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Emergency contact handler

This is not the latest approved version of this apprenticeship. View the latest version

This apprenticeship is in revision

Key information

  1. Status: In development
  2. Ticked Proposal approved
    Ticked Occupational standard approved
    Ticked End-point assessment plan approved
  3. Reference: ST0483
  4. Level: 3
  5. Minimum duration to gateway: 12 months
  6. Typical EPA period: 6 months
  7. Maximum funding: £12000
  8. Route: Protective services
  9. Date updated: 05/01/2023
  10. Lars code: 262
  11. EQA provider: Ofqual
Print occupational standard

Details of the occupational standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in organisations which receive contacts from members of the public who are in emergency and non-emergency situations. Typical organisations are Ambulance, Fire, Police, the NHS, National Highways, and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to be the first point of contact for requests for assistance from members of the public and other organisations.

The employee receives emergency and non-emergency contacts from the public and other organisations. Contacts could be received via a variety of communication methods, including telephone for example 999, 101 or 111 urgent care calls, online submissions, and social media. Some contacts will be directly or indirectly involved in difficult and/or traumatic situations for example, they may be in danger or unwell, and may display a variety of behaviours for example, anxiousness, hostility, vulnerability.

The employee obtains information in relation to the circumstances being reported, identifies risks, and decides and takes the appropriate action. They use a variety of sector specific technology, often simultaneously, to record and update information.

The employee effectively communicates information. This could be giving advice, including in life endangering situations, and managing expectations around the service that can be provided.

The employee will typically work shifts, which could include working some nights, weekends and bank holidays, to enable the employer to provide a 24-hour service, 365 days a year.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with colleagues at all levels, including team members, managers and other departments. They may also interact with other local or national agencies such as other emergency services, local authority departments, care providers, and other support services.

An employee will report to a line/team/shift or duty manager and will generally not have any formal line management responsibility.

An employee in this occupation is responsible for adhering to organisational, legislative and national policy and procedures when dealing with contacts. They must uphold organisational values and ethical standards and frameworks. They are expected to participate in Continuous Professional Development (CPD).

The employee will work independently, adhering to their organisation's working practices, with support/supervision when appropriate.

Typical job titles include:

Contact management centre operators Contact resolution officer Emergency contact handler Emergency controllers Fire control contact handler Health advisors Regional operations centre operator

Occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Receive emergency and non-emergency contacts from the public and other agencies using a range of communication tools, for example, telephone or online.

K4 K11

S1 S2 S3

Duty 2 Obtain relevant information in relation to the circumstances being reported.

K1 K4 K5 K6

S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9

B3

Duty 3 Analyse and assess information to identify risks to the public colleagues and, where relevant, other agencies.

K9

S13

Duty 4 Decide and take appropriate course of action, using sector specific grading guidelines or mobilising procedures.

K7 K8 K10 K14

S15 S16 S17 S18 S19

Duty 5 Adhere to organisational, legislative and national policy and procedures when dealing with contacts.

K1 K2 K3 K14

S15 S16

B1 B2

Duty 6 Use a variety of sector specific technology to identify, record and update information relevant to the incident.

K11 K14

S2 S3 S10 S18

Duty 7 Apply appropriate and effective communication techniques in a variety of situations, which could be in routine or life endangering circumstances. This includes questioning, listening, giving instructions or advice, and managing expectations.

K4 K5 K6

S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S12 S17

B3

Duty 8 Work with internal and external partner agencies to ensure an effective response to incidents.

K12 K13 K14

S11 S14 S17

B5

Duty 9 Participate in continuing professional development.

K15

B4

Duty 10 Uphold organisational values and ethical standards and frameworks.

