and introduction to child development.

Back to Grading
Multiple choice questions test
K2

Active listening and communication techniques to build relationships with children and young people.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
K3

The importance of professional conduct and implementing boundaries in your own practice.

Back to Grading
Multiple choice questions test
K4

Diversity and inclusion in Playwork settings, including acknowledging and addressing own reactions and likely responses.

Back to Grading
Multiple choice questions test
K5

Observation and record keeping methods to enhance play and inform future Playwork practice.

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

Methods of self and group reflection and how to implement these to enhance play and inform future Playwork practice.

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

How to support the development of resilience in children and young people.

Back to Grading
Multiple choice questions test
K8

Principles of designing stimulating play spaces and how to create and resource them.

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

Risk-benefit assessment and the importance of children managing risks for themselves.

Back to Grading
Multiple choice questions test
K10

Different types of behaviour, why they need to be addressed and when and how to address them.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
K11

Parents and caregivers expectations and how to respond to these.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K12

Health and safety procedures in the play setting.

Back to Grading
Multiple choice questions test
K13

How to respond to accidents and different emergency situations (fire, extreme weather, serious injury, common illnesses and infections).

Back to Grading
Multiple choice questions test
K14

Local and national Safeguarding and Child Protection policies and procedures.

Back to Grading
Multiple choice questions test
K15

Financial and administrative policy and procedures within open and closed settings.

Back to Grading
Multiple choice questions test
K16

Basic food hygiene procedures and practice., taking into consideration cultural and dietary needs and the importance of consuming healthy balanced meals.

Back to Grading
Multiple choice questions test
K17

Roles and responsibilities in opening, closing, cleaning and tidying the setting.

Back to Grading
Multiple choice questions test
K18

The importance of recycling, reusing, reducing, repairing and inspiring sustainable attitudes.

Back to Grading
Multiple choice questions test
K19

Off-site policies and procedures, including trips, visits and residentials.

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

Professional boundaries of self and other Playworkers’ interaction with children.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K21

How to deal with the individual learning and or behavioural needs of a child.

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

Observe and reflect on play behaviours.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
S2

Communicate sensitively using relevant language and behaviour.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
S3

Promote diversity and inclusion in Playwork practice.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
S4

Identify ways to remove barriers which can prevent some children and young people playing.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
S5

Undertake reflective observations to improve own practice and the quality of the provision for children and young people.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
S6

Contribute to play audits.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
S7

Promote the value and benefits of play for all children and young people.

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

Assist with planning, creating and identifying loose parts to encourage and inspire sustainable practices, including recycling, reusing, reducing and repairing.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
S9

Recognise the benefits of risk taking in play and contribute to dynamic risk-benefit assessment.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
S10

Recognise that children and young people communicate with a range of different types of behaviour and may need Playworker support.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
S11

Support children and young people to understand and manage their emotions, feelings and actions.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
S12

Manage interactions with parents/caregivers professionally.

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

Recognise the importance of respecting professional boundaries when lone working or conducting intimate care with children and young people and using social media with children, young people and families.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
S14

Contribute to health and safety checks.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
S15

Follow emergency incidents or common illness/infections policies and procedures, administering first aid and completing records when required.

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

Use active listening and communication techniques when interacting with children and young people playing, identifying any potential concerns if they occur.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
S17

Contribute to recording and reporting procedures as required by the play setting.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
S18

Contribute to administrative and financial record keeping.

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

Promote healthy eating and an active lifestyle, ensuring specific dietary and cultural needs are met.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
S20

Maintain a clean environment according to local and national policies and procedures.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
S21

Contribute to ensuring security arrangements are followed, such as children’s arrival and departures from the setting.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
S22

Work as part of a team to support and supervise children and young people on off-site trips, complying with formal risk assessment of venues visited.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
S23

Apply Playwork approaches in own role, incorporating new and emerging themes.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
S24

Reflect on own practice to create a personal development plan with supervisor.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
S25

Recognise the boundaries of own self and other Playworkers’ interaction with children, and when it is necessary to report incidents to the appropriate safeguarding lead and Local Authority Designated Officer – LADO if appropriate when a Playworkers’ behaviour towards a child may pose a risk of harm.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
S26

Apply the play work approach depending on the individual need.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
Behaviour Assessment methods
B1

Work flexibly with an understanding of health and safety to support risk taking in play.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
B2

Work flexibly and adapt to both children and circumstances.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
B3

Take responsibility and show initiative.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
B4

Team-focused, working collaboratively and reflectively with others.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
B5

Behave in a polite and courteous way with a positive attitude.

