Standardisation is a vital component of any robust quality assurance system and as a condition of provider approval all Open Awards Access to HE providers agree to participate in standardisation activities, both internally and externally. As a minimum requirement each provider must:
- Plan and undertake standardisation of internally set tasks and the outcomes of internal assessment (at least twice a year). For guidance on internal standardisation activities, please go to Internal Standardisation.
- Contribute assessed material to Open Awards standardisation activities and events upon request. This should include:
- copies of assignment briefs
- samples of completed graded assignments
- samples of completed ungraded assignments
- Allow subject specialist staff to participate in and attend standardisation activities organised by Open Awards
All assignments used for standardisation will be anonymised. The events are designed to be professional development opportunities and a great opportunity to network with peers.
Open Awards runs a series of standardisation activities that are accessible to all Access to HE providers. The purpose of Open Awards standardisation is to:
- promote and achieve consistency of assessment and moderation practice
- ensure consistency in the application of level and credit across Open Awards Access provision
- ensure that standards are comparable
o across providers (and satellite sites)
o across different types of providers (colleges / private providers)
o across different subject areas
o across modes of delivery (blended / distance learning)
o over time.
- identify and develop agreed points of reference by which standards can be referenced and agree processes for them to be applied and reviewed
- ensure that a full range of assessment activities allow for the generation of appropriate assessment evidence
- inform the quality improvement cycle by identifying training and development issues
- share and disseminate best practices.
The development of robust standardisation processes for Access to HE provision, which can be applied both within and between providers, provides the evidence of consistent practice.
Open Awards runs live standardisation events for each pathway to allow practitioners to peer review and learn from each other through networking. We are
aware that some staff may wish to participate in standardisation activities but will be unable to attend events at the Open Awards office.
We also offer online standardisation activities. You will be provided with access to an online repository of standardisation activities, training and opportunities to share best practices.
Open Awards Pathway Moderators will identify and collect, during the course of moderation, evidence/examples of:
- unit assessment plans and assignment briefs
- assessed work graded at pass, merit and distinction (to include ‘typical’ and borderline grades)
Assessment plans and assignment briefs will be used to allow moderators to compare assessment demands across provision. Assessed work will be used in standardisation activities (anonymised). Such activities include comparison and discussion in subject ‘clusters’ during moderator training and agreeing excellent practice to disseminate across provision.
Please note that the standardisation activities for each level are related and will influence, and be influenced, by the outcomes of each other.
Further information is available in section 9 of the Access to HE Handbook