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Consultation launches on external quality assurance changes - deadline extended

Published: 04/03/2020

Institute for Appenticeships and Technical Education logoA consultation has been launched on proposals to simplify and strengthen how external quality assurance (EQA) works for apprenticeship end-point assessment. The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the Institute) is gathering views on proposals for all EQA to be delivered by Ofqual and the Office for Students (OfS)

A public consultation has been launched on the future of EQA for apprenticeships.

Under the proposals all EQA would be delivered by Ofqual or, for integrated degree apprenticeships, the Office for Students (OfS).

The Institute’s Chief Executive, Jennifer Coupland, said:

"The Institute supports employers and welcomes as much feedback as possible on how we should reform the system, so that it works better for them and everyone else involved with EQA.

It is extremely important that EQA maintains high assessment standards and apprentices are rigorously challenged to prove they can do the job they are being trained for."

EQA is the system for ensuring quality is maintained around end point assessments that apprentices must pass before they receive certification for the completion of their apprenticeships.

The existing system was designed to provide a wide variety of options for who delivered EQA. These include professional and employer groups, the Institute itself, and established qualifications and higher education regulators Ofqual and the OfS. 

There are currently 20 organisations approved to deliver EQA. The Institute is proposing to strengthen and simplify the system by reducing the number of providers to just two established statutory regulators in Ofqual and OfS. It is proposed that professional and employer bodies would support Ofqual and OfS in their delivery of EQA, to ensure the employer voice remains integral to EQA.

This model would also allow the Institute to review how EQA is funded and move from a system where organisations are charged different rates for EQA depending on the provider, to one where government funds all activity directly.

The Institute proposes to retain oversight of EQA through its updated framework, following the proposed reforms.

The deadline for this consultation has been extended (from 9 April) and it will now close on 21 May 2020.  The Institute expects to publish its response to the consultation, along with proposed next steps, in summer 2020.