Quality assurance

Guide to BTEC Quality Assurance

Entry to Level 3 (QCF)

This page provides information on Standards Verification for our BTEC Level 2 Firsts (QCF), BTEC Level 3 Nationals (QCF) and BTEC specialist qualifications at Entry Level to Level 3.

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The information on this page doesn't apply to qualifications in the Children and Young People sector or our BTEC Level 3 and 4 Foundation Diplomas in Art and Design. Please check the 'Children and Young People' and 'Levels 4 to 7 (QCF)' tabs respectively for information on standards verification for these qualifications.

At the beginning of each academic year all Lead Internal Verifiers need to log into OSCA to confirm they are responsible for a Principal Subject Area. Based on this information and you registrations, we'll usually allocate Standards Verifiers to Principal Subject Areas that require standards verification between December and February.

Once programmes have been allocated, we'll let the Quality Nominee know and the Standards Verifier will make contact with their allocated centres between late December and early March.

There are four reasons for us to allocate you with a Standards Verifier:

Confirmation sampling

Each year we'll select a proportion of Lead Internal Verifiers, who have received accreditation through OSCA, for confirmation sampling. If you're selected, you'll need to complete standards verification to confirm that the assessment practices within your Principal Subject Area still meet national standards. You should expect to take part in confirmation sampling at least once during your accreditation period.

Accreditation sampling

If your performance in the standardisation exercise suggests that you would benefit from additional support, we'll allocate a Standards Verifier for accreditation sampling. You'll need to complete standards verification to confirm that the assessment practices within your Principal Subject Area meet national standards. If the Standards Verifier confirms that the assessment practices within your Principal Subject Area meet national standards following accreditation sampling, certification will be released and you'll gain accreditation for your Principal Subject Area for a further 3 academic years.

Self-accreditation not attempted

Once the final standardisation window has closed, we'll allocate a Standards Verifier to all Lead Internal Verifiers who haven't attempted the exercise. You'll need to complete standards verification to confirm that the assessment practices within your Principal Subject Area meet national standards. If the Standards Verifier releases certification, you'll need to complete the standardisation exercise in the next available window in order to gain accreditation.

Direct to Standards Verifier

The Principal Subject Areas listed below either aren’t covered by Lead Internal Verifier accreditation or are no longer covered by Lead Internal Verification accreditation. We'll start allocating Standards Verifiers to all centres with registrations, which don't hold existing accreditation, from November.

BTEC Aeronautical Engineering
BTEC Agriculture
BTEC Animal Care
BTEC Aviation Operations
BTEC Cleaning and Facilities Management
BTEC Countryside
BTEC Fire services
BTEC Horticulture 

BTEC Land-based Studies
BTEC Management
BTEC Management (Law)
BTEC Maths
BTEC Security
BTEC Supporting Teaching and Learning
BTEC Sustainability
BTEC Transport and Logistics

If you have any queries about the allocation of your Standards Verifier, please contact your Account Specialist

The Lead Internal Verifier should provide the assessment plan(s) for all registered learners including:

  • who is assessing each unit and learner, and when assessment is expected to be completed
  • who is internally verifying the assessment decisions and when internal verification is expected to be completed
  • planned resubmission opportunities

The Standards Verifier will use your assessment plan to agree:

  • when they will need to receive your sample by post or the date they will visit your centre
  • the sample size
  • the date when you will provide the learners’ final grades to allow the sample to be selected

Using myBTEC

The system will automatically generate your assessment plan and collate your learners' final grades. You will need to provide access for your Standards Verifier. 

Not using myBTEC

You will need to record your assessment plan(s) as a spreadsheet or table and email it to your Standards Verifier. Once your learners' grades have been finalised, you will need to collate them and forward them to your Standards Verifier.

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In order for your assessment plan to be considered fit for purpose, it must allow for sampling to take place in time for your learners to undertake any actions that may be required before the end of their final term. You should arrange for your sample to be available as early as possible.

Only completed units with finalised grades (including any resubmissions) can be sampled. If you are planning to complete the qualification within one year, you should ensure units are completed and available for sampling within the sampling window. All first samples must be completed by 30 May 2017. Any further sampling must be completed by 30 June 2017.

