Berkeleyme is committed to providing students with assessment that tracks, measures, assures quality; is fair, consistent, unbiased, transparent, valid, reliable and accessible to all students. Assessment is to be robust and substantial to provide a fair gauge of student ability and achievement to support progress.
Aims and Objectives of the policy
BERKELEYME is committed to ensuring that learners are assessed prior to commencement of their apprenticeship to ensure suitability.
a) To assess learners’ prior learning, key skills and understanding to ensure suitability for the chosen apprenticeship.
b) To carry out initial assessment to ensure that learners are on the most appropriate programme and therefore gather information to support the learners’ experience.
c) To identify the most appropriate referral for any individuals that has been identified as not suitable for an apprenticeship
d) To use the most appropriate methods of assessment based on the individual circumstances and targeted training course.
e) To fully understand the individuals’ personal circumstances in key areas. f) To keep the individual fully informed throughout the initial assessment.
» Range and scope of the policy:
The policy covers all apprenticeship-related courses offered within BERKELEYME Training but may well apply to other vocationally related courses should they become a part of the curriculum in future.
This policy may only be amended or withdrawn by BERKELEYME Training
The Initial Assessment of learner
Initial assessment focuses on twelve key areas to ensure that we can provide the most appropriate training for the learner. The learner will undergo a formal interview to determine their individual requirements and also undertake assessment to determine their literacy and numeracy levels. The results of the initial assessment will be recorded and discussed with the learner to ensure they understand the interview process and outcome.
|Careers Preferences and Suitability
• Application Form
• Interview Notes
|Qualifications, Prior learning and Experience
• Application Form
• Evidence of certification
• Interview Notes
|Aptitude and Potential
• BKSB Initial Assessment
• Occupationally relevant assessment methods
• Basic & Key Skills Builder (BKSB) Initial Assessment
• BKSB Initial Assessment
• Application Form
• Interview Notes
|Occupational and Personal Interest
• Application Form
• Interview Notes
|Personal Effectiveness and Commitment
• Interview Notes
• Interview Notes
Each of the key areas of initial assessment identifies elements that must be considered when determining an individual’s suitability/ability for learning. To ensure that a learner is effectively assessed, it is imperative that additional support and guidance is sought from other members of staff as required.
Career Preferences and Suitability
The career aims of individuals who are unemployed when they apply for a programme need to be identified. This ensures they have chosen the appropriate occupation area for their learning programme or provides a focus for pre-vocational learning through the sixth form. Career choice is dependent upon many factors including: candidates’ qualifications and achievements, abilities, interests, subjects studied at school, skills, knowledge and understanding of their chosen occupation, jobs available in the local labour market, as well as their aptitude to undertake certain types of work.
If an individual remains undecided about an occupational area following initial assessment, work taster programmes where possible should be considered to facilitate their decision making process.
Qualifications, Prior Learning and Experience
Information about a learner’s qualifications and achievements can provide an indication of their general level of ability. Strengths in certain subject areas may inform their choice of career. This information can help in deciding which programme is most appropriate and whether the level of the planned programme and qualifications are appropriate. Information of existing qualifications may indicate weaknesses in particular areas. For example, the absence of (or low grades in) GCSE maths & English, may suggest basic skills needs which require further investigation during initial assessment. The purpose of establishing a leaner’s prior experience and learning is to ensure that he or she does not waste time in repeating learning in an area which they are already competent. Equally, learners should not be placed where their prior skills and understanding do not allow them to access the learning effectively.
Aptitude and Potential
Some learner’s educational qualifications and achievements may not reflect their true ability or potential. Failure to achieve education qualifications could be caused by a variety of reasons. Additionally, academic qualifications are not necessarily an indicator of success in vocational learning programmes. A learner’s ability and potential needs to be assessed initially so that accurate decisions can be made about the type of programme and level from which they would benefit. We should not deny access to Initial Assessment based on a lack of academic qualifications.
