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Evaluate the importance of quality assurance in the assessment process

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    301.6.1: Evaluate the importance of quality assurance in the assessment process

    Internal Quality Assurance (IQA)
    Within an organisation it is likely that more than one tutor/trainer/assessor will be involved in the teaching/training/assessing of a course. There is therefore a need to maintain consistency and this cannot be left to chance.

    To maintaining consistency and ensure reliability of assessment an IQA process is set up to ensure the learners’ work is regularly sampled. This means appointing appropriate member(s) of staff as internal quality assurer(s)/verifier(s) to check that processes and procedures are applied consistently and to provide feedback to both the team concerned and to the awarding body.

    The development of a sampling strategy and plan must be drawn up and implemented by those undertaking the IQA role. An IQA system needs to develop sampling based on the principles of ‘CAMERA’. This means plans include sampling of all types of Candidates

    Methods of assessment
    Assessment sites
    Discussing and sharing ideas about assessment strategies with others in the team as well as the interpretation and implementation of assessment criteria and associated guidelines as presented in course documentation. This is often done through regular standardisation meetings to ensure opportunities exist for all involved to meet to discuss a range of problems and potential solutions for issues arising relating to a range of issues including assessment.

    External Quality Assurance
    Maintaining standards between organisations is also vital. Just as IQA
    works to ensure reliability among assessors within an organisation, so an external quality assurance (EQA) process works to ensure reliability between organisations in relation to consistent application of assessment criteria. External quality assurers/external verifiers are not employed by the organisation concerned so are regarded as unbiased and impartial. Their main responsibility is to the awarding body. An external verifier frequently has responsibility for several organisations in a given geographical area. Once the external verification process has been carried out the external verifiers meet to discuss and evaluate their work. Consistent application of procedures and criteria is a condition that training organisations must meet in order to continue to offer a specific programme. If an external verifier decides that an organisation is not running a programme properly the awarding body may remove the organisation’s right to offer the award. Likewise if particular organisation wants to run an existing programme for the first time the external verifier will be responsible for giving the college approval. This is known as the validation or approval process. Regional moderation meetings are also often organised by awarding bodies and these provide opportunities to meet others from different organisations to discuss and reflect on assessment procedures and quality assurance. Samples of candidates’ marked work are circulated, leading to helpful discussions regarding interpretation of criteria as well as the various assessment processes, procedures and strategies used.

    For City & Guilds External Quality Assurance involves:
    Approval of centres
    Monitoring of learning delivery
    Monitoring of assessment practice
    Monitoring of internal quality assurance practices

    The value of the above processes cannot be under-estimated. As a tutor/trainer/assessor it is a great help to get feedback from the verification process at any stage. Constructive feedback from any/all of the above quality assurance procedures can aid professional development and boost confidence for all involved but particularly for less experienced staff. Other stakeholders in the quality assurance process:

    The learners:
    They must be confident that they are being treated fairly and consistently, that they will have what they need to complete their qualification and that their award/qualification will be worth the paper it is written on. Awarding bodies realise the importance of involving them in different parts of the programme/ When an external verifier visits an organisation s/he will not only verify the learners’ work and check that all the correct procedures are in place but will also meet and talk to the learners. Involving the learners in this process creates a sense of ownership of the process which helps motivation and achievement as well as increasing transparency of the process and therefore confidence in it.

    306.6.1:Internal Quality Assurance (IQA)

    Extract from City & Guilds Level 3 & 4 Awards & Certificates in Assessment and Quality Assurance Qualification handbook for centres


    For City & Guilds External Quality Assurance involves:
    Approval of centres
    Monitoring of learning delivery
    Monitoring of assessment practice
    Monitoring of internal quality assurance practices

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