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Bespoke saddler

Key information

  1. Status: Approved for delivery
  2. Reference: ST0328
  3. Version: 1.1
  4. Level: 3
  5. Typical duration to gateway: 24 months
  6. Typical EPA period: 2 months
  7. Maximum funding: £15000
  8. Route: Creative and design
  9. Date updated: 31/08/2022
  10. Approved for delivery: 27 June 2017
  11. Lars code: 183
  12. EQA provider: UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT)
  13. Review:

    This standard will be reviewed in 3 years. 

Print apprenticeship summary

Apprenticeship summary

Overview of the role

Making and repairing saddlery products.

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in the fashion & textiles sector, an integral part of the equine industry and is fundamental in the saddlery trade. There are 27 million people in Britain with an interest in the equestrian industry.

Bespoke saddlers supply saddlery products for many professional equestrian sports such as horseracing, eventing, dressage and show jumping but also cater for the amateur rider.

Investing in a bespoke saddlery product could serve both horse and rider for many years if regularly maintained and cared for.

Most bespoke saddlers also offer a repair and restoration service as well as having an appreciation of the saddlery fitting process. The ability to assess the condition of leather is very important from a strength and durability perspective, if leather has been well cared for it is a very sustainable material that can last a very long time.

Finished saddlery products are key to equine welfare and must meet health and safety requirements as well as fitting both rider and horse comfortably.

Most employers are based in a rural setting and classified as micro-businesses.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to produce a range of hand-crafted saddlery products such as saddles, bridles or harnesses from leather to specific measurements for both horse and rider. Additional fittings and materials can be used also.

Preparatory duties include confirming customer order requirements to produce a bespoke specification to then produce a standard or bespoke product that is cut and made to a unique pattern or measurement for a horse. The skills involved in producing saddlery products cover a wide area of expertise that includes craft, technical, creative and design.

Bespoke saddlers implement a variety of hand craft practical skills in the manufacture of saddlery products including measuring, pattern construction, cutting, hand and machine stitching and finishing. Based in a workshop, bespoke saddlers may have to sit or stand for long periods of time at a bench whilst working.

A typical working week is around 37 hours a week, from Monday to Friday but could occasionally include work overtime, which could include weekends.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with other work colleagues, customers and end-users. The level of interaction and responsibilities with external organisations would be dependent on whether the bespoke saddler is self-employed or an employee of a company.

In most cases, they will work independently and will be responsible for attaining orders and may also come into contact with external suppliers of leather, fittings, materials and other accessories.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for carrying out hand craft practical skills in order to produce saddlery products that fit precisely to a customer’s requirements. These skills are fundamental to the bespoke saddlery industry and ultimately have to be employed with great precision, to high standards of excellence and within realistic time constraints and are central to the efficiency and effectiveness of manufacture.

As an example, once the leather has been selected, little can be done to rectify mistakes and such errors will lead to problems at the assembly stage. Minimising loss of time and waste is key and contributes towards sustainability. All work must be completed in line with health, safety and environmental regulations and follow workplace safety rules in the workshop at all times.

A bespoke saddler may work alone self-employed or more occasionally work in a larger workshop where the different stages are shared between several saddlers. 

Typical job titles include:

Equestrian equipment repairer Horse equipment maker Saddle producer Saddler

Duties

  • Duty 1 Record customer requirements and convert the information gathered to produce a working specification of cut and made-up measurements. Communicate with customer to agree the bespoke specification.
  • Duty 2 Assess and evaluate the bespoke specification for the bridle and saddle to be made. As examples, specifications, style, quality, size, colour and timeline.
  • Duty 3 Source leather, materials and ancillary fittings to confirm availability, provide a quotation and agree final costs with the customer.
  • Duty 4 Create the necessary patterns.
  • Duty 5 Throughout the production process, continually identify faults that may lead to saddle and bridle fitting problems and report findings and recommendations to improve them.
  • Duty 6 Select the appropriate tools and machinery to manufacture bespoke bridle and saddle production activity, to achieve quality within given timescales.
  • Duty 7 Select leather, materials and ancillary fittings for the Bespoke Bridle and Saddle specification and report any shortages or quality issues.
  • Duty 8 Prepare and test hand tools, sewing machine, bench splitter and other equipment to enable the formation of the required bespoke components. For example, different types of leathers, threads, fittings and other materials.
  • Duty 9 Produce and/or repair saddlery products that meet both specification and customer requirements.
  • Duty 10 Communicate and report issues internally throughout the production process which impact quality, quantity and meeting deadlines.
  • Duty 11 Inspect finished saddlery product against quality standards and bespoke specification.
  • Duty 12 Complete work documentation, communicating as needed with colleagues. For example, production sheets and job cards.
  • Duty 13 Investigate requests for repairs/restoration to used saddlery products to assess sustainability, viability and suggest remedies. For example, component wear, breakage, asymmetry, stretch, poor stitching, adjustments to improve fit.
  • Duty 14 Identify welfare and safety issues for both horse and rider.

Apprenticeship summary

ST0328, bespoke saddler level 3


This is a summary of the key things that you – the apprentice and your employer need to know about your end-point assessment (EPA). You and your employer should read the EPA plan for the full details. It has information on assessment method requirements, roles and responsibilities, and re-sits and re-takes.

What is an end-point assessment and why it happens

An EPA is an assessment at the end of your apprenticeship. It will assess you against the knowledge, skills, and behaviours (KSBs) in the occupational standard. Your training will cover the KSBs. The EPA is your opportunity to show an independent assessor how well you can carry out the occupation you have been trained for.

Your employer will choose an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) to deliver the EPA. Your employer and training provider should tell you what to expect and how to prepare for your EPA. 

The length of the training for this apprenticeship is typically 24 months. The EPA period is typically 2 months.

The overall grades available for this apprenticeship are:

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

When you pass the EPA, you will be awarded your apprenticeship certificate.

EPA gateway

The EPA gateway is when the EPAO checks and confirms that you have met any requirements required before you start the EPA. You will only enter the gateway when your employer says you are ready.



The gateway requirements for your EPA are:

  • achieved English and mathematics qualifications in line with the apprenticeship funding rules
  • for the professional discussion, the project's title and scope must be agreed with the EPAO and a project summary submitted

  • passed any other qualifications listed in the occupational standard

For the bespoke saddler, the qualification required is:

City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Saddlery (Saddle and Bridle pathways)



Assessment methods







Short written test




You will complete a test requiring short written answers. It will be closed book, meaning you will not have access to any books or reference materials.

The test will have 20 short response written questions. You will have 75 minutes to complete it.





Practical assessment with questions



You will be observed by an independent assessor completing a set of tasks. It will last 4 hours. They will ask you at least 5 questions.









Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence




You will have a professional professional discussion with an independent assessor. It will last 60 minutes. They will ask you at least 15 questions. The questions will be about certain aspects of your occupation. You can use it to help answer the questions.






The EPAO will confirm where and when each assessment method will take place.

Who to contact for help or more information

You should speak to your employer if you have a query that relates to your job.



You should speak to your training provider if you have any questions about your training or EPA before it starts.

You should receive detailed information and support from the EPAO before the EPA starts. You should speak to them if you have any questions about your EPA once it has started.


Reasonable adjustments


If you have a disability, a physical or mental health condition or other special considerations, you may be able to have a reasonable adjustment that takes this into account. You should speak to your employer, training provider and EPAO and ask them what support you can get. The EPAO will decide if an adjustment is appropriate.


Professional recognition

This apprenticeship aligns with The Society of Master Saddlers (SMS) for Intermediate Saddler

Please contact the professional body for more details.

Print occupational standard

Details of the occupational standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in the fashion & textiles sector, an integral part of the equine industry and is fundamental in the saddlery trade. There are 27 million people in Britain with an interest in the equestrian industry.

