Apprenticeship Assessments

From frameworks to standards, apprenticeships are changing, including the way apprentices are assessed. Reformed apprenticeships include an End-Point Assessment (EPA) provided by a Government approved independent Apprenticeship Assessment Organisation (AAO) to determine an apprentice’s competency against the knowledge, skills and behaviours specified by employers.

NOCN is a market-leading AAO appointed to provide EPA for the following apprenticeship standards in the following sectors:

Public Service

  • Public Service Operational Delivery Officer - Level 3

Facilities Management

  • Property Maintenance Operative - Level 2

Financial Services

  • Financial Services Customer Advisor - Level 2
  • Senior Financial Services Customer Adviser - Level 3
  • Mortgage Adviser – Level 3
  • Credit Controller/Collector – Level 2
  • Financial Adviser – Level 4
  • Financial Services Administrator – Level 3


  • Engineering Design and Draughtsperson - Level 3

Customer Service

  • Customer Service Practitioner – Level 2

Adult Care

  • Adult Care Worker - Level 2
  • Lead Adult Care Worker - Level 3

Health Care

  • Health Care Assistant Practitioner – Level 5
  • Health Care Support Worker – Level 2
  • Health Care Science Assistant – Level 2


  • Retailer – Level 2

Science Technology

  • Laboratory Scientist – Level 5
  • Laboratory Technician – Level 3
  • Science Industry Maintenance Technician – Level 3
  • Science Manufacturing Technician – Level 3

Leadership and Management

  • Team Leader / Supervisor – Level 3

More sectors and standards to be announced throughout 2017.

The apprenticeship assessment process


Programme planning

Employers register on the Government’s Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) to provide apprenticeships, choosing a training provider and AAO, agreeing prices for the training and EPA, then they recruit their apprentice.

Apprenticeship duration

Apprenticeships last from a minimum of 12 to 24 months, with higher-level standards taking longer.

On programme

Once employed, the apprentice is ‘on programme’ to gain the specific knowledge, skills and behaviour to be competent in their job. Each apprenticeship has its own method of achieving and demonstrating competence, which can include:

  • Technical qualifications
  • A portfolio of evidence
  • A research project

Literacy and Numeracy

Apprentices must have or work towards an appropriate level of English and maths for their level of apprenticeship, aspiring to a higher level where appropriate.

E-portfolio compatibility

Most apprentices use an electronic portfolio on-programme. NOCN’s assessment system is fully compatible with leading e-portfolio systems, including Smart Assessor and OneFile.

Assessment Gateway

Once an apprentice has completed the ‘on programme’ activities, the employer and training provider decide when they are ready for EPA; they then enter the Assessment Gateway. This will usually be three-months in advance of their EPA.

EPA location

EPAs happen at an appropriate place, agreed by and under the supervision of NOCN as the AAO. This can include:

  • The employer’s premises
  • An external assessment centre*
  • Remotely via Skype
  • Online assessment

*Organisations interested in becoming an NOCN Assessment Centre should get in touch to discuss commercial arrangements.

NOCN EPA management system

NOCN has an EPA IT system ready to manage the assessment process from apprentice registration, through to assessment, grading and certification.

Flexibility and affordability

NOCN is friendly and flexible, working in partnership to ensure each EPA meets the needs of the employer and apprentice. NOCN promises to keep its EPA charges fair.


NOCN will confirm an appropriate grade for the apprentice, based on how they perform in all the assessment elements. For most apprenticeships, this grade will be a pass, merit or distinction.


If an apprentice is not successful, they can be resubmitted for all or part of the EPA after an appropriate period of additional training. Each part or full EPA is charged for so it is important to be certain the apprentice is ready.


NOCN will arrange certification with the SFA, which produces all reformed apprenticeship certificates.

Quality Assurance

NOCN follows stringent internal quality assurance procedures. It is also subject to external QA by appointed organisations. EQA costs are not included in the EPA price.

Download a pdf summary of our Apprenticeship Assessment Services: NOCN Apprenticeship Assessment flyer February 2017.


NOCN is available to act as a consultant to employers and training providers to help you get ready for the Apprenticeship Levy and the reforms as they roll out in 2017. Find out about our free advice sessions.

  • As training providers receive confirmation from the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) on whether they have been successfully approved on the Government’s ‘Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers’ (RoATP) and are now able to deliver the new apprenticeship standards from May 2017, NOCN is ready to help with what to do next.