The End-Point Assessment (EPA) is an independent assessment of the knowledge, skills, and behaviours (KSBs), which have been achieved throughout the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA). The purpose of the EPA is to assess your competence for a role as manager, measured against the CMDA standard. The EPA is conducted by the End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO)either the Institute for Leadership and Management (ILM) or, more typically, the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). If you choose to use the CMI, then on successful completion, you will also be awarded Chartered Manager (CMgr) or Chartered Fellow (CMgr, FCMI) professional status.
The EPA explores your understanding and application of the whole of the standard. It requires you to demonstrate that you have applied and developed the individual KSBs required, using the following methods:
- A portfolio of evidence- worth 55% of your overall EPA mark
- A work-based project report (submitted with your portfolio of evidence) – worth 25% of your overall EPA mark.
- A live assessment consisting of a presentation, Q&A, and competency-based interview – worth 20% of your overall EPA mark.
Elements 1&2 are assessed by the EPAO prior to the live assessment taking place.
To pass the apprenticeship you must meet 50% of each of the three EPA activities. The total for each assessed activity is then combined to give the final grading, as detailed below:
- Fail = 1 to 49 marks
- Pass = 50 to 59 marks
- Merit = 60 to 69 marks
- Distinction = 70 to 100 marks
If you were to fail one or more of the end point assessment methods, you are allowed to re-sit that element. A re-sit or resubmission does not require you to undertake further learning, whereas a retake does.
During the apprenticeship you will receive regular guidance on how to write and prepare your portfolio for EPA, both on the programme, and in discussion with your workplace coach. The Progress Review Meetings are a main source of support for your individual progress towards EPA. Please ensure you use these meetingsto fully engage with the process.
A completed EPA portfolio must include:
- 10-15 pieces of holistic evidencewith supporting documentsincluding witness testimony
- A Work Based Project Report
The portfolio should also include copies of appraisals and CPD records for the duration of the apprenticeship. This demonstrates good professional practice and will also help to support your claim to professional behaviours.
EPA timeline for completion
Once you have submitted yourDissertation, you will receive a portfolio submission date. This is the date by which we expect you to have completed your portfolio evidence andwork based project report,and are ready to be given approval by your mentor and the university. You will also receive a Gateway date. This is the date that your portfolio is sent to the EPAO (typically the CMI) for assessment. You live assessment day (LAD) is also booked at that point. So essentially there are 3 key milestones,
- Portfolio Submission: your portfolio is ready for approval, at least two weeks ahead of Gateway, to allow time for official sign off process bythe University and your employer.
- Gateway: the University Registry team submit your portfolio to the CMI on completion of approvals.
- LAD: live assessment day usually around 4 to 6 weeks following gateway.
Please watch out for the booking form and invitation from Registry tobook the dates. If you are unable to meet the Gateway date set, please contactRegistry and keep your coach informed. Note that any subsequent changes to Gateway or EPA dates can incur an additional charge to your employers.
Please note that your mentor will be sent the instructions on how to give approval by registry around the time of submission.
To proceed to the Gateway, you must have completed your degree, met the English and Maths requirements, and have had your portfolio and work-based project ‘approved as ready’ by your employer and the University.
Preparing for Live Assessment
The Live Assessment Day(LAD) is the day on which the final elements of your EPA occur. The assessment takesplace online via Googlemeet with an independent assessor from theEPAO. Your assessment will be recorded by the independent assessor to enable moderation to take place. This is an ‘open book’ assessment, so you can use any notes or prompts which you may find helpful. WE suggest that you have your Evidence Locator to hand as it is designed to aid your navigation around your portfolio.
You can elect to have your mentor as part of the assessment process and must choose that option on the booking form.
During the final year of your degree, you will have had invitations to attend EPA preparation sessions. We strongly encourage you to take part in these.
EPA Portfolio components
- Evidence with supporting assets (worth 55% of the EPA)
The evidence contained in your portfolio should comprise 10-15 narratives that:
- Cover the whole of the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship Standard
- Produced by you, having understood and applied the relevant KSBs of the apprenticeship.
- Demonstrate your best work and how you have applied your knowledge and understanding in a real work environment to achieve real work objectives.
You will have been working with your coaches for the duration of the programme to build up this evidence, and in the EPA Preparation sessions will be choosing and compiling your final selection of evidence to put forward as your EPA portfolio. Remember that you are looking for evidence which covers the whole of the standard, and that you should choose the strongest of your evidence to put into this.
During you regular Progress Review Meetings with your coach, they will show you examples of good practice from previous portfolios.
