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Laura celebrates apprenticeship success!

Former HR apprentice becomes first MidKent College student to complete qualification through End Point Assessment (EPA). 

Congratulations to Laura Burman who has recently completed her Level 5 CIPD in HR Consultant/Partner becoming the the first MidKent College apprentice to achieve her qualification since the government’s overhaul of the apprenticeship scheme.

The reforms, which have seen apprenticeship frameworks replaced by standards, were led by employers who felt that previously, apprentices were acquiring qualifications that validated their ability to carry out individual tasks, but were not necessarily becoming competent at the job in hand. Instead of being continually assessed throughout their apprenticeship, students now have to complete a rigorous test of their occupational competence at the end of their course - an End Point Assessment or EPA.   

The EPA can take a range of forms, including tests, exams, assignments, work observations, professional discussions and portfolios of work. Unlike the previous competency-based qualifications, these assessments must take place within an independent assessment organisation which has expertise in the area but no affiliation to the employer or training provider. Employers can therefore be confident that their apprentices have achieved the essential knowledge and skills required for their job. 

Jane Laraman, Laura’s Training Officer, explained more about the demanding assessment that she had to complete in order to achieve her qualification. 

“Laura completed the HR Consultant/Partner Standard at Level 5 which consisted of a full CIPD qualification along with collecting relevant evidence to meet the specific learning outcomes for skills, knowledge and behaviours. Once all the criteria had been met, Laura, her employer, Laing O’Rourke, and the tutor signed the agreement for her to enter into her end point assessment. For this Laura had to write a 5000 word consultative project describing a situation where she had worked successfully to implement a business need or change. This was then followed by a professional discussion conducted with an independent assessor. The professional discussion lasted about an hour and she was asked a bank of questions relating to her project and other aspects of HR practices.”   

We were delighted to welcome Laura back to College this week to catch up with her former Training Officer, Jane and former tutor Carl Wickham-Downes who was thrilled to present her with a certificate of completion. 

Carl praised Laura for her passion and determination saying “I’m delighted that Laura has become our first MidKent College EPA student! This achievement is testament to her hard work and commitment to her studies. We’re sure she will be an inspiration to other students working towards completing their apprenticeship programme and wish her all the very best in the future.” 

Laura admitted that at first, she was nervous about returning to education as a mature student, and worried about how she would cope juggling a busy full-time job as well as studying towards a challenging qualification. However, she was soon put at ease by Carl. 

“Carl was a fantastic tutor who supported me for the entirety of the qualification and I felt comfortable from the outset to ask him any question. His style of teaching encourages honesty in a safe environment. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share, which I have learnt a lot from and been able to take back into the workplace to use within my day-to-day role.” 

She continued, “Studying at MidKent College one day a week provided the opportunity to network with like-minded peers as well as gain an insight into how other businesses operate within the HR world and across a multitude of industries. This proved to be a lot more valuable than I had originally anticipated.” 

We wish Laura every success in her HR career.