Assessor and IQA – What Is The Difference?
You may have heard of the term IQA. As well as hearing about the assessor qualification. You may have heard of both, but don’t quite know what they are. You may not know how are they different. Here in our blog we’re going to go over the difference’s between the two to clarify the terms better.
Assessors and Internal Quality Assurers (IQAs) are involved with each learner and their qualifications. Part of both roles is to make sure that assessments and activities are to a set standard. They also keep track of the learners with records and notes. It is not uncommon to confuse the terms, as they work together. This enforces the misconception of them being the same, but they are different!
So what is an assessor? You may already know this, but lets have a look. In short an assessor supports and assesses a learner who is working towards a vocational qualification either in a college, workplace or training centre. It’s the assessors job to make sure that the learner meets all the occupational standards and procedures to gain their qualification.
Being an assessor you will have to provide them with goals and record their achievements as well. It is your role to make sure that the learner is at a level required to pass. As an assessor you will carry out the assessment methods. Whereas the IQA will review those assessments.
As an assessor you can assess in a variety of things. This could be, NVQs, Awards or Apprenticeships. However, you can’t assess in any vocation you like. You must have previous knowledge and experience in that sector.
So what roles and responsibilities do assessors have? In addition to planned assessments, you will have additional tasks. These may vary depending on the sector and organisation you’re with.
This may include:
- Planning and doing training and workshops
- Observing candidates in their workplace
- Examining a candidate’s portfolio
- Providing feedback to the candidate
- Keeping records of progress
You also need to motivate your learners so they can achieve the best they can too. As an assessor you are the learners main point of contact, so it’s a good idea to maintain a positive relationship with them. You also must hold the Level 3 CAVA qualification to become a fully qualified assessor.
Internal Quality Assurers (IQA)
So, we’ve talked about assessors and their roles and responsibilities. But what about IQAs?
The IQAs are the ones who are responsible for making sure operations run smoothly. This involves everything from the learning and studying the apprentice undertakes, all the way through to their final exam and ensuring certificates are claimed correctly. An IQA helps with the standardisation process and ensures that everything is carried out in a fair and consistent way.
The role of an IQA often falls with a supervisor or manager within a training centre. They check that the assessor is doing things correctly as well. IQAs used to be called verifies or internal verifiers. So if you hear those words being used they are really just other ways of saying the same thing!
Why does the IQA role exist?
The IQA role is vital to ensuring organisations follow the best practices when it comes to assessment practices. If assessments and delivery of qualifications are not done fairly then it leads to employees that are not fit for their jobs, or lack specific training and skills. As well as a ruined reputation. Everything is about quality control within the IQA role. Making sure that staff and learners are competent in their role.
So what are their responsibilities?
Some of the day to day activities will vary. But here are some things that an IQA will be responsible for.
- Checking that assessors are fully qualified
- Planning and preparing activities for the monitoring of assessments
- Ensuring standardisation of practices
- Observing assessor and trainer
- Sampling assessment records
You may want to think of it like a hierarchy. Starting with the learners, then the assessors are above them and then on top of the assessors are the IQAs. As they are different roles, the qualifications for both of them will be different. But what are the different qualifications?
As you may know the assessor course that most people complete is the Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement or CAVA.
Whereas IQAs need a more advanced qualification such as the Level 4 IQA Award in the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Process and Practice. You will need this qualification if you want to become an Internal Quality Assurer. If you want to become a Lead IQA then you would need the Level 4 Certificate in Leading the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice (Lead IQA). You won’t be able to centre Lead IQA with just the Level 4 Award.
Quite a lot of the time, organisations will ask that their IQA holds an assessor qualification as well. Having both Assessor and IQA qualification can make you look more employable on your CV.
How We Can Help You.
If you’re thinking about a career in assessing or progressing into an IQA position, we can help you with that! We offer the Assessor qualification as well as the IQA qualification. Both of them are distance based and will help you progress in your career. Both qualifications can be achieved online at your own pace.
We hope this has helped you in understanding the difference between the two. If you have any questions or queries you can always phone our team on 01205 805 155.