Quality assurance criteria

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Systems approval

Qualification approval

Systems verification

Qualification verification

1. Management of a centre

Quality assurance is managed effectively and documented processes which support all SQA qualifications are implemented, reviewed and continuously improved.

Criteria Criteria details Examples of Evidence Impact
1.1 The centre must operate a documented quality management system. Quality manual with documented policies, procedures and associated documentation high
1.2 There must be a documented schedule for reviewing the quality management system. The outcome of reviews must be recorded and actioned. Schedule of reviews and Internal audits, action plans, self assessment documents, internal verification documents, minutes of meetings, restructuring documentation medium
1.3 SQA must be notified of any changes that may affect the centre's ability to meet the quality assurance criteria. Communication of: change of premises change of head of centre, owner and/or SQA Co-ordinator. change of name of centre or business. change of contact details outcome of internal/external investigations removal of centre and/or qualification approval by another awarding body lack of appropriate assessors or internal verifiers high
1.4 There must be a system of version control for documentation. Header/footer, document amended sheet, document control sheet low
1.5 The centre’s policies and procedures must be supported by senior management and understood by all relevant staff. Statement from Chief Executive, Foreward from Senior Management in Quality Manual, distribution list, minutes of meetings low
1.6 All relevant staff must be kept up to date with internal and external information relating to SQA. Distribution list, minutes of meetings, staff notice board, emails, intranet, storage of examination procedures and timetables medium
1.7 The roles and responsibilities of those involved in the administration, management, assessment and quality assurance of SQA qualifications across all sites must be clearly documented and disseminated. Schedule of reviews and Internal audits of policies & procedures relating to SQA provision, organisational Chart: documented roles and responsibilities, changes to the deployment of assessors/internal verifiers medium
1.8 There must be a documented system for checking the on-going suitability of all satellite sites where appropriate. Signed agreements, checklist medium
1.9 The centre must have a communications system with SQA and candidates. Correspondence file: emails, contracts/agreements, feedback/report form, SQA unit feedback form medium
1.10 A procedure must be in place to gather feedback from staff and candidates. Feedback should be recorded, reviewed and actioned. Feedback forms, analysis/action of feedback/evaluation forms, minutes of meetings low
1.11 There must be a documented system, where appropriate, for the management of all subcontracted services or partnership arrangements in relation to the assessment and quality assurance of qualifications awarded by SQA. Documented and signed agreements medium
1.12 There must be documented procedures in place to support specific qualification approval applications. Documented internal procedure, minutes of meetings, recording proforma low

2. Resources

Resources are managed effectively in line with documented policies and procedures

Criteria Criteria details Examples of Evidence Impact
2.1 There must be a documented procedure for the recruitment, selection and job allocation for all staff involved in the assessment and internal verification of SQA qualifications. Recruitment/selection policy, job descriptions, job advert, person specification low
2.2 The centre must have a documented system to ensure assessors and internal verifiers are given adequate opportunity for their own development. CPD records, staff reviews, staff appraisals, Personal Development Plans, changes in staff review process, minutes of meetings low
2.3 For regulated qualifications there must be documented evidence of CPD activities. CPD Records low
2.4 Records must be maintained to provide evidence that the centre has sufficient competent staff who have the necessary qualifications, occupational experience and understanding to support the assessment and internal verification of qualifications being offered in the centre. CVs/staff info sheets, CPD records, copies of relevant certificates, list of current assessors and internal verifiers, changes to the deployment of assessors/internal verifiers high
2.5 There must be evidence that there is a process to ensure all assessors and internal verifiers undertake an induction programme. Staff induction pack, staff handbook, induction checklist medium
2.6 The centre's equal opportunities policy and procedures must be implemented by all appropriate staff. Equal opportunities policy in relation to training and assessment, signed distribution list low
2.7 There must be a documented system for initial and on-going reviews of assessment environment (s) equipment and reference, learning and assessment materials. Itinerary checklists, procurement records, library contents, system for supporting e-assessment Records of review high
2.8 There must be evidence of initial and on-going reviews of assessment environment(s), assessment procedures, equipment, learning and assessment materials. Current Health & Safety certificates itinerary checklists, procurement records, library contents, system for supporting e-assessment Records of review high

 

3. Candidate support

Information, advice and guidance about qualification procedures and practices are provided to candidates and potential candidates

Criteria Criteria details Examples of Evidence Impact
3.1 The centre must provide candidates with information on its responsibilities to them in relation to selection, induction, guidance, support and assessment/reassessment. Candidate/learner agreement, induction pack/checklist, support services available, shell portfolio, list of reference/learning materials high
3.2 Candidates' development needs and prior achievements (where appropriate) must be matched against the requirements of the award. APL evidence, skills profile, training needs analysis, assessment plans, reviews medium
3.3 Candidates must have scheduled contact with their assessor in order to review their progress and to revise their assessment plans accordingly. Assessment plans, meeting/visit schedule, contact log medium
3.4 The centre must provide candidates with information on its responsibilities to them in relation to assessment arrangements. Where identified appropriate, support must be discussed and implemented as agreed and recorded. Documented assessment arrangements procedure/statement, initial application form medium
3.5 The centre must have a documented process in place for investigating suspected malpractice. Outcomes and decisions must be recorded and retained in line with SQA policy. There must be evidence that this process has been disseminated to candidates and staff. Documented malpractice procedure, policy contained within induction materials high
3.6 There must be a documented complaints/grievance procedure which is disseminated during the induction process. This grievance procedure must have timescales attached and any decisions made must be recorded. Documented complaints/grievance procedure, procedure contained within induction materials medium
3.7 There must be a documented internal assessment appeals procedure which is disseminated during the induction process. This appeals procedure must have timescales attached. The outcome and decisions must be recorded. Documented appeals procedure, procedure contained within induction materials medium
3.8 There must be pre-exit guidance provided to support candidate progression. Exit questionnaire, note of discussion low

