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Principles and Practice of Internally Assuring

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1.1 Explain the functions of internal quality assurance in learning and development.

At Business the functions of internal quality assurance cover a diverse spectrum. However, from the start I must ensure that the candidates are at a level and position to carry out the assignments to meet the criteria involved. I ensure that the employer is involved from the outset and is fully aware of the work and support the candidate will need and be expected to submit. This is done through discussions with the employer and learners and by the completion of a pre-enrolment form. This information is required to ensure consistency with the qualification which, in my case is the NVQ L2 in Team Leading and also the NVQ L3/5 in Management. I ensure that I provide the employer and candidate with the information about all the procedures in place by the College to ensure a quality end product and also meet the learner’s requirements should they have any specific learning needs. The learner also goes through and induction workshop and all areas of the NVQ are explained especially the procedures. The employer also signs the individual learning plan incorporated within the NVQ stating that they support the learner and agree with there role as an employer.

The procedures that we have in place are ‘Equality and Diversity’ this ensures that all learners can participate and have the opportunity to reach their potential and that we understand the social identity which includes gender, race, disability, age, social class, sexuality and religion ensuring that we are aware that all learners are different and that we treat all learners as individuals.

We also need to be fully aware and compliant of the ‘Data Protection Policy’ this is very important to the learner and employer as they are often concerned about any information that may be valuable to other competitive business. We ensure that all the portfolio’s we receive are locked away and never left unattended. The learner is also reassured of this process and we ensure we have a rigorous booking in and out procedure that everyone is aware and compliant of. The College also carries out Data protection audits checking that the ‘Data Protection Act’ is complied with at all times.

The learners are also made aware of and given a copy of the ‘Appeals and Complaints Procedure’ this is to ensure that I am open, honest and fair and acting in a professional manner at all times. However, it does give the learner confidence that if they do feel that they have cause for a complaint or appeal that they can do in a formal manner and that there is a procedure for doing so.

All of the above together with the National Standards and criteria laid down for the qualification ensures that both the employer and learner can be assured that the qualification meets with public credibility and respect.

All assessors and internal verifiers go through an in-depth training procedure and qualification to compliment there professional experience. This also standardises the quality of assessment and verification. Standardisation meetings are also scheduled at regular intervals, in my case they are monthly and we discuss and minute specific areas to ensure we are all operating consistently. We also discuss areas of CPD and ways to ensure are professional experience is current some ways of doing this is to be member of professional bodies and I am a member of the Institute for Leadership and Management (ILM) and the Institute for Learning (IfL), they supply a quarterly magazine with case studies of current topics and this does help me remain current in and at the forefront of any changes. They also have a very good website with many hot topics listed and explained or discussed in detail together with a list of seminars for managers that we occasionally attend. I am required to log at least thirty hours of CPD however, frequently exceed this each year. I record this CPD on the College intranet site and also with Reflect data base on the IfL website as this is a requirement for me to maintain my professional status of QTLS.

1.2 Explain the key concepts and principles of internal quality assurance of assessment.

Our process for internal quality assurance involves planning the units that will be sampled for each student. This is planned on an internal verification sampling plan (Evidence index 5) and we use the alphabetical listings and diagonal lines that cross the units to be sampled. If however, the units are infrequently selected then I will ensure that they are sampled and also with the new NVQ specification that has recently taken place then I would carry out a 100% check. We also like to carry out formative assessment as this is good practice and aids to our standardisation process in supporting all our assessors. Regarding support I always liaise with our more senior assessors and the external verifier to ensure I am continually meeting the quality standards required and they are always available to offer their assistance and advice. If we have a very inexperienced assessor or new assessor then the NVQ’s they assess would be sampled far deeper and more support would be given to them. I would ensure that I assess a variety of evidence ranging from Observations, Recorded discussions, Reflective accounts, Witness statements and Work products to list a few. I ensure that the levels and quantities of these are consistent, authentic, valid, and reliable especially regarding new standards.

1.3 Explain the roles of practitioners involved in the internal and external quality assurance process

The role of the candidate is to familiarise themselves with the standards and process of the NVQ and negotiate an assessment plan with the assessor that details their work activities that they will carry out in order to meet the laid down standards. They are responsible for providing consistent, valid, authentic and reliable evidence to meet the specific learning outcomes and criteria required and mapping this across in their portfolio to prove that they are competent at the level required. They should keep in contact with the assessor and work to the agreed assessment plan informing the assessor if they cannot make an agreed meeting.

