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Technician scientist

This is not the latest approved version of this apprenticeship. View the latest version

This revised version of the occupational standard and end-point assessment plan has been agreed and but is available for information only pending approval of the funding band.

This apprenticeship is in revision

Key information

  1. Status: In development
  2. Ticked Proposal approved
    Ticked Occupational standard approved
    Ticked End-point assessment plan approved
  3. Reference: ST0597
  4. Level: 5
  5. Typical duration to gateway: 36 months
  6. Typical EPA period: 3 months
  7. Route: Health and science
  8. Date updated: 22/09/2022
  9. Lars code: 319
  10. EQA provider: Ofqual
  11. Example progression routes:
Print occupational standard

Details of the occupational standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in a wide range of employers. The employers will typically operate in chemical, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, formulated products or analytical services. Employers can range in size, from large multinational organisations through to smaller businesses. Technician scientists may operate within a science department of a larger organisation or within a smaller science focussed business that provides science services. Technician scientists are typically laboratory-based.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to carry out established laboratory based investigations and scientific experimentation using bench and instrumentation techniques. A technician scientist will apply a range of skills and follow well established principles associated with their organisation’s science and technology. They carry out routine lines of enquiry, development or investigation. They collect scientific information and analyse, interpret and evaluate data. They prepare results and provide progress updates of their work.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with a wider scientific team, which may include laboratory scientists and laboratory technicians. They communicate information, arguments and analysis in a variety of forms to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for the quality of the work they undertake. They operate in settings where there is certainty and limited ambiguity. They take personal responsibility for decision making in predictable contexts. They work safely and ethically often under highly regulated conditions because of the need to control quality and safety of scientific products. They critically evaluate appropriateness of commonly used approaches to solve science problems, using a range of approaches to formulate evidence based responses to defined and routine problems and issues within their area of work. They contribute to solutions to problems within the wider scientific team, using appropriate project management procedures. They perform record keeping and checks and use data capture systems relevant to the technical and scientific procedures that they use. They use their awareness of any research interests and the technical context and processes of the laboratory alongside senior team members to contribute to the proposal of new scientific ideas. They may manage resources within a clearly defined area.

Typical job titles include:

Analytical support chemist Assistant scientist Associate practitioner Laboratory analyst Laboratory assistant Laboratory co-ordinator Laboratory research assistant Microbiology support scientist Process development technologist Quality control laboratory assistant Senior laboratory technician Technical laboratory assistant Technical specialist  (scientist) Technical support scientist

Occupation duties

Duty

KSBs

Duty 1 Prepare for laboratory-based scientific investigations and experiments. Identifying appropriate scientific techniques, procedures, and methods to meet objectives (including environmental and risk management systems).

K1 K2 K4 K10 K12

S1 S2

B1 B4

Duty 2 Plan and perform laboratory-based scientific investigations and experiments using specialised techniques, following specified methodologies, and quality standards, and in accordance with relevant H&S procedures and wider regulation/ legislation.

K3 K5 K10 K11 K14

S1 S2 S4 S5

B1 B4

Duty 3 Use specified instrumentation and laboratory equipment. Calibrate and troubleshoot equipment where required.

K3

S3

B1 B4

Duty 4 Systematically collect and produce reliable and accurate information from scientific investigations and experiments and keep accurate records.

K6 K18

S5 S6

B1

Duty 5 Use data analysis tools to process or produce reliable analysis, interpretation, and evaluation of data.

K7 K9 K18

S6 S8 S9

B1

Duty 6 Collaborate with stakeholders and communicate scientific information.

K6 K15 K17

S10 S13 S14 S15

B2

Duty 7 Apply scientific techniques for data presentation to scientific and non-scientific audiences. e.g. statistics.

K6 K7 K17

S10

Duty 8 Recognise problems and apply appropriate scientific methods to identify causes and achieve solutions.

S13

B3 B5

Duty 9 Maintain knowledge of advances in scientific and sector working practices and participate in continuous business performance improvement.