K16

B2


KSBs

Knowledge

K1: Data protection legislation, any sector specific regulations and organisational policies/procedures. Back to Duty

K2: Health and safety legislation, any sector specific regulations and organisational policies/procedures, including the management of own welfare. Back to Duty

K3: Equality legislation, any sector specific regulations and organisational policies/procedures. Back to Duty

K4: Methods of building rapport and displaying empathy. Back to Duty

K5: Listening and questioning techniques. Back to Duty

K6: Methods of influencing, negotiating and managing conflict. Back to Duty

K7: Incident types relevant to the sector including what advice and/or information should be provided, potential outcomes/consequences, and the mobilisation/deployment of appropriate resources. Back to Duty

K8: Decision making techniques relevant to sector. Back to Duty

K9: Principles of risk assessment relevant to the sector. Back to Duty

K10: Grading and/or prioritisation of incidents using sector guidelines. Back to Duty

K11: Communication and technology systems relevant to the sector/organisation. Back to Duty

K12: The roles and responsibilities of partner organisations. Back to Duty

K13: When and how to collaborate with partner organisations in line with sector principles, for example JESIP. Back to Duty

K14: Processes and procedures are followed to ensure effective incident management. Back to Duty

K15: The importance of reflective practice and continuing professional development. Back to Duty

K16: The ethical standards of the organisation. Back to Duty

Skills

S1: Use appropriate sector specific phraseology. Back to Duty

S2: Operate communication systems. Back to Duty

S3: Operate software systems. Back to Duty

S4: Communicate in a calm manner considering the caller’s circumstances. Back to Duty

S5: Build and establish appropriate rapport. Back to Duty

S6: Use clear language to convey instructions, avoiding jargon and sector specific terminology. Back to Duty

S7: Overcome barriers to effective communication. Back to Duty

S8: Use appropriate questioning techniques to gather relevant information to the incident. Back to Duty

S9: Use appropriate listening techniques to gather relevant information to the incident. Back to Duty

S10: Record relevant information appropriate to the incident accurately, clearly and concisely and review information already held on the incident where applicable. Back to Duty

S11: Manage the expectations of the public, colleagues, internal and external partner organisations. Back to Duty

S12: Provide advice or information appropriate to the incident, giving safety advice when necessary and adapting response when required. Back to Duty

S13: Identify and assess risk, take action and record appropriately. Back to Duty

S14: Update internal and external colleagues when applicable. Back to Duty

S15: Decide and apply grading or prioritisation guidelines appropriate to the incident. Back to Duty

S16: Analyse information and apply relevant policy, procedures or regulations appropriate to the incident. Back to Duty

S17: Advise on the appropriate course of action, signposting to other organisations when required. Back to Duty

S18: Undertake tasks simultaneously, seeking assistance when necessary. Back to Duty

S19: Complete any resulting actions accurately and efficiently at the end of the contact Back to Duty

Behaviours

B1: Act in a non-judgemental and inclusive manner, respecting diversity. Back to Duty

B2: Behave ethically and professionally to meet organisational values, policies and procedures. Back to Duty

B3: Behave calmly in challenging situations, recognising when to seek appropriate support and guidance. Back to Duty

B4: Take responsibility for own continuing professional development. Back to Duty

B5: Take a proactive approach to collaboration with colleagues and partner organisations. 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.

Print EPA plan

End-point assessment plan

Introduction and overview

This document explains the requirements for end-point assessment (EPA) for the emergency contact handler apprenticeship. End-point assessment organisations (EPAOs) must follow this when designing and delivering the EPA.

Emergency contact handler 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 12 months on-programme (this means in training before the gateway) working towards competence as a emergency contact handler. All apprentices must spend at least 12 months on-programme. All apprentices must complete the required amount of off-the-job training specified by the apprenticeship funding rules.

This EPA has 2 assessment methods.

The grades available for each assessment method are:

Assessment method 1 - observation of live contacts and pre-recorded contacts with questions:

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

Assessment method 2 - professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio):

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

The result from each assessment 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 12 months)
The apprentice must complete training to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) of the occupational standard.

The apprentice must complete training towards English and maths qualifications in line with the apprenticeship funding rules.

The apprentice must compile a portfolio of evidence.

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

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

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

The apprentice must have achieved English and maths qualifications in line with the apprenticeship funding rules.

For the professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio) the apprentice must submit a portfolio of evidence.