The role of the candidate’s employer/line manager is to ensure that the candidate has time to gather evidence required, meet with the assessor and the resources such as an interview room to do so. To help, advise and support the candidate in any way required for them to complete their NVQ. They should sign that they will support the candidate in the portfolio and also be available on occasion so that the assessor could question or interview on the competence of the candidate, to provide PPE, to the assessor if required to observe the candidate in the work place.

The role of a trainer in the internal quality assurance procedure is to assess the suitability of candidates by the use of a pre-enrolment assessment this will also highlight any support needs the candidate might require. They then explain all the procedures to the candidate covering everything from Equality & Diversity, Data Protection to Appeals and Complaints as referred to in item 1.1 also explaining the NVQ portfolio itself. They are responsible for planning assessment with the candidate and supporting the candidate through the whole process and ensuring the candidate is enrolled and registered with the awarding body. The trainer has a role of being honest and trustworthy and meeting with the candidate on agreed dates to observe and review progress.

They have a duty assess the evidence and check it meets all learning outcomes and criteria requested by the specific units ensuring all evidence is consistent, authentic, valid, and reliable and that the portfolio has been put together in an orderly fashion with all the signatures and dates that are required. Once completed the trainer ensures that the portfolio is signed off and a completion interview takes place with the candidate explaining what will happen next. The trainer is now responsible for the safe keeping of the portfolio till it is booked into the college and securely stored awaiting internal verification. Before any assessment the trainer should also assess the health & safety requirements that may be necessary.

Internal quality assurance (IQA) has the role of ensuring that the candidate is registered with the awarding body and also sampling with the aid of the internal verification sampling plan. They must ensure that all signature and dates have been included and all mandatory units and optional units with the correct credit score have been completed. The IQA has to ensure that they record the check on an internal verification record for portfolio sampling (Evidence index 5) and this is fed back to the assessor. The IQA should carry out both formative and summative internal verification to ensure quality control is being achieved and also on occasion to check the performance of the assessor, this should be carried out through observing the assessor (Evidence index 8) and also interviewing the candidates and gathering feedback from them (Evidence index 6&7) it is vital that this is carried out for any new or training assessors.

The External Quality Assurance (EQA) role is to focus on the college staff involved ensuring that they are qualified and suitable for the position that they are in regarding the NVQ’s. That they are all involved in the planning, delivery and assessment of qualifications and that the national standards of qualifications are maintained. Their responsibilities include visiting the college to verify assessment decisions and ensure that the college assess the candidate’s performance in accordance with the national standards and evidence requirements. They prepare a report outlining the results of the sampling they have done, providing advice and action points if required. In between visits that occur once every six months they are always available for advice via email.

The senior IQA in addition to the role of an IQA is responsible for liaising with the EQA reference visits and preparing all paperwork and NVQ’s to be sampled for them. They are also responsible for ensuring that all the assessors are qualified and suitable for the position that they are in and checking the performance of the assessors has been carried out as mentioned above. They are responsible for ensuring that standardisation meetings happen on a regular basis, informing assessors on best practice or and changes to the specification or standards and that both formative and summative assessments are taking place. The candidate’s colleagues have the responsibility to support the candidate and assist with any witness testimonies that could be required. If they are providing a witness testimony it should be honest, consistent, valid, authentic, reliable and relevant. They should if possible complete the witness testimony on headed paper from the organisation they work for, it should be signed and have all their contact details on it as this may be needed for verification.

An expert witness testimony could also be used and this individual also has the responsibility to ensure that the testimony is honest, consistent, valid, authentic, reliable and relevant. They should if possible complete the witness testimony on headed paper from the organisation they work for, it should be signed and have all their contact details on it as this may be needed for verification. They should also be a professional or expert in the field they are witnessing and this should be stated on the testimony. The College School of Education and Training (SETT) also are involved in the quality assurance process as they ensure that all assessors are informed of any updates in the assessing or quality assurance qualifications. They research the updates and prepare and plan a training programme for all college assessors to attend to upgrade their qualification. They are also always available should you need any advice and guidance around the qualifications. 1.4 Explain the regulations and requirements for internal quality assurance within own area of responsibility.