During initial assessment we identify those learners who require support with basic skills during their programme. Their current level of basic skills will be assessed and the specific area in which they require help and support will be targeted on their Individual Learning Plan (ILP). Where learners follow learning programmes where the achievement of specific key skills are a mandatory requirement, the assessor needs to understand the individual’s current level and then identify strengths, weaknesses and current development needs.
Complete a skills and knowledge gap analysis:
BERKELEYME complete a skills and knowledge gap analysis. This will assess and identify the gaps in an apprentice’s skills, knowledge and behaviours that are needed to complete their chosen apprenticeship. This information will help develop individual learning objectives to support completion of the apprenticeship.
Some learners have specific learning difficulties or disabilities which may necessitate specialist training provision and support. It is vital these are identified during initial assessment so that they are addressed in the ILP or the learner is directed to a more suitable learning provision. This will need to be negotiated in consultation with BERKELEYME, and/or external stakeholders and employers.
Occupational and Personal Interests
Identification of occupation interests during initial assessment will facilitate the appropriate placement of unemployed learners. Collecting information on a learner’s hobbies and interests will assist the process of guiding them to make suitable career and training choices
Every learner has a preferred way of learning. Some people learn best by undertaking practical activities; others prefer to read books, whilst others learn by listening or sharing ideas. Many people whose academic learning has been unsuccessful have been taught using teaching styles which do not match their own learning styles.
Personal Effectiveness and Commitment
Skills in personal effectiveness are important in enhancing the employability of learners. The skills include self-confidence, timekeeping, personal organisation, motivation and presentation. Many learners need to develop these as part of their learning programme or as preparation for entering learning.
Some learners have personal problems or issues which need to be addressed during their learning programme. Homelessness, behavioural difficulties, medical conditions, mental health issues, etc. need to be identified at the earliest opportunity so ways can be jointly found to either overcome the problem or find alternative solutions.
Learner Health Statements
As part of the initial assessment process, BERKELEYME Training will collect information on the learner’s personal health circumstances to ensure a safe environment is maintained them. This information is recorded on Additional Social Needs document; this information will be treated in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, but circumstances may determine information on these documents must be passed to the learner’s employer to maintain that safe environment.
To this end, the relevant health information section includes a consent section, whereby the learner authorises us to pass some or all of the health information; the interviewer responsible for carrying out this part of the initial assessment shall explain the relevance of this information in a work environment. Under no circumstances shall this information be passed to any other party without the written consent of the learner Under no circumstances shall this information be passed to any other party without the written consent of the learner
Authority to release assessment information
Following initial assessment, it is possible that BERKELEYME Training will not be the appropriate provider for the learner, resulting in a further referral. In the interest of the learner it could be of value to forward the result of the assessment on to the referred agency, with the learner’s permission.
BERKELEYME Training shall not release any information to other agencies without written permission from the learner.
Basic & Key Skills Builder (BKSB) can assess the learner’s primary learning style as part of the initial assessment and we will endeavour to deliver any in-house/off-the-job
training in that style where applicable.
The results of the BKSB Interactive Learning Styles assessment should be recoded on the ILP and a printed record of the assessment included in the learner’s file.
BERKELEYME Training will inform employers of the learner’s primary learning style so they can make provision to deliver continued training in that manner.
English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
Where learners speak languages other than English, BERKELEYME Training will identify any barriers to learning linked to lack of understanding of English to ensure that appropriate provision is made for the learner. Language requirements will be recorded on the learner’s interview notes and then transferred to the ILP when the learner starts their programme.
Transition from Initial Assessment
Priory Training will ensure that the learner fully understands the possible outcome(s) available to them and will agree the most suitable course of action with them. These outcomes will be based on the output of this procedure supported by qualified and competent tutors and interviewers.
If the learner has been offered a place and already has a job then they will transition to the Sign-Up Phase and their ILP will be developed based on the output of this procedure. Should it be agreed a place within BERKELEYME Training is not the best solution for the learner, then the learner will be referred to Sixth Form, Careers Advisor or the local Job Centre and a copy of the relevant assessment documentation be available for any other agency or provider to assist them in identifying the most appropriate pathway for the learner (when authorised to do so)
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer Policy and Procedures
BERKELEYME is committed to providing high-quality service and to maintaining the highest standards for its learners, and other stakeholders. Recognition of prior learning and transfer of credit exists to enable learners to avoid duplication of learning and assessment. This policy explains what is defined as the recognition of prior learning and credit transfer, and BERKELEYME’s policies for applying these.
