UK GRADUATE LIST OF POLICIES

 

ACCESS TO FAIR ASSESSMENT POLICY (2020/21)

This policy covers UK Graduate’s requirements for Equality of Opportunity, Diversity and considerations for Special Access and Particular Assessment Requirements for learners. The policy details UK Graduate’s commitment to Equality of Opportunity and Diversity.

As a Further Education centre we must have in place the necessary systems and procedures to allow the provision of access arrangements, including reasonable adjustments. These should reflect the needs of individual learners and must also ensure that assessment continues to enable a valid, reliable and consistent judgment to be made about achievement of learning outcomes against the stated assessment criteria.

Statement of Assessment 

  • We aim to provide a variety of qualifications which provide all Learners with the opportunity to achieve their full potential by the most appropriate and direct route.
  • Our Assessment Policy is based on the concepts of equality, diversity, clarity, consistency and openness.
  • We will endeavour to ensure that the assessment processes are implemented in a way which is fair and non- discriminatory.

Access arrangements allow learners to show what they know and can do without changing the demands of the assessment. For example, through the use of readers, scribes and Braille question papers. Access arrangements are agreed before an assessment. They allow learners with special educational needs, disabilities or temporary injuries to access the assessment.

Access

Learners are made aware of the existence of this policy and have open access to it. All tutors are made aware of the contents and purpose of this policy. This policy is reviewed annually and may be revised in response to feedback from learners, tutors and external organisations.

What Learners can expect from us:

We aim to ensure that all assessment of work is carried out fairly and in keeping with the Awarding Organisations requirements.

  • All Learners assessment work will be assessed fairly against the qualification standards and teachers involved will be fully trained.
  • Internal assessments will be carried out fairly and according to Awarding Organisations instructions.
  • Externally marked assessments, tests and exams will be according to the requirements of the Awarding Organisation.

Learners can also expect:

  • To be fully inducted onto a course/qualification and given information that can be shared with employers, and carers if required.
  • Learning outcomes, performance criteria and other significant elements of learning and assessment to be made clear at the outset of the course and when assessments/assignments are set.
  • To be given appropriate assessment opportunities during the course with feedback provided on the quality of the work.
  • Where equivalents and exemptions can be applied, we will ensure this is pursued with the relevant Awarding Organisation.

Tutors (anyone involved in the assessment of learners) must consider the follow points when determining suitable access arrangements:

  • What arrangements are suitable for the qualification?
  • The Learners normal way of working (e.g. support normally given in lessons or the workplace),
  • The details of how specific access arrangements would work in an assessment,
  • Whether evidence or an application to the Awarding Organisation is required,
  • Any assistance from the Awarding Organisation that may be required to put the arrangements in place.

For specific vocational qualifications (this will be explained in the learners induction onto the course), learners must achieve the required number of unit credits in order to gain the full qualification. They must meet all the learning outcomes and assessment criteria. It may be possible to achieve a certificate of unit credit where the learner is not able to achieve the full qualification.

Where health and safety forms part of the qualification requirements the learner will need to provide evidence that they can meet the learning outcomes of the qualification. Assumptions about health and safety implications must be avoided; where there is reason to think that in particular circumstances there is a risk for the learner then UK Graduate must carry out and document a full risk assessment. This must be referenced to individual circumstances and carried out by a competent and qualified person. This must take account of any access arrangements which might reduce or remove the risk.

If there is any doubt about the acceptability or appropriateness of an access arrangement then UK Graduate will consult with the appropriate Awarding Organisation.

Language other than English/Welsh/Irish (Gaelige)

There is an implicit assumption that someone holding a certificate in England will have a competence in English at least to the level of the qualification. This is reflected in the regulations laid down by Ofqual and the other qualification regulators, as appropriate.

For learners whose first language is not English, Welsh or Irish (Gaelige), it is not sufficient for them to be competent to operate only in the context of their first language. The Ofqual  document ‘Regulatory Arrangements for the Qualifications and Credit Framework (2008)’ has regulations in place for the assessment being carried  out  in languages other than English; Welsh or Irish (paragraph 5.21, page 31). This document applies to all accredited qualifications within the QCF. It has a further statement that it is the Awarding Organisations responsibility to ensure that ‘…lack of proficiency in English, Welsh or Irish (Gaelige) does not prevent the learner from properly carrying out the role that is supported by the qualification’ (paragraph 5.21(b) page 31).

