About Us

1st for EPA is on the Apprenticeship Providers and Assessment Register (APAR).

Our mission is to support apprentices to succeed in their apprenticeship.
We do this by making the EPA process easy, providing apprentices with all the support needed to go through EPA and complete their apprenticeship.
This has many wider benefits for apprentices, employers and the economy.

We’re a Certified B Corp

We’re an award-winning EPAO!

• Great British Entrepreneur of the Year (Services industry/North East – MD, Helen Shinner)
• Telegraph & NatWest 100 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch 2022 (MD, Helen Shinner)
• Best New Business 2022 (Tees New Business Awards)
• Best Services Business 2022 (Tees New Business Awards)
• Small Business of the Year 2022 (Tees Businesswomen Awards)
• Best New Business 2021 (Tees Businesswomen Awards)

Our values

As a company, we want to do good. Here are our values:

  • Support

    We support training providers, apprentices, and employers so they know about EPA and what it involves. Transparency is key.

  • Guidance

    We make it clear what apprentices will be expected to demonstrate in their EPA.

  • Quality and integrity

    We strive to do the right thing. We are Ofqual recognised and maintain a reviewing approach to ensure our assessment is fair, valid, and reliable.

  • Wellbeing

    We consider the mental health and wellbeing of the apprentices we work with, and encourage providers and employers to do the same.

  • Environment

    Most of our assessment is remote, and we encourage employers to choose remote assessment where possible. This reduces the impact we have on the environment through travelling and CO2 emissions.

  • Positive impact

    Throughout our business and operations, we aim to have a material positive impact on both society and the environment. This is a key consideration in all decisions.

Why choose us as your EPAO?

Here’s why employers and training providers choose 1st for EPA as their end point assessment organisation (EPAO):

  • Support icon

    Support and guidance

    Full guidance and support is given to apprentices – We’ve created resources that prepare apprentices for EPA so they know what to expect and are ready for their final assessment.

  • EPA Guidance

    Knowledge base

    with guidance, mocks and templates for each apprenticeship standard.

  • Experienced assessors icon

    Experienced assessors

    All our assessors are experts in the subject they assess. They understand the demands of the apprenticeship and the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to be successful.

  • Friendly team icon

    Friendly team

    Friendly team to answer all your questions.

  • Remote EPA

    Remote EPA

    and flexible booking for apprentices anywhere in England.

  • Certificate icon

    Secure system

    to manage and schedule EPA

How we work

We have a simple process for EPA. We make information available to employers and training providers. When an employer selects us, we sign a contract with the training provider. An Account Manager is assigned to deliver training and give support through the EPA process. We have a comprehensive knowledge base, which includes guidance, mocks, templates and more to prepare every apprentice for EPA.

Registrations and bookings are easy – we use EPA Pro to manage the EPA process and create an audit trail.

We make EPA simple, with guidance every step of the way for apprentices, training providers and employers.

How does EPA work?

  • The training provider recommends an EPAO, often with input from the employer.

  • The training provider registers the apprentice with the EPAO, giving an expected date for EPA.

  • The apprentice completes Gateway and schedules their EPA.

  • 1st for EPA provides full support and guidance to help the apprentice prepare for EPA.

  • EPA is carried out with a qualified assessor.

  • 1st for EPA carries out quality checks, then emails the apprentice their results and claims their completion certificate from the ESFA.

Start working with us

Get in touch

The standards we assess

Employers and training providers we work with

Book a 30 min chat to find out more