K13 K15 K16 K19

S7 S12 S13 S14 S15

B2 B3 B5

Duty 10 Support, organise and manage personal workload and contributes to the development of staff in own area.

K8 K15

S11 S12 S14 S15

B6


KSBs

Knowledge

K1: Principles of laboratory techniques and scientific experimentation. Back to Duty

K2: How to apply the principles of laboratory techniques and scientific experimentation to contribute to the development of technical projects and the implementation of new processes. Back to Duty

K3: Laboratory equipment relevant to the role and the associated maintenance and calibration requirements. Back to Duty

K4: The key principles of scientific investigation relevant to the role (e.g. route cause analysis or out of specification results). Back to Duty

K5: Named and recognised scientific theory appropriate to the workplace and role (e.g. Chemistry, Physics or Life Sciences). Back to Duty

K6: The requirements and significance of reporting results, considering the importance of accuracy, precision, and recognising trends. Back to Duty

K7: Mathematical concepts and techniques relevant to the work role (e.g. basic statistical analysis, relating to sampling and data to evaluate results). Back to Duty

K8: The basic principles and procedures of project management and how to contribute to project plans with other team members (e.g. project timeline & milestones). Back to Duty

K9: Business requirements pertaining to record-keeping, traceability & confidentiality, and quality control systems. Back to Duty

K10: The internal and external regulatory environment pertinent to the work role and how to comply with regulations. Back to Duty

K11: The importance of operating ethically and sustainably, complying with codes of conduct, and the impact of this on business operations, the wider sector, society, and the environment. Back to Duty

K12: How the role impacts on the business and the environment in which it operates (e.g idea creation, innovation, and enterprise). Back to Duty

K13: The importance of consulting reliable sources of information to keep up to date with scientific, role, or sector knowledge and ways to communicate this to team members. Back to Duty

K14: Health and safety and environmental regulations, procedures, documentation, and risk management systems applicable to the role. Back to Duty

K15: Importance of developing soft skills (people and interpersonal) relevant to the role. Back to Duty

K16: Different approaches and methods, for use in the identification, design, development, and implementation of solutions to technical problems. Back to Duty

K17: Techniques used to identify and manage stakeholder expectations including compliance with codes of conduct. Back to Duty

K18: The importance and impact of good record keeping. Back to Duty

K19: How digital technology enables the functionality of the working environment to be adaptable to change. Back to Duty

Skills

S1: Identify potential scientific techniques to meet defined objectives. Back to Duty

S2: Review and select appropriate scientific techniques to undertake required tasks (consider risk management, safe working practices, equipment availability, quality standards, the environment, and sustainability). Back to Duty

S3: Source and calibrate specified instrumentation and laboratory equipment. Back to Duty

S4: Plan and perform laboratory-based investigations and scientific experimentation using scientific techniques, procedures, and methods relevant to the role. Back to Duty

S5: Systematically obtain information when conducting scientific experiments. Back to Duty

S6: Record and store data in accordance with regulatory requirements. Back to Duty

S7: Contribute to the development or improvement of processes and methodologies and support their implementation into the business as part of a wider team. Back to Duty

S8: Use data analysis tools and software packages to process or produce reliable, accurate data or information. Back to Duty

S9: Interpret scientific data to inform actions or recommendations and escalate where required. Back to Duty

S10: Present the results of scientific work to scientific and non-scientific audiences in written and oral form. Back to Duty

S11: Plan and prioritise own tasks and complete work to schedule whilst maintaining compliance with internal and external requirements. Back to Duty

S12: Contribute to recommendations, improvements, or scientific solutions to meet the requirements of internal or external customers. Back to Duty

S13: Identify, develop or contribute to solutions to technical problems. Back to Duty

S14: Collaborate with stakeholders and identify results requiring further investigation or escalation. Back to Duty

S15: Keeps up to date with advances in scientific and sector working practices and technologies. Shares best practice across the team. Back to Duty

Behaviours

B1: Acts in a professional and ethical manner (demonstrates reliability, integrity, and respect for confidentiality). Back to Duty

B2: Acts in a way that builds and maintains positive relationships with stakeholders (takes account of the impact of own work on others, internally and externally). Back to Duty

B3: Committed to continuous professional development (handles and responds positively to change, adjusting to different conditions, technologies, situations, and environments). Back to Duty

B4: Committed to adopting safe working practices. Back to Duty

B5: Committed to the adoption of environmentally sustainable working practices. Back to Duty

B6: Resilient under pressure. 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.

