In the academic year 2019/20, Open Awards introduced the opportunity for their Registered Centres, to offer the Remote Invigilation of Functional Skills.
This offer is an extension to online testing for Maths and English at Levels 1 and 2 and is not available for paper-based tests.
From the early days and initial interest in how Remote Invigilation could be facilitated, Open Awards has continued to work with a growing number of Training Providers to guide and support appropriate organisations to ratify processes and systems that are beneficial to the Centre and more importantly, their Learners.
This has become more apparent in recent months, when students have been, for example, unable to attend their normal place of study, travel to an examination Centre or continue with work-placements (Apprentices).
Training Providers who have traditionally supported their Learners by offering online skills development, such as Maths and English, are now able to plan positive outcomes that support success and progression.
Remote Invigilation for Functional Skills is an option that is only considered for Open Awards Registered Centres that can demonstrate and present a high-quality examination experience, underpinned by robust Internal Quality Assurance Practices and Procedures.
All Applications to offer Remote Invigilation are considered on an individual basis and there is no guarantee that an Application to offer Remote Invigilation will be accepted.
Peter Steel, Open Awards Business Development Consultant, has worked with many of the Centres applying to offer Remote Invigilation.
Peter says that in his experiences over the last few months, it is clear that there is a growing interest in Remote Invigilation and the benefits that it may provide.
Over the last few months, he and the Quality Team, have reviewed, observed, witnessed, examined, tested and discussed a number of proposed systems and processes.
Peter adds that in Centres that successfully apply to offer Remote Invigilation, there are a number of clear indicators that confirm their capabilities. These include, but not limited to:
- The development of a robust Remote Invigilation procedure that is approved by the Open Awards Quality Team – in advance of Approval for Remote Testing.
- Ensuring that the Remote Invigilation procedure is embedded in the Centre Quality Assurance procedure.
- Building in “Live” Quality Assurance of the Remote Invigilation procedure – to monitor and maintain the required standard
- Only offering Remote Invigilation on a 1:1 basis.
- Ensuring that the examination experience replicates the traditional format.
- Preparing the Learner fully prior to the planned examination date.
- Ensuring appropriate Invigilators are in place and that they have completed the Open Awards mandatory Reformed Functional Skills Invigilator training.
- Planning for the unexpected.
Peter also highlights that not all applications are successful. For those not in a position to progress at this stage, they may not be able to demonstrate compliance due to, for example:
- Not having the correct level of personnel in place – Administrators, Invigilators, Assessors, Internal Verifiers.
- Assessors / Tutors not having the appropriate level of subject knowledge.
- Limited knowledge or experience of delivering training / online training.
- Not having a registered business premises.
- Very limited experience or knowledge of Quality Assurance processes.
- No previous experience in delivering Functional Skills.
- A history of non-compliance and/or quality-related issues
If you would like to discuss Remote Invigilation at your Centre, please contact your dedicated Business Development Consultant or contact Open Awards at firstname.lastname@example.org