This is to ensure that learners completing in the current academic year will have a result on results day. You must work with your Standards Verifier to enable all first samples to be completed and with your Standards Verifier by the 30 May 2017 deadline.

Your Standards Verifier will request a list of learner grades for each unit near to the agreed sample date. They will select units from each level of programme offered. The number of units required for sampling depends on the programmes being delivered at your centre. Once the SV has the final grades they will then confirm the final selection of the learner’s work to be sampled.

Level Largest programme size delivered Number of units sampled Number of learners sampled Extra requirement for second sampling
Level 3 90-Credit Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma 2 4 4 learners per affected unit
Or, if none of the above, Certificate or Subsidiary Diploma 1 3
Level 2 All programme sizes 1 4
Level 1 and Entry Level All programme sizes 1 4

The number of learners sampled for each unit is linked to registrations on a programme. Please ensure that your registrations are up-to-date on Edexcel online.

If you deliver a number of programmes in a Principal Subject Area (e.g. Extended Certificate and a Diploma), then the total number of registrations is used to determine the sample size. Learners may be selected from any of the programmes.

We may scrutinise certificate claims made after your sample has been submitted to identify discrepancies.

For each learner selected as part of the sample, you'll need to provide your Standards Verifier with definitive evidence of the assessment process for an entire unit, which they'll use to confirm whether the national standard is being applied.

The materials you send to your Standards Verifier will include:

Assignment briefs

  • all assignment briefs used to generate learner evidence for the unit

Learner evidence and assessment records

  • completed unit of learner work
  • assessment decisions for the learner work and related feedback
  • signed and dated declaration of authenticity by the learner
  • confirmation from the assessor that the evidence is authentic and is the learner's own work

Internal verification documentation

  • internal verification documents for the assignment briefs
  • any internal verification documentation relating to the assessment decisions. For each learner, the assessment decisions for at least one assignment towards the unit will have been internally verified
  • the Lead Internal Verifier declaration

A full audit trail of any resubmissions

  • signed and dated authorisation from the Lead Internal Verifier, showing the resubmission deadline and any conditions that were put in place e.g. to prevent collusion
  • initial assessment record
  • resubmitted learner evidence with a signed and dated declaration of authenticity from the learner
  • assessment records for the resubmission detailing the additional evidence submitted and any changes to the assessment decisions
  • confirmation from the assessor that the resubmitted evidence is authentic and the learner's own work

Please ensure that the Standards Verifier has all the information needed to verify grades. If materials are incomplete, inappropriate or don't appear to be authentic, your Standards Verifier won't be able to complete sampling and will contact you for clarification.

When collating your samples of learner work you should send copies, not originals, of learner work to reduce the risk of loss or damage. 


Using myBTEC

The relevant assessment and internal verification documentation will be automatically collated by the system and your Standards Verifier will be able to view this in myBTEC.

Not using myBTEC

You will need to send all documents to your Standards Verifier, either electronically or by post.


You will need to send the evidence for your sample to the Standards Verifier. You can do this electronically or you can use our courier service to send copies of the evidence.

Please do not send us the originals of the work. It is good practice to have a second copy of the work in the unlikely event the work is lost in transit to your Standards Verifier.

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Your Standards Verifier will produce a report within 10 working days of reviewing your sample. Once the report has been completed, your Quality Nominee will receive an email to let them know the report is available to view on Edexcel Online.

There are two possible outcomes of your first sample:

Report Status Outcome
Certification Release

You've provided a full sample and your Standards Verifier has confirmed you have got adequate quality assurance procedures in place. Your Standards Verifier has agreed that you're assessing learners to the national standard but may offer recommendations on how to improve on current practice.

 

This means certification is released for the current academic year and a second sample is not required.

 

A release during Accreditation Sampling also means that you'll gain accredited Lead Internal Verifier status for the current academic year plus 3 years (subject to future confirmation sampling).

 

A release during Confirmation Sampling means that you'll retain your accredited Lead Internal Verifier status for the remainder of your accreditation period.

