Employability and Enterprise

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Vocational Qualifications

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Vocational Qualifications

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Access to HE
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Pre-Access to HE
Vocational Qualifications

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Access to HE
Vocational Qualifications

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Access to HE
Vocational Qualifications

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Professional Development

Hair & Beauty

Vocational Qualifications

Health, Science & Social Care

Access to HE
Apprenticeships
Pre-Access to HE
Vocational Qualifications

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Personal & Social Development

Personal and Professional Development

Personal & Social Development
Professional Development
Vocational Qualifications

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Access to HE
Vocational Qualifications

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Personal & Social Development
Professional Development

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Access to HE
Vocational Qualifications

The Gateway Qualifications Centre Handbook is split into 4 categories. These categories include:

Introduction to Working with Gateway Qualifications
Quality & Compliance
Internal & External Assessment Practice
Access Arrangements, Reasonable Adjustments & Special Considerations

This Quality & Compliance section includes details of staffing requirements within a centre, and internal and external quality assurance.

The below sections expand to reveal full details and useful links that offer insight into how to best work with us.

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Monitoring Quality Standards

Recognised centres must have quality management systems in place to underpin that delivery. Systems will vary between centres according to what is appropriate in a particular situation. Practices that work in a large centre will not necessarily work in a small one. Also, an employer-based provider may have different requirements from a college. Whatever the situation, Gateway Qualifications has two key requirements:

  • There must be an appropriate system in place.
  • There must be evidence that it is implemented effectively.

‘Quality management system’ is an umbrella term that includes a number of key aspects of the way that a centre is run.  Within the context of delivery, this will include:

  • Assessment practice.
  • Internal quality assurance systems.
  • Direct claims status.
  • Standardisation.

The quality management system of a recognised centre must deliver the following outcomes:

  • A team of well-informed committed and supported Tutor/Assessors, sufficient in number for the planned provision.
  • Adequate resources to support learners’ study.
  • Guidance and support for learners and provision for individual needs.
  • Equal opportunities in practice that help to maximise the participation of learners.
  • Assessment procedures which are inclusive and offer participation, equity and reliable standardisation.
  • Systems which provide efficient recording and evaluation.
  • Real progression routes for learners, and preparation for work and/or further study including confidence-building and basic/functional skills achievements.
Staffing Requirements - Qualification Specific Roles

It is the centre’s responsibility to ensure that only staff with relevant expertise and occupational experience are used in the delivery, assessment and internal quality assurance processes, in accordance with specified vocational experience/qualification requirements as set out in the published qualification specification.

Centres must provide staffing details including name, evidence of experience and qualifications such as a CV and certifications as part of the qualification approval process for all levels.

Tutor/Assessor

Tutors/Assessors are responsible for:

  • Delivering the underpinning knowledge and skills required for learners to successfully complete assessments for the qualifications they are delivering.
  • Identifying when learners are ready to take assessments.
  • Ensuring that appropriate supervision arrangements are made.
  • Marking assessments tasks (where applicable).
  • Maintaining accurate and verifiable learner records.
Internal Quality Assurer

The role of the Internal Quality Assurer is to ensure that:

  • Assessment setting and marking is appropriate, consistent, fair and transparent and does not discriminate against any learner.
  • Tutors/Assessors receive on-going advice and support, for example, in contextualising assessments.
  • Learners clearly understand assessment requirements and are given opportunities to achieve against the assessment criteria.
  • Learners’ work is presented in a manner that enables effective internal and external quality assurance to take place.
  • Evidence of learner achievement is clearly mapped to the assessment criteria.
  • Certification claims are valid, reliable and consistent.

Internal Quality Assurers in addition to Tutors/Assessors will need to hold a recognised internal quality assurance/verification qualification or be working towards one, examples as follows:

  • D34 qualification.
  • V1 qualification.
  • Internal Verifier Award.
  • Internal Verification of Credit Based Learning: Continuing Professional Development for Practitioners Award.
  • Level 4 Award in the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice.
  • Level 4 Certificate in Leading the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice.
  • L4 TAQA.
Internal Quality Assurance

Internal quality assurance is the process by which a centre regularly samples and evaluates its assessment practices and decisions, and acts on the findings to ensure consistency and fairness. It involves two key processes – internal quality assurance and standardisation – and is carried out by one or more internal quality assurers.

The internal quality assurance system developed by centres will depend on the size and extent of the qualifications delivered. Centres will need to set out their internal quality assurance systems within a centre internal quality assurance plan.

The role of the internal quality assurer is to ensure that:

  • Assessment is appropriate, consistent, fair and transparent and does not unintentionally discriminate against any learner.
  • Tutors/assessors receive on-going advice and support, for example in designing assessment activities.
  • Learners clearly understand assessment requirements and are given opportunities to achieve against the assessment criteria.
  • Learners’ work is presented in a manner that enables effective internal quality assurance to take place.
  • Evidence of learner achievement is clearly mapped to the assessment criteria.
  • Reports of Achievement or Completion (RACs) are valid, reliable and consistent.

