February 10, 2023

Your guide to the End-point Assessment in security and fire

A BPEC overview of the End-point Assessment that apprentices must pass to become fully qualified for the Fire, Emergency & Security Systems (FESS) Apprenticeship Standard.

The Fire, Emergency & Security Systems (FESS) Apprenticeship Standard was introduced in 2017 as part of wide-ranging Government reforms to apprentice training and assessment.

Whilst apprenticeships are generally well-understood, the ‘End-point Assessment’ (EPA) as part of the apprenticeship was a new requirement, which until then was unheard of in this industry.

The EPA is a final, in-depth review of an apprentice’s skills and knowledge and is the final part of the apprenticeship process. Once the apprentice has completed their training, they must pass the End-point Assessment before they can become fully qualified.

It can help to think of it as the ‘driving test’ of the apprenticeship – after months and years of training during the apprenticeship, the EPA is where you put everything you’ve learnt into practice.

As an End-point Assessment Organisation, BPEC offers the FESS End-point Assessment for fire and security apprentices. We’re proud to have over 30 years’ experience in technical assessment and have been a recognised End-point Assessment Organisation since 2017, specialising in assessments for the building services engineering sector.

What does the End-point Assessment comprise?

It’s a comprehensive two-day assessment that tests whether the apprentice is competent in the skills and knowledge they should have learnt during their apprenticeship:

  • Practical Skills Test – a comprehensive practical assessment to test the candidate’s competency in service and repair, installation, testing and commissioning.
  • Underpinning Knowledge Test – an online, multiple-choice assessment covering knowledge on health and safety, electrical and electronic principles and a wide range of other areas.
  • Professional Discussion – to allow the candidate to demonstrate they can act in a way that will build and retain trust with customers and colleague.

To ensure it’s a true test of the apprentice’s ability, the EPA is carried out under exam conditions and the whole assessment is monitored by an independent assessor.

How do I know if the apprentice is ready?  

To check whether the apprentice is ready for their End-point Assessment, BPEC has a helpful Apprentice Self-Assessment Checklist which must be completed before the EPA is booked. The checklist shows everything that will be assessed during the EPA and what they should have covered during their apprentice training.

The apprentice needs to be fully confident they have the knowledge and skills covered in the checklist otherwise they may struggle during the assessment. It’s the training provider and employer’s responsibility to ensure the apprentice is fully trained before the EPA takes place.

How can apprentices prepare for the End-point Assessment? 

Once the EPA is booked, BPEC has detailed resources to ensure the apprentice is prepared before they attend the assessment. The ‘Pre-Assessment Manual’ details what happens on the day of the assessment, what each section entails, top tips and common errors, so they can avoid making the same mistakes others have made in the past.

Take advantage of these resources from BPEC and ensure your apprentice has the best chance of success, by going in fully armed with what to expect and how to approach the assessment.

Undertaking the End-point Assessment is a significant step in apprentice’s training and a huge achievement when they pass the assessment and become fully qualified. We pride ourselves on providing a friendly, hands-on EPA service for many of the industry’s leading employers and colleges to work with them through this important time – please get in touch if you have any queries about the EPA process and how BPEC can support you via epa@bpec.org.uk

Find out more about BPEC’s End-point Assessment process.