The awarding body and training provider both need to have access to information gathered through internal quality assurance of assessment. Each awarding body will need to approve the systems used by each training provider and the external quality assurer would also need to have access to this and could also require training on how to utilise the systems in place for when they visit.
Any information relating to candidates, assessor/trainers and IQAs should be managed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and this would also include any assessment decisions made for candidates and assessor/trainers. All staff in a training provision should be aware of local policy as well as the Act itself and should therefore be aware of who can and cannot have access to any records that are kept. There are 8 data protection principles that are:-
1) Data is processed fairly and lawfully
2) Data is obtained only for specified and lawful purposes
3) Data must be adequate and relative not be excessive
4) Data should be accurate and up to date
5) Data should not be kept longer than necessary
6) Data is processed in accordance with person’s rights
7) Data is securely kept
8) Data is not transferred to any other country without adequate protection in place
These principles are relevant to the internal quality assurance record keeping, in particular for information that is kept electronically or intended for transfer from paper to electronic storage at a later date. All paper based information must be kept securely in a locked cabinet and any electronic information should be password protected.
Further to this, as mentioned before, the law changes at the end of May 2018 to the General Data Protection Regulations which is a Europe-wide piece of legislation which requires any personal information kept about anyone to do with the training provider to also be better protected and for companies to be accountable and answerable for any such information kept, what they use it for and how they use it. One outcome of this can be seen in attachments to emails that are sent that contain any personal information are now password protected, with the recipient also having access to a password to be able to view the document.
Understand legal and good practice requirements for the internal quality assurance of assessment
Evaluate legal issues, policies and procedures relevant to the internal quality assurance of assessment, including those for health, safety and welfare
There are a number of legal issues and consideration for an IQA. Examples of these include:-
The Data Protection Act gives individuals the right to know what information is being held about them and it provides a framework in which that information is held properly and securely. The Act also gives clear requirements as to how each person’s personal information is kept and used by an organisation, business or the government within the Data Protection Principles as described in more detail in 5.1. With the onset of the GDPR, individuals also have the right to know what their information is being used for and for what purposes.
Safeguarding entails protecting an individual’s health, wellbeing, safety and rights to enable people to live free from harm, abuse or neglect. Safeguarding is considered fundamental in order to create safe working environments, but also a safe environment for any client. There is an element of shared responsibility with regards to safeguarding between an IQA, an assessor/trainer, the learner and the learner’s setting in order that any person is treated as an individual and with dignity and respect. These rights of the individual are underpinned by the Human Rights Act 1998 and places the duty of care onto any of the above people to intervene and protect the rights of each citizen.
Equality and diversity
The Equality Act 2010 highlights 9 protected characteristics that any person cannot be discriminated against. These are age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex and sexual orientation. It is important to monitor an assessor/trainer’s assessment decisions so that they are not making unfair assessment decisions for a learner based on any of these characteristics.
Health and safety
It is the responsibility of all employee’s to read, keep updated and follow all health and safety legislation as well as related local policies and procedures. As an IQA, I would need to make sure that assessor/trainers follow these requirements and ensure that appropriate risk assessments are in place, especially Safe Systems of Work and Method Statements, Health and Safety Policies and that competent persons are trained as health and safety officers.
It is the responsibility of the training provider to provide relevant training to its assessor/trainers, such as first aid, and to keep this updated with training, research and continuing support.
In order for a qualification to be recognised as part of National Qualifications Framework (NQF) it must be accredited through one of the recognised awarding bodies, which are regulated by the government appointed statutory education bodies, Ofqual, Ofsted and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).
Evaluate different ways in which technology can contribute to the internal quality assurance of assessment
Technology can contribute to the internal quality assurance of assessment with the use of audio and visual recording of evidence as well as using email correspondence between assessor/trainers, learners and the IQA. Technology is also utilised by providing online functional skills tests as well as encouraging assessor/trainers and learners to submit work electronically.
Technology can also be used for further e-learning, electronic portfolios and other accessible and user-friendly computerised records. The increasing use of e-portfolios gives the opportunity for IQAs to sample evidence remotely which is a more effective use of time and resources.
All of the above uses of technology can contribute to the internal quality assurance by providing clear audit trails which can be followed, although each has its strengths and weaknesses, such as an assessor/trainer who may have learners who are IT literate being able to submit work electronically whereas other learners may not have regular access to a computer, at which point the assessor/trainer should offer other varied assessment methods such as paper based recording which could include product evidence, professional discussion or oral questioning.
Explain the value of reflective practice and continuing professional development in relation to internal quality assurance
Reflective practice is a vital part of an individual’s continuing professional development. It enables the reflector to consider what they have done in a particular situation, how it went and what they might do to improve the situation should similar circumstances occur. This, in turn, helps a reflector to gain knowledge, confidence and ability.
In relation to internal quality assurance, an IQA can utilise their experience within the sector by working with and developing other assessor/trainers, other quality assurance professionals and learners.
The IQA would also need to be aware of awarding body and training provider requirements and be able to communicate and changes and updates to assessor/trainers, as well as providing continuing professional development for the assessor/trainers by sharing effective working practices and adhering to current standards as well as maintaining up to date knowledge regarding assessment standards as they develop.
I would use reflective practices when delivering or attending supervision or appraisals to help recognise where knowledge could be improved as well as to identify methods, ways and opportunities to do this. I would also utilise feedback from learners, settings, colleagues and management in order to facilitate the reflective process.
Evaluate requirements for equality and diversity and, where appropriate, bilingualism, in relation to the internal quality assurance of assessment
As an IQA I would need to ensure that assessor/trainers and I have the principles of the Equality Act foremost in our minds in any assessment process, making sure that we consider the protected characteristics and do not make any assessment decision that could be construed as violating any of these. For example, if a learner has English as their second language the assessor/trainer may enquire for advice on how to complete the relevant criteria with that learner. I would advise the assessor/trainer to consider alternatives to written work, such as professional discussion, oral questioning, observations and witness testimonies. The assessor/trainer could then use these methods in supporting that learner to complete their qualification in a timely manner.
Legislation, employment regulations and local policies and codes of conduct actively promote equality and value diversity, such as someone who may have a visual or auditory impairment, physical disability or that has English as second language. Therefore, an as IQA, I need to be checking and monitoring for assessor/trainer’s flexibility in approach and planning for each learner’s assessments. In order to do this I need to be mindful of timing and context, while providing any additional resources for assessor/trainers so that they can meet any additional support needs as well as being able to gather evidence in the most appropriate way for their learner.
Ultimately, I must support assessor/trainers to support their learners so that they are not disadvantaged and that any assessment remains fair. I should also use and encourage use of language that is appropriate and non-discriminatory.