A Guide To Completing your Level 3 IT Support Apprenticeship End Point Assessment (EPA)
When completing your Level 3 IT Support Technician apprenticeship, a daunting aspect can be tackling the End Point Assessment. But don’t worry, in this blog we’re going to break down everything you need to know about your EPA – giving you the tools and knowledge to succeed!
Your EPA is the final part of your apprenticeship journey and is your chance to showcase the fantastic work you’ve completed throughout the programme.
What is an End Point Assessment?
Your assessment is conducted by an external End Point Assessment Organisation – but they’re not as scary as they sound. They simply want to know how you’ve developed and demonstrated the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for your apprenticeship.
Your EPA will begin after you’ve been on your apprenticeship journey for at least 366 days and once we’re confident that you’re meeting the Apprenticeship Standard requirements. Once you reach the gateway stage, it’s your time to shine on your own!
Next, let’s move on to the different components of your EPA. These are:
- A Portfolio of Evidence
- A Professional Discussion
- Project Report with Questioning
The Portfolio of Evidence
Your portfolio of evidence is collected throughout your entire apprenticeship. Both your Coach and our internal quality team will review this to make sure you’re showcasing the best of your work and that all your evidence meets the relevant knowledge, skills and behaviours.
It’s important to note that your portfolio won’t be assessed. Instead, the Independent Assessor will use this to decide what they’d like to talk about in your professional discussion.
Some examples of portfolio evidence to include are:
- Customer brief and negotiations.
This could include tickets and projects.
- Witness or customer testimonies.
- Plans of projects and their designs.
This could include evidence of the completion of tasks.
- Copies of appraisals or reviews.
- Minutes from team meetings.
The Professional Discussion
Now, let’s dive into what you can expect from the professional discussion. This is simply a two-way conversation between you and the assessor. They’re not there to catch you out, they just want to know how you apply the required knowledge, skills & behaviours in your job role.
Remember, this is your time to really show off everything you’ve accomplished throughout your apprenticeship and impress the assessor. You’ll need to actively listen, contribute to the discussion and showcase what you’ve learned!
It’s important to keep in mind that this discussion will last 60-minutes, but you may be allocated an additional 10% of time to finish your final answer. Throughout the discussion, the assessor will ask a minimum of 10 open questions that relate directly to your job role.
You could be asked:
- What is cultural awareness and how does that impact your delivery?
- How do you communicate with different stakeholders and manage escalation?
- Can you evaluate the use of your problem solving tools and methodology?
- Looking at the examples in your portfolio, can you justify the steps you took to diagnose issues? Is there anything you would do differently now you have more knowledge and experience?
The Project Report
You will be required to undertake a work-based project in collaboration with your employer. The project should align with your business’s needs, be relevant to your role, and allow you to showcase the knowledge, skills, and behaviours specified in the apprenticeship standard.
Your Project Report could be based on a specific problem, recurring issue, idea or opportunity, or around providing a particular service to colleagues or clients.
Relevant IT Support Project Reports can include:
- Maintaining or repairing system faults.
- Supporting the roll-out of new systems or upgrades.
- Supporting the installation and commission of new systems or upgrades.
Your project outcome will be presented in a 1500-word report.
As a minimum, this should include an introduction, project scope and key performance indicators, your research and findings, the project outcomes and how you achieved them, and any conclusions and areas for improvement.
Keep in mind that this report has a set deadline, and late submissions result in an instant failure of this element of your EPA. So, make sure to submit your work on time!
During the project questioning, you will engage in a one-on-one conversation with the Independent Assessor for approximately 30 minutes. The Independent Assessor will ask you at least 5 questions related to your submitted Project Report.
Useful Tip: you can have a copy of your Project Report with you, and you can refer to this during the session!
This section is your chance to demonstrate your expertise and provide a deeper understanding of your project and its outcomes. So, take advantage of the opportunity to showcase your knowledge and skills confidently!
You could be asked:
- Describe how you have optimised the performance of a system.
- Describe the processes that you followed when upgrading the system.
- Explain how data is backed up in your organisation.
- Describe the maintenance that you undertake as part of your role.
Rules & Regulations
Now that we’ve covered all the core elements of the End Point Assessment, it’s important to outline the rules and regulations that must be followed throughout the interview. Not following these may result in immediate failure of the assessment.
- Be in a suitable location
We suggest a quiet room, free from distractions.
- Check that your technology works.
This can include your internet, camera, microphone, speakers and headset.
- Have appropriate photo ID.
- Bring a copy of your portfolio.
- Arrive on time.
We recommend logging on 10 minutes early as late entry will result in an instant fail!
- Submit your work before the deadline and within the wordcount.
For your project report, you can be under or over the 1500-word limit by 10%.
Lastly, to top off your EPA preparation, here are some top-tips for acing your assessment:
- Speak confidently, clearly and concisely.
- Ask for questions to be repeated or rephrased if you’re unclear.
- Use the STARR method.
This means Situation, Task, Actions, Result & Reflection.
- When you give answers, give workplace examples.
- Never underestimate yourself, don’t ignore what you think may be obvious.
- Don’t be scared to lead the discussion.
- Treat the assessor like they don’t know anything about you or your company.
Let’s be honest, they don’t!
There we have it, you’re now prepared to smash your Level 3 IT Support End Point Assessment! Good luck 😊
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