|Date of Issue||01/10/2020|
|Next Scheduled Review||01/08/2021|
|Policy Owner||End-Point Assessment Operations Manager|
|Contact Phone Number||03333583344|
|Approved by||Leadership Team|
|Policy Relates to:||End-Point Assessment Provision|
|Policy is for the use of:||Training Providers, Apprentices, TQUK Employees, Third Parties|
|Should be read in conjunction with:||Appeals Policy, Conflicts of Interest Policy, Malpractice and Maladministration Policy|
Apprentice progress and achievement is underpinned by the delivery of consistent and high-quality assessment and internal quality assurance. Standardising all aspects of assessment practice ensures quality assurance and helps all involved to reflect upon and develop their own practice.
Training Qualifications UK (TQUK) expects all staff to have relevant expertise to enable them to make fair and consistent grading decisions for all Apprentices when both assessing and moderating assessment decisions. This expectation extends to require continuous and active commitment from all staff engaged in TQUK activity linked to assessment and internal quality assurance.
Internal quality assurance sets out a clear framework allowing good practice to be easily shared and areas for improvement to be identified and addressed. TQUK ensures that staff involved in assessment and internal quality assurance activity have access to robust induction and thereafter on-going training and support.
TQUK Internal Responsibility
The End-Point Assessment Department is responsible for the maintenance and compliance of this policy. If the End-Point Assessment Operations Manager is absent, the Responsible Officer will appoint another member of the Leadership Team to ensure all of TQUK’s actions and activities are in line with the content of this policy.
We will review the policy annually as part of our self-evaluation process and revise it as and when necessary in response to feedback or requests from External Quality Assurers (EQAs). We may also update this policy as part of good practice guidance issued by the regulatory authorities (e.g. to align with any assessment and internal quality assurance processes established by the regulatory authorities such as Ofqual).
The annual review of this policy will be undertaken by the End-Point Assessment Department approximately four weeks prior to the submission of TQUK’s Statement of Compliance to our regulators. Any amendments or updates to this policy will be approved by TQUK’s Leadership Team.
If you have any points or feedback regarding this policy, please contact us via the details provided at the start of this policy.
Training Provider’s Responsibility
It is important that Training Provider staff involved in the management and delivery of Apprenticeships, and your Apprentices, are aware of the contents of this policy.
The aim of this policy is to ensure high quality, fair and consistent assessment practice, grading of Apprentice work and internal quality assurance practice across all EPA activities where TQUK acts as End-Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO).
It aims to support practice meeting national standards and those outlined by EQAs and other regulatory bodies, whilst supporting Apprentice success by showcasing a framework for assessment and internal quality assurance that enables Apprentices to best prepare for and perform in outlined End-Point Assessment (EPA) activities. This policy aims to outline methods for sharing feedback to Apprentices, Training Providers and Employers, which enables and promotes Apprentice success and provides a positive assessment experience.
This policy applies to all staff involved in assessment and internal quality assurance activity including producing multiple choice questions/tests, writing assessments activities, conducting observations, performing professional discussions, marking Apprentice work in any format, giving feedback to Apprentices on their work, conducting invigilation and verifying colleagues’ assessment design, marking, professional conduct and grading judgements.
Assessed work constitutes any task, activity, essay, test or project that contributes to the Apprentices’ achievement, including individual assessment and overall Apprenticeship grades.
All assessments must be appropriate, valid and reliable, and produced using the current Apprenticeship standards assessment plan. It is the responsibility of all staff involved with assessment and internal quality assurance to be aware of all such associated guidance.
Apprentices should be clearly informed of all assessment and internal quality assurance processes, including detail as to how each EPA activity will be conducted and feedback provided.
For the purpose of this policy, internal quality assurance is a process which routinely monitors assessment practice in order to ensure that assessments are appropriately aligned to relevant Apprenticeship standard assessment plans. In addition, it provides a regular and robust monitoring process to ensure that TQUK assessment practice is consistent in relation to grading, accuracy, and above all is fair.
For the purpose of this policy, the term internal quality assurance (IQA) encompasses all forms of activity that check and validate assessment. It may be implemented through the systems of quality assurance as required by regulatory bodies, or it may occur through shared observation of Apprentice activities, desk based review activities, second marking of Apprentice work, or team grading/assessment of Apprentice work.
Roles and Responsibilities in Relation to Assessment and IQA
- Driving assessment and internal quality assurance, actively and demonstrably applying the principles of all associated policies and procedures in all aspects of their work;
- Approving and making applications for all new Apprenticeship standards for which it seeks to act as the EPAO with a focus upon capability and capacity to undertake assessments as set out in assessment plans;
- Periodically reviewing provision in relation to the above at a strategic level and communicating their decisions clearly and quickly to all TQUK staff members and associated business partners;
- Ensure that assessment and IQA targets and practice are included as a Key Performance Indicators in annual reviews and are scrutinised as part of annual self-assessment processes.