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

End-point assessment (typically 6 months)
Grades available for each assessment method:

Observation of live contacts and pre-recorded contacts with questions

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

Professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio)

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

Overall EPA and apprenticeship can be graded:

    • fail
    • pass
    • distinction
Re-sits and re-takes



  • Re-take and re-sit grade cap: pass
  • Re-sit timeframe: typically 2 months
  • Re-take timeframe: typically 3 months

Duration of end-point assessment period

The EPA is taken in the EPA period. The EPA period starts when the EPAO confirms the gateway requirements have been met and is typically 6 months.

The EPAO should confirm the gateway requirements have been met and the EPA should start as quickly as possible.

EPA gateway

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

The apprentice must meet the gateway requirements before starting their EPA.

These are:

  • achieved English and maths qualifications in line with the apprenticeship funding rules.
  • for the professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio) the apprentice must submit: portfolio of evidence

Portfolio of evidence requirements:

The apprentice must compile a portfolio of evidence during the on-programme period of the apprenticeship. It should only contain evidence related to the KSBs that will be assessed by this assessment method. It will typically contain 9 discrete pieces of evidence. Evidence must 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 and records, for example:
  • witness statements
  • products of work, for example personal continuing development plans
  • learner statements which objectively detail actions taken, for instances where product of work cannot be submitted due to data protection

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

The portfolio of evidence 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. The independent assessor should review the portfolio of evidence to prepare questions for the discussion. They are not required to provide feedback after this review.

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

Order of 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.

Observation of live contacts and pre-recorded contacts with questions

Overview

In the observation of live contacts and pre-recorded contacts with questions, an independent assessor observes the apprentice dealing with live contacts and listens to pre-recorded contacts the apprentice completed in their workplace post gateway. Following each of these the independent assessor asks questions. The apprentice completes their day-to-day duties under normal working conditions. This allows the apprentice to demonstrate the KSBs shown in the mapping through naturally occurring evidence. Simulation is not permitted.

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

Rationale

This assessment method is being used because:

  • this is a practical role, best demonstrated through completing tasks in a real work environment
  • live observation makes use of employer resources and equipment which will be familiar to the apprentice and allow them to perform at their best
  • pre-recorded contacts enable the apprentice to demonstrate their competence in a range of contact handling skills in real life situations
  • questioning allows for the assessment of the breadth and depth of underpinning knowledge against the grading descriptors

This assessment method consists of two components, which can be completed in any order:

  • observation of live contacts with questions
  • listening to pre-recorded contacts with questions

Component 1: Observation of live contacts with questions

Delivery

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

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 14 days’ notice of the observation of live contacts and pre-recorded contacts with questions.

The observation with questioning must take 75 minutes. The time for questioning is included in the overall assessment time.

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

EPAOs must manage invigilation of apprentices at all times to maintain security of the EPA, in line with their malpractice policy. This includes breaks and moving between locations. 

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

The independent assessor should observe the following during the observation of live contacts:

  • use of technology

These activities provide the apprentice with the opportunity to demonstrate the KSBs as shown in the mapping.

The independent assessor must ask questions. The purpose of questioning is to test the apprentice’s breadth and depth of underpinning knowledge against the grading descriptors.

The independent assessor must ask a minimum of 2 open questions related to technology.

  • software and communication systems

They may ask follow up questions where clarification is required.

Typically, the questioning will be at the end of the observation however questions can be asked during the observation of live contacts, providing there are natural stops between tasks.

Questioning that occurs after the observation should take place in a quiet room, free from distractions and influence.

Those KSBs that the apprentice did not have the opportunity to demonstrate can be assessed via questioning although these should be kept to a minimum and are in addition to the set number of questions.

The independent assessor conducts and assesses the observation. They 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.

Component 2: Listening to pre-recorded contacts with questions

Delivery

Apprentices must complete and record 5 calls and make these recordings available to the independent assessor for review on the day of the observation. Due to the unpredictable nature of the role, call lengths can vary. Therefore, there is no minimum or maximum duration for the 5 pre-recorded calls. The apprentice must select 5 separate incidents or enquiries to be assessed on the day of the observation. This may involve more than one call for instances where call-backs are required.

