The aim of this policy is to establish robust and transparent internal verification practices within Next Gates to ensure the highest standards of assessment quality and integrity. Specifically, the policy seeks to:
- Establish a system where each principal subject area is supervised by an accredited Lead Internal Verifier, ensuring a high level of expertise and authority in the verification process.
- Commit to an exhaustive Internal Verification protocol that scrutinizes the work of all assessors and program activities. This includes rigorous checks to affirm the validity, reliability, and consistency of assessments.
- Cultivate a verification process that is not only transparent but also impartial, ensuring equal treatment and consideration of all assessments and assessors.
- Diligently maintain detailed, accurate records of all verification decisions and activities, facilitating accountability and traceability.
- Regularly update and align the verification process with the latest developments in educational quality assurance, upholding the integrity and relevance of assessment practices.
To align with these aims, Next Gates will:
- Assign qualified Lead Internal Verifiers for each subject area, ensuring they are registered with the Awarding Body and have undergone necessary standardization training.
- Each Lead Internal Verifier will be responsible for effectively managing and overseeing the Internal Verification systems within their area of expertise.
- Implement a comprehensive training program to educate staff on the nuances of current Internal Verification procedures, emphasizing the importance of adherence to standards.
- Clearly define the roles and responsibilities related to Internal Verification, providing necessary support and resources to fulfill these roles effectively.
- Advocate for the Internal Verification process as a constructive dialogue between staff, fostering an environment of continuous improvement and learning.
- Utilize standardized forms and protocols across all verification activities to ensure consistency and ease of understanding.
- Rigorously evaluate all assessment instruments to confirm their suitability and effectiveness for the intended purpose.
- Establish and maintain an annual Internal Verification schedule that is thoughtfully linked to the overall assessment plans.
- Conduct thorough verification across all programs, units, and sites, ensuring that every Assessor’s work aligns with national standards.
- Securely store all records of Internal Verification activities, ensuring they are accessible for review and audit purposes.
- Actively use the insights gained from Internal Verification to enhance and refine future assessment practices.
Roles and Responsibilities
- Lead Internal Verifiers: These individuals are pivotal in ensuring the integrity of the verification process. They must be accredited, registered with the Awarding Body, and have completed the necessary standardization processes. Their roles include overseeing the verification systems, ensuring alignment with awarding body standards, and providing guidance to assessors.
- Assessors: They play a critical role in maintaining the quality of assessments. They are responsible for adhering to the verification guidelines, actively participating in training and standardization meetings, and continually developing their professional skills.
- Quality Nominee (QN): They act as the primary liaison between Next Gates and the awarding bodies, ensuring that all practices align with external standards and requirements. The QN is also responsible for the effective implementation of quality assurance policies and procedures across various departments and coordinates staff training and professional development related to quality assurance.
- Internal Verifier (IV): They are tasked with ensuring that all assessments are consistent, fair, and adhere to the required standards. The IV provides invaluable feedback to assessors, contributing to their professional growth and the enhancement of assessment quality. Additionally, they are responsible for meticulous record-keeping, documenting all verification activities, decisions made, and feedback provided, thus maintaining a transparent and accountable verification process.
- Purpose and Scope: This includes assuring the assessment quality of all Next Gates programs, forming a comprehensive audit trail of learner achievements, and utilizing feedback mechanisms for continuous quality improvement at Next Gates.
- Internal Verification Strategy: This comprehensive strategy is broken down into several key areas:
- IV Sampling Strategy: This strategy is designed to be inclusive and representative, covering a wide range of assessors, learners, and assessment types.
- Standardization of Assessment Judgments: This area focuses on creating a uniform understanding of assessment criteria and standards among all assessors.
- Monitoring Assessment Practice: This involves regular and systematic monitoring to ensure ongoing compliance with established standards.
- Development and Support of Assessors: This is a critical area that focuses on the professional development of assessors, ensuring they have the skills and knowledge necessary to perform their roles effectively.
Internal Verification Records
The policy mandates the secure and organized maintenance of verification records, emphasizing their role in ensuring transparency and accountability. Specifically, it requires that these records be kept for a minimum period of three years following certification.
Complaints and Appeals procedure
Next Gates’ academic appeals process provides a structured and fair method for students to challenge assessment decisions that they believe do not accurately reflect their academic performance. Students can appeal if they feel their results don’t truly represent their abilities. To initiate an appeal, they must present valid reasons and evidence of perceived unfairness or grade inaccuracy, directed to the responsible Director. Appeals should be filed within 5 days of receiving the assessment results. You can read more detail on Next Gates Appeal Policy.
External verification (EV)
The External Verification process at Next Gates plays a crucial role in maintaining and enhancing the quality and integrity of the institution’s assessment practices.
- EV Role and Objective: External Verifiers are responsible for ensuring that the internal verification process and the resulting student portfolios meet the criteria set by the relevant Awarding Bodies. This involves a thorough review of both the processes and the outcomes.
- Preparation for EV Visits: Prior to EV visits, Lead Internal Verifiers and assessors must ensure that all student portfolios and documentation are complete, accurate, and in compliance with the standards set by the Awarding Bodies. This preparation is critical to the successful outcome of the EV process.
- Collaboration during EV Visits: During the visits, all Internal Verifiers must engage actively with the External Verifiers, providing them with the necessary information and assistance. This collaboration is essential for a comprehensive and effective review.
- Addressing EV Feedback: Post-visit, all feedback and action points provided by the External Verifiers must be addressed promptly and effectively. This may involve making adjustments to the internal verification process, re-evaluating certain assessments, or providing additional training to staff.
Contributing to the quality assurance process
Next Gates places a significant emphasis on the collaborative efforts of its staff in contributing to the overall quality assurance process.
- Assessor Responsibilities: Assessors play a vital role in this process. They are required to:
- Complete Assessment Records: Timely and accurate completion of all assessment records is crucial. This not only ensures compliance with awarding body specifications but also contributes to the reliability of the assessment process.
- Participate in Meetings: Regular participation in team meetings and mandatory standardization sessions is essential. These meetings provide opportunities for assessors to stay informed about changes in assessment standards and to discuss best practices and challenges with peers.
- Continuous Professional Development: Engaging in ongoing professional development ensures that assessors are up-to-date with the latest pedagogical techniques and subject knowledge, which is essential for maintaining the quality of assessments.
- Feedback and Review: Regular feedback from both internal and external sources should be used to identify areas for improvement in the assessment process. This includes feedback from students, peer assessors, and findings from internal and external audits.
- Implementation of Changes: When changes to assessment practices are required, whether due to feedback, new guidelines, or changes in curriculum, assessors must implement these changes swiftly and effectively. This requires a dynamic approach to teaching and assessment, where adaptability and responsiveness are key.
- Collaboration and Communication: Active collaboration among staff members and effective communication with the administration are essential for a cohesive quality assurance process. This includes sharing best practices, discussing challenges, and providing input on policy revisions.
- Documentation and Reporting: Maintaining accurate and detailed documentation of all assessment-related activities is crucial for transparency and accountability. This documentation also serves as a basis for reporting on the effectiveness of the quality assurance process to higher management and external bodies.