Quality Assuring the Assessment Process
MSLETB is committed to the fair and consistent assessment of learners in line with the four existing legacy QA agreement, post-amalgamation. Robust assessment procedures are in place in all FET centres. Protocols are in place to ensure the integrity of the assessment process in line with award standards; the preparation and distribution of assessment instrument, the provision of assessment related information to learners, the conduct of assessment, the consistency of assessment, assessment appeals and record keeping.
Internal Verifiers are appointed to confirm the completeness and accuracy of the assessment process in line with existing QQI Guidelines. Appointees are from within the centre but independent of the target programme. Internal Verification (IV) procedures check that a number of procedures have been carried out in accordance with QA guidelines, such as the correct use of assessment instruments, results entered correctly and marks checked for a sample of learners.
External Authenticators (EA) are appointed to provide independent authoritative confirmation of fair and consistent assessment of learners and to ensure assessment has been valid and reliable. EAs are appointed from the National QQI-hosted panel. The role of the EA includes review the IV report to ensure assessment has been carried out in a quality assured manner and to ensure that grades are given in line with national standards for that level.
Acknowledging its commitment to assuring standards across all its FET provision the Board, commencing June 2018, will centrally appoint External Authenticators to all its FE centres. This is a new departure and seen as an initiative that will inform the Board on the consistency of standards across the region and on areas for development and improvement.
Results Approval Panel
The MSLETB Results Approval Panel (RAP) confirms the fairness and consistency of the assessment process and ensures the validity of assessment results. It confirms that the assessment of learner evidence and authentication of assessment results have been carried out in line with the MSLETB’s commitments to quality.
A RAP is convened prior to each request to QQI for certification, membership of which must include a minimum of three of the following:
- Director of FET
- Adult Education Officer/s
- Area Training Manager
- Assistant Training Manager/s
- QA Leads/TSOs
- Programmatic Leaders
The RAP considers the Internal Verification (IV) and External Authentication (EA) reports. The RAP has a responsibility to recommend provisional results for approval, request certification from QQI and propose an agenda for development and improvement, as the need arises. Corrective and preventative measures that emerge are actioned by the centre manager to mitigate risk in the future in line with the centre’s commitment to continuous development and improvement.
A consolidated RAP report is submitted to the QA Group for consideration after each RAP meeting. This report outlines the agreed areas of good practice, non-compliance and concern to inform and progress the MSLETB’s quality improvement agenda.
MSLETB is committed to develop a single integrated set of assessment related policies and procedures and awaits the outcome of ETBI sponsored initiatives around assessment practices and the external authentication process.
Learners have the right to appeal their results for QQI awards, should they not agree with the assessment judgement that has been made. The Learner Appeals process in MSLETB is managed centrally through the Appeals Office. Appeals are reviewed by external subject area expert appeal examiners and in the event that an appeal is upheld, MSLETB informs QQI of the amended grade. The monitoring of appeals overseen by the QMS Team Lead and reporting on the appeals process is made to the QA Group.
Non-QQI Assessment Processes
QQI certifies the largest proportion of FET programmes in MSLETB. A small number of programmes are certified by City and Guilds, ITEC, CIBTAC, CIDESCO, etc. and MSLETB has quality assurance arrangements and agreements in place with these awarding bodies. Based on the new QQI Quality Assurance guidelines, MSLETB will incorporate these arrangements, as well as unaccredited provision, in the development of new quality assurance policies and procedures. Oversight of all assessment processes, regardless of the awarding body, is managed at ETB-level.
Assessment Regulation Handbooks
There are assessment regulation handbooks in every MSLETB centre based on legacy QA agreements. MSLETB is currently developing a set of common assessment policies and regulations which will be published in the Revised Quality Assurance Policies and Procedures section of this website when available. Learner Handbooks will also be updated with this information.
In the meantime, learners should refer to the regulations in their centre and the Training Centres will continue to operate under the assessment regulations that were part of the TQAS.
To read the MSLETB TQAS Over-Arching Quality Assurance Manual, please click here.
MSLETB is currently reviewing its assessment procedures based on best practice and the development work undertaken with other ETBs through ETBI and will include QA procedures covering the following sections of the assessment process:
- Assessment Deadlines
- Assessment Malpractice
- Compassionate Consideration
- Reasonable Accommodation
- Secure Storage
- Examination Regulations