If assessment is carried out in a language other than English, Welsh or Irish (Gaelige), clear evidence must be provided that the learner is also competent in English, Welsh or Irish (Gaelige) to the standard required for competent performance throughout the Great Britain.

Evidence of need

UK Graduate must keep evidence on file for access arrangements. Awarding Organisations may ask to see copies of the evidence held for specific learners. UK Graduate must keep copies of access arrangements confirmations from the Awarding Organisations.

The learner should always be consulted by the centre before an access arrangement is made by UK Graduate, or an application is submitted to the Awarding Organisation.

Learners with learning difficulties

  • Diagnostic assessments of reading, comprehension, writing, spelling or cognitive processing, as appropriate, should have been given.
  • Specialist teachers / educational psychologists should keep on file in the centre the tests which were given.
  • The assessments that are needed will vary, depending on whether up to 25% extra time is being requested, a reader or a scribe is needed. For example, if UK Graduate is applying for a reader and no other arrangements, we do not need to include the results of a spelling test.

Where an assessment requires the learner to demonstrate practical competence or where criteria have to be met fully, or in the case of qualifications that confer a License to Practice, it may not be possible to apply special consideration. Special consideration should not give the learner an unfair advantage; the learner’s result must reflect his/her achievement in the assessment and not necessarily his/her potential ability.

Cheating and Plagiarism

A fair assessment of Learner’s work can only be made if that work is entirely the Learner’s own. Therefore Learners can expect an Awarding Organisation to be informed if:

  • The learner is found guilty of copying, giving or sharing information or answers, unless part of a joint project.
  • The learner uses an unauthorized aid during an assessment, test or examination.
  • The learner copies another learner’s answers during an assessment, test or examination.
  • The learner talks during an assessment, test or examination (unless required to do so for the assessment, test or examination).

All allegations of cheating and plagiarism will lead to a full investigation which will follow the guidance of the relevant Awarding Organisation and/or Centre Management. If a Learner feels he/she has been wrongly accused of cheating or plagiarism, then they have the right to be referred to the Complaints Policy.

Procedures

UK Graduate must consider any access arrangements that may be required before a learner is enrolled on to a qualification. An arrangement must not invalidate the learning outcomes or assessment criteria and where possible must reflect the learners normal way of working within the training environment or workplace.

General guidance

  • Access arrangements must be put in place before the learner begins any assessment.
  • UK Graduate must make sure access arrangements are suitable for the assessment before the learner starts working on it.
  • A learner must not receive marks for something somebody else has done. For this reason, a practical assistant is not usually permitted in practical units.
  • External Quality Assurers from Awarding Organisations must be able to sample the work of any learner selected for sampling at the centre. This means in some cases (eg where the learner has produced work in Braille); UK Graduate must produce a transcript.
  • Health and Safety may be a concern for some qualifications and this must be taken into consideration when agreeing suitable access arrangements.
  • Where an access arrangement has been put in place, the Internal Quality Assurer (IQA) must ensure that records are kept for quality assurance purposes.

Special Consideration

Special consideration may be given following a dated examination for learners who are present for the examination but  may  have  been  disadvantaged,  for  example,  by  temporary  illness  or  adverse  circumstances  during  the Assessment. Where an assessment requires a competence, criterion or standard to be met fully or in the case of a License to Practice it may not be possible to apply special consideration.

Teacher’s responsibilities

  • Teachers (anyone involved in the assessment of learners), must consult the Awarding Organisations’ requirements for Access to Fair Assessment, and follow the specific guidance in their Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments Policy.
  • Teachers (anyone involved in the assessment of learners) must communicate with UK Graduate’s Exams team, and ensure that any Access Arrangements and/or Reasonable Adjustments are passed onto to the Exams team for approval and processing with the Awarding Organisation.

APPEALS POLICY (2020/21)

UK Graduate provides a high quality training solution.  However we recognise that problems, disagreements and disputes can occur.  In order to ensure that these events are resolved promptly UK Graduate has the following appeals procedure in place.

Introduction

The appeal procedure consists of three stages:

  1. Informal Procedure
  2. Appeal to the IQA or the Centre Coordinator
  3. Appeal to the Director.

Upon receipt of an appeal request, the IQA or the Centre Coordinator will either investigate the appeal or make decision or it will be forwarded to the Director to investigate and make a decision.