Professional recognition

This standard partially aligns with the following professional recognition:

  • Science Council for Registered Scientist (partial alignment)

    The Science Council for Registered Scientist (RSci). Upon successful completion of the apprenticeship and upon receipt of the apprenticeship certificate, individuals are eligible to apply for RSci through a shortened application route. Individuals also need to be a member of a professional body that is licensed by the Science Council to be awarded this status and provide evidence of a relevant qualification at level 5 or above or demonstrate equivalence. Further information is on the Science Council’s website.

Print EPA plan

End-point assessment plan

Introduction and overview

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

Technician scientist 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 36 months on-programme (this means in training before the gateway) working towards competence as a technician scientist. All apprentices must spend at least 12 months on-programme. All apprentices must spend at least 20% of their on-programme time completing off-the-job training.

This EPA has 2 assessment methods.

The grades available for each EPA method are:

EPA method 1 - project presentation and questions:

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

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

EPA summary table

On-programme (typically 36 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. This includes those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement. British sign language (BSL) qualifications are an alternative to English qualifications for those who have BSL as their primary language.

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 a technician scientist
  • 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. This includes those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement. British sign language (BSL) qualifications are an alternative to English qualifications for those who have BSL as their primary language.

For the project presentation and questions, the apprentice must submit the following supporting material: project title and project brief requirements. To ensure the project allows the apprentice to meet the KSBs mapped to this assessment method to the highest available grade, the EPAO should sign-off the project’s title and scope at the gateway to confirm it is suitable. A brief project summary must be submitted to the EPAO. It should be no more than 500 words. This needs to show that the project will provide the opportunity for the apprentice to cover the KSBs mapped to this assessment method. It is not assessed.

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.

End-point assessment (typically 3 months)

Grades available for each method:

Project presentation and questions

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

Overall EPA and apprenticeship can be graded:

    • fail
    • pass
    • merit
    • distinction

Professional recognition

This apprenticeship standard aligns with Science Council for Registered Scientist (partial alignment). The experience gained and responsibility held by the apprentice on completion of 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: pass
  • Re-sit timeframe: typically 2 months
  • Re-take timeframe: typically 3 months

Duration of end-point assessment period

The EPA will be taken within the EPA period. The EPA period begins when the EPAO confirms the gateway requirements are met and is typically 3 months.

The expectation is that the EPAO will confirm the gateway requirements are met and the EPA begins 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. This includes those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement. British sign language (BSL) qualifications are an alternative to English qualifications for those who have BSL as their primary language

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Project presentation and questions

Overview

A project involves the apprentice completing a significant and defined piece of work that has a real business application and benefit. The project must start after the apprentice has gone through the gateway.

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

The project must meet the needs of the employer’s business and be relevant to the apprentice’s occupation and apprenticeship. The EPAO must confirm that it provides the apprentice with the opportunity to demonstrate the KSBs mapped to this EPA method to the highest available grade. The EPAO must refer to the grading descriptors to ensure that projects are pitched appropriately.

This EPA method includes 2 components:

The project and any components must be assessed holistically by the independent assessor when they are deciding the grade for this EPA method.

Rationale

This EPA method is being used because it enables a defined piece of work to be undertaken after the gateway to demonstrate particular aspects of the occupation. The project reflects the approach taken to record scientific laboratory work. It would not be possible to observe the apprentice complete these activities as it would take too long and not be practical to schedule alongside existing work. Technician scientists are required to present the results of scientific work and so the presentation reflects the requirements of the role. The questioning enables underpinning knowledge and understanding to be assessed. This method enables synoptic assessment of knowledge, skills, and behaviours.

