STA Excel operates a robust internal quality assurance (IQA) system to ensure that all our training delivery and assessment meets the assessment standards set by the awarding bodies (AO) we work with. The IQA system aims to maintain consistency and accuracy of assessments and ensure that STA Excel practices, resources, processes and procedures meet the requirements of the qualifications that we deliver. IQA is carried out on an ongoing basis and will be conducted in line with the sample plan guide provided in this policy.
- To meet and exceed requirements placed on us by the awarding bodies
- Ensure fair and valid decisions are reached for all of our learners
- To provide a continuous check on the consistency and quality of the delivery of courses
- Support tutors who are delivering courses by giving them ongoing constructive feedback helping to enhance delivery and ensure standardisation throughout our course delivery
- Support assessors by giving them ongoing constructive feedback to help ensure standardisation across assessment decisions
- Maintain accurate records and clear audit trail
- Maintain external belief in the quality and integrity in the courses that we deliver.
This IQA policy encompasses all team members and forms of activity that impact on the delivery and assessment of qualifications and training supplied by STA Excel Limited. This system is implemented in line with systems of verification as laid down by the awarding bodies we work with.
The centre management includes the centre co-ordinator and anyone working on behalf of the centre who do not fall under one of the other roles identified within this section. The centre management team has the following responsibilities regarding IQA:
- Ensure any ATC documentation is complete and up-to-date
- Ensure ATC policies and procedures are in place including but not limited to health & safety, equality & diversity, complaints, appeals, malpractice/maladministration and safeguarding
- Ensure any awarding organisation policies and procedures and guidance are followed
- Be the point of contact for all courses registered by STA Excel
- Liaise with the AO for any EQA visits/sampling
- Ensure the course venue meets the requirements for delivery as per the qualification specification and is fit for purpose
- Ensure the course tutor is able to provide the equipment required for the course as per the qualification specification and this is fit for purpose
- Retain all course paperwork as per the data retention requirements and in line with current data protection legislation
- Registration of all courses in line with the AO procedures
- Ensure a sufficient and current bank of tutors/assessors/IQAs is available to meet course demands and guarantee that any qualifications are able to be delivered and assessed within the AO requirements as per the qualification specification
- Check tutors/assessors/IQAs have the appropriate qualifications and are current through providing CPD evidence
- Allocating tutors/assessors to all courses
- Oversee the IQA system for the centre
- Manage any conflicts of interests with the ATC and report accordingly through the relevant AO policies
- Report any concerns relating to malpractice or maladministration within the centre to the AO via the relevant policy
- Ensure learners are aware of any pre-requisites, requirements and policies applicable to them throughout the learning journey
- Ensure course manuals, resources and qualification specifications are the current versions and make any necessary updates as and when they are received from the AO.
Tutors and Assessors
STA Excel has a bank of tutors and assessors who deliver courses on behalf of the centre on a freelance basis. Tutors and assessors may conduct both roles however where an external assessment is required within the qualification specification, the assessor must be independent to the tutor and IQA. STA Excel tutors and assessors must conduct the following responsibilities in regard to IQA as part of their role:
- Provide evidence of tutor/assessor qualifications and current CPD/standardisation in the relevant disciplines
- Conduct a self-analysis including strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats (SWOT) which will be reviewed annually with their IQA
- Plan, deliver and assess qualifications in line with the qualification specifications, assessment guidance and any other AO policies
- Ensure delivery and assessment is explained to learners and they are aware of the process and requirements
- Make learners aware of policies and procedures including equal opportunities, reasonable adjustments, special considerations, complaints and appeals
- Abide by STA Excel policies and procedures, AO policies and procedures and any other relevant legislation
- Report any concerns relating to tutor/assessor/IQA performance to the centre coordinator
- Maintain up-to-date records of training and assessment and pass to the centre management team upon completion of the course
- Give constructive and accurate feedback to learners
- Deliver in line with the standards outlined in the STA Excel Standards of Practice.
Internal Quality Assurers
Internal quality assurers are responsible to conduct the following:
- Monitor the conduct of assessment via desk-based sampling and observation assessments
- Create sample plans in line with this policy and the sample guide provided
- Sample learners evidence to verify assessment decision
- Ensure assessors’ judgements are impartial, consistent, fair and reliable
- Ensure evidence appears valid, authentic, current, reliable and sufficient
- Ensure all evidence is signed and dated
- Support and advise assessors and create action points to complete within a specified timeframe
- Follow up any action points issued to assessors
- Quality assurance record keeping for audit trail purposes
- Provide reports to the centre for analysis
- Complete the relevant paperwork for the ATC and/or awarding organisation
- Maintain their own competency and remain current by completing appropriate CPD and standardisation activities, provide evidence to the centre management
- Deliver CPD/standardisation updates to tutors/assessors when required
- Take part in appeals process when needed
- Work with the centre management to provide samples for EQA visits/sampling
- Deliver in line with the standards outlined in the STA Excel Standards of Practice.
