Beauty apprentices and students to complete courses without close contact assessment

The End Point Assessment process for beauty students and apprentices due to complete their course is changing to accommodate for the disruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The statement released by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfaTe) explains the Hair and Beauty End Point Assessment is being updated to help beauty and hair apprentices who have experienced delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


What are the changes to the Hairdressing End Point Assessment due to the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Apprentices and students will be able to complete their course without having to carry out a close contact assessment until at least the end of August 2021.

IfaTe explains this short-term change is being made to provide additional flexibility for as long as it is needed due to COVID-19 with the aim of giving apprentices a fair chance to complete and continue with their career. 

Nikki Christie, deputy director for apprenticeship assessment and quality said: “These are extraordinary measures which we are taking to help clear blockages in the system and give more apprentices a fair opportunity to complete.” 

The update follows a consultation with employers, end point assessment organisations and regulators, including representatives from the IfaTe’s route panel, Ofqual, the NHBF and the employer-led hair professional and beauty professional steering group.

Nikki explained the IfaTe understands the huge challenges that COVID-19 has posed to the hair and beauty sector and apprentices. She said: “We have listened to a wide variety of views and worked hard to find a solution that supports apprentices while maintaining high standards.”


What will the End Point Assessment updates mean for beauty apprentices?

 Alan Woods, chief executive at VTCT, said: “We are aware of the decision made by IfaTe and we are discussing with Ofqual and other assessment organisations the mechanics of delivering this flexibility so that apprentices can complete their apprenticeship and secure a job in such great professions as the hair and beauty industry.” 

He added: “We are also sure that many training providers, both colleges and private independent training organisations will continue to book normal End-Point apprenticeship assessments in line with the sector reopening in England from 12 April as outlined by the UK Prime Minister’s roadmap.”

The NHBF said: “The announcement has been welcomed by the NHBF which worked tirelessly with the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education to introduce an alternative assessment process for apprentices that meets the same high standards.”

NHBF director of quality & standards Caroline Larissey said: “As well as the IfaTe, we have also been working closely with end point assessment organisations and hair and beauty professional steering groups to ensure a fair quality-assurance process is in place for apprentices whose end point assessments have been delayed due to Covid.”

Salon owner and NHBF member Wendy Cummins who chairs the hair professional apprenticeship steering group said: “The past year has been difficult for both employers and apprentices. We’re very pleased that these new measures will now enable apprentices who have been stuck in the pandemic backlog to progress and complete their apprenticeships.”

The new arrangements will be monitored to ensure quality control and may also be extended beyond August 2021 if necessary.


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