The professional discussion must last for 60 minutes. The independent assessor has the discretion to increase the time of the professional discussion by up to 10% to allow the apprentice to complete their last answer. The professional discussion will be conducted as set out here: The professional discussion will be underpinned by the portfolio completed by the apprentice during the on-programme phase of the apprenticeship. This is a two-way discussion, and the independent assessor will seek to gain assurance of the apprentice’s competency by questioning. The independent assessor will ask a minimum of 10 questions. Apprentices will be expected to use examples from their portfolio to support their answers. Apprentices will undertake a project in the form of conducting research, planning and delivering the work, and writing a project report. They will then present their findings in the form of a report and presentation. The project report will have a word limit of 5,000 words, with a tolerance of +/-10% (at the discretion of the apprentice).
The presentation with questions and answers component of the assessment method will last for a total of 45 minutes, broken down as follows: The presentation will typically last for 20 minutes. The independent assessor has the discretion to increase the time of the presentation by up to 10% to allow the apprentice to complete their last point. Ordinarily, the independent assessor will remain silent throughout the presentation. After the presentation, the independent assessor will typically have 25 minutes of questioning during which they must ask a minimum of 6 questions.