QUALIFI Assessment Process

A student is entitled to appeal against an assessment decision if they consider that they
have been treated unfairly. Reasons could be because:
• The assessment criteria were not made clear to you
• You felt that the outcome was unfair
• The assessment was not in line with the criteria
In most cases, disputes regarding assessments should be handled directly by the assessor
concerned and the following formal appeals procedure should only be used as a last
This policy refers to internal assessment decisions (including controlled assessments and
coursework) and enquiries about results. External Awarding Bodies have their own
appeals procedures and further details of these can be obtained from the Head of IQA
(Internal Quality Assurance).

a-training is committed to ensuring that assessment decisions are accurate, consistent
and fair. The appeals procedure exists to allow students to seek a review of decisions that
they consider to be unfair.

Students have the right to appeal against an internal assessment on the following
• That in the assessment or marking, the stipulated assessment procedure was not
followed or
• Information is, or was, available which could have had a bearing on the
assessment or mark, but which was not taken into account by the assessor or
was unreasonably rejected.

1. The candidate must inform the assessor or internal verifier of their dissatisfaction
within 7 working days of receiving the decision. Either party may request the
involvement of the course leader or another member of the teaching/assessor
team in such a discussion.
The internal verifier will:
• Try to find a solution with the candidate taking account of all evidence
• Notify the Quality Assurance Co-Ordinator (QAC)
• Set a date for the appeals panel to meet

Assessment Appeals Procedure

• The appeals panel will consist of:
• The candidate
• An independent assessor
2. If the matter is not resolved through discussion, then the candidate must appeal
in writing to the QAC within 5 working days of the outcome of the failure of the
informal discussion. The candidate must set out the grounds for their appeal
and may be assisted in doing so by a member of the assessment team.
3. The QAC will convene an appeal meeting within 10 working days of notification
of the formal appeal. The Head of Department of the relevant area or other
appropriate manager who will be invited to attend the meeting, along with the
member of staff who made the original assessment decision.
4. The candidate will be invited to attend the meeting to explain their case and
can be supported by a member of the assessment team.
5. The QAC will make their decision based on the evidence provided and the
candidate will be notified in writing of the decision within 5 working days.
6. If the candidate is unhappy about the responses in writing, they can ask for a
personal hearing with the Education Director or Senior Management team.
7. The candidate will be notified in writing of the outcome within 5 working days of
the meeting.
8. The decision of the Education Director or Senior Management team is final
unless external regulations allow for further steps to be taken.

The outcome of the appeals panel will be forwarded in writing to the candidate within 48
The possible outcomes are:

• The assessment decision will be overturned
• The candidate will have the opportunity to be re-assessed
• Ensuring the candidate will not be disadvantaged because of the appeal
If the candidate feels that the panel procedure has not been carried out, then they can
take up the matter with the External Verifier and/or Awarding Organisation.

The Praise and Complaints Procedure is intended to bring matters of concern or good practice to the attention of Managers and enable investigation of those concerns with the aim of a satisfactory resolution. The procedure is core to the quality assurance in a-training.

The procedure aims to be simple, clear and fair to all parties involved, with informal resolution
an option at any point. Complaints will be handled sensitively and with due consideration to confidentiality. Any person named in a complaint will be informed of the substance of the complaint and will have the right to reply as part of the investigation. It is expected that, except
in exceptional and fully documented circumstances, a complainant who wishes to make a complaint will invoke the Informal Stage in the first instance. In the event of a complaint not being resolved at the Informal Stage, the Formal Procedure may be used. a-training will accept online or written statements of praise or complaint and will take appropriate action to disseminate and/or investigate the claim. Action will be taken where deemed necessary.

Complaints procedure:

This Praise and Complaints Procedure is for use by staff, students, and clients.
No complainant bringing a complaint under this Procedure, whether successfully or otherwise will be treated less favourably by any member of staff than if the complaint had not been brought. If evidence to the contrary is found in this regard the member of staff may be subject to disciplinary proceedings under a-training policy. Any person making a malicious complaint could lead to disciplinary action being taken.
It should also be noted that anonymous complaints cannot and should not be investigated.

The procedure is divided into two parts, an Informal Procedure, which emphasises resolution at the ‘local’ point where the complaint arose, and which may involve the Department Manager.
The Formal Procedure is operated by a Senior Manager within timescales that will enable complaints to be resolved as quickly as possible.

It is anticipated that most complaints can be resolved through informal means. Usually, problems can be resolved by explaining the situation and discussing ways forward. Resolution should be sought from the manager of the department in which the complaint arose, by expressing the complaint to the most appropriate member of staff. If assistance is needed to resolve complaints informally, another manager may be called on by either party.

