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Assessment Policy

All students are entitled to:

  • Involve in the assessment process of their own work.
  • Receive knowledge about the timings of assessments based on their course specifications
  • Take relevant knowledge about the criteria of qualification or an individual course which they will be assessed.
  • Understand the methods and procedures by which they will be assessed.
  • Understand the quality of their performance in relation to the grades and standards of their course.
  • Understand the grades at which they should be working to have.
  • Their assessments are carried out in fair and equal ways.
  • They have the right to appeal against any outcome of their assessment or the process provided. 
  • They should receive a formative assessment before any summative assessment is made. Appropriate timeliness is provided to ensure that they have an opportunity to implement this formative assessment to improve and upgrade their work.

Assessment of work

The Center will ensure that assessment:

  • is inclusive and individualized.
  • is fair and accurate.
  • is designed to develop students’ independent learning.
  • Prior learning will be assessed and recognized by following the necessary validation process.
  • Awarding body regulations relating to assessment and BTEC HNC/HND regulations.

The course specification, learning objectives and assessment criteria will be given to candidates, so they will make themselves familiar with the assessment criteria before submission for assessment. Course and units that are related to awarding qualifications have their own criteria, and it should be written clearly in the assignment brief. The Center will take suitable procedures and actions when where there is incomplete or unsuccessful completion of course/unit or assessments and these actions are subject to the awarding body requirements.

Awarding Body Qualifications

Meeting Assessment Deadlines and Mitigating Circumstances Students need to be aware of the importance of meeting assessment deadlines. The Programme Handbook will state the importance of meeting all deadlines. Where a deadline is not met, except in mitigating circumstances, the work will be regarded as a non-submission and that work will not be included in the assessment decision. This may lead to a student failing to achieve the minimum required Pass for that unit.

Students may be given authorised extensions for legitimate reasons, such as illness, at the time of submission or via an ‘Application for an extension due to mitigating circumstances’ identified in the Programme Handbook. All students will be assessed according to the same conditions and teams will ensure that some are not advantaged by having additional time or opportunity to learn from others. Granting of extensions and missed deadlines of individual students will be monitored by Assessment Panels.

Resubmission

In the case of Pearson qualifications one re-submission is submitted if a unit a student who, for the first assessment opportunity, has failed to achieve a Pass for that unit specification shall be expected to undertake a reassessment.

Only one opportunity for reassessment of the unit will be permitted Reassessment for course work, project or portfolio-based assessments shall normally involve the reworking of the original task. For examinations, reassessment shall involve completion of a new task.

A student who undertakes a reassessment will have their grade capped at a Pass for that unit. A student will not be entitled to be reassessed in any component of assessment for which a Pass grade or higher has already been awarded.

Repeat Units / courses

The following applies to a student who, for the first assessment opportunity and resubmission opportunity, still failed to achieve a Pass for that unit specification:

  • At the Center’s discretion and Assessment Panel decision, students can be permitted to repeat a unit.
  • The student must study the unit again with full attendance and (if required) payment of the unit fee.
  • The overall unit grade for a successfully completed repeat unit is capped at a Pass for that unit.
  • Units can only be repeated once. The External Examiner is likely to want to include assessments that have been re-submitted as part of the sample they will review.

Assessment Appeals

The only grounds on which an appeal may be based are as follows:

  • That there exist circumstances affecting the performance of the student which the assessor or internal verifier were unaware of
  • That there were procedural irregularities in the conduct of the assessment (including administrative errors)
  • That there is positive evidence of prejudice, bias or inadequate assessment
  • There is evidence of assessment malpractice

If a student believes that they have grounds for appeal in relation to assessment of his/her work, s/he may appeal using the procedure identified in the Appeals Policy.

Inclusive Learning

To support and promote inclusive learning assessments may need to be reasonable adjusted to take account of an individual’s needs, such as a learning difficulty or disability.

Adjustments made should be in line with recommendations made in the student’s Individual Learning Support Plan and guidance from the HE Keyworker. Such adjustments should ensure that valid judgements can still be made of the skills of students against the relevant grading criteria. Assistive technologies may be appropriate to aid with such adjustments.

Teachers will keep records of any adjustments made to provide evidence for awarding organisations that this is ‘normal practice’ for that student. Without this evidence it may not be possible to provide later adjustments

in controlled assessments or examinations. Teachers should also be aware of the rules for adjustments defined by awarding bodies.

