Recently, Skills for Justice delivered the first bespoke End Point Assessment (EPA) Workshop for the Custody and Detention Apprenticeship Standard with eighteen attendees from Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS). Working with the Ministry of Justice and HMPPS, Skills for Justice were asked to prepare and deliver a workshop to specifically focus on the requirements of the Work-based project report, one of two required EPA methods within the Custody & Detention Apprenticeship Standard.
The workshop, held on the 1st of August 2019, involved practical activities for the attendees as well as input from the workshop presenter. All attendees were provided with a folder of resources that could be used after the workshop to provide a reference as well as to help them support apprentices with when writing the report.
The morning started with a quick quiz to get things going, followed by an activity looking at the requirements for the Standard. The Skills for Justice team, led by apprenticeship specialist Nanette Lane, continued the workshop by discussing the End Point Assessment, and explain the different assessment methods, Gateway and the portfolio requirements, vital for employers to understand to achieve the best possible results for their programmes.
The afternoon focused on the Work-based project report, detailing the requirements of the report, to help attendees understand the structure the report should follow, to achieve best results. As part of the interactive workshop, attendees were asked to review and critique on three reports that had been written, to help them understand the requirements for meeting all the Knowledge Skills and Behaviours (KSBs) assigned to this assessment method. They were also able to look at the reports to determine whether they met the requirements for Pass, Distinction or Fail, to get a better understanding of the marking structure. The reports generated much discussion and debate and enabled the attendees to focus in on the requirements of the KSBs and grading criteria for the report. There was a broad discussion around how, with just a small amount of planning and support, it would be possible to improve the reports to ensure they reached pass and where possible how to achieve a distinction.
The interactive workshop was a fantastic way for managers from the sector to get a fuller appreciation of the new requirements for EPAs, following the overhaul of apprenticeships in England in 2017. It’s more important now than ever before, that employers can understand and embed good practice for apprenticeships to secure a sustainable, highly skilled workforce for the future.
Reflections and outcomes
There was an incredible amount of energy during the Skills for Justice workshop with all the attendees engaged, positive and contributing effectively to discussions. The group talked at length about some of the key benefits, challenges and tactics around how to make an apprenticeship programme work within their organisation, to support in the development of a safer, more effective workforce for the sector.
Attendees were overwhelmingly positive and gave feedback that the resource packs provided by Skills for Justice were particularly useful to take back to their workplace. The resource packs included a checklist detailing the KSBs and the pass and distinction criteria for the work-based report. There was a shared view that the packs were invaluable to help employers and apprentices when planning for the report and end-point assessment, supporting them to achieve the best grade possible.
So, how we can help?
Skills for Justice are the leading partners supporting the prison and probation services with workforce challenges, including the delivery of cost-effective and quality assured apprenticeship programmes. Whatever stage of the apprenticeship journey you are at, we can help you combat the challenges around apprenticeship delivery, including identifying the best route to success to meet your workforce and training needs. If your organisation would benefit from a bespoke workshop on EPAs for Apprenticeships or any other areas of workforce planning and development, please get in touch to discuss your requirements.