I have to ensure that I along with my colleagues comply with many regulations and procedures some already mention within the reflective statement such as the ‘Equality and Diversity’ this ensures that all learners can participate and have the opportunity to reach their potential and that we understand the social identity which includes gender, race, disability, age, social class, sexuality and religion ensuring that we are aware that all learners are different and that we treat all learners as individuals. Another requirement is to ensure I comply with the ‘Data Protection Policy’ this is very important to the learner and employer as they are often concerned about any information that may be valuable to other competitive business. We ensure that all the portfolio’s we receive are locked away and never left unattended. The learner is also reassured of this process and we ensure we have a rigorous booking in and out procedure that everyone is aware and compliant of. The College also carries out Data protection audits checking that the ‘Data Protection Act’ is complied with at all times.

We have a quality assurance system (Evidence index 3) that I am also aware of and ensure that I maintain all standards included within it; it ensures that we adhere to the assessment process and timeline. It includes the assessment process guidelines such as how the NVQ should be assessed with types of evidence that can be used. The requirements for assessors and verifiers such as professional and occupational expertise the questions a centre should ask when considering appointing and retaining assessors and verifiers. The quality assurance system sets out the overarching assessment strategy from the Management Standards Centre (MSC) for NVQ’s in Management and Leadership based on the National Occupational Standards that are offered by our awarding body Edexcel/ILM. The quality and assurance system also includes rules that we abide by and they include maintaining records this is carried out by logging progress and contact with the student on stars as well as recording outcomes on the sampling plan and verification reports (Evidence index 4&7). In addition to this we ensure that we provide feedback to the candidate and assessor (Evidence index 5).

Other requirements such as observing the assessors and interviewing candidates are required to ensure we maintain quality assurance (Evidence index 6)

Through our pre-enrolment assessment we are able to identify candidates who have specific learning requirements and I can then plan how best to provide help and support for these students including individuals were English may not be their first language.

We also have an ‘Appeals and Complaints Procedure’ this is to ensure that I am open, honest and fair and acting in a professional manner at all times. However, it does give the learner confidence that if they do feel that they have cause for a complaint or appeal that they can do in a formal manner and that there is a procedure for doing so.

2.1 Evaluate the importance of planning and preparing internal quality assurance activities

I am fully aware of the importance of planning and preparing for internal quality assurance as this reduces the likelihood of mistakes and avoids the risks to accuracy of information being given and being recorded. It ensures that everyone is treated equally and fairly with regards to policy and procedures and ensures the information both given and received is valid and consistent. It assists us as a team and I as an individual in maintaining integrity with regard the qualifications that are delivered. This is more evident with the planning I carry out and can be easily identified with regards to the following evidence (Evidence index 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9)

2.2 Explain what an internal quality assurance plan should contain.

The quality assurance plan contains a wealth of information incorporating a CV of all assessors along with a list of CPD that these assessors have completed and their relevant qualifications and the awarding body should have agreed to these individuals as assessors. It contains standardisation plans and minutes from standardisation meetings (Evidence index 9) these are a record of issues that have been discussed and best practice has been shared along with decisions that have been agreed upon.

It includes assessment methods and exclusions for example establishing the levels of the candidates and assessors, what assessment methods are planned, is there a variety of methods such as observation, work products, witness statements or reflective accounts to name but a few. Whether or not the assessments are holistic, which units are to be assessed any difficult units to be assessed and where the assessments will take place.

Has a risk assessment been carried out for the venue and if so what is the Health & Safety requirements of the assessor and candidate. What are the risks involved in using a new assessor or specification and standards. All the above will be accounted for within the quality assurance plan and have been mentioned previously within this reflective statement. The plan will also include both formative and summative sampling plans and the procedure and plan for assessors to be observed. Once again these can easily be cross referenced to the following (Evidence index 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9).

2.3 Summarise the preparations that need to be made for internal quality assurance, including: information collection, Communications, Administrative arrangements and resources.

When preparing for assessment I always agree a plan for assessment please see (Evidence index 7 – F13) this is to ensure both myself and the candidate are aware of what type of assessment will be taking place and what evidence will be reviewed at the time it will also look at any Health & Safety requirements that there may be.

We discuss all the administration procedures that will take place with the candidate and I inform them of the booking in and out system that our admin staff use when the portfolio comes into college ensuring that it complies with the data protection act. I also inform the candidate that we I will review and track their progress on the computer system within college and that this is known as stars.

All our assessments are carried out in accordance with the national standards and that all the NVQ meets all the mandatory units and that the optional units add up to the required credits to achieve the qualification. I am aware of the observation assessment procedure and I ensure that the candidate is aware of this also and I also include if I am to be observed in my role as an assessor what this involves to the candidate and myself.

