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The Appropriate Criteria Essay

The internal QA process largely takes place within the college programme/ department itself. Generally, this process collects continued information in a systematic way about the quality being achieved. The Self Assessment reports are the corner stone of the whole QA system and need to be prepared by the college under the guidance provided by the external agencies e.g. City and Guilds, EAL The Self Assessment report should be validated by peers and is the backbone of the whole exercise of Quality Assurance and Enhancement in Colleges. Therefore a standard Self Assessment report should motivate the internal QA by identifying its weaknesses and strengths, in practicing to be prepared for external assessment and informing the external evaluators about internal QA System. A self assessment report should provide comprehensive information regarding objectives, structure and content of the academic programmes, the learning and teaching environment and curriculum organization etc. The processes of conducting Self Assessment (SA) of college programmes are outlined by the scheme providers which provide guidance for practicing self assessment of college programmes of higher education institutions to maintain and improve the quality standards simultaneously.

Self Assessment is an effective tool for academic Quality Assurance and provides feed back to administration to initiate action plans for improvement. Quality in higher education is a dynamic entity and therefore various factors that determine quality of higher education must be set in equilibrium at a level that matches with national expectations and standards. These factors include, inter alia, leadership, quality of faculty, quality of students, curriculum, infrastructure facilities, research and learning environment, governance, strategic planning, assessment procedures, and their relevance to market forces. Combined with this the criteria for judging the quality of assessment process is usually laid down in organisation standards, such as health and safety, equality and diversity. Along with this we require an evidence trail to ensure relevance. Another method is the use of the criteria of meeting targets Use of questionnaires to assess learner satisfaction to awarding organisation standards. e.g. Performance./assessment criteria Levels :- NVQ etc

Performance indicators
Checklists
Logging and tracking documents
Portfolios
Occupational/vocational standards
National Occupational Standards (NOS)
Government regulatory body standards e.g. Ofqual/Ofsted.

When assessing , VASCAR can be referred to when judging the quality of the assessment process. V Is it valid; does the work presented meet the criteria and standards that are being worked towards? A Is the work authentic; is the work the learners/assessors own? S Is the evidence sufficient: is there enough to meet the requirements?

C Is it current; is it linked to the current standards and are they up to date? A Is it accurate
R Reliability; are the assessment decisions consistent and assessed to the appropriate levels for the qualification?
Another acronym which is good to relate to during the process is ACR

A Accuracy/audit trail ensuring all paperwork matches
C Is there consistency over all the assessments, are all assessors working to the same standardized procedures R Record keeping, are all records accurate and thorough (ie are all dates and signatures correct and present). It is vitally important to ensure the above systems are maintained and followed correctly when judging the quality of assessment process. It is also important that they are adhered to in order to contribute to standardization throughout the college. Their use is also important to identify any discrepancies or support needed either for individuals or the team as a whole.


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