This policy defines recognition of prior learning and credit transfer, the circumstances in which they may be applicable to learners, and the policies for applying them where relevant.
Policy Responsibility and Review
This policy is the responsibility of the Quality Manager and will be reviewed regularly.
Recognition of Prior Learning
» Recognition of prior learning (RPL) allows for a learner to be recognized for certain learning they have previously undertaken which has not been certificated or accredited through the RQF (Regulated Qualifications Framework) or QCF (Qualifications and Credit Framework), towards the regulated/unregulated qualification being studied.
» If approved for RPL, the learner does not need to attend learning for the approved unit(s), but must still undertake the assessment in full in order to achieve the assessment criteria.
» The learner must provide evidence of prior work, learning, and/or achievement, for consideration. This must be fully evidenced, valid, and reliable, and mapped to the learning outcomes and assessment criteria of all units for which the RPL claim is being made.
» RPL may be claimed against a whole unit or several units. It is not possible to claim part units.
» Under some circumstances, there may be a limit to the proportion of the qualification that can be achieved by RPL, and/or specific rules may apply to RPL eligibility of certain units. Full details of any requirements will be identified in the rule s of combination for any regulated/unregulated qualifications offered by BERKELEYME.
» BERKELEYME remains the role of the assessor and internal quality assurance staff to ensure that assessment criteria are only deemed to have been met where assessment is valid, reliable and fit for purpose, and where evidence is adequate, sufficient, and authentic. The process of RPL is subject to the same standard of scrutiny through the application of existing quality assurance and monitoring processes as any other form of assessment. RPL assessments should be included in standardization and evaluation activities so that processes are reviewed, as with all other assessments.
» Where RPL is used towards a learner’s achievement of a regulated/unregulated qualification, a learner will still be charged the full fee for the qualification being claimed, as the full qualification is still subject to full external quality assurance of the assessment, by BERKELEYME.
Credit transfer allows for previously accredited achievement to count towards another regulated/unregulated qualification, where it is either allowed as an equivalency within the new qualification, or where the learner has already achieved one or more exact unit(s) belonging to that qualification.
In the case of approved credit transfer, the learner does not need to repeat their assessment.
The learner must provide evidence of certification for the unit(s) to the BERKELEYME (the certificate itself is not required where a previous credit the achievement was from BERKELEYME).
Credit transfer may be claimed against a whole unit or several units. It is not possible to claim part units.
Eligibility should be checked by the BERKELEYME's internal quality assurer and:
• Provide evidence of units achieved, usually by way of the original certificate (not required where previous credit achievement was from BERKELEYME).
• Make an application for credit transfer to BERKELEYME.
Where credit transfer is used towards a learner’s achievement of a regulated/unregulated qualification, a learner will still be charged the full fee for the qualification being claimed which includes checking eligibility for credit transfer and authentication of the certificate(s).
ASSIGNMENT WRITING PROCEDURE
• To provide a standardised approach to assignment writing
• To provide formats that are accessible to students and in line with awarding body recommendations.
• To ensure that all the required information is included to simplify assessment and minimise the possibility of confusion or appeals.
STANDARDS EXPECTED OF ASSIGNMENTS
• Be set on time in line with the assessment plan to avoid unacceptable pressure on students.
• Be typed following the awarding body’s recommended format and spell checked. Where the awarding body does not recommend a format, an agreed format should be followed by the course team
• Be internally quality assured/ verified before issue to students.
• A copy to be kept on the course file and on the IQA/ IV file with IQA/ IV forms.
• All assignment activities and tasks must identify the assessment criteria that will be applied to the task/activity.
PROCEDURE FOR MARKING STUDENT WORK
This policy relates to the marking of course work set by teaching staff which may include work completed by students in their own time. It relates only to work being assessed and contributing to the final grading of the Programme.
