“To champion the professional development of those working in railway organisations enabling the whole railway system to succeed.”

As a registered End-Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) we are a responsible, collegiate and value adding service provider.

By providing End-Point Assessment (EPA) we hope to keep levy funding in the industry. Acting in a not-for-profit way has allowed CIRO to develop a high quality, meaningful EPA at a competitive price.

CIRO were delighted to have recently completed our 1000th assessment and has a 97% satisfaction rating with its learners. It services nearly all apprentice employers and has recently geared up for an increased service level for 2023. Earlier this year, it was assessed by the EQA and rated as a GOOD EPAO.


What is End-Point Assessment?

EPA is an assessment of the knowledge, skills and behaviours that your apprentice has learned throughout their apprenticeship, which confirms that they are occupationally competent.

Occupational apprenticeship standards and the End-Point Assessment Plans that are created and developed by employer trailblazer groups must be independently assessed by a registered EPAO.

Each apprenticeship standard has its own assessment plan, which specifies the assessment methods that must be used.

CIRO EPA Delivery

We recognise the hard work and dedication that is required by your apprentice to complete their on-programme learning and EPA. We are therefore committed to ensuring we deliver a quality EPA service and that our assessors provide a professional and robust assessment of the apprentice’s knowledge, skills and behaviours.

We currently work with over twenty TOCs, FOCs and training providers on the Train Driver EPA, and our processes have been designed to ensure that every apprentice going through their EPA has a good quality and positive experience.

  • Your apprentices are registered with us and we regularly review your EPA requirements with you / your training provider
  • Following successful completion of your apprentice’s on-programme learning and assessment, they will be taken through the formal Employer Gateway review. When you are satisfied that they have achieved all the required gateway criteria, we will arrange to collect the requisite gateway evidence.
  • We will liaise with you to arrange a suitable date for your apprentice to complete their EPA with our independent assessor.
  • Following successful completion of their EPA, we arrange for your apprentice’s certificate to be sent from the government Apprenticeship Assessment Service to you.

We have established procedure and processes for the management of this process, and we provide individualised support and guidance throughout the stages.

CIRO End-Point Assessment Policies

Here you will find all CIRO policy documents relating to our End-Point Assessment Service

EPA Complaints Policy


EPA Appeals Policy


EPA Assessors

Assessing on behalf of CIRO is an attractive prospect.

As EPA plans specify the minimum requirements of assessors, CIRO has developed the concept of an agreed employer-led supply of assessors. For the Train Driver apprenticeship standard, it is stipulated that assessors must be current Train Drivers. Our employer-led supply of assessors means that current drivers are not lured into working additional freelance hours.

Under this agreement, each operating company puts forward willing volunteers to carry out EPA on behalf of CIRO who pay the company for their time. The supply of assessors is an opportunity for us all to work together to give development opportunities to staff without losing them, in the process creating a valuable experience for apprentices in a bid to increase industry standards.

NSAR Recognition

CIRO have been a registered EPAO for the Train Driver Apprentice Level 3 since December 2018. Our assessment techniques and resources have been developed with the input and approval of ASLEF throughout.

NSAR, as the recognised external quality assurance provider for the Train Driver apprenticeship standard, provide the reassurance to employers and apprentices that CIRO delivers a valid and quality end-point assessment service.

Many operating companies have already given their backing to this and if you would like information about how we can work together, contact the EPA Team epa@railwayoperators.co.uk.

How much does it cost?

As the professional institution for railway operators, and with our not-for-profit approach, CIRO is able to charge significantly less that the £4,200 maximum fee for the Train Driver EPA.

Contact our EPA Team to find out more on 07860 773045, 07860773045 or epa@railwayoperators.co.uk.

Policies and Documents
Appeals Policy
Complaints Policy
Conflict of Interest Policy
Reasonable Adjustments and Special Considerations Policy