GROUNDS FOR APPEAL

  • The conduct of the assessment
  • The adequacy of the range, nature and comprehensiveness of the evidence when set   against the National Standards and evidence requirements
  • The adequacy of the opportunities offered in order to demonstrate competence

Such appeals will only be allowed to proceed if:

  • They are lodged within the time limit, currently 20 working days of the assessment result being feed backed
  • additional evidence is being used in support of an appeal and there is proof that such evidence was available at the time the disputed assessment took place
  • An appeal is in relation to up to one unit of competence only.

OUTCOMES OF AN APPEAL

These can be:

  • Confirmation of the original decision
  • Instructions that the competence be reassessed by the same or a different assessor
  • A judgment that the evidence presented is an adequate demonstration of competence and a recommendation that the assessment decision be reconsidered.

HOW TO LODGE AN APPEAL

  • Write to the Admin team stating:
  • your name
  • address for correspondence
  • daytime telephone number
  • the name of your assessor
  • why you are appealing
  • the element or unit to which the appeal relates
  • where and when the disputed assessment took place
  • The above can be done by letter or on a form supplied by the Centre coordinator. Other media may also be used to appeal such as audio cassettes and video tape as long as all the information required is covered.
  • The Centre coordinator upon receipt of an appeal will nominate another member of the Centre to convene an Appeal Panel consisting of:
  • the nominated committee member
  • an assessor appointed by the Centre
  • Internal Quality Assurer
  • The nominated Centre member will communicate the decision that the panel arrives at within 30 working days (which may be extended in extenuating circumstances) of them receiving sufficient information on which base a conclusion.
  • No one involved in the original assessment will be on the Panel.
  • The Chair of the Panel will provide the name of an assessor who will be available to provide support to the appellant throughout the procedure should this be needed. This assessor will not work for the organization for which the original assessor worked (in the case of workplace assessors).
  • The Chair of the Panel will have discretion to vary the procedure appropriate to the circumstances having discussed the matter firstly with Management Board.
  • The UK Graduate Management Board will ensure records are kept of all appeals and their outcomes and will inform the External Verifier as and when an appeal is lodged.

PROCEDURE AT THE PANEL

At the hearing of an appeal before the Panel, the original assessor, the appellant and their representatives shall be present at the same time together with any witnesses. At this stage it shall be made clear by both sides who is presenting the case. The Panel will ask all to leave when an appeal has been heard. The Panel in making its recommendations to the Management Board and shall observe the following procedure:

  • The representative of the appellant shall state the case for the candidate and call any witnesses Members of the Panel shall be entitled to question any witnesses called
  • The representative of the appellant may re-examine witnesses of any matters referred to in their examinations by the Panel.
  • The assessor who may be accompanied by the Internal Verifier shall state the case for the original assessment and call any witnesses.
  • The members of the Panel and the representative of the appellant should be entitled to question any witnesses called.
  • The assessor or Internal Verifier may re-examine their witnesses on any matters referred to during in previous questioning.
  • The assessor or Internal Verifier shall then be entitled to sum up the case for the original assessment.
  • The representatives of the appellant shall be entitled to reply to the case for the original assessment decision.
  • Nothing in the foregoing procedure shall prevent the members of the Panel from inviting the representative or either party to elucidate or amplify any statement made by them.
  • The Panel may adjourn an appeal to allow for further evidence to be reduced by either party.
  • The Panel shall consider their recommendation in private. If an immediate recommendation cannot be given, it shall be communicated to both parties within 7 days. If the Panel fails to reach recommendation, the issue will be considered, by the Management Board.
  • It shall be open to either party if they consider that the appeal has not been handled in the agreed way to complain first to the UK Graduate, and subsequently to the awarding body, whose decision is final.

EXAM REGISTRATION POLICY (2020/21)

Please read these terms and conditions carefully. You should understand that by registering for any exam/final assessment(s), you agree to be bound by these terms and conditions.

Registration & Exam Procedures

Learners should only register for an exam/final assessment(s) upon completion and understanding of the required coursework.

Learners must be able to provide copies of:

  • A valid photographic ID (passport, national ID, drivers licence) and;
  • A valid proof of address

The Admission Office will verify all documents before any exam date(s) are issued.

