Quality assurance

Guide to BTEC Quality Assurance

Lead Internal Verifiers

It’s a regulatory requirement for centres to identify a single Lead Internal Verifier (Lead IV) for each BTEC (QCF) Principal Subject Area and each BTEC (NQF) programme being delivered. This person acts as the point of accountability for the quality assurance of these programmes. 

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As Lead IV, you are responsible for managing assessment and internal verification of units and qualifications. You will work with your Assessors and Internal Verifiers to agree an assessment and verification plan for all cohorts from the start of the programme. You're responsible for ensuring that it is fit for purpose and meets regulatory requirements before you sign it off. This means that you should be involved in the assessment and delivery, and have a good understanding of the units being assessed.

You'll train or standardise your Assessors and Internal Verifiers to ensure that they understand national standards. By sampling assessment and verification decisions you'll ensure that activity is completed in line with your plan and that standards are applied consistently. You might only be completing the same amount of verification of other staff but you need to ensure that you sample verification and assessment across all qualifications you’re responsible for.

If a learner is unhappy with their result for an assignment, you can approve a single resubmission to allow them to meet the assessment criteria targeted, providing:

  • the learner submitted the work on time (or had an agreed extension)
  • the tutor feels that the learner will be able to provide improved evidence without further guidance
  • the learner confirmed the work was their own (by signing and dating the declaration) and the assessor has authenticated the evidence.

The tasks completed by the Lead IV are slightly different depending on the framework you’re delivering so please select the relevant tab(s) below for more information. If your centre is delivering qualifications on both frameworks, we recommend that the person who registers as Lead IV for the QCF Principal Subject Area also registers as the Lead IV for BTEC NQF programme in that sector.

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This tab provides information on registering as Lead IV for BTEC (QCF) Entry Level to Level 3 programme and the accreditation process.

When you become a Lead IV you will need to complete induction training and let us know which Principal Subject Area you’re responsible for. You do this by confirming your details on our Online Support for Centre Assessors (OSCA) platform. Once registered, you'll need to re-register before 30 September of each academic year.

A Principal Subject Area is a sector-specific group of BTEC (QCF) programmes from Entry Level to Level 3. You need to tell us about the highest level of qualification your centre delivers within your Principal Subject Area.

Only one Lead IV can be registered per BTEC (QCF) Principal Subject Area each year, so you may need to wait for registration to lapse on 1 August before registering if you’re taking over from a colleague. Although the accredited status belongs to the Lead Internal Verifier, it will allow your centre to claim certification for learners for the remainder of the academic year, providing you're able to demonstrate you’re operating to national standards during your Quality Review & Development visit.

Your Quality Nominee can ask for us to withdraw a Lead IV registration to allow you to register earlier if the current Lead IV is incapacitated or on long term absence, has left your centre or has not yet accessed online standardisation.

We won’t be able to withdraw a Lead IV if they’ve attempted online standardisation and not gained accreditation; been through standards verification and not gained accreditation; or lost their accredited status through confirmation sampling. In these instances, learners will be certificated through the Standards Verification process or through intervention by the Regional Quality Manager.

 

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As Lead IV, you’ll be given the opportunity to gain accreditation through an online standardisation exercise. Accreditation formally recognises your ability to:

  • ensure assessment meets national standards
  • implement internal verification to achieve standards across a team
  • maintain quality for the programmes within your Principal Subject Area.

Gaining accreditation reduces the number of times you need to undergo standards verification during the accreditation period, reducing the burden of sampling.

To gain accreditation, you need to complete the online standardisation exercise within the published window and achieve a score that meets or exceeds the standardisation benchmark. We expect that most experienced Lead Internal Verifiers who have completed the training and made use of the practice exercise should be able to do this.
 

Once you’re registered as Lead IV, you can download practice standardisation materials that relate to your Principal Subject Area from OSCA. The practice materials consist of:

  • assignments, assessed learner work, assessor and internal verifier comments
  • questions, with a blank answer form
  • Senior Standards Verifier (SSV) commentaries and answers.

Practice materials aren’t confidential and we expect you to use them to prepare for online standardisation and to train or standardise your Assessors and Internal Verifiers on national standards. To get the most from the materials, we suggest you:

  • print off the practice materials and make notes on how the work would be assessed at your centre, comparing the work to your own practice
  • have a go at answering the questions, then compare your responses to those provided by the SSV. You can use the commentaries to help understand the rationale for the the SSV’s decisions/answers
  • make notes on any implications for your centre’s assessment and quality assurance practice.

Copies of the online standardisation exercise materials are confidential and shouldn’t be distributed or discussed with colleagues. 

