May 24, 2018

Internal Verification Strategy

Internal Verification is the method for systematic monitoring of the quality of our assessments, to ensure consistency, fairness and reliability.

The Internal Verifier is at the heart of quality assurance. Their role is to consistently ensure that valid assessment decisions are reached for all students and that Signature requirements are fully met. All Internal Verifiers must acquaint themselves with and use the Signature Internal Verification procedures and associated recording documentation.

Internal Verifiers must:
• be occupationally competent and have relevant occupational expertise;
• maintain current continuous professional development file;
• manage, operate and evaluate internal assessment and quality assurance systems;
• keep verification records about progress of students and performance of assessors;
• ensure consistent and reliable internal verification decisions;
• monitor the quality of assessment and highlight problems, trends and development needs of assessors;
• monitor the quality of assessor performance and give feedback;
• observe assessors carrying out assessment activities at least once a year;
• develop and support assessors by providing guidance to the assessor team;
• hold standardisation meetings with assessors as a group and keep records of decisions arising from meetings;
• attend Signature standardisation meeting every year and distribute information to Fylde Coast BSL Centre staff;
• ensure complaints and appeals procedures are followed when appropriate;
• act as co-ordinator of the assessment process, providing the link between the Fylde Coast BSL Centre and the external verifier; and
• meet external quality assurance requirements recommending improvements where necessary.

Fylde Coast BSL Centre must ensure that all Internal Verifiers have a copy of this document and understand the procedures and record keeping requirements described herein.

All Internal Verifiers will have an induction to the role within this organisation

All unqualified Internal Verifiers will have their Internal Verification decisions overseen and countersigned by a qualified Internal Verifier.

The following methods will be used to verify assessments:

o Sampling assessments (explained more below)
o Monitoring assessment practice
o Standardising assessment judgements
o Liaising with staff and students

Sampling Assessments

The Internal Verifier must record and report on all sampling undertaken in sufficient detail to justify their decisions.

When using the minimum sampling process allowable, the verification activities must be carried out throughout the period of assessment (beginning/middle/end). Under no circumstances must internal verification take place towards, or at the end of the student’s period of assessment.

Where it is necessary to vary from the sampling plan, the reasons should be recorded and the variations added to the Sampling Plan (explained more fully below).

Sampling Plan

Correct sampling should entail reviewing the quality of the assessment judgement by evaluating how assessors have reached those decisions. The Internal Verifiers must be able to follow an audit trial which clearly demonstrates that assessors have checked that the evidence presented is valid, authentic, current and sufficient:

Valid: relevant to the standards for which competence is claimed
Authentic: produced by the student
Current: sufficiently recent for assessors to be confident that the same level of skills, knowledge and/or understanding exists at the time of claim.
Sufficient: meets, in full, all of the requirements of the standards.


Factors to be considered in an IV Sampling Strategy:

The Internal Verification Sampling Strategy must:
• meet the requirements of Signature and the NVQ Code of Practice;
• be continuous throughout the programme. Signature recommends between five and ten Internal Verifier visits per programme
• be organised and ensure coverage of each of the factors specified in the table above;
• ensure that, over time, all assessors, all assessment locations, all assessment methods, all parts of the assessment process, all students and all units are sampled, as appropriate to NVQ requirements;
• not be determined by any rule of thumb such as a percentage of portfolios/candidates or square root of the number of portfolios/students;
• be flexible to account for:
Assessor experience: substantially larger samples are required for assessors that are not yet qualified (countersignatures also required), inexperienced (less than 12 months experience), new to the centre, new to the qualification or out of practice
Workload of Assessor: ensuring that the total sample reflects the number of decisions being made by each individual assessor.

Internal Verifiers must sign the unit and/or award summary sheets and evidence samples in red. This indicates sampling has taken place. Green pen should not be used as this is the colour External Verifiers use to evidence their sampling activity. Unit and/or award summary sheets for units verified but not sampled should be signed in black/blue.

When working with assessors who have not achieved D32/33 or A1 or A2 all unit summary sheets must be counter signed by the second line assessor and D32/33 or A1/A2 placed after the signature if the unit summary sheets do not provide an appropriate box for use by the second line assessor.