Using the CMDA STAR evidence gathering template in Pebblepad will ensure a well-structured piece of evidence. The template allows you to directly attach supporting documentation to the written text.
Supporting assets are documents that you believe further support your claims to specific KSBs within the narrative. This could be anywhere upwards of two supporting documents. We strongly encourage use of witness testimony and there is a specific Witness Testimony Template that you can use. This allows you to receive focused testimony from a range of sources. Witness testimony is also useful when there are confidentiality/sensitivity issues. Your workplace coach can advise on this further. Please also note that it is fine to redact confidential information from supporting documents. Please discuss any concerns with your workplace mentor/organisation.
To help the assessor identify where you’ve evidenced the KSBs, you will need to compile an Evidence Locator Document. This replaces the standards tracking from your ILP workbook in Pebblepad. You can find the current evidence locator in Pebblepad and on your programme blackboard site.
Your workplace coach and workplace mentor will help you in deciding which work basedscenarios might best illustrate and capture your understanding and development of the KSBs.A strong portfolio draws from a range and variety of experiences within the workplace, has full coverage of KSBs (sometimes multiple times) and is reflective in nature. You will be encouraged to identify your future development needs throughout.
The EPA assessor will sample your portfolioand asses it by assigning marks for the following:
- Knowledge – 1 mark for each knowledge area where there is evidence and demonstration of all learning outcomes (a maximum of 12 marks), and a further 1 mark for each area where there is additional evidence of complex problems (a maximum of 12 further marks)
- Skills – 1 mark for each skills area where there is evidence and demonstration of all learning outcomes (a maximum of 12 marks), and a further 1 mark for each area where there is additional evidence of autonomy/interdependence (a maximum of 12 further marks)
- Behaviours – 1 mark for each behaviour area where there is evidence and demonstration of all learning outcomes (a maximum of 4 marks), and a further 3 marks where there is additional evidence of demonstration of behaviours that have exceeded the requirements of the role (a maximum of 3 further marks)
The pass mark is 28 marks, and portfolios scoring 29 and above will be awarded a ‘pass +’. The marks awarded at this stage will then be carried forward to the end of this EPA and combined to identify your final grading.
- Work-Based Project Report (worth 25% of theEPA)
The project is normally drawn from part 3 of your work-based project module report. You can choose to use another project if you wish, but in either case this should have been undertaken in the last 6 months of your apprenticeship. Even if your project has not been fully implemented, it is expected that you report on what has been done so far, whether the project is still on target, and some projected recommendations. Please note that it is not possible to use your work-based projects from level 4 or 5 as your EPA project, as this should come from the end stages of your apprenticeship.
Your work-basedproject report will be submitted aspart of your EPA portfolio and will be in the form of a Word document. It should follow the structure given below and include the content that is outlined in the marking criteria. The EPA Assessor wants to see a work-based report and so be mindful toedit out the academic sections, and keep the focus on workplace practice. It should not exceed 4000 words, and ideally will be around 2000-3000. You may include tables or diagrams, which can be embedded into the document, but should not include any appendices or academic references.
The structure, writing and marking for the work-based project report follows the ‘define, design, do’ model. It will be marked by the EPA assessor as follows:
- Define – 2 marks awarded for evidence of purpose/goal and 1 mark for objectives (maximum of 3 marks)
- Design – 1 mark for evidence that plan was created prior to the project start and 2 marks for evidence of controls (maximum of 3 marks)
- Do – 6 marks for analysis of key stages, achievement of outcomes, strategies to overcome barriers/challenges and use of project management tools (maximum of 3 marks)
Additional marks can be awarded for evidence of:
- Business need = 1 mark
- Business case/problem = 1 mark
- Alignment to organisational strategy = 1 mark
- Stakeholder communications = 2 marks
- Risk register, resource and financial considerations = 3 marks
- Visual plans (i.e. Gantt charts) = 1 marks
- Controls = 2 marks
- Impact = 2
The pass mark is 12 marks, and work-based projects scoring 13 and above will be awarded a ‘pass +’. The marks awarded at this stage will then be carried forward to the end of this EPA and combined to identify the final grading.
Your entire portfolio gets uploaded to an “EPA completion” site on Pebblepadwhen ready for approval and your coach will guide you on this. There is achecklist in this site that helps you to ensure that you have all documentation you need. In addition to the narratives andwork-based project report, you will need to add CPD records, any appraisal or 360 degree feedback, and complete an “about you”page.
Please see page 8 for thework-based project self-assessment guidance – this guidance gives you the structure of the reportand content you should include in each of the sections.