The Internal Assessor will verify all previous coursework prior to approving any final exam(s)

ID checking process:

For exams to be taken on-site we will need you to present the original photographic ID and proof of address to the examiner to verify your identity on our records as follows:

  • We can accept valid, current and original documentation (We DO NOT accept photocopies)
  • Identity information for the applicant’s name, date of birth and address must be validated
  • Compare and ensure applicant’s likeness documents against photographic ID (e.g. passport, new style driving licence, etc.)
  • All documents must be in the applicant’s current name as recorded in the application
  • One document must confirm the applicant’s date of birth as recorded in main application
  • We see at least one document to confirm the applicant’s current address

Our centre is committed to creating an ethical environment for examinations. Failure to abide by the Examination procedures can result in disciplinary action. During an examination, students:

  • are not allowed to talk to each other, exchange information of any kind, or engage in any activity that could result in the unfair advantage for one or more students before, during, or after the quiz or examination, while they are in or out of the classroom;
  • must leave all books and other aids in an inaccessible place (except for open-book quizzes or examinations);
  • must leave as much space as possible between students (as much as the room allows);
  • should try to ensure that their line of sight does not cause others to suspect them of cheating;
  • must leave mobile phones and other electronic communication devices switched off
  • having technical problems must report it to the invigilator.
  • must finish the Examination within the given time.
  • should immediately collect examination printouts from the printing area.
  • finishing their Examination must collate and staple all the printouts in the required order and then give it to the invigilator.
  • must write their names on each sheet/printout.

Examination Honour Code Process

The UK Graduate Ltd’s decision to adopt an honour system for examinations is a significant one, the abuse of which will fracture the ethical framework central to our mission. The following instances constitute violations of the Examination Honour Code and can lead to serious sanctions including suspension or expulsion from the UK Graduate Ltd:

  • Failure to abide by the Examination policy and Procedure.
  • Attempting to prevent the discovery of prohibited conduct, or attempting to obstruct access, to alter, to destroy, or to conceal potential evidence connected with an Examination Honour Code investigation.
  • Attempting to discourage, intimidate or deter complainants, witnesses, or other participants in an Examination Honour Code investigation.
  • Initiating an Examination Honour Code complaint without any basis in fact and with the intent to harass another student.

General Practices and Procedures

Suspected violations of the Examination Honour Code may be reported by speaking directly with the lecturer or the Director.

Any questions regarding the Examination Honour Code should be referred to the Head of Administration.

HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY (2020/21)

Introduction 

UK Graduate Ltd (“the Company”) recognises and accepts its responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 including the responsibility to:

  • provide and maintain a safe and healthy place of work
  • provide information, instruction, training and supervision
  • provide and maintain plant and equipment and safe systems of work
  • ensure safe access to and from the places of work
  • work to prevent accidents and work related ill health

General Health and Safety

  1. The Management of the Company are committed to achieving the highest standards of health and safety through monitoring performance and continuous improvement of the health and safety culture throughout the Company.
  2. The Management are also committed to the requirements of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and other Regulations that apply to the Company’s work activities.
  3. The Management of the Company recognise that the talent and energy of the men and women who work for the Company are its most valuable assets. They are therefore fully committed to providing safe and healthy working conditions and adequate welfare facilities for all employees. The Management are also committed to ensuring that the work done by the Company does not adversely affect the health and safety of any contractors or of members of the public.
  4. The Company will strive to maintain excellence in health and safety matters and in this respect, employees and others are encouraged to co-operate with the management in all safety matters, to identify hazards and reduce the risk which may exist during work activities and to report any condition which may appear dangerous or unsatisfactory. The Company will at all times consult with the employees on these matters.
  5. The Company will, so far as reasonably practicable, ensure that it provides satisfactory financial resources and the support needed to meet these objectives and that systems are in place which ensure the effective planning, control, monitoring and review of the measures and arrangements.
  6. Copies of this policy are to be available to all Company employees and other interested parties.

