Post verification paralysis ...

Was in conversation with a further education college recently, sadly the tale being shared were nothing unusual, having heard this many a time before.

It focusses on the pedantry of external verifiers (now known as standards verifiers). In the particular case cited the verifier block a centre because they removed capital letters from an assessment criterion.

I am not entirely sure of the detail and will take this citation as an allegory of when the verifier becomes too obsessed with needless detail and gains a self perceived God complex.

We encourage centres to 'copy' the assessment criteria from the unit into the students assignment. They must not add nor remove anything from that criteria. This is appropriate and something I support. It is appropriate to 'advise' on minor indiscretions and direct a centre to 'not do it again' but block when a capital is a lowercase and vice versa is taking it to the extreme.

The reason cited is that it changes the assessment criteria ... erm really?

Unfortunately, the centre fixed this but remains in a state of semi-paralysis carrying this wound and the impact of the block status. To be blocked is not trivial, it is a black mark against the teaching team, the department and the college as a whole and does get picked up in future quality visits (such as Ofsted).

I do wonder if some standards verifiers really understand the actual human and corporate impact of their decisions.


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