With the changes to the new apprenticeship structure and the government’s hopes of greatly increasing apprenticeship provision there’s no better time to ask yourself this question. In 2017, it was estimated that approximately 20-40,000 end-point assessors would be needed to deliver hundreds of thousands of end-point assessments each year.
What does an end-point assessor do?
An end-point assessor is an independent assessor, from an Apprentice Assessment Organisation (AAO), who assesses a candidate at the end of their apprenticeship to determine whether they have achieved the criteria and are competent in the occupation. The assessor has no links to the candidate they are assessing; they do not support the apprentice through their learning journey, only see them at the end. This end-point assessment is graded and can only be undertaken once the apprentice has completed the ‘on-programme’ learning and achieved the ‘Gateway’ requirements.
How do you become an end-point assessor?
Some assessment plans list criteria they accept the end-point assessor to meet, while others do not. However, it should go without saying that to assess the end-point of an apprenticeship, one should be experienced in that sector and be able to provide evidence of your own occupational competence. The exact criteria will vary depending on the occupation you are assessing, as each has its own assessment plan.
An assessor’s qualification is often a desired requirement of many of the AAOs, so it is worth considering gaining one before applying to be an end-point assessor, if you don’t already hold one. It is important to note that you cannot be an end-point assessor without joining an AAO in the sector you wish to work. The Gov.uk site has a list of organisations you can use to find one in the sector you are occupationally competent in, and they will have more details about what criteria they expect their assessors to meet.
Why should you be an end-point assessor?
As an end-point assessor, you won’t be required to deliver any content or work with any apprentices until you meet them to conduct their end-point assessment. This is a big plus for those wanting to try something a little different or be involved in the apprenticeship programme, but not in a teaching capacity.
As you are linked to an AAO, you won’t have the stresses involved in being a freelance assessor for the NVQ or BTEC awards. Your job will be similar in many ways to theirs, as you will have a schedule of assessments, but you won’t be responsible necessarily for arranging them yourself. This may be a valid career option if you have any health or time constraints as it should be less physically challenging.
You will still be working in your industry area and able to use all the knowledge, skills and expertise you have gained but in a new and exciting way. You will be helping to ensure the apprentices entering the workforce are doing so with the appropriate level of understanding and ability. Your role will be important in guaranteeing that essential knowledge and skills are being passed on to the new generation of employees and that the apprentices are ready to go on and lead their chosen industry forward into the future.
Skilled end-point assessors are still in high demand, particular those of a higher level – whether due to the amount of industry experience or assessing experience, or both – and so salaries are often competitive in many cases. Reed.co.uk estimates salaries between £22,000 and £32,000 as a starting point.
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