International approved training centres (ATCs) registering Safety Training Awards regulated qualifications will be quality assured by our external quality assurers (EQA) either visiting, remote meetings or sampling assessment and internal quality assurance evidence remotely. The purpose being to check that those registering Safety Training Awards regulated qualifications are able to continually meet the approval criteria and that effective quality assurance procedures are in place.
Safety Training Awards’ external quality assurance system seeks to meet the requirements of our regulators in terms of monitoring the delivery, assessment and quality assurance of all qualifications made available by us. A risk-based system is implemented via the IT system ‘Synergy’ which seeks to monitor all aspects of the learner journey and internal quality assurance processes implemented by our centre co-ordinators to ensure that qualifications awarded by Safety Training Awards:
- Remain fit for purpose
- Ensures that all learners being awarded a Safety Training Awards regulated qualification have met the agreed standard, and this standard is applied consistently by all assessors, across all providers of Safety Training Awards qualifications and all locations
- Can be relied upon by learners, employers and other users of qualifications as an accurate and complete indication of learner knowledge and skills.
Once a centre has been approved, they will be allocated an EQA. The allocation will be based on:
- Any conflicts of interest that have been declared
- Expertise and occupational competency of the EQA
- EQA workload
This may be one or more individuals depending on the expertise of the EQA and the programmes the centre co-ordinator will be registering.
All international ATCs who are registering and delivering Safety Training Awards regulated qualifications are subject to external quality assurance monitoring activities, initially on the first three courses or until Safety Training Awards is satisfied that the requirements are continually met. The assigned EQA will carry out external quality assurance monitoring activities remotely and may arrange a face-to-face visit, the type of monitoring activity will be dependent upon the centres risk rating, location and the number of registered courses.
Safety Training Awards Centre Assessment Standards Scrutiny (CASS) Requirements
Ofqual and Qualifications Wales have new enforceable regulations in place that must be adhered to by all Awarding Organisations (AO) and centres delivering, assessing and quality assuring regulated qualifications. For Safety Training Awards (STA) to mitigate the risk to our compliance we are required to develop and maintain a Centre Assessment Standards Scrutiny (CASS) Strategy for all regulated qualifications. As part of this strategy Safety Training Awards are required to include ‘Moderation’ as one form of ‘Centre Assessment Standards Scrutiny’.
Definition of the term Centre Assessment Standards Scrutiny (CASS): Moderation
- A particular form of Centre Assessment Standards Scrutiny through which the marking of assessments by centres is monitored to make sure it meets the required standards and through which adjustments to a centres marking are made, where required to ensure that results are based on the required standard. Moderation takes place before final results are issued under condition H6.1
Ofqual definition of Centre Assessment Standards Scrutiny (CASS), December 2020
STA courses being delivered internationally are deemed as high risk by the regulators, therefore Safety Training Awards will continue to moderate all courses until we are satisfied that the centre has the appropriate procedures in place and that there is no risk to the assessment process or the learner journey.
The assigned EQA will carry out external quality assurance monitoring activities remotely and may arrange a face to face visit or remote meeting, the type of monitoring activity will be dependent upon the centres risk rating, location and the number of registered courses.
All assessment evidence for Safety Training Awards regulated qualifications in international ATCs must be written and submitted in English. UK regulators allow for assessments of learners to be carried out in other languages, the General Conditions of Recognition Condition G2.3 states “where it is one of the primary objectives of the qualification:
- For the learner to gain knowledge of skills in, and understanding of that language, or
- To support a role in the workplace, providing that proficiency in English is not required for the role supported by the qualification.”
When assessments have been carried out in another language, Safety Training Awards require all the assessment evidence to be translated into English prior to submission. This allows us to ensure that the assessments are valid and accurate, and that they meet the same standards of assessments carried out in English language.
All quality assurance monitoring activities and reporting will be carried out in English.
For quality assurance monitoring activities to be carried out, via Safety Training Awards or the allocated EQA copies of paperwork must be sent, original documentation should be retained by the centre co-ordinator.
The external quality assurance monitoring activities will ensure Safety Training Awards’ requirements have been met, in line with the qualification specifications and regulatory requirements.
Once it is clear there is no risk to the delivery and assessments of the regulated qualifications and there is no risk to learners the centre may be granted direct claims status (DCS), please refer to the ‘Making Claims for Certification’ section of the Approved Training Centre Manual for further information.
EQA Monitoring Activity Requirements
Safety Training Awards expects that each international centre will have a minimum of one EQA monitoring activity per year, but an increased number of activities may be required i.e. for centres that operate from a range of sites and are new to delivering Safety Training Awards regulated qualifications. Additional EQA monitoring activities may be conducted remotely by Safety Training Awards in between EQA monitoring visits, this ensures all assessment decisions are valid across all qualifications. The quality assurance activities will be dependent upon the risk rating of the centre.
Safety Training Awards may recommend that an international ATC’s allocated EQA is to conduct a monitoring visit due to the centres risk rating or to verify the delivery and assessment decisions for Safety Training Awards regulated qualifications, if this is the case the international centre will be subject to the current external quality assurance monitoring visit fees and will be responsible for the travelling costs for the assigned EQA to visit the centre.
Additional visits are not permitted without prior consent from the Head of Compliance and Assurance. Any requests for additional visits or remote sampling should be directed to your allocated EQA, who will then make contact with Safety Training Awards on your behalf. A charge may be applicable for additional visits.
If a pre-arranged visit is cancelled there must a legitimate reason and provided in writing to the EQA. The cancellation can result in the withholding of any claims for certification until a monitoring visit has been completed. Safety Training Awards reserves the right to charge for visits that have been cancelled.
Please refer to our website to keep up-to-date with any news, updates, guidance and support regarding ATC processes and requirements. For any queries regarding administration activities within your ATC please contact your allocated centre administrator or you can email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monitoring and Review
This policy and its procedures will be reviewed regularly for improvements as part of our quality assurance requirements. This will ensure it is fit for purpose, reflects the services we deliver to our ATCs and we provide services which are relevant to the requirements of individual needs.
Safety Training Awards
Last Updated: 15th June 2021