What is TAQA?

What is TAQA?

What is TAQA? A lot of people are confused by the term. Is it a qualification? A course?

TAQA is an umbrella term. It stands for Training, Assessment, and Quality Assurance. It’s the name of a suite of qualifications, but it’s not a course itself. In the rest of this post, we’ll go through each of these qualifications in this suite and who they’re for.

T – Training

Education and Training Qualifications

Under the Training section of this suite we have the Education and Training qualifications;

The Level 3 Award in Education and Training, formerly known as PTLLS, is the qualification you will need if you are looking at getting into teaching or training in the Further Education sector.

And, the Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training, formerly known as CTLLS, which is for those of you who are currently working in an educational setting and want to get to the next level in your teaching career.

A – Assessment

Assessor Qualifications

Under the Assessment section, we have four Assessor qualifications: UPPA, AVRA, ACWE, and CAVA.

These four qualifications each comprise a different combination of the following three units:

Unit 1: Understanding the Principles and Practices of Assessment
Unit 2: Assess Occupational Competence in the Work Environment
Unit 3: Assess Vocational Skills, Knowledge and Understanding

It is only when you take all three units (in the CAVA qualification) that you become a fully qualified Assessor. The other combinations seen in the UPPA, AVRA, and ACWE awards qualify learners to do part of the role of a fully trained Assessor.

Let’s take a closer look at each award and what learners are qualified to do when they complete them.

UPPA – ‘Level 3 Award in Understanding the Principles and Practices of Assessment’ (Unit 1)

This award is theory only. Its purpose is to refresh the knowledge of Assessors who are already in work.

AVRA – ‘Level 3 Award in Assessing Vocationally Related Achievement’ (Units 1 and 3)

This award qualifies the learner as an Assessor in classroom, workshop or virtual learning settings only. It doesn’t qualify the learner to assess in a workplace environment.

ACWE – ‘Level 3 Award in Assessing Competence in the Work Environment’ (Units 1 and 2)

On the other hand, we have ACWE which only qualifies the learner to become an Assessor in a workplace setting, but not in a classroom, workshop or virtual environment.

CAVA – ‘Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement’ (Units 1, 2 and 3)

When you take the CAVA course, you are covering all three units, and therefore becoming fully qualified as an Assessor both in the classroom and in the workplace. It’s the most comprehensive qualification, and therefore the most popular!

QA – Quality Assurance

IQA Qualifications

Unlike the qualifications we’ve already covered, the IQA Qualifications focus on quality assurance in assessment.

In addition, the IQA Qualifications are Level 4 instead of Level 3, which mean they represent a higher level of learning than the Assessor courses.

However, just like the UPPA, AVRA, ACWE, and CAVA awards, each IQA Qualification is made up of some combination of three core units:

Unit 1: Understanding the Principles and Practices of Internally Assuring the Quality of Assessment
Unit 2: Internally Assure the Quality of Assessment
Unit 3: Plan, Allocate and Monitor Work in Own Area of Responsibility

The acronyms for the IQA Qualifications are much more of a mouthful, so we’re not even going to try and shorten them! Instead, let us go through each tongue-twister award in turn.

Level 4 Award in Understanding the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice (Unit 1)

This is another theory-only course and does not qualify you to become an Internal Verifier. Instead, it’s a great form of professional development for staff already in the industry, looking to expand their knowledge.

Level 4 Award in the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice (Units 1 and 2)

This award qualifies learners to fulfil some of the roles of an Internal Verifier, namely conducting quality assurance for assessment and assessment decisions. However, it doesn’t qualify you to lead others and therefore doesn’t fully qualify learners as Internal Verifiers.

Level 4 Certificate in Leading the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice (Units 1, 2 and 3)

This is the ‘Big Daddy’ of IQA Qualifications! In this certification, you will cover all three units, which qualifies you not only to quality assure assessments and assessment decisions, but also to manage internal quality procedures and staff. It also qualifies you to coordinate with External Quality Assurers.

A bit too much text?

Not to worry! We’ve produced a video we hope will clear up the last of any confusion.

To sum it all up…What is TAQA?