Company Duties:

  1. To comply with the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and all other relevant legislation, Codes of Practice, Health and Safety Executive Guidance Notes, and recommendations of HSE Inspectors and Environmental Health Officers during visits or inspections.
  2. To ensure that requirements under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and other relevant statutory provisions are met and to co-operate with any Local Authority and/or Fire Service recommendations.
  3. To ensure the provision and maintenance of safe plant and systems of work especially in relation to hazardous operations.
  4. To ensure the control of risks to health in handling, storage and the transportation of materials, articles and substances.
  5. To ensure that Risk Assessments are carried out as necessary and that method statements are prepared and provided as required.
  6. The identification and provision of adequate information, instruction, training and supervision to ensure the health and safety of employees and all other persons.
  7. To ensure the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as necessary.
  8. To encourage discussion of safety matters both in and outside the organisation.
  9. To permit safety representation by the employees in accordance with such regulations as the Secretary of State has prescribed.
  10. To ensure the provision of adequate welfare facilities and to provide adequate First Aiders/Appointed Persons as required by the relevant statutory provisions.
  11. To ensure that their operations do not cause injury or damage to any person or adjacent property.
  12. To ensure proper procedures, which comply with the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrence Regulations 1995, are in place.
  13. To ensure, as far as is reasonably possible, that it will not allow its employees, subcontractors and others engaged, to carry out work or operations whilst under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances (drugs).
  14. To ensure that all site contractors (where relevant) comply with relevant statutory obligations.

Directors’ Duties:

  1. The Directors will have at least basic knowledge and understanding of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and its associated Regulations and Approved Codes of Practice.
  2. The Directors take ultimate responsibility for health, safety and welfare throughout the Company. The overall responsibility for health and safety lies with the Managing Director, Olga Bucataru. Olga Bucataru is responsible for day to day control of health and safety issues.
  3. It will be the responsibility of the Director to keep all employees advised as to their responsibilities in respect of health and safety matters.
  4. In order to protect the safety and health of employees and others affected by the Company’s operations, the Directors will:
  5. Take reasonable steps to familiarise themselves with the hazards and risks associated with working at the Company and with the precautions which need to be taken to eliminate or control those risks.
  6. Establish procedures to deal with any emergencies.
  7. Appoint a suitably trained and competent person to assist them in carrying out their health and safety duties.
  8. Ensure that employees receive sufficient training and information so that they can carry out their duties safely and competently. Ensure adequate funds and facilities are available for this purpose. Before entrusting work tasks to employees, take into account their capabilities as regards health and safety and ensure that suitable Risk Assessments are carried out on any hazardous activity.
  9. Initiate the timing and annual review of the Health and Safety Policy and ensure it is promoted to all employees and others working on behalf of the Company.
  10. Ensure that all employees carry out the health and safety responsibilities allocated to them.
  11. Ensure the safety performance of the Company is monitored and take action to remedy any identified deficiencies.
  12. Ensure that adequate provision is made for welfare facilities and that adequate first aid provisions are made.
  13. Ensure that all necessary PPE is provided to employees, and that instruction is given on its use.

Health and Safety Director’s / Responsible Person’s Duties:

  1. To ensure that all the Company Directors, Supervisors and Staff are aware of their individual Health and Safety responsibilities.
  2. To report to the Board on all matters relating to safety, including new training requirements and updates in directives or legislation.
  3. To initiate and/or recommend any changes, developments and amendments to the policy as and when necessary.
  4. To monitor the effectiveness of the Company’s Policies for Health, Safety and Welfare against the actual safety performance of the Company, and report to the Board accordingly.
  5. To inform the Health and Safety Executive of all notifiable accidents. Investigate any accidents or dangerous occurrences and recommend means of preventing re-occurrence.
  6. To arrange appropriate training for all employees.
  7. To create and maintain a Training Matrix for all staff.
  8. To carry out Risk Assessments (including where appropriate, COSHH, Noise, Manual Handling etc). To ensure follow up action as needed.
  9. To promote an interest and responsible attitude towards Health and Safety matters throughout the Company.

This policy will be reviewed annually or when there is a change in circumstances, in work practices or the introduction of new legislation.

 

INTERNAL QUALITY ASSURANCE POLICY (2020/21)

PURPOSES

  1. The policy commits UK Graduate to maintain and improve the quality of its teaching and learning provision through the processes of continuous improvement and quality assurance.
  2. The policy applies to all staff and Students.
  3. The policy supports following strategic aims of the centre:
  • To improve levels of student achievement at UK Graduate
  • To improve levels of student retention at UK Graduate
  • To improve levels of attendance amongst full time students at UK Graduate.
  • To add value to the educational lives of students in a variety of ways
  1. The policy supports the centre by:
  • Ensuring the quality of teaching and learning
  • Meeting learners’ needs
  • Meeting Awarding Body requirements
  • Identifying strategies for improvement
  • Ensuring quality assurance
  • Making best use of the talents & energies of the centre staff
  1. This policy also supports the following promises made in UK Graduate Student agreement by:
  • Providing the opportunity for learners to give feedback to the centre
  • Dealing promptly with any complaints that learners may have