I explain all the different types of evidence that can be used and planned and agree an action plan (F19) with the candidate on how this will be achieved. The types of evidence we cover are as follows: Observations, Recorded discussions, Reflective accounts, Witness statements and Work products to list a few. I ensure that the levels and quantities of these are consistent, authentic, valid, and reliable especially regarding new standards. I also ensure that if witness testimonies are used that they have all the contact details on as this may be required for the internal and external verification process.

There are many resources required by the IQA and these include the QA System, sampling plan, Candidate details and registration numbers, All relevant forms including the following (F6,7,8,9 & 19) and risk assessments. Copies of all previously mentioned policies and procedures and national standards.

I also need to ensure that I plan and deliver effective feedback and this can be seen in my evidence, please see (Evidence index 5, 6, 7, & 8). I endeavour to ensure that all my feedback is relevant, valid, consistent and constructive.

Finally when planning IQA attendance on site, I ensure that I notify the assessor and that through them all affected parties are also notified and permission is given in advance so as to save on any issues or embarrassment. The evidence I have incorporated within this portfolio easily displays what type of preparations should be made, please see (Evidence index 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9)

3.1 Evaluate different techniques for sampling evidence of assessment, including use of technology.

On my sampling plan (Evidence index 4) I have used the horizontal method as this was a new specification NVQ and as such all the units are to be assessed. The evidence is a photocopy of the original and only shows two of the candidates that I assessed the others candidates are ongoing. Routinely we use the diagonal method as this ensures that we assess a broad sample of units across the candidates. I also use a theme method of sampling for example any difficult, new or unusual units I would ensure that I assess these.

Routinely discussions are taped with the candidate and I review their evidence as they explain how that they achieve the learning outcomes for the units as they can easily show and tell the assessor what the evidence means or how they do something for example on computer. Occasionally questions and answers are taped, by utilising technology this way it helps to put the evidence into context and can also help with individuals who struggle to put the information down on paper for example English may not be their first language or they may have learning requirements. The tape discussions are then place on disc for internal quality assurance. I ensure that the assessor leads the quality assurance and that the candidate leads the discussion.

When reviewing the evidence I can listen to the tapes and also if required telephone any witnesses for clarification of statements. There may be times when it is difficult to access learners due to confidentiality, safety, locations then other methods such as taped discussions with the line manager and witness testimonies could be used. I would ensure that simulation is not used as this is not allowed in our NVQ’s and that different types of evidence crossing a broad spectrum is covered for example I would be looking for reflective reviews, witness testimonies, observations, work products and taped discussions each of these types of evidence have their own benefits for example an observation will bring out a great deal of evidence covering many areas and a taped discussion can include the candidate showing evidence not easily incorporated into a portfolio. I would also ensure that all evidence was valid, authentic, current and reliable. Please see (Evidence index 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9)

3.2 Explain the appropriate criteria to use for judging the quality of assessment process.

The appropriate criteria I use when judging the quality of assessments is to ensure that there is a variety of evidence and as previously mentioned it is valid (it meets with the learning outcomes and criteria), authentic (it is genuine and not simulated), sufficient (it is enough depth to easily understand and achieve the criteria of which it is being used), current (it is within the last 18 months or if a qualification and has an expiry date, it has not expired) reliable ( it is consistent and from a good source).

I refer to our standardisation meetings and ensure the quality assurance is in line with other colleagues and the centre. I also ensure all forms have been signed and dated and all witness testimonies have the contact details on for verification if required. Further criteria involves records being taken and feedback being given all records are kept on the college stars system that tracks candidates progress and completion and the administrative staff have a record to sign in and out portfolios. The assessors are also subject to criteria being occupational experienced in the field that they are assessing and have been approved by the centre and the awarding body. They also have to maintain currency in their respective fields and in my case this involves being a member of the Institute for Leadership and Management, reading case studies and also completing at least 30 hours CPD per year.

4.1 Summarise the types of feedback, support and advice that assessors may need to maintain and improve quality of assessment.

The assessors need feedback to improve and maintain the quality of their assessments and this feedback I base on being honest, constructive, specific, clear and factual. All the feedback provided should be behaviour and not personal these range from formative and summative feedback provided as the assessment is progressing so I visit the assessor and carry out an observation providing positive feedback such as “I liked it when you” or negative feedback “I did not think that worked to well”. I use descriptive feedback for example “I saw you frowning when” or evaluative feedback such as “I don’t like you frowning when you see”.

