Updated 20 January 2022

This guidance describes how to approach decisions relating to end-point assessments (EPAs).

Where possible, apprentices should continue with scheduled EPAs, that are in-line with the requirements set out in the end-point assessment plan. The flexibility (or temporary discretion, where one applies) should only be used if absolutely necessary.  This includes where apprentices change employers.

Seven of the ten flexibilities introduced due to COVID-19 will be retained as options to use beyond 1 April 2022. The Institute will discontinue three types of flexibilities.

The Institute has published a flexibility framework  which contains full guidance to explain exactly how the seven flexibilities should be applied from 1 April 2022 onwards.

The guidance below on temporary discretions applies to the arrangements from now until 30 June 2022.

All of these temporary discretions (which only apply to specific apprenticeships and are explained on the apprenticeship standards'  pages on the Institute’s website), began their notice period on 5 August 2021. Those where extensions have not been requested or approved were due to be switched off on 31 December 2021. However, following the implementation of the government’s Plan B, the end date has been extended to midnight 31 March 2022.

Where there remain exceptional challenges to apprentices being able to complete their EPAs, it was possible to request that the temporary discretions be retained. Interested parties had until the beginning of October 2021 to do so and final decisions are set out below. Requests to make changes to EPA plans after this date will be reviewed as normal, in-line with the Institute’s revisions, adjustments and dispensations process: https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/developing-new-apprenticeships/revisions-adjustments-and-dispensations/

The Institute has engaged extensively with the sector to listen to everyone’s views on what impact the flexibilities and temporary discretions have had. This took the shape of a far-reaching survey, commissioned research targeting apprentices and employers, and speaking to end-point assessment organisations (EPAOs), training providers, trailblazer groups and representative bodies.

If an EPAO requires clarification on specific temporary discretions or flexibilities that are already approved, (including confirmation that their plans correctly apply the temporary discretion) they should contact their external quality assurance provider (EQAP) in the first instance.

EPAOs must keep a specific log of any COVID-19 related actions.

1. TEMPORARY DISCRETIONS

The majority of temporary COVID-19 discretions will now be switched off at the end of March 2022. The apprenticeship standards’ pages on the Institute’s website will be updated and the COVID-19 banner will be removed when temporary COVID-19 discretions have been switched off. For those apprenticeships where the discretion has been extended, the banner will be updated.

Apprentices that progress through gateway prior to the end of March 2022 but have their end-point assessment planned from 1 April 2022 will be assessed against the requirements of the original EPA plan, unless the temporary COVID-19 discretion has been extended.

Apprentices that progress through gateway from 1 April 2022 will be assessed against the original requirements of the EPA plan, unless the temporary COVID-19 discretion has been extended.

Any EPAs that begin prior to the end of March 2022 but are completed in April 2022 can continue to make use of the temporary COVID-19 discretion. EPAOs must discuss and agree action with the EQAP if the EPA cannot be completed before the end of April 2022.

Apprentices that complete their EPA, using the temporary COVID-19 discretion, before the end of March 2022 but who require a resit/retake are permitted to use the discretion, even if their resit/retake is completed after 1 April 2022.

Apprentices that are due to complete their EPA before the end of March 2022 using the temporary COVID-19 discretion but, due to extenuating circumstances, are unable to do so prior to the discretion being switched off should be given the opportunity to continue to be assessed using the discretion, if that is still appropriate. The EPAO must keep clear records in these cases.

The EPAO must discuss and agree action with the EQAP for any cases where the EPA has been carried over but cannot be completed before the end of April 2022.

COVID-19 discretions that have been switched off cannot be used as part of an EPAO’s reasonable adjustment or special consideration policy.

COVID-19 discretions extended to 30 June 2022

Route  

Standard Number 

Standard 

Business & administration  

ST0238 

HR consultant partner 

Business & administration  

ST0239 

HR support  

Business & administration  

ST0562 

Learning and development practitioner  

Business & administration  

ST0563 

Learning and development consultant & business partner 

Catering and hospitality 

ST0227 

Chef de partie 

Catering and hospitality 

ST0228 

Commis chef 

Catering and hospitality 

ST0230 

Hospitality supervisor 

Catering and hospitality 

ST0233 

Hospitality team member 

Catering and hospitality 

ST0589 

Production chef 

Catering and hospitality 

ST0232 

Senior production chef 

Construction 

ST0158 

Dual fuel smart meter installer 

Education and childcare 

ST0454 

Teaching assistant 

Education and childcare 

ST0148 

Learning mentor 

Engineering and manufacturing 

ST0195 

Food and drink maintenance engineer 

Engineering and manufacturing 

ST0196 

Food and drink advanced process operator 

Engineering and manufacturing 

ST0199 

Food and drink process operator 

Engineering and manufacturing 

ST0654 

Fitted furniture design technician  

Engineering and manufacturing 

ST0249 

Science industry maintenance technician 

Engineering and manufacturing 

ST0250 

Science manufacturing technician 

Health & science 

ST0287 

Associate ambulance practitioner 

Health & science 

ST0627 

Ambulance support worker (emergency, urgent and non-urgent) 