To ensure the listening of pre-recorded contacts allows the apprentice to meet the KSBs mapped to this assessment method to the highest available grade, the independent assessor should allow adequate time to listen to these.

The apprentice must record contacts which were completed after the gateway. The employer should ensure the apprentice has the time and resources within this period, to identify the 5 recordings. The exact number of weeks an apprentice has to collect the recordings will be decided by the employer in consultation with the EPAO and the apprentice, based on the volume of contacts the employer receives. As a maximum, evidence can be gathered up to 14 days before the date of the observation, which must be held within 6 months of the gateway.

The recordings output must be the apprentice’s own work and will be reflective of their own role and contribution. The apprentice and their employer must confirm that the recordings output is the apprentice’s own work

The recordings must include evidence covering:

  • communication

The independent assessor must ask questions. The purpose of questioning is to test the apprentice’s breadth and depth of underpinning knowledge against the grading descriptors.

The independent assessor must ask a minimum of 5 open questions related to communication.

  • techniques to build rapport and display empathy
  • techniques used when having to negotiate, influence or manage conflict
  • listening and questioning techniques

They may ask follow up questions where clarification is required.

Those KSBs that the apprentice did not have the opportunity to demonstrate can be assessed via questioning although these should be kept to a minimum and are in addition to the set number of questions.

The questioning will be after the assessor has listened to the 5 pre-recorded contacts. The time allocated for questioning is 15 minutes.

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

Questioning that occurs after the independent assessor has listened to the contacts should take place in a quiet room, free from distractions and influence.

Assessment location

Both the observation of live contacts with questions and listening to the pre-recorded contacts with questions must take place in the apprentice’s normal place of work (for example their employer’s premises). Equipment and resources needed for both components must be provided by the employer and be in good working condition.

Question and resource development

The EPAO must develop a purpose-built assessment specification and question bank for both components. 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 the apprentice has a different set of questions in the case of re-sits or re-takes.

EPAO must produce the following materials to support the observation of live contacts and pre-recorded contacts with questions:

  • independent assessor EPA 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.

Professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio)

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 assessment method is being used because:

  • due to the nature of the work undertaken and the safety and security requirements within the sector some KSBs cannot be reliably assessed in the observation. A professional discussion is the most appropriate way to assess the KSB's that will not naturally occur during the observation, allowing the apprentice to draw on their experience to demonstrate competence.
  • it allows the opportunity for the apprentice to demonstrate their knowledge and competency of a wide range of KSB's necessary for the emergency contact handler role.

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 cover the following topics:

  • professionalism
  • professional development
  • health, safety and risk management
  • working with others

The EPAO must give an apprentice 14 days 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 is however the portfolio of evidence is not directly assessed.

The professional discussion must last for 75 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 14 questions. 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 (underpinned by a portfolio):

  • 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

Observation of live contacts and pre-recorded contacts with questions

Fail - does not meet pass criteria

Theme
KSBs
Pass
Apprentices must demonstrate all of the pass descriptors
Distinction
Apprentices must demonstrate all of the pass descriptors and all of the distinction descriptors
Technology
K11 S2 S3 S10 S18 S19

 

 

Demonstrates effective and efficient use of communication and software systems, explaining their purpose. (S2, S3, K11)

 

 

 

Demonstrates the ability to carry out tasks simultaneously, such as accurately recording information during a live contact, knowing when to ask for assistance. (S18)

 

 

 

Accurately utilise, record & review information on computer systems and software packages, completing any resulting actions where necessary. (S10, S19)

 

N/A

Communication
K4 K5 K6 S1 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S11 S12 S17

 

Uses appropriate phraseology to build and establish rapport, explaining the techniques used to achieve this. Describes how to display empathy. (S1, S5, K4)

 

 

 

Communicates clearly and calmly, avoiding jargon. Overcomes barriers to effective communication. Summarises the techniques used when having to negotiate, influence or manage conflict. (S4, S6, S7, K6)

 

 

 

Demonstrates and explains appropriate listening and questioning techniques in order to gain all of the relevant information. (S8, S9, K5)

 

 

 

Provides relevant and clearly communicated advice, adapting, when necessary, while making sure expectations are managed. Signposts to other organisations when required. (S11, S12, S17)

