SIAS has today announced that it is introducing an EPA System for the first time as part of its continued growth strategy and has selected EPAPpro as a best in market solution.
Steve Smith, Managing Director said: “As our business continues to evolve, and get bigger, better and bolder, an EPA system solution will enhance and support our processes and our approach across the entire learner and assessment journey, ultimately making our operations even smoother, stronger and more efficient.
“The system will also provide us with better reporting and data, plus a range of other capabilities, specifically aimed at further strengthening compliance and supporting our on-going focus on continuous improvement across the organisation, which has never been more important post the recent transition EPAO’s have made to Ofqual as the new regulator for the sector.
“We are investing in EPAPro to be able to continue to set a high bar in how we support our Provider and Employer partners, to ensure that they get to consistently enjoy the very best in EPA experience, support, and value through working with SIAS, and that ultimately Apprentices can achieve, be successful, and move into rewarding careers.”
Ian Jarvis from EPAPro said: “We are thrilled to welcome SIAS to the EPAPro family, and look forward to working closely with them so that not only do they get the best from the platform but also that they help guide our development to ensure that it meets all their future requirements and remains the best End-Point assessment solution available.”
SIAS will be implementing EPAPro over the coming months.
Why did SIAS select EPAPro?
We chose EPAPro because it offered the greatest flexibility to implement a way of working that supports our partners best. We needed a system that would allow us to work to a range of different requirements and EPAPro does this. It also allows us to streamline our processes, meaning we can offer greater support. We also listened to the feedback we received from our partners and EPA Pro met those needs best.
What did the customer survey SIAS conducted earlier this year tell you?
The survey was an important stage for us ahead of completing the tender process. Listening to our customers’ needs and feedback was key, and the results showed us that our customers wanted a system that was simple to use with a clear workflow, with the ability for both training providers and employers to view apprentice progress and data and for reporting to be easy. The other important piece of information to source was around the best approach to onboard our customers and different methods of training that would be beneficial within the sector, all of which we have now incorporated into our implementation plan.
What difference will EPAPro make to SIAS day to day and to your clients?
As a result of moving to EPAPro, SIAS will be able to further strengthen our operational processes and delivery of End Point Assessments. At any point along the EPA journey, our customers will be able to review apprentice progress from the point of registration, to completion and results being issued. EPAPro will allow providers and employers to view all apprentices registered with SIAS regardless of their current position on programme.
Bespoke reporting will allow employers and providers to support apprentices so they can complete their on-programme training on time and be ready for their end point assessment. Gateway submission will be done in real-time, meaning we can process gateways much faster, allowing for quicker booking of assessments. Providers and employers will be able to see component and overall results in real time as they are issued.
Having full visibility of data for all parties will improve efficiencies in planning and delivering the EPA in a timely way and to the continued high quality expected from SIAS. Streamlining how gateway compliance checks are completed within the portal is a key benefit and something our customers have been requesting. Consistent reporting will further support EPA engagement and planning meetings with our key accounts – holding accurate EPA data such as expected EPA dates will be fundamental to capacity planning and delivery and will only improve our customer service capabilities.
What’s the timeline for roll out?
We know this is a big change for our partners so we are going to be taking a phased implementation approach. From September this year, we will start moving providers and employers over to EPAPro. Once we have identified who will be moving over in each phase, we will be contacting those partners to support them. We will offer on-line training sessions to run through how to use EPAPro as well as issuing guidance documents and training videos. You will also have access to our support team who will be there to answer all your questions. Taking a phased approach means we will be able to fully support partners better as they transition to EPAPro.
How will you minimise any disruption?
We will be transitioning over to the new system gradually and consideration to assessments already in the planning or assessment stage will be reviewed carefully. With any new system we appreciate there may some teething problems but with careful planning and engagement with our customers we are looking to roll out with no impact to delivery or quality of service provision.
What’s the longer term vision for how this will support the business when fully implemented?
Externally, In a 21st century, post Brexit, post Covid, education and skills marketplace, our customers demand and deserve the very best in experience and value from an EPAO partner. At SIAS we are now very much setting the standards across the sector in that respect – putting a modern, quality, agile and customer centric approach central to everything we do….. EPAPro will allow us to continue to build on that success as we jailbreak the traditional transactional approach which dominates the market.
Our continued growth and social impact will be driven through bespoke and tangible partnerships, joint venture, and sustainable collaborations – working with our customers to deliver scalable win/win outcomes for all stakeholders.
Working with SIAS should not only deliver what an Employer and Provider needs and wants from an EPA perspective for their Apprentices, but a partnership with SIAS should, and will, support our partners by ultimately making their business better and stronger, delivering to them a proper value proposition, EPAPro will be central to how we deliver on that as one part of our overall approach.
Internally, EPAPro will provide us with an infrastructure platform to support our growth as we continue to scale-up, enhancing our efficiency and compliance as we do so. It will also support our ambitious longer-term vision around widening our remit, diversifying our portfolio, embracing digital, and growing our brand – delivering on our social mission and ensuring we lead the sector in providing an assessment offer which is truly relevant and appealing to millennials, whilst remaining inclusive to all.