External Verification (including Postal and Drop-in EV)

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External verification is where Certa checks a sample of assessed learner work to make sure that the required standards have been met. Centres should prepare for external verification by ensuring that:

  • work required is easily available and is laid out in an organised fashion that makes it easy to scrutinise
  • work that learners completed as part of the learning process is clearly separated from that which was submitted for summative assessment
  • other required information is available, including access to the Centre intranet or other electronic storage facility where appropriate
  • the Quality Reviewer or External Verifier has a room in which to work
  • meetings with assessors and/or learners have been arranged as required
  • where Recommendations for the Award of Credit (RACs) will be signed, they have been completed according to Certa requirements (please see the Certa Centre Handbook)

The Quality Reviewer (QR) or External Verifier (EV) will usually sample 10% of the work, or 5 portfolios, whichever is the greater. Where the Centre is new to Certa provision, or where a Centre is running a Qualification for the first time, the QR or EV may require 100% of the learner work, to safeguard standards and the award of credit.

The QR or EV is responsible for ensuring that evidence is re-assessed where sampling shows that assessment decisions are inconsistent, and will not sign off achievements under these circumstances. The QR or EV will ask to see additional work where the initial sample identifies an issue, to determine whether the issue is an isolated incident or is more widespread.

If the QR or EV feels that previous assessment decisions will also have been affected then s/he may ask for relevant assessments to be reviewed and all relevant work re-assessed.

Examples of practice that is likely to lead to QR or EV interjection include:

  • assessment tasks are not valid or fit for purpose
  • assessment tasks do not reflect the guidance in the Qualification Specification or Qualification Guide, or meet national standards
  • assessments do not meet the required level (as per the Ofqual Level Descriptors October 2015)
  • learners’ work is not authentic
  • insufficient qualified assessors
  • assessor’s decisions are inconsistent
  • no evidence of effective internal verification
  • insufficient records to enable an audit to take place

 For further information please refer to the Certa Centre Monitoring and External Verification Policy or the Centre Handbook.