 

DEFINITIONS

  1. Awarding Bodies – those bodies responsible for publicly accrediting courses
  2. Academic Board – Head of Academics together with Chief Quality Assurers

POLICY

  1. UK Graduate is committed to improving the quality of its provision as articulated in the strategic plan by:
  • Enduring high standards of professional performance
  • Implementing rigorous self-assessment process
  • Embedding effective policies and procedures
  • Measuring and analysing performance against benchmarks
  • Ensuring all staff employed by the centre are aware of their joint responsibility in improving the quality of provision
  1. The quality process involves a cycle of activities of which Self-Assessment and Course Review are major parts. The major elements are:
  • Identifying priorities at different levels of the centre, informed by the Strategic Plan
  • Establishing performance indicators/targets against which provision is judged
  • Collecting data in order to measure performance
  • Analysing performance against benchmarks and performance indicators
  • Implementing and monitoring improvement plans
  • Issuing reports on quality issues for the senior management team.
  1. This cyclical process occurs at college, departmental and course/team level throughout the centre

IMPLEMENTATION

  1. The cyclical self-assessment process is supported by a series of activities, procedures and practices.

It is the responsibility of:

  • Chief Quality Assurer to identify the Strategic Priorities for the centre in response to internal and external demands and initiatives;
  • Chief Quality Assurer and other staff to develop and review centre Policies and associated procedures, guidelines and strategies;
  • Chief Quality Assurer to:
  • Self-assess their area of provision and contribute to the centre Self-Assessment Report
  • Conduct professional performance reviews of all their departmental staff
  • Establish mentoring arrangements for all new staff or for staff with new responsibilities
  • Ensure that course teams and teachers keep records of meetings, maintain course and subject files, and complete the annual course review cycle for each course, including the administration of the induction and on-course student perception surveys
  • Carry out a programme of teaching observations
  • Maintain and review standard quality service agreements

The Chief Quality Assurer will also:

  • Manage the annual quality cycle
  • Review improvement plans
  • Monitor Awarding Body reports/requirements
  • Monitor and report on the complaints procedure
  • Manage and report on the staff & student perception survey processes
  • Manage and report on the teacher observation scheme
  • Draw up the annual staff development plan, and manage and report on staff development
  • Manage and report on the team of advanced practitioners to improve teaching & learning
  • Manage and maintain the quality intranet site
  • Ensure, through audit, that all staff comply with quality policies and procedures

Teachers to complete Course Reviews by:

  • Reviewing of student retention, achievement and target-setting
  • Reviewing Induction
  • Reviewing teaching, learning, resourcing & assessment in mid-course
  • Providing a Summary Course Review at the end of each course (or for short courses, providing a summary course review at the end of each course)
  • Provide effective & appropriate teaching, training and support for learning
  • Maintain current course [co-ordinating] and subject [teaching] files, including minutes of meetings
  • Undertake appropriate development and training
  1. All staff is responsible for the quality of their work and for ensuring the quality of the centre’s provision.

MONITORING, REVIEW AND EVALUATION

  1. The Chief Quality Assurer will be responsible for reviewing and approving the Quality Policy
  2. The Chief Quality Assurer will review the policy annually.
  3. Monitoring of the Quality Policy is undertaken by the Chief Quality Assurer.

MALPRACTICE POLICY (2020/21)

UK Graduate is committed to ensuring that all forms of malpractice in connection with any qualification are dealt with and are reported to the appropriate awarding body under their procedures for reporting such activity.

Staff Duties:

We require Assessors to ask learners to declare that their work is their own, for instance:

  • For internally assessed units, Assessors are responsible for checking the validity of the learner’s work.
  • Assessors and learners must provide a written declaration that the evidence is authentic and that the assessment was conducted under the requirements of the assessment specification.

