January 28, 2021

Which IQA qualification should I take?

If you’re thinking about becoming an Internal Quality Assurer (IQA) you’re basically going to have a role as your organisations’ quality assurance specialist.  This is a really important role as it’s the IQA who can often make or break a centres’ chances of getting approval to offer a qualification, and also getting candidates through to qualify. So with such responsibilities you’ll definitely need a qualification to prove your credentials, but with different qualifications on offer which one should you choose?

Level 4 Award in the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practices (RQF) 

This is the most popular and widely accepted qualification in the IQA field, and despite the convoluted name, it’s designed in quite a straightforward manner by the awarding body City & Guilds. A look under the bonnet at the inner workings shows that this qualification is made up of two units or sections, 

Unit 1 – Understanding the Principles and Practices of Internally Assuring the Quality of Assessment

Unit 2 – Internally Assure the Quality of Assessment

If you think that the names of these units are a bit overlong, then you’re not alone! But hold on, it’s not nearly as complicated as the titles would suggest. Unit 1, this covers the essential theoretical background to being an IQA.  It’s really in everything you need to know about how and why IQAs operate, so consider this unit vital grounding for getting to grips with the whole IQA role.

Unit 2 on the other hand is where you actually get down to the practical activities which make up the bulk of what IQAs actually focus on when they are out on the front line. You’ll cover things like:

  • Planning IQA activities for the courses your centre runs
  • Carrying out internal monitoring activities such as sampling assessments
  • Determining whether assessment methods being used are safe, fair, valid and reliable
  • Providing assessors and trainers with feedback, advice and support
  • Standardising assessments with assessors

If you’ve already completed one of the Level 3 Assessor courses, such as Level 3 CAVA Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement (RQF) then you’ll be familiar with the general principle of having an underlying theory unit then followed by a practical one, well this principle applies to Level 4 IQA courses as well.

Whether you’re going to be an IQA at a training centre, college or End Point Assessment Organisation then this is the IQA qualification for you.  It will set you up for your career in quality assurance.

On the other hand if you’re not looking for a full career as an IQA, but need to get a working knowledge of the IQA process, then you can take Unit 1 as a stand-alone course leading to the theory qualification Level 4 Award in Understanding the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice (RQF). This gets you a recognised City & Guilds certificate and is ideal for putting on your CV and including in your CPD record. If you’re a manager, assessor or course organiser and want a look into the IQA process then this is the course for you.

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