End-Point Assessment Director
- Act as a key point of contact for all EQA activity, conduct any associated annual reviews and develop relationships;
- Review, and revise as required, all key policies and documents relating to assessment and internal quality assurance in liaison with the End-Point Assessment Operations Manager;
- Drive and support the implementation of innovation in assessment and IQA to improve practice and the learner experience;
- Devise, review and implement the assessment and IQA strategy;
- Conduct reviews of the quality of assessment and IQA processes within each Apprenticeship standard to identify and share best practice and support areas for improvement, thus setting SMART targets at Apprenticeship standard and organisation level to improve practice;
- Support the creation and offer of staff CPD to improve practice and share expertise;
- Provide sound induction and training opportunities to all new staff.
End-Point Assessment Assessor Manager
- Implement a programme of pre and post assessment standardisation events.
End-Point Assessment Coordinators
- Support the Leadership Team in the application process for all new Apprenticeship standards for which it seeks to act as the EPAO;
- Take operational responsibility for ensuring the successful implementation of all associated policies and procedures to enable effective assessment and IQA practice to be fully adopted by all staff involved;
- Ensure all staff involved in assessment/IQA are fully aware of their role and responsibilities;
- Ensure the recruitment and appointment to assessment and IQA roles is appropriate and in line with TQUK’s expectations;
- Oversee the registration and certification claiming processes;
- Support the implementation of a programme of pre and post assessment standardisation events;
- Contribute to the development and improvement of TQUK internal systems and processes relating to EPA activity;
- Ensure that sound induction processes are in place to support all new staff.
End-Point Assessment Officers
- Process all registrations;
- Process all completed claims and submit to the ESFA for certification.
Lead Internal Quality Assurers
- Implement the assessment and IQA policy at standard level;
- Produce an IQA plan/strategy for given Apprenticeship standards;
- Play an active role in the assessment planning stage to ensure expectations
and requirements are fully met, leading to an outstanding learning experience
for all Apprentices;
- Carry out sampling of all IQAs to ensure consistency in standard and support and
develop IQA practice;
- Oversee External Quality Assurance (EQA) activities;
- Report all matters relating to malpractice to the Quality and Compliance Manager;
- Conduct as a minimum standardisation activities/meetings three times annually;
- Monitor Apprentice progress and grades;
- Monitor and deliver CPD Activities to assessors and IQAs.
Internal Quality Assurers
- Implement the Lead Internal Quality Assurance (LIQA) sampling plan;
- Play an active role in the assessment planning stage to ensure expectations and requirements are fully met, leading to an outstanding learning experience for all Apprentices;
- Use subject specialism to sample assessed work to verify assessors’ judgements;
- Provide clear feedback to aid the development of assessors’ practice;
- Perform standardisation meetings/activities;
- Partake in regular CPD activities.
- Implement the assessment plan/strategy;
- Play an active role in the assessment planning stage to ensure expectations and requirements are fully met;
- Follow the assessment plan, making adjustments as required to meet the needs of Apprentices without impacting upon other aspects of their learning programme;
- Provide consistent and timely feedback to Apprentices in line with the required standard/policy;
- Update assessment outcomes in a timely manner and communicate outcomes to staff and Apprentices as necessary;
- Attend standardisation meetings/activities;
- Partake in CPD activities and take responsibility for keeping own occupational competency current and up to date;
- Use established channels of communication to feedback views relating to policy, procedures and practice to improve the learner experience.
Qualifications and Assessment Department
- Co-ordinate the production of assessment and support materials.
All Apprentices will have access to a high quality and fair assessment process. This includes the assurance of qualified and suitably experienced assessors who are performing duties with impartiality and in accordance with TQUK’s Conflict of Interest and Malpractice and Maladministration Policies.
All Apprentices will have access to an EPA assessment plan, detailing the different assessment elements and timeframes. The plan will be compliant with timeframe stipulations as outlined in the Apprenticeship standard assessment plan.
Assessors and IQAs will be provided with assessment pro-forma documents which must be used for all EPA activities, including that linked to IQA/moderation.
All assignment briefs, assessment tasks, tests and pro-formas will be internally quality assured prior to being given to Apprentices. The IQA is required to ensure that each brief/assessment task, test is fit-for-purpose. Only those that have been approved by an IQA will be issued to Apprentices.
Assessments clearly signpost the assessment criteria to be achieved and the content of tasks should clearly match the criteria with relevant scenario-based tasks.