Bespoke saddlers supply saddlery products for many professional equestrian sports such as horseracing, eventing, dressage and show jumping but also cater for the amateur rider.

Investing in a bespoke saddlery product could serve both horse and rider for many years if regularly maintained and cared for.

Most bespoke saddlers also offer a repair and restoration service as well as having an appreciation of the saddlery fitting process. The ability to assess the condition of leather is very important from a strength and durability perspective, if leather has been well cared for it is a very sustainable material that can last a very long time.

Finished saddlery products are key to equine welfare and must meet health and safety requirements as well as fitting both rider and horse comfortably.

Most employers are based in a rural setting and classified as micro-businesses.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to produce a range of hand-crafted saddlery products such as saddles, bridles or harnesses from leather to specific measurements for both horse and rider. Additional fittings and materials can be used also.

Preparatory duties include confirming customer order requirements to produce a bespoke specification to then produce a standard or bespoke product that is cut and made to a unique pattern or measurement for a horse. The skills involved in producing saddlery products cover a wide area of expertise that includes craft, technical, creative and design.

Bespoke saddlers implement a variety of hand craft practical skills in the manufacture of saddlery products including measuring, pattern construction, cutting, hand and machine stitching and finishing. Based in a workshop, bespoke saddlers may have to sit or stand for long periods of time at a bench whilst working.

A typical working week is around 37 hours a week, from Monday to Friday but could occasionally include work overtime, which could include weekends.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with other work colleagues, customers and end-users. The level of interaction and responsibilities with external organisations would be dependent on whether the bespoke saddler is self-employed or an employee of a company.

In most cases, they will work independently and will be responsible for attaining orders and may also come into contact with external suppliers of leather, fittings, materials and other accessories.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for carrying out hand craft practical skills in order to produce saddlery products that fit precisely to a customer’s requirements. These skills are fundamental to the bespoke saddlery industry and ultimately have to be employed with great precision, to high standards of excellence and within realistic time constraints and are central to the efficiency and effectiveness of manufacture.

As an example, once the leather has been selected, little can be done to rectify mistakes and such errors will lead to problems at the assembly stage. Minimising loss of time and waste is key and contributes towards sustainability. All work must be completed in line with health, safety and environmental regulations and follow workplace safety rules in the workshop at all times.

A bespoke saddler may work alone self-employed or more occasionally work in a larger workshop where the different stages are shared between several saddlers. 

Typical job titles include:

Equestrian equipment repairer Horse equipment maker Saddle producer Saddler

Occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Record customer requirements and convert the information gathered to produce a working specification of cut and made-up measurements. Communicate with customer to agree the bespoke specification.

K1

S1 S7

B3

Duty 2 Assess and evaluate the bespoke specification for the bridle and saddle to be made. As examples, specifications, style, quality, size, colour and timeline.

K7 K12 K15 K17

S1 S6

Duty 3 Source leather, materials and ancillary fittings to confirm availability, provide a quotation and agree final costs with the customer.

K4 K6 K14

S3 S7 S13

B3

Duty 4 Create the necessary patterns.

K17

S2

Duty 5 Throughout the production process, continually identify faults that may lead to saddle and bridle fitting problems and report findings and recommendations to improve them.

K11 K16

S16 S21 S24

B2

Duty 6 Select the appropriate tools and machinery to manufacture bespoke bridle and saddle production activity, to achieve quality within given timescales.

K2 K18

S3 S4

Duty 7 Select leather, materials and ancillary fittings for the Bespoke Bridle and Saddle specification and report any shortages or quality issues.

K12

S3 S15

Duty 8 Prepare and test hand tools, sewing machine, bench splitter and other equipment to enable the formation of the required bespoke components. For example, different types of leathers, threads, fittings and other materials.

K2 K18 K21

S4 S9 S14

Duty 9 Produce and/or repair saddlery products that meet both specification and customer requirements.

K2 K9 K10 K12 K13 K19 K22 K23

S4 S11 S12 S13 S15 S17 S18 S19 S20 S21 S22 S23 S24

B1 B4 B5

Duty 10 Communicate and report issues internally throughout the production process which impact quality, quantity and meeting deadlines.

K8

S8 S13

Duty 11 Inspect finished saddlery product against quality standards and bespoke specification.

K22

S10 S25

Duty 12 Complete work documentation, communicating as needed with colleagues. For example, production sheets and job cards.

K5

S5

Duty 13 Investigate requests for repairs/restoration to used saddlery products to assess sustainability, viability and suggest remedies. For example, component wear, breakage, asymmetry, stretch, poor stitching, adjustments to improve fit.

K3 K20

S12

B1 B4

Duty 14 Identify welfare and safety issues for both horse and rider.

K3 K11 K15 K16

S24 S25

B2


KSBs

Knowledge

K1: How to interpret industry terminology. Back to Duty

K2: The tools and machinery used in the manufacture of saddlery products. Back to Duty

K3: How to decide if a repair/restoration is both sustainable and viable in terms of safety and cost. Back to Duty

K4: How to organise purchasing of materials and stock control. Back to Duty

K5: How to keep accurate records relating to the sale, manufacture and repair of saddlery products. Back to Duty

K6: The importance of effective customer service. For example, liaising on product suitability to agree specifications for bespoke products. Back to Duty

K7: A range of saddlery products their type and suitability of style to individual customers. For example, saddles, bridles and other ancillary products. Back to Duty

K8: The importance of timely workflow to the business. Back to Duty

K9: The manufacturing processes for bridles and other saddlery equipment. Back to Duty

K10: The manufacturing processes for saddles. Back to Duty

K11: The impact of their product and work on saddle and bridle fitting. Back to Duty

K12: The characteristics and behaviours of a variety of different leathers, materials, threads and fittings for their suitable application. Back to Duty

K13: The manufacturing processes of wooden saddle trees. Back to Duty

K14: Alternative technical advances in materials and construction. Back to Duty

K15: How to interpret conformation relating to the anatomy of the horse to produce a bespoke fit. Back to Duty

K16: The impact of their product and work on the welfare of the horse and safety of the rider. Back to Duty

K17: How to interpret measurements of the horse to create a cutting list for cut and made up measurement including all necessary patterns. Back to Duty

K18: How to maintain and safely use tools, equipment and machinery. Back to Duty

K19: Material requirements for manufacture and the order of cost effective assembly. Back to Duty

K20: The balance between hand stitching to a high standard in an acceptable time and contributes to the sustainability of the business. Back to Duty

K21: Processes to adjust machines to sew a variety of differing materials. For example, specialist needles, feet, guides and tension setting. Back to Duty

K22: How to implement saddlery hand skills to produce a finish that meets a high quality standard. Back to Duty

K23: The style and size of hole in relation to the fittings required for the saddlery product. Back to Duty

Skills

S1: Assess given measurements from the horse to produce a cutting list showing both cut and made-up measurements, the amount of leather and fittings required. Back to Duty

S2: Produce the patterns for the saddlery product(s) in readiness to cut material components. Back to Duty

S3: Safely select, use, maintain and store equipment and materials; for example, correct storage of patterns, sharpening tools, purchasing materials and stock control. Back to Duty

S4: Identify and minimise hazards and risks in the workplace to maintain work procedures ensuring health and safety requirements are met. Back to Duty

S5: Maintain comprehensive records relating to the manufacture and repair of saddlery. Back to Duty

S6: Discuss and advise on the type of leather for a specific use. Back to Duty

S7: Carry out effective customer care. Back to Duty

S8: Develop and maintain good communication skills with colleagues in order to ensure a productive work environment. Back to Duty

S9: Prepare materials and fittings for the saddlery product. Back to Duty

S10: Have overall responsibility for the finish and suitability of the completed saddlery product. Back to Duty

