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Retailer

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

This revised version of the Retailer occupational standard has been agreed and is available for information. It will be approved for delivery and replace the current version for new starts once the funding band has been approved and a 60 day notice period has been completed.

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: ST0327
  4. Level: 2
  5. Typical duration to gateway: 14 months
  6. Typical EPA period: 3 months
  7. Route: Sales, marketing and procurement
  8. Date updated: 03/02/2023
  9. Lars code: 101
  10. EQA provider: Ofqual
Print occupational standard

Details of the occupational standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in organisations of all sizes within the retail and tourism sector such as food, fashion, furniture, and automotive. Retail outlets range from traditional high street shops to larger organisations such as supermarkets and department stores. It is found in multi-national employers, small independent employers, and employers who trade through a variety of channels for example face to face, telephone, on-line and mail order retail.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to advise on and sell products and services in a customer-centric retail environment. This includes creating an accessible and well-presented environment. Retailers provide information and advice to customers regarding stock, products, different ways customers can shop and various payment methods. 

Retailers work flexible hours and shifts such as evenings, nights, and weekends. Face to face or instore roles may involve moving and replenishing stock, using relevant equipment such as pallet truck, steps, and trolley.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with internal stakeholders such as members of their own team, other departments, and senior management. They also interact with external stakeholders such as customers, delivery drivers and compliance officers.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for maintaining business standards; ensuring stock is presented, replenished and available for the customer to purchase. Retailers will contribute towards the commerciality of the business by achieving targets, including sales and customer service, and following stock control in line with business objectives. They need to know the services they are selling to be able to build customer confidence in their business.

Retailers work to meet or exceed customer expectations and experience and will identify specific needs of individual customers. They will respond to customer enquiries complying with both business and legal requirements. They will have a knowledge of sustainability in relation to products such as dealing with excess packaging, waste and product sourcing.

Retailers who work within smaller retail sites may have additional responsibilities such as where the stock is placed in store and planning the order of tasks.  Retailers may be responsible for supporting the development of new colleagues through buddying or 1 to 1 coaching. Retailers typically work as part of a wider team, depending on the size of the organisation, reporting to a line manager or small shop owner.

 

Typical job titles include:

Counter assistant Customer team member General assistant Retail assistant Retail sales advisor Retailer Sales assistant

Occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Undertake daily procedures such as setting up and clearing displays, switching equipment on or off to start or end a shift, ensuring the working environment meets business and legal requirements.

K2 K3 K8 K9 K10 K11 K13

S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S11

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 2 Process sales, exchanges, and refunds in line with business policy, offer information and identify customer requirements.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K11 K13 K14 K16

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S9 S11

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 3 Provide product and service information in compliance with business and legal requirements.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K11 K13 K14 K16

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S9 S11 S14

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 4 Respond to and support with enquiries and complaints, resolving where possible, reporting outcomes, or escalating where required.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K6 K7 K8 K9 K11 K12 K14 K16

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S11 S13

B1 B2 B4 B5 B6

Duty 5 Contribute to the health and safety of colleagues, customers, and the working environment by removing hazards or reporting incidents.

K2 K6 K8 K11 K12 K13

S6 S7 S8 S9 S11 S13

B1 B2 B4 B5

Duty 6 Maintain stock availability, reporting any price discrepancies and support the fulfilment of purchases using the appropriate systems and procedures.

K2 K3 K4 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12

S6 S8 S9 S11

B1 B2 B4 B5

Duty 7 Contribute to promotional activities to support the success of the business such as changing promotions, displays, seasonality and product launch activities.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K14

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S11 S14

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 8 Use IT, technology, and digital solutions to assist with customer enquiries, purchasing activities and processing sales.

K2 K3 K4 K6 K8 K11

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S9

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 9 Contribute to team development activities, and business objectives.

K2 K4 K5 K7 K8 K12 K14 K15

S9 S10 S11 S12

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 10 Contribute to reducing waste and improving sustainability in line with business objectives.

