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FAQ - Apprentice

Frequently Asked Questions

For the Apprentice

It is a great idea to join CIBSE today as an apprentice member/part-time student.

https://www.cibse.org/membership-registration/how-to-join/student

Student membership gives you access to all CIBSE benefits including our Knowledge Portal, CIBSE Journal and discounts on Training and Events. You can also join CIBSE's Societies when signing up to this grade. Please note, this grade of membership does not offer the use of any designatory letters but you can achieve these when you pass EPA. 

Apprentice membership is just £44 pa

An apprenticeship standard sets out the skills, knowledge and behaviours required of apprentices. They also show what an apprentice will be doing in their day-to-day job role. Groups of employers, called 'trailblazers', develop apprenticeship standards.

The ST code is used to identify each different apprenticeship standard.

CIBSE assess the following apprenticeship standards: 

L3 ST0063 Building Services Design Technician V1.0 and Building Services Engineering Technician V1.1(tbc)

L4 ST0041 Building Services Engineering Technician V1.0 and L4 Building Services Senior Engineering Technician V1.1(tbc)

L6 ST0372 Building Services Design Engineer V1.0

L6 ST0040 Building Services Site Management V1.0

Before you apply for EPA you must have a readiness conversation with your Employer and your Training Provider. 

During the desk review of your application, CIBSE will contact your apprenticeship stakeholders to ensure that everyone is in agreement you should enter the gateway. 

In most cases the training provider (HEI), will draw down funding from the government apprenticeship levy to pay for the EPA. The apprentice should not pay for their own EPA.

Gateway is the transitional phase during which you are completing the EPA projects and preparing to interview. 

Gateway preparation is when your employer and training provider will meet to review your knowledge, skills and behaviours and to see if you have met the minimum requirements of the apprenticeship and are ready to apply to CIBSE to take the final assessment. 

This is so that your information is automatically stored in the CIBSE secure server. 

For the majority of your apprenticeship time, you’ll be doing your job, whatever that happens to be. For the other 20%, though, you’ll engage in what’s called off-the-job training. In short, you’ll spend 20% of your working hours learning skills, knowledge and behaviours outlined by the apprenticeship.

Examples of off-the-job training might include:

  • Theory learning (role playing/simulation exercises, online learning, lectures)
  • Practical training (shadowing, mentoring, industry visits, participation in competitions)
  • Time with your tutor and time spent writing assessments/assignments

Yes. You can undertake the final apprenticeship exam with CIBSE without professional review for EngTech or IEng. 

If you are not applying for professional review then the Organisational Chart for your Employer and the Development Action Plan are not required at gateway. 

 

DAP stands for development action plan. The DAP is required along with your gateway application if you are applying for professional review with your EPA, EngTech or IEng. 

Development Action Plan
Provide a statement of how you intend to continue with your personal and professional development. It is a required that all engineers show commitment to keeping up to date with developments and with maintaining their skills and expertise. You should identify your short
(1-3 years), medium (3-7 years) and long term (7-10+) goals and indicate how you propose to meet them.

You can usually find out your ULN from your training provider.

The number is not just used for your apprenticeship and it is often located on certificates and transcripts for qualifications that you have undertaken throughout your time in education from age 13 years.  

We require the ULN because this is how you are identified at Education Skills and Funding Agency. When you complete the EPA exam we upload the results to the apprenticeship portal at ESFA so that they can issue your official certificate and close your apprenticeship.

Before you apply to the EPA gateway you must achieve the underpinning qualification for the apprenticeship standard and be able to evidence this. 

If you do not have your final certificate at the time of applying then we can accept an official signed letter (via email) from your training provider. The letter must provide the course code, the dates that you undertook the course and the end result. We can also accept the transcript. 

You must submit a copy of the final certificate to us during the term of the gateway to add to your file.

This is your key contact at your employer sponsor and can be your line manager, mentor, or from your apprenticeship or HR team, they do not need to be professionally registered.

We will email this person to confirm your readiness before you enter the gateway and we will keep them informed about your progress throughout the EPA process. 

You should confirm the most appropriate person with your employer during the readiness conversation before you apply. 

The final apprenticeship certificate which is awarded when you achieve your EPA will be sent in the post to your employer by the Education Skills and Funding Agency (ESFA).

If you require the certificate to be sent to your home address then you must get in touch with the CIBSE EPA team during the gateway to confirm [email protected]

Email us at [email protected] we will amend your details in the secure server. 

From gateway application closing date we allocate two weeks during which time we desk review the applications. 

The desk review is to check that all the qualifying criteria are met. 

We will contact you during this period to ask for missing items or to confirm that your application is complete. 

All apprenticeship standards must contain an assessment plan which describes the final exam or EPA. The assessment plan outlines how you will be assessed against the apprenticeship standard including the projects, the KSB's and timings of the gateway.

CIBSE's role as the end point assessment organisation or EPAO, is to carefully and robustly implement the assessment plan. 