Conflicts of Interest
If any individuals within the ATC need to declare a conflict of interest (examples below) they are required to complete a conflict of interest disclosure form, a copy of which will be submitted to the relevant AO. STA Excel will carefully manage any identified conflict of interests and will do so in line with any AO policies. Examples include:
- Assessor or IQA conducting activities on their own family members/member of their household
- Tutors/assessors/IQA conducting activity on their own delivery/assessment decisions
- Tutors/assessors/IQA conducting assessment on a course whereby one of the learners is a member of their own family or household.
Selection of IQAs
The appointed IQA will hold a recognised qualification and occupational competence and understanding of the qualifications they will conduct IQA activities for. The following points will be evidenced during the selection process for STA Excel IQAs:
- Hold a recognised IQA qualification, e.g. STA Level 4 Award in the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice
- Provide a CV or application form detailing occupational background, at an appropriate level, in the specific qualification discipline
- Regular ongoing CPD training in the relevant sector (within the last 12 months).
The IQA will carry out a risk assessment on all assessors to identify the necessary contact time and support needed from the IQA. The sample guide in Appendix 1 shows what criteria STA Excel will measure the tutors/assessors against in order to determine the initial risk factor and this will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. The IQA will be provided with any supporting information as necessary—this could include application form, qualifications, CPD evidence, course feedback etc. The IQA may also contact the assessor to identify the needs and support required—this could include visits to the work area, centre or via email/phone conversations.
STA Excel will endeavour to organise an IQA visit within the assessor’s first 3 courses to conduct a detailed observation. Once the IQA has gathered the relevant information and analysed the risk for the assessor it will be documented on a feedback sheet. The centre will liaise with the IQA to note the sampling plan for each assessor and update records accordingly.
The IQA will carry out annual IQA observations on every tutor and assessor, this may be conducted in person or via a video calling function. During an observation visit the IQA will complete a Tutor Observation Performance Report and/or Assessor Observation Performance Report and discuss any action points and feedback with the tutor/assessor. The IQA will also take this opportunity to review the risk rating score and the assessors SWOT analysis to identify ongoing learning needs and review developments. Upon completion the IQA will return the relevant documentation to the centre coordinator for IQA records.
The observation must cover the following activities:
- Both practical and theoretical aspects of the course for a minimum of one hour
- Observe the briefing of learners undertaking the assessment
- Observation of assessment, covering a variety of assessment methods
- Feedback given to learners post-assessment.
The Sampling Process
To ascertain standardisation within the centre all IQAs will complete random sampling using an online random number generator (Google, 2018) following the same method.
- All learners for the given course are identified via the number next to them on the course register
- The relevant sample size is noted (as determined by risk assessment; Appendix 1)
- The minimum and maximum learner numbers are inputted into the random number generator and the IQA must generate the number required to satisfy the sample size, making a note of the selected learners on the relevant form
- Upon completion of the above method the IQA should have a list of learners for which they will sample all units for each learner
- The result of the random sample is noted on the relevant paperwork for the IQA to carry out the IQA activities on the learners.
The IQA overview will be reviewed quarterly, to ensure that all qualifications and all units within the qualifications have been sampled. Non-random sampling may also take place if learners with additional support needs were present on the course, this would be at the IQA’s discretion.
Challenging IQA Decisions
If the learner or the assessor would like to challenge an IQA decision they must do so through the STA Excel Appeals Policy.
Standardisation and Development
As an approved training centre, we will host annual standardisation and team development meetings to ensure all the team are up to date with any qualification delivery/assessment updates or centre policy and procedures updates. Any meetings/online updates will be recorded on individual CPD records. When deciding what content to include in annual training the IQA and centre coordinator may refer to the SWOT analysis results from assessors.
Team members will be emailed any technical updates relevant to the qualifications that they are eligible to deliver/assess, as and when STA Excel receives them from the relevant awarding bodies. All team members are encouraged to continually develop and update their skills/knowledge and STA Excel aims to give team members equal opportunity to complete both tutoring and assessing roles, whilst ensuring no conflicts of interest are present.
Monitoring and Review
This policy and its implementation will be reviewed annually or after any EQA visit which raises action points for the centre. We are committed to ensuring that the procedures are fit for purpose and that we are meeting and surpassing the expectations of our learners, centre personnel and the awarding bodies we work with.
- Appeals Policy
- View Policy
- Safety Training Awards Website
- Visit Website
- Google (2018) Random Number Generator [Online] (Accessed 23rd July 2018)
STA Excel IQA Sample Size Guide
(50% or 6 learners, whichever is greater)
(25% or 4 learners, whichever is greater)
(10% or 3 learners, whichever is greater)
- The assessor is assessing within their first 3 courses
- The last time the assessor made an incorrect assessment decision
- The qualification is new to the course organiser
- The assessor has under 6 months experience in assessing
- The assessor received numerous action points on their last quality assurance activity
- The assessor does not have evidence/has not participated in CPD within the last 12 months
- There has been a successful appeal against the assessor within the last 6 months
- The assessor has over 6 months experience but under 12 months
- The assessor received a couple of action points on their last quality assurance activity
- The venue is new to STA Excel (first time a course has been run there)
- The assessor is experienced (over 12 months)
- There were no action points identified during the last quality assurance activity
- The assessor is current having completed and has evidence of CPD and standardisation (within the last 12 months)