Component 1: Project in the form of a project report

Delivery

Apprentices must complete a project which may be based on:

To ensure the project allows the apprentice to meet the KSBs mapped to this EPA method to the highest available grade, the EPAO should sign-off the project’s title and scope at the gateway to confirm it is suitable.

The project must be in the form of a report.

The apprentice must start the project after the gateway. They must complete and submit the report to the EPAO after a maximum of 0 weeks. The employer should ensure the apprentice has the time and resources within this period, to plan and complete their project. The apprentice must complete their project and the production of all its components unaided.

The apprentice may work as part of a team which could include technical internal or external support. However, the project report must be the apprentice’s own work and will be reflective of their own role and contribution. The apprentice and their employer must confirm that the project report is the apprentice’s own work when it is submitted.

The report must include at least:

As a minimum, all projects must include:

The project report has a maximum word count of 3000 words. A tolerance of 10% above or below the word count is allowed at the apprentice’s discretion. Appendices, references and diagrams are not included in this total. The project report must map, in an appendix, how it evidences the relevant KSBs mapped to this EPA method.

Component 2: Presentation with questioning

Delivery

This is a formal presentation where an apprentice will present to an independent assessor on a set subject. The independent assessor must ask questions. Apprentices must prepare, submit and deliver a presentation. The presentation is restricted to the KSBs allocated to this EPA method as shown in the mapping section of this document.

The presentation and questioning must last 75 minutes This will typically include a presentation of 30 minutes and questioning lasting 45 minutes.

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

The purpose of the independent assessor's questions will be to check the underpinning knowledge and understanding of the apprentice and to ensure coverage of the KSBs mapped to the method.

The presentation will provide an overview of the apprentice’s project.. Independent assessors will ask questions after the presentation. The presentation should build on the report and the apprentice should:

  • present results of the scientific work including mathematical concepts that were used
  • justify how they considered the most appropriate scientific techniques to apply and how they ensured that any analysis was reliable and accurate
  • reference the evidence used to inform the results
  • describe the lessons learned

The apprentice must prepare and submit their presentation to the EPAO at the same time as the report which is a maximum of 0 weeks after the gateway.

The apprentice must notify the EPAO, at the submission of the presentation, of any technical requirements for the presentation. For the presentation, the apprentice will have access to:

The independent assessor must have at least 2 weeks to review the project report and presentation before the presentation is delivered by the apprentice, to allow them to prepare appropriate questions.

Apprentices must be given at least 2 weeks notice of the date and time of the presentation and question and answer session.

Assessment location

The presentation with questioning must take place in a suitable venue selected by the EPAO for example the EPAO’s or employer’s premises.

The presentation with questioning should take place in a quiet room, free from distractions and influence.

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

Question and resource development

EPAOs must write an assessment specification and question bank. The specification must be relevant to the occupation and demonstrate how to assess the KSBs shown in the mapping. It is recommended this is done in consultation with employers of this occupation. EPAOs should maintain the security and confidentiality of EPA materials when consulting employers. The questions must be unpredictable. A question bank of sufficient size will support this. The assessment specification and questions must be reviewed at least once a year to ensure they remain fit-for-purpose.

EPAOs will develop purpose-built question banks and ensure that appropriate quality assurance procedures are in place. For example, considering standardisation, training and moderation. EPAOs will ensure that questions are refined and developed to a high standard.

EPAOs must ensure that apprentices have a different set of questions in the case of re-sits or re-takes.

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

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

This EPA method is being used because it will allow KSBs which may not naturally occur in every workplace or may take too long to observe to be assessed. It also enables the assessment of a disparate set of KSBs. The professional discussion will enable underpinning knowledge to be tested. It reflects the requirement for Technician Scientists to communicate their approach to work when carrying out their everyday duties.

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 draw out contextualised examples, further clarify skills demonstrated in the portfolio and be used to ask open questions tailored to the role and environment.