S11: Follow clear instructions from relevant colleagues in order to meet customer requirements. Back to Duty

S12: (When repairing a saddlery product), assess product and implement the appropriate sustainable method to remedy the problem. Back to Duty

S13: Implement efficient and effective use of resources, time and materials. Back to Duty

S14: Select, prepare and test tools and machinery, including adjustments for different leathers, materials and fittings. Back to Duty

S15: Identify the correct materials, threads and fittings for the task and use in accordance with both customer requirements and company processes. Back to Duty

S16: Recognise faults in leather, materials, threads and fittings. Back to Duty

S17: During manufacture implement technical processes. For example, cut, edge, stain, crease, punch, prick mark and skive all components where necessary and applicable. Back to Duty

S18: Assemble components in order of the manufacturing process in readiness for stitching. Back to Duty

S19: When hand stitching saddlery products, double hand and single/back stitch where appropriate for appearance and durability. Back to Duty

S20: Machine stitch a variety of different materials used in bridle and saddle manufacture. Back to Duty

S21: (When bridle making), recrease and block all keepers as necessary. Back to Duty

S22: Punch the correct size and style of hole for the fittings required for the saddlery product. Back to Duty

S23: Clean and polish all edges. Back to Duty

S24: (When saddle making), flock panels smoothly, evenly and to the correct specification. Back to Duty

S25: Assemble completed saddlery product, maintaining the quality of hand craft skills and ensuring functionality. Back to Duty

Behaviours

B1: Commitment to maintaining high standards of precision and excellence. Back to Duty

B2: Awareness and understanding to the effect of poorly fitted saddlery items to the horse and the safety of the rider. Back to Duty

B3: Focus on the requirements of the customer. Back to Duty

B4: Strong work ethic and commitment in order to meet the standards required. Back to Duty

B5: Recognition and appreciation of equality and diversity in the workplace. Back to Duty


Qualifications

English and Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Other mandatory qualifications

City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Saddlery (Saddle and Bridle pathways)

Level: 3

Ofqual regulated

All apprentices must complete both the Saddle and Bridle Pathways of this qualification.

Professional recognition

This standard aligns with the following professional recognition:

  • The Society of Master Saddlers (SMS) for Intermediate Saddler
Print EPA plan

End-point assessment plan

AP03

Introduction and overview

This document explains the requirements for end-point assessment (EPA) for the bespoke saddler apprentices. End-point assessment organisations (EPAOs) must follow this when designing and delivering their EPA.

Bespoke saddler apprentices, their employers and training providers should read this document.

An approved EPAO must conduct the EPA for this apprenticeship. Employers must select an approved EPAO from the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s Register of end-point assessment organisations (RoEPAO).

A full-time apprentice typically spends 24 months on-programme (this means in training before the gateway) working towards competence as a bespoke saddler. All apprentices must spend at least 12 months on-programme. All apprentices must spend at least 20% of their on-programme time completing off-the-job training.

This EPA has 3 EPA methods.

The grades available for each EPA method are:

EPA method 1 - written paper:

  • fail
  • pass

EPA method 2 - practical skills test:

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

EPA method 3 - professional discussion:

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

The result from each EPA method is combined to decide the overall apprenticeship grade. The following grades are available for the apprenticeship:

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

EPA summary table

On-programme (typically 24 months)
Training to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) of the occupational standard.

Training towards English and mathematics qualifications at Level 21, if required.

Training towards any other qualifications listed in the occupational standard.

The qualification(s) required are:

City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Saddlery (Saddle and Bridle pathways)

Compiling a portfolio of evidence.

End-point assessment gateway
The employer must be content that the apprentice is working at or above the level of the occupational standard.

The apprentice’s employer must confirm that they think the apprentice:

  • is working at or above the occupational standard as a bespoke saddler
  • has the evidence required to pass the gateway and is ready to take the EPA

An apprentice must have passed any other qualifications listed in the bespoke saddler occupational standard ST0328.

The qualification(s) required are:

City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Saddlery (Saddle and Bridle pathways)

Apprentices must have achieved English and mathematics at Level 21.

An apprentice must submit all gateway evidence to the EPAO. The EPAO must review the evidence. When the EPAO confirms the gateway requirements have been met, the EPA period starts and typically takes 2 months to complete. The expectation is that the EPAO will confirm the gateway requirements have been met.

For the professional discussion, the apprentice will be required to submit a portfolio of evidence.

Apprentices must submit any policies and procedures as requested by the EPAO.

End-point assessment (typically 2 months)
Grades available for each method:

Written paper

  • fail
  • pass

Practical skills test

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

Professional discussion

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

Overall EPA and apprenticeship can be graded:

    • fail
    • pass
    • distinction
Professional recognition
This apprenticeship standard aligns with The Society of Master Saddlers (SMS) for Intermediate Saddler. The experience gained and responsibility held by the apprentice on completion of the apprenticeship will either wholly or partially satisfy the requirements for registration at this level.
Re-sits and re-takes



  • Re-take and re-sit grade cap: pass
  • Re-sit timeframe: typically 2 month(s)
  • Re-take timeframe: typically 5 month(s)

Duration of end-point assessment period

The EPA will be taken within the EPA period. The EPA period begins when the EPAO confirms the gateway requirements are met and is typically 2 months.

The expectation is that the EPAO will confirm the gateway requirements are met and the EPA begins as quickly as possible.

EPA gateway

The apprentice’s employer must confirm that they think the apprentice is working at or above the occupational standard as a bespoke saddler. They will then enter the gateway. The employer may take advice from the apprentice's training provider(s), but the employer must make the decision.

Apprentices must meet the following gateway requirements before starting their EPA.

These are:

  • achieved English and mathematics at Level 21.
  • achieved City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Saddlery (Saddle and Bridle pathways)
  • for the professional discussion apprentices must submit: portfolio of evidence

Portfolio of evidence requirements:

Apprentices must compile a portfolio of evidence during the on-programme period of the apprenticeship. It should contain evidence related to the KSBs that will be assessed by this assessment method. The portfolio of evidence will typically contain 20 discrete pieces of evidence (must contain a finished Saddle and Bridle). Evidence should be mapped against the KSBs.

Evidence may be used to demonstrate more than one KSB; a qualitative as opposed to quantitative approach is suggested. Evidence sources may include:

  • workplace documentation/records, for example:
    • workplace policies/procedures, records
    • witness statements
    • annotated photographs
    • video clips (maximum total duration 10 minutes); the apprentice must be in view and identifiable
    • a finished saddle and bridle (required)
    • samples and test pieces

This is not a definitive list; other evidence sources can be included.

The portfolio should not include reflective accounts or any methods of self-assessment. Any employer contributions should focus on direct observation of performance (for example witness statements) rather than opinions. The evidence provided should be valid and attributable to the apprentice; the portfolio of evidence should contain a statement from the employer and apprentice confirming this.

The EPAO should not assess the portfolio of evidence directly as it underpins the discussion. Independent assessors should review the portfolio of evidence to prepare questions for the discussion assessment method. They are not required to provide feedback after this review.

Apprentices must submit any policies and procedures as requested by the EPAO.

The EPA period starts when the EPAO confirms all gateway requirements have been met. The expectation is they will do this as quickly as possible.

Assessment methods

The assessment methods can be delivered in any order.

The result of one assessment method does not need to be known before starting the next.

Written paper

Overview

In the test, the apprentice answers questions in a controlled and invigilated environment. It gives the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge mapped to this assessment method.

Rationale

This EPA method is being used because:

  • It allows apprentices to demonstrate knowledge that does not lend itself to a multiple-choice test.
  • It can be conducted remotely, potentially reducing costs.

