The EYPS Gateway Review


Part of achieving the Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) involves going through the EYPS Gateway Review. The course providers make a really big deal out of it, which can be a little daunting at first.

However, the Gateway Review is not an exam, so candidates can’t fail. It’s more of a guidance to ensure that candidates are on track for their final assessment setting visit.

The Gateway Review is (supposedly) designed, first, to check that candidates understand the 39 EYPS standards (don’t worry though, just UNDERSTANDING them is fine, you don’t have to recite them from memory or anything like that).

Secondly, the Gateway Review is meant to assess three skills generic to working as an Early Years Professional (EYP) and fundamental to meeting the 39 EYPS standards.

The three skills are:

  • The ability to make decisions on the basis of sound judgment
  • The ability to lead and support others
  • The ability to relate to, and communicate with, others

In order to assess these three skills and our understanding of the 39 EYPS standards, we lucky candidates get to go through a series of four different exercises, all in one day:

1. Personal interview

A 25 minute one-on-one interview with an assessor who discussed me, my role, and my preparation for the assessment setting visit. This was a bit unsettling for me, because I’m used to more ‘conversational’ types of interviews, whereas in this case, the assessor appeared to have a defined list of questions which she was not allowed to stray from.

In addition to that, she had to record what I said verbatim (word for word). So rather than making eye contact with me, nodding and smiling, she was mostly facing downwards at her sheets of paper and furiously scribbling away.

Because she wasn’t giving off any body language signals, I also didn’t really know when I should stop talking, so I just went on and on till I felt it would be awkward if I said any more. Me me me!

2. Written exercise

I was given 5 scenarios of the sort I might encounter as an Early Years Practitioner, along with how I might handle them. I was meant to identify the issues at hand, and how I would handle them in regards to the short term and the long term.

So for example, one scenario was a parent complaining that the childcare setting forces her child to do too much outdoor play, and she would stop sending her child there if nothing was done.

This exercise felt quite rushed for me, because we only had about 5 minutes for each scenario. I also wasn’t exactly sure of the requirements, like where it said ‘identify the issues’, would I have to spell out everything in each scenario, i.e. the parent is unhappy with something, I have to communicate with her in an understanding manner, taking into concerns her own personal situation, etc etc etc.

3. Group exercise

This exercise had me in a room with 3 other candidates and 3 assessors. We took turns giving a 4 minute presentation which we’d prepared earlier on an element of change we had introduced in our settings. We were then given a topic to discuss for about 15 minutes.

As luck would have it, the random draw resulted in me going first. It was a pretty straightforward exercise, so unless you break down at the thought of a few other people in the room listening to you speak, there shouldn’t be any problems.

The group discussion also went well. We were meant to identify three factors that were important and common in our aspects of change. However, I assume there were no wrong answers, and the assessors were just interested to see how we worked as a team.

4. Interview with actor

My first roleplaying experience! I was the manager of a setting, meeting with a parent, with an invisible assessor in the room. The parent’s child had been facing issues in the setting, and that’s why we were having the discussion.

I felt that I didn’t really have much control during this exercise. The actor had a tendency to speak a LOT, and sort of led the whole exercise. For example, before I had the chance to politely probe into what might be causing the child’s behaviour, he started telling me long stories of how he was divorced, and the child’s mother was overseas, and he has several part time jobs, etc etc etc.

I mean, how often do you meet a parent who goes, “Hi, I’m Bob. Nice day isn’t it? I’m divorced and don’t spend enough time with my child.”

After the four exercises were done, candidates were required to complete a written reflection of the day’s activities. Of course, I was too relieved at having finished the exercises, and I thought the written reflection was more of a feedback form, so I didn’t really take it seriously.

The next day, I had a visit from my mentor, who coincidentally was also one of my assessors for the Gateway Review. She was full of praise and positive feedback, so I felt that the Gateway Review had gone really really well for me.

A few weeks later though, I received written feedback on my strengths and ‘development points’ (why can’t they just call them weaknesses, sheesh). Unlike the earlier picture painted by my mentor however, there seemed to be a whole lot of ‘development points’!

I’m not saying I’m perfect, but it really just felt like the development points were there for the sake of being there, i.e. assessors were required to give development points, and so were heavily focused on searching for negative aspects to point out.