A minimum of 1 question will be asked for each of the following themes:

The EPAO must give an apprentice 2 weeks notice of the professional discussion.

The independent assessor must have at least 2 week(s) 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 is however the portfolio of evidence is not directly assessed.

The professional discussion must last for 105 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 4 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 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.

Grading

Project presentation and questions

Fail - does not meet pass criteria

Theme

KSBs

Pass

Apprentices must demonstrate all the pass descriptors

Distinction

Apprentices must demonstrate all the pass descriptors and all of the distinction descriptors

Plan workload
K8 S11 B6

Applies the principles and procedures of project management, individually or in a team situation, completing work to schedule in compliance with internal and external requirements’ whilst remaining resilient under pressure. (K8, S11, B6)

 

 

 

 

Identifies potential opportunities for the work they have carried out to add value to the project or business beyond the project scope. (K8, S11)

 

 

 

Prepare for and perform lab tasks
K1 K2 K16 S1 S2

Describes the principles of laboratory techniques and how they can be applied to the development of technical projects and the design, development, and implementation of solutions to technical problems and new processes. (K1, K2, K16)

Identifies potential scientific techniques available to meet experiment objectives. Describes the selection of techniques taking into account risk management, safe working practices, equipment availability, quality standards, the environment, and sustainability. (S1, S2)

 

Evaluates the wider business impact of sharing their solutions to technical problems.  (K2, S2)

 

Analyse, interpret and evaluate data
K7 S5 S6 S8 S9

Evaluates the project results data using appropriate mathematical concepts and techniques, tools and/or software packages, recording and storing the data in line with regulatory requirements. (K7, S6, S8)

Analyses systematically obtained information from scientific/project experiments, interpreting the data to inform actions or recommendations and/or escalate if required’ (S5, S9)

NA

Communication
K17 S10 B2

Complies with company policies and/or guidance/procedures when managing stakeholder relationships or expectations, presenting work suitable for scientific and non-scientific audiences and where their own work impacts on others’. (K17, S10, B2)

 

Critically analyses the value to stakeholder relationships of selecting different methods of presenting their project results to scientific and non-scientific audiences. (S10, B2)

 

Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence

Fail - does not meet pass criteria

Theme

KSBs

Pass

Apprentices must demonstrate all the pass descriptors

Distinction

Apprentices must demonstrate all the pass descriptors and all of the distinction descriptors

Perform lab tasks
K4 K5 K10 K11 K12 K14 S4 B4 B5

Illustrates and identifies how they have effectively planned and performed laboratory-based investigations and scientific experimentation using named and recognised scientific theory, techniques, procedures, and methods. Articulates key principles of scientific investigation relevant to the role (e.g. route cause analysis or out of specification results). Describes how the role impacts the wider business and the environment in which it operates and how it can inform innovation, enterprise, and idea creation. (K4, K5, K12, S4)

Explains the regulatory environment in which they operate, including the health and safety and environmental regulations, procedures, documentation, and risk management systems applicable to the role. Describes how they have demonstrated commitment to the adoption of ethical, safe, and environmentally sustainable working practices and the impact of this on wider business operations, the sector, society, and the environment. (K10, K11, K14, B4, B5)

 

 

Evaluates how their role impacts the wider business and the environment in which it operates and how it can inform innovation, enterprise, and idea creation. Describes the risk to individuals and business if regulations are not followed. (K10, K12, B5)

Evaluates how they have planned and performed laboratory based investigations and how this will inform their approach to future work. Justifies their selection of scientific techniques and explains the pros and cons of applying alternative techniques. (S4)

Calibrate and use equipment
K3 S3

Justifies their choice of instrumentation and /or laboratory equipment, maintenance and calibration techniques relevant to their role’. (K3, S3)

Evaluates the impact that maintenance and calibration of laboratory equipment has on the validity of experimental results’ (K3, S3) 

 

 

 