K2 K3 K5 K8 K12

S6 S8 S12

B2 B4 B5

Duty 11 Contribute to minimising stock loss by following business procedures.

K2 K3 K8 K10 K12

S6 S7 S8 S9 S12

B2 B4 B5


KSBs

Knowledge

K1: The customer profile of the business and customers’ purchasing habits. Back to Duty

K2: The business aims and objectives and how their work contributes to them. Back to Duty

K3: The principles of running a retail business to support the overall financial performance for example by aiming to exceed targeted sales and reduce wastage and returns. Back to Duty

K4: The make up of the local community and the requirements of customers within it. Back to Duty

K5: The business approach to sustainability and its carbon footprint such as approaches to product sourcing, waste reduction and recycling. Back to Duty

K6: Methods for communicating with customers, to support and increase sales, and encourage customer loyalty. Back to Duty

K7: The brands, products and services provided by the business including knowledge of the technical specification of a product and aftercare service. Back to Duty

K8: The importance of brand and business reputation and what can affect it. Back to Duty

K9: The use of visual and/or digital merchandising skills including the use of “hot spots” and the relationship this has with sales and use of space. Back to Duty

K10: How to maintain stock levels and the conditions they must be stored in to meet customer demand, sales opportunities, marketing activities and seasonal variations. Back to Duty

K11: How to operate IT and digital systems, and applications. Back to Duty

K12: How to support and influence the team and how all colleagues and teams work together to meet business objectives. Back to Duty

K13: Relevant regulatory and legislative requirements which impact on the retail sector such as the sale of bladed items, high fats, salt and sugar, safety requirements, and age restricted sales. Back to Duty

K14: Principles of equality, diversity and inclusion and the impact on the customer experience and business. Back to Duty

K15: The support requirements and/or coaching needs of their team. Back to Duty

K16: The business’s policy for exchange and refunds of products for in-store and/or on-line purchases. Back to Duty

Skills

S1: Communicate with customers to meet their requirements and encourage customer loyalty and repeat business. Back to Duty

S2: Serve customers in line with brand standards, legislation, business procedures and the values of the business. Back to Duty

S3: Provide a retail service that balances the customers’ needs with additional linked products and services. Back to Duty

S4: Use face to face or online sales techniques such as product and price comparisons to support or influence the customer in their purchasing decisions. Back to Duty

S5: Promote seasonal or local offers through in-store or online promotions. Back to Duty

S6: Identify situations that may damage business reputation in line with company policy and escalate as required. Back to Duty

S7: Maintain good merchandising to meet the needs of the business whilst ensuring safety. Back to Duty

S8: Maintain stock levels and storage conditions such as correct temperature, lighting, ventilation, packaging to meet customer demand and minimise stock loss. Back to Duty

S9: Use technology and applications to support sales and service ensuring that maintenance issues are reported. Back to Duty

S10: Support team and colleague development through buddying and/or coaching. Back to Duty

S11: Comply with regulations and legislation relevant to their role and business. Back to Duty

S12: Contribute to continuous improvement activities which focus on improving sustainability within the business. Back to Duty

S13: Handle complaints within remit or escalate as appropriate. Back to Duty

S14: Support sales across a range of promotional events throughout the calendar year. Back to Duty

Behaviours

B1: Acts in a professional manner with integrity and confidentiality. Back to Duty

B2: Acts as an ambassador for their business and brand. Back to Duty

B3: Seeks learning opportunities and continuous development. Back to Duty

B4: Has accountability and ownership of their tasks and workload. Back to Duty

B5: Works flexibly and adapts to circumstances. Back to Duty

B6: Acts in an open and approachable manner to build and maintain inclusive relationships with others. Back to Duty


Qualifications

English and Maths

English and maths qualifications form a mandatory part of all apprenticeships and must be completed before an apprentice can pass through gateway. The requirements are detailed in the current version of the apprenticeship funding rules.

Print EPA plan

End-point assessment plan

Introduction and overview

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

Retailer apprenticeship, 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).

