Public Sector Commercial Procurement and Supply Apprenticeship Standard Level 4 (APO1)


Employer and apprentices guidance for this apprenticeship programme.

    Registration/Gateway

    To start the Public Sector Commercial Apprenticeship EPA process you must meet the required gateway requirements. You must have minimum level 2 English and Maths qualifications, equivalent to grades A*-C or 9-4 at GCSE. If you have other or international qualifications you will need to check with your training provider to see if they’re acceptable. If not you will have to complete Functional Skills in the required subjects in order to continue with the EPA.

    Another requirement is that you must have your CIPS Level 4 Diploma in Procurement and Supply.

    Following this, you will agree a focus for your Showcase Portfolio with your line manager and once this is agreed you will be issued with a Case Study by CIPS on the published deadline.

    Case Study

    You are required to produce a written 2000  word analysis (a tolerance of not more or less than 10% will be accepted), which will demonstrate through application to the practical environment, the knowledge, skills and behaviours required from a successful apprentice on the programme. The Case Study will cover the whole of the procurement cycle.

    Further information on the criteria can be found here

    As part of the case study, you are required to produce a synopsis of 500 words (Included in 2000 word count) summarising the identified issue or problem. This synopsis should be reviewed by your line manager before you proceed with the final case study activity.

    Once approved, you will then produce the case study analysing the issue or problem identified in the synopsis and make recommendations on what improvements could be made to existing overall process(es) to address or improve the issue or problem.

    Once issued, you will have 7 weeks to complete and submit the case study to CIPS. Once submitted, it is marked and moderated by CIPS assessors and you will receive your results after your case study is submitted, by the published deadline. If you fail the case study you will not be able to submit your showcase portfolio and will be transferred to a later opportunity. If you subsequently resubmit your case study you will be capped at a pass.

    Showcase portfolio

    Before beginning work on the portfolio, you should agree in a meeting with your line manager your objectives for the final six months of your apprenticeship. These objectives should be broad enough for you to demonstrate all the skills, knowledge and behaviours expected of Commercial professionals.

    The showcase portfolio gives you practice in professionally documenting and presenting your achievements. The overall purpose of the showcase portfolio is for you to demonstrate the authenticity of your work and to demonstrate real-world professional capabilities.

    The showcase portfolio should only contain your very best work and should be supported by self-assessments and achievement logs completed by you as part of regular performance management with your line manager.

    There is no mandatory word count for the portfolio however you must include one piece of evidence per criteria as stated in the 'Apprenticeship Standard: Public Sector Commercial Professional Standard'  

    You will be able to submit your portfolio from 14 days after you have received the result of your case study assessment by the published deadline date.

    Panel Interview

    After successful completion of the showcase portfolio, you are required to attend a panel interview of up to one hour which allows a panel to explore particular areas of work where the panel members require reassurance that you meet the standard required, as well as a means of ensuring that the work completed is your own. You will also be asked a set of standard questions to ensure consistency.

    The assessment panel comprises of three panel members; the Lead Assessor is a representative of CIPS as the end-point assessment organisation. Your line manager and one other member of staff from the public sector will form the remaining two members of the panel.

    Outcome

    After the interview the panel members will assess your performance and agree a score for that part of the EPA.  Both assessments are graded using a model of 1-5, 5 being ‘consistently exceeding the standard in most areas’.

    The scores from each stage are added together to give you a final score. To pass the EPA assessment,  you  must  achieve  a  minimum  total  score  of  6,  with  no  less  than  a  3  in  either assessment stage. For an overall Distinction, you must achieve a total of 8 across the two assessments.

    To gain a pass you must, in the judgement of the independent assessor: 

     

    • Have produced a case study that fully meets the underlying knowledge, skills and behaviours specified in the standard. 
    • Have produced a showcase portfolio supported by interview, which fully meets the knowledge, skills and behaviours specified in the standard.
    • To gain a distinction you must, in the judgement of the independent assessor: 
    • Have produced a case study that fully meets the underlying knowledge, skills and behaviours specified in the standard and in addition shows in-depth knowledge and examples of exceeding the standard in some areas. Such knowledge may be demonstrated through research, analysis, insight and application of recognised theory. 
    • Have produced a showcase portfolio supported by interview, that demonstrates in-depth knowledge,  skills  and  behaviours  specified  in  the  standard  and  showing  examples  of exceeding the standard in some areas.

    To gain a distinction you must, in the judgement of the independent assessor: 

     

    • Have produced a case study that fully meets the underlying knowledge, skills and behaviours specified in the standard and in addition shows in-depth knowledge and examples of exceeding the standard in some areas. Such knowledge may be demonstrated through research, analysis, insight and application of recognised theory. 
    • Have produced a showcase portfolio supported by interview, that demonstrates in-depth knowledge,  skills  and  behaviours  specified  in  the  standard  and  showing  examples  of exceeding the standard in some areas.

    Help and What to do Next

    Once your final result has been communicated, CIPS EPAO will request your certificate from the ESFA.

    The assessment methods are designed to be complementary so if you fail the case study, you are not permitted to submit your showcase portfolio or access the panel interview. If you fail the case study, you will receive feedback and are permitted to revise and resubmit your work. However, if you submit your case study a second time you are not eligible for a distinction. A case study may only be re-submitted once. If you fail on the second attempt you will not be permitted to progress through to the end point assessment.

    If you have to resubmit your showcase portfolio, you will not be eligible for a distinction under any circumstances.

    Further information on re-sits, reviews and appeals can be found under our EPA policies and procedures.

    More information on all stages of the EPA process can be found in the EPA assessment guide you will receive after contracting

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