ICS Learn Assessment Policy


1. Introduction

This policy aims to provide all ICS Learn staff involved in assessment coursework and other non-supervised learner submissions clear guidance on the principles of assessing coursework.

In higher education, “assessment” describes any process that involves the evaluation or appraisal of a learner’s knowledge, understanding, skills, attitudes or abilities. In line with ICS Learn's Quality and Performance Framework, assessments are taken to be an integral component of teaching and learning, and serve multiple purposes.

The aim of this policy is to develop a company-wide approach to assessment and feedback that enhances the effectiveness of assessment in aiding learners to achieve their goals. The policy also aims to fulfil Expectation 21 of the ICS Learn Quality Enhancement and performance Framework by ensuring that there are effective policies in place which ensure that academic standards are set and maintained for each qualification offered.

This policy should be applied in conjunction with the ICS Learn Assessment Procedure and the ICS Learn Feedback Policy and procedures.

2. Scope

This policy applies to all learners on all programmes of study in the ICS Learn portfolio as well as the assessments within each programme. Any assessment, regardless of the method, be it written, oral or otherwise, falls within the remit of this policy. Each individual programme will follow its own guidelines and procedures (as set out in the accompanying Assessment Procedure). All assessment guidelines will underline the key principles shown in section 3.

3. Policy Statements

To ensure that all feedback provided to learners meets all internal and Awarding Organisation standards, ICS Learn will ensure that all assessments are:

Transparent: such that all parts of the assessment process are explicit and readily accessible.

Equitable: so that all assessments are fair, taking account of learning requirements, actively removing barriers to achievement, and operate through consistent application of criteria.

Valid: so that assessments are seen as integral to learning and fit for purpose, particularly in relation to level, content and intended learning outcomes.

Reliable: such that the judgements derived from assessments are accurate, verifiable and criterion-referenced.

Consistent: such that assessment judgements are agreed and moderated, and module cohorts receive feedback of comparable quality and promptness.

Just: so that there are effective mechanisms that deal with breaches of assessment regulations and can resolve appeals against assessment decisions.

Enabling: so that all learners have the best possible opportunity to demonstrate their learning to the best of their potential.

4. Roles and Responsibilities

The principles of this policy will be applied by all members of staff associated either directly, i.e. tutors or indirectly i.e. Curriculum Coordinators with the marking and assessment of all submitted learner work.

Staff involved in assessing learners’ work are responsible for:

  1. Assessing learners’ work according to published assessment criteria which are aligned to intended learning outcomes;
  2. Designing assessments that effectively facilitate learners’ achievement of intended learning outcomes;
  3. Assessing learners’ work according to published assessment criteria which are aligned to intended learning outcomes;
  4. Informing learners when, where and how feedback will be provided;
  5. Engaging in dialogue with learners about assessment and feedback; and
  6. Continuously reviewing their approach to assessment and to reflect effective practice.

It is the responsibility of the Curriculum Coordinators to ensure that feedback is standardised, internally verified where applicable and standards are maintained by all tutors and other staff involved in providing academic feedback to learners.

It is the responsibility of the Curriculum Coordinators to review assessment procedures to ensure that these set out standards continue to be maintained and improved upon.

This policy should be adhered to across ICS Learn. The implementation of the policy will be monitored by the Quality Enhancement and Performance Team.

5. Further Information

This policy works in conjunction with and compliments the ICS Learn Feedback Policy. This and all other ICS Learn Policies are set out to be in line with the ICS Learn Quality and Performance Framework.

6. Glossary

ICS Learn Quality and Performance Framework: The Framework defines all quality standards and expectations which the company intends to meet and fulfil within the learner journey. The Framework is used to define quality standards and benchmark our performance to it.

Assessment: Any assessed piece of work (such as examinations, assignments and other assessable work) submitted by a learner that enables them to monitor their progress and contributes to their academic success.

Assessment criteria: The specific criteria in which a learner’s work is assessed against. These criteria should be understood by both the assessor and the learner. Feedback given should directly relate to the assessment criteria.

Feedback: Information provided to learners on the quality of their performance in relation to assessment criteria, which forms the basis of improved learning.

Intended learning outcomes: Criteria that the learner is expected to demonstrate, in terms of particular knowledge, skills and understanding, by the end of a module or programme.