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Accreditation Newsletter

Better Regulation - Targeted

Our plan is to show how we meet the five principles of better regulation.  In this month we will focus on targeted, which is the last of the five principles. In terms of its definition, targeted means that regulation should be focused on the problem and minimise side effects.  

We are trying to protect the interests of learners in our role as regulators, which we do in different ways.  

Firstly, when we receive applications from organisations wishing to be approved by us, we carry out a risk assessment on the organisation. We consider factors such as, whether the organisation is approved as an awarding body, who the organisation is approved by, whether it is in partnership with other organisations and the model of awarding that is being proposed to name a few. The risk assessment score determines whether or not we will proceed with the application.  

Secondly, we accredit qualifications to ensure a number of things. For example, we need to check that the title of the qualification reflects the content and is not misleading. We ensure that the assessment arrangements are appropriate for the qualification and will measure what they are supposed to measure whether that be competence or knowledge and understanding. We will also check to ensure that the proposed quality assurance arrangements for the qualification are appropriate and robust.   

Finally, with regards to our audit activity, we allocate a risk to each of the approved awarding bodies: low, medium or high.  Again, a number of factors are considered in order to allocate a risk score.  Low risk awarding bodies are audited once every three years, medium risk once every two years and high risk are audited on an annual basis. This allows us to target our resources where they are most required.  

In all that we do, we strive not to add additional burden onto the approved awarding bodies. Although, rigorous quality assurance activities such as those highlighted above do bring some bureaucracy but we aim to keep this to a minimum.