We have talked quite a lot in recent blogs about becoming an End-Point Assessor and their role within apprenticeships, so today we have decided to focus on the role of an Internal Quality Assurer (IQA) instead. First, let’s have a look at what an IQA actually is.
What Is An IQA?
An IQA carries out a very important part of the learning and assessment process. They 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 the final examination (and everything in between!). An IQA helps with the standardisation process, ensuring that assessments carried out are fair and consistent between learners.
The ‘Internal’ aspect of an IQA means that Quality Assurance is being taken place within the training centre itself, by an internal member of staff. The role of an IQA often falls with the Supervisor or Manager within a training centre. As long as they aren’t quality-assuring their own assessment decisions, an IQA can also still work as an Assessor and perform both roles.
Responsibilities of An IQA
The day-to-day duties of an IQA will vary, particularly if they are continuing to assess at the same time. Here are some of the general things that an IQA will be responsible for:
- Checking that Assessors are fully qualified within their roles
- Planning and preparing activities to allow for the monitoring of assessments
- Ensuring the standardisation of assessment practices (working alongside Assessors, trainers and employers)
- Observing both trainer and Assessor performance & providing constructive feedback
- Sampling assessment records and decisions / grades given
- Meeting with the learners themselves
- Identifying and facilitating best practices within the organisation
Having an IQA within an organisation is very important when it comes to assessments, and making sure that best practices are adhered to. It is quite common that when issues are discovered with the delivery of a qualification, this can be traced back to a lack of quality assurance within the organisation.
Requirements For The IQA Role
Depending on the level of responsibility you will be required to have within your IQA role, there are three different types of IQA qualifications available:
This qualification is the equivalent to the old Internal Verifiers qualification. It will give you the necessary skills to provide quality assurance of assessments and assessment decisions. You won’t be able to be the centre lead IQA with this qualification though.
- The Level 4 Award in Understanding the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes & Practice
This is the most basic IQA qualification, and will not qualify you to internally quality assure assessment. It will provide you with the theory and knowledge behind internal quality assurance, and is therefore a great CPD course.
This is the most highly regarded IQA qualification, and is often referred to as the Lead IQA qualification. It will not only give you the skills to quality assure qualifications, but also manage other IQAs. You will even be able to create IQA policies and procedures within the training organisation.
Benefits of Becoming An IQA
So now that we have explained in detail the role of an IQA and the qualifications you need in order to become one, let’s have a quick look at some of the benefits of becoming an IQA.
Let’s start with the most important one first – financial gain! On average, IQAs earn in the region of £23,000 – £35,000 per year. This is a step up for experienced Assessors, as becoming an IQA will add extra value to the company. It removes the need for organisations to hire a freelance IQA to carry out their quality assurance, as one of their employees can carry out the work instead.
Continued Professional Development (CPD) is another reason to become an IQA. As an Assessor you will already be aware of the importance of keeping your CPD record up to date, and taking an IQA qualification will help with this. Even if you don’t want to become a lead IQA, even just completing the knowledge qualification will help you to become a better Assessor within your current role.
We hope this has helped to give you more information about the role of an IQA, but if you would like to discuss any of this in further detail please feel free to call us on 01205 805155 or email email@example.com.