Record keeping and communication
K6 K9 K15 K18 S14 B1

Describes the importance of people and interpersonal skills when dealing with stakeholders. Explains how they have collaborated professionally with others when identifying results requiring further investigation or escalation. States the requirements and significance of considering accuracy, precision, and recognising trends when reporting results. Explains business requirements pertaining to record-keeping and evaluates its importance and impact on traceability, confidentiality, and quality systems.  (K6, K9, K15, K18, S14, B1)

 

Evaluates the effectiveness of their collaboration and how this will inform their approach in the future. (K15, S14)

 

 

 

Continuous improvement
K13 K19 S7 S12 S13 S15 B3

Evaluates how they have responded positively to change by keeping up to date with advances in working practices and technologies. Explains how they have identified, developed, or contributed to providing and implementing solutions to technical problems and improved processes across the wider business. Explains how digital technology enables the functionality of the working environment to be adaptable to change. Justifies how the improvements met the requirements of internal and external customers. Summarises how they have demonstrated commitment to their professional development and the importance of referring to reliable information sources when keeping up to date.  Evaluates ways that advances in working practices and technologies can be effectively communicated to other team members. (K13, K19, S7, S12, S13, S15, B3)

 

Analyses the impact of their CPD and how their career and professional development aligns with the business strategy and will positively impact the business. (S15, B3)

 

 

Overall EPA grading

The EPA methods contribute equally to the overall EPA grade.

Performance in the EPA will determine the apprenticeship grade of:

Independent assessors must individually grade the: project presentation and questions and professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence 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. In order to achieve an overall EPA ‘merit’, apprentices must achieve a pass in one assessment method and a distinction in the other assessment method. To achieve an overall EPA ‘distinction,’ the apprentice must achieve a distinction in both assessment methods.

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

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

Re-sits and re-takes

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 3 months of the EPA outcome notification.

If the apprentice fails the project assessment method, they will be required to amend the project report in line with the independent assessor’s feedback. The apprentice will be given 3 weeks to rework and submit the amended report.

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 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, apprentices 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, employers 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, employers 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, EPAOs 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 standard
  • 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 (i.e. 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 standard 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 apprentices in order 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, EPAOs must: 

  • make all necessary contractual arrangements, including agreeing the price of the EPA
  • 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.

At the Gateway, EPAOs 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, independent assessors must: 

  • have the competence to assess the apprentice at this level 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 the 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 (i.e. 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 standard
  • 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 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, training providers 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 (often known as 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 (i.e. a HEI), there must be procures in place to mitigate against any conflict of interest. 

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 (IQA)

Internal quality assurance refers to how EPAOs ensure valid, consistent and reliable EPA decisions. EPAOs must adhere to the requirements within the roles and responsibilities section and:

Professional recognition

This apprenticeship standard is designed to prepare successful apprentices to meet the requirements for registration as a:

Science Council for Registered Scientist (partial alignment)

Mapping of KSBs to assessment methods

Knowledge Assessment methods
K1

Principles of laboratory techniques and scientific experimentation.

Back to Grading
Project presentation and questions
K2

How to apply the principles of laboratory techniques and scientific experimentation to contribute to the development of technical projects and the implementation of new processes.

Back to Grading
Project presentation and questions
K3

Laboratory equipment relevant to the role and the associated maintenance and calibration requirements.

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

The key principles of scientific investigation relevant to the role (e.g. route cause analysis or out of specification results).

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
K5

Named and recognised scientific theory appropriate to the workplace and role (e.g. Chemistry, Physics or Life Sciences).

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

The requirements and significance of reporting results, considering the importance of accuracy, precision, and recognising trends.

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

Mathematical concepts and techniques relevant to the work role (e.g. basic statistical analysis, relating to sampling and data to evaluate results).

Back to Grading
Project presentation and questions
K8

The basic principles and procedures of project management and how to contribute to project plans with other team members (e.g. project timeline & milestones).

Back to Grading
Project presentation and questions
K9

Business requirements pertaining to record-keeping, traceability & confidentiality, and quality control systems.

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

The internal and external regulatory environment pertinent to the work role and how to comply with regulations.

