Karen Polybank

EPA and Employment


I thought that learners had to be employed up to and including their EPA.  However, when requesting an early EPA date from the EPAO I got this response and wondered if they are correct?

As xxx’s employment contract ends on the 27th of May, ESFA Funding Rules still apply and allow xxx to complete her assessments 30 days after the employment ends.

Can you confirm if this is correct? 

Kind regards


No one has replied to this post.

Martin West

Not according to the 21/22 ESFA funding rules.

E179 The apprentice must be employed until the end-point assessment is completed. The only exception is where the apprentice has been made redundant and we are funding the apprenticeship to completion. Consideration must be given to the potential time needed for any re-sit and / or re-training prior to re-taking the end-point assessment so the apprentice remains employed during this time.

Ruth Canham-James

Agree with Martin, they can't do that. Also from the Employer rules;

Do you have a genuine job for this apprentice?
By genuine we mean that:
• The apprentice must have a contract of service with you, or an apprenticeship training
agency, which is long enough for them to complete the apprenticeship successfully
(including the end-point assessment). Exceptions to this can be found in paragraph E21. 

I wonder if they're confusing the rules about being allowed a 30 days gap between employers if they changed employer for a reason other than redundancy. I don't think we can use that 30 days as a buffer at the end as there will be no new employer. Maybe ask the EPAO where they think they got that info.

They'll have to extend the contract until the end of the EPA, or you're going to have to withdraw them.

Karen Polybank

Thank you.  That is how I understood it. I have asked the EAPO where they got their information from and I suspect you are correct and they are getting mixed up with the 30 day gap between employers.

Karen Polybank

I have had a response from the EPAO as follows:

If the apprentice will be seeking work within this sector the 30 day rule applies.

E290.1 When employment or an apprenticeship agreement has ended (resignation, dismissal or any other action by the apprentice or the employer that results in the apprenticeship agreement ending, with the exception of redundancy) and new employment has commenced within 30 days we do not expect a withdrawal to be recorded

The apprentice in question wants to complete her EPA and also wants to go on to do a L3 apprenticeship, so is actively seeking work in the sector.  So under these circumstances, if she is looking for work and we are helping her to find a new employer, and she completes her EPA in the meantime, then that is within the rules.  Obviously we would keep evidence of this.

Obviously there are different ways of interpreting the rules!

Martin West

The 30 days or less rule is only to ensure funds are not paid when the apprentice is not employed it does not override the requirement that the apprentice must be employed until the end-point assessment is completed.

The EPAO have misinterpreted the rules.


Ben James

The TP/EPAO wouldn't know that employment had re-commenced within the 30 day period because the apprenticeship/EPA period would have finished, so E290.1 definitely cannot be applied in this case. 

Ruth Canham-James

Also, the new employment wouldn't be connected to the current apprenticeship, so not relevant. If the EPAO insists they're right, they need to clarify with ESFA, and I'm confident they will agree it's not acceptable.

Karen Polybank

Thank you for your help and have passed the information on to the EPAO.