Ireland - Assuring a consistent approach to assessment
In Ireland the VET providers have merged to create Education and Training Boards (ETBs). Before the merger each VET provider had their own individual processes and procedures (agreed with the national Quality Assurance regulator) to ensure the fair and consistent assessment of learners. Following the creation of the ETBs, these different practices became obvious and this meant learners whose work was similar could get a different ‘grade classification’ depending on which centre provided the training.
To quality assure the assessment and grading decisions, each ETB had to analyse and review the data from each centre. In the centres managed by the Limerick and Clare ETB there were significant differences in the number of learners receiving each grade (particularly the percentage of learners who were awarded a ‘Distinction’.) To address this problem the team of Quality Assurance practitioners from the ETB organised a seminar on “Ensuring Consistency of Assessment across Multi-Centre Provision”, and identified actions and plans for improvement. This led to the establishment of governance structures for quality assurance which meet the needs of the new organisation.
A range of improvements to the approach to quality assurance have been created. These include increasing the amount of support given to each centre through the creation of a quality assurance support service with three quality assurance support officers; the provision of continuing professional development on standards and assessment for all VET staff; creating one version of each unit descriptor to ensure each of the 34 centres uses the same documentation; and the setting up of a governance group to review and approve any changes to provision which are proposed by any centre.
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For more information on this case study, contact
Alan Hogan, Quality Assurance Officer
Quality Assurance Support Service
Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board
Further Education & Training Centre
Clonroad Campus, Clonroad, Ennis
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone– +353 (0)65-6716345
This case study was prepared in 2017 as part of the work on EQAVET+ organised by the EQAVET Network.