End Point Assessments (EPAs)

End Point Assessments (EPAs) are the method of continuous assessment applied within the apprenticeship standards.

AAT is an End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO). We offer EPAs consisting of two parts.

Part 1: An online assessment

This gives the apprentice the opportunity to tackle a series of business-related tasks through simulation in line with typical role activities. At Levels 3 and 4 this requirement makes use of our AQ2016 synoptic assessments. The Level 2 online assessment is the In-Tray assessment.

Level 2 apprenticeship students must complete the AQ2016 Foundation synoptic assessment if they're using the AAT Foundation Certificate in Accounting as the mandated qualification for this apprenticeship.

Part 2: A reflective element supported by a portfolio

This is used to demonstrate competence in the knowledge, skills and behaviours defined within the apprenticeship standard. Evidence for this element is gathered from the workplace during the on-programme learning. The apprentice must then reflect on their portfolio of evidence, through:

  • a written statement (Level 4 only)
  • professional discussion (Levels 3 and 4)
  • a structured interview (Level 2 only).
EPA specifications

EPA specifications

Our EPA specifications detail the process for the EPA services, including funding and fees, the EPA in detail, marking, grading and certification.

They are relevant to everyone involved, including apprentices, training providers, employers and independent assessors (IAs). The information is correct at the time of publication. We will communicate whenever changes have been made.

EPA assessment venues

Existing training providers

  • If you're already approved as a training provider for any of the Level 2 Accounts/Finance Assistant, Level 3 Assistant Accountant or Level 4 Professional Accounting Technician apprenticeships, your main contact can apply for approval for the other levels using the online approval service, available via the Centre Services on the MyAAT dashboard.
  • If you're already approved as a training provider but you don't offer any of the Level 2 Accounts/Finance Assistant, Level 3 Assistant Accountant or Level 4 Professional Accounting Technician apprenticeships, you'll need to complete the EPA centre registration form (PDF) and return it to aatquality.assurance@aat.org.uk.

You must be on the register of apprenticeship training providers to deliver apprenticeships.

At the point of application, you'll need to confirm which apprenticeship levels you would like approval for and provide additional information, including an estimate of the number of apprentices that will be taking an EPA through your centre during the first and subsequent years of operation.

All applications from existing AAT approved training providers and assessment venues will be reviewed by AAT within five working days and there will be no charge for this service.

If you don't have approval to offer AQ2016 accounting qualifications (or are only offering AAT’s short course qualification) but wish to offer AQ2016 as part of the on-programme learning component of the apprenticeship, you'll need to make a separate application for approval to deliver our accounting qualifications. 

New training providers

If you’re not currently approved by AAT as a training provider or assessment venue, please register as an EPA centre.

AAT will review all applications within ten working days and there will be no charge for this service. 

If you'd also like to offer the AQ2016 qualifications as part of the on-programme learning component of the apprenticeship, you'll need to make a separate application for approval to deliver our accounting qualifications. Once you’ve been approved to deliver AQ2016 you’ll be able to use the online EPA centre registration service. 

Registering students with AAT for EPAs

Training providers are responsible for registering any students onto the EPA for Assistant Accountant and Professional Accounting Technician apprenticeships. You must register apprentices within three months of Individualised Learner Record (ILR) apprentice registration.

All registrations are made through the Smart End Point Assessment (SEPA) platform. Information on how to do this can be found in the Assistant Accountant EPA specification and Professional Accounting Technician EPA specification documents. Once you've been registered as an EPA centre, your EPA contact will be given access to SEPA so they can register apprentices.

Scheduling

For an EPA to be scheduled:

  • the apprentice must have completed a minimum of 12 months' on-programme learning
  • the portfolio of evidence needs to be signed off by the provider and employer before submission
  • the apprentice must be deemed competent in relation to knowledge, skills and behaviours.

The synoptic components of the EPA at Levels 3 and 4 are scheduled via SecureAssess. AAT AQ2016 synoptic assessments are available at pre-announced synoptic windows and can be scheduled up to 28 days in advance.

The portfolio reflective component of the EPA is managed through SEPA. Once an apprentice has been registered they can access the platform, upload portfolio evidence and review their details.

