Centre Approval for Vocational Qualifications

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1 Centre Approval for Vocational Qualifications 1

2 Contents Page Introduction 3 Centre approval process explained 3 Application form explained 4 Approval visit 6 Contacts and support 7 2

3 Introduction This document gives advice and guidance for centres wishing to be approved by Rockschool to run qualifications which are recognised by Ofqual. It sets out the requirements for centres to meet and the expectations Rockschool places on them. It also sets out ways in which Rockschool will monitor approved centres and explains how the relationship between centres and Rockschool works in practice. What is a centre? A centre is defined as an organisation undertaking the delivery of an assessment (and potentially other activities) to Learners on behalf of an awarding organisation. Centres are typically educational institutions, training providers or employers. 1 Rockschool deals with two main types of centre. For graded examinations in music performance and performance arts, Rockschool deals with examination venues. These are places where examinations are held. For other qualifications, Rockschool deals with centres. These centres carry out a number of assessment activities themselves, which Rockschool moderates to ensure that assessors are carrying out their jobs properly and assessing to the correct standards. How Rockschool moderates centres is explained in the Centre Handbook. The centre approval process explained Centre approval is a two stage process. Stage 1 Any centre wishing to be approved by Rockschool should complete an application form (in Appendix 1 of this document) and send this to Rockschool, along with any supporting documentation required. This can be sent by or posted to Rockschool at the address given in the Contacts section. On receipt of the application form, a Rockschool member of staff will check through to make sure that all the information has been supplied by the centre. If information is missing, the member of staff will contact the centre to ask for it to be submitted before the check is complete. Stage 2 Once the form has been checked, Rockschool will contact the centre to set up a site visit. The purpose of this visit is to check that the centre has appropriate resources to carry out the assessment of its qualifications and to carry out required quality assurance processes. Rockschool will send a representative to the centre who will carry out the site visit. This will be agreed in advance with the centre representative and is explained in the site visit section below. After the site visit, the Rockschool representative will report on whether they feel the centre should be approved or not. 1 Conditions of Recognition (published by Ofqual September 2013) 3

4 Rockschool will let the centre know within 14 days of the site visit whether it has been approved. Centres with Direct Claims Status or centre approval with another awarding organisation If a centre wishing to apply to Rockschool already has approval or Direct Claims Status with another awarding organisation regulated by Ofqual, they need only complete Stage 1 of the process. The application form explained The application form for centre approval can be found at Appendix 1 of this document. This section explains some of the terminology and requirements so that centres are fully aware of what is required. 1. Centre details This section needs to be completed with the centre s name, address and a contact telephone number. If the centre is a registered company, please give the company number and the country in which the centre is registered. Type of centre please tell us if your centre is a University, College, School, Training Provider, Company or another type of organisation. Satellite centres please tell us if assessment takes place over more than one site for example if you have separate campuses or locations where learners are being assessed. Third parties please tell us if you are going to be working with partner organisations who will be undertaking some of the assessment or quality assurance. We will need to know what type of arrangement is in place and who has responsibility for assessment and quality assurance. 2. Contact details Main contact you must nominate a single named point of accountability for the quality assurance and management of the units and qualifications. This person is responsible for liaising with the Board during the recognition process, and will be the main point of contact with Rockschool once recognised. Chief Executive/Principal This is the head of the organisation. 3. Approval with other awarding organisations We need to know if you are approved by any other Ofqual recognised awarding organisation so that we have evidence of a track record of approval. We may ask for evidence of your track record from monitoring reports this will be treated in strictest confidence. If you are approved by multiple awarding organisations please list three organisations from which you can provide evidence of approval (for example any organisations you may have Direct Claims Status with or offer a number of qualifications through). 4. Policies and procedures Please send us copies of your policies where we ask for them. In some cases we may simply ask for a confirmation that the centre can carry out procedures required. Please see below for guidance on how to respond to this section: 4