Delivery

The test must be structured to give the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate the KSBs mapped to this assessment method to the highest available grade.

The written paper can be computer or paper based.

The written paper must consist of 20 short response written questions. Short answer questions need a written response.

There must be at least one question per knowledge statement:

  • Health and Safety (Horse and Rider) K16
  • Customer Liaison K5
  • Pre- Manufacture K4, K8
  • Manufacture K2, K20

The apprentice must be given at least 2 weeks notice of the date and time of the written paper.

Test administration

The apprentice must have 75 minutes to complete the test.

The written paper is closed book which means that the apprentice cannot refer to reference books or materials whilst taking the test.

The written paper must be taken in the presence of an invigilator under the responsibility of the EPAO.

The EPAO must have an invigilation policy setting out how the written paper must be conducted. It must state the ratio of apprentices to invigilators for the setting and allow the test to take place in a secure way.

The EPAO is responsible for the security of the written paper including the arrangements for on-line testing. The EPAO must ensure that their security arrangements maintain the validity and reliability of the written paper.

Marking

The written paper must be marked by an independent assessor or marker employed by the EPAO. They must follow a marking scheme produced by the EPAO. Marking by computer is allowed where question type supports this.

The EPAO must develop a marking scheme based on the grading descriptors for this assessment method. The EPAO is responsible for overseeing the marking of the written paper. The EPAO must ensure standardisation and moderation of the written paper tests.

Assessment location

The apprentice must take the written paper in a suitably controlled and invigilated environment that is a quiet room, free from distractions and influence. The EPAO must check the venue is suitable.

The written paper may take place remotely if the appropriate technology and systems are in place to prevent malpractice. The EPAO must ensure invigilation of the apprentice for example with, and not limited to, 360-degree cameras and screen sharing facilities.

Question and resource development

The EPAO must develop a purpose-built assessment specification and question bank. It is recommended this is done in consultation with employers of this occupation. The EPAO should maintain the security and confidentiality of EPA materials when consulting employers. The assessment specification and question bank must be reviewed at least once a year to ensure they remain fit-for-purpose.  

The assessment specification must be relevant to the occupation and demonstrate how to assess the KSBs mapped to this assessment method. The EPAO must ensure that questions are refined and developed to a high standard. The questions must be unpredictable. A question bank of sufficient size will support this.

The EPAO must ensure that apprentice has a different set of questions in the case of re-sits or re-takes.

The EPAO must produce the following materials to support the written paper:

  • independent assessor assessment materials which include:
    • training materials
    • administration materials
    • moderation and standardisation materials
    • guidance materials
    • grading guidance
    • test specification
    • sample test and mark schemes
    • live tests and mark schemes
    • question bank
  • EPA guidance for the apprentice and the employer

The EPAO must ensure that the EPA materials are subject to quality assurance procedures including standardisation, training, and moderation.

Practical skills test

Overview

In a practical assessment, the independent assessor observes the apprentice completing a task or series of tasks set by the EPAO. The EPAO decides where it takes place. The test environment must closely relate to the apprentice’s natural working environment. This allows the apprentice to demonstrate the KSBs mapped to this assessment.

The practical assessment and responses to questions must be assessed holistically by the independent assessor when they are deciding the grade.

Rationale

This EPA method is being used because this is a practical occupation. The primary function of this role is to manufacture and alter saddlery products so it is important to observe the correct processes are implemented and a high quality finish is achieved.

  • practical assessment makes use of employer resources and equipment, which will be familiar to the apprentice and will allow them to perform at their best.
  • tasks completed during the practical assessment should contribute to workplace productivity and are valid
  • it is a holistic assessment method.

Delivery

The practical skills test must be structured to give the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate the KSBs mapped to this assessment method to the highest available grade.

The practical skills test with questions must take 4 hours, refer to guide times for approximation of times to complete each task. The times referred represent the maximum time allowed for the practical skills test and questions

The independent assessor conducts and assesses the practical skills test.

The independent assessor must only observe one apprentice to ensure quality and rigour they must be as unobtrusive as possible.

The EPAO must give an apprentice 2 weeks notice of the practical skills test.

The practical skills test must take 4 hours.

The independent assessor can increase the time of the practical skills test by up to 10%. This time is to allow the apprentice to complete a task or respond to a question if necessary.

The practical skills test cannot be split, other than for comfort breaks or to allow apprentices to move from one location to another. Where breaks occur, they will not count towards the total EPA time.

EPAOs must manage invigilation of the apprentice at during the assessment maintain security of the EPA, in line with their malpractice policy. This includes breaks and moving between locations during the working day.

The independent assessor must explain to the apprentice the format and timescales of the practical skills test before it begins. This does not count towards the assessment time.

The independent assessor should observe the following during the practical assessment.

the following tasks must be observed during the practical assessment.

  • task 1 - manufacture a pair of bridle cheeks to meet the requirements of the specification (guide time 2.5 hrs)
  • task 2 – adjust (repair /restore) flocking in a saddle panel (guide time 1.5hrs)

These activities provide the apprentice with the opportunity to demonstrate the KSBs mapped to this assessment method.

Questions must be asked. to probe the depth and breadth of the underpinning knowledge of the apprentice whilst they demonstrate the practical skills.

Questioning can occur during the practical assessment. The time for questions asked during the practical assessment is included in the overall assessment time.

Independent assessors must ask at least 5 questions during the practical assessment. To remain as unobtrusive as possible, the independent assessors should ask questions during natural breaks in work rather than disrupting the apprentice’s flow. Follow-up questions are allowed. The independent assessor must use the questions from the EPAO’s question bank or create their own questions in-line with the EPAO’s training.

The independent assessor can ask questions to clarify answers given by the apprentice. These questions are in addition to the above set number of questions for the practical skills test and should be kept to a minimum.

The independent assessor must record the KSBs observed, KSBs demonstrated in answers to questions and the grade achieved. The apprentice’s answers to questions must also be recorded.

The independent assessor makes all grading decisions.

Assessment location

The practical skills test will take place in a simulated environment selected by the EPAO (for example the EPAO’s or employer’s premises). The simulated environment must relate to the apprentice’s natural work environment. Equipment and resources needed for the practical skills test must be provided by the EPAO, who can liaise with the employer to provide these.

Additional venue requirements that must be in place include:

the venue must provide the required tools, materials and set-up/workbench.

a realistic working environment must be provided at the assessment centre if the assessment is not undertaken at the employer's premises.

Question and resource development

The EPAO must write an assessment specification and question bank. The specification must be relevant to the occupation and demonstrate how to assess the KSBs mapped to this assessment method. It is recommended this is done in consultation with employers of this occupation. EPAOs should maintain the security and confidentiality of EPA materials when consulting employers. The questions must be unpredictable. A question bank of sufficient size will support this. The assessment specification and questions must be reviewed at least once a year to ensure they remain fit-for-purpose.

The EPAO must develop purpose-built question banks and ensure that appropriate quality assurance procedures are in place. For example, considering standardisation, training and moderation. The EPAO must ensure that questions are refined and developed to a high standard.

The EPAO must ensure that the apprentice has a different set of questions in the case of re-sits or re-takes.

The EPAO must produce the following materials to support the practical skills test:

  • independent assessor assessment materials which include:
    • training materials
    • administration materials
    • moderation and standardisation materials
    • guidance materials
    • grading guidance
    • question bank
  • EPA guidance for the apprentice and the employer

Professional discussion

Overview

In the discussion, an independent assessor and apprentice have a formal two-way conversation.

The apprentice can refer to and illustrate their answers with evidence from their portfolio of evidence. It gives the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate their competency across the KSBs mapped to this EPA method.

