A Guide to Completing Your Level 3 Junior Software Developer End Point Assessment (EPA)

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When completing your Level 3 Junior Software Developer 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 kick off once you’ve been on your apprenticeship journey for a minimum of 366 days, and when we have full confidence that you’re meeting the requirements of the Apprenticeship Standard. Then, you’ll be ready to enter the gateway stage – this is your time to shine independently!

Next, let’s move on to the different components of your EPA. These are:

  • A scenario demonstration with questioning
  • Professional discussion underpinned by portfolio

Scenario Demonstration with Questioning

Before your EPA, you will undertake a 4-week work-based project, which will be followed by a questioning session.

This session aims to assess your understanding of the task and to provide evidence supporting the rationale behind your work. In Assessment Method 1, you will embark on a work-based project with a 4-week completion timeframe.

Your task is to compile evidence in a report of up to 3,000 words that supports the required knowledge, skills, and behaviours. Following the submission of your report, you will be scheduled for a 40-minute interview. The interview questions will focus entirely on your findings and activities during the 4-week project.

Within the interview, you could be asked:

  • Can you show evidence of where you have included data structures in your code?
  • What documentation did you create during the project, and why did you select this format?
  • What methodology did you follow for this project?
  • Can you talk me through your approach to debugging code?

The final element of your EPA is split into 2 components: a Professional Discussion, which is underpinned by your portfolio of evidence.

The Portfolio of Evidence

Your portfolio of evidence is collected throughout your 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.

  • You will complete 4 workplace projects in your portfolio.
  • Each project needs to be 3000 words with 10% buffer at either side.
  • You will need to meet all the required KSBs throughout the 4 projects which are signed off by your coach and IQA team.
  • You will need to complete a Personal Development plan with a minimum of 5 targets and evidence to support the learning you will have completed.

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 learnt!

This 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:

  • How do you approach problem-solving when developing? Give me an example of a time you’ve had to resolve a complex problem.
  • What programming languages do you use and why is this the choice of language?
  • What do you think the future of technology/development looks like?
  • How have you adhered to The Equality Act when developing software?

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 word count.

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 Junior Software Developer End Point Assessment!

Good luck 😊

Our Software Apprenticeship Programmes

👉 Level 3 Junior Software Developer Programme

👉 Level 4 Software Developer Programme