Apprentices must complete all on and off-the-job training before completing an EPA to determine occupational competence.

A full-time apprentice typically spends 14 months on-programme (this means in training before the gateway) working towards competence as a retailer. 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 should then be completed within an EPA period lasting typically 3 months.

Occupational competence is outlined by the EPA grade descriptors and determined, when assessed in accordance with this EPA plan, by an independent assessor who is an occupational expert and confirms the overall EPA grade.

This EPA has 2 assessment methods.

The grades available for each assessment method are:

Assessment method 1 - observation with questions:

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

Assessment method 2 - interview underpinned by 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 14 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 retailer
  • 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 interview underpinned by 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 3 months)
Grades available for each assessment method:

Observation with questions

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

Interview underpinned by 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 1 months
  • Re-take timeframe: typically 3 months

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 3 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 be content that the apprentice has attained sufficient KSBs to complete the apprenticeship. The employer may take advice from the apprentice's training provider, but the employer must make the decision. The apprentice will then enter the gateway.

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

They must:

  • confirm they are ready to take the EPA
  • have achieved English and maths qualifications in line with the apprenticeship funding rules
  • submit a Portfolio of evidence for the interview underpinned by portfolio

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 14 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
  • workplace policies and procedures
  • witness statements
  • annotated photographs
  • video clips (maximum total duration 5 minutes); the apprentice must be in view and identifiable

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

The apprentice must submit the gateway evidence to their EPAO, including any organisation specific policies and procedures 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 with questions

Overview

In the observation with questions, an independent assessor observes the apprentice in their workplace and asks questions. The apprentice completes their day-to-day duties under normal working conditions. Simulation is not permitted. It gives the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate the KSBs mapped to this assessment method.

Rationale

  • it is a method that reflects the practical nature of the industry
  • it assesses KSBs that need to be directly observed to make a valid judgement on competence
  • it provides a synoptic method of assessment
  • it provides a cost-effective assessment, as it makes use of the apprentice’s employer’s workplace, equipment and resources
  • apprentices are undergoing assessment in the workplace using equipment and tools that they are familiar with; this should allow the apprentice to perform at their best .

Delivery

The observation with questions 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 observation with questions.

The independent assessor must only observe one apprentice at a time to ensure quality and rigour. They must be as unobtrusive as possible.

The EPAO must give an apprentice 7 days notice of the observation with questions.

The observation must take 2.5 hours.

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

The observation may be split into discrete sections held on the same working day.

The EPAO must manage invigilation of the apprentice during the assessment, to 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 observation with questions before it starts. This does not count towards the assessment time.

The independent assessor should observe the following during the observation:

  • Customer support
  • Stock control
  • Communication

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

to assess underpinning KSBs.

The independent assessor must ask questions. Questioning can occur both during and the observation. The time for questioning is included in the overall assessment time. The independent assessor must ask at least 5questions. To remain as unobtrusive as possible, the independent assessor should ask questions during natural stops between tasks and after completion of work rather than disrupting the apprentice’s flow. Follow-up questions are allowed where clarification is required. 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 must ask questions about KSBs that were not observed to gather assessment evidence. These questions are in addition to the above set number of questions for the observation with questions and should be kept to a minimum.

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

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

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

Assessment location

The observation with questions must take place in the apprentice’s normal place of work (for example their employer’s premises or a customer’s premises). Equipment and resources needed for the observation must be provided by the employer and be in good and safe working condition.   

Questioning that occurs after the observation 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 produce the following materials to support the observation with questions:

  • 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.

Interview underpinned by portfolio

Overview

In the interview, an independent assessor and apprentice have a formal two-way conversation. It gives the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate their competency across the KSBs as shown in the mapping.

Rationale

  • it allows the apprentice to be assessed against KSBs that may not naturally occur as part of the observation
  • it allows the apprentice to show case their depth of understanding relating to the KSBs
  • it allows the independent assessor to consider the context and sector that the apprentice operates within, giving flexibility to ensure that all the KSBs can be assessed appropriately
  • it is cost effective, and it allows consideration of the potential need to conduct the EPA remotely

Delivery

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

is to assess underpinning KSBs.

