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EQA Services

For the Outdoor Activity Instructor Apprenticeship

External Quality Assurance (EQA) for the new Outdoor Activity Instructor Apprenticeship


The new Outdoor Trailblazer Apprenticeships are employer and sector led. External Quality Assurance (EQA) is required to ensure the end-point assessment of all apprenticeships is valid, consistent and reliable across end-point assessment organisations (EPAOs).

The EQA body will monitor the requirements of the apprenticeship assessment plan independently of whoever has delivered the assessment and where or when the assessment is carried out.

IOL has met all of the approval requirements of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) and are recognised as the External Quality Assurance Provider for the outdoor activity instructor apprenticeship.

The Trailblazer employer group that created the Outdoor Activity Instructor Apprenticeship chose a professional body-led EQA approach provided by the Institute for Outdoor Learning (IOL). This means that…

  • The sector that created the standard, monitors their standard.
  • Approaches taken to EQA can be tailored and fully fit-for-purpose for the outdoor sector needs.
  • The sector has a government approved EQA process that can be used to support other training courses and accreditations.


EQA Process



The EQA Process

  1. IOL will receive EPAO notification from IfA and plan a schedule of desk reviews and observation visits for each EPAO.
  2. A desk review of EPAO polices, processes and staff will ensure that assessments and internal quality assurance requirements, as set out in the assessment plan, for each registered EPAO, are: being carried out; operating effectively; achieving the desired outcomes; and conducted by qualified staff Observation visits will allow the EPA to review the assessment process in real time across different work environments and employer groups.
  3. EQA forums will provide guidance’s and information based on the approved standards and assessment plan. IOL will look at different assessment methodology that has been used and provide a level of standardisation across the EPAO’s.
  4. EPAO reports will help drive improvement in the system by identifying improvements that EPAOs can make to the delivery of EPA, or identifying areas that could improve EPA plans.
  5. Annual Reports to IfA and the Trailblazer Employer Group will give feedback on how well the EPA process is working for apprentices, employers, training organisations, assessment organisations and the institute for apprenticeships.

Costs of EQA

The costs of EQA are built into the fees for End Point Assessment of an Apprentice - EQA must be run on a transparent and not-for-profit basis.

The Institute is investing in the set-up of EQA provision to ensure everything is in place for assessment organisations and employers who are already utilising the £6k funding available to support Outdoor Activity Instructor Apprenticeships.


Next Steps

  1. If you are considering becoming and EPAO for the outdoor activity instructor apprenticeship follow the links below to read the government guidance and get in touch with IOL to talk through the EQA requirements and costs.
  2. Please get in touch with Neal Anderson, Professional Standard Manager with any questions regarding External Quality Assurance.



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+44 (0)1228 564580



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