The Level 7 Academic Professional Apprenticeship standard (L7 APA) has been created to develop early career academics from their entry point into employment in higher education to full professional competence, following either a teaching or research specialist route.
The apprenticeship standard is aligned to both the UK Professional Standards Framework and the Research Development Framework, and typically lasts between 18 and 24 months. The final three months of the L7 APA must comprise of End-Point Assesment (EPA), which is what ultimately determines an apprentice’s professional competence.
EPA is undertaken by an independent end-point assessment organisation (EPAO). Advance HE is the only EPAO for the L7 APA, working with a constantly growing number of institutions. We have been on the Register of End-Point Assessment Organisations since January 2019.
Why Advance HE
Advance HE is the only EPAO aligned to the L7 APA, and we have also successfully gained recognition from both the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and Ofqual demonstrating our robust, quality-assured approach to EPA.
What is End-Point Assessment?
EPA consists of three elements:
- 7,500 word written submission
- one hour academic professional practice assessment (teaching or research practice)
- one hour professional conversation.
Each assessment element has its own set of competency outcomes aligned to core and specialist knowledge, skills, values and behaviours.
Benefits of undertaking EPA with Advance HE
- Open communication at every given step, from pre-contracting to certification, and our dedicated EPA team is on hand to help.
- Engagement with the EPA process is streamlined and straightforward; it takes providers a matter of minutes to request EPA for their apprentices, and apprentices a similarly short period of time to upload their evidence. The maximum timeframe from submitting work to certification request is 2 months.
- Our large body of diverse experts undertaking the roles of Independent Assessor and moderator and our approach of 100% moderation, means you can be confident that apprentice work will be assessed in a valid and robust manner, irrespective of institutional and/ or disciplinary background.
- Our engagement with the sector, and ongoing engagement with our stakeholders means that we have developed a service that is fit for your purposes, and one which is constantly improving.
Our approach to End-Point Assessment
Flexible and virtual
Personal and developmental
Professional, expert-driven and sector-led
In discussion with recent graduates of the programme
Watch our interviews with two recent graduates of the Level 7 Academic Professional Apprenticeship:
University of Exeter - Project Success Story
In May 2020, the University of Exeter received notification from Advance HE that Dr Ian Ashton, Lecturer in Offshore Technology, was the first apprentice on the Research Specialist Route to have completed EPA.
The University of Exeter achieved this milestone by proving a dedicated support structure with a degree apprenticeship hub and central support, as well as the appointment of a dedicated programme lecturer. This allowed Exeter to be one of the first providers to convert its Advance HE accredited Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PCAP) into a degree apprenticeship: the Academic Professional Programme.
"Although it was not always easy to balance with competing demands, this course forces you to take time for reflection and personal development, which allowed me to develop in all areas of my practice, giving me space to become a more rounded academic and better understand the role I have taken on."
Dr Ian Ashton, Lecturer in Offshore Technology, University of Exeter
Advance HE Connect
Advance HE Connect is our online platform exclusively to share, connect and collaborate with your HE peers around the globe. It was developed following a consultation of higher education sector colleagues representing 96 institutions in 14 countries, and now connects over 18,500 users from 100 countries around the world. To find out more about our approach and how we use the platform in EPA download the information sheet below.