 

 

Demonstrates fluid communication with callers using a range of communication techniques, interpreting, and responding positively to their needs. This should include: use of name exchange; natural conversation and flow of questions; adjusting tone and inflection to meet caller’s needs; displaying empathy to build trust and rapport. Analyse the techniques used when influencing and negotiating with callers and explains how this can positively affect outcomes. (S4, S7, S8, S9, K6)

 

Professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio)

Fail - does not meet pass criteria

Theme
KSBs
Pass
Apprentices must demonstrate all of the pass descriptors
Distinction
Apprentices must demonstrate all of the pass descriptors and all of the distinction descriptors
Professionalism
K3 K16 B1 B2 B3

Describes how they act in a non-judgemental and inclusive manner, in accordance with equality legislation. (B1, K3)

 

Describes how they act professionally and ethically ensuring organisational procedures are met. Explains the ethical standards that relate to the sector. (B2, K16)

 

Describes how they act professionally and calmly in challenging situations, recognising when to seek appropriate support and guidance. (B3)

 

 

Describes the pertinent points of equality legislation and analyses how these impact on their behaviours/actions and how this benefits contacts. (K3)

 

Professional development
K15 B4

 

 

Explains how they have undertaken reflection and continued development and the importance of it. (B4, K15)

 

 

Uses own initiative to obtain feedback and to undertake development activities, recognising how this improves their performance. (B4, K15)

Health, safety and risk management
K1 K2 K7 K8 K9 K10 K14 S13 S15 S16

 

Explains how they analyse information and identify, assess and record risk in line with organisational risk assessment policies and procedures. (S13, S16, K9)

 

Describes how they make decisions and apply grading guidelines/incident prioritisation in line with organisational procedures. (S15, K8, K10)

 

Describes relevant processes and procedures to follow for different incident types, including the potential outcomes. Describes how resources are mobilised/deployed. (K7, K14)

 

Explains how to comply with Data Protection legislation, regulations and policies relevant to the role. (K1)

 

Explains how to comply with Health and Safety legislation, regulations and policies relevant to the role, including why it is important to manage own welfare. (K2)

 

Explains why it is important to comply with Data Protection legislation, regulations and policies describing what the potential consequences could be if not followed. (K1)

 

Explains the importance of assessing risk, deciding appropriate grading/incident prioritisation and taking action where circumstances change, giving pertinent examples. Evaluate the potential consequences to the public and the organisation of inappropriately assessing risk and grading/incident prioritisation. (S13, S15, S16, K8, K9, K10)

 

 

Working with others
K12 K13 S14 B5

Collaborates with colleagues and partner agencies in a proactive way ensuring relevant and appropriate information is communicated. Explains role and responsibilities of partner organisations including how and when to collaborate with them and why this is important (S14, B5, K12, K13)

N/A

Overall EPA grading

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

Performance in the EPA determines the apprenticeship grade of:

    • fail
    • pass
    • distinction

An independent assessor must individually grade the: observation of live contacts and pre-recorded contacts with questions and professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio) in line with this EPA plan.

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

If the apprentice fails one or more assessment methods, they will be awarded an overall EPA fail. 

To achieve an overall pass, the apprentice must achieve at least a pass in all the assessment methods. To achieve an overall EPA distinction, the apprentice must achieve a distinction in both assessment methods.

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

Observation of live contacts and pre-recorded contacts with questions Professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio) Overall Grading
Fail Any grade Fail
Any grade Fail Fail
Pass Pass Pass
Distinction Pass Pass
Pass Distinction Pass
Distinction Distinction Distinction

Re-sits and re-takes

If the apprentice fails one or more assessment methods they can take a re-sit or a re-take at their 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.

The apprentice 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 3 months of the EPA outcome notification.

Failed assessment 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, unless in the opinion of the EPAO exceptional circumstances apply outside the control of the apprentice or their employer.

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

The 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, the apprentice should:

  • participate in and complete on-programme training to meet the KSBs as outlined in the occupational standard for a minimum of 12 months
  • complete the required amount of off-the-job training specified by the apprenticeship funding rules and as arranged by the employer and training provider
  • understand the purpose and importance of EPA
  • meet the gateway requirements 
  • undertake the EPA  

 

Employer

As a minimum, the apprentice's employer 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 off-the-job training to be undertaken by the apprentice 
  • decide when the apprentice is working at or above the occupational standard and is ready for EPA 
  • ensure that supporting evidence required at the gateway is submitted in line with this EPA plan 
  • liaise with the training provider and EPAO to ensure the EPA is booked in a timely manner

Post-gateway, the employer 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 the opportunity for the apprentice to be assessed against the KSBs 
  • 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 regular basis 
  • pass the certificate to the apprentice upon receipt from the EPAO

EPAO

As a minimum, the EPAO 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 
  • understand the occupational standard 
  • make the EPA contractual arrangements, including agreeing the price of the EPA 
  • develop and produce assessment materials as detailed for each assessment method in this EPA plan 
  • appoint qualified and competent independent assessors in line with the requirements of this EPA plan to conduct assessments and oversee their working 
  • appoint administrators (and invigilators where required) to administer the EPA  
  • provide training for independent assessors in terms of good assessment practice, operating the assessment tools and grading 
  • provide information, advice, guidance and documentation to enable apprentices, employers and training providers to prepare for the EPA 
  • confirm all gateway requirements have been met as quickly as possible 
  • arrange for the EPA to take place, in consultation with the employer 
  • ensure that the apprentice has access to the required resources and liaise with the employer to agree this if necessary, where the apprentice is not assessed in the workplace 
  • develop and provide assessment recording documentation to ensure a clear and auditable process is in place for providing assessment decisions and feedback to stakeholders 
  • have no direct connection with the apprentice, their employer or training provider in all instances; there must be no conflict of interest 
  • have policies and procedures for internal quality assurance (IQA), and maintain records of IQA activity and moderation for external quality assurance (EQA) purposes 
  • deliver induction training for independent assessors, and for invigilators and markers (where used) 
  • undertake standardisation activity on this apprenticeship for an independent assessor before they conduct an EPA for the first time, if the EPA is updated and periodically (a minimum of annually) 
  • manage invigilation of the apprentice to maintain security of the assessment in line with the EPAO’s malpractice policy 
  • verify the identity of the apprentice  
  • use language in the development and delivery of the EPA that is appropriate to the level of the occupational standard 

Independent assessor

As a minimum, an independent assessor must: 

  • have the competence to assess the apprentice at the level of this apprenticeship 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 occupation 
  • deliver the end-point assessment in-line with this 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; there must be no conflict of interest 
  • attend induction training 
  • attend standardisation events when they start working for the EPAO, before they conduct an EPA for the first time and a minimum of annually for this apprenticeship  
  • assess each assessment method, as determined by the EPA plan  
  • assess the KSBs assigned to each assessment method, as shown in the mapping of KSBs to assessment methods in this EPA plan  
  • make the grading decisions 
  • record and report 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, the training provider must: 

  • work with the employer and support the apprentice during the off-the-job training to provide the opportunities to develop the KSBs as listed in the occupational standard 
  • conduct training covering the KSBs agreed as part of the Commitment Statement or 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 the delivery of the EPA 

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 the EPAO ensures valid, consistent and reliable EPA decisions. The EPAO must adhere to the requirements within the roles and responsibilities section:

The EPAO must also:

  • have 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 3 gained in the last 3 years or significant experience of the occupation or sector
    • meet the following minimum requirements:
      • hold a recognised assessment qualification or have been trained in assessment practice by their epao
      • in order to comply with data protection, confidentiality legislation and sector/employer policies an independent assessor must pass the employers vetting requirements and comply with organisational secrecy policies.

  • operate induction training for anyone involved in the delivery 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.

Value for money

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

  • utilising digital remote platforms to conduct applicable assessment methods
  • using the employer’s premises
  • conducting assessment methods on the same day

Professional recognition

Professional body recognition is not relevant to this occupational apprenticeship.

