If you’re training to become, or already are, an Assessor or Internal Quality Assurer (IQA), you should know that an important part of your role is standardising. But what is Standardisation?
What is Standardisation?
The Google definition of standardisation is ‘the process of making something to conform to a standard‘. But in the context of Further Education, standardisation is an activity that both you and other assessors within your organisation are required to take part in, to ensure that you are all assessing to the same standard.
The idea is, if all assessors within one organisation are assessing to the same standard, then the requirements for each qualification will be followed and met consistently for each learner. This in turn gives each learner the same opportunity to achieve their respective qualification.
Whilst Standardisation can happen ad hoc, generally speaking, it is carried out in the form of organised meetings throughout the year.
Standardisation meetings should be held at least twice a year. That’s unless a centre has concerns about their learners, are deemed as high risk by the Awarding Body, or if there are new Assessors on the team.
These meetings are held to discuss the qualification requirements; prepare materials for induction and initial assessments; interpret policies and procedures; discuss decisions made by other Assessors and much more. Standardisation meetings are different from any other business meetings. They shouldn’t be confused with ‘team meetings’ whereby discussions would be held on awarding body changes/updates, targets, success rates, etc.
As a suggestion, the following points should be covered in every standardisation meeting:
- Actions from previous standardisation meetings;
- Progression and achievement of learners;
- Sampling and discussing examples of learners work;
- Good practice from delivery and assessing staff;
- External and Internal Quality Assurance reports;
- Review and updates of centre policies and procedures;
- Any relevant centre updates;
However, having meetings isn’t the only way to standardise. Standardising can also be carried out by new staff shadowing experienced staff, or peer observations and feedback. Internal Quality Assurers can also agree on how their practice will be consistent to support their Assessors.
Records should be kept up to date of all standardisation activities. If there are any identified actions which need to be acted upon, they should also be recorded. Any External Quality Assurers (from awarding bodies) will want to view the standardisation records.
Standardising is a great way to give a consistent learning experience to all learners, regardless of who their Assessor is. Not to mention it’s a highly-recommended method of CPD (Continuing Professional Development).