OSCA online standardisation window 2016-2017
25 August 2016 Window opens
20 October 2016 Window closed
3 November 2016 Results released

The online standardisation exercise requires you to review a sample of assessed learner work from the appropriate Principal Subject Area, usually over two units. You’ll be asked to make judgements and answer 28 questions on the evidence provided. There will be a combination of Yes/No and multiple choice questions which focus on the:

  • quality of the assignment brief
  • standard of learner work and criteria achieved
  • quality of the internal verification process
  • assessment practice and the purpose of internal verification.

The online standardisation exercise follows a slightly different format to the practice standardisation materials, though the focus remains the same. We recommend that you print off all the materials as soon as possible, and complete the standardisation exercise offline before entering answers online.

When entering your answers online, you should save your work regularly. Against each answer you can record comments, which aren’t reviewed as part of the standardisation scoring but can be helpful when you’re checking your answers. You can return to (and amend) your saved answers until the window closes, so don’t need to enter all of the information online in one go. However, once you’ve started any part of any exercise, you need to ensure you complete it in full before the end of the window.

It’s important to for you to allow enough time to complete all the questions of within the standardisation window. Rushing through or failing to complete all parts of an exercise are the most common reasons for not gaining accreditation.
 

We’ll let you know how you did in the online standardisation exercise on 20 November and publish the Senior Standards Verifier’s (SSV) answers and commentary on OSCA. There are two possible outcomes:

Outcome

Description

Accredited

You’ve gained accredited status for the rest of this academic year and for the following 3 academic years subject to you:

  • remaining in post
  • reinstating your accreditation by re-registering each year
  • receiving a positive outcome from any confirmation sampling

You should let your Quality Nominee know you’ve gained accreditation and brief the rest of your team.

 

Although your score met or exceeded the standardisation benchmark, you should read the SSV’s commentary and compare to your answers to see if there any implications for your centre’s assessment and quality assurance practice.

Accredited, subject to standards verification

Based on your results, we feel that you would benefit from immediate support. We’ll allocate you a Standards Verifier to support you in gaining accreditation and undertake sampling.

 

You should let your Quality Nominee know to prepare for standards verification. If, following sampling, your Standards Verifier is confident that national standards are being maintained, you’ll be granted full accredited for the rest of this academic year and for the following 3 academic years subject to you:

  • remaining in post
  • reinstating your accreditation by re-registering each year
  • receiving a positive outcome from any confirmation sampling.

It’s not possible to retake the standardisation exercise during the same academic year but you should read the SSV’s commentary and compare to your answers to see if there any implications for your centre’s assessment and quality assurance practice.

Self-accreditation not attempted

We'll allocate a Standards Verifier to any Principal Subject Area for which you have active learner registrations but haven't attempted online standardisation.

 

You'll undergo standards verification but won't be able to gain accreditation - even if your Standards Verifier confirms you're meeting national standards.

 

A Lead Internal Verifier will need to register and complete online standardisation in the following academic year.

Appeals against the outcome of online standardisation can be made to Vocational Assessment only on the grounds of technical problems that arise whilst completing the online accreditation exercise.

This tab provides information on registering as a Lead IV for BTEC Level 1/Level 2 First (NQF) programmes.

When you become a Lead IV you will need to complete online training and let us know which programme you’re responsible for by confirming your details on our Online Support for Centre Assessors (OSCA) platform.

Before 30 September of each academic year, you’ll need to log into OSCA to re-register as Lead IV to confirm you’re still responsible for your programme and complete the latest version of the training.

Once registered, you need to work with your Assessors and Internal Verifiers to agree an assessment and verification plan for all cohorts from the start of the programme. As Lead IV, you're responsible for ensuring that it is fit for purpose and meets regulatory requirements before you sign it off. If you're selected for standards verification, your Standards Verifier will ask to see these documents when planning your sample.

Once you’re registered as Lead IV, you'll be able to access standardisation material, which you should use to train or standardise your Assessors and Internal Verifiers. The standardisation material will include:

  • assignments, assessed learner work, assessor and internal verifier comments
  • questions, with a blank answer form
  • Senior Standards Verifier (SSV) commentaries and answers.

To get the most from the materials, we suggest you:

  1. Print off the practice materials and make notes on how the work would be assessed at your centre, comparing the work to your own practice.
  2. Have a go at answering the questions, then compare your responses to those provided by the SSV. You can use the commentaries to help understand the rationale for the the SSV’s decisions/answers.
  3. Make notes on any implications for your centre’s assessment and quality assurance practice.
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