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

The importance of operating ethically and sustainably, complying with codes of conduct, and the impact of this on business operations, the wider sector, society, and the environment.

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

How the role impacts on the business and the environment in which it operates (e.g idea creation, innovation, and enterprise).

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

The importance of consulting reliable sources of information to keep up to date with scientific, role, or sector knowledge and ways to communicate this to team members.

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

Health and safety and environmental regulations, procedures, documentation, and risk management systems applicable to the role.

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

Importance of developing soft skills (people and interpersonal) relevant to the role.

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

Different approaches and methods, for use in the identification, design, development, and implementation of solutions to technical problems.

Back to Grading
Project presentation and questions
K17

Techniques used to identify and manage stakeholder expectations including compliance with codes of conduct.

Back to Grading
Project presentation and questions
K18

The importance and impact of good record keeping.

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

How digital technology enables the functionality of the working environment to be adaptable to change.

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

Identify potential scientific techniques to meet defined objectives.

Back to Grading
Project presentation and questions
S2

Review and select appropriate scientific techniques to undertake required tasks (consider risk management, safe working practices, equipment availability, quality standards, the environment, and sustainability).

Back to Grading
Project presentation and questions
S3

Source and calibrate specified instrumentation and laboratory equipment.

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

Plan and perform laboratory-based investigations and scientific experimentation using scientific techniques, procedures, and methods relevant to the role.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
S5

Systematically obtain information when conducting scientific experiments.

Back to Grading
Project presentation and questions
S6

Record and store data in accordance with regulatory requirements.

Back to Grading
Project presentation and questions
S7

Contribute to the development or improvement of processes and methodologies and support their implementation into the business as part of a wider team.

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

Use data analysis tools and software packages to process or produce reliable, accurate data or information.

Back to Grading
Project presentation and questions
S9

Interpret scientific data to inform actions or recommendations and escalate where required.

Back to Grading
Project presentation and questions
S10

Present the results of scientific work to scientific and non-scientific audiences in written and oral form.

Back to Grading
Project presentation and questions
S11

Plan and prioritise own tasks and complete work to schedule whilst maintaining compliance with internal and external requirements.

Back to Grading
Project presentation and questions
S12

Contribute to recommendations, improvements, or scientific solutions to meet the requirements of internal or external customers.

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

Identify, develop or contribute to solutions to technical problems.

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

Collaborate with stakeholders and identify results requiring further investigation or escalation.

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

Keeps up to date with advances in scientific and sector working practices and technologies. Shares best practice across the team.

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

Acts in a professional and ethical manner (demonstrates reliability, integrity, and respect for confidentiality).

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

Acts in a way that builds and maintains positive relationships with stakeholders (takes account of the impact of own work on others, internally and externally).

Back to Grading
Project presentation and questions
B3

Committed to continuous professional development (handles and responds positively to change, adjusting to different conditions, technologies, situations, and environments).

Back to Grading
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
B4

Committed to adopting safe working practices.

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

Committed to the adoption of environmentally sustainable working practices.

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

Resilient under pressure.

Back to Grading
Project presentation and questions

Mapping of KSBs to grade themes

Project presentation and questions - Project

KSBS GROUPED BY THEME Knowledge Skills Behaviour
Plan workload
K8
S11
B6

The basic principles and procedures of project management and how to contribute to project plans with other team members (e.g. project timeline & milestones). (K8)

Plan and prioritise own tasks and complete work to schedule whilst maintaining compliance with internal and external requirements. (S11)

Resilient under pressure. (B6)

Prepare for and perform lab tasks
K1 K2 K16
S1 S2

Principles of laboratory techniques and scientific experimentation. (K1)

How to apply the principles of laboratory techniques and scientific experimentation to contribute to the development of technical projects and the implementation of new processes. (K2)

Different approaches and methods, for use in the identification, design, development, and implementation of solutions to technical problems. (K16)

Identify potential scientific techniques to meet defined objectives. (S1)

