Version:5; Last Review: November 2018; Review Date: October 2019; Author: Dawn Hughes
CQM Training & Consultancy Ltd (CQM T&C) has a robust approach towards quality assurance. Our aim is to continuously check, review and revise our processes and to ensure that we always provide the highest standards in delivery and assessment. CQM T&C is an approved centre for several awarding bodies, as well as being a delivery partner for a college and direct delivery of our own ESFA contract. As such we are regularly monitored according to their processes and quality assurance frameworks.
Internal Quality Assurance (IQA) forms one part of the Company’s Quality Assurance Process and focuses on our responsibilities as a centre to ensure:
- An appropriate design of a programme to meet all qualification or unit specifications and rules of combination, as well as meeting the criteria of the framework or standard
- Effective delivery that meets learner expectations and agreed learner journey
- The accuracy and consistency of assessment decisions between assessors
- Assessors are consistent in their interpretation of qualification or national occupational standards
- Maintenance of documentation audit trail to enable certification and distribution to learners
- Monitoring, review and evaluation for continuous improvement
Assessors and Internal Quality Assurers
Assessors are selected for their relevant occupational competence. They must hold the Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement (CAVA) or A1 or D32/33 or be working towards CAVA. They must be current practitioners and be able to demonstrate a clear understanding of the role of assessor. Where a new assessor is recruited, they are provided with a clear action plan for achieving the level 3 units within a maximum of 18 months. The assessor will be sampled accordingly in line with the sampling strategy (see sampling strategy). During this time, they are coached and supported by the Internal Quality Assurer (IQA). The IQA will give sufficient support and have relevant technical/occupational familiarity for the area of verification and be fully conversant with the units. The IQA will hold the Training, Assessment, Quality, Assurance (TAQA) or V1 or D34.
It is the responsibility of the Lead IQA to hold standardisation meetings. These will be organised periodically, but there will be a minimum of four standardisation meetings per year. Items for discussion will include (but not limited to) the following:
- IQA strategy
- IQA tracking
- IQA actions
- Standardisation / best practice
- Actions from EQA visits
- Feedback from inspections or self-assessment reports
- Changes in procedures, paperwork, funding partner processes
- Development sessions
Key actions will be recorded, resolved and retained for future review, as required. Actions will also inform the Quality Improvement Plan (QIP).
In all cases the assessment strategy for the qualification must be consulted for specific requirements. It is good practice to follow the ‘CAMERA’ model:
|Factors||Sampling must cover/consider|
|Candidates/Learners||Ethnicity, age, gender, whether candidates are employed full or part time and any special arrangements|
|Assessors||Experience (new assessors are higher risk), feedback from EQA visits, qualifications, workload, occupational experience|
|Methods of assessment||Questioning, observation, testimony, RPL, use of simulation, product evidence, assignments, projects and tests|
|Evidence types||Written confirmation that evidence is valid, authentic, current, sufficient plus a focus on any special requirements and identified problem units|
|Records||All documentation relating to assessments and assessment feedback to learners|
|Assessment locations||Different assessment locations|
In all cases the Sampling Strategy will reflect the risk analysis of the qualification, assessor and learners. The IQA verification process will sample across all activity and delivery sites. Sampling will include the type of activity undertaken, evidence, knowledge and feedback. This will be an integral part of the IQA role and form part of the standardisation process. As in the table above, the choice of focus could depend upon many factors including identified issues in assessment of the unit, feedback from EQA and concerns about standardisation.
The IQA will conduct four visits per site, per year and along with sampling learner portfolios, this can include Assessor observations, learner interviews and quality checks on reviews, as well as checking progress over time. The sampling records will be completed by the IQA and uploaded to show live sampling through all delivery sites, qualification, learners and assessors for monitoring purposes.
The IQA will be responsible for conducting candidate interviews across each programme. This is to provide a holistic approach towards maintaining high standards and provide feedback to assessors as appropriate. The percentage of interviews will be flexible and be supportive of the assessment process and not impede the learner unnecessarily.
The sampling strategy (shown below) will be reviewed every 12 months.
|Qualification||Qualifying Assessor*||Assessor new to Qualification||Experienced Assessor|
|Completely New to Centre||20%||20%||20%|
*Refers to IQA sample, all decisions must be 100% sampled by qualified assessor.
In addition, for candidates who are being part claimed, a minimum of 10% of the units being claimed for that candidate will be desk sampled, irrespective of the sampling rules above.
All IQA decisions will be captured on IT collection systems, to be completed on site as the IQA activity takes place. The overall IQA sampling programme is managed from the ‘IQA Tracker’. Then each IQA activity is captured in the ‘Learner Journey’ document which manages the qualification process by Group and by Client. The summary feedback from the systems will be discussed at each standardisation meeting.
This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis.