Internal Quality Assurance Policy

1.      Policy Statement

Internal Quality Assurance (IQA) is the process of ensuring that training delivery and assessment practice is monitored in order to ensure that they meet or exceed national standards.  At Vision Training (North East) Limited we operate a robust internal quality assurance system, to maintain the consistency and accuracy of assessments and ensure continual development of our working practices, resources, processes and procedures.  This supports our aim to encourage and enable knowledge gathering and realise achievement through quality delivery. We regularly monitor our National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Centre; our Quality Assessment Coordinator (QAC) frequently reviews all training delivery taking place in the centre and Internal Quality Assurance is carried out on an ongoing basis to ensure consistent assessment standards are maintained following the awarding body guidelines, all learner portfolios are included in the Internal Quality Assessment routines.  

2.      Purpose

  • To meet and exceed the requirements placed upon us by:
      • QCF
      • The awarding bodies
      • Learners
      • Employment Partners
      • College Partners
  • To support all employees to have excellent working practices, through provision of formative training, supervision, observation and sampling processes.
  • To support and develop assessors/trainers in their working practices by affording them the opportunity to receive critically supportive comment on
      • The assessment decisions reached on portfolio evidence
      • Training/teaching techniques applied
  • To ensure provision of secure, hospitable, inspiring and engaging settings for learners.
  • To provide a continuous check on the consistency and quality of delivery and the consistency, quality and fairness of marking, grading and overall assessment of learner evidence.
  • To ensure that valid, consistent assessment decisions are reached and external requirements are fully met.
  • To develop and maintain internal and external associations based on quality, belief and integrity.

And so to encourage and uphold quality in all that we do.


3.      Scope

All employees and candidates/learners Internal Quality Assurance of any work practices, documents and evidence that impact on the delivery, examination and assessment of qualifications and training supplied by Vision Training (North East) Limited.  

4.      Roles and Responsibilities

4.1          Centre Manager/Lead IV Centre Manager/Lead IV is responsible for ensuring that

  • The quality requirements of the awarding bodies and partners are met in the delivery and assessment of qualifications
  • IQA policies and procedures are sufficient, regularly reviewed and known, understood and implemented by all.
  • All employees involved in the processes of delivery of services are appropriately trained and qualified through provision of rigorous recruitment processes, induction training and continual development.
  • All employees involved in IQA processes are appropriately trained and qualified through provision of rigorous recruitment processes, induction training and continual development.

4.2          Inducting employees Employees involved in induction of candidates/learners are responsible for ensuring:

  • Checking the identity of the candidate/learner
  • All paperwork is fully and accurately completed
  • That candidates/learners are inducted into their chosen programme in a way that meets their needs.

4.3          Assessors/Trainers Assessors/trainers are responsible for ensuring that: •   Candidates/learners are aware of

  • The different types of evidence that they can collect to prove competence of knowledge and working practices.
  • Their responsibilities in the collection, authentication and presentation of evidence.
  • The candidates/learners are fully supported throughout the term of their qualification. This should include:
    • Assessing the persons learning style and discussing their preferred ways of learning
    • Effective management evidence gathering, assessment and attainment
    • Agreeing and recording assessment and visit plans for each person
    • Completing regular reviews with the person and their employer to review progress and agree new targets
    • Providing the person with prompt, accurate, formative and summative feedback.
    • Demonstration of antidiscriminatory practice and equal opportunities
    • Maintenance of confidentiality and compliance with the Data Protection Act.

•   They observe learners’ performance through formative assessment and/or in simulated situations, and/or conduct other forms of assessment in accordance with the qualification and unit standards and requirements of the QCF and the awarding body.  Such as

  • ensuring validity, authenticity, currency and sufficiency of evidence
  • maintaining appropriate, accurate and verifiable records0
  • confirming that learners have demonstrated competence/knowledge and have completed the required documentation

•   As required they make themselves available and organise for their allocated candidates/learners (and their portfolios) to be available to:

  • The Lead IV
  • Their Internal Quality Assurer
  • External Quality Assurers

4.4          Internal Quality Assurers

Internal Quality assurers are responsible for ensuring that:

  • They lead, advise and support the assessors/trainers allocated to them through:
  • Ensuring adherence to the principles of assessment and guidance provided by the centre
  • Provision of guidance on the interpretation and application of assessment criteria correctly and consistently applied
  • Observation and supply of formative feedback on working practices
  • Sampling of assessment activities such as assessment decisions, formative feedback supplied, completion of portfolio documents etc.
  • Ensuring assessors have opportunities for updating and developing their vocational and professional competence
  • Portfolios of evidence are valid, authentic, current and sufficient by:
  • Following the sampling plan
  • Ensuring that all learners portfolios are sampled for each component
  • Carrying out a quality audit of the documentation used within and format of the portfolios of evidence
  • Supporting, countersigning, dating assessments and quality assuring judgements by assessors and Internal Quality Assurers not holding the appropriate assessor/Internal Quality Assurer qualifications as approved and specified by the Regulatory Authorities.

•   Supporting Vision Training (North East) Limited to meet its goals by

  • Undertaking an active role in raising issues of good practice in assessment
  • Ensuring that equal opportunities and antidiscriminatory practices are upheld in the assessment process
  • Liaising with other IQAs and the External Quality Assurer to implement the requirements of the assessment system
  • Ensuring that all Learners’ achievement records and Centre documentation are completed in accordance with requirements
  • Attending regular IQA meetings

5.      Policy Implementation – Procedures

The IQA policy must be applied to every programme with work that is internally assessed and which contributes to the final assessment outcome of a candidate/learner.

Assessors and Internal Quality Assurers will be given sufficient time, resources and authority to perform their roles and responsibilities effectively.  Dependant on the range of qualifications being delivered, the needs of the individual learners and fluctuating business needs assessors working full time can expect an average of 50 learners allocated to them, with their part time colleagues working a prorate of this average.

5.1          Qualifications

Only appropriately qualified and experienced employees must carry out un-supported assessment, all assessors must have significant experience in the sector of the qualification and must possess one of the following:

  • Level 3 Award in Assessing Competence in the Work Environment – for assessing occupational competence in the workplace
  • Level 3 Award in Assessing Vocationally Related Achievement – for assessing vocational skills and knowledge outside the workplace, for example in classrooms or workshops
  • Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement – for assessing both occupational competence in the workplace, and skills, knowledge and understanding outside the workplace.
  • A1/A2

Trainee assessors must be working towards an assessor qualification prior to carrying out any assessment processes.  Any assessment decisions must be checked and countersigned by a qualified assessor.

Appropriately qualified staff must carry out all internal quality assurance. Employees are required to have achieved:

  • NVQAssessorA1Award
  • NVQ/QCF Assessor Certificate
  • V1Award.

Where trainee internal quality assurers undertake IQA, this must be verified by a qualified IQA and countersigned

5.2          Sampling

All IQAs must follow the sampling plan developed and maintained by the Lead IV.

Sampling must be across all assessors, all types of evidence and all learners including plans, reviews and records in addition to candidate evidence.

Frequency of assessment will be decided following a risk assessment of the assessor, looking at experience and competence, but to meet the requirements of the awarding bodies and our partners all portfolios will be quality assured the IQA will at the minimum:

  • Sample at least one piece of evidence for each component of the qualification, both formative and summative assessment should take place.
  • For each piece of evidence sampled the IQA must
    • update the sampling plan
    • complete and sign the relevant IQA paperwork
    • give the assessor written formative feedback
    • produce an action plan (if appropriate)
    • Inform the assessor that the portfolio is ready for collection
    • If actions required re-sample the evidence to ensure actions are completed within the agreed timescale
  • Quality audit each portfolio
    • Complete the File Audit Paperwork
    • give the assessor written formative feedback
    • produce an action plan (if appropriate)
    • Inform the assessor that the portfolio is ready for collection
    • If actions required re-sample the evidence to ensure actions are completed within the agreed timescale

Completed IQA paperwork will be stored in the relevant portfolio, the file audit in its section and the component sampling with the units/components grid sheet.

The IQA must sign and date:

  • Any paperwork audited
  • Each criteria sampled on the
    • grid sheet, next to the sampled criteria
    • evidence, next to the sampled criteria
  • The evidence index

Where the sampling is of a completed unit the IQA must also sign and date:

  • The bottom of the unit grid sheet
  • The unit on the sign off sheet

Where the component is completed the IQA must also sign and date:

  • The rest of the units of the component on the sign off sheet

The assessor should then ask the Business Support Team to request certification of the component.

IQA must be carried out continuously throughout the year. In addition to this, each programme will identify the appropriate periods of time when IQA takes place on the target sheet.  The final IQA must be completed within four weeks of the completion of the course and must take place before assessment decisions are finalised and notified to students and certification is requested.

5.3          Observations

All assessors will have at least one observation per year by their allocated IQA

Assessors will also be regularly observed by an outside party who will provide Vision Training (North East) Ltd with a written report and expected Ofsted marking.

IQA observation should include

  • Sight of Learning Plan
  • Agreement of objectives for the meeting/visit/session
  • Learnerperformance and stretching
  • Embedding of Functional Skills, Safeguarding and Equality & Diversity
  • Questioning / Assessment / Training / Self-guided learning
  • Formativefeedback
  • Recap of learning achieved
  • Agreement of next steps
  • Completion of CAR sheet

The observation will be recorded on an Observation of Assessor Practice Form.

Feedback from an IQA observation of trainer delivery must be delivered to the relevant trainer as soon as practicable, preferably by the end of the working day, any actions should then be agreed and the Observation of Assessor Practice form should be updated and then signed by the IQA and assessor to confirm accuracy of the information it contains.

A copy of the form should be forwarded to the Lead IV and the original filed in the Assessors Personnel File

5.4          Interview of Learner

Once a year the IQA will interview at least one candidate/learner for each of their allocated assessors.  There are set interview questions on the Learner Interview Record, all of which should be asked, but all may not be applicable.

Once complete a copy of the record should be forwarded to the Lead IV and the original filed on the Assessors Personnel File.

5.5          Disagreement of IQA findings

Every assessor has the right to challenge an IQA decision made on their assessment decisions/the candidates portfolio.  The assessor should indicate their disagreement on the relevant IQA form and bring it to the attention of the IQA within 5 working days of being informed that the portfolio is ready for collection following an IQA.

Where there is a challenge made the assessor and IQA must in the first instance meet and discuss the challenge informally, if agreement can then be made, this should be indicated on the IQA form and then no further action is required.

If an agreement cannot be reached then this goes to:

5.5.1      Stage One Appeal

The lead IV will allocate another IQA to investigate the challenge.  They will discuss the IQA report with the assessor and the first IQA and will IQA the piece of evidence/document themselves and will inform the Lead IV of the results of their investigation.

The Lead IV will inform both parties of the result.

That decision can be appealed by either party and will then go to:

5.5.2      Stage 2 Appeal

The Lead IV will listen to all parties, review the evidence and will rule on evidence/document.  The lead IVs decision is final.

5.6          Standardisation & Development

The centre will host

  • at least 12 standardisation meetings per year
  • at least 12 team development meetings every year

These meetings will normally be held at the same time and include a general team meeting.

These meetings are also used to discuss any updates from the awarding body, QCF and partners to ensure understanding and consistency of delivery and supply assessors and IQAs with packs of information on the same.   

All assessors and IQAs must attend these meetings unless they are on Annual/Sick/Special Leave.  Other meetings and visits must not be scheduled when standardisation meetings are scheduled.

Assessor development & standardisations will be recorded in the meetings minutes and all employees must update their CPD with details of development.

All employees are encouraged to continually develop their skills and knowledge in their assessment sectors and in teaching and training techniques.

5.7          IQA Team Meetings

All Internal Quality Assurers must attend bi-monthly IQA meetings chaired by the Lead IV, these meetings are used to discuss:

  • Any new standards
  • Any new awarding body guidance
  • Required standardisations
  • Any issues since the last meeting
  • Expected standards

5.8          Assessor Mentoring – Individual Meetings

Please see Supervision and Appraisal Policy and Procedures

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