The EPAO must give an apprentice 7 days notice of the interview.

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

Apprentices must have access to their portfolio of evidence during the interview.

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

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

For the interview, the independent assessor must ask at least 6 questions. 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 interview must allow the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate the KSBs mapped to this EPA method at the highest possible grade.

The independent assessor conducts and assesses the interview.

The independent assessor must keep accurate records of the assessment. The records must include the KSBs met, the grade achieved and answers to questions.

The independent assessor will make all grading decisions.

Assessment location

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

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

Question and resource development

EPAOs must write an assessment specification and question bank. The specification must be relevant to the occupation and demonstrate how to assess the KSBs shown in the mapping. 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.

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

EPAOs must ensure that apprentices have a different set of questions in the case of re-sits or re-takes.

EPAOs must produce the following materials to support the interview underpinned by 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 employer

Grading

Observation 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
Customer support
K6 K8 S1 S2 S4 B2

Communicates using a range of techniques to identify customer requirements and influence their purchasing decisions in line with legislation, brand standards, and business procedures and values (K6, S1, S2, S4).

Acts as an ambassador for the business or brand to maintain its reputation (K8, B2).

 

Explains how their approach encourages customer loyalty and repeat business and why this is important (K6, K8, S1, S2, S4, B2).

Stock control and merchandising
K5 K9 K10 S7 S8 S11

Contributes to effective and safe merchandising activities, applying visual and/or digital skills to enhance sales (K9, S7).

Organises and maintains stock levels and storage conditions in order to meet customer demand and minimise losses (K10, S8).

Complies with relevant regulations, legislation, and business procedures, including those related to the business approach to sustainability such as waste reduction and recycling (K5, S11).

 

 

Explains how implementing successful merchandising and stock control supports the business, and the potential consequences of poor practice (K10, S8).

Technology
K11 S9 B5

Uses technology and applications to support sales and service, reporting maintenance issues in line with the business’ procedures, and explaining how they have adapted when necessary (K11, S9, B5).

Uses IT and digital systems confidently, explaining how they can improve the customer experience and benefit the business (K11, S9).

Interview underpinned by 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
Legislation, regulations and organisational policies/procedures
K13 K16 S13 B6

Explains the regulatory and legislative requirements which impact on their role in retail (K13).

Details the business's policy for exchange and refunds of products (K16).

Explains, with examples, how they have handled or escalated complaints in an approachable and professional way, building positive relationships with customers (S13, B6).

 

 

Explains how dealing with refunds, exchanges and legislative requirements can impact on the business, both positively and negatively (K13, K16).

Customer profiles, business objectives and reputation
K1 K2 K3 K4 K7 S3 S5 S6 S12 S14 B1

Describes the typical customers of the local community, the business, and their purchasing habits and how they use this to provide a retail service that balances customer needs with additional linked products and services, and the promotion of seasonal or local offers (K1, K4 S3, S5).

Describes the brands, products and services provided by the business and explain how this supports sales throughout the calendar year (K7, S14).

Explains how their role contributes to the business aims and objectives, and how it supports the overall financial performance of the business (K2, K3).

Gives examples of ways in which they can support the business’s approach to sustainability in their role (S12).

Describe how they identified a situation that had the potential to damage the business’ reputation and the professional actions they took to minimise any damage (S6, B1).

 

 

Explains the importance of understanding the makeup of their local community and how this impacts the requirements of the customer (K4).

Self and team development
K12 K14 K15 S10 B3 B4

Provides examples of how they support and develop their team in line with equality, diversity, and inclusion principles, explaining how this benefits the customer and business (K12, K14, K15, S10,).

Explains how they manage their workload and gives examples of when they have sought learning and development opportunities (B3, B4).

