First Progress to Excellence Ltd apprentice through EPA gateway on track for career in care
THE first learner to complete her Progress to Excellence Ltd apprenticeship journey through the End-Point Assessment (EPA) route is celebrating not only her qualification success but also the prospect of an exciting new career in care.
Lauren Breslin, who has never worked in the care sector before, has just completed her Level 3 in Health and Social Care.
Commitment to studies has earned Lauren the praise of tutors – she has been described as “a dedicated learner, always willing to learn” – and, after being promoted at work, is now on track to take her Level 5 qualification.
She said: “I was overwhelmed with joy on completing the apprenticeship. It has been a long journey but one which I have found very rewarding.”
As the first Progress to Excellence Ltd learner to do her apprenticeship through the EPA gateway, Lauren is blazing a trail for other learners as the new world of apprenticeship standards begins to make its mark on the health and social care sector.
Instead of being “signed off” at the end of their apprenticeship training by their training provider, apprentices who are studying the new apprenticeship standards in health and social care now have a specific final stage to their apprenticeship.
This stage is designed to ensure that the apprentice has gained the knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) required of the apprenticeship. Lauren’s assessment was done by Skills First Assess, an approved End-Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) which worked with her, her training provider Progress to Excellence Ltd and her employer, Seasons Rehabilitation Centre, in Walsall, West Midlands.
For learners, the EPA process is an opportunity for them to really demonstrate competence within the sector, ultimately placing them in a stronger position for career progression. It is also a motivational way of testing learners’ abilities, encouraging them to work hard to achieve a pass, merit or distinction.
Describing Lauren’s apprenticeship journey, Progress to Excellence Ltd assessor Subia Hussain said: “Lauren was a dedicated learner, always willing to learn, but lacked confidence at the beginning of the course.
“However, with deserved praise and by letting her know she was doing really well, her confidence started to grow.
“The knowledge and skills Lauren picked up while on the course was demonstrated when I did her observations in practice and personal development. Also, the feedback from the Standards Verifier and Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspector when she interviewed and observed her was excellent.
“They was shocked at how much she knew and her examples from practice were really good.
“I was very proud of her journey and am excited that her manager is now putting her forward for Level 5 in Health and Social Care as she has since been promoted to a job with more responsibilities.
“Lauren worked so hard on her apprenticeship, always picking the phone if she was unsure of anything. I was very happy with her EPA result along with the difference she made to herself throughout her learning journey, from the start of the course to the very end.”
Lauren added: “My apprenticeship has been really beneficial to my role in the rehabilitation centre where I work. I learned so much about legislation, safeguarding and British values and my knowledge, skills and behaviours has vastly improved.
“I have never worked in the health and social care sector before and would not have been able to get through this course without Subia. She was a great support in guiding me through the course, building my confidence in professional discussions and getting me through the EPA.
“The EPA gateway experience was not what I expected. However, I am happy with my performance overall and would like to thank Subia for all her hard work and dedication throughout the course.
“From this qualification, I now have the confidence to do my Level 5 in Management with Progress to Excellence Ltd.”