All-in-all, it was an interesting and not overly stressful experience for me. However, I didn’t really feel that it contributed much to my preparation for the assessment setting visit. Ah well, maybe it means I’m already prepared!

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21 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Alee on 29 April, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Wow, 4 exercises in a day, must hv been structured to test your stress control and ability to keep your composure. Since you weren’t overly stressed, you must be on the right track 🙂


    • The whole course seems structured to raise stress levels! >.<

      Even our 3 week 'break' was staring at assignments day in and day out.


  2. WOW! It sounds so stressful -.-” Thanks for sharing. I’m not sure whether I will be going tru’ this or not, maybe…

    Going to Australia next year for my graduate diploma in learning and teaching and there’s no early childhood to choose so I opt for primary. They didn’t even bother about the diploma that I’m doing instead they only consider my previous computing degree. So instead of going for Bachelor of ECE(will take more or less 1 1/2 years), I’ll be doing graduate diploma for about 8 months in USQ and I’m kinda of worry of the workload even though there’s only 8 units to do and there’s 75 hours(or more, don’t remember ;p) of practical for the whole course.

    Thanks for replying to my e-mail the other day 😉


    • 75 hours of practical in 8 months doesn’t sound too bad. I’m doing 70 hours a week in placements now. 🙂

      What do you plan to do once you achieve the diploma?


  3. Well… I guess the DECE will be my foundation else I have no clue at all. As for the graduate diploma, I’ll see if I can secure any teaching position or job in Aus and apply for PR but I heard I have to study there at least two years to be able to find job there, maybe unless I go for the rural posting which I’m quite dread of ;p we’ll see how by then. Most important now is to step there first then go with the flow.


    • Ooh, step there first and go with the flow. That’s the approach I took coming here to the UK.

      Right now the flow feels like it’s going into the longkang!


      • Going into the longkang? That bad? I hope not hehehe… I’m sure you’ll do well unlike me ;p The kind that hate having fixed working hours *LOL* Besides my target is not to be a teacher but those in the higher management. Then again… We’ll see how it goes…


        • Higher management isn’t exactly an entry level position, unless you plan on opening you own centre. 🙂 We should open one in Malaysia, UK + Australian curriculum!


  4. The ‘Early Years Professional Gateway Review’ article above paints a very clear picture of the process undergone by this particular candidate to gain EYPS. Subsequent posts seem to have picked up on the ‘stressful’ aspect of the process. However, being professional, as the writer of the article obviously is, entails absorbing the stresses and strains of the working day. A candidate who can handle the events of one review day is on right track to leadership in an Early Years setting.


    • Thanks for your vote of confidence Margaret. 🙂

      My assessment visit is on Monday. Rather than anxiety, I feel more of a numbness, like there’s nothing I can do but accept my impending doom.


  5. How did it go Mark?


  6. Posted by Lucy on 22 December, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Hi, I just want to say thank you for sharing your experience of the Gateway Review. I have mine in February 2011 and to be honest I am soooo worried. I’m doing the full-time pathway which consists of an NVQ4 OU course and an ILM course in addition to the placement and EYPS Standards and it is real tough going trying to keep up with assignments and standards. I only started in September this year and feel like i’m not learning fast enough (even though I never stop) to get through things like the Gateway Review! Any advice?


    • Seeing as I’ve resubmitted in December, I may not be the best person to turn to for advice. 🙂 Are there any particular areas you’re unsure of?

      I’d advise you to avoid two of my biggest mistakes though.

      The first would be to avoid having your 3 placement terms in 3 different settings. I went for 3 settings because I felt it would provide an opportunity to see a greater variety of settings, people and children.

      That it did, but it also meant that when I was starting my 3rd placement, I had only been there like 8 days before I was meant to hand in tasks based on my time there, and the changes I had implemented…in those few days. People in my first placement, as well as my self, also had difficulty remembering things.

      Secondly, don’t ever listen to people who say things like ‘Oh you’re doing a great job, don’t worry about it.’ If you have the luxury of time, make sure you put as much as you can into everything you do; tasks, evidence folders, interviews. Better to be told that you’ve got too much and asked to remove some material, than to be told you’ve not got enough and asked to add more (or worse, just told you’ve not got enough, tough luck).

      Hope that doesn’t just fuel your anxiety Lucy.