- Presentation and Q&A(worth 10% of the EPA)
The presentation is on the work-based project and you are required to demonstrate:
- What you set out to achieve through your project
- What you produced in your report
- How you approached the project and dealt with any issues
- Use of appropriate interpersonal and behavioural skills
You will need to produce a 15-minute presentation, using any additional support tools such as PowerPoint. We would recommend that you plan your presentation to reflect the ‘Define, Design, Do’ structure of your report. When preparing your presentation be sure to practice timing as the assessor will look for this to be accurate.
Following the presentation, you will be asked a minimum of 3 questions.
It will be marked by the CMI assessor as follows:
- What you set out to achieve = 1 mark
- What you produced in your report = 1 mark
- How you approached the project = 1 mark
- How you dealt with any issues = 1 mark
- Confirmation of appropriate interpersonal & behavioural skills = 2 marks
You can also be awarded additional marks for the following:
- Analytical and logical approach = 2 marks
- Demonstrates strong reasoning = 1 mark
- Demonstrates logical thinking = 1 mark
The pass mark is 6 marks, and presentations and Q&A scoring 7 and above will be awarded a ‘pass +’. The marks awarded at this stage will then be carried forward to the end of this EPA and combined to identify the final grading.
- Competency Based Interview (worth 10% of the EPA)
You will be asked a minimum of 3 questions based on your narratives. The questions can be drawn from any of the learning outcome areas and will focus on specific KSBs.
During the interview you are expected to draw on your experiences throughout your apprenticeship that are reflected in your narratives.
The purpose of the interview is to:
- Clarify any questions the independent assessor has from their assessment of the work-based project and full portfolio.
- Confirm and validate judgements about the quality of work.
- Explore aspects of the work, including how it was carried out, in more detail.
- Provide a basis for the independent assessor to make a holistic decision about the grade to be awarded.
CMI recommend that you use the STAR format to answer these questions.
- Situation – set the scene
- Task – describe the purpose
- Action – explain what you do
- Result – Share the outcome
The Independent Assessor will allocate marks for each of the questions asked, based on the Pass/ Pass+ criteria:
- Pass = 1 mark per question
- Additional marks can be awarded for Pass + =
Analytical and logical approach = 2 marks -Demonstrates strong reasoning = 1 mark -Demonstrates logical thinking = 1 mark.
The marks awarded at this stage will then be carried forward to the end of the EPA and combined to identify the final grading.
Work Based Project –Structure, Content and Marking Criteria
The work-based project is worth 25% = 25 marks of the overall EPA score. The table indicates the structure, content and marking criteria for the project.
|DEFINE: Have a clear purpose/goal based on a business problem/case
2 marks for evidence of purpose/goal and 1 mark for objectives = 3 marks maximum
Max. 3 marks
|No clear purpose/goal for the project and/or endorsed by the employer.
|Purpose/goal evident, relates to a relevant business case/need (i.e. not business as usual activities) and is endorsed by the employer.
Objectives and deliverables are evident.
|In addition to the pass descriptors the definition could include:
– Reference to a separate business need
– Reference to a business case/problem
– Reference to how project aligns to their organisational strategy
|DESIGN: Complete a clear project plan, including terms of reference, assumptions and consequences.
1 mark for planning prior to the project start and 2 marks for controls = 3 marks maximum
Max. 3 marks
|No plan described or lack of clear evidence to demonstrate the plan was created prior to starting project.
|Evidence that a plan was created prior to the project start.
Evidence of controls and milestones including defined beginning, middle and end gateways.
|Additional evidence could include:
– References to stakeholders and communication considerations. – References to risk, resource and financial considerations.
– Visual plan(s), e.g: Gantt charts
|DO: Analyse the key stages of the project, including on-project activities, and demonstrate how you contributed to the achievement of the purpose/goal.
6 marks for analysis of key stages, achievement of outcomes, strategies to overcome barriers/challenges and use of project management tools = 6 marks maximum
Max. 6 marks
|No evidence of analysis of the key stages completed. Apprentice unable to demonstrate how they contributed to the achievement of the purpose/goal.
|Evidence of analysis of the project’s key stages, including on-project activities, achievement of project outcomes, strategies to overcome barriers/challenges, and the successful use of project management tools.
|Additional evidence could include:
– Planning, management and organisation of the onproject activities
– Ideas generated, decisions taken, and controls used during the project.
– Management and impact of unforeseen events
Award additional marks as follows
|Business need = 1 mark
|Business case/problem = 1 mark
|Alignment to organisational strategy = 1 mark
|Stakeholder communications = 2 marks
|Risk register, resource and financial considerations = 3 marks
|Visual plans (i.e. Gantt charts) = 1 marks
|Controls = 2 marks
|Impact = 2 marks
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