There are many roles to be had in the arena of training, assessment and quality assurance; but, to become qualified for any of these, you will have to dip your toe into TAQA. And TAQA is, as we’ve discovered, the umbrella term given to all the qualifications discussed in this post. But it is NOT its own course!

If you want more information about the courses that form TAQA, and to discover which one is right for you, contact us today. We’ll be more than happy to help!

How do I become an Internal Quality Assurer?

As you may know, here at Brooks and Kirk we offer more than just Assessor courses. We also offer courses in Internal Quality Assurance (IQA). These courses act as the step-up from the Assessor courses; so if you’re looking to take your Assessor career even further, becoming an Internal Quality Assurer might be the perfect thing for you.


What is the role of an Internal Quality Assurer?

All training providers must have an Internal Quality Assurer on their team. Quality Assurance takes place to make sure that the training provider is running at the best they can be.

Each centre’s IQA will be responsible for quality-checking decisions made by the centre’s Assessors. This is to ensure these decisions and the Assessors’ practices, are maintaining the centre’s standards. Just some of the tasks that an IQA will undertake include:

  • Making sure all Assessors are appropriately trained, qualified, and carrying out their roles efficiently;
  • Monitoring the centre’s assessment practice and procedures by carrying out sampling activities, such as;
    • Reviewing learners at different stages of the programme delivery and assessment process
    • Evaluating the effectiveness of assessment planning
    • Making sure assessment decisions are consistent and standardised
  • Making sure that the centre’s equality and diversity policy is implemented;
  • Conducting a minimum of two standardisation meetings per year.

If quality assurance isn’t happening, then there are risks to the accuracy, consistency, and fairness of training and assessment practice. Therefore, this can cause a significant disadvantage to learners.

How do I become an Internal Quality Assurer?

So, there are currently 3 IQA Qualifications available; however, only 2 of them qualify you to Quality Assure.

Level 4 Award in Understanding the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice

First of all, starting with the most basic of all the IQA Qualifications, this course does not actually qualify you to internally quality assure assessment. But, it does provide you with the knowledge behind IQA. This makes this award a great form of CPD (Continuing Professional Development), especially for Managers. By completing this qualification, you will know:

  • The context and principles of Internal Quality Assurance;
  • How to plan the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment;
  • Techniques for monitoring, maintaining and improving the quality of assessment internally;
  • How to manage information in accordance with legal and good practice requirements for the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment.

For more information on this course, please see our Level 4 Award in Understanding the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice page.

Level 4 Award in the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice

Now, moving onto this next qualification, this is the equivalent to the old Internal Verifiers qualification. It qualifies you to make quality assurance of assessments and assessment decisions, but it doesn’t qualify you to be the Lead IQA of your training provider. By completing this qualification, you will know and be able to:

  • Plan the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment;
  • Maintain legal and good practice requirements when internally monitoring and maintaining the quality of assessment;
  • Manage information relevant to the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment;
  • Internally evaluate, maintain and improve the quality of assessment.

If you think this is the right course for you, we have more information our Level 4 Award in the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice page.

Level 4 Certificate in Leading the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice

Finally, the most highly regarded IQA qualification; the Lead IQA. This is the ideal qualification for you if you wish to be the Lead IQA of your training provider, as it provides you with all the skills necessary to not only Quality Assure qualifications, but lead and manage the wh0le quality assurance process. By completing this qualification, you will know and be able to:

  • Quality Assure qualifications;
  • Manage the Internal Quality Assurance processes for a training centre;
  • Manage other IQAs;
  • Develop and write Internal Quality Assurance policies and procedures;
  • Manage External Quality Assurance (EQA) visits.

In the long run, this is the course we would recommend the most. So if becoming a Lead IQA is the path you want to go down, take a look at our Level 3 Certificate in the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice page.

All things considered, there is one more thing you need to know. You must be a qualified Assessor in order to become an Internal Quality Assurer. There are rare situations in which a person has their IQA qualification without their Assessor qualification; but as we’ve mentioned, a big part of quality assurance involves the Assessors in your team. How can you quality assure what they are doing, if you aren’t sure yourself?

