FE Assessment Policy 2022/23
This policy will be reviewed in full annually.
The policy was last reviewed and agreed by Terry Patterson, Quality Manager on the 9th Sept 2022
It is due for review in August 2023.
Aim of Policy
The aim of the policy is to provide clear guidance to all course teams on assessment practice.
The assessment policy seeks to ensure that assessment practices and procedures:
- meet awarding body requirements
- are subject to appropriate internal moderation/verification
- can be evidenced
- are applied consistently across all course/subject teams
- take account of the diversity of students
Methods of assessment
Assessment methods for all qualifications will be in accordance with the requirements of the awarding / validating organisation
- Learners will be provided with appropriate assessment opportunities throughout their courses.
- Learners taking examinations will be provided with advanced notice of the date, time, and exam duration.
- An assessment schedule and a scheme of work will be given to the learner at the start of their course.
- Clear information will be available to all learners on course assessment requirements, covering:
- how and when assessment takes place
- any associated additional costs
- any special arrangements for assessed coursework, examinations or tests see Appendix 1
- any specialist or alternative ways of assessing/examining learners with learning difficulties/and/or disabilities advice will be given as to whether or not previous achievement or experience can count towards the proposed qualification.
- Assessment plans will be well planned and structured so where possible, the bunching of assessments is minimised. The Quality Manager will audit the plans to ensure bunching is minimised
- Where applicable, the assessment plan must leave sufficient time between internal and external moderation to ensure learners are given a second opportunity to meet national standards before work is externally moderated.
- All assignments or assessments must be internally verified prior to distribution to learners using the agreed Academy system.
- Formative feedback will be provided to learners about their work in sufficient time to enable them to improve their performance. All work must be marked and returned to the learners within an agreed timescale.
- Course teams will hold regular standardised meetings to agree grades to support assessment decisions
- Learners will receive regular progress updates on both formative and summative assessment.
- A learner who fails to complete an assessment or an entire unit may in any year, where appropriate and at the discretion of the Lead Quality Assurer:
- Be permitted to resubmit/resit the failed work by a date determined by the Lead Quality Assurer and the Quality Manager.
- Be required to discontinue the course
- Learners may only be given the opportunity to redeem failed assessments if it continues to be possible to complete the requirements for an award within the period of their enrolment.
- If a learner fails to submit part or all of an assessment due to a medically certified illness, s/he may be permitted to sit/submit the assessment at the discretion of the Lead Quality Assurer.
- Late submission of work is not condoned as the Academy believe that meeting deadlines is a valuable discipline that prepares learners for employment.
- Learners are entitled to special access arrangements in all exams, so that they are not at a disadvantage due to a learning difficulty or disability. Learners must inform the Academy at the earliest opportunity if they think they need access arrangements.
- Tutors also have an important role in identifying learners who require access arrangements. These learners should be referred to the Head of Teaching and Learning.
- RPL is used when a learner believes that previous learning and experience will contribute to the evidence required in current qualifications.
- APL is used when a learner has a formal certificate of competence which meets the assessment criteria for a current qualification.
- Criteria for progressing onto another course are clearly explained to all learners at the start of the course.
- The criteria used for progressing learners is:
- Completion of their current qualification
- Satisfactory levels of attendance and punctuality
- Satisfactory reference from their current tutor or employer
- Malpractice by Academy staff:
- Improper assistance to candidates
- Inventing or changing marks for internally assessed work (coursework or portfolio evidence) where there is insufficient evidence of the candidates’ achievement to justify the marks given or assessment decisions made
- Failure to keep candidate coursework/portfolios of evidence secure
- Fraudulent claims for certificates
- Inappropriate retention of certificates
- Assisting students in the production of work for assessment, where the support has the potential to influence the outcomes of assessment, for example where the assistance involves centre staff producing work for the student
- Producing falsified witness statements, for example for evidence the student has not generated
- Allowing evidence, which is known by the staff member not to be the student’s own, to be included in a student’s assignment/task/portfolio/coursework
- Facilitating and allowing impersonation
- Misusing the conditions for special student requirements, for example where students are permitted support, such as an amanuensis, this is permissible up to the point where the support has the potential to influence the outcome of the assessment
- Falsifying records/certificates, for example by alteration, substitution, or by fraud
- Fraudulent certificate claims, that is claiming for a certificate prior to the student completing all the requirements of assessment.
- Knowledge of malpractice and failing to report this is also malpractice
- All learners work is retained until at least six months after certification, and a successful EQA visit.
- Stored records are kept in accordance with the Academy’s Data Protection Policy and are kept for three years.
- The centre will keep any malpractice investigation records for six years after certification. Records should include:
- a report containing a statement of the facts,
- a detailed account of the circumstances of alleged malpractice, and details of any investigations carried out by the centre into the suspected case of malpractice
- written statements from the centre staff and candidates involved — these should normally be signed by the writer and dated
- any work of the candidate(s) and internal assessment or verification records relevant to the investigation
- details of any remedial action identified as necessary to ensure the integrity of certification now and in the future
- In an investigation involving a potential criminal prosecution or civil claim, records and documentation should be retained for six years after the case and any appeal has been heard. If the centre is any doubt about whether criminal or civil proceedings will take place, it should keep records for the full six-year period
- Once the learners’ work has been released by the EQA, it is returned to learners. Arrangements for the collection of work is given to learners at the end of the course, this includes timescales for destroying uncollected work.
Externally set examinations
The Academy follows guidelines from JCQ and Awarding Bodies when planning and conducting externally set examinations.
In the case of unforeseen disruption to examinations in the first instance exams officers liaise directly with the relevant awarding body/bodies.
For further details:
Examination Contingency Plan
This document must be read in conjunction with the Joint Council for Qualifications and the Awarding Body Guidelines.
To enable all learners to have equal access to assessments, the Academy will seek particular advice from the awarding body issuing the qualification, where competence standards apply. For qualifications which are internally assessed reasonable adjustments will be made in line with the awarding body’s policies.
Adaptations may be considered for the purposes of facilitating access, as long as they do not impact on any competence standards being tested.
It is important to note that not all of the adjustments will be reasonable, permissible or practical in particular situations. The learner may not need, nor be allowed the same adjustment for all assessments.
Learners should be fully involved in any decisions about adjustments/adaptations. This will ensure that individual needs can be met, whilst still bearing in mind the specified assessment criteria for a particular qualification.
As the needs and circumstances of each learner are different, the Academy will consider any request for a reasonable adjustment on a case by case basis.
Requests for reasonable adjustments for external assessments in a vocational qualification will be made to the relevant bod at least six weeks before the date of the series in which the assessment is to be taken.
In all circumstances, the Academy will follow guidelines submitted by the awarding body following the Joint Council for Qualifications – Adjustments for candidates with disabilities and learning difficulties and Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments.