TAQA stands for Training, Assessment and Quality Assurance. It’s what we call an ‘umbrella term’ which covers the suite of assessor qualifications. In this suite, we have the UPPA, AVRA, ACWE, CAVA and IQA qualifications. The most important thing you need to know about TAQA is that it’s not actually a course itself.
Each course consists of up to 3 units that make up the Assessor qualification. These units are:
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
UPPA – Unit 1
Starting with UPPA, it is the ‘Level 3 Award in Understanding the Principles and Practices of Assessment‘. It is a knowledge-only course that contains just Unit 1 of the Assessor qualification (hence, the course name). The important thing to remember is that it does NOT actually qualify you to assess any learners in any environment. It is simply for those who already are assessors and have been for a number of years who want to refresh their knowledge and keep their CPD up to date.
ACWE – Unit 1, 2
Moving forward, ACWE is the ‘Level 3 Award in Assessing Competence in the Work Environment‘. The title is pretty self-explanatory, but just to be clear, ACWE qualifies you to assess learners in their workplace. However, you can NOT assess learners in a learning environment. The meaning of the term ‘learning environment’ can vary, from colleges to an online learning system.
This course covers Unit 1 and 2 of the Assessor qualification. When you’ve completed it, you will be able to assess learners by observing them at work, examining their work, oral/written questioning, having discussions, using witness or learner statements and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).
AVRA – Unit 1, 3
With AVRA, which stands for the ‘Level 3 Award in Assessing Vocationally Related Achievement‘, you’re getting the opposite as to what you would get with ACWE. AVRA qualifies you to assess learners in a learning environment but NOT in their workplace.
You will be allowed to assess learners by giving them assignments, skills tests, oral/written questions, projects, cases studies and, comparatively, RPL.
CAVA – Unit 1, 2, 3
Now, CAVA is probably the course you have heard most about if you’ve been looking into the Assessor qualifications. It stands for the ‘Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement‘. As a matter of fact, the CAVA course is the most popular course out of all the ones previously mentioned. This is because it qualifies you to assess learners in BOTH their work and learning environment, therefore making you a fully qualified Assessor.
You will be qualified to assess learners by using any of the assessment methods mentioned in ACWE or AVRA.
If the course itself is ringing a bell to you but the name isn’t, there’s a good reason for that. The CAVA course used to be called the A1, and before that, it was called D32/D33. Not to worry, we explained all of that in our A1, CAVA, D Units, TAQA blog.
IQA stands for Internal Quality Assurance. When it comes to the IQA courses, they’re slightly different from the ones previously mentioned. This is because they are Level 4 instead of Level 3. Now, there aren’t so many acronyms for the IQA courses so you’ll just have to bear with us whilst we go through it all…
The IQA qualifications also consist of a combination of the following 3 units, however, they are different and more advanced. These units are:
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
There really is no way of easily shortening down the titles of these Units or Courses, so let’s just go right into them.
(If we really wanted to give the courses acronyms, we could, but ‘UIQAAPP’ and ‘LIQAAPP’ just don’t have the same ring as ‘CAVA’ and ‘AVRA’…)
This qualification is the most basic of all the IQA courses. It’s a knowledge-only award that simply includes Unit 1. It does NOT qualify you to internally quality assure. This course is preferable to experienced assessors who want to dip their feet into the world of IQA, but it’s also a brilliant method of CPD for people such as managers.
A step up from the previous, this qualification is the one that is closest to the old Internal Verifier qualification. It consists of Unit 1 and Unit 2, and provides you with any skills and knowledge that is necessary to conduct quality assurance to assessment and assessment decisions – but that’s it.
This course is the most highly regarded IQA course, as it qualifies you to become a Lead IQA. So not only does it qualify you to quality assure qualifications, but as a Lead Internal Quality Assurer, you will be responsible for more management level tasks. This may include leading and managing all internal quality assurers and assessors, writing and updating policies and procedures relating to assessment and quality assurance and arranging any External Quality Assurer visits.
So, that’s TAQA simplified as much as possible. If you would like any more information on any of these courses, visit our Assessor training site, our IQA training site, or alternatively give us a call on 01205 805155.