Following on from my article discussing what an Internal Quality Assurer (IQA) does I have had lots of questions regarding how to find the right IQA for your centre. Interestingly these have come from both new and more established centres, so I thought it would be good to cover some of the key things to think about when looking to get an IQA to work with your centre.
The first thing to do is consider what do you need from an IQA? Different organisations will have very different sets of needs, some need a dedicated IQA to take on a wide range of things across the whole quality side of their provision. Others just need input on a certain qualification or for a particular set of assessments.
The role is relatively simple you need someone who understands what your awarding organisation will require interns of quality standards.
The relationship – this is a really underrated aspect of finding the right IQA for you. You need someone who will build a solid relationship with you and your learners. In my opinion, this all comes from an IQA that takes the time to get to know your centre, how it operates and the programmes you offer.
Qualification – it is considered best practice that your Internal Quality assurer holds the qualifications or equivalencies or ones that supersede the ones being quality assured. Much of the IQA process is around ensuring that the processes and the awarding organisation requirements have been followed, however, this is often interlinked with the subject itself. Additionally, they should hold a valid internal quality assurance qualification.
Experience – as with most things this is key, the more experience an individual has had the more support they can often give. An experienced IQA will have seen most situations before and be much more familiar with the regulations. This, in turn, will make things run so much smoother for you and your centre.
Approach – the approach that the IQA takes is very important, in the old days of internal verification there was more of a second line assessing approach. With many, an assessor scared of the judgment of the IV. This is not a productive way of working the IQA should be supportive, seek to develop the assessment decisions and practice of their teams. It should all be about development and constant improvement.
Availability – you need an IQA who is available around when you need them. Learners like a tight turn around on certification and having an IQA on board who can achieve this is vital. You also need to think about any times you may need them on-site with your learners, for observations, to support on EQA visits or to help develop your team of tutors/assessors.
With all the above unkind it is so important that when you start to establish a relationship with a potential IQA they tick all the boxes for you and your learners.
As usual, if you have any questions please do comment below or reach out on social.