 

N/A

Overall EPA grading

Performance in the EPA determines the apprenticeship grade of:

    • fail
    • pass
    • distinction

An independent assessor must individually grade the: observation with questions and interview underpinned by 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 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 with questions Interview underpinned by portfolio Overall Grading
Any grade Fail Fail
Fail Any grade Fail
Pass Pass Pass
Pass Distinction 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 1 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 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, 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 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 4 gained in the last 3 years or significant experience of the occupation or sector
  • 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:

  • 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

The customer profile of the business and customers’ purchasing habits.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by portfolio
K2

The business aims and objectives and how their work contributes to them.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by portfolio
K3

The principles of running a retail business to support the overall financial performance for example by aiming to exceed targeted sales and reduce wastage and returns.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by portfolio
K4

The make up of the local community and the requirements of customers within it.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by portfolio
K5

The business approach to sustainability and its carbon footprint such as approaches to product sourcing, waste reduction and recycling.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
K6

Methods for communicating with customers, to support and increase sales, and encourage customer loyalty.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
K7

The brands, products and services provided by the business including knowledge of the technical specification of a product and aftercare service.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by portfolio
K8

The importance of brand and business reputation and what can affect it.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
K9

The use of visual and/or digital merchandising skills including the use of “hot spots” and the relationship this has with sales and use of space.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
K10

How to maintain stock levels and the conditions they must be stored in to meet customer demand, sales opportunities, marketing activities and seasonal variations.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
K11

How to operate IT and digital systems, and applications.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
K12

How to support and influence the team and how all colleagues and teams work together to meet business objectives.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by portfolio
K13

Relevant regulatory and legislative requirements which impact on the retail sector such as the sale of bladed items, high fats, salt and sugar, safety requirements, and age restricted sales.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by portfolio
K14

Principles of equality, diversity and inclusion and the impact on the customer experience and business.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by portfolio
K15

The support requirements and/or coaching needs of their team.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by portfolio
K16

The business’s policy for exchange and refunds of products for in-store and/or on-line purchases.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by portfolio
Skill Assessment methods
S1

Communicate with customers to meet their requirements and encourage customer loyalty and repeat business.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
S2

Serve customers in line with brand standards, legislation, business procedures and the values of the business.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
S3

Provide a retail service that balances the customers’ needs with additional linked products and services.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by portfolio
S4

Use face to face or online sales techniques such as product and price comparisons to support or influence the customer in their purchasing decisions.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
S5

Promote seasonal or local offers through in-store or online promotions.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by portfolio
S6

Identify situations that may damage business reputation in line with company policy and escalate as required.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by portfolio
S7

Maintain good merchandising to meet the needs of the business whilst ensuring safety.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
S8

Maintain stock levels and storage conditions such as correct temperature, lighting, ventilation, packaging to meet customer demand and minimise stock loss.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
S9

Use technology and applications to support sales and service ensuring that maintenance issues are reported.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
S10

Support team and colleague development through buddying and/or coaching.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by portfolio
S11

Comply with regulations and legislation relevant to their role and business.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
S12

Contribute to continuous improvement activities which focus on improving sustainability within the business.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by portfolio
S13

Handle complaints within remit or escalate as appropriate.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by portfolio
S14

Support sales across a range of promotional events throughout the calendar year.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by portfolio
Behaviour Assessment methods
B1

Acts in a professional manner with integrity and confidentiality.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by portfolio
B2

Acts as an ambassador for their business and brand.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
B3

Seeks learning opportunities and continuous development.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by portfolio
B4

Has accountability and ownership of their tasks and workload.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by portfolio
B5

Works flexibly and adapts to circumstances.

Back to Grading
Observation with questions
B6

Acts in an open and approachable manner to build and maintain inclusive relationships with others.

