What is verification?
Verification is a process of validating learner achievements and ensuring compliance to SAQA certification criteria. It is a means of ensuring that two or more providers delivering the same unit standards and/or qualifications are assessing and moderating consistently to the same standard, using valid and approved assessment instruments, and meeting the national standard as registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). Verification is sometimes referred to as “external moderation”.
During the course of verification the verifier checks on the processes and procedures used by the assessor and moderator while at the same time verifying the provider’s adherence to quality management principles in relation to training, assessment and moderation. The onus is on the provider to ensure compliance with legislative requirements for the assessment, moderation, verification and certification of learners and to ensure all unit standards and qualifications being used are up to date and current.
Verification is a means of checking and validating the accuracy of information on learner results before certification of results is authorised. Verification of learner achievements for individual unit standards and full qualifications is conducted and managed by the various Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETA’s).
During verification a provider will be required to produce some quality management documents or other forms of evidence as a means of verification of the information provided.
The verification may differ between SETA’s but will usually include the following
- Review, evaluate and verify the implementation of policies and procedures
- Evaluate implementation by comparing actual evidence provided to ensure it meets the requirements of the rules of evidence
- Review and evaluate moderation and assessment policies and procedures
- Ensure the assessment instruments meet the unit standards and/or qualification outcomes and assessment criteria as originally approved by the ETQA
- Check on the delivery mode and notional hours
- Ensure entry level requirements are met and adhered
- Verify process of integration and that rules of combination are applied
- Validate the assessment decisions against the evidence requirements
- Check on the validity and currency of assessor and moderator registration
- Check on learner registrations and sufficiency of learner records
- Observe assessment and moderation where and when applicable
- Review and evaluate record systems
The SETA’s appoint registered constituent verifiers to conduct verifications on their behalf. The verifier will normally conduct the verification visit at the provider’s premises. During this visit the verifier will want to have access to all completed assessments and or POE’s for all learners assessed and not just those who have been moderated. The verifier may do spot checks to ensure compliance and not just check those POE’s moderated. In addition the verifier will require access to various quality management documents and systems as outlined previously.
The SETA’s have a responsibility to ensure the verification is conducted within an acceptable time period and without unnecessary delays. Similarly the certification window should be opened as soon as possible following receipt of the verification report so that final results of all learner achievements can be uploaded and recorded. In this regard the provider must ensure that only results for learners included in the verification report are uploaded.
In this regard the SETA’s must ensure the have systems in place to upload endorsed learner achievements for qualifications to the National Learner Record Database (NLRD) at the intervals stipulated by SAQA.
In addition to conducting the verification the verifier carries a responsibility to provide support to providers where necessary. The support given should be both constructive and developmental and negative feedback should be avoided at all costs.
Verification is intended to be constructive and every effort must be made by verifiers to ensure open communication in relation to all aspects of the verification. Where problems are identified the verifier should discuss these with the provider and where possible propose possible solutions. The provider should feel comfortable enough to be able to discuss any problems or areas of concern with the verifier.
Verification should be seen to be developmental, especially in regard to emerging and Small Medium Micro Enterprise providers (SMME), who should be given advice and an opportunity to improve. For this reason verifiers should be qualified as such and should be in a position to offer such advice where necessary.
Following a verification visit the verifier will make a recommendation to the SETA to either endorse the learner results without conditions or to endorse with conditions which may need to be met by a specific date. The alternative decision of the verifier is not to endorse the learner results.
On completion of the verification visit the provider will be issued with a full report and feedback and this should include informing the provider of his or her right to appeal should he or she be unhappy with the outcome.