Rationale

This EPA method is being used because:

  • it allows the apprentice to be assessed against KSBs that would take too long to observe or do not lend themselves to a professional discussion assessment.
  • it allows for the testing of responses where there are numerous potential answers that could not be tested through the multiple-choice test.
  • it is cost-effective.

Delivery

The professional discussion must be structured to give the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate the KSBs mapped to this assessment method to the highest available grade.

An independent assessor must conduct and assess the professional discussion.

The purpose of the independent assessor's questions will be to clarify the apprentice’s understanding and the themes that are listed in the grading descriptors.

The professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio) will synoptically assess the knowledge, skills and behaviours elements of the standard as mapped to this method. The apprentice will also reflect on their on-programme development (using the mandatory portfolio of evidence for reference).

The EPAO must give an apprentice 2 weeks notice of the professional discussion.

The independent assessor must have at least 2 week(s) to review the supporting documentation.

The apprentice must have access to their portfolio of evidence during the professional discussion.

The apprentice can refer to and illustrate their answers with evidence from their portfolio of evidence, however the portfolio of evidence is not directly assessed.

The professional discussion must last for 60 minutes. The independent assessor can increase the time of the professional discussion by up to 10%. This time is to allow the apprentice to respond to a question if necessary.

The independent assessor must ask at least 15 questions, typically three questions per theme:

  • Health and Safety (Horse and Rider)
  • Customer Liason
  • Pre-Manufacture
  • Manufacture
  • Post-Manufacture

Follow-up questions are allowed where clarification is required. The independent assessor must use the questions from their EPAO’s question bank or create their own questions in-line with the EPAO’s training.

The independent assessor must make the grading decision. The independent assessor must keep accurate records of the assessment. They must record:

  • the apprentice’s answers to questions
  • the KSBs demonstrated in answers to questions
  • the grade achieved 

Assessment location

The professional discussion must take place in a suitable venue selected by the EPAO (for example the EPAO’s or employer’s premises).

The professional discussion can be conducted by video conferencing. The EPAO must have processes in place to verify the identity of the apprentice and ensure the apprentice is not being aided.

The professional discussion should take place in a quiet room, free from distractions and influence.

Question and resource development

The EPAO must develop a purpose-built assessment specification and question bank. It is recommended this is done in consultation with employers of this occupation. The EPAO should maintain the security and confidentiality of EPA materials when consulting employers. The assessment specification and question bank must be reviewed at least once a year to ensure they remain fit-for-purpose.  

The assessment specification must be relevant to the occupation and demonstrate how to assess the KSBs mapped to this assessment method. The EPAO must ensure that questions are refined and developed to a high standard. The questions must be unpredictable. A question bank of sufficient size will support this.

The EPAO must ensure that apprentice has a different set of questions in the case of re-sits or re-takes.

The EPAO must produce the following materials to support the professional discussion:

  • independent assessor assessment materials which include:
  • training materials
  • administration materials
  • moderation and standardisation materials
  • guidance materials
  • grading guidance
  • question bank
  • EPA guidance for the apprentice and the employer

The EPAO must ensure that the EPA materials are subject to quality assurance procedures including standardisation, training, and moderation.

Grading

Written paper

Fail - does not meet pass criteria

Theme
KSBs
Pass
Apprentices must demonstrate all the pass descriptors
Health and Safety (Horse and Rider)
K16

Explains why the panel’s bearing surface must be sufficient, and the flocking is within tolerance and describes the impact and consequences to the horse and rider if the saddle does not fit properly, and the limitations of flocking adjustment.

K16

Customer Liaison
K5

Describes the importance of taking and recording accurate information and measurements.

K5

Pre- Manufacture
K4 K8

Explains how to organise, purchase, control and monitor material stock, record stock levels and maintains a cost-effective workflow for the business that meets internal expectations.

K4, K8

 

 

Manufacture
K2 K20

Identifies the tools and machinery used when manufacturing saddlery products and explains when and how the tools and equipment are used.

K2

Describes hand stitching and machine stitching methods. Explains when and where each method is appropriate, and how each method can benefit longevity of saddlery products.

K20 

Practical skills test

Fail - does not meet pass criteria

Theme
KSBs
Pass
Apprentices must demonstrate all the pass descriptors
Distinction
Apprentices must demonstrate all the pass descriptors and all of the distinction descriptors
Health and Safety (Horse and Rider)
K15

Uses templates, anatomy of the horse and other information provided by the saddle fitter in order to create a bespoke fit.

K15

 

Critically appraises the limitations of achieving a bespoke fit and explains how this would be communicated to the customer.

K15

 

 

 

Customer Liaison
K6 S1

 

Assesses given measurements and produces a comprehensive cutting list and explains the importance of customer liaison and describes the interaction required to ensure accurate measurements and specifications are obtained, in order to create a well-fitting pair of bridle cheeks.

K6, S1


.

 

.

Pre-Manufacture
K3 K18 S9

Assesses potential repairs/restoration in relation to cost and safety.

K3

Prepares materials and fittings required and demonstrates maintenance and safe use of tools, equipment and machinery.

K18, S9

Takes a methodical approach to preparing materials and maintaining and safely using tools, equipment, and machinery within specification tolerances.

K18, S9

Manufacture
S4 S12 S13 S16 S17 S18 S19 S21 S22 S23 S24 S25 B1 B4

Plans, and manages timescales and resources to meet customer requirements and product specification.

S13

Implements and maintains health and safety standards and strong work ethic throughout the production of saddlery products.

S4, B4

Inspects leather and fittings, ensuring faults are dealt with and explains why they do not meet quality standards.

S16, B1

Implements technical processes, follows specifications and assembles components in the correct sequence to produce a saddlery product within set tolerances to the specified measurements.

S17, S18, S21, S22, S23, S24, S25

Remedies any problems or undertakes any repairs needed.

S12

Applies durable hand stitching skills throughout the production working to the specified appearance.

S19

Saddlery product is exact to the specified measurements.

S22, S24, S25

Hand stitching on saddlery product is exact to specified measurements.

S19 

Post Manufacture
S10

Inspects the final saddlery product and explains the quality standards required in relation to the leather and materials, workmanship, finish, and functionality.

S10

.

Professional discussion

Fail - does not meet pass criteria

Theme
KSBs
Pass
Apprentices must demonstrate all the pass descriptors
Distinction
Apprentices must demonstrate all the pass descriptors and all of the distinction descriptors
Health and Safety (Horse and Rider)
K17 B2

Explains how to interpret measurements and use measurements to create cutting lists and necessary patterns.

K17

Explains the effect of poorly fitting saddlery products on the welfare of the horse and the safety of the rider.

B2

.

Customer Liaison
K1 K11 S2 S6 S7 S15 B3

Explains the specialist skills required to work with customers to produce the patterns and the final bespoke saddlery products.

S2, S7

Uses industry terminology to explain how they advise on different styles, materials and fittings, customer requirements and product specifications.

K1, S6, S15, B3,  

Explains the impact of the saddlery product fitting process on the end user.

K11

Analyses the importance of the saddlery product fitting process and the impact of the finished product on the end user.

K11

Pre-Manufacture
K7 K9 K10 K13 K14 K19 S3

Identifies a range of saddlery products and explains how to order the correct type, quantity of materials and fittings.

K7, K19

Describes how to maintain and support the preparatory processes in a functional workshop.

S3

Explains saddle and bridle manufacturing processes and advances in materials and construction methods.

K9, K10, K14,

Explains how wooden saddle trees are made and what they are used for.

K13

Articulates measures that can be put in place to prolong the life of tools, patterns and minimise safety risks.

S3

Manufacture
K12 K21 K22 K23 S8 S11 S14 S20 B5

Describes two hand/machine skills needed when making saddlery items to a high standard and the style and size of the hole(s) in relation to the fittings used.