I don’t use interpretive feedback such as “I think that you are doing” as I base all my feedback of assessors on facts so I avoid this type of feedback and I also avoid implicit feedback when the assessor has to read between the lines however, I do use explicit feedback being direct and clear whenever I can.

I ensure that I follow good practice by giving feedback away from the candidate, basing it on facts, providing it shortly after the event and I check understanding of the feedback by asking the assessor to recap their understanding of the feedback.

Summative feedback is given after the assessment by checking portfolios and writing any points on the internal verification record (Evidence 5), or in our QA meetings and reports (Evidence 3, 5, 7 & 8).

Our standardisation meetings are another type of feedback as this provides all assessors with feedback on new standards, EV visits or recommendations, risks involved with assessing and all good standardised practice.

4.2 Explain standardisation requirements in relation to assessment

It is vital to that we standardise our assessment activities to ensure we are operating effectively, efficiently and professionally in line with all laid down standards and are meeting national requirements. We hold monthly standardisation meetings and ensure we have an agenda for each meeting. We look at paperwork and processes and share best practice. Our planning involves all the team with differing levels of experience and we look at our plans for observing each other to check for standardisation and offer advice if required this is also logged in the course file. We assess a sample of portfolio’s to ensure we are consistent with our assessments and discuss any areas we feel need addressing for example this could be signing evidence and contextualising it if required. We ensure are sampling plans are up to date and filed effectively along with any records of observations. Minutes are written and actions included, these are then sent to all members and individuals who may not have been able to attend the meeting and this will also be followed up with an informal conversation upon their return.

4.3 Explain relevant disputes about the quality of assessment

If there is an occasion for a dispute regarding an assessment all learners are aware from their induction of the complaints and appeals procedure. These complaints can be raised by the individual on a complaints /appeals form and the procedure follows 3 Stages:

Stage 1 – Involves the candidate disagreeing with the assessment given, they must explain the reasons for this with the assessor concerned at the earliest opportunity. The assessor must consider the explanation and provide an immediate response this can be through a discussion following revaluation if required. If the candidate remains unhappy it will progress to Stage 2.

Stage 2 – The programme manager must then forward the original assessment record and candidate evidence if required or appropriate together with the appeals form to the nominated internal verifier within 5 working days of the appeal being notified. The internal verifier must then reconsider all the records and assessment, the assessor’s rationale for the decision this may involve another assessor and the opinion of the candidate. They must then provide a candidate with their decision within 14 days of receipt of the appeal. Again if the candidate is still unhappy with the decision then it may proceed to Stage 3. Stage 3 – This is where the candidate can refer the decision to an appeals panel, the panel is made up from the Internal Verifier Co-ordinator, the Programme Manager, Stage 2 Internal Verifier, the original Assessor, the Candidate together with a friend if necessary. The panel will then try and solve the appeal and will then inform the candidate within 5 days both orally and in writing. This decision will be final and records will be logged and available to the external verifier.

5.1 Evaluate the requirements for information management, data protection and confidentiality in relation to the internal quality assurance of assessment

Information is managed in our area to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 this is achieved by all staff being aware of data protection at all times and having the relevant training to do so. With regards to NVQ’s and associated documentation from Pre-enrolment assessments to enrolment forms all are handled in a professional manner they are never left unattended on a desk and when stored they are locked away. We are subjected within the college to data protection audits were a team check work areas to ensure this policy is adopted at all times.

When we take away a portfolio for formative or summative assessment it is dealt with in a similar manner. As assessors the portfolio will be brought into college and signed into the department via our admin assistant Chrissy Fry, she ensures the protection of the document and it is stored in a locked cabinet until it is being assessed. The assessors will then sign out the portfolio and carry out the assessment before returning it to Chrissy and signing it back in. Before it is returned to the candidate it is signed out and the assessor will then take responsibility for its safe custody until reunited with the owner.

Assessment results are stored online in the college computer programme STARS, this programme is password protected and only accessible to individuals who will need access. The information given in portfolios as evidence or through general discussion will be treated as confidential by the assessor and disclosure will not be given to anyone without an acceptable requirement. We ensure that the individual company does not have any information disclosed to anyone who does not require it from the qualification point of view. We have a responsibility for safeguarding the learner and ensure that if we feel that there is a need or concern that needs addressing that it is brought to the attention of the safeguarding officer within the college who will deal with the matter.

