Trailblazer group criteria

The trailblazer must be a group of employers recognised by the Institute and reflective of those who employ people in the occupation, including small employers


Occupation criteria


The occupation must:

  • be in demand in the labour market
  • have knowledge, skills and behaviours that meet the needs of a range of employers
  • provide opportunities to progress



The occupation must:

  • require practical workplace experience and training or education of at least 12 months for a typical new entrant to become competent in the occupation (for an apprenticeship, this means that full time apprentices working 30 hours or more per week should spend an average of at least 6 hours per week in off-the-job-training)


Provides occupational competence

The description of the occupation must:

  • fully define what employers expect an individual skilled in the occupation to be able to do



The occupation must:

  • be recognised by a representative range of employers in the occupation and by professional bodies and regulators where relevant



The occupation must:

  • be at one occupational level only (at levels 2-7) and be distinct from other occupations on the occupational maps


Occupational standard criteria

  • Is short, concise and clear and written to IfATE's format
  • Is based on a clear occupational profile setting out the duties carried out by employees in the occupation and including the skills, knowledge and behaviours which will be applied in the workplace and are derived directly from the duties
  • Defines the full competence in an apprenticeship occupation so that, on completion, the new entrant to the occupation is able to carry out the role in any size of employer across any relevant sector
  • Aligns with regulatory requirements and professional recognition and allows the individual to apply for this


End-point assessment criteria

  • Deliver valid and accurate judgements of occupational competence. The methods of assessment must be fit for purpose and appropriate to the content of the occupational profile. They must include a synoptic assessment delivered using a mixture of valid methods that will lead to an integrated EPA at the end of the programme.
  • Produce consistent and reliable judgements – the assessment methodology and tools used must ensure that employers can have confidence that apprentices assessed in different places, at different times, by different assessors have been judged in the same way and to have therefore reached the same standard of occupational competence
  • Ensure independence of the organisation delivering the assessment and of the individual assessors making assessment decisions. For integrated degree apprenticeships the organisation does not have to be independent but the individual assessor should be.
  • Apprenticeships should be graded using at least one level above pass for the EPA as a whole
  • Feasibility, manageability, and affordability within the constraints of funding policy
  • Does not override or compromise an EPAO’s ability to make reasonable adjustments for conducting an EPA under the Equalities Act


Last updated 10 January 2024
(AR, NS)