EPAO image, University of Portsmouth staff in office

Academic Professional Apprenticeship End Point Assessment (EPAO)

Find out more about our End Point Assessment, and how it supports apprentices at every step of their journey

Academic Professionals work within the higher education (HE) sector delivering higher education teaching and undertaking research to support the development of knowledge within their discipline. They may work in Universities, Colleges or the Private Sector, in the primary role of developing and sharing knowledge with students, peers and external stakeholders to support advancement of their discipline.

The University of Portsmouth is a leading institution in Degree Apprenticeship delivery. With over 300 Degree Apprentices already enrolled and 100% pass rate through End Point Assessment, we have experience in working with professional bodies to prepare our apprentices for EPA. Our philosophy of starting with the end in mind, means that we support apprentices every step of the way to prepare for EPA.

As an EPAO we will communicate effectively with you to ensure you know exactly what is required pre- and post EPA. We will measure the skills, knowledge and behaviours as identified in the Apprenticeship standard and will ensure that apprentices have reached the required levels of expertise before approving them.

If you are interested in engaging with the University of Portsmouth as your End Point Assessment Provider for the Academic Professional Apprenticeship then please fill out the Expression of Interest form here.

If you would like to find out more about the bespoke consultancy packages we offer then please fill out our academic consultancy form here.

To find out more, please contact our dedicated team EPAO@port.ac.uk.

Preparing for Assessment | Assessment Process | Our Team | Pricing and Payment

Preparing for Assessment

To support the End Point Assessment process, once you have registered with us, we will provide an online support platform which will enable employers and training organisations to determine when their apprentices are ready for assessment.

Alongside this each apprentice will have access to bespoke resources to help them to prepare for their forthcoming EPA, suitability as assessors and to support apprentices in preparation for assessment.  

Assessment resource support

We will provide online support for all apprentices registered with us who are preparing for their End Point Assessment. This includes a suite of online resources including:

  • End Point Assessment self audit tool
  • Teaching videos and checklists to assist with the Academic Professional Practice assessment
  • Professional Conversation talking heads and hints and tips
  • Written Submission guidance and formatted templates
Alongside this, each training provider will have a named Assessor Lead who will support each apprentice cohort throughout their End Point Assessment.

Assessment Process

As an institution our end-point assessment team has significant experience, support and infrastructure to provide assessments for the Level 7 Academic Professional Apprenticeship Standard. The Assessor Leads and all assessors will have a wealth of experience in assessing all three assessment types identified in the Academic Professional Apprenticeship End Point Assessment Plan.

Prior to taking the EPA the apprentice must meet the following criteria:

  • 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 apprenticeships English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3 and British Sign Language qualification are an alternative to English qualifications for whom this is their primary language.
  • Completed all workplace learning and off-the-job training as evidence of the potential to demonstrate professional competence in relation to the required knowledge, skills and behaviours of the standard.

The apprentice should only be recommended for EPA when the employer is confident that the apprentice is occupationally competent and ready to undertake EPA. Employers should have a remediation process in place to support any apprentice who fails to meet the eligibility criteria to enter EPA.

Once the apprentice is put forward for their EPA, we expect the complete process to take a maximum of 40 working days. This will include the recording and submission of all stages of the assessment, the marking of all work by the independent assessor and return of marks to the course team. In the case of retakes/resubmissions, the assessment and marking would again take place in the same time-frame, within the window for assessment.

Academic Professional Practice

The first phase of the Academic Professional Practice Assessment is a one-hour presentation and does not include a question and answer session with the independent assessor. The presentation will either be assessed on site by an independent member of our Assessor Team, or recorded (e.g. via lecture capture) and assessed remotely by the independent member of the Assessor Team.

Prior to the Academic Professional Practice Assessment consent must be sought from any students who are participating in recorded taught sessions delivered by apprentices for their Stage 1 assessment. The Assessor Team will liaise with you to ensure that appropriate consent forms and briefing materials are available. The recording of teaching sessions must also adhere to any Lecture Capture Policy in place at the training providers institution.

Professional Conversation

Following the Academic Professional Practice assessment, apprentices will then be invited to engage in a one-hour Professional Conversation with an independent assessor from the Assessor Team. The Professional Conversation will focus on the individual apprentice’s ability to demonstrate that the knowledge, skills and behaviours required by the Standard have been met. A template, which is aligned with the End Point Assessment Plan for the apprenticeship standard will be used, to ensure consistency across all Professional Conversations. The conversations will be conducted via video conferencing and will include both open and closed competency-based questions.

Written Submission

The final phase of EPA is the Written Submission, which must occur within the final three months of the apprenticeship. The Written Submission will enable each apprentice to demonstrate the knowledge and skills required by one of the specialist roles (Teaching or Research) identified by the Apprenticeship Standard.

The structure of the Written Submission is to ensure both consistency of approach and scope to meet the assessment requirements. Each apprentice will be given two days to prepare the Written Submission, which will be of an appropriate length for a level 7 assessment (7500 words, +/- 10%).