6.1 Evaluate legal issues, policies and procedures relevant to the internal quality assurance of assessment, including those for Health, Safety and Welfare

Moving on from Data Protection that also falls into these criteria I must also consider the balance of the Freedom of Information Act and understand that the learner may have access to any records or data about them. I would also add the Equality & Diversity and the Equality Act 2010 requirement this I ensure I comply with at all times and ensure that our learners do also. We will always act in a professional manner with regards E&D and if we are providing a workshop at an external venue we will ensure that it complies with E&D and also any disability the learners may have an example of this is that we have turned down venues before due to the location of learners and also access as the training room may have been on the first floor and there is no lift.

I also ensure that the Health & Safety is considered and that risk assessments are written if required or we are aware of any workplace dangers that we may be subjected to. I consider what Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) may be required and ensure I have this or that it is provided by the company. I have to check the times are acceptable by all and give advance notification if required. In addition to this I must consider college policies such as lone worker and ensure I do not put myself in a position that may contravene policies and procedures.

6.2 Evaluate different ways in which technology can contribute to the internal quality assurance of assessment.

There are many different ways in which technology can contribute to internal quality assurance as mentioned previously I do make good use of a digital voice recorder when I access however this is also a great tool for internal quality assurance and when summative or formative assessment is being carried out. Emailing students and assessors to check that they are available for planned appointments and for them to contact myself if required. Computer based programmes such as STARS for tracking of candidates and personal contact details is also very useful and contributes to make the process more efficient complying with data protection. E-portfolios are also becoming more evident and are very useful saving time for all concerned with also the benefits of saving paper being environmental. If students are having trouble with computer literacy and access video and digital voice recorders again play a vital part.

6.3 Explain the value of reflective practice and continuing professional development in relation to internal quality assurance.

Since becoming an assessor I have found it very important to network with other assessors to ensure I am staying current with moving trends. I continue to maintain currency in my area with regards to what is happening in the wider community. I do this by attending Institute of Leadership and Management Workshops and Events, reading the ILM monthly magazine “The Edge” and attending standardisation meetings with my colleagues at Cornwall College.

I am required by the Institute for Learning and as part of myself maintaining my Qualified Teacher Learning & Skills (QTLS) to log my continuing professional practice to a minimum of 30 hours per year and easily achieve this very early in the academic year.

This year I have attended a Training Assessment Quality Assurance (TAQA) Level 3 Assessment Awareness update session and will shortly be attending another ILM event VRQs 2012 – the next generation to be held in Taunton in March.

As a department I am also encouraged to carry out peer observations and these are done as regularly as we like we learn from one and other and regulate best practice amongst the team, if anything should arise or if we find cause to question anything this will be placed onto the agenda for our next standardisation meeting and will be discussed by the whole team. As often as possible I make myself available for all EV Visits as we can discuss first hand any developments or trends throughout the sector and listen to any points that may be raised.

I feel all the above is crucial and required if I am to provide a professional service to my assessors, learners and organisation and if I am to stay in tune with what is occurring in the wider context.

6.4 Evaluate requirements for Equality and Diversity and, where appropriate, bilingualism, in relation to the internal quality assurance of assessment.

The college has a very comprehensive Equality & Diversity policy and all staff is trained in this area. This is good and embraced by all members of staff we also celebrate annually a college diversity week.

As part of my practice I ensure that all my assessors recognise equality and diversity at all times the first opportunity for this is usually on the pre-enrolment forms this will identify any areas that need to be addressed such as extra assistance for literacy, numeracy or IT and if the learner requires assistance in this area it will be given. There are many ways in which this assistance can be provided for example if the individual has a hearing requirement we could arrange for a trained person to provide sign language if it will help the learner.

I myself have had experience with Polish and Lithuanian learners and have had to understand their culture and incorporate this into the assessment. Although these learners have speak good English it is still their secondary language and are sometimes a little weak in writing and reading how we word our criteria in our qualifications so extra time and support is given in this area, although this is identified as a potential requirement with support it is usually accompanied with a great deal of enthusiasm and motivation.

I have also had experience with learners from travelling communities and again offer any support that is required, I feel that no matter what an individual’s background is or their culture, sexuality, gender, race or disability we are all equal however, different we may be and I alter my support to assist in whichever area that is required.

As mentioned previously I do make very good use of observations and the digital voice recorder in supplying assistance to individuals.

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