Vocational Assessments

Good vocational learning is vocationally-based, active, motivational and progressive. It will be closely linked to assessment; allowing development of skills, knowledge and attributes that will enable the learner to complete assessments. From the start, it is important to consider the most effective way of delivering and assessing a unit or assignment. Learning strategies may include:

project work carried out as an individual or as part of a group

  • work-based learning.
  • lectures and seminars.
  • facilitated activities.
  • visits to companies with a facilitator to structure the visit.
  • visiting speakers from the vocational sector.

Vocational assessments must reflect the nature of the skills that have been taught and must be an appropriate method to assess those skills. Much of the assessment of a student’s vocational skills will therefore be based on their practical ability. The purpose of vocational assessment is to deliver valid, reliable, fair, and manageable assessment. The assessment programme must be designed so that skills and knowledge can be developed in line with the assessment criteria. There is a range of assessment methods that can be utilised, such as:

  • presentations, written reports, accounts, surveys.
  • log books, production diaries.
  • role play.
  • observations of practical tasks or performance.
  • articles for journals, press releases.
  • production of visual or audio materials, artefacts, products and specimens.
  • peer and self-assessment.

Curriculum Leaders must ensure that a range of appropriate assessment methods are used across a programme. Curriculum Leaders and subject teachers should refer to the awarding body’s assessment guidelines for details of appropriate assessments.

Feedback for vocational assignments where formally contributing to a unit grade, whether this is an assignment that makes a partial contribution or one that covers the whole unit, will be recorded on a standard feedback template. The templates used will be those provided by the awarding body.

Assessments will be verified/ moderated in accordance with the procedures set out by the relevant awarding body.

Internal Verification/Moderation

Assessments will require verification/moderation. Such activity must be carried out in line with the appropriate awarding body’s requirements. The Curriculum Leader should monitor these activities to ensure that:

  • Assessments are fair and accurate
  • Assessments decisions are made against the relevant criteria
  • Feedback identifies why an assessment decision has been made and what the learner can do to improve Compliance with the awarding body’s requirements
  • All teachers and a range of students’ assessments are scrutinised
  • Any actions arising from these activities are completed

Marking and Feedback

Teachers must keep a record of what has been set for assessment and that it has been completed.

There must be clear feedback when work is returned. For simple assessments such as class tests or quizzes this may simply be a checking of work. For more significant assessments this must be written and be advisory in nature. The feedback must indicate what has been done well, with reference to grading criteria if appropriate, and what should be done to improve. On some vocational courses this feedback may be around the development of knowledge, understanding and skills, on the criteria the student achieved and on the criteria not achieved, and why.

Marking and feedback should provide encouragement to students whilst retaining a sense of realism; the emphasis should be on positive achievement.

Not all work needs to be marked in the same way and a mix of marking methods is likely to be used on any one programme. It would be inappropriate to have only one type of marking and Curriculum Leaders should ensure there is a range of types used with an emphasis towards the advisory style marking.

Assessed work will be returned to students with meaningful feedback within ten working days and this assessed work will have been internally verified/moderated within this time, if required.

Any assessment decisions will clearly state that the decisions are ‘subject to external verification’.

Students will be made aware that all grades are provisional until they are ratified by the Assessment Panel and External Verification by the External Examiner.

If the authenticity of a piece of work is in doubt the assessor will follow the procedures set out in the Center’s Plagiarism and Malpractice Policy.

External Examiners

Awarding Bodies are responsible for the appointment of External Examiners (EE).

The QAA requires HE providers to manage the assessment standardisation and verification process, including the procedure for dealing with External Examiner (EE) recommendations.

EE recommendations will be included in the self-evaluation document (SED) of each programme and the College SED to inform enhancement.

Assessment Panels will meet scrutinise EE reports and will identify actions for improvements where required.

Outcomes of EE reports will be reported to the HE Committee for consideration and monitoring.

Summative Assessment Submission

Where practical and appropriate students are required to submit work electronically through Turnitin via JCC Connect. This is the College’s plagiarism checking software.

Submission of work will follow the process outlined in Appendix One. Where this is not possible, for example, live performance, the curriculum team will ensure any assessed work follows the requirements of the awarding body.

All work set is expected to be completed by students within the time limits set in the assessment plans except in extenuating circumstances. In such cases the procedures laid down by the awarding body must be followed.

Record keeping

Curriculum teams should have records to show how each student they teach is progressing. Where assessments are part of the formal assessment calendar these will be recorded.

Curriculum teams should have an overview of the progress of students on programmes.

All Curriculum Leaders will review their area and ensure all records are up to date at least every 6 weeks.

Assessment flow chart

Evaluation based on assessment criteria to agree grade

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