The Institute is supporting a new temporary flexibility that will enable apprentices to take end point assessment (EPA) ahead of receiving their calculated functional skills qualifications (FSQ) later on in the summer.

With immediate effect as of today [May 22nd] and during the Covid-19 crisis we are permitting the re-sequencing of the EPA process to enable gateway to be passed and EPA to be taken before the FSQ calculated result is received.

This will apply to:

  • all apprentices awaiting their calculated FSQ result;
  • those apprentices that are deemed by their training provider to have the required level of functional skills and sufficient evidence to demonstrate this to receive a calculated FSQ pass; and
  • occupationally competent apprentices at gateway who are ready to progress to sit their EPA.


This change to the EPA process will only be applied to qualifying apprentices during the Covid-19 crisis. This measure will ensure that apprentices can continue with their apprenticeship and sit their EPA where possible. Apprentices will not be able to achieve their apprenticeship until after the FSQ pass is received and the apprenticeship certificate can be issued.

The ESFA will provide further communications to support employers, training providers and EPAOs in implementing the flexibility and to ensure that apprentices get their certificate to confirm completion once they have passed both their EPA and their FSQ.  There will also be guidance issued in the next version of the Apprenticeships Covid-19 Guidance.