Case Study: Anna, Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Practitioner Apprentice

Name: Anna Hadingham
Company: MottMacDonald
Apprenticeship standard: Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Practitioner Level 4
Training Provider: LDN Apprenticeships
Result: Distinction

Which apprenticeship did you do and why did you choose it? 

I chose the Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability apprenticeship as I knew that this would be a great way to get an entry level role in the space. Alongside this it would give me a fantastic opportunity to gain a qualification in an area I am passionate about, which will help me to access a career in this area.

What appealed to you about doing an apprenticeship?

When I left school, I was keen to get involved in the corporate world, to both earn and learn. Apprenticeships provided a perfect opportunity to study a recognised qualification and practice the theoretical skills learned through this in a day-to-day role.

What did you learn through your apprenticeship?

Beyond the knowledge of CR&S that I picked up through the standard, this apprenticeship has been a great opportunity for me to develop my time management skills, as I had to deliver on work tasks alongside completing the required work for my apprenticeship, which meant I needed to constantly reassess and rebalance my priorities and deadlines. It also gave me the opportunity to improve my communication skills, particularly those required at the many different levels in a corporate environment, to ensure I had the information I needed to deliver my project, as this isn’t something that I’ve had the opportunity to learn before.

What were your feelings prior to any assessments taking place, compared to after the event?

I was feeling fairly nervous beforehand, as to be expected with an assessment. Despite this, I also felt confident and as well prepared as I could be, thanks to the clear guidance and toolkit from 1st for EPA. I was also excited to be able to share all the work I had put into my apprenticeship over the past 18 months. After I had completed the assessment, I felt very positive about the experience and excited to receive my results within 14 days!

How would you describe your EPA experience with your assessor and 1st for EPA in general?

As soon as I joined the call for my EPA, I was greeted by the assessor who instantly made me feel at ease! We then went over the necessary checks and began the assessment when I was ready. My assessor was very supportive and answered any questions I had about the process or the EPA, so I had a clear understanding of what was required. My assessor had also read my portfolio beforehand which was helpful as it made me confident that she had some background knowledge about my role and was aware of the work I’d done in my role to meet the knowledge, skills and behaviours. My impression of 1st for EPA is very positive overall as they were helpful, both friendly and professional and prompt at letting me know my result, following the completion of my EPA.

What did you do to prepare for EPA?

To prepare for my EPA, I initially reviewed the toolkit and took note of all the important information from 1st for EPA within it. I reviewed each of the themes for the professional discussion and made bullet point notes to answer each of the assessment criteria within the themes. I also practiced some of the example questions which were included in the toolkit. I went over these several times until I was able to think of two or three examples from my portfolio which met the criteria. To challenge myself, I also reviewed the distinction criteria and practiced answering how I had met these both within my portfolio and within my role more generally.

Leading up to my assessment, I also undertook mock professional discussions and presentations with my skills coach at my training provider, LDN Apprenticeships, and my line manager which left me feeling confident and comfortable with undertaking my EPA.

My EPA was also over Zoom, which I hadn’t used much before, so I also practiced on there to check the technology so that I wouldn’t struggle with it on the day of my assessment.

Do you have any tips for someone going through the EPA process?

Don’t be afraid to ask the assessor to repeat the question – some of the questions I was asked were quite long in order to cover a number of criteria, so in order to make sure I fully understood them and answer each component during my professional discussion, I would ask my assessor to repeat them or break them down, which was really useful!

What have you done since completing your apprenticeship? 

I’ve become a permanent full-time employee at Mott MacDonald. This has been supported by the skills and knowledge that I developed throughout the course of my apprenticeship, enabling me to take on more challenging work within my role.

Do you think having your apprenticeship helped you progress your career? 

Definitely! As someone who was both new to CR&S and the business environment, this apprenticeship was a great way for me to learn the fundamentals and a great steppingstone for my future career in this space.

Would you recommend 1st for EPA to a friend?

I would recommend 1st for EPA as I felt well-prepared and relaxed throughout the whole process, which enabled me to feel confident in my ability and achieve the distinction!

Do you have any other comments you would like to share about your experience?

Prepare well and try to stay relaxed – you’re the person who knows the work you’ve done within your apprenticeship the best and the assessor is there to help you demonstrate your capability!

Well done, Anna!

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