All hairdressing apprentices must now complete an end-point assessment (EPA).

The EPA is designed to take a snap-shot assessment of your practical skills – from styling techniques to customer service. An independent end point assessor usually comes to your site to complete the assessment and will assess multiple learners at once. You must work on a minimum of two models and bring your own products and tools. The EPA will last no longer than 6 hours, not including breaks.


The EPA is designed to mimic salon life, so you need to complete a full range of salon services to industry standards within commercial timings. You’ll be assessed on each stage of the client journey – including consultation, hair washing, cutting techniques, professionalism and safe working practices. You will be assessed on practical skills and asked questions while you complete these assessment tasks:

≠  Creative restyle and finish using a minimum of three cutting techniques 

≠ Finished looks using a minimum of 4 techniques – one above and one below-the-shoulder look, one setting technique, a blow-dry with a round brush, a hair-up style (80% of the hair should be taken up) and three dressing techniques

≠ Colour and/or lightened hair services using a minimum of two products – one woven highlights, one other colouring technique, minimum T-section of the head, and a change in depth and tone 


You will be graded on these four themes: ways of working, technical skills, understanding and customer services. The technical skills are broken down into:

≠ Consultation 
≠ Shampoo, condition and treatment of hair
≠ Cut hair
≠ Style and finish 
≠ Colour and lightening

Each skill is weighted differently – the largest weighting is colouring at 20%. The results are then converted into points out of 700, and you’ll be awarded a grade depending on your point score. 634-700 points is a distinction, 500-633 points is a pass and 0-499 points is a fail. 

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