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Assessment process


The assessment process is made up of seven key stages, as well as a preparation phase before you start your TQS journey. You can click on any of the stages below to find out more about what's involved.

 
Preparation

We know that going for the Standard requires time and commitment from your organisation and that's why there are several resources available to help you prepare for your journey.

The Readiness Check  is a tool that will help you and your organisation determine how ready you are for assessment against the Training Quality Standard. It will also suggest what areas your organisation may need to concentrate on before registering for assessment.

The Mapping Guide has been designed to show providers how the Training Quality Standard compares and links to other leading quality assessment frameworks. It looks at five other frameworks to identify where their different elements map to the TQS and to what extent.

The World Class Skills programme has been developed to provide support to LSC funded provides. It includes workshops, seminars and consultancy to assist providers to work successfully with employers and deliver flexible, responsive and high-quality training.

You can also find further general guidance and help - useful points to consider when thinking about your application, and your TQS journey as a whole.

You may also want to attend an Applicant Training Course before registering for assessment, which will give attendees an overview of what to expect from assessment, as well as a chance to ask questions and speak to other like-minded training providers. Details of these and other relevant events can be found on the Events page.

If you are interested in procuring additional support around the standard, please contact the TQS helpline on 0845 225 1310, or email info@trainingqualitystandard.co.uk.

1
Registration

If you are thinking of applying for assessment against the Training Quality Standard, the first step you need to take is to register with a Certification Body. For more information on Certification Bodies, please see the I want to apply section.

Once you’ve decided on your chosen Certification Body, you then need to contact them.

The way that you register may vary between Certification Bodies, but will involve filling in an online or electronic form with information about your organisation. Your Certification Body will be able to advise you.

The Certification Body is responsible for:

  • Registering your intention to apply
  • Checking your organisation’s eligibility for assessment
  • Advising on scoping your application
  • Advising on timings and cost of the assessment
  • Agreeing with you the Parts – including Part B sectors – for which you are seeking assessment.

Once all the above has been agreed, you will begin to draft your application.

2
Application

After registering and coming to an agreement with your chosen Certification Body regarding scoping, timescales and costs, the next step is to begin your Application.

The Application is simply a document or web-tool where you address, in turn, each Indicator of the Standard. You can view the Application form template on this website here

To ensure that you fully understand what the Application is asking you for, as part of your Application fee you are given one place on an Applicant Training Course (dates for which can be found here). It’s important to ensure that at least one of your attendees on this course is someone heavily involved in writing the Application.

The Applicant Training Course will give you more information on how to construct a good Application – but the critical point is to make sure that the claims you make are backed with hard evidence.

Your Application should:

  • Reflect how your organisation runs, as your claims will be rigorously tested
  • Be submitted with full details of your customer contacts to allow for validation (for Part A assessment only).

You should also attach an organisational chart, which will help your Assessors plan for their site visit.

You can access more general hints and tips here on how you might tackle your Application. 

To avoid delays in your assessment, please do submit your Application on your agreed submission date.

3
Assessment

Once your application is submitted, we will assign it to an Assessment team, comprising of a Lead Assessor and a Support Assessor, who will get in contact with you early on to plan the process. We’ll first check that the application is fit for purpose, and then the Assessment team will subject it to a rigorous review, in anticipation of the Verification Visit. Particular actions here will include:

  • Working through your submission on each Indicator, identifying Strengths and Areas for Improvement
  • Assigning an initial score to the submission, following the Standard’s Scoring Framework
  • The scoring mechanism is derived in part from the RADAR Scoring Matrix used in the EFQM Excellence Model copyright © 1999 - 2003 EFQM.

The scores are recorded in your own Scorebook, which will eventually form the basis of your Feedback Report.

The Assessors will also compile a list of issues for amplification and clarification on the site visit.

4
Verification

After you have agreed timescales for your assessment with your Certification Body, you will be contacted to arrange a date for a Verification Visit.

The purpose of the Verification Visit is to check the evidence you have given to support your application. The Assessors will only be looking at points you covered in your application. They are there to verify, amplify and clarify your application submission.

The duration of the visit is dependent on the size and complexity of your organisation. For most organisations, the visit lasts at least a full working day, and any additional time will have been agreed earlier with your Certification Body at the registration stage.

The Assessors will:

  • Talk to management staff to understand the organisation
  • Talk to operational staff, to check that their experience matches the claims given in the application
  • Sample evidence given to see how it supports the claims made in your application.

The Assessors will revise their assessment score based on their findings from the visit. You will not be informed of the Assessors’ recommendation at the end of the visit, but will be informed after the Panel Review.

5
Panel Review

Once the Assessors have completed the Assessment, Verification, and Validation stages they will write up their findings and forward them to the Certification Body for moderation.

After moderation, the Certification Body (using an independent Panel Review process) will decide, on the basis of your Assessor team’s recommendation, to award one of three outcomes:

  • No Certification: your organisation will receive Feedback but will not have the right to carry the Training Quality Standard mark, or reapply for six months
  • Deferral: your organisation is given a further three months to resubmit part or all of its application to resolve specific issues before it is reconsidered
  • Certification: your organisation will receive Feedback and Certification (subject to signing a Certification Agreement).

Your Certification Body will let you know the outcome once the decision is made.

6
Feedback

After the Certification decision has been made, you will be contacted to inform you of the outcome. Your Certification Body will also give you your detailed Feedback Report. This report will include:

  • A summary of key themes
  • Strengths and areas for improvement highlighted for each indicator
  • Headline scores for your application, to allow you to review your performance.

You will also receive contact from your Lead Assessor to arrange a Feedback Visit. At the visit, your Lead Assessor will talk you through the headline findings from the assessment process, and answer any questions you may have about the process and the outcome.