In a sensible evaluation with questions, an unbiased assessor observes the apprentice finishing a activity or collection of duties set by the EPAO. The EPAO decides the place it takes place. The evaluation surroundings should intently relate to the apprentice’s pure working surroundings. This permits the apprentice to show the KSBs mapped to this evaluation technique. 


This EPA technique is getting used as a result of it displays the sensible element of the function. Fireplace security inspections can happen in lots of several types of buildings and the potential points/compliance necessities that could be recognized can differ considerably, as can the response from the property proprietor. The sensible evaluation subsequently permits for the candidate to be assessed in a managed surroundings so as to guarantee a constant strategy.


The sensible evaluation with questions have to be structured to present the apprentice the chance to show the KSBs mapped to this evaluation technique to the best out there grade.

An unbiased assessor should conduct and assess the sensible evaluation with questions.

The unbiased assessor should solely observe one apprentice at a time to make sure high quality and rigour. They have to be as unobtrusive as attainable.

The EPAO should give an apprentice 10 days discover of the . sensible evaluation with questions

The sensible evaluation with questions should take 3 hours quarter-hour.

The unbiased assessor can enhance the time of the sensible evaluation with questions by as much as 10%. This time is to permit the apprentice to finish a activity or reply to a query if needed.

The sensible evaluation with questions can’t be cut up, apart from for consolation breaks or to permit apprentices to maneuver from one location to a different. The place breaks happen, they won’t rely in the direction of the whole EPA time.

EPAOs should handle invigilation of the apprentice through the evaluation, to keep up safety of the EPA, in keeping with their malpractice coverage. This contains breaks and shifting between places through the working day.

The unbiased assessor should clarify to the apprentice the format and timescales of the sensible evaluation with questions earlier than it begins. This doesn’t rely in the direction of the evaluation time.

Apprentices have to be noticed by an unbiased assessor who will tackle the function of the ‘Accountable Particular person’. The Accountable Particular person is an recognized particular person accountable for a premises. They should have information and understanding of the fireplace security processes and procedures at their premises. They’ll work together with and reply to the Fireplace Security Inspector throughout an audit. The unbiased assessor should undertake this function for the situation developed by the EPAO. The sensible evaluation have to be carried out over a most evaluation time of three hours quarter-hour. The unbiased assessor has the discretion to extend the time of the sensible demonstration by as much as 10%.

The sensible evaluation consists of 5 completely different levels:

1. Preparation and Briefing

2. Sensible Audit Inspection –Documentation Evaluate

3. Sensible Audit Inspection – Visible Inspection of Premise

4. Submit Audit Debrief

5. Submit Audit Questions

The unbiased assessor might observe just one apprentice at a time throughout this evaluation technique.

EPAOs will produce specs to stipulate intimately how the sensible demonstrations will function, what it’s going to cowl and what ought to be noticed. It is suggested that that is accomplished in session with consultant employers to realize the required occupational information on this sector. EPAOs ought to keep the safety of their specs if employers are consulted. Specs have to be standardised by the EPAO.

EPAOs should develop sensible specification banks of adequate measurement to forestall predictability and evaluation them repeatedly (no less than annually) to make sure they, and the specs they include, are match for objective. The specification for the sensible assessments, together with questions referring to underpinning information, expertise and behaviours have to be various, but permit evaluation of the related KSBs.

The sensible evaluation might be performed as follows:

Stage 1: Preparation and Briefing

Earlier than the sensible evaluation begins the apprentice might be given a tough copy pre-inspection data pack produced and chosen by the EPAO. The pre-inspection data pack might be based mostly on a posh constructing for instance:

  • sleeping threat
  • excessive threat course of
  • excessive variety of staff
  • public entry constructing
  • warehouse

The apprentice could have half-hour to check the pre inspection data pack and make notes. Apprentices might be invigilated by the unbiased assessor throughout this time. The apprentice will be capable of discuss with their notes and the pre-inspection data pack all through the remainder of the sensible evaluation.

The pre-inspection data pack produced by the EPAO should embrace the next data:

  • notification of Major Authority Scheme (PAS) examine
  • earlier file historical past (extending solely to the earlier audit)
  • title and place of Accountable Particular person (RP)
  • constructing profile data, together with:
    • utilization/objective of constructing/enterprise
    • evacuation technique for constructing (e.g. Simultaneous, Progressive Horizontal and many others.)
    • institution numbers
    • measurement of constructing
    • location
    • variety of flooring/rooms
    • fireplace threat evaluation (FRA) referring to that constructing
    • some other Fireplace Security Info referring to that constructing comparable to regulation 38 documentation
    • workers coaching data
    • upkeep and repair data for passive and energetic safety techniques together with alarms, detection, emergency lighting firefighting services comparable to dry/moist risers, suppression techniques, wiring, PAT testing.

Along with the above the EPAO will produce a plan of the constructing with detailed Website-Particular Danger Info (SSRI) for the unbiased assessor in addition to an in depth temporary of the workers coaching data included inside the pre-inspection data pack to be used in Stage 3.

Stage 2: Sensible Audit Inspection – Documentation Evaluate

This stage might be performed in a staged constructing surroundings or IT based mostly utilizing simulation software program.

Throughout this stage, the apprentice might be noticed reviewing related documentation required as a part of an audit inspection.

The apprentice might be anticipated to hold out the next actions throughout this stage:

  • introduce themselves and clarify the explanation for the go to
  • clarify how the audit might be performed
  • affirm if workers might be questioned to validate workers coaching

The EPAO will produce an data pack based mostly on the checklist above which might be reflective of both the staged constructing getting used or the IT based mostly simulation software program. The unbiased assessor (because the function of the Accountable Particular person) will give the requested data to the apprentice to look at.

