International External Quality Assurance Policy

Print Page

International approved training centres (ATCs) registering Safety Training Awards (STA) qualifications will be quality assured by our external quality assurers (EQA) either visiting or sampling assessment and internal quality assurance evidence remotely. The purpose being to check that those registering STA qualifications are able to continually meet the approval criteria and that effective quality assurance procedures are in place.

STA’s 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 STA. A risk-based system is implemented via the IT system 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 STA:

  • Remain fit for purpose
  • Ensures that all learners being awarded an STA qualification have met the agreed standard, and this standard is applied consistently by all assessors, across all providers of STA 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
  • Location.

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 STA regulated qualifications are subject to external quality assurance monitoring activity on the first three courses. 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 centre’s risk rating, location and the number of registered courses.

Assessment Evidence

All assessment evidence for STA 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, STA require all the assessment evidence to be translated into English prior to submission. This allows STA 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 STA 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 (ATC) manual for further information.

EQA Monitoring Visit Requirements

STA expects that each international centre will have a minimum of one EQA monitoring activity per year, but an increased number of activity may be required i.e. for centres that operate from a range of sites and are new to delivering STA 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.

STA 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 STA 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 STA 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. STA reserves the right to charge for visits that have been cancelled.

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 approved training centres and we provide services which are relevant to the requirements of individual needs.

Last Updated: 16th July 2018