Certification Block

You've provided a full sample but your Standards Verifier doesn't agree that you're assessing learners to the national standard. This is because one or more of your assessment decisions have been judged to be incorrect, or your approach to assessment and verification doesn't meet the requirements.

 

This means that certification is blocked and a second sample will be requested.

 

If the Standards Verifier judges that learners have been disadvantaged, they'll be able to authorise a further resubmission, on the basis that the original assessment decisions were invalid. This will be clearly stated on the standards verification report. 

 

A block during Accreditation Sampling also means that you haven't gained accredited Lead Internal Verifier status and will need to take the online standardisation exercise at the next available opportunity.

 

A block during a first Confirmation Sampling won't affect your affect your accreditation status.

You'll need to submit a second sample if your first sample resulted in a certification block. Your Standards Verifier will get in touch to agree a timescale for you to submit the second sample once you've accessed the original report. A second sample will be conducted remotely, even if your first sample was conducted by a visit.

Your second sample will include:

  • the elements of the first sample that caused the original block
  • evidence that amendments have been made to address the issues highlighted in the Standards Verifier report. There are usually two ways to address this:
    • reassess the learner work in line with the Standards Verifier's decision
    • replace or improve learner work and reassess in line with the Standards Verifier's guidance
  • evidence for additional learners chosen by your Standards Verifier, in order to check that standards are being reapplied consistently across a programme.

Once your second sample has been reviewed, your Standards Verifier will submit a second report within 10 working days. Your Quality Nominee will receive an email to let them know the report is available to view on Edexcel Online.

There are two possible outcomes of your second sample:

Report Status Outcome
Certification Release (2)

Your Standards Verifier has agreed that you're now assessing learners to the national standard but may offer recommendations on how to improve on current practice. Your quality assurance procedures will also have been confirmed as adequate.

 

This means certification is released for the academic year.

 

A certification release (2) during Confirmation Sampling means that you'll keep your accredited Lead Internal Verifier status for the remainder of the accreditation period, subject to future confirmation sampling.

Remedial action required

Your Standards Verifier still doesn't agree that you're assessing to national standards

 

At this point, a Principal Standards Manager will meet with you to agree a remedial action plan. You'll need to complete the action plan before the Principal Standards Manager will release certification for the academic year.

Enhanced Confirmation Sampling is part of our overarching quality assurance process and ensures quality assurance supports accurate assessment. The process samples all levels within a Principal Subject Area and has a broader remit than our standard Confirmation Sampling process.

We scrutinise each centre’s ‘quality profile’, taking into account factors such as:

  • registration patterns
  • the proportion of D/D* grades claimed by programmes over time 
  • the outcomes of other quality processes, such as quality review & development (now ‘Quality Management Review’) and approvals
  • issues highlighted in a particular sector.

Your Quality Nominee will receive a letter confirming which Principal Subject Area(s) have been selected for Enhanced Confirmation Sampling. This usually happens between December and January.

You will receive a visit from your Standard Verifier, who will look at:

  • A sample of assessed learner work for all levels within the Principal Subject Area programme that has been highlighted:
    • Assignment briefs
    • Assessed learner work
    • Internal verification documents
  • Assessment and internal verification records for the last BTEC National cohort
  • Certification data provided by Pearson, for comparison with centre records
  • The Principal Subject Area’s procedure for recording and monitoring assessment and internal verification decisions on programme
  • Pearson will provide the Standards Verifier with certification data for the previous year’s BTEC National cohort. At the visit, the Standards Verifier will audit the centre’s  assessment and internal verification records for this cohort, confirming whether:
    • records have been kept up to date and archived appropriately
    • the centre’s assessment records match the final certificate claims for the previous academic year
  • If a centre’s assessment records do not match final certificate claims this will lead to a block. This is recorded in the report

The Standards Verifier will also meet with a group of current BTEC learners. Pearson will provide a series of pre-set questions. These questions will discuss the learners’ experience of assessment, feedback and the level of support. The summary of this discussion is captured on the report

You will be provided with feedback at the end of the visit and a full written offline report within 10 working days.

If we require a second sample following an Enhanced Confirmation Sampling visit, this will be completed remotely.

We have a formal appeals process to address any concerns you may have about the outcome of the standards verification process.

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