The External Quality Assurance (EQA) team transferred the last of its EQA responsibilities to the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (OFQUAL) on 31 December 2022. NSAR was the third-largest provider of EQA for apprenticeships, after OFQUAL and the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE), and the largest employer-led EQA organisation.
NSAR ran the employer-led external quality assurance model and worked with five different employer boards (rail, digital, adult care, logistics and screen). Our service ensured that the end-point assessments were compliant with the employer-created assessment plans for the apprenticeship standards and are consistently applied and comparable across the different end-point assessment organisations offering assessments for these standards.
In total, NSAR will have provided external quality assurance of end-point assessment marketplaces that saw apprentices take end-point assessments across five sectors, in over 50 apprenticeship standards. The team also identified and actioned 901 quality improvement opportunities across 63 end-point assessment organisations.
An important achievement for the NSAR EQA team was the impact of assessment adjustments they introduced during COVID-19. This encouraged IfATE to act across the whole apprenticeship system, meaning apprenticeship assessment and certification continued throughout the pandemic. Assessment adjustments introduced by NSAR during COVID-19 overcame some of the unintended barriers to assessment operations that had emerged and increased completion rates for train driver apprenticeships by 30 percent.
NSAR’s Emmanuela Chunga has transferred to OFQUAL to continue her excellent work in the EQA space. Dean Hingley has transitioned into a new role at NSAR focused on apprenticeship services. We thank them both for their contribution to NSAR’s EQA services, as well as consultant David Law.