Where appropriate, assessments can be modified to meet the needs of an individual Apprentice to enable them to be successful, such modifications must still meet regulatory body expectations and be in line with the assessment plan for that particular Apprenticeship standard and processes outlined in TQUK’s Reasonable Adjustments and Special Considerations Policy.
The management of assessment submission and any subsequent resubmissions must comply with the expectations of the Apprenticeship assessment plan.
- A clear submission deadline.
- Within 10 working days the submitted work is assessed and subject to IQA, if sampled.
- The assessment feedback will detail which grade has been awarded in line with the individual marking criteria for each Apprenticeship standard.
- Feedback to Apprentices will highlight areas of strength (WWW – What Went Well) and detail areas for improvement (EBI – Even Better If).
- Should any assessment element be assessed as a fail, the Apprentice will have an opportunity to retake in line with the individual assessment plan requirements. Retake grades are typically capped at Pass but in all instances should follow the guidance of the individual assessment plan.
- Timeframes for assessment of retake activities remains the same as for all initial submissions/attempts.
All Apprentice assessment work handed in by the deadline will normally be marked, internally quality assured and returned to the Apprentice within 10 working days. For all electronically completed Multiple Choice Question based assessments, an indicative provisional grade will be provided to the Apprentice at the completion of the test, with a formal grade applied post invigilation and IQA sampling if required. All assessment decisions are made in conjunction with TQUK’s Plagiarism Policy.
Feedback will be provided for all assessment activities undertaken. Feedback will where possible be detailed, legible and constructive to enable the Apprentice to achieve their full potential. Where appropriate, feedback should incorporate the WWW/EBI – model to acknowledge ‘What Went Well’ within the assessment along with ‘Even Better If’ themes that outline relevant skills, knowledge or understanding that the Apprentice needs to target for development to support their future progress.
All feedback will be recorded and assessment decisions stored for six years.
Internal quality assurance will be carried out on a continuous basis. A Lead Internal Quality Assurer will have the responsibility of planning and implementing the internal quality assurance strategy for each standard. Such strategy will cover observation of all assessors and the sampling of work. The strategy will be standard-specific and reflect any circumstances to meet the particular needs of that industry. The strategy will be informed by TQUK’s assessment decision sampling matrix to ‘risk rate’ each assessor and determine the required IQA sample size. Standardisation meetings and
activities will be incorporated within this strategy to support the development of assessment practice.
All internal quality assurers must meet requirements for occupational expertise as specified by the relevant standards before commencing their role. In addition, they must hold a relevant internal quality assurance qualification.
As a minimum requirement, internal quality assurance documentation will consist of the IQA recording forms, IQA strategy, which may include a sampling strategy, roles and responsibilities, and standardisation meeting plan and associated minutes. Any other documentary evidence of IQA processes must meet the requirements of regulatory bodies.
Apprentices should normally receive assessment decisions no later than 10 working days after submission or completion of the final assessment activity.
Whilst individual assessment component feedback may have been shared with the Apprentice, the overall Apprenticeship grade once all EPA assessments have been concluded must be subject to IQA prior to be shared with the Apprentice. This should take no longer than 10 working days post completion of all assessments.
All assessors are subject to formal observations to monitor their practice to support continuous quality improvement and safeguard assessment practice for all Apprentices and customers. The frequency of observations is determined by a risk rating model outlined in TQUK’s Observation Policy.
Assessors are supported to share good practice and develop areas that require improvement via individual support plans which are overseen by the End-Point Assessment Department.
Engagement with standardisation activities, for all staff involved in assessment and IQA, prior to the commencement of assessment are crucial in ensuring consistency of grade application. In instances where assessment decisions are not agreed during the IQA process, the decision of the IQA will in most cases be final. The IQA should ensure that feedback to the assessor is thorough and explicitly details actions required to ensure Apprentices are supported to achieve. Should such a decision be disputed by the assessor involved, an investigation will be overseen by a member of the Quality and Compliance Department.
Records of internal quality assurance must be auditable and kept in a secure, accessible location for six years. Apprentice work must be kept for three months post certification.
It is the responsibility of the End-Point Assessment Director, End-Point Assessment Operations Manager, and End-Point Assessment Assessor Manager to liaise with and make arrangement for all EQA activity and effectively disseminate associated feedback to all TQUK staff members involved with assessment and IQA.
It is the responsibility of the End-Point Assessment Director, End-Point Assessment Operations Manager, and End-Point Assessment Assessor Manager to liaise with the External Quality Assurer to resolve any issues surrounding assessment or internal quality assurance which may result in an imposed sanction following external sampling.