The agreed focus for ensuring all aspects of the assessment process are internally verified is:

1st Verification Focus
In addition to the expected unit/s verification requirements Internal Verifiers will also check:

1. Initial Assessment Agreements complete

2. Candidate Portfolio Introduction Section complete

3. Candidate is aware of appeals/complaints process

4. Assessor Records (Planning and Review)

5. Where required, second line assessment is taking place and appropriate records are being kept.
Interim Verification Focus
In addition to the expected unit/s verification requirements Internal Verifiers will also check:

1. The portfolio structure and trackability of evidence

2. Dates and signatures are complete on all Unit Summary sheets and the Summary of Achievement Record

Final Verification Focus
In addition to the expected verification requirements Internal Verifiers will also check:

1. Final portfolio structure and trackability of evidence

2. Dates and signatures are complete on all unit summary sheets and Summary of Achievement Record.

3. Any need to agree and record arrangements for further internal verification and altered target completion date.

Internal Verifiers Report Form
Report forms must be completed for every internal verification activity. A copy of the report should be given to the Assessor and Fylde Coast BSL Centre. Students should not be given copies of internal verification Report Forms as they are written to address assessor practice and may therefore contain comments that might undermine the candidate’s confidence in their assessor.

Internal Verifiers must ensure that their written feedback to assessors is recorded on the Report Form. The feedback must be directed to the assessor and should address their assessment practice. Generalised statements e.g. “Well done to both of you”; “Lots of hard work undertaken”, should be avoided.

Internal verification should focus comment on the assessment undertaken, support assessor development/practice and evidence the rigour of activity.

Internal Verifiers are required to check some part of the unit identified in the sampling plan. Please indicate the p.c’s range, k.s, and evidence sampled within the candidate portfolio by initialling and dating the work you have reviewed. The use of a red pen will provide a clear tracking system to audit internal verification within the candidate portfolio.

The unit, and elements sampled, must be written on the report form to ensure an auditable system exists in the centre records.

In addition to the sampling of evidence Internal Verifiers will also record, by ticking appropriately, the method of assessment used, the assessment focus and whether the evidence is valid, authentic, current and sufficient, and that there is evidence of consistent practice.

Internal Verifiers will also note whether the candidate performance evidence records has been signed and dated by the assessor and authenticated by the candidate.

If a standardisation issue is identified this needs to be recorded and discussed at the internal verifier meeting with assessors.

Where an action plan is necessary for the assessor Internal Verifier will record what action is required by when and, at a later date, whether the action was completed.

The assessor’s Continuous Professional Development Record does not need to be completed after each internal verification activity but it is essential that it is completed every 12 months.

When observation is used for the purposes of internal verification the outcomes should be recorded on the Internal Verifiers by Observation Sheets and candidate feedback sheet

On completion of the portfolio/award and the Internal Verifiers Final Portfolio/Award, Report Form should be used.

Internal Verifiers will be concerned about assessor practice, an Internal Verifiers Concerns Form should be completed and forwarded to Signature. If Internal Verifier has a serious concern, this information should be forwarded without delay

Full certification requests should also be recorded on this form and sent to the Fylde Coast BSL Centre.

On completion of candidate’s award, or period assessment, all internal verification records must be passed to the Fylde Coast BSL Centre who will store them with the candidate assessment records for the period required by the regulator.

Candidates who leave or withdraw from assessment, prior to the achievement of their full award are entitled to have the units gained certificated. The same process identified for unit and award completion will be followed which will ensure certification takes place and the necessary records are retained by the Fylde Coast BSL Centre.

Candidates may have their evidence portfolio returned after the next EV visit but must be advised to keep them intact and safe for a period of three years.

Standardisation Meetings
The internal verifier and Fylde Coast BSL Centre will liaise with assessor’s informing them of standardisation meetings to which the internal verifier is expected to contribute. These will be held 3 times per year and assessors are expected to attend all meetings. (for each scheme)

Fylde Coast BSL Centre Responsibility
Fylde Coast BSL Centre have a responsibility to give full and active support for the strategy by ensuring that the strategy is known and understood.

Appropriately qualified staff must carry out all internal verification. Where a trainee internal verifier undertakes internal verification, this must be verified by a qualified Internal Verifier and countersigned.

Internal verification must be carried out continuously throughout the year. In addition to this, each programme will identify dedicated periods of time when internal verification takes place. These times will be included in a course calendar, which each course must have in place in either the internal verification file or course file. The evidence must be recorded on appropriate documentation, which takes into account the requirements Signature.

Assignments must be verified when they have been marked before a final mark is issued. Internal verification must take place before assessment decisions are finalised and notified to students.

Internal verification records must be kept in a secure location and accessed only by staff authorised to do so.