Quality assurance issues in a centre

Qualification consultant Karen Pontin talks about the importance of internal quality assurance

29 April 2014 / Jump to comment (1)

Ask any City & Guilds Qualification Consultant what the current issues are in quality assurance in centres and they will respond with a resounding response of – new staff!

Many centres have gone through a period of intense change in recent years. Few centres have managed to avoid mergers, takeovers and consortia arrangements as a response to the economic climate. This turbulence has left a high proportion of centres with new staff teams who are grappling with changed and increased responsibilities.

Although the new staff may in previous roles, have been involved in the delivery of the qualifications, they are often unfamiliar with the systems and processes for monitoring and ensuring quality learning.

Typically it is in the field of internal quality assurance that the new post holders seem to struggle most as they try to fulfil the requirements of their new role. Many have been trainers or assessors previously but they will now have to learn about the mechanics of IQA and undertake a Level 4 qualification. As they start they may not even be aware that internal verification is only a small part of internal quality assurance which follows a cycle that looks something like this:

Unfortunately the importance of internal quality assurance is seriously underestimated in centres. When roles have to be filled quickly managers may appoint anyone who has worked with a particular qualification to become the IQA. This sometimes happens because in the past the role of internal verification was quite limited – basically sampling portfolios - and in many cases managers think that internal quality assurance is simply a new name for it.

Internal quality assurance is far more wide reaching and fundamental to ensuring good quality learning. Inexperienced staff carrying out poor or incomplete IQA could result in sanctions and seriously damage a centre’s reputation. Nobody benefits.

More about the role, responsibilities and its importance access (PDF, 2MB) > 

Comments 1 Comment

Alison Chapman

10 July 2014

I could not agree more with the comments above, I feel the creativity and diversity of IQA is greatly underutilised and undervalued. It is not helped by the pressure to maximise profit on an ever decreasing payment structure, I also believe it stems from, some of the poor delivery of internal verification course that are offered in our industry thankfully I have had full support in the companies I have worked for.(two)

Add your comment

All comments will be subject to moderation, please refer to the terms and conditions of the blog.

SCHOOL LEAVERS DEMAND VOCATIONAL LEARNING

Our research reveals that three quarters of young people demand skills-based training to achieve their ambitions Read full research article

OUR THINKING

Kirstie Donnelly

Kirstie Donnelly comment on Coates Review

Read blog post

Kirstie Donnelly

You want to narrow the gender pay gap? Tackle the ‘gender career gap’ first

Read blog post

Kirstie Donnelly

The Coming of Age of FE

Read blog post

Chris Jones

Apprenticeships: what's in a name?

Read blog post

Read more blog posts