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A guide to CILEx risk based monitoring

CILEx accredited centres are required to show a commitment to quality in centre and programme provision by meeting the CILEx Accredited Centre Requirements. This guide illustrates how CILEx will make judgements as to the level of risk at accredited centres, based on the centre’s ability to meet CILEx Accredited Centre Requirements. It also identifies the actions CILEx may take in response to accredited centre risk.

What are the CILEx Accredited Centre Requirements?

The Accredited Centre Requirements set out a series of requirements that centres are expected to meet, including:

  • requirements relating to students
  • requirements relating to staff
  • requirements relating to resources
  • requirements relating to a centre’s obligations to CILEx

The Accredited Centre Requirements are available in the CILEx Accredited Centre Handbook. CILEx also provides a range of policy and guidance documentation http://www.cilex.org.uk/for_centres/regulations_and_guidance.aspx to assist centres and tutors in meeting the requirements.

How does CILEx monitor risk at centres?

Risk may be identified by CILEx during initial centre approval, in the process of centre re-accreditation, or during the centres ongoing delivery of CILEx qualifications.  

Risk may be recorded following a centre visit, as part of CILEx’s monitoring of stakeholder feedback (from students and employers), as part of the ongoing monitoring of student assessments achievements and results, or at any time as part of CILEx’s ongoing monitoring of accredited centres implementation of accreditation conditions.

CILEx has a responsibility to protect the integrity of its assessments and qualifications and investigates all issues raised to determine if there is cause for concern as to a centre’s ability to comply with CILEx requirements. 

When centres are identified as presenting a risk in relation to an aspect of the requirements, a record of that risk is added to a risk register for that centre. Identified risks are weighted and specific actions by CILEx may follow either in relation to those individual risks which are considered serious by CILEx or in relation to an accumulated pattern of risk that gives CILEx growing cause for concern.

What action may CILEx take?

All actions taken on the part of CILEx in response to risk will be proportionate and in keeping with the nature of the risk(s) identified. CILEx is keen to allow centres, in the first instance and where appropriate, time and space to resolve their own issues.

In response to individual risks or an accumulated pattern of risk that gives CILEx cause for concern but does not threaten the integrity of the qualification system, CILEx will contact the centre and invite the centre to provide a response, and, where appropriate, to identify the actions they will be taking to address the issues raised.

If CILEx is not convinced that appropriate actions have been taken by centres to remedy issues that have arisen, or if a level of risk is indicated that may indicate potentially serious risk of damage being done to the reputation and integrity of the qualification system, CILEx reserves the right to perform a centre visit and, potentially, if appropriate remedial action is not taken, suspend or withdraw CILEx accredited centre status. 

A condition of ongoing CILEx Centre Accreditation is that centres must allow CILEx and the relevant regulatory authority access to premises, people and records, and to cooperate with the awarding organisation’s monitoring activities.

Wherever possible, centres will be given reasonable notice of an intended visit, together with details of the CILEx representatives who will be making the visit. Centres will be asked to confirm in writing that they will allow CILEx representatives the access and cooperation indicated above.

If serious and urgent, then direct intervention in the form of an immediate visit may be the only course of action.

If it is determined that a centre has failed to meet the requirements outlined in the Accredited Centre Requirements, sanctions and penalties may be imposed on a centre. Sanctions and penalties are likely to include a centre action plan and/or additional monitoring.

If it is determined that a centre has failed to meet the requirements outlined in the Accredited Centre Requirements and consequences are likely to call into question the integrity of the qualification system, or there is potentially serious risk of damage being done to the reputation and integrity of the qualification system, then further sanctions/ penalties may be applied.

The following criteria inform the level of sanction/penalty imposed on a centre.  This is not an exhaustive list and in some cases a combination of sanctions/ penalties may be applied:

Sanction/Penalty

Criteria

Centre action plan

  • Breach of CILEx regulations or procedures which could have resulted in a threat to the integrity of a CILEx examination or assessment if left unchecked

Additional monitoring or an inspection visit

  • Poor management of an examination or assessment (including inadequate examination invigilation) leading to concerns about the centre’s management of examinations or assessments

Suspension of student registration for an CILEx qualification

  • Centre no longer meets CILEx Accredited Centre Requirements 
  • There is a threat to the interests of candidates registering on the qualification

Suspension of approval of the centre to deliver other CILEx qualifications

  • Loss of integrity regarding the centre’s ability to guarantee the delivery of quality programmes of provision for CILEx qualifications

Suspension of candidate certification for the Professional Skills units

  • Loss of integrity regarding centre assessment decisions for the Professional Skills units

Suspension of candidate certification for externally examined units and subjects

  • Serious breach of examination paper security threatening the integrity of an examination
  • Serious breach of invigilation guidelines threatening the integrity of an examination

Withdrawal of approval of centre to deliver CILEx qualification/s

  • Loss of integrity regarding centre’s ability to delivery programme of learning to the appropriate standards for a CILEx qualification
  • Breakdown of quality assurance arrangements for a CILEx qualification
  • Serious failure to maintain security of examination or assessment materials
  • Non compliance of centre with action plan leading to loss of integrity regarding centre’s ability to deliver programmes of learning for CILEx qualifications
  • Failure to comply with CILEx malpractice or maladministration investigation Mishandling of fees/financial irregularities