COVID-19 TEMPORARY DISCRETION

Until further notice IFATE has agreed the following temporary discretion for the Train Driver Level 3 planned working observation:

The observation of planned work may be replaced by an alternative assessment consisting of a witness testimony providing an account of observed practice. The apprentice will also take part in a question-and-answer session with the external assessor to assess the apprentice on their practice and fill any gaps, ensuring that the relevant KSBs are adequately covered.

 IRO has worked with NSAR both in the creation of our Train Driver end-point assessment remote delivery and the development of the alternative planned working observation assessment methodology to ensure the continuity of the EPA delivery.

IRO’s vision is to support improvement in the quality of the railway operations workforce and help railway organisations succeed.

As a registered End-Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) we are a responsible, collegiate and Value Adding service provider with income opportunities for your organisation.

By providing End-Point Assessment (EPA) we hope to keep levy funding in the industry. Acting in a not-for-profit way has allowed IRO to develop a high quality, meaningful EPA at a competitive price.

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What is End-Point Assessment?

EPA is an assessment of the knowledge, skills and behaviours that your apprentice has learned throughout their apprenticeship, which confirms that they are occupationally competent.

Occupational apprenticeship standards and the End-Point Assessment Plans that are created and developed by employer trailblazer groups must be independently assessed by a registered EPAO.

Each apprenticeship standard has its own assessment plan, which specifies the assessment methods that must be used.

IRO EPA Delivery

We recognise the hard work and dedication that is required by your apprentice to complete their on-programme learning and EPA. We are therefore committed to ensuring we deliver a quality EPA service and that our assessors provide a professional and robust assessment of the apprentice’s knowledge, skills and behaviours.

We currently work with over twenty TOCs, FOCs and training providers on the Train Driver EPA, and our processes have been designed to ensure that every apprentice going through their EPA has a good quality and positive experience.

  • Your apprentices are registered with us and we regularly review your EPA requirements with you / your training provider
  • Following successful completion of your apprentice’s on-programme learning and assessment, they will be taken through the formal Employer Gateway review. When you are satisfied that they have achieved all the required gateway criteria, we will arrange to collect the requisite gateway evidence.
  • We will liaise with you to arrange a suitable date for your apprentice to complete their EPA with our independent assessor.
  • Following successful completion of their EPA, we arrange for your apprentice’s certificate to be sent from the government Apprenticeship Assessment Service to you.

We have established procedure and processes for the management of this process, and we provide individualised support and guidance throughout the stages.

NSAR Recognition

IRO have been a registered EPAO for the Train Driver Apprentice Level 3 since December 2018. Our assessment techniques and resources have been developed with the input and approval of ASLEF throughout.

NSAR, as the recognised external quality assurance provider for the Train Driver apprenticeship standard, provide the reassurance to employers and apprentices that IRO delivers a valid and quality end-point assessment service.

EPA Assessors

Assessing on behalf of IRO is an attractive prospect.

As EPA plans specify the minimum requirements of assessors, IRO has developed the concept of an agreed employer-led supply of assessors. For the Train Driver apprenticeship standard, it is stipulated that assessors must be current Train Drivers. Our employer-led supply of assessors means that current drivers are not ‘poached’ or lured into working additional hours on a freelance basis.

Under this agreement, each operating company puts forward willing volunteers to carry out EPA on behalf of IRO who pay the company for their time.

The supply of assessors is an opportunity for us all to work together to give development opportunities to staff without losing them, in the process creating a valuable experience for apprentices in a bid to increase industry standards.

Many operating companies have already given their backing to this and if you would like information about how we can work together, contact the EPA Team epa@railwayoperators.co.uk.

How much does it cost?

As the professional institution for railway operators, and with our nor-for-profit approach, IRO is able to charge significantly less that the £4,200 maximum fee for the Train Driver EPA.

Contact our EPA Team to find out more on 07311 060603 or epa@railwayoperators.co.uk.

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