QUALITY ASSURANCE POLICY
This quality assurance policy outlines our belief and commitment to ensure that on-going quality improvement is an integral part of our organisation.
Brightside Training and Consultancy will aim for continuous improvement in the quality of all aspects of its work as part of its determination to help learners achieve the highest possible standards
- Brightside Training and Consultancy and its Centres aim to be the first choice for high quality education and training within its community
- The purpose of the Quality Assurance Policy is to ensure such continuous improvement through a process of self- evaluation and action planning.
- The Quality Assurance Policy and associated procedures will involve all employees and collaborative partners. The management of the process will be through the existing organisational structure. Centre managers will initiate procedures within their teams and collate and agree self-assessment reports and action plans
- The quality assurance procedures will be founded in a process of regular self-evaluation by teams in different departments, internal & external audits and observations, in addition to employer and client feedback
- The quality procedures will seek the views and perceptions of learners and other stake holders for whom the services of Brightside Training and Consultancy exist.
- Wherever appropriate, the procedures will promote the identification of quality standards and performance indicators against which performance can be measured, evaluated and improved for example OFSTED
Responsibility for Implementation
- All staff (managers, tutors, assessors, support staff) are responsible for the implementation of the Quality Assurance Policy
- It is the Centre Administrator’s responsibility to ensure there is an annual review of the policy
- It is the responsibility of all to engage positively in that review and ensure implementation
Focus of Quality Assurance
- To encourage continuous improvement in the quality of all teaching and learning programmes, thereby making learning an enjoyable activity and through this, increasing learner retention and the achievement of individual learning aims
- To develop and sustain a diverse range of programmes across Centres which provide opportunities for progression and which provide learners with experiences and wherever appropriate, qualifications suited to their learning aims
- To ensure rigorous, standardised and consistent assessment procedures, which meet the standards of external validating agencies
- To provide information which supports strategic planning for Brightside Training and Consultancy business development
- To monitor and evaluate the procedure for advising, interviewing and counselling learners at entry and throughout their time at Brightside Training and Consultancy.
- To establish standards and monitoring procedures for providing a supportive and accessible range of services to all learners
- To review regularly the performance, training and developmental needs of all employees through the operation of Brightside Training and Consultancy’s annual review and appraisal scheme
- Through the Continuing Professional Development Plan, to offer training and development to individuals from Induction and throughout their employment
- To monitor and evaluate performance and developmental needs through three internal observations a year and one external observation
- To monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the training and development against Brightside Training and Consultancy ’s strategic goals.
- All learners at Induction will be made aware of the quality standards at Brightside Training and Consultancy
- All learner feedback including comments in the suggestion box, review meetings and exit questionnaires will be analysed and acted upon
- All learners performance in the workplace will be monitored and evaluated
- All learners files will be continuously and rigorously assessed for quality
- All employers will be made aware of the quality standards of Brightside Training and Consultancy
- All employers will be assessed for safeguarding procedures
- All employers will be monitored and evaluated on the quality of placement offered
The process of quality control requires all staff to meet on a regular basis to review their work, set standards and monitor learner perceptions and achievements.
- Quality control will be carried out against agreed criteria which will incorporate performance indicators
- Statistical analysis will be carries out against agreed criteria which will incorporate performance indicators
- Review will be supported by analysis of learner, employees and stakeholder views and perception, gathered via questionnaires, surveys and review meetings
The outcome of these processes will provide information:
- To inform the process of Brightside Training and Consultancy self-assessment and development planning
- To action plan for improvement at Brightside Training and Consultancy team level
- To highlight issues that need consideration by Brightside Training and Consultancy
- That supports Brightside Training and Consultancy’s business and strategic planning cycle
- That supports Brightside Training and Consultancy contract compliance to an exemplary standard
The Role of Internal Quality Assurance
Brightside Training and Consultancy recognises that the role of the Lead Internal Verifier/Moderator is at the heart of the Internal Quality Assurance process as an approved centre for a range of awarding bodies. In this context, it is also recognised that the Internal Verifier/Moderator is key in managing “risk” in ensuring that the assessment creditability has been maintained throughout the process and that Assessors are supported and monitored.
