Standards and principles

All TLM qualifications are based on matching competence to criteria in the Qualifications and Credit Framework. We act as external independent quality assurers of learning. In most cases we work with local teacher assessors to come to a professional judgement of the current level of competence of a learner based on the qualification assessment criteria and their interpretation in the context of the general QCF level descriptions. In some cases, most notably in schools, learners that can meet the competence criteria are eligible to take an exam designed to differentiate knowledge and understanding associated with the learning outcomes and their assessment criteria. 

The coursework assessment depends on professional judgements and the moderation system is designed to provide regular feedback to make these judgements more secure and progressively contribute to continuing professional development. Before starting this process it is necessary to sign a professional agreement with TLM pledging to uphold standards. In larger centres there will be a Principal Assessor with several other assessors. All centres have to have a Principal Assessor who will accept responsibility for standards in the centre overall. Most education establishments have internal meetings to standardise assessment. One of our goals is to improve efficiency by using systems already in place where they are fit for purpose rather than adding more unnecessary complexity. 

Our assumption is that assessors will take professional pride in maintaining standards. In most cases where something goes wrong it will be due to a genuine error, misinterpretation or lack of experience. In such cases feedback will be provided to put right the error and ensure that what we learn collectively from the situation reduces the risk of any repetition. We do not consider this to be malpractice but part of collective professional development. Malpractice is defined as improper, illegal, or negligent professional behaviour. If an error is not malicious or due to very obvious and foreseeable negligence or incompetence it isn't malpractice. We are making this clear because we do not want paranoia about errors and mistakes that are genuine because this will be counter-productive in the learning process. We want all assessors to be confident to admit to genuine eroors so that they can be put right.

One key principle is transparency and communication. The Ofqual conditions of regulation are the cornerstone for defining policies and and procedres for quality assurance. We have linked these with cross-references on the web site and all assessors are encouraged to become familiar with these and to hold us to account for meeting them on a day to day basis. Every assessor is encouraged to contact their Account Manager at any time if they have any areas of doubt or need for support.