The end-point assessment - the time is nigh

The planned end dates for the first NDT apprenticeships are as follows: NDT Operator – February 2018; NDT Engineering Technician – December 2018; and NDT Engineer – November 2021. In reality, it is expected that the first NDT Operators will not be assessed until August 2018.

So, what is the end-point assessment (EPA) and what does it comprise? The EPA is a process that has been developed by the government and must be carried out on completion of the apprenticeship programme by an approved End-point Assessment Organisation (EAO). The EAO will holistically assess the apprentice to ensure that they have met the competency and other requirements stipulated in the apprenticeship standard. The EPA comprises three discrete activities: a review of the portfolio of evidence; the project presentation followed by a question and answer (Q&A) session; and a final interview, which will double up as an Engineering Council registration Professional Review Interview (PRI). The British Institute of NDT (BINDT), which is an EAO, strongly recommends that anyone successfully completing an NDT apprenticeship should register with the Engineering Council at the appropriate grade as part of the EPA process. You have done the hard work so it makes sense.

This month, I will describe in detail what you are expected to submit for the portfolio of evidence. The following list is a reflection of what is included in the NDT Operator apprenticeship standard, as an example, together with other requirements for record keeping:
  • Up-to-date CV
  • Record of the Gantt chart or other planning tool
  • Record of Ofqual Level 2 English and maths
  • Records of formal NDT training
  • Record of other formal training
  • Record of health & safety training    
  • Record of training in behaviours    
  • Records of any end-of-course tests
  • Results notice for the NDT Level 2 examination in accordance with ISO 9712 or EN 4179 in the chosen method    
  • Records of the mandatory NDT experience (specific template available)    
  • The project reports    
  • Records of employer appraisals (specific template available)    
  • Record of continuing professional development (CPD), including forward plan    
  • NDT Operator apprenticeship completion template (specific template available)
  • NDT Operator competency matching template (specific template available)
  • Anything else that may be of interest to the assessors.

There may be other records that you feel should be included in the portfolio of evidence, in which case you should include them. You will notice that two of the items are in red. These are known as red lines, which means that if you cannot provide evidence of the Ofqual Level 2 English and maths and the results notice for the NDT Level 2 examination in accordance with ISO 9712 or EN 4179 in the chosen method, you will not be allowed through to the EPA.

The portfolio of evidence should be submitted to the EAO for initial review. Once the EAO’s assessors are satisfied that the apprentice has met the requirements of the gateway, the EAO will contact the apprentice to arrange an interview day. The interview day will involve a project presentation followed by a Q&A session and a final interview/PRI.

This will be the highlight of the apprenticeship as the apprentice can pass the apprenticeship and gain Engineering Council registration at the same time. Next month, I will outline the requirements of the project presentation.

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