The submission will be in two sections comprising a reflective journal (3000 words, +/- 10%) and an annex containing a maximum of ten pieces of supporting evidence attributable to the apprentice, in part or in full (4500 words, +/-10%).

Upon receipt of the Written Submission, the assessment feedback and associated grade will be released back to the education provider within 20 working days.

Apprenticeship Grading

Performance in the two elements of the EPA will determine the apprenticeship grade of Pass, Distinction or Fail. An apprenticeship Pass represents full competence against the standard. A grade of Distinction means an apprentice is demonstrating competence above the Standard. The grading criteria are mapped to each element of the Knowledge Skills and Behaviours identified within the Apprenticeship Standard. All three elements of the EPA must be passed in order to achieve professional competence against the Apprenticeship Standard.

The following table shows the combinations of assessment method grades to determine the overall EPA and apprenticeship grade:

EPAO website table 1

Retaking the End Point Assessment

Once an apprentice is put forward for a retake of the EPA, we expect the complete process to take a maximum of 40 working days. This will include the recording and submission of all stages of the assessment, the marking of all work by the independent assessor and return of marks to the course team. In the case of retakes/resubmissions, the assessment and marking would again take place in the same time-frame, with the Assessor Team marking the assessment within 20 working days.

Our Assessor Team

Our team of Assessor Leads are active practitioners who teach and support academic colleagues, engage in pedagogic research, participate actively in their own Continuous Professional development and are members of a range of relevant professional organisations.

The team are responsible for coordinating your assessment activities and are directly responsible for quality assuring the assessment process. The team will routinely seek and take onboard feedback from employers and training organisation providers, as well as apprentices, about our EPA processes to ensure that we continuously improve and update our provision.

Our Assessor Team are all employees of the University of Portsmouth. All assessors have been appointed based on their individual experience in Higher Education and hold a minimum of Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. All assessors are expected to evidence regular engagement with Continued Professional Development activities, in order to remain in Good Standing. The Assessor Leads hold regular training events each year, to ensure that our Assessor Team are calibrated and that all assessments that are undertaken adhere to our Assessment Policy.

Meet our assessors

Joanne is a teaching professional with over 15 years experience working in Higher Education and 20 years working for the National Health Service and thrives in leading and developing team members, with a view to achieving positive quality outcomes within a large organisation setting.

Currently, a Course Leader for two professionally accredited postgraduate education programmes which focus on the development of early career teaching staff. Joanne has designed and delivers the Academic Professional Apprenticeship here at Portsmouth, where she has also established and Chairs the institutional Apprenticeship Good Practice Network.

Since 2012 Joanne has been involved in quality assurance of dental education for the General Dental Council. In 2017 Joanne was invited to join the Education Reference Group working on a national consultation which focussed on the transition to a risk and thematic based system of quality assurance for dental education in the U.K. which was implemented in 2019.

Amy has held leadership roles, in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, in a variety of specialisms which include - academic professional development, technology enhanced learning and student engagement. She has designed and led an MA Learning and Teaching in Higher Education and co-pioneered a sector leading model of student-staff partnership at the University of Winchester.

A substantial field of activity for Amy has been assessment and feedback, with a focus on the utilisation of digital tools. Amy worked on the JISC funded project, Feedback and Assessment for Students with Technology (FASTECH) and disseminated this work globally through a British Council funded initiative. Amy has worked as a consultant for JISC, UCISA and InnovateUk. She is currently a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Head of Academic Development at the University of Portsmouth.

Stuart Sims is a Senior Lecturer in Higher Education at the University of Portsmouth. He currently leads Portsmouth Co-Create, an initiative to embed staff-student co-creation of the curriculum cross-institutionally. Stuart teaches on the Academic Professional Apprenticeship and PgCert in Higher Education, leading the unit ‘Research Informed Teaching’.

Prior to this, Stuart held academic development and leadership roles at the University of Winchester relating to student engagement. Achievements include developing Winchester’s Learning & Strategy 2018-2021 and running the sector-leading partnership initiative ‘the Student Fellows Scheme’. Stuart also taught on Winchester’s MA in Learning and Teaching. Stuart was part of the leadership of the HEFCE funded ‘REACT project’ which advanced the development of Student Engagement practices across the UK. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and completed a doctorate at Cardiff University exploring the relationship between pedagogy, student experience and the labour market.


Pricing & Payment

Our Assessment Package is costed at £1350 per apprentice.This is in line with the recommendations for the Academic Professional Apprentice Standard.

This price includes:

  • Staff Development Webinar for the Course Team
  • CPD Resource Package
  • Personal Lead Assessor to support you in the process
  • Cost of all assessments and feedback for apprentices
  • Tailored assessment processes including marking criteria
  • Range of online learning resources to support apprentices as they prepare for their End Point Assessment

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