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Department for Education reinstate flexibility to allow EPA ahead of FSQ outcomes

The temporary flexibility allowing apprentices waiting to take their FSQ (Functional Skills Qualifications) assessments in English and Maths to progress straight to end-point assessment has been reinstated by the Department for Education. This is similar to the previous arrangements in place in summer 2020.

This flexibility is only available to apprentices who can prove they’ve been unable to access FSQ assessment, either face-to-face or remotely. They must also complete their FSQ within three months of starting their EPA. Confirmation of this must be evidenced in the learner file/evidence pack. To be eligible to take their EPA before achieving the required functional skills qualifications, the apprentice must:

  • not be on a break in learning (an apprentice may return from a break in learning to take their end-point assessment);

  • meet all other gateway criteria to progress to their EPA as specified in the apprenticeship standard (except meeting the English and maths requirements);

  • have been confirmed by you and their employer as ready for both their EPA and to take a functional skills qualification assessment;

  • start their EPA on or before 31 May 2021.

As completion payments for the apprenticeship will be triggered by progression to EPA, it is essential that training providers are able to demonstrate that they have exhausted all possibilities to access FSQ assessment via face-to-face and remote assessment through their awarding organisation.

Apprentices will still only complete their apprenticeship once they have passed their EPA and achieved their FSQ in English and/or maths as required. Once these achievements have been confirmed by FDQ a completion certificate can be requested. Prompt confirmation of the apprentice’s FSQ results to FDQ, once these have been awarded, will ensure certification is not delayed.

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