Training providers use the platform to:

  • confirm the gateway has been met
  • schedule the portfolio reflective components
  • review results for both components of the EPA.

Assessment and grading

The synoptic assessment and reflective element are marked by AAT, and results will be released within six weeks of the assessment date. The manner in which the portfolio and reflective component is assessed will vary depending on the level of apprenticeship and the chosen reflective piece.

Apprentices will achieve either a Pass or Distinction for their apprenticeship on completion of both elements of their EPA.

Accounts/Finance Assistant apprenticeship: Level 2

Assessment

The apprentice will be required to upload and submit their portfolio of evidence to SEPA for review.

The structured interview discussions will be held in a Smart Room. These are video conferencing rooms embedded into SEPA. The training provider is responsible for ensuring the apprentice completed the discussion in a suitable environment, at either the training provider’s or employer’s premises.

Once the structured interview has taken place, marking (by the Independent Assessor) and quality assurance checks will be carried out and the results issued. The entire process from discussion to results may take up to six weeks. The results from the in-tray test will also take up to six weeks to be issued.

Grading

Both assessment elements are graded individually. A minimum of 75% is needed to achieve a pass for the in-tray test, while the structured interview will be graded a fail, pass or distinction. Both results will be combined to provide an overall grade for the apprenticeship.

Assistant Accountant apprenticeship: Level 3

Assessment

The apprentice will be required to upload and submit their portfolio of evidence to SEPA for review.

All discussions will be held in a Smart Room. These are video conferencing rooms embedded into SEPA. The training provider is responsible for ensuring the apprentice completes the discussion in a suitable environment, at either the training provider's or employer's premises.

Once the reflective discussion has taken place, marking (by the IA) and quality assurance checks will be carried out and the results issued. The entire process, from submission to results issue, may take up to six weeks.

Grading

Both assessment elements are graded individually. A minimum of 70% is required to achieve a pass for the synoptic assessment, with 90% required for a distinction. The portfolio itself is not graded, but is used to underpin the reflective element of the EPA. 

For the Assistant Accountant apprenticeship, the individual grades are combined and weighted, with 40% being attributed to the synoptic assessment and 60% attributed to the portfolio and reflective, to determine the overall grade.

Professional Accounting Technician apprenticeship: Level 4

Assessment

The apprentice will need to agree with you and the employer which reflective element they're choosing.

If they opt for the written statement, the apprentice will be required to upload and submit their portfolio of evidence and written statement to SEPA for marking by two IAs.  Once the marking has been completed, quality assurance checks will be carried out and the results issued.

All discussions will be held in a Smart Room. These are video conferencing rooms embedded into SEPA. The training provider is responsible for ensuring the apprentice completes the discussion in a suitable environment, at either the training provider's or employer's premises.

Once the professional discussion has taken place, marking (by the two IAs) and quality assurance checks will be carried out and the results issued.

For both options the entire process, from reflective element to results issue, may take up to six weeks.

Grading

The synoptic assessment element is graded; the portfolio reflective element is not.

To be awarded a Pass the apprentice must achieve:

  • competence in all knowledge, skills and behaviour requirements outlined in the standard via their portfolio, including the reflective
  • a grade of at least 70% for the synoptic assessment.

To be awarded a Distinction the apprentice must achieve:

  • competence in all knowledge, skills and behaviour requirements outlined in the standard via their portfolio, including the reflective
  • a grade of at least 90% for the synoptic assessment.

Both elements of the EPA for the Professional Accounting Technician apprenticeship must be achieved within a 12-month period or will have to be taken again. 

Certification

Apprentices will receive certificates based on their apprenticeship journey.

Students studying AQ2016 qualifications as part of their on-programme learning and doing their EPA with AAT will receive their AAT qualification certificate once they've successfully completed all assessments, including the synoptic element, as part of their EPA. Once the student has completed their EPA, ie the synoptic and the portfolio and reflective, AAT will pass their details on to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), who will issue the student with their apprenticeship certificate.

Students not studying AQ2016 qualifications as part of their on-programme learning, but still sitting their EPA with AAT, will receive their apprenticeship certificate from the ESFA on successful completion of both elements of the EPA.

AAT does not issue the apprenticeship certificate.