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TTA’s Lee Stewart achieves his EPA qualification

TTA is delighted to announce that Lee Stewart, our Head of Teaching, Learning and Quality has successfully completed the End-Point Assessor course and has now been awarded his EPA qualification. We feel it’s a fitting reward for all the hard work he’s put in over the last few months. The award is great news for both Lee and for Transport Training Academy, and we’d like to offer him our heartiest congratulations. What will the new qualification mean to both Lee and to TTA in its future role in delivering Employer Assessments? Well, Lee is probably in the best position to explain:

What exactly is an EPA, and what does it qualify you to do?

“It’s a qualification that enables you to become a qualified End-Point Assessor. The whole of the apprenticeships’ delivery regime has changed recently. We now use a system called ‘Trailblazers’. The new system uses a completely different set of standards, and that means that the people who want to deliver the Employer Assessment are now required to achieve this qualification.”

“The EPA award is quite complex, and to achieve the qualification I had to complete a course that was held over 4 days. I did my qualification through a company called SDN in conjunction with Highfield – an awarding body which TTA already uses for its awards. When you apply to go on the course you have to send a list of your qualifications, so that the awarding body can establish whether you’re professionally and occupationally competent to meet the high standards required by the course. Obviously it a great help if you’re already an experienced assessor and an Internal Verifier (IV) like I am.”

Was it a difficult course and did you find it challenging?

“It actually was quite an intense course. Like I mentioned previously it was carried out over 4-days: 2 days at the beginning of May and a further 2 days at the beginning of June. In between these days you had to complete a significant amount of homework to satisfy the tough requirements of the course. Before you can be awarded the qualification you also have to hand in a workbook detailing all the work you’ve done over the 4 days with the internal verifier who’s been observing you throughout the process.”

“I enjoyed the course and found it interesting. There were 17 of us in total taking the course. It was a nice surprise to find that the other 16 candidates were women. It was great, and I have to say they looked after me. Zoe, my internal verifier, also looked after me well and helped me throughout the course, and both she, and the chief tutor/assessor, Chris Cherry, gave me good feedback at the end of the process which I was very pleased about.”

What will the new EPA qualification mean, both for you and your work at Transport Training Academy?

“It means that because I’m now qualified, TTA can apply to become what’s known as an EPAO Centre, which is an Employer End-Point Assessment Organisation. You can’t become one of these until you have a qualified EPA working for you. So that’s great news for TTA. As for me, well, I guess the pressure will be on from now on, but I’m sure I can cope with that. It will be a different role for me from now on, because the work I’ll be doing as an EPA is similar to that undertaken by auditors. As an EPA I won’t be assessing candidates, but testing them against strict standards. It will probably feel quite strange at first, having been an assessor for so long, but I’m sure I’ll get used to the new role quite quickly.”


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