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Rail External Quality Assurance Service  

Rail employers have been working to develop a suite of Rail Apprenticeships as part of the Government’s apprenticeship reforms. The employers’ original vision was to put in place a range of apprenticeship standards that will:  


  • Help address the skills needs of the sector


  • Attract more young people and employers to recognise apprenticeships as a valuable entry in to their occupation


  • Raise the profile and importance of professional recognition in the sector 


Rail employers are building on this vision by working together to give all rail employers and rail apprenticeship users confidence in the marketplaces for end-point assessment of rail apprenticeships. Rail employers are taking an interest in the safe running and proper functioning of end-point assessment marketplaces by working to ensure effective external quality assurance of the occupational validity, consistency and comparability of assessment decisions. This allows employers to select end-point assessment organisations, confident in the knowledge that whichever one they choose, they will be:


  • compliant with the employers’ assessment wishes, as expressed in the assessment plan, and 


  • producing consistent and comparable assessment outcomes that are occupationally valid.


The rail employer focus on continuous improvement also means that EQA provides intelligence on how standards and assessment plans are working in practice, and how those working with the standards or responsible for refreshing them can build on what has gone before using a clear evidence based indicating how and where to improve. 


Our role, as EQA, is to reassure employers and apprentices that rail apprenticeships deliver the skills and behaviours that the industry needs and has asked for. We strive to be a critical friend and trusted partner in our work by offering the appropriate balance of support, challenge, confidentiality, understanding and insight. These documents set out our blueprint for external quality assurance. 

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