Is Becoming an IQA for You?
An IQA – an Internal Quality Assurer (also known as an Internal Verifier) – is an important part of the learning and assessment process. It’s their responsibility to make sure everything from classroom study to final examinations runs smoothly and to a high standard. Their work also ensures assessment is consistent, fair and accurate for all learners.
With salaries reaching as high as £35k a year, it’s a highly desirable position. But is the role of the IQA for you?
In this post, we’ll go through just what it takes to be an IQA; what you need to be eligible; what a day in the life of an IQA looks like; and the personal characteristics that suit a role in quality assurance.
Are you eligible to be an IQA?
You may be surprised to hear there are no mandatory eligibility criteria to become an IQA. That being said, you’ll struggle to succeed in the role and find a position as an IQA if you’re not qualified as an assessor first.
That’s because an Internal Quality Assurer basically assesses the assessor. How can they do that well if they haven’t been in the assessor’s shoes? Essentially, assessors become your learners. That means previous assessors make perfect IQAs.
A day in the life of an IQA
The day in the life of an IQA is varied and high responsibility.
- Supporting trainers and assessors, and providing feedback to help them improve in their practice
- Planning which parts of assessment will be monitored, creating a schedule for monitoring, and designating who will be responsible for it
- Sampling assessment records, learners’ work and assessment decisions to check for quality, consistency, and fairness
- Creating strategies to ensure standardised and equal practise in assessment.
In simple terms, the IQA is there to spot-check assessors’ work and to continually improve and finetune the assessment process to make sure it always follows the principles of assessment; that it’s reliable, valid, authentic, and fair.
Which characteristics make a good IQA?
If you’re considering becoming an IQA, you should consider whether your personal characteristics suit the role.
An IQA needs to:
- Be assertive – to identify poor practice and make sure it’s improved
- Have great attention to detail – to notice inconsistencies and failure to adhere to set regulations and criteria
- Be personable – to work with learners and assessors
- Be unbiased – to show no favouritism or discrimination towards any learner or assessor
- and be ready to step back from their learners – an IQA has less contact with vocational learners; for some people, this is the part of their current job they enjoy most.
As an IQA, you won’t always be giving praise. Part of the role is being able to point out problems with the assessment process and work with assessors to make the necessary improvements. You have to be confident in doing this to succeed as an IQA.
Getting a taste of Internal Quality Assurance
There are a couple of ways you can get a taste of the life of an IQA before making a full commitment to the Level 4 Certificate in Leading the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice – also known as the ‘Lead IQA course’.
If you want to dip your toe in the waters first, you can:
- Shadow an IQA – This gives you an opportunity to get an insight into what the role looks like and to ask questions from someone already in the role.
- Take a taster course – The Level 4 Award in Understanding the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice explores the basics of Internal Quality Assurance. While this course alone would not qualify you to become an IQA, it would give you an insight into quality assurance – and make you a better assessor in the meantime.
Let Brooks and Kirk lead the way
If you’re considering a role in Internal Quality Assurance, why not get in touch with Brooks and Kirk to find out more? Let one of our expert advisors give you some guidance on the courses available and routes into becoming a qualified IQA. Contact us today to speak to a member of our team.
Steve is a Chartered Manager and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.
He provides Educational Consultancy to the 19+ sector as well as being an Assessor, IQA, EPA and Digital Marketing Professional. When not doing any of these he finds time, every now and then, to write blogs and articles.