Quality and Compliance – Mandy Pickard, Accreditation Manager and Lead Quality Assurer
My role is to support our assessment and quality personnel involved in delivering our qualifications to ensure that we constantly comply with the various awarding body’s requirements.
To gain approval from awarding bodies such as City and Guilds and ILM etc. we have to supply their quality teams with all our policies and procedures including equality and diversity, malpractice, appeals, Quality Assurance and assessment policies. These are then checked against their own policies to ensure we are working to the same standard. They check that the personnel involved have the appropriate skills and qualifications and are maintaining their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to keep up to date with changes in law and legislation and good practice.
The aim of both the awarding body and the training provider (SVT Ltd.) is to ensure our candidates enjoy their learning experience and that they get the right level of support and guidance along the way.
To ensure this happens I undertake routine sampling of candidate’s portfolios as they work towards their qualification. This is to ensure all assessors are working the same way and not treating candidates differently, by either accepting poor work or by demanding too much from a candidate. The sampling takes the form of examining written work, evidence supplied, listening to professional discussions between assessors and candidates and by talking to people who may have acted as a witness to a candidates work.
Assessors are given feedback on their assessment decisions and take part in regular standardisation meetings where good practice is shared and common ground reached regarding assessment decisions.
Should a candidate ever feel the need to appeal an assessment decision then they can appeal to their Internal Quality Assurer. Where a satisfactory outcome cannot be reached they the advice of the awarding bodies External Quality Consultant (EQA) is sought and they ultimately have the final say.
We are proud to have ‘Direct Claim Status’ (DCS) for our vocational qualifications, which means that we can claim the certificate upon the candidate’s completion direct from the awarding body. The awarding body will then undertake audits once or twice a year. The EQA will sample portfolios of candidates who have completed and those that are a ‘Work in Progress’. Again they are checking for consistency in our approach and to ensure we maintain the high level of quality expected and trusted by the fact that they have awarded us DCS. Again the EQA may chat with candidates and observe assessors at work or in meetings as part of their quality checks.
Training providers are risk rated and any actions arising as a result of an audit can impact on the claim status so we work very hard to ensure compliance at every level to maintain this prestigious status.
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