In its Strategy Statement 2017-2021 GRETB has the provision of high quality education and training programmes as a strategic goal. To this end we employ appropriately qualified staff, with Teaching Council registration where appropriate, to deliver our programmes. Throughout programme delivery learners are given feedback on their progress. A programme review is carried out by each centre/school at the end of the delivery of a programme, at a minimum. Learners and staff participate in the review. Areas for improvement are identified and acted upon. If an issue arises either during programme delivery or from the review that causes concern with regard to programme delivery or assessment it is brought to the attention of the appropriate line manager to be dealt with accordingly. In our Quality Improvement Plan we have committed to carrying out a full analysis of the assessment of our learners.
GRETB delivers programmes from a range of professional and regulatory bodies:
GRETB assessors adhere to the integrity of the assessment process principle. Centres and schools provide secure storage for assessment materials and evidence. The QA Working Group plans to oversee the development and implementation of organisation wide policy and procedures following the recent publication of the Secure Storage document under by ETBI’s Assessment Reference Framework.
QQI Assessment Process: Learners wishing to achieve certification from QQI follow a QQI validated programme. The programme includes assessment techniques and criteria at the award standard.
Internal assessor: Learners are given assignment briefs which include the assessment criteria, marks and submission deadlines for each of their modules. It is the learners’ responsibility to demonstrate their learning in the completed assessments. The submitted assessment evidence must include a signature verifying the authenticity of the learner’s work. The assessment evidence is marked against the criteria in the validated programme.
Internal Verification (IV): IV is a process which checks that the correct assessment instruments were used, weighted as approved in the validated programme, marks totalled correctly and learner details, including results, entered correctly on the QBS Provisional Results’ Sheet. Errors are corrected. The IV process is used across all FET provision in GRETB. A sampling strategy is applied where numbers are large. Otherwise all assessment evidence is verified internally. The Training Centre currently manages its own IV process under TQAS.
External Authentication (EA): GRETB uses a panel of subject matter experts to carry out an independent authentication of the assessment evidence presented for certification by QQI. External authenticators (EA) are required to review the IV reports, ensure that assessment evidence was assessed fairly and consistently, and to authenticate that grades awarded are in line with the award standard. EAs are required to submit a report to the centre/school for the work that they have authenticated. The Training Centre currently manages its own EA process under TQAS.
Results Approval Panel (RAP): The results approval meeting is attended by members of GRETB’s FET Steering Group and centre/school personnel. IV reports and EA reports for each centre/school are discussed at the meeting. Good practice is identified for sharing with colleagues. Areas for improvement are noted for follow-up by the appropriate line manager. A report of the RAP meeting is sent to each centre/school, to the QA Working Group and cascaded to all staff. As communities of practice are established good practice identified at the RAP meetings will be included as part of that work. RAP meetings are held at the end of each certification period. The Training Centre currently manages its own RAP process under TQAS.
Request for certification: The RAP meeting approves the request for certification to QQI which is completed at the end of the meeting by the centre/school personnel. A request for certification cannot be made without the approval of the RAP meeting. The Training Centre currently manages its own request for certification process under TQAS.
Appeals: Learners have the right to appeal the assessment process and/or the assessment grade that they were awarded. Currently appeals are made to the programme manager, who submits them to the AEO and the Director of FET for processing. This will become the responsibility of the QA Co-ordinator on appointment. The Training Centre currently manages its own appeals process under TQAS.
In order to standardise practice throughout GRETB and assure the quality of assessment of all programmes the QA Working Group plans to oversee the implementation of common practices in the following areas:
- Assessment malpractice
- Assessment deadlines
- Compassionate consideration
- Learner appeals process
- Assessment process appeals
- Assessment results appeals policies and procedures
- Secure storage of assessment materials, records and learner assessment evidence
As new policies and procedures are developed and formally approved they will be published to this page and will supersede older versions.
In addition to the training of EAs delivered by the Further Education Support Service GRETB also delivered training to EAs for inclusion on our panel of external authenticators. This was to standardise the understanding of the role of the EA so that all centres/schools received a quality assured authentication process.
Non-QQI Assessment Processes: Assessment processes for other bodies comply with the processes of the individual certifying body.