Mapping of KSBs to assessment methods

Knowledge Assessment methods
K1

Data protection legislation, any sector specific regulations and organisational policies/procedures.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio)
K2

Health and safety legislation, any sector specific regulations and organisational policies/procedures, including the management of own welfare.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio)
K3

Equality legislation, any sector specific regulations and organisational policies/procedures.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio)
K4

Methods of building rapport and displaying empathy.

Back to Grading
Observation of live contacts and pre-recorded contacts with questions
K5

Listening and questioning techniques.

Back to Grading
Observation of live contacts and pre-recorded contacts with questions
K6

Methods of influencing, negotiating and managing conflict.

Back to Grading
Observation of live contacts and pre-recorded contacts with questions
K7

Incident types relevant to the sector including what advice and/or information should be provided, potential outcomes/consequences, and the mobilisation/deployment of appropriate resources.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio)
K8

Decision making techniques relevant to sector.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio)
K9

Principles of risk assessment relevant to the sector.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio)
K10

Grading and/or prioritisation of incidents using sector guidelines.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio)
K11

Communication and technology systems relevant to the sector/organisation.

Back to Grading
Observation of live contacts and pre-recorded contacts with questions
K12

The roles and responsibilities of partner organisations.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio)
K13

When and how to collaborate with partner organisations in line with sector principles, for example JESIP.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio)
K14

Processes and procedures are followed to ensure effective incident management.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio)
K15

The importance of reflective practice and continuing professional development.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio)
K16

The ethical standards of the organisation.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio)
Skill Assessment methods
S1

Use appropriate sector specific phraseology.

Back to Grading
Observation of live contacts and pre-recorded contacts with questions
S2

Operate communication systems.

Back to Grading
Observation of live contacts and pre-recorded contacts with questions
S3

Operate software systems.

Back to Grading
Observation of live contacts and pre-recorded contacts with questions
S4

Communicate in a calm manner considering the caller’s circumstances.

Back to Grading
Observation of live contacts and pre-recorded contacts with questions
S5

Build and establish appropriate rapport.

Back to Grading
Observation of live contacts and pre-recorded contacts with questions
S6

Use clear language to convey instructions, avoiding jargon and sector specific terminology.

Back to Grading
Observation of live contacts and pre-recorded contacts with questions
S7

Overcome barriers to effective communication.

Back to Grading
Observation of live contacts and pre-recorded contacts with questions
S8

Use appropriate questioning techniques to gather relevant information to the incident.

Back to Grading
Observation of live contacts and pre-recorded contacts with questions
S9

Use appropriate listening techniques to gather relevant information to the incident.

Back to Grading
Observation of live contacts and pre-recorded contacts with questions
S10

Record relevant information appropriate to the incident accurately, clearly and concisely and review information already held on the incident where applicable.

Back to Grading
Observation of live contacts and pre-recorded contacts with questions
S11

Manage the expectations of the public, colleagues, internal and external partner organisations.

Back to Grading
Observation of live contacts and pre-recorded contacts with questions
S12

Provide advice or information appropriate to the incident, giving safety advice when necessary and adapting response when required.

Back to Grading
Observation of live contacts and pre-recorded contacts with questions
S13

Identify and assess risk, take action and record appropriately.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio)
S14

Update internal and external colleagues when applicable.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio)
S15

Decide and apply grading or prioritisation guidelines appropriate to the incident.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio)
S16

Analyse information and apply relevant policy, procedures or regulations appropriate to the incident.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio)
S17

Advise on the appropriate course of action, signposting to other organisations when required.

Back to Grading
Observation of live contacts and pre-recorded contacts with questions
S18

Undertake tasks simultaneously, seeking assistance when necessary.