If you do need the Assessor qualification, you’re in luck; we at Brooks and Kirk offer the Assessor course too.

The next step for NVQ Assessors

If you have trained to become an NVQ Assessor and feel like you want to take another step up, then there is an option available to you – The Level 4 Certificate in Leading the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice (IQA).


Next step IQA NVQ Assessor


What is it?

The Level 4 IQA is ideal not only for those who are part of internal Quality Assurance processes but also those who have wider quality assurance responsibilities, manage others, develop policies or manage External Quality Assurance (EQA) visits. 

Brooks and Kirk recommend if you have recently trained as an NVQ Assessor, then you should gain experience in Assessing. This is before progressing straight on to the IQA qualification. However, there can be exceptions. If, for example, you had a background in auditing/management, it may be possible to progress straight onto the course. 

Here’s a few reasons why you may wish to consider progressing onto an IQA course with Brooks and Kirk:

  • You can cover the cost of this course with a 24+ Loan. Even if you have already taken one out to fund your assessor course.
  • If you are a returning customer then you would also get £50 off the cost of your course.
  • We can provide you with access to the trainee assessors to support


If you would like to find out more about the Level 4 Certificate in Leading the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice, then please give us a call on 01205 355464 or send an email to sam@brooksandkirk.co.uk.


What to do now?


That could be the question that will be running through the minds of hundreds of people as a result of Sainsbury’s axing 500 jobs.What to do next

In an effort to make £500 million of savings over the next three years, Sainsbury’s announced that 500 members of staff from their support centers will lose their jobs. 

It can be tough to know where to go next after losing your job. But if you enjoy using your own experience and qualifications to help others succeed, then becoming an NVQ Assessor may be a career that could be ideal for you. 

Providing you are occupationally competent in a sector, then you can become an NVQ Assessor in that sector. If you’re facing redundancy or are out of work, a career as an assessor may be the next step. 

Our Course

Our 8 Week Assessor Course is designed to give anyone the opportunity to become an NVQ Assessor. Most colleges and training providers will require you to have access to candidates to assess. But, if you are losing your job then it’s likely that will make the course virtually impossible for you to complete. However, one of the benefits with training to become an Assessor with Brooks and Kirk is that we can actually provide you with access to the candidates to assess. 

Also, providing you are aged over 24, you could be eligible for funding. This can cover the cost of the course and not worry about the repayments until you’re earning over £21,000 pa.

If this sounds like something that may be of interest to you, then please get in touch with us either using the details on the ‘Contact Us‘ page, or by submitting your information below. 

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Our next course!

Remember with Brooks and Kirk, there is no need to wait for a start date. Because the majority of our assessor courses are delivered online, they are available to start at any time!

Learners are only required to attend two days on our 8 Week Assessor Courses. The dates for both our London and Manchester courses can be found on our Course Dates page. 

We have stopped taking bookings on to the January dates for Manchester now, however there is still availability on our London course. But if you do want to book on to the London course, you will have to contact us before the second week of January at the very latest, so that we can guarantee that you will be registered on to the system in time to start your online study ready for the January dates.

We are also already booking up the following course, whereby learners will need to attend two sessions in March. If you would like to secure a place on either our Manchester or London March course, then please get in touch with us today!

Matrix Accreditation

We are delighted to announce we have been accredited by the Matrix standard.


The Matrix Standard recognises the quality of the Information, advice and guidance offered by an organisation.

When you are looking for a training company to train you as an NVQ Assessor isn’t it reassuring to have one that as already been independently recognised as providing it’s learners and prospective learners with first class information, advice and guidance?

We think so.

Call now and put us to the test.


Course dates and venues now available!


We are no longer running the combined Assessor and Education & Training Course that is mentioned below.

Brooks and Kirk have booked the dates for the first two combined Assessor and Education and Training courses. Remember, the dates stated are only the days that the learners are required to attend, the rest of the course is delivered online.


You can find all the dates for our upcoming sessions on ourCourse Datespage.


The spaces are filling up quick, so you will need to contact us ASAP to secure your place on either the London or the Manchester assessor course!



The number you need is: 01205 805155

Or, you can email Sam at sam@brooksandkirk.co.uk