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End-Point Assessment (EPA) is part of every apprenticeship standard and all learners go through it in one form or another. Basically, an independent End-Point Assessment organisation (EPAO) takes care of it all and the grading process. This ensures that apprentices are graded impartially and strictly against the standard they’re enrolled on. It ensures fair play.
Who is this article for?
This guide will be good for anyone who is taking their Digital Marketer level 3 End-Point Assessment. It is not a cheat sheet of what and what not to do, but it outlines the process and I’ve added a little tip for each stage to help you have a smoother process.
What’s the process look like?
In truth, the process looks different depending on your apprenticeship standard, EPAO, Training Provider, etc. However, for Digital Marketer, the process is as follows.
You’ve completed at least 12 months and one day with your employer, very specific I know, and you have:
- Completed all of the required qualifications which differ depending on your programme but will typically include principles of coding, Marketing Principles, and Google Analytics. (There are other combinations though, so don’t worry if you don’t have those three)
- You either have exemptions for GSCE Maths and English or have taken functional skills level two equivalents;
- A complete employer reference from your employer or manager;
- and you’ve completed your portfolio which contains all of the required evidence for the competencies.
Tip: At this stage, all you need to do is ensure you’ve done the best job that you can with your portfolio. Your Coach should work with your employer to get the employer reference completed, but, you should read through it before it is sent off to make sure it all makes sense.
You submit all of the above. Your Coach will likely do this for you and your Training Provider will pass this all over to the EPAO. From here you’ll have to complete something called a gateway form. This is a straightforward task and will sometimes involve you choosing a Synoptic Project, again, this depends on the EPAO. Sometimes you will take a general project that everyone else sits. You’ll also choose a date that you sit the project.
If there is a selection of projects there is an argument for choosing one that will help you to demonstrate additional tools and skills, and another for choosing one that further enhances the skills you’ve shown in your portfolio. The way I look at it is like this, Digital Marketer is technically a broad qualification due to competencies like tools, technologies, and specialist areas. Assessors will technically be looking for depth and breadth, which would normally mean demonstrations of a couple of different types of marketing and depth in those areas. However, if you can do a great job on a project that shows your specialisms, this can also achieve the same result.
If there is a mock project that your Training Provider can give you, do it, and do it under realistic circumstances. This will give you a head start and get your brain thinking the way it should prior to sitting the real one.
The day comes and you start your Synoptic Project. You’ll have 5 working days or up to 40 hours to complete the project. Sometimes, this does differ from EPAO to EPAO though, so be sure to get clarity about this. You’ll complete your Synoptic Project and will either email it over to the EPAO or upload it, etc.
Use as much of or all of the allotted time. Even if you’re finished a day early, take a step back and then reassess everything you’ve done before submission. There are no extra marks for submitting early.
Once your project is completed and submitted, the EPAO will either give you proposed dates for your interview or allow you to suggest dates and times yourself. Once these are confirmed, it’s just a waiting game. Most EPAOs will conduct these interviews remotely, however, some do offer face-to-face opportunities. These are rare nowadays though.
Get a colleague, another coach at your Training Provider, or a friend to conduct a mock interview with you; ideally, someone who knows the standard otherwise they’ll struggle with what questions to ask. This mock interview can really help with your preparation for the real thing and get you used to answering questions about your work.
The day rolls around and you sit your interview. You’ll typically do this over something like Teams or Zoom, etc. The interview will be recorded and will be used in conjunction with your portfolio, employer reference, and synoptic project to determine your final grade. The interviews typically last for around 60 minutes. However, I’ve heard of other organisations having slightly shorter interviews.
I’ve written a separate article on preparing for a number of these steps. But, the thing to remember for your interview is that this is your time to shine and shout about what you’ve done and how good you are as a marketer. Obviously, you want to back it all up with facts and demonstrations.
So, that’s EPA for Digital Marketer
If you’re due to go through EPA soon, honestly, don’t worry. It’s easier said than done, but it’s a relatively straightforward process and your Training Provider and EPAO will take care of a majority of it for you. However, if you are panicking or struggling with it all your best port of call is your Coach or Mentor at your Training Provider. Failing that, you can get in touch with us and we’ll talk you through it.