Internal Verification/Moderation of QCF Certificate Programmes
On Certificate QCF programmes all staff carrying out the internal quality assurance role must have the following qualifications which are appropriate to the role and within agreed time scales:
V1 – Conduct Internal Quality Assurance of the Assessment Process
Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement
Level 3 Award in Assessing Competence in the Work Environment
Level 3 Award in Assessing Vocational Achievement
TAQA – Training, Assessment and Quality Assurance
Additional qualifications and experience requirements will be identified in the qualification Assessment Strategy laid down by the Sector Skills Council/National Training Organisation. There is currently no need for existing staff holding the A1, V1 Assessor/Verifier awards to re- qualify to the new standards.
The relationship between internal verifiers and external verifiers is of course key, and the tools at their disposal are vital. Sampling is a powerful tool, but it is not commonly used well. Advice is available and includes rules of thumb such as the 10% or the square root rule. 10% or the square root of what? And which do you use anyway? (This is not recommended to use). Selecting a sample at random is unlikely to be effective, so sampling should be planned carefully. By adopting a structured approach it is more likely that trends and problem areas can be identified and remedial action taken. (also see guidance for assessment & internal verification documentation).
Best practice is that the internal verifier achieves this by thorough planning which must at least in part include observing Assessor/learners assessments and identifying areas of risk. An acronym has been created to help check that the sampling system addresses all essential factors. This acronym is CAMERA. Many factors need to be considered when sampling. Careful consideration of these can help to produce a plan that ensures assessment within the centre is being carried out to national standards and meets awarding body requirements. The following table outlines these:
Sampling assessments should involve reviewing the quality of the Assessor judgements at both Formative and Summative stages. It should also meet the rules of assessment i.e.:
It is not acceptable that the Internal Verifier should search extensively to find evidence, which supports the Assessors decision(s).
FACTORS You need to consider
C: Learners (Learners) Ethnic origin, age, gender other factors. Something from all
Learners (learners) should be sampled through their course
A: Assessors Experience and qualifications, workload, occupational experience
M: Methods of assessment Questioning, observation, testimony, APL, use of
simulation, product evidence, assignments, projects and tests
E: Evidence within the NVQ Problem areas, special requirements
R: Records Reports from Apprentice Development Coach / Assessors, IV records, learners portfolios and files
A: Assessment locations Workplace assessments, college and off-the job
training, other assessment locations
Occupational Competence Requirements for Internal Verifiers:
Must have sufficient experience of having conducted assessments of the National Standards they are verifying, or in an appropriate related area.
‘Sufficient’ is defined as:
- For the NVQs having been an Assessor for the standards being verified, or for standards in a related occupational area for a minimum of one year within the last two years. Programme co-ordinators must confirm the definition of sufficient for their sector as in the Assessment Strategy for their qualification.
- Having demonstrated updating within the last year by at least one of the following activities:
- Study related to job role
- Collaborative working with Awarding Bodies
- Qualification development work
- Other appropriate activity agreed with EV
- Working with and to the current standards
All Internal Verifiers will have:
- Direct responsibility for the quality control of assessments and the quality assurance within the assessment centre that has been approved by an awarding body.
- A sound working knowledge of assessment and verification principles as defined in the National Standards for Internal Quality Assurance and the particular IV requirements.
- Either the relevant qualification for Internal Verifiers of National Standards or have a development plan indicating progress towards that qualification (the latter not applicable to verifiers of Assessor-Learners or verifier-Learners).
The A1/V1 National Standards additionally place increased autonomy on the internal quality assurance process with increased emphasis on activities that are far reaching compared to the old D34 national standards:
- Ensuring organisational health and safety protection procedures are applied within the assessment process.