Knowledge

The information, technical detail, and ‘know-how’ that someone needs to have and understand to successfully carry out the duties. Some knowledge will be occupation-specific, whereas some may be more generic. 

Skills

The practical application of knowledge needed to successfully undertake the duties. They are learnt through training or experience. 

Behaviours

Mindsets, attitudes or approaches needed for competence. Whilst these can be innate or instinctive, they can also be learnt. Behaviours tend to be very transferable. They may be more similar across occupations than knowledge and skills. For example, team worker, adaptable and professional. 

Projects, or assessment methods differ by standard but commonly comprise of presentation response to a technical question and a report which gives a reflective account of the work you have undertaken throughout your apprenticeship, or portfolio upload (V1.1). 

Visit the EPA guidance pages located on the CIBSE website and read the assessment plan for your apprenticeship standard to gain a better understanding of what will be asked of you. 

No. We advise on the formatting for the report and ensure that you have clearly referenced all KSB's but we do not give feedback on content. 

You should explore all options with your employer and training provider, perhaps there is a suitable contractor who has a good working knowledge of you, or your line manager could apply to become professionally registered. 

CIBSE cannot accept the report submission without the verification of a professionally registered sponsor, nor do we provide mentors to fulfil this requirement. We recommend that you identify your sponsor as soon as possible during your apprenticeship. 

 

In your gateway entry email you will be given the week of interview. 

During week three of the gateway we aim to notify you about the actual interview date and time. 

We will email you to your preferred address and it is essential that you confirm receipt by return. If we do not hear from you then we reserve the right to cancel your interview.

Get in touch with the team as soon as possible [email protected]

You will be interviewed by two assessors. 

There may on occasion be an observer present but this will be for EQA or training purposes. 

The use of any portable electronic devices in addition to the screen that you are using for the interview is not permitted. 

We ask that you use paper notes where possible.

Any external help or the use of search engines during the interview is strictly prohibited and will result in a fail. 

The final apprenticeship certificate is sent to your employer from the Education Skills and Funding Agency (ESFA) and can take up to eight weeks to arrive after we have uploaded the results. 

If you do not receive the certificate please get in touch with CIBSE [email protected] and we will investigate for you. 

If an apprentice fails, they will need to resit/retake their EPA within twelve months of their original EPA date to complete the Apprenticeship. If an apprentice passes the presentation element, they will only have to resit the structured interview. If the presentation element is failed then both this and the structured interview must be assessed again. The retake must include a structured interview even if it was passed first time round.

If you want to resit or retake the EPA then you must reapply using the online form found on the EPA pages of the CIBSE website.

You should also send an email with your employer in cc to confirm to us that you are reapplying [email protected]

An occupational standard is a description of an occupation. It contains an occupational profile, and describes the ‘knowledge, skills and behaviours’ (KSBs) needed for someone to be competent in the occupation’s duties. 

Occupational standards are developed by employers for occupations that meet the Institute’s current occupation criteria.

Along with an end-point assessment plan (EPA) and funding band, the occupational standard is a component part of an apprenticeship.

The EPA is the final exam that you will undertake to complete your apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships are different to traditional academic qualifications because they combine practice and theory with a mixture of on-the-job and off-the-job training. The EPA is a combination of assessment methods specifically designed to verify your occupational competency.  

'Can you do the job you've been training for?'

It is never too soon to start thinking about your EPA and you will need to start preparing during the final three months of your apprenticeship.

With off-the-job training and apprenticeship modules pretty much covered, you should have a pretty decent understanding of how the apprenticeship has worked out for you. During the final few months of your apprenticeship is the time to check for gaps in your knowledge and to plan for the final exam to prove that you can 'do the job you've been training for' and that means it’s time to think about the End-Point Assessment (EPA). 

The EPA is separate to any other exam or training that you have taken throughout the apprenticeship and must be carried out by an independent and impartial organisation. 

Your employer will select CIBSE to carry out the assessment, and your training provider will contract with us on their behalf. 

 

 

You can change jobs but remain on the same apprenticeship path; you would not have to restart your studies. Your training provider would agree whether the new employer is appropriate.

The apprenticeship funding will be transferred to the new employer. 

The apprentice should apply using the online application form located at the CIBSE website. 

You must have all your documents (listed in the qualifying criteria) ready to upload, you cannot currently save and return to the application form. 

It can be helpful to ask your employer or training provider to support you during the application process. 

The gateway criteria is listed in brief below:

  • Level 2 Maths and English Qualification Certificates
  • Certificates required for the Standard (BTEC/HNC/Degree)
  • Photo ID (drivers license or passport copy) 
  • Apprenticeship Employer Address
  • Employer Sponsor contact name and email
  • Training Provider contact name and email
  • Unique Learner Number (10 digit number - you can obtain this from your Training Provider)
  • Organisation Chart (clearly indicating your position)
  • Development Action Plan

A huge benefit of undertaking your EPA with CIBSE is the opportunity to achieve professional recognition at the same time, no further work is required.