K22, K23

Describe how they adjust tools, materials and machinery to produce a saddlery product to bespoke specification.

S14

Explains the characteristics and behaviours of different materials, and suitable applications and the machine adjustments required when sewing different materials.

K12, K21, S20

Describes how they maintain communication skills with colleagues to ensure productive work environment alongside meeting customer requirements and product specification and how to ensure equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

S8, S11, B5

Analyses and justifies the reasons for different hand/machine skills which are needed when making saddlery items to a high standard.

K22

Explains how adjustment to the tools and using different materials can create bespoke design features.

S14

Post Manufacture
S5

Describes information recording procedures and explain the importance of keeping accurate records.

S5

.

Overall EPA grading

The assessment methods contribute equally to the overall EPA pass grade.

Performance in the EPA will determine the apprenticeship grade of:

    • fail
    • pass
    • distinction

Independent assessors must individually grade the: written paper, practical skills test and professional discussion according to the requirements set out in this EPA plan.

EPAOs must combine the individual assessment method grades to determine the overall EPA grade.

An apprentice who fails one or more assessment method will be awarded an overall EPA fail.

An apprentice must achieve at least a pass in all the assessment methods to get an overall pass. To achieve an overall EPA ‘distinction,’ apprentices must achieve a distinction in practical assessment with questions and professional discussion (underpinned by portfolio), and a pass in the written test

Grades from individual assessment methods should be combined in the following way to determine the grade of the EPA overall.

Written paper Practical skills test Professional discussion Overall Grading
Fail Any grade Any grade Fail
Any grade Fail Any grade Fail
Any grade Any grade Fail Fail
Pass Pass Pass Pass
Pass Distinction Pass Pass
Pass Pass Distinction Pass
Pass Distinction Distinction Distinction

Re-sits and re-takes

Apprentices who fail one or more EPA method(s) can take a re-sit or a re-take at the employer’s discretion. The apprentice’s employer needs to agree that a re-sit or re-take is appropriate. A re-sit does not need further learning, whereas a re-take does.

Apprentices should have a supportive action plan to prepare for a re-sit or a re-take.

The employer and EPAO agree the timescale for a re-sit or re-take. A re-sit is typically taken within 2 months of the EPA outcome notification. The timescale for a re-take is dependent on how much re-training is required and is typically taken within 5 months of the EPA outcome notification.

Failed EPA methods must be re-sat or re-taken within a 6-month period from the EPA outcome notification, otherwise the entire EPA will need to be re-sat or re-taken in full.

Re-sits and re-takes are not offered to apprentices wishing to move from pass to a higher grade.

An apprentice will get a maximum EPA grade of pass for a re-sit or re-take, unless the EPAO determines there are exceptional circumstances.

Roles and responsibilities

Roles Responsibilities

Apprentice

As a minimum, apprentices should:

  • participate in and complete on-programme training to meet the KSBs as outlined in the occupational standard for a minimum of 12 months
  • undertake 20% off-the-job training as arranged by the employer and training provider
  • understand the purpose and importance of EPA
  • undertake the EPA including meeting all gateway requirements.

 

Employer

As a minimum, employers must:

  • select the EPAO and training provider 
  • work with the training provider (where applicable) to support the apprentice in the workplace and to provide the opportunities for the apprentice to develop the KSBs
  • arrange and support a minimum of 20% off-the-job training to be undertaken by the apprentice 
  • decide when the apprentice is working at or above the level required by the occupational standard and so is ready for EPA
  • ensure that all supporting evidence required at the gateway is submitted in accordance with this EPA plan
  • remain independent from the delivery of the EPA
  • confirm arrangements with the EPAO for the EPA (who, when, where) in a timely manner (including providing access to any employer-specific documentation as required, for example company policies)
  • ensure that the EPA is scheduled with the EPAO for a date and time which allows appropriate opportunity for the apprentice to meet the KSBs
  • ensure the apprentice is well prepared for the EPA
  • require the training provider and EPAO to ensure the EPA is booked in a timely manner

Post-gateway, employers must: 

  • confirm arrangements with the EPAO for the EPA (who, when, where) in a timely manner (including providing access to any employer-specific documentation as required, for example company policies)
  • ensure that the EPA is scheduled with the EPAO for a date and time which allows appropriate opportunity for the KSBs to be met
  • remain independent from the delivery of the EPA
  • ensure the apprentice is given sufficient time away from regular duties to prepare for, and complete all post-gateway elements of the EPA, and that any required supervision during this time (as stated within this EPA plan) is in place
  • where the apprentice is assessed in the workplace, ensure that the apprentice has access to the resources used on a daily basis
  • pass the certificate to the apprentice upon receipt from the EPAO.

EPAO

As a minimum, EPAOs must: 

  • conform to the requirements of this EPA plan and deliver its requirements in a timely manner
  • conform to the requirements of the Register of End-Point Assessment Organisations (RoEPAO)
  • conform to the requirements of the external quality assurance provider (EQAP) for this apprenticeship standard
  • understand the occupational standard
  • make all necessary contractual arrangements, including agreeing the price of the EPA
  • develop and produce assessment materials including specifications and marking materials (for example mark schemes, practice materials, training material)
  • appoint suitably qualified and competent independent assessors and oversee their working
  • appoint administrators (and invigilators where required) to administer the EPA as appropriate
  • provide training for independent assessors in terms of good assessment practice, operating the assessment tools and grading
  • provide adequate information, advice and guidance documentation to enable apprentices, employers and training providers to prepare for the EPA
  • arrange for the EPA to take place, in consultation with the employer
  • where the apprentice is not assessed in the workplace, ensure that the apprentice has access to the required resources and liaise with the employer to agree this if necessary
  • develop and provide appropriate assessment recording documentation to ensure a clear and auditable process is in place for providing assessment decisions and feedback to all relevant stakeholders
  • have no direct connection with the apprentice, their employer or training provider. In all instances, including when the EPAO is the training provider (i.e. HEI), there must be no conflict of interest
  • have policies and procedures for internal quality assurance (IQA), and maintain records of regular and robust IQA activity and moderation for external quality assurance (EQA) purposes
  • deliver induction training for independent assessors, and for invigilators and/or markers (where used)
  • undertake standardisation activity on this apprenticeship standard for all independent assessors before they conduct an EPA for the first time, if the EPA is updated and periodically as appropriate (a minimum of annually)
  • manage invigilation of apprentices in order to maintain security of the assessment in line with the EPAO’s malpractice policy
  • verify the identity of the apprentice being assessed
  • use language in the development and delivery of the EPA that is appropriate to the level of the occupational standard

Pre-gateway, EPAOs must: 

  • make all necessary contractual arrangements, including agreeing the price of the EPA
  • provide adequate information, advice and guidance documentation to enable apprentices, employers and training providers to prepare for the EPA
  • arrange for the EPA to take place, in consultation with the employer.

At the Gateway, EPAOs must: 

  • confirm all gateway requirements have been met as quickly as possible.

Post-gateway, EPAOs must: 

  • where the apprentice is not assessed in the workplace, ensure that the apprentice has access to the required resources and liaise with the employer to agree this if necessary

Independent assessor

As a minimum, independent assessors must: 

  • have the competence to assess the apprentice at this level and hold any required qualifications and experience in line with the requirements of the independent assessor as detailed in the IQA section of this EPA plan
  • understand the occupational standard and the requirements of this EPA
  • have, maintain and be able to evidence, up-to-date knowledge and expertise of the subject matter
  • deliver the end-point assessment in-line with the EPA plan
  • comply with the IQA requirements of the EPAO
  • have no direct connection or conflict of interest with the apprentice, their employer or training provider; in all instances, including when the EPAO is the training provider (i.e. HEI)
  • attend induction training
  • attend standardisation events when they begin working for the EPAO, before they conduct an EPA for the first time and a minimum of annually on this apprenticeship standard
  • assess each assessment method, as determined by the EPA plan, and without extending the EPA unnecessarily
  • assess against the KSBs assigned to each assessment method, as shown in the mapping of assessment methods and as determined by the EPAO, and without extending the EPA unnecessarily
  • make all grading decisions
  • record and report all assessment outcome decisions, for each apprentice, following instructions and using assessment recording documentation provided by the EPAO, in a timely manner
  • use language in the development and delivery of the EPA that is appropriate to the level of the occupational standard
  • mark open (constructed) test answers accurately according to the EPAO’s mark scheme and procedures.