We take positive steps to prevent or reduce the occurrence of learner malpractice.  These steps include:

  • Using the induction period to inform learners of our policy on malpractice and the penalties for attempted and actual incidents of malpractice.
  • Showing learners the appropriate formats to record cited texts and other materials or information sources including websites. Learners should not be discouraged from conducting research; indeed evidence of relevant research often contributes to the achievement of higher grades.  However, the submitted work must show evidence that the learner has interpreted and synthesized appropriate information and has acknowledged any sources used.   
  • Introducing procedures for assessing work in a way that reduces or identifies malpractice, e.g. plagiarism, collusion, cheating, etc.
  • Periods of supervised sessions during which evidence for assignments/tasks/coursework is produced by the learner.
  • Altering assessments assignments/tasks/tools on a regular basis
  • The assessor assessing work for a single assignments/task in a single session for the complete cohort of learners.
  • Using oral questions with learners to ascertain heir understanding of the concepts, applications within their work
  • Assessors getting to know their learners styles and abilities, etc
  • Ensuring access controls are installed to prevent learners from accessing and using other people’s work when using networked computers.

Learner Malpractice: Attempting to or actually carry out any malpractice activity is deemed academic dishonesty.  The following are examples of malpractice by learners:  this list is not exhaustive and other instances of malpractice may be considered by the awarding body at its discretion:

  • Plagiarism by copying and passing off, as the learner’s own, the whole or part(s) of another person’s work, including artwork, images, words, computer generated work (including internet sources), thoughts, inventions and/or discoveries whether published or not, with or without the originator’s permission and without appropriately acknowledging the source.
  • Collusion by working collaboratively with other learners to produce work that is submitted as individual learner work. Learners should not be discouraged from teamwork, as this is an essential key skill for many sectors and subject area, but the use of minutes, allocating tasks, agreeing outcomes, etc are an essential part of team work and this must be made clear to the learners.
  • Fabrication of results and/or evidence.
  • Failing to abide by the instructions or advice of an Assessor, a supervisor or an invigilator, or awarding body conditions in relation to the assessment/examination/test rules, regulations and security.
  • Misuse of assessment/examination material
  • Introduction and/or use of un-authorised material contrary to the requirements of supervised assessment/examination/tests conditions, for example: notes, study guides, personal organizers, calculators, dictionaries (when prohibited), personal stereos, mobile phones, or other similar electronic devices.
  • Obtaining, receiving, exchanging or passing on information which could be assessment/examination/test related) or the attempt to) by means of talking or written papers/notes during supervised assessment/examination/test conditions.
  • Behaving in such a way as to undermine the integrity of the assessment/ examination/test.
  • The alterations of any results document, including certificates.

Dealing with Malpractice: The Director is responsible for carrying out investigations into allegations of malpractice, we will make the individual fully aware (in writing) at the earliest opportunity of the nature of the alleged malpractice and of the possible consequences should malpractice be proven.

Evidence required to prove that malpractice has occurred may include:

  • Comparison of suspect piece with work previously presented by the learner;
  • Comparison with a pieces on a similar subject undertaken under controlled conditions;
  • Comparison with other learners’ writing where similarities have occurred;
  • Comparison with the sources that the learners appears to have plagiarized;
  • The learners performance when assessed orally;
  • A witness statement from the person(s) that identified the issue.

If malpractice is suspected, the learner will be given an opportunity to explain what has happened.  Formal action will only be initiated where:

  • There is evidence to support the allegation of malpractice; and
  • The learner fails to provide a plausible explanation. In the event of any doubt arising, the Centre manager should be consulted, before any decision is taken.

 

RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING POLICY (2020/21)

A method of assessment [leading to the award of credit] that considers whether a learner can demonstrate that they meet the assessment requirements for a unit through knowledge, understanding or skills they already possess and do not need to develop a course of learning.

Introduction

 UK Graduate seeks to enable learners to avoid the duplication of learning and assessment. There are two ways in which this will be achieved:

  • The opportunity to transfer credits, I .e. to recognise previously accredited achievement from within or outside the Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) to count towards other qualifications.
  • For individuals with leaning or achievements that have not been certificated/accredited it may be possible to assess and validate of these through RPL process. These achievements may then count towards a qualification.

In order to achieve the above, a learner must produce valid and reliable evidence of learning to support any claims based on experience. A learner may claim RPL against a whole unit or several units. It is not possible to award part units, but where the RPL evidence does not fully meet the needs of a complete unit, the missing information may be provided via the same assessment processes that are undertaken by a taught group of learners.