Health & science 

ST0478 

Community activator coach 

Health & science 

ST0113 

Dental nurse  

Health & science 

ST0215 

Healthcare assistant practitioner 

Health & science 

ST0216 

Healthcare support worker 

Health & science 

ST0217 

Senior healthcare support worker 

Health & science 

ST0218 

Healthcare science assistant 

Health & science 

ST0220 

Healthcare science associate 

Health & science 

 

ST0583 

Mammography associate 

Health & science 

ST0524 

Sporting excellence professional  

Sales, marketing and procurement 

ST0071 

Customer service specialist 

Sales, marketing and procurement 

ST0072 

Customer service practitioner 

Transport & logistics  

ST0338 

Passenger transport driver - bus, coach and tram 

Transport & logistics  

ST0257 

Large goods vehicle (LGV) driver 

COVID-19 discretions replaced with a dispensation whilst the assessment plan is revised

Route  

Standard Number 

Standard 

Protected services 

ST0483 

Emergency service contact handling 

Transport & logistics  

ST0645 

Train driver 

COVID-19 discretions ending on 31 March 2022

Route  

Standard Number 

Standard 

Agriculture, environmental and animal care 

ST0223 

Arborist 

Agriculture, environmental and animal care 

ST0224 

Forest operative 

Agriculture, environmental and animal care 

ST0225 

Horticulture and landscape operative 

Agriculture, environmental and animal care 

ST0343 

Veterinary nursing 

Business & administration  

ST0526 

Policy officer  

Catering and hospitality 

ST0191 

Baker 

Construction 

ST0150 

Electrical electronic product service and installation engineer 

Construction 

ST0617 

Facilities services operative  

Creative & design  

ST0106 

Creative venue technician  

Creative & design  

ST0255 

Live event technician 

Digital 

ST0482 

Digital technology solutions specialist 

Education and childcare 

ST0490 

Teacher 

Engineering and manufacturing 

ST0457 

Engineering technician 

Hair & beauty 

ST0211 

Advanced beauty therapist 

Hair & beauty 

ST0630 

Beauty therapist 

Hair & beauty 

ST0636 

Beauty and make-up consultant 

Hair & beauty 

ST0213 

Hair professional  

Hair & beauty 

ST0635 

Nail services technician 

Health & science 

ST0248 

Laboratory technician 

Health & science 

ST0530 

Optical assistant 

Sales, marketing and procurement 

ST0644 

Advertising and media executive  

Sales, marketing and procurement 

ST0194 

Fishmonger 

Sales, marketing and procurement 

ST0327 

Retailer 

Sales, marketing & procurement  

ST0334 

Trade supplier  

Transport & logistics  

ST0037 

Aviation ground operative  

Transport & logistics  

ST0038 

Aviation ground specialist  

Transport & logistics  

ST0558 

Cabin crew  

Transport & logistics  

ST0339 

Passenger transport onboard and station team member 

Transport & logistics  

ST0419 

Rail infrastructure operator 

Transport & logistics  

ST0258

Supply chain operator

Transport & logistics  

ST0259 

Supply chain warehouse operative 

Transport & logistics  

ST0545 

Waste operative 

2. For more information

If you have any queries about this guidance please email enquiries.ifa@education.gov.uk. To help us identify and prioritise your query please use the following title in the subject box: EPA_Covid 19 [your Organisation name]

Other related guidance and advice can be sought from:

National Apprenticeship ServiceApprentices should get in contact with the National Apprenticeship ServiceTelephone: 0800 0150 600Email: helpdesk@manageapprenticeships.service.gov.uk

Department for Education coronavirus helpline Telephone: 0800 046 8687Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk

For more government information targeted at apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisations in response to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Information on the Office for Student’s response to the COVID-19 situation.

Information on Ofqual’s arrangements for the assessment and awarding of vocational and technical qualifications in the context of COVID-19 situation.

To find out more on functional skills qualifications or mandated qualifications, please contact the relevant awarding organisation.