The KSB's for each apprenticeship standard are mapped to the Engineering Council requirements for EngTech and IEng. CIBSE are regulated by the Engineering Council and what this means is that during your EPA interview you are being assessed at the required level of occupational competence to also be awarded designatory letters EngTech or IEng along with the successful completion of your apprenticeship. 

 

 

Your organisation chart must clearly show your position at your apprenticeship employer. 

The Unique Learner Number (ULN) is a 10-digit reference number which is used alongside and to access the Personal Learning Record of anyone over the age of 13 involved in UK education or training.

Learners will retain the same number for accessing their Personal Learning Record throughout their lives, whatever their level of learning and wherever they choose to participate in education, training and learning.

The ULN has been used in schools and further education since 2008 and is now being adopted in higher education.

You need to upload photo ID this can be a copy of your passport or drivers license. A selfie is not accepted as photo ID. 

Functional Skills are a key component in all the apprenticeship standards.

Achieving a Functional Skills qualification demonstrates that you as an apprentice have all the skills you need in English and Maths to be able to engage with a programme. They help you to develop and secure the broader range of aptitudes, attitudes and behaviours.

Level 2 Functional Skills qualifications are required for all CIBSE assessed EPA. 

To establish if your L2 qualifications meet the requirements speak with your training provider and refer to the Education Skills and Funding website. 

In the context of EPA, your training provider is the higher education institute where you completed your underpinning qualification for the apprenticeships standard, or the provider that has supported you throughout your apprenticeship during your on-program learning. This provider will draw down funding to pay for the EPA. 

You should establish the most appropriate person from your training provider when you have your gateway readiness conversation. This person does not require professional membership. We will contact them to confirm your readiness for EPA and will keep them informed throughout the gateway.

The one that you access most often. 

CIBSE will correspond with you throughout the EPA process using the email address supplied on your gateway application form, it is vital that you receive all our messages. 

Yes. Just get in touch and let us know [email protected]

We will send you an email confirming that you are entering the EPA gateway. 

This email is super important and will contain information about the projects you must complete, signposted resources, important dates and upload links for you to submit your work to us. 

KSB's stand for Knowledge, Skills & Behaviours and they are the main assessment methods used in an End-Point Assessment (EPA). They represent the core attributes that an apprentice must have in order to be competent in the occupation they are working in.

You can find the list of KSB's for your apprenticeship listed in the assessment plan at the IFATE website, search using the ST code for your standard. 

Each occupational standard has a recommended period of time for you to complete the project submissions and interview. This can range from seven to twelve weeks.

We advise you about important dates in your gateway entry email. If you need to request an extension then you must discuss this with your employer and training provider, and get in touch with CIBSE as soon as possible to see what can be arranged for you. 

We do take individual circumstances into account but any amend to the dates may incur costs for your apprenticeship stakeholders. 

No. All the technical questions have been carefully constructed for the purpose of the EPA and are written to be multi-disciplinary and to enable you to demonstrate a range of KSB's. 

If you have questions about the brief you have been given then please send us an email [email protected] and we will advise you. 

The employer sponsor for the report can be different to the sponsor for your gateway application.

They must be a member of a professional engineering institution (PEI), IEng or CEng level. They must provide their name, engineering council (EC) number and sign to verify that the report is all your own work. 

 

Yes, scale back the slides before the interview day.

You will be given a five minutes overrun and then the assessors will ask you to stop.

If you can't make the date please tell us as soon as possible so that we can reschedule for you. 

On the day of interview if you cannot attend then you must tell us as soon as you can. You must also tell your employer and training provider who are required to get in touch with us to confirm the circumstances. 

Depending on the individual circumstances we will reschedule for the same cohort, defer, or allocate 'fail no show'. 

The interview will last 1 hour for level 3 and 4 and 1.5 hours for level 6.  

All CIBSE EPA interviews are held in Microsoft Teams. 

You won't meet the two assessors until the day of the interview. 

No. All the results will be submitted to the CIBSE Membership and Registration panel for IQA. 

This can take six to eight weeks depending on the panel meeting dates. 

Please ask your employer or training provider to inform us in advance to make the necessary arrangements.

You should also inform CIBSE when applying to EPA gateway in the Fair Access part of the application form.

A resit is where an apprentice has been deemed as ready for the EPA, but has failed on the day, or was unable to sit on the scheduled date. A retake is where the apprentice has failed the EPA where the assessment has highlighted gaps in knowledge which require further work prior to retaking the EPA. The decision on a resit or retake is to be made by your employer.

You don't have to take the EPA again but you will not fully complete your apprenticeship without a pass result.

The decision to reapply for EPA must be made in collaboration with your employer. Your employer will pay the fee because this is not covered by the apprenticeship levy. 

Any questions?

Contact the CIBSE EPA Team

Email: [email protected] 

Phone: +44 (0) 20 8772 3650 

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