Assessment Policy

1. Introduction

1.1 To deliver its strategic policy aims of excellence in: Curriculum Innovation; Learning, Teaching and Assessment; and the Student Experience, Results Consortium Ltd. (thereafter the College) has a policy of planning student assessment to ensure that academic standards are met, the value of qualifications awarded is in line with sector- recognised standards and Awarding Body requirements.

1.2 Planning of student assessment is part of the College’s planned compliance with the UK Quality Code for Higher Education expectations. In particular when planning, setting, assessing and providing feedback/feedforward to students, as described in this procedure, compliance with core practices S1, S2 and S4.

The UK Quality Code sets out the following Expectations:

S1: The provider ensures that the threshold standards for its qualifications are consistent with the relevant national qualification’s frameworks.

S2: The provider ensures that students who are awarded qualifications have the
opportunity to achieve standards beyond the threshold level that are reasonably comparable with those achieved in other UK providers.

S4: The provider uses external expertise, assessment and classification processes that are reliable, fair and transparent.

1.3 When preparing assessment instruments, reference will be made to the relevant QAA standards documents, particularly:

  • The Frameworks for Higher Education Qualifications of UK Degree-Awarding Bodies (October 2014)
  • and (for business and management qualifications) the Subject Benchmark Statement for Business and Management (February 2015)

1.4 While it is recognised that these frameworks and standards apply to institutions with degree-awarding powers, the College aims to be recognised as a high-quality provider with comparable standards to other Higher Education Institutions.

2. Pearson Awarded Qualifications

2.1 The Policy Aims:

2.1.1 To ensure that assessment methodology is valid, reliable and does not disadvantage or advantage any group of learners or individuals

2.1.2 To ensure that the assessment procedure is open, fair and free from bias and to national standards

2.1.3 To ensure that there is accurate and detailed recording of assessment

2.2 In order to do this, Results will:

  • Ensure that students are provided with assignments that are fit for purpose, to enable them to produce appropriate evidence for assessment
  • Produce a clear and accurate assessment plan at the start of the
  • programme/academic year
  • Provide clear, published dates for handout of assignments and deadlines for assessment
  • Assess students’ evidence using only the published assessment and grading criteria
  • Ensure that assessment decisions are impartial, valid and reliable
  • Develop assessment procedures that will minimise the opportunity for academic malpractice
  • Maintain accurate and detailed records of assessment decisions
  • Maintain a robust and rigorous internal verification procedure
  • Provide samples for standards verification/external examination as required by the awarding organisation
  • Monitor standards verification/external examination reports and undertake any remedial action required
  • Share good assessment practice between all BTEC programme teams
  • Ensure that BTEC assessment methodology and the role of the assessor are understood by all BTEC staff
  • Provide resources to ensure that assessment can be performed accurately and appropriately.

3. Procedure for Pearson Awarded Qualifications

3.1 The Academic Board is responsible for implementation and oversight of this procedure.

3.2 The Principal will approve the planned programme of assessment and internal
verification to ensure that it meets the requirements of the Awarding Body and fulfilling the requirements of the programme specification.

3.3 The Higher Education Manager is responsible for planning a programme of
assessment for a programme of study; ensure that a suitable Internal Verifier is allocated for each assignment and that accurate assessment information is presented to Assessment Boards.

3.4 Tutors and Assessors are responsible for checking and modifying existing assignment briefs for each new cohort, planning at least one formal opportunity to provide formative feedback to students on an individual basis and setting Issue Dates and Submission Dates to complement the unit delivery format and schedule. Tutors and Assessors are also responsible for providing formative and summative feedback and grades for student work.

3.5 Assessment and Internal Verification Schedule. Following the admission of a new cohort of students on a Higher National programme, the Higher Education Manager in collaboration with Unit Tutors and the Lead Internal Verifier will agree an assessment schedule and responsibilities. The schedule will be maintained by the Higher Education Manager and will be published to all staff involved in the assessment process.

3.6 Assignment Briefs. All Assignment Briefs for Pearson Programmes will be prepared on the current recognised Pearson Assignment Brief Template, by the appointed unit Tutor. Assignment Briefs will map tasks against the specific criteria targeted by the brief and give guidance on the forms of evidence students should provide. Once a Tutor has completed an assignment brief it should be passed to the allocated Internal Verifier for verification. Under no circumstances may assignment briefs be passed to students until the Internal Verification process is complete.

3.7 Internal Verification of Assignment Briefs. All assessment instruments to be used in a Pearson qualification must be Internally verified and approved before they are issued to students

3.8 Assessment Recording and Tracking. The student progress must be tracked using an assignment tracking sheet in combination with the VLE (Canvas) tracking system (Gradebook). Once an Assessment Board has confirmed student achievement, the College will apply for certification.

3.9 Formative Feedback. Formative feedback will be provided for each student studying a unit,

3.10 Summative Feedback. For each student a summative assignment feedback form,
showing grade achieved, will be completed by the Unit Tutor.

3.10.1 Student assignment evidence submitted must be assessed against the Assessment Criteria for the unit as shown on the Assignment Brief.

