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CYPW, HSC and Dementia Care Training

Learning, teaching and assessment

It is vital that students recognise what they have been learning. There is quite a lot of evidence that they are often not prepared to translate their experience of ‘completing an apprenticeship’ into the language of achievements valued by employers. When employability-enhancing elements are only tacitly present, students’ claims to employability are seriously compromised.

The fundamental skills of literacy, numeracy and ICT are usually assessed by assignment, multiple choice test and oral examination. Research confirmed that these skills are viewed by providers as competency-based and lend themselves to traditional methods of assessment.

Learning, teaching and assessment.

Evidence suggests that successful KYP service delivery pedagogical approaches include experiential learning – an emphasis on exploration, learning by doing and reflection in authentic contexts – ideally mixed with rather than simply replacing existing approaches. Existing assessment methodologies should, where necessary, be challenged and new approaches explored that reward successful practice in developing employability, giving them parity of esteem with technical skills and academic knowledge.

Work experience.

There is strong evidence to indicate that authentic work experience contextualises learning, has a strong influence on graduate employment and should be integrated into course curricula wherever possible. In order to maximise learning for employability and the academic subject it is important that this should be a pedagogically supported experience, which includes reflection and articulation of the learning achieved. Where this is difficult or impractical, it may be possible to embed examples of work-related learning or simulated work experience.

Build an institutional culture that promotes employability.

A principal challenge for ROATP providers with Health and Social Care and Children care services is to create an environment in which learning providers put employability enhancement at the heart of what they do. Teaching competence and delivering underpinning knowledge may require that organisational practices and structures such as timetabling and resourcing are amended to fit different pedagogical approaches. Apprenticeship and Diploma only delivery should make employability explicit through validation processes and through module learning outcomes.

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CYPW, HSC and Dementia Care Training

END POINT ASSESSMENT

Instead of being assessed continually throughout their course, all apprentices now have to complete an end-point assessment to complete their qualification. The EPA is designed to test whether each apprentice has gained the skills, knowledge and behaviours outlined in the standard, and grade each learner according to their performance.

How will the EPA work?

When an apprentice is ready to take the EPA, their employer will put them forward for the assessment. Each EPA is different, so the requirements for each assessment are laid out in the apprenticeship standard.

Who will the EPA affect?

Learners

The EPA has big impact for learners. Many apprentices choose vocational training over an academic course as it aligns with their practical strengths. By making the EPA mandatory for every apprenticeship, some learners may struggle to pass their course and could even be discouraged from applying in the first place.

Others will be motivated by the grading system, encouraging them to work hard to achieve a pass, merit or distinction.

Employers

Employers have to work closely with their training provider to monitor the progression of their apprentices. If learners aren’t prepared for the EPA and fail, employers may be charged extra for retakes. This means the employer will need to negotiate re-sit fees with their end-point assessment provider. With a digital eportfolio, employers can track their learners’ progression throughout their course, ensuring they’re not scheduled to sit to the EPA before they’re ready.