Training provider

As a minimum, training providers should:

  • work with the employer and support the apprentice during the off-the-job training to provide the opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours as listed in the occupational standard
  • conduct training covering any knowledge, skill or behaviour requirement agreed as part of the Commitment Statement (often known as the Individual Learning Plan).
  • monitor the apprentice’s progress during any training provider led on-programme learning
  • advise the employer, upon request, on the apprentice’s readiness for EPA
  • remain independent from delivery of the EPAO. Where the training provider is the EPA (i.e. a HEI) there must be procedures in place to mitigate against any conflict of interest.

Marker

As a minimum, markers should:

  • attend induction training as directed by the EPAO
  • have no direct connection or conflict of interest with the apprentice, their employer or training provider in all instances including when the EPAO is the training provider (i.e. HEI)
  • mark test answers accurately according to the EPAO’s mark scheme and procedures.

Invigilator

As a minimum, invigilators should:

  • attend induction training as directed by the EPAO
  • have no direct connection or conflict of interest with the apprentice, their employer or training provider; in all instances, including when the EPAO is the training provider (i.e. HEI)
  • invigilate and supervise apprentices during tests and in breaks during assessment methods to prevent malpractice in accordance with the EPAO’s invigilation procedures.

Reasonable adjustments

The EPAO must have reasonable adjustments arrangements for the EPA.

This should include:

  • how an apprentice qualifies for reasonable adjustment
  • what reasonable adjustments may be made

Adjustments must maintain the validity, reliability and integrity of the EPA as outlined in this EPA plan.

Internal quality assurance

Internal quality assurance refers to how EPAOs ensure valid, consistent and reliable EPA decisions. EPAOs must adhere to the requirements within the roles and responsibilities section and:

  • have effective and rigorous quality assurance systems and procedures that ensure fair, reliable and consistent EPA regardless of employer, place, time or independent assessor
  • appoint independent assessors who are competent to deliver the EPA and who:
    • have recent relevant experience of the occupation or sector to at least occupational level 5 gained in the last 3 years or significant experience of the occupation or sector
    • have professional body membership with:

      Society of Master Saddlers (SMS)

    • meet the following minimum requirements:

      independent assessors should be master saddlers, qualified by profession and have proven experience in the field of work based learning training and/or educational assessment. all independent assessors must have qualifications and experience as outlined in the points below.

      mandatory requirements – bespoke saddler independent assessor:

      • professional recognition of master saddler.

  • operate induction training for anyone involved in the delivery and/or assessment of the EPA
  • provide training for independent assessors in good assessment practice, operating the assessment tools and making grading decisions
  • provide ongoing training for markers and invigilators
  • provide standardisation activity for this apprenticeship standard for all independent assessors:
    • before they conduct an EPA for the first time
    • if the EPA is updated
    • periodically as appropriate (a minimum of annually)
  • conduct effective moderation of EPA decisions and grades
  • conduct appeals where required, according to the EPAO’s appeals procedure, reviewing and making final decisions on EPA decisions and grades
  • have no direct connection with the apprentice, their employer or training provider. In all instances, including when the EPAO is the training provider (for example a higher education institution)

Value for money

Affordability of the EPA will be aided by using at least some of the following:

  • completing applicable assessment methods online (for example computer-based assessment)
  • assessing multiple apprentices simultaneously where the method of assessment permits this
  • using the employer’s premises
  • conducting assessment methods on the same day

Professional recognition

This apprenticeship standard is designed to prepare successful apprentices to meet the requirements for registration as an:

Intermediate Saddler with The Society of Master Saddlers (SMS)

Mapping of KSBs to assessment methods

Knowledge Assessment methods
K1

How to interpret industry terminology.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion
K2

The tools and machinery used in the manufacture of saddlery products.

Back to Grading
Written paper
K3

How to decide if a repair/restoration is both sustainable and viable in terms of safety and cost.

Back to Grading
Practical skills test
K4

How to organise purchasing of materials and stock control.

Back to Grading
Written paper
K5

How to keep accurate records relating to the sale, manufacture and repair of saddlery products.

Back to Grading
Written paper
K6

The importance of effective customer service. For example, liaising on product suitability to agree specifications for bespoke products.

Back to Grading
Practical skills test
K7

A range of saddlery products their type and suitability of style to individual customers. For example, saddles, bridles and other ancillary products.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion
K8

The importance of timely workflow to the business.

Back to Grading
Written paper
K9

The manufacturing processes for bridles and other saddlery equipment.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion
K10

The manufacturing processes for saddles.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion
K11

The impact of their product and work on saddle and bridle fitting.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion
K12

The characteristics and behaviours of a variety of different leathers, materials, threads and fittings for their suitable application.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion
K13

The manufacturing processes of wooden saddle trees.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion
K14

Alternative technical advances in materials and construction.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion
K15

How to interpret conformation relating to the anatomy of the horse to produce a bespoke fit.

Back to Grading
Practical skills test
K16

The impact of their product and work on the welfare of the horse and safety of the rider.

Back to Grading
Written paper
K17

How to interpret measurements of the horse to create a cutting list for cut and made up measurement including all necessary patterns.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion
K18

How to maintain and safely use tools, equipment and machinery.

Back to Grading
Practical skills test
K19

Material requirements for manufacture and the order of cost effective assembly.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion
K20

The balance between hand stitching to a high standard in an acceptable time and contributes to the sustainability of the business.

Back to Grading
Written paper
K21

Processes to adjust machines to sew a variety of differing materials. For example, specialist needles, feet, guides and tension setting.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion
K22

How to implement saddlery hand skills to produce a finish that meets a high quality standard.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion
K23

The style and size of hole in relation to the fittings required for the saddlery product.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion
Skill Assessment methods
S1

Assess given measurements from the horse to produce a cutting list showing both cut and made-up measurements, the amount of leather and fittings required.

Back to Grading
Practical skills test
S2

Produce the patterns for the saddlery product(s) in readiness to cut material components.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion
S3

Safely select, use, maintain and store equipment and materials; for example, correct storage of patterns, sharpening tools, purchasing materials and stock control.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion
S4

Identify and minimise hazards and risks in the workplace to maintain work procedures ensuring health and safety requirements are met.

Back to Grading
Practical skills test
S5

Maintain comprehensive records relating to the manufacture and repair of saddlery.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion
S6

Discuss and advise on the type of leather for a specific use.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion
S7

Carry out effective customer care.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion
S8

Develop and maintain good communication skills with colleagues in order to ensure a productive work environment.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion
S9

Prepare materials and fittings for the saddlery product.

Back to Grading
Practical skills test
S10

Have overall responsibility for the finish and suitability of the completed saddlery product.

Back to Grading
Practical skills test
S11

Follow clear instructions from relevant colleagues in order to meet customer requirements.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion
S12

(When repairing a saddlery product), assess product and implement the appropriate sustainable method to remedy the problem.

Back to Grading
Practical skills test
S13

Implement efficient and effective use of resources, time and materials.

