The Function of External Quality Assurance
Why External Quality Assurance Is In Place
External Quality Assurance ensures that the national standards are adhered to, and give learners a consistent education. Each learner should be marked fairly, no matter where in the UK they are taking their qualification. By having EQA in place, learners are aware of what is expected of them in order to meet the assessment requirements.
Standardisation is the key reason behind EQA. Learner achievements and performances are assessed in line with the specifications of the qualification. The awarding organisations each have their own regulatory requirements; so having an external, unbiased quality assurer means that these are adhered to.
EQA also helps to support both awarding centres and their staff. Sometimes when an EQA is carried out, it shows that there are not enough resources within an approved centre, in order to support both a qualification and the learners undertaking it.
Finally, it is essential that Assessors, tutors and IQAs are offering a qualification that meets the practices and procedures set out by the awarding organisations. An EQA is a check to make sure centres are committed to maintaining and improving their quality assurance activities.
Role and Responsibilities of an External Quality Assurer
In order to become an EQA, you will need to hold both an Assessor qualification and the EQA qualification. The EQA qualification has to be taken with an awarding body as opposed to a training provider such as ourselves.
Here are just some of the roles that you will be required to undertake as an EQA:
- Ensure that the centre has up-to-date resources for the qualifications they are offering.
- Review the assessment practices and procedures against the awarding organisation requirements.
- Review the quality and consistency of IQA judgments and assessor judgments via sampling.
- Ensure standardisation activities are taking place within the centre.
- Ensure IQA practices are planned and recorded.
- Provide feedback to a centre; identify areas of good practice, developing action plans and provide advice.
- Producing a report of your findings.
Principles & Concepts of EQA
In order to ensure EQA activities are carried out efficiently and effectively, there are principles that need to be adhered to; VACSR.
- Valid – evidence needs to be relevant to the assessment criteria, and the correct assessment methods should be used to obtain the evidence.
- Authentic – evidence has been produced by the learner.
- Current – evidence is relevant at the time of assessment and is up to date.
- Sufficient – evidence covers all of the assessment criteria.
- Reliable – evidence is consistent across all learners and is at the required level for the qualification.
The idea behind these concepts and principles is to help monitor and evaluate the performance of an approved centre. Resulting in the assessment process being regularly optimised and improved. The overarching role of an EQA is to review the processes of assessment and IQA within an approved centre. They need to be checking that approved centre staff members are making consistent assessment judgments.
For more information on how to become an EQA please get in touch with our friendly team on 01205 805155.
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.