4. Internal assessment and verification

Internal assessment and verification activities are clearly documented, consistent with SQA requirements and ensure the quality and consistency of assessment

Criteria Criteria details Examples of Evidence Impact
4.1 The centre's assessment and verification procedures must be documented and implemented to meet qualification and SQA requirements. Minutes of assessor/internal verifier meetings, internal audit, review records medium
4.2 The centre must provide documented evidence to ensure that assessments are valid, reliable, equitable and fair. Signed pre-delivery checklist. Standardisation meeting minutes, internal audit, review records high
4.3 Evidence of candidates' work must be accurately and consistently judged by assessors against SQA's requirements. Assessor reports, records of achievement, standardisation meeting minutes, IV reports, Qualification Verification reports high
4.4 The effectiveness of the assessment and internal verification system must be monitored against SQA requirements and any necessary changes must be implemented. Notification of changes to procedures, action notes, minutes of meetings low
4.5 The centre must take steps to ensure that assessment evidence is the candidate's own work. Candidate disclaimer, Candidate and staff induction materials: assessor/IV roles and responsibilities high
4.6 The centre must comply with requests for access to premises, records, information, candidates and staff for the purpose of external quality assurance. Documented procedure for handling QA visits, roles and responsibilities, site selection checklists, permissions for SQA QA representatives to obtain access high
4.7 Candidate evidence must be retained in line with SQA requirements. Candidate evidence, documented retention policy high
4.8 Outcomes of External quality assurance must be disseminated to appropriate staff and any action points must be monitored against agreed timescales. Signed distribution list, corrective action log/report, minutes of meetings medium
4.9 No-one with a personal interest in the outcome of an assessment is to be involved in the assessment process. This includes assessors, IVs and invigilators. Procedure for managing conflict of interest for assessors and internal verifiers, signed staff declarations low

5. External assessment

External assessment is managed effectively in line with SQA requirements

Criteria Criteria details Examples of Evidence Impact
5.1 Information on examination procedures and timetables must be stored and disseminated internally Minutes of meetings, examination procedure documentation high
5.2 There must be a documented process for access for SQA QA staff. Documented procedure for handling SQA visits, roles and responsibilities, site selection checklist, permission for access to SQA QA representatives high
5.3 The centre must nominate invigilators. Records of invigilators high
5.4 The accommodation and facilities provided must meet the assessment needs of all candidates and the modes of assessment. Room plans, procurement records, staff emails/memos high
5.5 Examination materials and candidates assessments (including examination question papers, scripts and electronically-stored evidence) must be securely stored. Roles and responsibilities, documented procedure for storing assessment materials high
5.6 Candidates must be informed of assessment criteria and mode and format of assessment by which they will be assessed. Candidate information sheets high
5.7 Accurate entry details and, where appropriate, estimates of performance for each candidate must be submitted. Documented procedure for transfer of data to SQA medium
5.8 The centre must take steps to ensure that assessment evidence is the candidate's own work. Candidate disclaimer, candidate and staff induction materials, assessor/IV roles and responsibilities high
5.9 The centre must respond to requests for feedback from candidates and SQA. Copies of feedback low
5.10 The centre must submit, where appropriate, within published timelines, assessment appeal requests which are supported by valid and reliable alternative evidence. Documented procedure for dealing with assessment appeals, copies of emails/memos to staff medium

6. Records/data management

Information is managed effectively within the centre and between the centre and SQA

Criteria Criteria details Examples of Evidence Impact
6.1 There must be an effective documented system in place for supplying complete, current and accurate information to SQA for the purposes of registration, entries and certification. Roles and responsibilities, flow chart, data procedures, computer print outs/recording documentation, candidate registers, IV sign off sheet, info on currency of qualifications medium
6.2 Candidates presented for assessment must be entered within SQA published timelines relevant to qualification type.  Documented procedure for recording and transferring data entries medium
6.3 Candidates presented for certification must be resulted within SQA published timelines relevant to qualification type. Documented procedure for recording and transferring results medium
6.4 A record of all current candidate home addresses must be retained. If the centre address is used for certification then candidate home addresses must be reinstated and submitted to SQA immediately following certification or withdrawal of entries. Internal records, internal system for candidate notifying centre of changes, application forms, documented procedure for reinstatement to home address low
6.5 The centre must have a documented process in place to ensure scheduled data cleansing takes place. Documented procedure on data cleansing low
6.6 Comments/queries about the qualification specification, assessment guidance, qualification verification or related SQA matters must be resolved and recorded. Correspondence file, emails, standardisation meeting minutes, notes of action points and resolution low
6.7 There must be an effective documented system for the accurate recording and storage of candidate records of achievement in line with SQA requirements. Portfolio log sheet, internal records, secure storage policy, medium
6.8 Information on SQA qualifications, procedural requirements and candidates must be recorded and stored in accordance with current legislation on data protection. Signed candidate information exchange statement medium
6.9 Records of all candidate registrations and entries, candidate assessment records and records of internal verification activity must be retained in line with SQA policy. Candidate registrations and entries, assessor and IV records low