National Qualifications Internal Verification Toolkit
What is internal verification and how can it help you?
Internal verification is an approach to quality assurance based on peer support and review that enables you to integrate quality into internal assessment from start to finish.
- helps to ensure that all staff understand national standards and can apply them
- facilitates collaboration between staff and with external colleagues
- enables and ensures fair, accurate and consistent assessment judgements
- supports the credibility of internally-assessed qualifications with parents, employers, higher education institutions etc.
- allows quality concerns to be captured and addressed
- helps to protect assessors against challenges to professional assessment judgements
- supports preparation for successful external verification
In this toolkit, the terms ‘assessor’ and ‘internal verifier’ are used for ease of reference.
‘Assessor’ refers to a teacher/lecturer who marks internal assessments for Units or Course components. They may be using SQA Unit assessment support packs (UASPs) or may devise their own assessment approaches.
‘Internal verifier’ refers to a teacher/lecturer who:
- supports assessors in understanding and applying national standards
- checks assessment approaches which assessors have devised to ensure that they are fit-for-purpose (before prior verification by SQA)
- samples assessment judgements to ensure that they are valid and reliable
Internal verification in the senior phase builds on your experience of 3–15 moderation in the broad general education, with many similar elements. The Sharing Standards and Expectations pages on the Education Scotland website provide more information on this.
Models of internal verification
The model of internal verification used is at the discretion of the centre. The approach to internal verification that you choose needs to work within the context of your own centre.
There are three broad approaches:
- Lead Internal Verifier: responsibility is allocated to named members of teaching staff for carrying out internal verification of particular Units, as part of a peer-review process. The internal verifier will sample assessments marked by other assessors.
- Peer review: All members of teaching staff in a department taking responsibility for both assessing and internally verifying Units, as a peer-review process. All staff take part in understanding standards activities and carry out cross-marking of each other’s assessments.
- Single Assessor departments: A networking approach to internal verification, allowing professional dialogue and cross-marking between assessors in different centres. This would be most likely to apply in single-teacher or small departments.
If you need guidance on choosing an approach to verification, check our Frequently Asked Questions(132 KB) and use our Internal Verification Self-Assessment Form (69 KB). We recommend that you read through Sections 2 to 4 for guidance before you consider the self-assessment.
The stages of internal verification
Internal verification can be divided into three separate stages:
- pre-delivery — understanding standards
- Support and Sampling During Delivery
- post-delivery reflection and review
The internal verification toolkit allows you to think about the activities you undertake at each of these stages.
While most internal verification activity will be integrated within existing processes, it is important that key activities are documented. Primarily, this will support you in managing internal assessment and verification and planning for improvement, but will also allow you to demonstrate to SQA that an effective internal verification system is in place.
The internal verification toolkit provides you with templates that can be used to successfully support an effective internal verification process.
- Pre-delivery and Understanding Standards
- Support and Sampling During Delivery
- Post-delivery Review
Internal Verification Toolkit pro forma - Single download
Internal Verification video
This webinar recording from November 2016 covers:
- What is internal verification?
- Benefits of internal verification
- Different models of internal verification
- Different stages of internal verification
- Using the SQA IV toolkit