Back to Grading
Practical skills test
S14

Select, prepare and test tools and machinery, including adjustments for different leathers, materials and fittings.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion
S15

Identify the correct materials, threads and fittings for the task and use in accordance with both customer requirements and company processes.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion
S16

Recognise faults in leather, materials, threads and fittings.

Back to Grading
Practical skills test
S17

During manufacture implement technical processes. For example, cut, edge, stain, crease, punch, prick mark and skive all components where necessary and applicable.

Back to Grading
Practical skills test
S18

Assemble components in order of the manufacturing process in readiness for stitching.

Back to Grading
Practical skills test
S19

When hand stitching saddlery products, double hand and single/back stitch where appropriate for appearance and durability.

Back to Grading
Practical skills test
S20

Machine stitch a variety of different materials used in bridle and saddle manufacture.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion
S21

(When bridle making), recrease and block all keepers as necessary.

Back to Grading
Practical skills test
S22

Punch the correct size and style of hole for the fittings required for the saddlery product.

Back to Grading
Practical skills test
S23

Clean and polish all edges.

Back to Grading
Practical skills test
S24

(When saddle making), flock panels smoothly, evenly and to the correct specification.

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Practical skills test
S25

Assemble completed saddlery product, maintaining the quality of hand craft skills and ensuring functionality.

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Practical skills test
Behaviour Assessment methods
B1

Commitment to maintaining high standards of precision and excellence.

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Practical skills test
B2

Awareness and understanding to the effect of poorly fitted saddlery items to the horse and the safety of the rider.

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Professional discussion
B3

Focus on the requirements of the customer.

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Professional discussion
B4

Strong work ethic and commitment in order to meet the standards required.

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Practical skills test
B5

Recognition and appreciation of equality and diversity in the workplace.

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Professional discussion

Mapping of KSBs to grade themes

Written paper - TestExamination

KSBS GROUPED BY THEME Knowledge Skills Behaviour
Health and Safety (Horse and Rider)
K16

The impact of their product and work on the welfare of the horse and safety of the rider. (K16)

N/A

N/A

Customer Liaison
K5

How to keep accurate records relating to the sale, manufacture and repair of saddlery products. (K5)

N/A

N/A

Pre- Manufacture
K4 K8

How to organise purchasing of materials and stock control. (K4)

The importance of timely workflow to the business. (K8)

N/A

N/A

Manufacture
K2 K20

The tools and machinery used in the manufacture of saddlery products. (K2)

The balance between hand stitching to a high standard in an acceptable time and contributes to the sustainability of the business. (K20)

N/A

N/A

Practical skills test - PracticalAssessment

KSBS GROUPED BY THEME Knowledge Skills Behaviour
Health and Safety (Horse and Rider)
K15

How to interpret conformation relating to the anatomy of the horse to produce a bespoke fit. (K15)

N/A

N/A

Customer Liaison
K6
S1

The importance of effective customer service. For example, liaising on product suitability to agree specifications for bespoke products. (K6)

Assess given measurements from the horse to produce a cutting list showing both cut and made-up measurements, the amount of leather and fittings required. (S1)

N/A

Pre-Manufacture
K3 K18
S9

How to decide if a repair/restoration is both sustainable and viable in terms of safety and cost. (K3)

How to maintain and safely use tools, equipment and machinery. (K18)

Prepare materials and fittings for the saddlery product. (S9)

N/A

Manufacture

S4 S12 S13 S16 S17 S18 S19 S21 S22 S23 S24 S25
B1 B4

N/A

Identify and minimise hazards and risks in the workplace to maintain work procedures ensuring health and safety requirements are met. (S4)

(When repairing a saddlery product), assess product and implement the appropriate sustainable method to remedy the problem. (S12)

Implement efficient and effective use of resources, time and materials. (S13)

Recognise faults in leather, materials, threads and fittings. (S16)

During manufacture implement technical processes. For example, cut, edge, stain, crease, punch, prick mark and skive all components where necessary and applicable. (S17)

Assemble components in order of the manufacturing process in readiness for stitching. (S18)

When hand stitching saddlery products, double hand and single/back stitch where appropriate for appearance and durability. (S19)

(When bridle making), recrease and block all keepers as necessary. (S21)

Punch the correct size and style of hole for the fittings required for the saddlery product. (S22)

Clean and polish all edges. (S23)

(When saddle making), flock panels smoothly, evenly and to the correct specification. (S24)

Assemble completed saddlery product, maintaining the quality of hand craft skills and ensuring functionality. (S25)

Commitment to maintaining high standards of precision and excellence. (B1)

Strong work ethic and commitment in order to meet the standards required. (B4)

Post Manufacture

S10

N/A

Have overall responsibility for the finish and suitability of the completed saddlery product. (S10)

N/A

Professional discussion - Discussion

KSBS GROUPED BY THEME Knowledge Skills Behaviour
Health and Safety (Horse and Rider)
K17

B2

How to interpret measurements of the horse to create a cutting list for cut and made up measurement including all necessary patterns. (K17)

N/A

Awareness and understanding to the effect of poorly fitted saddlery items to the horse and the safety of the rider. (B2)

Customer Liaison
K1 K11
S2 S6 S7 S15
B3

How to interpret industry terminology. (K1)

The impact of their product and work on saddle and bridle fitting. (K11)

Produce the patterns for the saddlery product(s) in readiness to cut material components. (S2)

Discuss and advise on the type of leather for a specific use. (S6)

Carry out effective customer care. (S7)

Identify the correct materials, threads and fittings for the task and use in accordance with both customer requirements and company processes. (S15)

Focus on the requirements of the customer. (B3)

Pre-Manufacture
K7 K9 K10 K13 K14 K19
S3

A range of saddlery products their type and suitability of style to individual customers. For example, saddles, bridles and other ancillary products. (K7)

The manufacturing processes for bridles and other saddlery equipment. (K9)

The manufacturing processes for saddles. (K10)

The manufacturing processes of wooden saddle trees. (K13)

Alternative technical advances in materials and construction. (K14)

Material requirements for manufacture and the order of cost effective assembly. (K19)

Safely select, use, maintain and store equipment and materials; for example, correct storage of patterns, sharpening tools, purchasing materials and stock control. (S3)

N/A

Manufacture
K12 K21 K22 K23
S8 S11 S14 S20
B5

The characteristics and behaviours of a variety of different leathers, materials, threads and fittings for their suitable application. (K12)

Processes to adjust machines to sew a variety of differing materials. For example, specialist needles, feet, guides and tension setting. (K21)

How to implement saddlery hand skills to produce a finish that meets a high quality standard. (K22)

The style and size of hole in relation to the fittings required for the saddlery product. (K23)

Develop and maintain good communication skills with colleagues in order to ensure a productive work environment. (S8)

Follow clear instructions from relevant colleagues in order to meet customer requirements. (S11)

Select, prepare and test tools and machinery, including adjustments for different leathers, materials and fittings. (S14)

Machine stitch a variety of different materials used in bridle and saddle manufacture. (S20)

Recognition and appreciation of equality and diversity in the workplace. (B5)

Post Manufacture

S5

N/A

Maintain comprehensive records relating to the manufacture and repair of saddlery. (S5)

N/A

Find an apprenticeship

Contact us about this apprenticeship

Employers involved in creating the standard: Cirencester Saddlers, Saddlers Den, Windsor and Henley Bridles, Garrett Saddlers, Fitted saddles, Bearhouse Saddlers, Equicraft Saddlery, A E Batchelor & Son, Woolcroft Equine Services, Saddlery & Gun Room, Society of Master Saddlers, UKFT

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.1 Standard, funding band and end-point assessment plan revised 22/07/2022 Not set Not set
1.0 Approved for delivery 27/06/2017 21/07/2022 Not set

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