Review and select appropriate scientific techniques to undertake required tasks (consider risk management, safe working practices, equipment availability, quality standards, the environment, and sustainability). (S2)

N/A

Analyse, interpret and evaluate data
K7
S5 S6 S8 S9

Mathematical concepts and techniques relevant to the work role (e.g. basic statistical analysis, relating to sampling and data to evaluate results). (K7)

Systematically obtain information when conducting scientific experiments. (S5)

Record and store data in accordance with regulatory requirements. (S6)

Use data analysis tools and software packages to process or produce reliable, accurate data or information. (S8)

Interpret scientific data to inform actions or recommendations and escalate where required. (S9)

N/A

Communication
K17
S10
B2

Techniques used to identify and manage stakeholder expectations including compliance with codes of conduct. (K17)

Present the results of scientific work to scientific and non-scientific audiences in written and oral form. (S10)

Acts in a way that builds and maintains positive relationships with stakeholders (takes account of the impact of own work on others, internally and externally). (B2)

Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence - Discussion

KSBS GROUPED BY THEME Knowledge Skills Behaviour
Perform lab tasks
K4 K5 K10 K11 K12 K14
S4
B4 B5

The key principles of scientific investigation relevant to the role (e.g. route cause analysis or out of specification results). (K4)

Named and recognised scientific theory appropriate to the workplace and role (e.g. Chemistry, Physics or Life Sciences). (K5)

The internal and external regulatory environment pertinent to the work role and how to comply with regulations. (K10)

The importance of operating ethically and sustainably, complying with codes of conduct, and the impact of this on business operations, the wider sector, society, and the environment. (K11)

How the role impacts on the business and the environment in which it operates (e.g idea creation, innovation, and enterprise). (K12)

Health and safety and environmental regulations, procedures, documentation, and risk management systems applicable to the role. (K14)

Plan and perform laboratory-based investigations and scientific experimentation using scientific techniques, procedures, and methods relevant to the role. (S4)

Committed to adopting safe working practices. (B4)

Committed to the adoption of environmentally sustainable working practices. (B5)

Calibrate and use equipment
K3
S3

Laboratory equipment relevant to the role and the associated maintenance and calibration requirements. (K3)

Source and calibrate specified instrumentation and laboratory equipment. (S3)

N/A

Record keeping and communication
K6 K9 K15 K18
S14
B1

The requirements and significance of reporting results, considering the importance of accuracy, precision, and recognising trends. (K6)

Business requirements pertaining to record-keeping, traceability & confidentiality, and quality control systems. (K9)

Importance of developing soft skills (people and interpersonal) relevant to the role. (K15)

The importance and impact of good record keeping. (K18)

Collaborate with stakeholders and identify results requiring further investigation or escalation. (S14)

Acts in a professional and ethical manner (demonstrates reliability, integrity, and respect for confidentiality). (B1)

Continuous improvement
K13 K19
S7 S12 S13 S15
B3

The importance of consulting reliable sources of information to keep up to date with scientific, role, or sector knowledge and ways to communicate this to team members. (K13)

How digital technology enables the functionality of the working environment to be adaptable to change. (K19)

Contribute to the development or improvement of processes and methodologies and support their implementation into the business as part of a wider team. (S7)

Contribute to recommendations, improvements, or scientific solutions to meet the requirements of internal or external customers. (S12)

Identify, develop or contribute to solutions to technical problems. (S13)

Keeps up to date with advances in scientific and sector working practices and technologies. Shares best practice across the team. (S15)

Committed to continuous professional development (handles and responds positively to change, adjusting to different conditions, technologies, situations, and environments). (B3)

Contact us about this apprenticeship

Employers involved in creating the standard: Astra Zeneca, Croda, Labcorp, Reading Scientific Services Limited, Sterling Pharma Solutions, UCB.Com, Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated, Victrex, SABIC, Centre for Process Innovation, Fujifilm, HMG Paints

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
Revised version awaiting implementation in revision Not set Not set Not set
1.0 Approved for delivery 07/08/2018 Not set Not set

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