E1a: Internal Quality Assurance Procedure

This policy does not apply to Higher Education awards provided through Robert Gordon University

1.0 Role of the Internal Quality Assurer

The Internal Quality Assurer is an important role as it maintains and monitors the quality and assurance of qualification, unit delivery and certification and is the main contact between ORMS and the Awarding Body in relation to monitoring activities.

Within the role, the Internal Quality Assurer is expected to:

  1. Develop and follow internal policies, procedures and documentation for the carrying out and maintenance of quality systems in line with Awarding Body requirements;
  2. Ensure all Assessors hold and maintain the required qualifications and occupational expertise to deliver the qualifications and units they have been assigned to;
  3. Provide support to Assessors in relation to procedures and policies for the delivery of the qualifications and units they are assigned to;
  4. Identify training needs and provide ongoing training to Assessors to continually improve the standard of qualification and unit delivery;
  5. Co-ordinate the timely registration and certification claims for learners;
  6. Maintain appropriate records of quality assurance, assessment, registration and certification activities in line with Awarding Body requirements;
  7. Ensure sampling plans take into account the ratio of learners per Assessor per qualification to meet the quality assurance requirements to cover all units delivered within a 12-month period;
  8. Facilitate standardisation activities to support the continuous improvement of qualification and unit delivery;
  9. Ensure all assessment documentation, maintained by Assessors, is complete, up-to-date and legible;
  10. Ensure conflicts of interest are identified and addressed, including not allowing the quality assurance of own assessment work or cross quality assurance where two people quality assure each other’s work;
  11. Conduct observations of Assessors conducting the assessment process;
  12. Conduct learner interviews to monitor and analyse the quality of the assessment process and learner journey;
  13. Provide the required information to Awarding Bodies to aid and facilitate monitoring activities as required;
  14. Impart information and feedback resulting from monitoring activities and ensure all actions are addressed by the indicated timescales;

1.1 Sampling Strategy

Sampling Assessments

Two forms of sampling will be carried out to ensure that quality assurance is maintained. These are:

  1. Interim sampling: dipping into the assessment process whilst the learner is at different stages. This ensures that the assessment of the learner is proceeding satisfactorily following the principles of plan, judge and feedback.
  2. Summative sampling: involves the Internal Quality Assurer reviewing the quality of the assessment decisions by the Assessor. The IQA should be able to follow an audit trail, which clearly demonstrates that the Assessor has checked the validity, authenticity, reliability, currency and sufficiency of the evidence presented.

The IQA must record and report all sampling undertaken in sufficient detail to be able to justify the decision made.  IQA reports will be produced for all sampling and must be signed by both the Assessor and IQA.

Sampling plans must include sampling of all types of:

  1. Learner
  2. Assessors
  3. Methods of assessment
  4. Evidence or Elements
  5. Records
  6. Assessment sites

 

A sampling plan will be maintained for all samplings planned and conducted showing the following information:

  1. Learner name
  2. Qualification Title
  3. Registration number
  4. Start date
  5. Planned end date
  6. Planned interim sampling updated to show actual sampling undertaken including unit number and type of assessment sampled
  7. Planned summative sampling updated to show actual sampling undertaken including unit number and type of assessment sampled

Sampling Rates

Different rates for sampling will be adopted dependent on the experience of the Assessor delivering the qualification or unit they have been assigned to as follows:

Category Required Activities
Newly qualified Assessors;

Assessors new to the centre;

Assessors who are continually falling short of the standard required.

100% sampling rate
Assessor observation every 3-months
Assessors who are in need of development but often meet the standard required 50% sampling rate
Assessor observation every 6-months
Assessors who are experienced with the qualification or unit they have been assigned to and continually meet the standard required 25% sampling rate
Assessor observation every 12-months

The rates above may be subject to change for instance:

  1. Where a qualification is new to the centre the first two cohorts will be sampled at a 100% rate unless otherwise authorised by the Awarding Body.
  2. Where the sampling strategy of the Awarding Body overrides that of the centre due to the risk rating or actions resulting from monitoring activities
  3. Where a contractual requirement requires additional sampling to take place (N.B. this will not override the requirements of the previous two instances where this sampling rate would require a lesser sampling rate to be adopted)

Standardising Assessment and Quality Assurance Judgments

Standardisation (also referred to as benchmarking or moderating) is an important part of the duties of the Internal Quality Assurer.

  • Regular meetings will be held to conduct standardisation exercises;
  • Meetings to be held on a quarterly basis (more frequent as required or on release of new standards);
  • Meetings to cover feedback from Awarding Body(ies) monitoring activities, assessment good practice and interpretation of standards and qualification specifications;
  • Meetings to cover feedback from learners as to satisfaction levels of both assessment practice and sessions attended;
  • Exercises using real learners’ evidence to be used in order to standardise the assessment decision process.

Minutes of meetings will be produced and copies kept for viewing during Awarding Body(ies) monitoring activities.

2.0 Managing Quality

The systems and processes described above have been designed to maintain the quality of assessment and to ensure that we adhere to the requirements of any Awarding Body(ies).

For external monitoring activities, the Internal Quality Assurer is required to have the following information readily available:

  • Centre File containing all documents
  • Numbers of current registered learners per qualification/unit
  • Internal Quality Assurer and Assessor details – especially CVs, up to date CPD records and current Assessor caseloads
  • Copies of relevant staff certificates
  • Assessment records and plans
  • Internal Quality Assurance sampling strategy
  • Internal Quality Assurance records including feedback to Assessors, Assessor observations and learner interviews
  • Learner evidence records and documentary evidence
  • Records of claims for certification

The Internal Quality Assurer will be responsible for ensuring that all action points raised through Awarding Body monitoring activities are addressed within the specified timescale(s).

Claims for certification can only be made by an Internal Quality Assurer holding the appropriate qualification or directive from the Awarding Body.

Assessor Observations

The Internal Quality Assurer will complete observations of delivery and assessment to ensure the management of the quality of the programme

  • Direct observation of the Assessor in action and giving feedback on performance
  • Direct observation of an Assessor’s planning and review activities with learners

These observations will be conducted, at a minimum, on the timeframes listed earlier in this document and clear evidence of the conducting of these will be maintained for viewing by the Awarding Body during monitoring activities.

Evidence of the enactment of any associated actions will be recorded and kept within the quality assurance folder for viewing by the Awarding Body during monitoring activities.

Learner Questionnaires

The Internal Quality Assurer will ensure that learners complete survey questionnaires to gather their feedback about their experience of the programme or unit of study. This will help to ensure the management of the quality of the programme. Survey questionnaires will be planned to be conducted, at a minimum, on a 6-monthly basis so that each qualification is subject to learner questionnaires being conducted every 6-months. Where learners are studying short courses, then they will be asked to complete a survey questionnaire at the end of the short course.

The results of the survey questionnaires will be analysed and improvement plans developed and enacted in order to promote the continued improvement of the delivery and certification of qualifications and units within the centre.

Copies of the analysis of results and resulting improvement plans will be kept within the quality assurance folder for viewing by the Awarding Body during monitoring activities.