Assessors should be qualified or be working towards the current approved assessor qualifications for work based or vocationally related qualifications as required for the qualification being assessed. The trainee assessor must have their assessments countersigned by an accredited assessor whilst in training, to confirm the accuracy of the assessment.
• All work sets will be issued via the relevant online portal clearly indicating what the student is required to do, what needs to be handed in, the deadline for handing in the work, and how the work will be assessed using the appropriate assessment sheet.
• Where there is a legitimate reason that prevents meeting the submission date the student must at the earliest opportunity, and before the initial hand in is due, approach the Lead IV/Course Leader with a view to negotiating an extension.
• All work will be handed to the Assessor who set the work or where arranged e.g. for part time courses, to the Information Services team. In all cases a record of submission will be kept.
• Where work is submitted to the Information Services team, assessors will collect assignments from the Information Services area and sign to confirm collection. When work is returned via the Information Services team a record should be signed by the Information Services team and signed by the student on collection.
GUIDELINES FOR MARKING STUDENT WORK
• Grade to be placed in a box on the assignment assessment sheet. Formative assessment and assessment of work that is part of a unit should not be graded, but may record the assessment criteria achieved at that point of assessment.
• Feedback should include an opening statement on how the student has done overall
• Explain how the evidence assessed meets the required evidence for the assessment criteria/learning outcomes.
• Clearly identify the assessment criteria/learning outcomes achieved.
• Explain how the evidence assessed has informed the grade awarded.
• Identify what the student needs to do to improve the achievement of learning outcomes / assessment criteria and to improve the grade.
• If a distinction is awarded still note how the assignment could be improved or sustained i.e. comment on the layout, neatness, pictures etc in the assignment and the quality of referencing/bibliography.
IQA PROCEDURE AND STRATEGY
For more details please click here.
Documented system to track learners’ progress
Our LMS reporting engine helps us to ensure the process of the students with following ways:
• Activity logs capture every action, every user takes on the platform
• Rich data to spot weaknesses and find ways to improve productivity
• Home work and assignment submission record.
• Reports on log in and log out and duration of study.
Assessment Appeals Procedure
GLOSSARY OF TERMS:
Different awarding bodies use different names for the roles involved in quality assurance of assessment. This glossary is intended to clarify the roles referred to in the policy.
Assessor: The person who marks the student’s work.
Internal Verifier (IV): The person who checks the quality, accuracy and fairness of the assessment and feedback to the student. May also be called Internal Quality Assurer.
External Verifier or External Examiner (EE): The person appointed by the awarding body to review and assure the quality and fairness of both the assessment and the internal verification against standards. This role may also be referred to as: External Quality Assurer
INTERNAL ASSESSMENT APPEALS PROCEDURE
If a student is dissatisfied with an internal assessment outcome she/he has the right of appeal.
All students may request additional support from the Student Information team to assist them with their appeal to address any perceived barriers in line with the ‘Single Equality Duty’.
There are three stages in the Berkeleyme internal appeals procedure and each stage must be exhausted before proceeding to the next one.
If students are not satisfied with the assessor’s decision and feedback, they have a right to appeal directly to the assessor who carried out the assessment within 5 working days. By exception, in extenuating circumstances, the Berkeleyme may allow appeals of assessment outcomes outside of this timeframe.
This appeal must be recorded by the assessor for recording at Examination and Assessment Board meetings. (An appeals form is provided with this policy) and clearly indicate:
▪ The points of disagreement and reasons.
▪ The evidence in the portfolio which the student believes meets the requirements of the performance criteria.
▪ The appeal must be submitted within five working days of receipt of the assessment outcome.
▪ The appeal response must be provided within 5 working days of receipt of the appeal.
The main reasons for an appeal are likely to be:
▪ The student does not understand why she/he is not yet competent, due to lack of, or unclear, feedback from the assessor.
▪ The student believes she/he is competent and that the assessor has misjudged them or missed/misinterpreted some vital evidence.
In most cases it is hoped that this stage of the process will terminate the appeals procedure.