Back to Grading
Observation of live contacts and pre-recorded contacts with questions
S19

Complete any resulting actions accurately and efficiently at the end of the contact

Back to Grading
Observation of live contacts and pre-recorded contacts with questions
Behaviour Assessment methods
B1

Act in a non-judgemental and inclusive manner, respecting diversity.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio)
B2

Behave ethically and professionally to meet organisational values, policies and procedures.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio)
B3

Behave calmly in challenging situations, recognising when to seek appropriate support and guidance.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio)
B4

Take responsibility for own continuing professional development.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio)
B5

Take a proactive approach to collaboration with colleagues and partner organisations.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio)

Mapping of KSBs to grade themes

Observation of live contacts and pre-recorded contacts with questions - Project

KSBS GROUPED BY THEME Knowledge Skills Behaviour
Technology
K11
S2 S3 S10 S18 S19

Communication and technology systems relevant to the sector/organisation. (K11)

Operate communication systems. (S2)

Operate software systems. (S3)

Record relevant information appropriate to the incident accurately, clearly and concisely and review information already held on the incident where applicable. (S10)

Undertake tasks simultaneously, seeking assistance when necessary. (S18)

Complete any resulting actions accurately and efficiently at the end of the contact (S19)

N/A

Communication
K4 K5 K6
S1 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S11 S12 S17

Methods of building rapport and displaying empathy. (K4)

Listening and questioning techniques. (K5)

Methods of influencing, negotiating and managing conflict. (K6)

Use appropriate sector specific phraseology. (S1)

Communicate in a calm manner considering the caller’s circumstances. (S4)

Build and establish appropriate rapport. (S5)

Use clear language to convey instructions, avoiding jargon and sector specific terminology. (S6)

Overcome barriers to effective communication. (S7)

Use appropriate questioning techniques to gather relevant information to the incident. (S8)

Use appropriate listening techniques to gather relevant information to the incident. (S9)

Manage the expectations of the public, colleagues, internal and external partner organisations. (S11)

Provide advice or information appropriate to the incident, giving safety advice when necessary and adapting response when required. (S12)

Advise on the appropriate course of action, signposting to other organisations when required. (S17)

N/A

Professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio) - Discussion

KSBS GROUPED BY THEME Knowledge Skills Behaviour
Professionalism
K3 K16

B1 B2 B3

Equality legislation, any sector specific regulations and organisational policies/procedures. (K3)

The ethical standards of the organisation. (K16)

N/A

Act in a non-judgemental and inclusive manner, respecting diversity. (B1)

Behave ethically and professionally to meet organisational values, policies and procedures. (B2)

Behave calmly in challenging situations, recognising when to seek appropriate support and guidance. (B3)

Professional development
K15

B4

The importance of reflective practice and continuing professional development. (K15)

N/A

Take responsibility for own continuing professional development. (B4)

Health, safety and risk management
K1 K2 K7 K8 K9 K10 K14
S13 S15 S16

Data protection legislation, any sector specific regulations and organisational policies/procedures. (K1)

Health and safety legislation, any sector specific regulations and organisational policies/procedures, including the management of own welfare. (K2)

Incident types relevant to the sector including what advice and/or information should be provided, potential outcomes/consequences, and the mobilisation/deployment of appropriate resources. (K7)

Decision making techniques relevant to sector. (K8)

Principles of risk assessment relevant to the sector. (K9)

Grading and/or prioritisation of incidents using sector guidelines. (K10)

Processes and procedures are followed to ensure effective incident management. (K14)

Identify and assess risk, take action and record appropriately. (S13)

Decide and apply grading or prioritisation guidelines appropriate to the incident. (S15)

Analyse information and apply relevant policy, procedures or regulations appropriate to the incident. (S16)

N/A

Working with others
K12 K13
S14
B5

The roles and responsibilities of partner organisations. (K12)

When and how to collaborate with partner organisations in line with sector principles, for example JESIP. (K13)

Update internal and external colleagues when applicable. (S14)

Take a proactive approach to collaboration with colleagues and partner organisations. (B5)

Contact us about this apprenticeship

Employers involved in creating the standard: South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, Devon and Cornwall Police, Metropolitan Police Service, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, Hampshire Constabulary, Merseyside Police, Thames Valley Police, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, British Transport Police, Northumbria Police, London Ambulance Service, London Fire Brigade, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Services on behalf of Thames Valley Fire Control Service

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
Revised version awaiting implementation In revision 01/03/2023 Not set Not set
1.0 Approved for delivery 12/04/2018 28/02/2023 Not set

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