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

Treat people with dignity, respect, and empathy.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
B7

Seek out learning and continuing professional development opportunities.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence

Mapping of KSBs to grade themes

Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence - Discussion

KSBS GROUPED BY THEME Knowledge Skills Behaviour
Playwork practice
K8 K20 K21
S6 S13

Principles of designing stimulating play spaces and how to create and resource them. (K8)

Professional boundaries of self and other Playworkers’ interaction with children. (K20)

How to deal with the individual learning and or behavioural needs of a child. (K21)

Contribute to play audits. (S6)

Recognise the importance of respecting professional boundaries when lone working or conducting intimate care with children and young people and using social media with children, young people and families. (S13)

N/A

Reflective observations
K5
S5

Observation and record keeping methods to enhance play and inform future Playwork practice. (K5)

Undertake reflective observations to improve own practice and the quality of the provision for children and young people. (S5)

N/A

Reflective practice
K6
S24
B7

Methods of self and group reflection and how to implement these to enhance play and inform future Playwork practice. (K6)

Reflect on own practice to create a personal development plan with supervisor. (S24)

Seek out learning and continuing professional development opportunities. (B7)

Advocate for playwork

S7

N/A

Promote the value and benefits of play for all children and young people. (S7)

N/A

Relationships with parents and caregivers
K11
S12
B5

Parents and caregivers expectations and how to respond to these. (K11)

Manage interactions with parents/caregivers professionally. (S12)

Behave in a polite and courteous way with a positive attitude. (B5)

Support health and wellbeing

S19

N/A

Promote healthy eating and an active lifestyle, ensuring specific dietary and cultural needs are met. (S19)

N/A

Roles and responsibilities
K19
S15 S17 S18 S20 S22 S25

Off-site policies and procedures, including trips, visits and residentials. (K19)

Follow emergency incidents or common illness/infections policies and procedures, administering first aid and completing records when required. (S15)

Contribute to recording and reporting procedures as required by the play setting. (S17)

Contribute to administrative and financial record keeping. (S18)

Maintain a clean environment according to local and national policies and procedures. (S20)

Work as part of a team to support and supervise children and young people on off-site trips, complying with formal risk assessment of venues visited. (S22)

Recognise the boundaries of own self and other Playworkers’ interaction with children, and when it is necessary to report incidents to the appropriate safeguarding lead and Local Authority Designated Officer – LADO if appropriate when a Playworkers’ behaviour towards a child may pose a risk of harm. (S25)

N/A

Current and emerging playwork practice

S3 S26

N/A

Promote diversity and inclusion in Playwork practice. (S3)

Apply the play work approach depending on the individual need. (S26)

N/A

Observation with questions - Observation

KSBS GROUPED BY THEME Knowledge Skills Behaviour
Playwork approach to relationships and behaviours
K2
S4 S16
B6

Active listening and communication techniques to build relationships with children and young people. (K2)

Identify ways to remove barriers which can prevent some children and young people playing. (S4)

Use active listening and communication techniques when interacting with children and young people playing, identifying any potential concerns if they occur. (S16)

Treat people with dignity, respect, and empathy. (B6)

Behaviour contexts
K10
S10 S11

Different types of behaviour, why they need to be addressed and when and how to address them. (K10)

Recognise that children and young people communicate with a range of different types of behaviour and may need Playworker support. (S10)

Support children and young people to understand and manage their emotions, feelings and actions. (S11)

N/A

Play behaviours

S1
B2

N/A

Observe and reflect on play behaviours. (S1)

Work flexibly and adapt to both children and circumstances. (B2)

Communications

S2

N/A

Communicate sensitively using relevant language and behaviour. (S2)

N/A

Creating/resourcing Play Spaces

S8 S23
B3 B4

N/A

Assist with planning, creating and identifying loose parts to encourage and inspire sustainable practices, including recycling, reusing, reducing and repairing. (S8)

Apply Playwork approaches in own role, incorporating new and emerging themes. (S23)

Take responsibility and show initiative. (B3)

Team-focused, working collaboratively and reflectively with others. (B4)

The benefits of risk taking

S9
B1

N/A

Recognise the benefits of risk taking in play and contribute to dynamic risk-benefit assessment. (S9)

Work flexibly with an understanding of health and safety to support risk taking in play. (B1)

Health and Safety

S14 S21

N/A

Contribute to health and safety checks. (S14)

Contribute to ensuring security arrangements are followed, such as children’s arrival and departures from the setting. (S21)

N/A

Find an apprenticeship

Contact us about this apprenticeship

Employers involved in creating the standard: Beyond Words CIC, CACHE, class of their own, Gill Mason Kids Planet Main Business Activity, Hackney play association, Hybu, Julie tucker kids, Learn plus, Meriden Playground Business Activity, Pip Levett Play Gloucestershire Business, Play Torbay, Portsmouth City Council, Steve Girking Ebor Academey Trust, The Big Swing Main

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.0 Approved for delivery 02/02/2023 Not set Not set

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