- Application and monitoring of equal opportunities throughout assessment procedures.
- Monitoring Assessors.
- Supporting Assessors.
- Monitoring and supporting organisational administrative support.
- Monitoring and making recommendations on resources required evaluating the assessment process.
- Allocation of appropriate work-loads
- Monitoring and reporting achievement rates of Learners
- Monitoring the progress and Learner satisfaction with programme.
- Meeting the assessment requirements of Awarding Bodies and other external agencies.
Internal verification/moderation on Non Apprenticeship Programmes
For programmes other than competency based qualifications, the requirements for IV or IM do not include holding a V1/D34 qualification. However the V1 standards identify best practice which the college expects all internal verifiers/moderators to demonstrate through records, appropriate to the quality assurance requirements of specific awarding bodies, or for internally certificated courses – Recognising and Recording Progress and Achievement (RARPA),
Roles of Verifiers at Brightside Training and Consultancy
- i) The Role of the Lead Internal Verifier
The Brightside Training and Consultancy Lead Internal Verifier will ensure that:
- Internal verification or standards moderation arrangements are in place for all programmes, including key skills.
- There are arrangements for staff development for Assessors and Internal Verifiers/Moderators are identified through the internal verification/moderation process and annual progress review.
- There is promotion of good practice in assessment and internal verification/moderations within the organisation.
- Internal Verifiers/Moderators are allocated Assessors to monitor.
- Allocate Internal Verifiers/Moderators to collaborative satellite assessment centres.
- Manage visits by Programme External Verifiers/Moderators/Examiners.
- Ensure all requirements are met as indicated in the Programme External Verifier/Moderation Plan agreed in advance of the visit.
- Issues with the External/Internal Quality Assurance process are reported to the Quality Nominee for the relevant awarding body.
- Monitor action plans from EV reports are implemented.
– Plan and chair minuted internal verifier/moderation and Assessor meetings.
- Plagiarism – to look for plagiarism (use of how to avoid cheating form to be used) – see plagiarism policy.
Programme Internal Verifier/Moderators
The Programme Internal Verifier will ensure that:
- All Assessors allocated to Internal Verifier/Moderator follow all regulatory guidance, e.g.
Learner award body registration
- All Assessors attend standardisation meetings to ensure consistency in the interpretation of the national standards and feedback to the co-ordinating Internal Verifier/Moderator.
- Assessments are sampled systematically to confirm the quality and consistency of decisions and feedback to Assessors recorded.
- Assignment briefs/worksheets are checked regularly to ensure they enable Learners to meet identified units/elements.
- Learner’s achievement records, unit and contact tracking records meet all award body requirements.
- A copy of the External Verifier/Moderator report is filed for open access.
- Plagiarism – to look for plagiarism (use of how to avoid cheating form to be used).
The Internal Verification/Moderation Process
Verifying/ moderating the assessment process
Verifying/moderating the assessment process is seen as having two main objectives:
- Ensure consistent and reliable internal verification/moderation and assessment decisions.
- Monitor the quality of assessment and highlight problems,
- trends and development needs of assessment staff, particularly new staff.
The Apprenticeship Assessment Strategy
It is expected that Internal Verifiers/Moderators will consult the relevant Assessment Strategies produced by the NTO/SSC to determine the following:
- Experience and qualifications required to be held by Assessors.
- Experience and qualifications required by the internal Verifiers/Moderators.
- Rules governing assessment guidelines in performance and simulation
Non QCF Certificate NVQ assessment strategies must be set up in line with the relevant awarding bodies requirements- see hyperlinks in last section
All internally assessed programmes will require a Sampling plan which reflects the needs of Assessors and agreed with the External Verifier/Moderator.
Sampling is the reviewing of assignments/assessments and Assessor’s judgements at a point in time through observation or diverse evidence. In determining the strategy Internal Verifiers/Moderators will need to consider a number of aspects:
- Current Award Body requirements
- Overall risk factor of Assessor
- The Assessor’s experience – new Assessors will require a higher level of sampling to ensure accuracy of assessment.
