Academic Professional Apprenticeship/PGCert (HE)


A person making notes from their laptop

APA Assessment

End Point Assessment

The EPA is a three stage process. As assessment for levy funded apprenticeships must be carried out independently, the University will procure an end point assessor from an organisation which is on the Register of End-Point Assessment Organisations (RoEPAO). As a part of the procurement process the details of the organisation and practical arrangements will be clarified to ensure that the EPA fully aligns with the apprenticeship as delivered. All students regardless of route will have their final summative assessments marked by EDS staff for the PGCert Award. Apprentices will also be assessed externally by The End Point Assessment Organisation or EPAO for achievement of the Level 7 Apprenticeship Award.

Stage 1 - Academic Professional Practice Assessment

Observation of a classroom-based session demonstrating the design and delivery of teaching, learning opportunities and assessment within the subject discipline of the apprentice. This will be presented in the form of a video submission. 

The detailed scope of the Academic Professional Practice Assessment will be as specified in the APA Assessment and will enable you to organise the brief and any supporting materials. The content will be related to your subject discipline. The Academic Professional Practice Assessment enables you to demonstrate core knowledge, skills and behaviours, as well as knowledge and skills required by the teaching specialist role.

Stage 2 - Professional Conversation

You will engage in a one-hour Professional Conversation with the independent assessor. The Professional Conversation will be focused on your ability to demonstrate that the knowledge, skills and behaviours required by the Standard have been met. A template, designed by the end point assessment organisation will be used in order to ensure consistency across different interviews. The Professional Conversation will include both open and closed competency-based questions.

Stage 3 - Written Submission

You will complete a Written Submission. This will comprise a 3000 words (+/- 10%) reflective practice and a 4500 words (+/- 10% or equivalent) annex of materials drawn from the course and other experiences during the apprenticeship, that will enable you to demonstrate the knowledge and skills required by the specialist role in teaching. The annex must contain a maximum of 7-10 pieces of evidence attributable yourself and include a mapping of the evidence to the specialist knowledge and skills assessed by this method. The EPA organisation will provide the template for the structure of the Written Submission to ensure both consistency of approach and scope to meet the assessment requirements.

Retaking End-point Assessment

Apprentices will be offered the opportunity to retake or re-sit EPA. There will be a maximum of two opportunities to retake or re-sit. Apprentices who do not successfully complete the EPA on their first take will be provided with a supportive action plan to prepare for the retake or re-sit, devised in conjunction with the apprentice. Non apprentices will follow the academic regulations as stated by the university.

EPA Gateway

According to IfA rules, prior to taking the EPA you must meet the following criteria:

  • 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 apprenticeships English and Maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3 and British Sign Language qualification are an alternative to English qualifications for whom this is their primary language.
  • Completed all workplace learning and off-the-job training as evidence of the potential to demonstrate professional competence in relation to the required knowledge, skills and behaviours of the standard.You will only be recommended for EPA when your line manager is confident that you are occupationally competent and ready to undertake EPA.

In practice this means that:

  • The first tripartite meeting after a minimum of 15 months since the official start date (i.e. the date the commitment statement and ILP are signed) will have preparedness for the EPA as the main agenda item.
  • Key elements for discussion will be your readiness to prepare the written submission based on your ongoing reflective practice and selection of annex artefacts, your readiness to be observed teaching and your readiness to take part in a professional dialogue. Completion of the Action Research project will be required at this point.
  • If, in the opinion of your line manager, with advice from the lead academic and taking your views into account, you are ready for the EPA, the EPA will be arranged at the earliest possible time.
  • If, at that meeting, you are not considered to be ready, a clear action plan will be devised for the next twelve weeks with the intention that you will be ready after the next tripartite meeting. If not, you will have a further opportunity 12 weeks after that.
  • You should be able to carry out the EPA between 15 and 21 months from starting, if not a remediation programme will be put in place.

For non-apprentices work will be submitted and marked and graded using the standard QAA Level 7 descriptors. This information will be available on Moodle.


The apprenticeship EPA will be graded against one of three levels:

Fail - meaning the apprentice has not shown full competence against all elements of the standard

Pass - representing full competence against the standard

Distinction - meaning the apprentice has demonstrated competence above the standard

The final overall grade will be calculated from the three components of the EPA as follows:

  1. An overall fail grade will be recorded should a fail grade be awarded in any of the three components, irrespective of performance in the other two components.
  2. An overall pass grade will be recorded provided all three components are passed with no more than one component awarded at distinction level.
  3. An overall distinction grade will be awarded provided all three components are passed with at least two components awarded at distinction level.
APA Assessment Criteria

The APA standards can be found in Moodle.