3.10.2 Assessors should annotate on the student work where the evidence supports their grading decisions against the unit grading criteria.

3.10.3 It is good practice for Assessors to “note” spelling and grammar at the summative feedback stage.

3.10.4 Mistakes in spelling and grammar should not influence assessment decisions unless: the mistakes are so problematic that they undermine the evidence of student understanding, or specific assessment criteria require good communication, spelling and grammar and/or correct use of technical language. In exceptional cases, if student work has consistently poor spelling, grammar or language it should not be accepted for marking but should be returned to the student to be corrected. The student must be given a deadline by which to correct the work. It is not expected that students are offered opportunities to revisit assignments at this stage of the assessment process unless approved by the Programme Leader.

3.11 Internal Verification of Assessment. Once all summative feedback forms for a cohort have been completed including grades, a sample should be passed to the Internal Verifier for verification.

3.12 Grading Decisions. All Pearson Higher Education programmes are on the UK Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF). Each successfully completed unit will be graded as a Pass, Merit or Distinction.

3.12.1 To achieve a Pass, a student must have satisfied all the Pass criteria for the learning outcomes, showing coverage of the unit content and therefore attainment at Level 4 or 5 of the national framework.

3.12.2 To achieve a Merit, a student must have satisfied all the Merit criteria (and the Pass criteria) through high performance in each learning outcome.

3.12.3 To achieve a Distinction, a student must have satisfied all the Distinction criteria (and the Pass and Merit criteria), and these define outstanding performance across the unit as a whole.

3.12.4 The award of a Pass is a defined level of performance and cannot be given solely on the basis of a student completing assignments. Students who do not satisfy the Pass criteria should be reported as Unclassified.

3.13 Information on the Summative Assessment Process for Students. Students
should be aware that summative assessment decisions are subject to External Examiner and Assessment Board confirmation, and thus assessors’ grading decisions are provisional.

3.14 Late Submission of Student Assignment Work. Student work that is submitted after the deadline will be capped at a Pass grade.

3.15 Assessment Boards. An Assessment Boards, normally, takes place immediately after all assessment for a programme of study are completed. The decisions of an Assessment Board will be communicated to students and will be passed to the College Administration Team to complete student certification according to the Student Registration and Certification Policy.

3.16 Resubmission of Student Assignment Work. A student who, for the first assessment opportunity, has failed to achieve a Pass for that unit shall be expected to undertake a reassessment.

3.16.1 Only one opportunity for reassessment of the unit will be permitted.

3.16.2 Reassessment for coursework, project or portfolio-based assessments shall normally involve the reworking of the original task.

3.16.3 For examinations, reassessment shall involve completion of a new task.

3.16.4 A student who undertakes a reassessment will have their grade capped at a Pass for that unit.

3.16.5 A student will not be entitled to be reassessed in any component of assessment for which a Pass grade or higher has already been awarded.

3.17 Procedure for resubmissions. If the Higher Education Manager or Assessment Board does authorise a resubmission, the following conditions apply:

3.17.1 There can be no resubmission where a pass grade in the unit has already been achieved

3.17.2 The resubmission must be recorded in the relevant assessment

3.17.3 The student must be given a clear and realistic deadline for resubmission that is consistent across all students granted a resubmission

3.17.4 Students are normally asked to resubmit work within 15 working days of the student being notified that a resubmission has been authorised

3.17.5 The resubmission must be undertaken by the student with no further guidance

3.17.6 The original evidence submitted for the assessment can remain valid and be extended, or may need to be replaced partially or in full

3.17.7 The Higher Education Manager should make arrangements for resubmitting the assessment in such a way that does not adversely affect other assessments and does not give the student an unfair advantage over others.

3.18 Repeat units. The following applies to a student who, for the first assessment opportunity and the resubmission opportunity, still failed to achieve a Pass for a unit:

3.18.1 At the discretion of the Assessment Board, students can be permitted to repeat a unit. In such cases students will be expected to study the unit again with full attendance and (if required) make payment of the unit fee.

3.18.2 Units can only be repeated once.

3.18.3 The overall unit grade for a successfully completed repeat unit will be capped at a Pass for that unit

3.18.4 A student who, for the first assessment opportunity within a repeated unit, has failed to achieve a Pass for that unit, they shall be expected to undertake a reassessment. This reassessment will be subject to the standard resubmission rules and regulations as stated above.

3.18.5 f a student repeats a unit and still does not achieve a Pass, they may be required to either complete a different unit in full or take the unit as compensation. In either instance, the Assessment Board must make sure that the Awarding Body’s regulations and requirements have been met.

3.18.6 Repeat unit assessments should be included in the External Examiners

3.19 Retention of student evidence and assessment records

3.19.1 The evidence and assessment records must be stored safely and securely to ensure that they are available for verification by the Awarding Body. Up to date, securely stored assessment records also help to minimise the risk of assessment malpractice.

3.19.2 The College must store all assessment records securely and safely relating to both internally and externally set assessments and maintain records of student achievements that are up to date, regularly reviewed and tracked accurately against national standards. Retain both internal and external assessment records for college and awarding body scrutiny for a minimum of three years following certification.