      By the way, have I talked to you before on the Foundation Stage Forum?


      • Posted by Lucy on 22 December, 2010 at 11:00 pm


        Thanks for the reply. Well at least you had the opportunity to resubmit and wasn’t just told to ‘go away’ after all that hard work! Good luck with that.

        Funny you should talk about on the ‘don’t worry, you’ll be fine, at the moment you should be just settling in’ comments. I have a mentor that is just like that! I know I don’t have much time therefore I am trying to cover as much evidence as possible so I am not ‘overwhelmed’ next year. Unfortunately, she keeps telling me to slow down, and then starts talking about herself! Surely she should be encouraging me? Anyway, i’ve come to the conclusion she really isn’t interested in supporting me with the standards, so i’m searching for inspiration elsewhere :0)

        No I havent spoken to you before, I am on that forum though, I think it will be helpful with ideas for standards as I am struggling with some. It is great to speak to someone that has been through it all. Sorry for the rant, I feel so much better now :0)


        • No problems, I like reading rants as well as ranting myself.

          Do let me know how things are coming along for you.

          My own resubmission was Dec 10th, and I hoped to have my re-interview done by the end of the year. But noone has even contacted me yet to tell me what’s going on. Super.

          I’ve talked to someone who did a Dec resubmission before, which has led me to believe the results will only be out in May.


          • Posted by lucy on 22 January, 2011 at 9:34 am

            Hi Mark

            Well i’ve just had my first briefing day aka practice day of the gateway review wowwww i’m scared :0)
            I feel a little better now that i’ve been told you can’t actually fail this part, it’s just to highlight points for development. When we practiced the actor scenario I couldn’t remember what I had read on the brief we had been given because I was getting stressed about it – and the more stressed I got trying to read and remember the more I couldn’t retain the information!! Any tips on how to get around that? I know I should just relax as it’s not part of the final assessment but I really want to do well and hence put myself under pressure.

            Have you had any feedback about your re-submittal yet? It’s awful having to wait for so long. I’ve been waiting for an assignment to be marked for over a week now and you start thinking the worst don’t you? What’s your name on the foundation stage forum, it would be easier to chat on there?
            Good luck with EYPS :0)

  7. Hi Lucy,

    During my roleplay scenario, it felt pretty straightforward because it was as though the actor already had what he wanted to say in mind. And if I chose a different path from the one he wanted, he’d actually briefly respond to me, then go back onto his own track! On your setting visit, there won’t be a ‘deal with a parent in front of me’ scenario, so don’t worry too much.

    Actually, it’s best if you do happen to expose your weak points during your Gateway Review, rather than do well on the Gateway Review but not your setting visit. And even if the assessors don’t pick up on areas which need development, you can just ask them directly, which is what I did.

    The purpose of the Gateway Review is to work on your weak areas, so you can get helpful advice and the like. It’s not an exam where if you don’t do well people will just shake their head at you at the end without offering you some help. 🙂

    I had my resubmission interviews in early January, and was told that the results would hopefully be out in February, so I’m really hopeful on that. 🙂

    You’re welcome to email me directly if you like!


  8. Posted by Emi on 6 February, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Hi everyone, I’m so glad I’ve found this website!! Like Lucy, I too have my Gateway Review this month and i’m feeling really nervous about it all!! (I wonder if you and I are on the same course because I’m doing the ILM and OU bits too!!!)
    I’m starting to stress about the setting visit and really feel like I don’t know enough yet to pass the whole course.
    Mark, any results yet???


    • Hi Emily,

      Just do your best, the setting visit will be the welcome finishing line for all the effort you’ve put in so far. 🙂

      No results yet unfortunately!



  9. Posted by lucy on 6 February, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Hi Emily
    It seems like we could be on the same course :0) Are you doing your Gateway Review on Mon/Tue next week? I’ve stopped fretting now, we can’t fail it’s just about developing effective practice etc. No i’m lying I am worried about it as I like to do well at things so you’re not alone! I’m particularly concerned about the actor interview as I don’t want suddenly ‘go blank’ and ‘dry up!’

    Anyway as Mark says don’t worry, i’m trying to take his wisdom on board :0)
    Good luck with everything, how are you doing with your standards?

    PS Mark, I don’t have your email address


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