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What Are the Differences Between Moderation of Paperwork and IQA Activities?

Posted on 8th May 2019

After reviewing information received from our approved training centres, Safety Training Awards would like to provide additional information regarding the terminology of ‘moderation of paperwork’ and ‘IQA activity.’

Moderation of Paperwork

The moderation of paperwork process is carried out by Safety Training Awards and is a method of external quality assurance desk-based monitoring activity. Awarding organisations use this method of quality assurance monitoring to ensure that regulated qualification standards are continually being met, which mitigates the risk to the learners regardless of where the assessment takes place.

Once a centre has been granted their approval status, Safety Training Awards will moderate the course paperwork for the first three courses or until we are satisfied that the qualification standards have continually been met and there are sufficient internal quality assurance processes in place within the ATC.

Internal Quality Assurance Activity

IQA monitoring activities are the internal quality assurance processes within the ATC and must be carried out by the ATC’s allocated internal quality assurer.

Internal quality assurance is a process which maintains high standards for assessment activities. It also ensures that assessors and tutors make consistent, reliable and valid assessment decisions.

It is a combination of the moderation of paperwork performed by Safety Training Awards and the internal quality assurance monitoring activities performed by the ATC that enables evidence to be shown that assessment decisions are fit for purpose and are being applied accurately and consistently.

Further Information About Internal Quality Assurance

Quality assurance is fundamental to ensuring quality within the learner journey—this is dependent upon how the centre manages a learner’s experience when delivering the qualifications. It is a vital part of the process to guarantee that the learning experience is a positive one and that everything put in place within the centre meets the requirements set out by the awarding organisation.

It is the responsibility of an IQA to maintain high standards of assessment activities and to report on those standards. The IQA should not be involved in the delivery and assessment of the qualifications and they cannot verify their own assessment decisions; they are in place to verify the decisions of other assessors. The IQA is there to ensure that the qualifications the centre delivers are reliable, valid and meet Safety Training Awards’ and regulatory requirements.

The IQA is responsible for monitoring the learning journey. Below are some examples of IQA responsibilities:

  • Creating a strategy and a sample plan of what will be monitored, from whom and when
  • Observing assessor performance and providing developmental feedback
  • Confirming and/or challenging assessment decisions when needed
  • Supporting assessors and sharing best practice ideas
  • Facilitating training and standardisation of assessor practice
  • Documenting and reporting internal quality assurance monitoring, training and standardisation.

An internal quality assurance strategy and a sample plan must be developed to ensure that quality assurance is maintained—not only in the standards of assessment but also in the administrative procedures and systems in place within the centre. The monitoring of all aspects of the assessment process through the strategy and sample plan will allow the centre to be pro-active and progressive in continually improving standards.

All centre co-ordinators are responsible for implementing a robust procedure for quality assuring the work of the tutors, assessors and IQAs they engage.

Upon registering each course, in line with Safety Training Awards procedures, the centre co-ordinator is responsible for appointing a tutor, assessor (where necessary) and an IQA. Remuneration of these individuals is the responsibility of the centre co-ordinator.

Once appointed, the IQA is responsible for creating a sampling plan for all registered or future STA courses, detailing the assessment evidence that will be scrutinised as part of the quality assurance activity. There are three methods the IQA can use to assure the quality of assessment:

  • Sampling assessment evidence
  • Observation of delivery and assessment practice
  • Feedback from learners.

It is not necessary for the IQA to use all of these techniques during each activity, but all techniques must be completed by the IQA during each twelve-month period.

To meet Safety Training Awards’ ATC requirements, please ensure a method of IQA monitoring activity takes place on each STA regulated course delivered within your ATC. Please note that this does not have to be a face-to-face observation; please refer to the methods above that may be used.

The exact frequency of each activity (as above) will depend on the number of courses that an assessor is delivering, and the risk posed to the delivery and assessment process. Those tutors and assessors who are assessed as being high risk will require additional observations and larger samples of assessment evidence scrutinised. For more information please refer to the internal quality assurance guide for ATCs.