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Insights to hospitality apprenticeship end point assessments
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EHAP, the recently launched end-point assessment organisation provides assessments for apprentices working across restaurants, hotels and catering businesses.

Aiming to alleviate the challenges brought about by a shortage of specialist hospitality end point assessment organisations, EHAP will use a team of qualified in-house assessors to offer a 28-day end point assessment process.

Headed up by Dan Power, the company will help to support the assessment process for apprentices currently working in the hospitality sector. Keen to better understand how end-point assessment improves the outcome of an apprenticeship, we caught up with Dan Power to find out.

Congratulations on launching EHAP – could you outline for our readership what the business does?

“The business provides an end-point assessment (EPA) which is the test at the end of an apprentice’s learning journey. EHAP works with training providers to ensure that this is not only seamless but also carried out to a national standard.

“It is vital that there is currency and meaning to the quality of the learning that has taken place. All apprentices go through a huge transition during their apprenticeship and the assessment should reflect this.”

Why now?

“I think it is really important that we try to ensure that apprentices can complete their apprenticeships on time, despite the pandemic.

“Since apprentices were able to carry on with their learning while working or furloughed, many are approaching readiness for assessment – and we want to ensure there is no delay in this process.

“We know that we don’t have enough EPAs operating in the hospitality sector, so it’s vital to create an infrastructure to cope with the demand.”

Has the pandemic impacted the timing of your launch?

“The pandemic has meant that the approval process, managed by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA’s) Apprenticeship Assessment Service, has taken longer than expected but we are pleased to be finally there.

“The approval process is managed through written applications, and scrutiny is applied to each standard, so it is understandably incredibly rigorous.

“We know that the sector will slowly begin to reopen, and we know we are ready to hit the ground running.

“For us, with everything that is going on in the sector, we need to ensure that the quality of the assessment process isn’t impacted.

“The team has also been trained to be able to conduct assessments right away. We are excited to get going.”

What is your background?

“My background is predominantly within the hospitality and education sectors. After working in roles ranging from a butcher’s boy aged 13, through all aspects of bar work and front of house duties, I went on to study hospitality management at university.

“This allowed me to expand my reach, training in kitchens, and within hotels, too. I completed my university placement year with Pizza Hut on their management development programme before joining Whitbread (Medway Inns) after graduating.

“When working as a pub manager at Whitbread, I got involved with the training team and found what I consider to be my true vocation. I moved from Whitbread into a college, and it was here that I became qualified to teach and assess in further education.

“I have held a number of roles within formal education, managing various curricula but always keeping a strong hand in hospitality. I spent several years working with People 1st – the then sector skills council for hospitality and tourism, helping link employers to apprenticeships and ensuring that they were fit for purpose.

“After spending time helping specialist recruitment company, REED become an employer apprenticeship provider, I returned to my roots with an independent training provider, starting my role as head of projects at Umbrella Training.

“For the last 20 years, I have worked with apprenticeships, mostly in hospitality, and have undertaken all roles from design and delivery to quality assurance and assessment, as well as managing teams and funding streams.”

Tell us about EPAs – what role does it play?

“The end-point assessment does what it says on the tin. It is the final part of the apprentice’s journey where they are assessed against the knowledge, skills and behaviours that they have learned.

“The standard that each apprentice needs to achieve is first agreed by an employer panel. The end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) then needs to uphold that standard so there is a national recognition that once the apprentice has passed, employers are aware of what they are capable of.

“It is essential that the EPA is independent of the delivery process and assesses against these national standards. That way, the reputation of the apprenticeship will be enhanced.”

Why is getting it right crucial from an employer’s perspective?

“Employers need to trust that the process is fair and robust, and they invest in the learning and development of their apprentice through paying the apprenticeship levy (if large enough).

“This means that in order to get the best return on this investment, they need to be comfortable that the apprentice is hitting high standards on completion. By trusting the process, employers can build learning and staffing strategies and maximise the apprenticeship levy spend.”

Why is it important from an apprentice’s perspective?

“The apprentice needs to know that through assessment they can showcase their talents and be rewarded with recognition of their skills. The assessment process, if managed effectively, will be a seamless transition from learning into assessment. This will ensure that the apprentice can maximise their potential and get the best grades, which will lead to increased opportunities.

“EPAOs that manage this process correctly and ensure consistency and fairness in assessment decisions will get the most from the apprentices undertaking assessment.”

Who are you hoping to work with?

“We believe that there are two main customer bases for EHAP: colleges and independent training providers working across a range of standards, and employer providers specialising in developing their own workforces.”

What services will you be offering?

“Currently, we are approved to provide EPA services in five hospitality apprenticeship standards. These are hospitality team member, hospitality supervisor, hospitality manager, commis chef, and chef de partie. We are hoping to add the roles of production chef and senior production chef to this list very soon.

“We believe that there are three critical aspects to a quality EPA: credibility, speed and seamlessness.

“Our end-point assessors are qualified experts. They have always worked in similar industries to businesses they are partnered with to ensure they fully understand the business needs. They also understand how the apprentice is feeling and how to help them best showcase their learning and skills.

“We aim to deliver an end-to-end process in 28 days. We are agile and will respond to the needs of our training provider and business partners. We know that by the time the apprentice reaches EPA that all they want to do is finish.

“We believe that open communication and working in partnership will allow apprentices to showcase their skills, knowledge and behaviour to their best ability.”

What do you hope to achieve in the next 12 months?

We hope to achieve OFQUAL recognition as an EPAO. This will allow us to look at other apprenticeship standards and grow our portfolio to better support our clients.

We hope that readers find the insights from Dan Power helpful, we certainly did and look forward to reporting on EHAP’s progress in future.

News from the hospitality and catering industry is also being featured extensively in our Facebook and twitter social media accounts with the opportunity to engage with others in hospitality and share your views.

Hospitality & Catering News: Insights to hospitality apprenticeship end point assessments. – 11 March 2021 – Insights to hospitality apprenticeship end point assessments.

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