Students are advised to keep their own copies of all documents used in the appeals procedure.
Students who are not satisfied with the outcome of their Stage 1 appeal can refer to the Curriculum Manager for advice on further appeal for the course within 5 working days. This appeal must be in writing, but need not repeat the detail provided at Stage 1 as all the documentation used at Stage 1 will be passed on to the Internal Verifier. The Internal Verifier will report back to the student in five working days.
Before proceeding to Stage 3, the students must have exhausted the requirements of Stage 1 and 2.
▪ Students who are not satisfied with the outcomes of Stage 2 of the Appeals Procedure may then proceed to Stage 3 by appealing in writing to the Vice Principal Students and Curriculum within 5 days of receipt of the outcome of stage 2.
▪ The Vice Principal Students and Curriculum will examine the findings and call a meeting to report to the student, assessor, internal verifier and other relevant staff involved in either the appeal or in providing support for the student.
APPEALS TO AN AWARDING BODY
Before proceeding, the students must have exhausted all the internal Appeals Procedures of the Berkeleyme.
Students who are not satisfied with the outcomes of Stage 3 of the Appeals Procedure may then appeal to the Awarding Body.
An investigation will be undertaken by the External Verifier/ Quality Assurer appointed by the awarding body. On receipt of a report, the application will be considered by the awarding body’s ‘Appeals Committee’. This consideration will lead to one of two decisions:
1. The appeals committee supports the decision of the External Verifier.
2. The appeal may be rejected or upheld.
APPEALS AGAINST EXTERNAL ASSESSMENT DECISIONS
This procedure enables students to appeal against the outcome of external assessment and the process of controlled assessments within the Berkeleyme.
If a student has any concerns about the procedures used in assessing their internally assessed work for public exams i.e. controlled assessment/coursework/portfolios, she/he should discuss the matter with the Course Leader and Curriculum Manager immediately. Following that, if the matter remains unresolved, the formal appeal procedure may be used by the student concerned.
On completion of external assessments and the notification of results, Curriculum Managers/Lecturers or Students themselves may wish to appeal the outcome.
The procedure for appealing against external assessment decisions is as follows:
1. The Curriculum Manager, Lecturer or Student informs the Examinations Officer that they wish to appeal an assessment decision as soon as they receive notification of their results. This should normally allow at least 5 working days before an awarding body deadline for closing their ‘Enquiries About Results’ (EAR) procedure.
2. The Examinations Officer discusses the appeal request with the Student or member of staff to ensure that the appeal is eligible within the regulations of the awarding body.
If the Curriculum Manager agrees to support the EAR:
The request, together with the appeal form, should be made to the Examinations Officer immediately and before the awarding body’s published deadline for EARs. The cost of the enquiry will be met by the Examinations budget.
If the Curriculum Manager does not agree to support the EAR:
A student may appeal against the decision not to support an EAR. Appeals should be made in writing to the Examinations Officer, at least 5 working days before the awarding body’s published deadline for EARs. The appeal should state, in detail, the reason(s) for the appeal. This appeal should be signed and dated and should include the daytime contact telephone number of the student, parent or guardian. The appeal information will be reviewed by the Examinations Officer and a member of the Senior Management Team; the outcome of the appeal will be communicated by telephone and 1st class letter posted within 24 hours of receipt. This decision is final.
If the Berkeleyme does not support the EAR:
The student may still proceed with the EAR but all costs involved will be paid by the student at the time the EAR is made. A fee will be requested prior to submission of the EAR. Requests must be made in person to the Examinations Officer before the awarding body’s published deadline for EARs. If the inquiry is successful the fee will be refunded to the student.
3. The Examinations Officer contacts the awarding body to clarify procedures and timescales for the submission of appeals and liaises with teaching staff or the student to collate any evidence being submitted in support of the appeal.
4. The Examinations Officer submits the appeal to the awarding body, together with any supporting evidence, and notifies the student/teaching staff.
5. On receipt of the appeal outcome, the Examinations Officer communicates the result to the relevant parties in line with awarding body requirements.