In order to achieve recognition of achievement there are two options open to the learner:

  • Undertake the same assessments as those following the formal course of learning and assessment that lead to the desired unit or qualification. These assessments may be undertaken without attending the teaching sessions.
  • Submit a portfolio of evidence based on previous learning, skills and / or competence cross referenced to the learning outcomes and assessment criteria of the unit or units for which RPL is being sought.

Under some circumstances there may be a limit to the proportion of a qualification that can be achieved by either credit transfer or RPL. Full details of these requirements will be indentified in the rules of combination for any qualifications offered by certain awarding bodies.

Learners wishing to avail themselves of this method of accreditation must negotiate the procedure with the organisation through which they wish to claim the award of credit. The learner must play an active role in the process as s/he must produce evidence and map it to the learning outcomes and assessment criteria of all units they wish to claim.  Our Assessors/IQA will be available to give specialist advice on this process. The individual wishing to make the claim may also require the support of their employer or other organisation (e.g. if they have worked as an unpaid volunteer) in order to be able to confirm achievement of assessment criteria for which there is no tangible evidence, e.g. practical tasks.

Principles of RPL:

According to ‘Claiming Credit –Guidance on the recognition of prior learning within the Qualifications and Credit Framework’ the five principles of RPL are as follows:

  1. RPL is a valid method of enabling individuals to claim credit for units and qualifications of the QCF, irrespective of how the learning took place and the assessments undertaken. There is no difference between the achievement of the required standards through prior leaning and through a formal programme of study.
  2. RPL must comply with all regulatory requirements for assessment. RPL policies, processes, procedures, practices and decisions should be transparent, rigorous, reliable, fair and accessible to individuals and stakeholders to ensure that users can be confident of the decisions and outcomes of RPL.
  3. RPL is a learner-cantered voluntary process. The individual should be offered advice on the nature and range of evidence considered appropriate to support a claim for assessing RPL, and be given guidance and support to make his or her claim.
  4. The process of RPL is subject to the same standard of quality assurance and monitoring processes as any other form of learning and assessment.
  5. Assessment methods for RPL must be of equal rigor as other assessment methods, must be fit for purpose and relate to the evidence of leaning. An individual may claim RPL for any whole unit unless the assessment criteria of a unit states otherwise. For example if an external assessment sets the standard of learning outcome that a learner must achieve, then the learner must pass the external assessment to achieve the unit and gain the credit.

Guidance for implementation

Stage 1:

Awareness raising regarding claiming of credit, information, advice and guidance

Once learners have decided to consider their learning for RPL purposes, they will need to know about:

  • How to claim credit via the RPL process
  • Timelines, appeals processes, and any fees or subsidies
  • The accuracy of existing evidence, qualification, experience, skills or competence. (i.e. Does the evidence relate to current learning? Where awarding bodies and / or professional, statutory or regulatory bodies have specific requirements and / or time limits for the currency of evidence, certification, or demonstration of learning; these should be made clear and transparent.

Stage 2:

Pre-assessment gathering, evidence and giving information

When an individual has decided to pursue an RPL route towards achievement it is vital that the learner is fully informed of the RPL process and has sufficient support to make a viable claim and to make decisions about evidence collection and presentation for assessment. During this stage the candidate will carry out the evidence collection and develop an assessment plan. The evidence required for the award of credit will depend on the purpose, learning outcomes and assessment criteria for the relevant unit within the QCF.

Stage 3:

Assessment or Documentation of evidence

Assessment as part of RPL and within the QCF is a structured process for gathering and reviewing evidence and making judgments about a candidate’s prior leaning and experience in relation to unit standards. Assessment must be valid and reliable to ensure the integrity of units and qualifications and the RPL system as a whole. The assessment process for RPL must be subject to the Awarding body quality assurance processes as any other of the assessment process. Learners’ work which contributes towards their claim for credit via the RPL process should be internally and externally verified and all achievement documented as for conventional learner achievement, all RPL –related achievement should be marked as such in all documentation.

Stage 4:

Awarding Credit

Awarding organisations are responsible for awarding credit. The procedure is the same as for other forms of assessment. The credit is recorded in the learner record.

Stage 5:

Feedback

After the assessment the assessor will need to give feedback to the candidate, discussing the results and giving support and guidance on the options available to the candidate, which may include, for example; further leaning and development.

Stage 6:

Appeal

If claimants wish to appeal against a decision made about their claim for credit (via the RPL process) they would need to follow the standard appeals process that exists within UK Graduate appeals procedure.