The purpose of Quality Assurance is to ensure quality in all aspects of assessment. This is done through the processes of internal and external verification.
As part of the process of checks to ensure that national standards are maintained, all assessors’ assessment decisions are subject to a process of verification. An internal verifier monitors assessment decisions made by the assessor to ensure they are consistent, fair, valid and reliable.
Methods of Quality Assurance monitoring include:
•Observation of the assessor
•Examination of the portfolio
The External Verifier has a duty to ensure that the assessment within centres and across different centres is to the same standard. To achieve this, EV’s regularly monitor centre’s and may wish to sample portfolios, discuss evidence with candidates or you and check assessment and IV decisions. Typically a centre will receive 2 visits per year from the external verifier. He/she will request in advance to see a selection of learner’s files and meet a selection of assessors. The EV will sample the files to ensure the procedures are being followed, check certificates and centre documentation. The EV visit is graded, this is different between awarding bodies, but with NCFE is it grade 1-5, 1 being outstanding and 5 being poor. Most centre’s who have achieved a grade 1 or 2 consecutively for 2 visits will be granted direct claim status. This means that they will be able to apply for certificates without the EV sampling the files. Your role in Quality Assurance
As an assessor, you have a part to play in contributing to the quality
assurance process. This is done by:
•Making sure your assessment records are accurate and up to date, and can be followed by an audit. •Attend standardisation meetings or contribute to the standardisation process so your assessment decisions are always in line with your colleagues •Follow your centre’s procedures for quality assurance
•Give timely and accurate information on your assessments •Follow internal procedures and QCF and awarding body guidelines •Get involved with EV visits
All workplaces will have standardisation procedures in place. Many will involve 3-6 monthly standardisation meetings. This will normally involve all assessors for a particular qualification and their Internal Verifier. At the meeting evidence produced by your learners and assessment decisions made by you and your assessor colleagues will be compared. This is to ensure that there is a level of consistency and that the decisions being made meet national standards across the team. Equally there will be consideration of evidence that has been deemed not to have met the national standard. The meeting may focus on a particular unit, an assessment method or a type of evidence. It is not a requirement to contribute to this process by attending a meeting. You may be able to contribute at home for example. Standardisation meeting also involve the internal verifier updating assessors on new policies, changes to working practices and feedback from the External verifier relating to assessing and your occupational area.