Back to Grading
Interview underpinned by portfolio

Mapping of KSBs to grade themes

Observation with questions - Observation

KSBS GROUPED BY THEME Knowledge Skills Behaviour
Customer support
K6 K8
S1 S2 S4
B2

Methods for communicating with customers, to support and increase sales, and encourage customer loyalty. (K6)

The importance of brand and business reputation and what can affect it. (K8)

Communicate with customers to meet their requirements and encourage customer loyalty and repeat business. (S1)

Serve customers in line with brand standards, legislation, business procedures and the values of the business. (S2)

Use face to face or online sales techniques such as product and price comparisons to support or influence the customer in their purchasing decisions. (S4)

Acts as an ambassador for their business and brand. (B2)

Stock control and merchandising
K5 K9 K10
S7 S8 S11

The business approach to sustainability and its carbon footprint such as approaches to product sourcing, waste reduction and recycling. (K5)

The use of visual and/or digital merchandising skills including the use of “hot spots” and the relationship this has with sales and use of space. (K9)

How to maintain stock levels and the conditions they must be stored in to meet customer demand, sales opportunities, marketing activities and seasonal variations. (K10)

Maintain good merchandising to meet the needs of the business whilst ensuring safety. (S7)

Maintain stock levels and storage conditions such as correct temperature, lighting, ventilation, packaging to meet customer demand and minimise stock loss. (S8)

Comply with regulations and legislation relevant to their role and business. (S11)

N/A

Technology
K11
S9
B5

How to operate IT and digital systems, and applications. (K11)

Use technology and applications to support sales and service ensuring that maintenance issues are reported. (S9)

Works flexibly and adapts to circumstances. (B5)

Interview underpinned by portfolio - Discussion

KSBS GROUPED BY THEME Knowledge Skills Behaviour
Legislation, regulations and organisational policies/procedures
K13 K16
S13
B6

Relevant regulatory and legislative requirements which impact on the retail sector such as the sale of bladed items, high fats, salt and sugar, safety requirements, and age restricted sales. (K13)

The business’s policy for exchange and refunds of products for in-store and/or on-line purchases. (K16)

Handle complaints within remit or escalate as appropriate. (S13)

Acts in an open and approachable manner to build and maintain inclusive relationships with others. (B6)

Customer profiles, business objectives and reputation
K1 K2 K3 K4 K7
S3 S5 S6 S12 S14
B1

The customer profile of the business and customers’ purchasing habits. (K1)

The business aims and objectives and how their work contributes to them. (K2)

The principles of running a retail business to support the overall financial performance for example by aiming to exceed targeted sales and reduce wastage and returns. (K3)

The make up of the local community and the requirements of customers within it. (K4)

The brands, products and services provided by the business including knowledge of the technical specification of a product and aftercare service. (K7)

Provide a retail service that balances the customers’ needs with additional linked products and services. (S3)

Promote seasonal or local offers through in-store or online promotions. (S5)

Identify situations that may damage business reputation in line with company policy and escalate as required. (S6)

Contribute to continuous improvement activities which focus on improving sustainability within the business. (S12)

Support sales across a range of promotional events throughout the calendar year. (S14)

Acts in a professional manner with integrity and confidentiality. (B1)

Self and team development
K12 K14 K15
S10
B3 B4

How to support and influence the team and how all colleagues and teams work together to meet business objectives. (K12)

Principles of equality, diversity and inclusion and the impact on the customer experience and business. (K14)

The support requirements and/or coaching needs of their team. (K15)

Support team and colleague development through buddying and/or coaching. (S10)

Seeks learning opportunities and continuous development. (B3)

Has accountability and ownership of their tasks and workload. (B4)

Contact us about this apprenticeship

Employers involved in creating the standard: The Co-operative Group, Sainsburys, Halfords, John Lewis Partnership, Tesco Stores Ltd, ASOS, ASDA, DFS, Vision Express, Marks & Spencers, AS Watson UK (Superdrug and Savers), BIRA, Lidl, Holland and Barrett

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
Revised version awaiting implementation in revision Not set Not set Not set
1.1 The funding band for this standard has been reviewed as part of the apprenticeship funding band review. The new funding band is £4000 04/03/2019 Not set Not set
1.0 Approved for delivery 11/05/2016 03/03/2019 Not set

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