- Assessment/satellite centres
- Cohorts of Learners
- Problem areas identified through previous sampling and EV reports
- Training needs
- Assessor workload
- Specialist Assessor used in qualification
- Access to assessment and special needs requirements on programme.
In the case of all internally assessed programmes internal verification/moderation must not be “end-loaded” and must incorporate “on-going” internal verification/moderation. Sampling must not be exclusively on portfolio evidence alone and take place on the following basis.
An annual internal verification schedule must be produced identifying which Assessors, Learners, units, types of evidence and locations will be verified.
Assignments, assessments, assessment decisions and evidence must be confirmed as meeting the specific criteria and be (VAS):
- Valid – evidence is relevant to standards and assessment or grading criteria
- Authentic – produced by the Learner
- Sufficient – enough evidence to meet the standards
- Reliable – consistent reflection of Learner’s performance over time
The basic requirements are that the work of all learners should be sampled before their certificate is requested and over time all Assessors and the full range of qualifications are covered. Best practice is that the internal verifier achieves this by thorough planning which must at least in part include observing assessor/learners assessments. See CAMERA
Standardising/Moderating Assessment Practice
The Standardisation of assessment practice is seen as having four main objectives:
- Ensure Assessors consistently make sound and safe decisions.
- Ensure that the Assessors make the same decision on the same evidence base.
- Ensure Learners are fairly assessed.
- Ensure Assessors/internal Verifiers/Moderators received a consistent message.
Standardisation activities have to be arranged and recorded by the Senior Verifier according to the awarding body current requirements and EQA recommendations. It is recommended that one standardisation meeting per term be carried out and recorded with programme teams. However the level of activity will be dependent on information disseminated from the internal.
For vocational programmes a record of standardisation activity is required for the A1 portfolios and for those trainee Assessors their Learners should be included in the sample. The standardisation activity can take different forms but must involve Learners’ evidence –either products or documentation/portfolios being reviewed by different Assessors, or the Assessors could compare the evidence they have collected for a particular course.
There is recognition that Standardisation practice is equally applicable to Internal Verifiers/Moderators as well as Assessors and is a requirement of some courses and awarding bodies e.g. with Edexcel introductory certificates. The Project expects this aspect of the Internal Verifier role to be further developed with teams through the Centre’s Internal Verifier. Any queries as to suitability of an activity can be referred to the Centre’s Operations Manager.
Staff Development/Continuous Professional Development, CPD
The Assessor/verifier standards require evidence of professional updating to include changes in assessment/verification practice and improving professional competence through Awarding Body seminars, training up-dates and appropriate quality events. Standards specify that Assessors and verifiers must have demonstrated updating within the last year involving at least two of the following activities:
- Work placement
- Job shadowing
- Technical skill update training
- Attending relevant courses
- Studying for Learning and Development Units
- Study related to job role
- Collaborative working with awarding bodies
- Qualification development work
- Other appropriate activity agreed with EV.
There are a number of “vehicles” currently in place within Brightside Training and Consultancy’s mechanism that will enable the Manager to effectively identify the above needs to be effectively implemented as a course of events:
- The process of internal verification
- Staff up-date meetings
- Standardisation meetings
- Appraisals and action planning
- External Verifier/Moderator feedback
- Mentoring or shadowing process
Brightside Training and Consultancy recognises that the key communication channel to the training and assessment team is through Trainer/Assessor meetings held within timescales that are appropriate to local needs. This may vary from once a month to bi-monthly. It is the responsibility of the Programme Co-ordinating Internal Verifier to structure the meetings appropriately. However, it is considered that there will be a number of common themes across all areas:
- External Verifier/Moderator Report feedback and actions required
- Proposed internal verification activities
- Monitoring and reporting of Learner achievement
- Learner satisfaction and evaluation data results
- Review and allocation of Learners to Assessors.
- Input from Quality Systems Consultant.