PGCert (Learning and Teaching in HE)

The PGCert (Learning and Teaching in HE) is embedded in the APA course. The PGCert has the following learning outcomes:

  1. To demonstrate a commitment to your own development as an HE professional with specific regard to learning, teaching and assessment.
  2. To illustrate how your own personal context for learning and teaching in HE is influenced by local and national (or international) quality frameworks.
  3. To critique key principles, learning theories, pedagogical approaches and scholarly literature and examine the influence these can and should have on your practice.
  4. To design, plan and carry out small scale action research to evaluate and enhance your own practice in Learning and teaching in HE.
  5. To reflect upon and plan for your own continuing professional development in line with the UKPSF.

These are evidenced through successful completion of the APA so you will qualify for this university award on successful completion. The PGCert qualification is graded using the BCU standard Level 7 marking criteria and can be found in Moodle along with the assignment brief.  

Advance HE Fellowship

Introduction to Fellowship.

Advance HE Fellowship demonstrates a personal and institutional commitment to professionalism in learning and teaching in higher education.

Fellowship (FHEA) brings you a range of benefits:

  • Consolidate personal development and evidence of professional practice in your higher education career;
  • Demonstrate commitment to teaching, learning and the student experience, through engagement in a practical process that encourages research, reflection and development;
  • Fellowship is increasingly sought by employers across the higher education sector as a condition of appointment and promotion;
  • For individuals, to identify their expertise with the entitlement to use post-nominal letters - FHEA;
  • Recognised and valued by a growing number of international institutions.
Fellowship Criteria

A Fellow demonstrates a broad understanding of effective approaches to teaching and learning support as key contributions to high quality student learning. In order to be awarded FHEA status you must, as part of the APA, provide evidence of:

  1. Successful engagement across all five Areas of Activity
  2. Appropriate knowledge and understanding across all aspects of Core Knowledge
  3. A commitment to all the Professional Values
  4. Successful engagement in appropriate teaching practices related to the Areas of Activity
  5. Successful incorporation of subject and pedagogic research and/or scholarship within the above activities, as part of an integrated approach to academic practice
  6. Successful engagement in continuing professional development in relation to teaching, learning, assessment and, where appropriate, related professional practices

Areas of Activity

A1 Design and plan learning activities and/or programmes of study
A2 Teach and/or support learning
A3 Assess and give feedback to learners
A4 Develop effective learning environments and approaches to student support and guidance
A5 Engage in continuing professional development in subjects/disciplines and their pedagogy, incorporating research, scholarship and the evaluation of professional practices

Core Knowledge

K1 The subject material
K2 Appropriate methods for teaching, learning and assessing in the subject area and at the level of the academic programme
K3 How students learn, both generally and within their subject/ disciplinary area(s)
K4 The use and value of appropriate learning technologies
K5 Methods for evaluating the effectiveness of teaching
K6 The implications of quality assurance and quality enhancement for academic and professional practice

Professional Values

V1 Respect individual learners and diverse learning communities
V2 Promote participation in higher education and equality of opportunity for learners
V3 Use evidence-informed approaches and the outcomes from research, scholarship and continuing professional development
V4 Acknowledge the wider context in which higher education operates recognising the implications for professional practice.

SEDA Certificate Assessment

The first part of the APA is closely aligned to the SEDA course - Learning and Teaching for Early Career Academics. As a result you will submit an assessment and, if successful, be awarded a SEDA Certificate.

The assessment for the SEDA course is an opportunity to receive some early formative feedback on your academic ability so is strongly advised.

You can find out more about SEDA here: Staff Education Development Association

The SEDA Assignment Task

To demonstrate attainment of the SEDA outcomes you will be required to produce a small portfolio that contains an evaluation of your practice, providing practical ideas, activities and resources that will enhance your own personal and professional development and enhance the staff/student experience. The portfolio will be assessed on a pass or refer basis. Referred portfolios may be resubmitted at a later date.

The portfolio should contain:

  1. A discussion of what learning and teaching means to you and how this defines you as a teacher in HE i.e. your learning and teaching philosophy (500 words)
  2. A report and analysis of techniques used in a teaching session (700 words)
  3. An evaluation of yourself as a teacher (use peer observation / student evaluations to help with this) (700 words)
  4. A CPD review and action plan for future developments (you can use your ILP for this) (500 words)

Assessment Criteria

Your submission will be assessed against the following outcomes on a met/not met basis:

SEDA Core Outcomes
  • Identify own professional development goals, directions or priorities
  • Plan for your initial and/or continuing professional development
  • Undertake appropriate development activities
  • Review your development and practice, and the relations between them
Specialist Outcomes
  • Use a variety of appropriate approaches to enable learning
  • Use a variety of methods for evaluating your role in supporting learning
  • Inform your professional role with relevant strategy, policy and quality considerations
SEDA Values
  • An understanding of how people learn
  • Scholarship, professionalism and ethical practice
  • Working in, and developing, learning communities
  • Working effectively with diversity and promoting inclusivity
  • Continued reflection on professional practice
  • The development of both people and of educational processes and systems

Note: ALL outcomes must be met for the award

For all enquiries, please email