5 Centre approval requirement (to comply with Condition C2.1 of the Conditions of Recognition September 2013) Has the staff, resources and systems necessary to support the assessment of units and the award, accumulation and transfer of credits and, where necessary, the recording of exemptions Unless a learner chooses not to have one, has arrangements in place to obtain on behalf of its learners a unique learner number (ULN) and a learner record Where appropriate, has arrangements that allow for recognition of prior learning (RPL) To assist Rockschool in carrying out any reasonable monitoring activities and in any Ofqual investigations Can deliver the qualification in accordance with Equalities Law Has a complaints handling and/or an appeals procedure for the benefit of learners Comply with Rockschool s requirements for withdrawing their status as a centre and protect the interests of learners in doing so. Explanation Evidence required to show that your centre has adequate numbers of trained assessors and processes to standardise them. Evidence required to show that your centre has specialist equipment and resources for learners where this is required. Applicable only for centres based in England, Northern Ireland or Wales. Centres must be able to obtain ULNs for learners and facilities to record these. Centres should provide evidence that they are able to do so. Centres should provide evidence that they have systems in place to recognise achievements or learning that could contribute the achievement of a unit. Please see the Centre Handbook for more guidance about recognising prior learning (RPL). A confirmation that the centre will assist in any monitoring activities or Ofqual investigations. Equalities Law refers to legislation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Centres offering Rockschool qualifications in these countries should provide evidence to show that they can comply with Equalities Law requirements. Evidence should be provided that the Centre is able to undertake initial investigations into any complaints or appeals made by learners and to inform Rockschool of these. Further guidance is available in the Centre Handbook. A confirmation that the centre will inform Rockschool of any intention to withdraw as an approved centre and follow the procedures set out in the Centre Handbook. Centres should attach relevant documents where evidence is required. This should include: Equal opportunities policy or statement Evidence of staff expertise in assessment Procedures for dealing with complaints and appeals within the centre Standardisation procedures Organisation chart showing lines of responsibility within the centre Arrangements for checking and confirming any prior achievements gained by learners that could use towards achievement of a unit. Details of any partnership arrangements with third parties 5

6 5. Centre declaration The main contact should sign and date the form, confirming their name and job title. In signing the declaration, the centre confirms: That it will allow access to Rockschool and/or the qualifications regulators to premises, people and records To comply with requests for further information or documents from Rockschool or the regulators To take all reasonable steps to ensure that Rockschool is able to comply with its Conditions of Recognition, as set out by Ofqual. Approval visit Once the application form is checked and verified, a Rockschool representative will be assigned to carry out the centre visit. The representative will contact the Main Centre Contact as given on the approval form to set out an agenda for the visit and confirm a date for the visit to take place. It is important that the main organisation contact is present when the Rockschool representative carries out a visit so that they are available to discuss the processes and procedures for quality assurance. We recommend that you raise any issues or concerns you have with the Rockschool representative to the meeting, in order for these to be included in the visit plan. The Rockschool representative will always send you a visit plan well in advance of their visit. This will include the date and times of the visit, the evidence they need to see on the day and the people they wish to meet. The Rockschool representative will need access to information on your activities so that they can: evaluate internal arrangements report on all aspects of your processes to confirm that the centre fully meets the approval requirements During the visit the Rockschool representative will look at how your systems and processes ensure the quality and consistency of assessment decisions and assessment practice. This may involve: speaking with candidates and assessors to ensure that evidence and records of assessment are both valid and authentic. reviewing records of assessments, internal verification and team meetings reviewing procedures Visits normally take place on one site and it is the responsibility of the main contact to ensure that the appropriate personnel, records and candidate evidence are made available on that particular site. 6

7 Contacts and support If you need any further support or guidance in completing the approval form, please contact Rockschool: Rockschool Ltd Harlequin House 7 High Street Teddington Middlesex TW11 8EE Tel: +44 (0) Fax: +44 (0) Website: 7

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