Internal quality assurance arrangements must include as a minimum:

  • An identified individual responsible for coordinating the internal quality assurance process.
  • A planned structure for internal quality assurance that incorporates all of a centre’s Gateway Qualifications provision.
  • An agreed and published annual timetable for internal quality assurance, including internal quality assurance meetings.
  • Clear and documented roles and responsibilities for all those involved.
  • A forum for discussion of borderline cases and good practice in assessment.
  • A sampling of assessed work.
  • Standardisation of assessed work.
  • Full and clear records of the internal quality assurance process, including action plans.
  • Regular evaluation of the process and outcomes.

An Internal Quality Assurer, therefore, has a central role in the operation of the centre’s quality system. A centre may have one or more Internal Quality Assurers, according to the size and variety of its provision. All must have experience relevant to the area(s) for which they quality assure. They should also have an understanding of quality assurance and improvement, and the centre must ensure that they develop their practice in this field.

To ensure the integrity of the internal quality assurance process, Internal Quality Assurers must not verify work that they have assessed.

Gateway Qualifications External Quality Assurers will review the operation of a centre’s internal quality assurance system through centre quality monitoring visits.

Once a course has been internally quality assured, there are two possible paths to the RAC:

  1. Direct Claim Status.
  2. An External Quality Assurer signs off the RAC.
Retaining Learners’ Evidence

The retention of learners’ work by recognised centres will assist the development of consistency of centre quality management systems.

The regulatory arrangements place the emphasis on awarding organisations to retain samples of learners’ work to ensure year-on-year monitoring of standards in respect of regulated qualifications.

Gateway Qualifications achieves this through the annual cycle of standardisation for regulated qualifications supported by the on-going quality monitoring and external quality assurance processes.

Centres will need to retain samples of learners’ work, as part of their internal quality management process:

  • To ensure year-on-year monitoring of standards of assessment.
  • Used in the induction of new assessors.
  • The development of existing assessors.
  • To provide an understanding of the requirements at different levels.
  • To be incorporated into centre standardisation of assessment meetings.

The result will be a representative sample of learners’ work which is retained in the year following certification. It is recommended that the sample of retained learners work and all standardisation meeting minutes be kept for a rolling three-year period.

In developing the strategy for retaining learners’ work the following factors will need to be incorporated:

  • Samples retained from the range of programmes delivered within the centre.
  • Samples retained at the levels delivered within the centre.
  • Samples retained to include all assessors.
  • Samples retained to include the assessment methodologies used.

Samples should show examples of top, middle and bottom within a level.

The factors that will constrain the size of the retained sample

  • Availability of storage space.
  • The frequency of change of assessors.

A justification of why the sample is retained should be clearly referenced, with the sample to include:

  • Unit of assessment.
  • Assessment task.
  • Learner’s work.
  • Tutor feedback. 

 

Learner Records

Recognised centres are required to retain records for a period of three years, from the end of the year that they relate to.

External Centre Monitoring

Gateway Qualifications will allocate a named External Quality Assurer to your centre. This person is responsible for ensuring that your internal quality assurance systems meet the requirements set out by Gateway Qualifications.

Quality Monitoring of a New Centre

As part of the centre recognition approval process, the External Quality Assurer will contact your centre to arrange an initial visit. The focus of this visit will be to identify any areas that do not meet the requirements of centre recognition.

During the visit, the External Quality Assurer will identify any areas where further work is needed and agree actions that need to be undertaken. The actions will be sent to your centre’s Quality Assurance contact.

Quality Monitoring of Recognised Centres

The External Quality Assurer will arrange on-going quality monitoring visits to all recognised centres. These visits will:

  • Monitor the centre’s compliance with the centre recognition terms and conditions by reviewing course documentation and meeting managers and centre staff.
  • Identify any staff development needs.
  • Ensure that all procedures are being complied with, through an audit trail, and make sure that the award of qualifications to learners is secure.
  • Review the practice of Approved Internal Quality Assurers to ensure that the awards are secure.

On an External Quality Assurer visit, they will sample a minimum of 5 portfolios per qualification.  If there are less than 10 registrations on a qualification, then all registrations may be reviewed. The External Quality Assurer will sample all tutors and Internal Quality Assurers on a visit.  If a centre delivers on more than one site, then each site will need to be sampled to make sure of consistency of delivery.

After each monitoring visit, we will produce a centre quality monitoring report setting out agreed action points with deadlines, which the External Quality Assurer will monitor the progress and completion of. A copy will be sent to the centre Quality nominee for reference.

The frequency of quality monitoring will be determined by factors including:

  • The number and type of actions agreed.
  • Volume.
  • Type of qualifications offered.
Malpractice

Malpractice is any deliberate activity, neglect, default or other practice that compromises the integrity of the internal and external assessment process, and/or the validity of certificates. It covers any deliberate actions, neglect, default or other practice that compromises, or could compromise:

  • the assessment process
  • the integrity of a regulated qualification
  • the validity of a result or certificate
  • the reputation and credibility of Gateway Qualifications, the qualification to the public at large.

Centre staff should be familiar with the contents of Gateway Qualifications Malpractice and Maladministration Policy.