January 15, 2024
Essential IQA Skills to Advance Your Career
If you want to advance your career as an IQA (Internal Quality Assurer), then there are some essential IQA skills you’ll need, no matter what industry or sector you work in, that will help you enhance your prospects and assist you in climbing the career ladder and reaching the top.
The Role of an IQA
As with any career, it’s essential to understand the role of an IQA, what to expect and some of the tasks you will be doing on a daily basis.
Unlike assessors and teachers, the role of an IQA is not directly involved with teaching or assessing. Instead, it acts as an educational GPS whose role is to help centres stay on the right track, which is essential for running the education system smoothly.
An IQA also acts as a liaison between the centre you work for and the awarding organisation/s that provide the qualifications the centre offers. However, as it’s the awarding organisation providing the qualifications that learners receive, they set the quality assurance standards and will be checking that the centre is following those standards – it’s the IQA who ensures the standards are being followed.
Understanding Awarding Body Regulations and Policies
An important IQA skill to help you advance your career is understanding what the awarding organisation wants in terms of quality assurance from your centre.
Luckily, you don’t have to be a mind-reader! Everything your awarding organisation requires will be documented, usually in a file called “Guidance on Internal Quality Assurance of Qualifications” or “Centre Manual”, so you can get copies of these and learn them inside-out.
Don’t worry; we’re not suggesting they should be your bedtime reading, nor do you need to quote from them by memory! But you need to understand what the awarding organisation will be looking for and expecting.
This will boost your IQA career in two ways: you’ll know what to put in place to meet the requirements, and knowing this will enable you to explain to the assessors, tutors, and any other staff at your centre why this is being done.
As well as documenting everything they expect from IQAs and centres, Awarding Organisations also employ EQAs (External Quality Assurers) whose role is to monitor, check and advise centres as a first point of contact.
EQAs are helpful in your role, so you should keep in touch with them regularly as they are generally very experienced and have lots of knowledge and experience they can share with you. EQAs are in a supportive role, and you represent not just a centre offering qualifications but also a customer of the awarding organisation, so ensure you have a close and professional relationship with your EQA and keep in contact with them regularly to let them know how things are going at your centre.
Understanding the Education System
Teachers, assessors, centres, IQAs and awarding organisations are part of a system with many moving parts, each depending on and influencing the others.
As an IQA, you’re working in a specific subject area but also as the link between these, which means you’ll need to know what each role does and how it relates to the work you and others at your centre do.
To help advance your career as an IQA, it’s essential to get to grips with the regulators such as Ofqual and their General Conditions for Recognition and make sure you are clear on where you stand with all the other parts of the system.
Continuous Professional Development and Qualifications
Continuous Professional Development (CPD) can supercharge your IQA career, and to do this, you should concentrate on two areas: your skills and qualifications.
IQA skills are the skills necessary for you to carry out your work effectively. It’s important to refresh your IQA skills, which you can do by keeping up to date with awarding body requirements by signing up for any email lists that will send current information straight to your inbox.
Additionally, conferences, webinars, and events can give you further in-depth IQA knowledge as well as provide you with a network of other IQAs, EQAs or those involved with other centres and awarding organisations who could be valuable contacts to you for career development, opportunities as well as advice and guidance.
In today’s competitive job market, staying ahead means having the skills and qualifications to back them up. This is particularly true in the education sector, where the trend is moving towards requiring formal qualifications for roles, including Internal Quality Assurance.
If you’re currently working as an IQA without a formal qualification or are considering a career in this field, the Level 4 IQA Award in Understanding the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice will equip you with all the knowledge you need to meet the industry standards.
Alternatively, the Level 4 IQA Award in Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice qualifies you to become a qualified Internal Quality Assurer, also known as an Internal Verifier.
If you have already achieved your IQA qualification and are looking to progress further in your career, the next step to advance your career is the Level 4 Certificate in Leading the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice. This course will equip you to effectively manage and supervise a team of IQAs, opening up new career opportunities and challenges.
At Carlton Training, we understand that each individual has unique career goals and pathways. Our team is always ready to listen and provide guidance that aligns with your aspirations and professional needs. Contact us for advice tailored to your journey, and take the next step in securing your future in education and quality assurance.Next      ›
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