Inside the pack of data, the EPAO will insert deficiencies. These deficiencies might be from the next classes:

  • systematic
  • bodily
  • main
  • minor

The mixture of deficiencies inserted inside the pack of data might be determined by the EPAO, nevertheless no less than 2 deficiencies ought to be within the Fireplace Danger Evaluation doc (FRA). The EPAO must also insert a deficiency that would wish intervention by an extra company requiring the apprentice to determine who they’d search assist and recommendation from and why. These are included within the deficiencies said above.

The apprentice might be given 20 minutes to check the documentation offered by the unbiased assessor. Following this, the apprentice might be given an extra quarter-hour to reply a minimal of 6 questions from the unbiased assessor so as to clarify:

  • the standing of the FRA
  • upkeep and testing regime
  • workers coaching data
  • technique of escape (MOE)
  • important findings requiring actions within the earlier FRA have been accomplished
  • the deficiencies recognized inside the pack of data

Stage 3: Sensible audit inspection – Visible Inspection of Premise

Throughout this stage the apprentice, accompanied by the unbiased assessor could have 55 minutes to stroll across the premises (precise or IT based mostly), and can validate whether or not the knowledge within the FRA and all fireplace security preparations adjust to the Regulatory Reform Fireplace Security Order 2005 (RRFSO), and/or acceptable regulation and steerage (equipped by the EPAO). Themes to be lined:

  • passive fireplace safety strategies
  • energetic fireplace safety strategies
  • journey distances
  • prevention points
  • rire security administration preparations
  • technique of escape
  • void safety

Inside this stage the apprentice (unprompted) ought to ask the unbiased assessor (performing because the Accountable Particular person, as said within the Fireplace Security Order 2005) if they’ll query an worker so as to validate workers coaching data. If requested, the unbiased assessor will tackle the function of an worker and use the detailed temporary of workers coaching data to reply to any questions posed by the apprentice. When responding within the function of the worker, the unbiased assessor should reply questions factually based mostly solely on the knowledge contained within the workers coaching data. Any questions requested and responses given have to be included inside the 55 minutes permitted for this stage. The apprentice would sometimes be anticipated to ask as much as 12 questions.

Stage 4: Submit audit debrief

Throughout this stage the apprentice could have 45 minutes and might be anticipated to undertake a verbal submit audit debrief with the Accountable Particular person (RP). The themes to be lined for the debrief embrace:

  • inspection and audit, together with assist and subsequent steps
  • difficult non-compliance

Stage 5: Submit audit questions

Throughout this stage the unbiased assessor could have half-hour to ask the apprentice a minimal of 8 questions. These questions might be a mix of these taken from an EPAO query financial institution and unbiased assessor generated to ensure that questioning to be tailor-made to the sensible evaluation. The unbiased assessor is permitted to ask observe up questions the place readability is required.

These actions present the apprentice with the chance to show the KSBs mapped to this evaluation technique.

The unbiased assessor should ask questions. The aim of the unbiased assessor’s questions might be so as to add element to and improve the proof that the apprentice has met the information, expertise, and behaviours assessed by way of this technique.

Questioning can happen through the sensible evaluation. The time for questions requested through the sensible evaluation is included within the general evaluation time.

Unbiased assessors should ask no less than 8 questions through the sensible evaluation. The unbiased assessor should use the questions from their EPAO’s query financial institution or create their very own questions in-line with the EPAO’s coaching.

The unbiased assessor can ask follow-up inquiries to make clear solutions given by the apprentice. These questions are along with the above set variety of questions for the sensible evaluation with questions and ought to be stored to a minimal.

The unbiased assessor should hold correct data of the evaluation. They have to document:

  • the KSBs noticed
  • the apprentice’s solutions to questions
  • KSBs demonstrated in solutions to questions
  • the grade achieved

The unbiased assessor should make the grading determination. The sensible evaluation and responses to questions have to be assessed holistically by the unbiased assessor when they’re deciding the grade. 

Evaluation location

The sensible evaluation with questions will happen in a simulated surroundings chosen by the EPAO (for instance the EPAO’s or employer’s premises). The simulated surroundings should relate to the apprentice’s pure work surroundings. Tools and sources wanted for the sensible evaluation with questions have to be offered by the EPAO, who can liaise with the employer to offer these.

Further venue necessities that have to be in place embrace:

Sensible assessments have to be performed in one of many following places:

  • the employer’s premises
  • an appropriate venue chosen by the EPAO (e.g. a coaching supplier’s premises or one other employer’s premises)
  • utilizing digital actuality expertise

Query and useful resource improvement

The EPAO should develop a purpose-built evaluation specification and query financial institution. It is suggested that is accomplished in session with employers of this occupation. The EPAO ought to keep the safety and confidentiality of EPA supplies when consulting employers. The evaluation specification and query financial institution have to be reviewed no less than annually to make sure they continue to be fit-for-purpose.  

The evaluation specification have to be related to the occupation and show the right way to assess the KSBs mapped to this evaluation technique. The EPAO should be sure that questions are refined and developed to a excessive commonplace. The questions have to be unpredictable. A query financial institution of adequate measurement will assist this.

The EPAO should be sure that the apprentice has a unique set of questions within the case of re-sits or re-takes.

The EPAO should produce the next supplies to assist the sensible evaluation with questions:

  • unbiased assessor evaluation supplies which embrace:
    • coaching supplies
    • administration supplies
    • moderation and standardisation supplies
    • steerage supplies
    • grading steerage
    • query financial institution
  • EPA steerage for the apprentice and the employer


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