PrEPAration is Everything!

21st May 2020

Preparation is key to many things and never has this been more true than when you are planning for the End Point Assessment (EPA) of your apprenticeship programme. After completing my portfolio, I was keen to end my learning journey on a high, so it was vital that I took the time to review everything that I had learnt and find examples of how I applied that learning in the workplace. If you are anything like me, the fear of the unknown can sometimes be all-consuming, so I thought it would be a great idea to share some tips based on my experiences and hopefully provide some benefit for you if you find yourself about to face your EPA. While I appreciate that everyone has their own learning style, I hope my top tips will help inspire, inform and reassure.


What to expect?

The EPA process varies depending on the type of qualification you are studying. It is therefore crucial to find out from your Learning Support Coach what you have to complete specifically for yours. For me, I was studying a Level 3 Team Leader qualification, so my EPA consisted of two parts, the knowledge test and the competency interview/professional discussion, and mine were loosely made up as follows:

  • Knowledge test. This was undertaken online but was invigilated by a member of the InterLearn team. It included 30 questions which I had 1 hour 15 minutes to complete. These were multiple choice questions based on topics that were discussed during the masterclasses taken throughout my apprenticeship.

TOP TIP! Refresh your memory focusing on the models you were taught during your classes and also revisit any notes made during your programme. As part of my revision, I would write things on ‘post it’ notes, as short, sharp reminders!

  • Competence Interview (CI) and Professional Discussion (PD). This second part of my EPA also consisted of 2 parts. The online competence interview lasted one hour, during which time I was asked questions by the EPA assessor based on my knowledge and how I’d applied my learning in the workplace. The second part of this process was a 30-minute discussion with the same EPA assessor, based on my CPD. The assessor selected approximately four of the training programmes I had put on my CPD and wanted to discuss that training. At this point they asked questions on why I’d gone on the training, how I’d applied it to my job role, how this improved my knowledge and how I felt that it had improved me as a team leader.

TOP TIP! Both elements are completed using Zoom, so make sure you are familiar with this beforehand, maybe even ask your LSC to do a mini mock exam so you know what to expect! Also, make sure you have your photographic ID ready. The assessor will ask for you to show this before the competence interview starts.


Practice makes perfect!

It is true what they say, practice makes perfect! So, for your knowledge test, ask your LSC to send you mock exams, which you can try doing before the real deal. Completing these really helped prepare me for my knowledge exam and also gave me insight into areas they would focus on.



Something I learned while studying towards my apprenticeship is that the key to achieving success in anything we do, is preparation. Remembering the 3 Ps – PLAN, PREPARE and PERFORM is crucial when it comes to your EPA. I know everyone is different when it comes to revising for exams, but some of my top tips for preparing for your EPA are:

  • Write everything on post it notes and in bold, bright colours, it is surprising how enticing pink and blue marker pens can be!
  • If you are a visual person then create yourself a revision board. Before taking my EPA I had created a revision board on the walls around my desk which was something like a scene out of CSI, but it enabled me to see everything so clearly!
  • Include your family or partner! Get them to ask you questions based on the knowledge you have learned.
  • Reward yourself! When I was preparing for my EPA, I would always reward myself with a piece of chocolate, every time I had completed a mock exam.
  • Have fun! If this means you create your own song to remember models’ theories, then do it! It is so important that you make this process as fun as possible.


Go for it!

Lastly, just go for it! The fear of the unknown is always a scary thing, but once it is all over, the sense of relief and satisfaction is incredible! You will be more prepared than you think and the assessors during your CI and PD are so supportive. The probing questions they ask are a way of ensuring you meet the criteria and my assessor was wonderful. I actually found the experience better than I initially thought it would be! ❤ Oh, and for the record? I got an overall Distinction.

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