Standards verification for NQF Level 2 BTEC Firsts in Sport | Pearson qualifications

Standards verification for NQF Level 2 BTEC Firsts in Sport

20 January 2014

You will probably have now been allocated a Standards Verifier (SV). If you deliver both NQF and the QCF BTEC programmes in Sport, your SV may not be the same person for both.

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Your SV’s role is primarily to ensure that you are assessing to national standards by sampling assessed learner work and providing judgements and feedback. Your SV will also wish to check that you have effective internal verification systems in place.

SVs will contact centre Quality Nominees first. The Quality Nominee will then put the SV in touch with the registered Lead Internal Verifier for the NQF Level 2 BTEC Firsts in Sport programme to agree the sample. Registration is via our online standardisation platform (OSCA) and the Lead Internal Verifier will have standardised the assessors within the centre using the standardisation materials available in OSCA.

For standards verification, the Lead Internal Verifier will have to:

  • ensure that assessment plans, records of assessment and verification are available for scrutiny by the SV
  • ensure that current learner work is available for scrutiny by the SV
  • liaise with the SV to ensure that appropriate sampling takes place
  • sign a declaration to confirm that each learner has declared the sampled work is authentic and valid.

Find out more about the Lead Internal Verifier role in the document below.

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Key documents

Assessment plan

This document shows which assessors are assessing which units and learners, when assessment is planned to take place, who the internal verifiers are and when internal verification is planned to take place. The SV will discuss your assessment plan at the start of the process and use this to select the learners to be sampled.

There's a sample completed assessment plan on the Performing Arts page.

Assessment records Blank assessment plans are available in the key documents section of our Delivering BTEC page.
Internal verification record
Full guidance on internal verification can be found in the BTEC Centre Guide to Internal Verification
Lead Internal Verifier declaration This declaration is available in the key documents section of our Delivering BTEC page.

The sample

The SV will be in email contact with the Lead Internal Verifier to confirm sampling details (date of the sample, sample size, date by which the learners will be selected). Do tell the SV at this stage if you are in the first year of delivery and if you will or will not be requiring certification in the current academic year.

Standards verification will ordinarily be conducted by June. The SV will complete their report within 10 working days of receiving the sample.

The SV will make the final selection of learners to be sampled, based on the number of assessors on a programme and the grades awarded. The sample must include the full range of grades that you have awarded. 

The SV will contact you to request a list of learner grades for the units approximately four weeks before the agreed sample date. The SV will confirm which learners will be sampled. You will then have two to three weeks to prepare the sample.

Only whole units will be accepted for sampling. If the units selected are still to be completed then an appropriate date for sampling must be agreed with the Standards Verifier. 

First Award Postal
Sample size: up to 15 if you have fewer than 250 registered learners. Up to 30 if you have more than 250.
Unit 2 and at least one optional unit
First Certificate and First Extended Certificate Postal Sample size: up to 20 if you have fewer than 250 registered learners. Up to 30 if you have more than 250. Unit 2 and at least two optional units
First Diploma Your Standards Verifier will contact you to arrange a suitable date and time to sample work. The requirements for information to be provided to the Standards Verifier are the same as a postal sampling method. The visit should take place within the sampling window. 

Please note: If your centre is planning to complete the qualification within 1 year, you should ensure units are completed and available for sampling within the sampling window to avoid any potential disadvantage to learners due to lack of time or availability, in case any re-sampling or remedial action is required.


When SV gets in touch

Send the SV a copy of your assessment plan, showing:

  • assessors and the units they are assessing
  • internal verifiers and when internal verification will take place
  • confirmation of the learners registered on the programme.
Four weeks before agreed sampling date Send the SV updated records, showing learners’ achievement and grades and which have been subject to internal verification to enable your SV to select the sample.
The sample

The sample you send must consist of:

  • the required samples of learner work, selected by the SV (copies are preferred – if originals are sent, we can take no responsibility for the safe return of learner work)
  • learner evidence must include an authenticity declaration from each learner
  • assignment briefs for the units identified
  • internal verification records for the assignment briefs
  • assessment records for the learner work
  • internal verification records for the assessment decisions
  • Learner Consent Declaration for each sample of learner work
  • Lead Internal Verifier declaration.

If electronic submission is used, please first ensure that:

  • your SV is able to access the materials
  • it includes full assessment and internal verification records.
Evidence of practical activities

Many units include practical activities where assessment is recorded through observation statements. We advise you to use a form that clearly details the assessment and identifies how the assessment and grading criteria have been achieved.

SVs must be able to independently judge the validity of assessment decisions and so they need evidence in addition to observation records. This evidence may take a variety of forms, such as photographs, video and audio along with preparation logs and portfolios.

When submitting copies of DVDs, CDs and other recording materials please ensure that any such materials are labelled with:

  • centre name and number, assessor name
  • learner name and Pearson seven-digit registration number
  • unit title and number and learning aim(s) attempted
  • assignment reference/title.

For audio and video group productions, it should be made clear what role the learners undertook, so that the SV can assess the contribution from the learner in the sample. Individual production logs are a good way for learners to identify what they did and allows for self-evaluation of their processes and finished production.

Second sample (if required)

The second sample must include the elements of the first sample that caused the initial certification block, with evidence to show that the issues have been addressed. These will be clearly identified in the SV report.

The SV will need to ensure that standards are being reapplied consistently across a programme that is blocked at first sample. Therefore, the SV will:

  • check that amendments have been made to the original sample of learners
  • check a further sample of learners to ensure that standards are being correctly applied.


Once the report has been submitted by the SV, your Quality Nominee will receive an automatic email alert and you can access your report through Edexcel Online.

The possible outcomes are listed below:

First sample: successful outcome

The SV agrees that you are assessing to national standards and have successful quality assurance procedures for the programme. Certification is released for the academic year and a second sample is not required.

The SV may agree that standards are being maintained but offer recommendations on how to improve on current practice. You should read the report carefully for recommendations. As part of Quality Review & Development, we check how your centre responds to SV reports.

First sample: unsuccessful outcome The SV does not agree that you are assessing to national standards. If the SV finds that any assessment decision is incorrect or that the approach to assessment and verification does not meet requirements, certification remains blocked and a second sample will be requested.
Not yet fully sampled

If the SV is not able to see the full sample we require within the sampling window, and you do not wish to certificate learners in the current academic year, the Standards Verifier will begin the process by sampling those parts of the sample that are available.

In the following year the SV will complete the first sample that was started in the previous year, in order to release certification for learners.

Second sample: successful outcome The SV agrees that you are now assessing to national standards and have successful quality assurance procedures for the programme. Certification is released for the academic year.
Second sample: unsuccessful outcome The SV still does not agree that you are assessing to national standards. At this point the relevant Regional Quality Manager will meet with you to agree a remedial action plan. Once the remedial action is completed satisfactorily, the
Regional Quality Manager will release certification for the academic year.

Key dates

Sampling should be completed as early as possible, but the final deadlines are: 

15 June 2014 First sampling complete
15 July 2014 All sampling activities, including second sampling, to be completed so that learners may receive certificates in time for college applications. If the full standards verification process is not successfully completed, including any resampling and remedial action that may be required, certification may be at risk.

Best regards,



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