If the response to the complaint under the Informal Procedure is not considered by the complainant to be satisfactory, or if the complainant does not feel able to use the Informal Procedure. The Formal Procedure involves submitting the complaint in writing to a Director. An 
initial investigation of the complaint will take place within 10 working days of receipt of the notification and the outcome sent to the complainant. Where necessary, this will be followed by a full response within one calendar month.

All instances of praise or complaints will be taken into consideration, along with the results of investigations and any action taken when the Directors consider the annual performance of the salon.

Plagiarism Process

This policy applies to A-training Ltd as a Centre and provider offering A-training regulated qualifications, programmes and other non-regulated products.
The policy provides definition and examples of plagiarism, collusion and cheating which may occur in connection with centres, providers or learners. The process for preventing, investigating and dealing with plagiarism, collusion and cheating is described.

Plagiarism is a specific form of cheating which applies to assignments completed by learners independently. It is the substantial, unacknowledged incorporation into a learner’s work of materials derived from published or unpublished work by another person.
A-training and the A-training takes all incidents of plagiarism seriously, especially those incidents which are a determined and deliberate attempt by the learner to gain marks for an assignment without having done a substantial portion of the work themselves.
Published work includes books, articles and materials found on the internet while examples of unpublished work could be a piece of work previously submitted by another learner, or work about to be submitted by another learner.
Some assignments require learners to work together at the planning stage. However group assessment is not allowed so the resulting assignments must be submitted individually and it is essential that each is then ratified as being the learner’s own work.

Examples of plagiarism include:
• Extracts from another person’s work without using quotation marks and/or an acknowledgement of the source.
• Summarising the work of another or using their ideas without an acknowledgement of the source.
• Copying or using the work of another learner (past or present) with or without that person’s knowledge or agreement.
• Purchasing essays or downloading them from the internet to submit them as your own work. This policy therefore applies to assignments submitted for A-training qualifications and programmes, whether regulated or unregulated and whether assessed by the centre or by A-training. The policy also applies to examinations and online tests, as well as assignment tasks that are completed independently by the learner in their own time.
Preventing Plagiarism
To avoid the possibility that learners are unwittingly suspected of plagiarism, A-training will take a number of steps.
Plagiarism will be explained during programme induction and reinforced in assignment briefings and/or in tutorial support.
The Centre will undertake formal identification of learners to avoid the possibility of a substitute. This ensures that the person eventually named on the certificate is the person who did the work.
Every learner will be required to make a formal declaration of authenticity (i.e. the work is their own) for each assessment. An example of a Statement of Confirmation of Authenticity is provided in Appendix 1.
The following A-training guidelines are also useful for learners:
• The large majority of every assessment must be your original work. Substantial copying of course notes or other published or unpublished work is unacceptable as this does not demonstrate your knowledge, let alone your application. Even if acknowledged and properly referenced, excessive use of other people’s work is unacceptable.
• If you use someone else’s exact words in your work, they must be in quotation marks. Use quotations sparingly and only when you feel the author has expressed something so well and so concisely that the words cannot be improved.
• Even if you give your own explanation of somebody else’s work without quoting word- for-word, you must reference your source.
• When referencing a source, you must provide the name of the author, the date of their work that you have referred to and the page number where you got the quotation from immediately after the quotation (eg Hill, 2004, p. 42) and also provide full details of the reference in the bibliography.
• You must provide a bibliography – a list of books, articles and any other sources you have quoted – at the end of your assignments.
• The Harvard system for referencing sources is well-established. A-training has a seperate guide and video to help clarify this.

Collusion is a form of plagiarism that involves unauthorised co-operation between at least two people with the intent to deliberately mislead or deceive. Collusion can take the following forms:
• Two or more learners conspiring to produce a piece work together with the intention that it is submitted as his/her own, individual work. Or with the intention of at least one learner submitting it as his/her own, individual work
• A learner submitting the work of another learner (with their consent) as his/ her own, individual work. In such cases, both learners would be deemed to be guilty of collusion
• Although also an example of plagiarism, the submission of a piece of work that is not the learners own individual work that has been purchased from
a third party. For example, from an essay or assignment writing service or by soliciting another individual to produce a piece or work on their behalf
• Unauthorised co-operation between a learner and a third party in the production of a piece of work that will be submitted as the learners own work.

Preventing Collusion
It is acceptable to discuss ideas, talk about books, articles, online material and strategies for example with other learners. However, it is not acceptable to help a fellow learner to produce work that will be submitted as their
own and an individual piece of work. Learners should never lend their
work to another learner under any circumstances as it may be copied
or reproduced. This example would leave both learners vulnerable to an accusation of collusion.
Learners should leave themselves enough time to check their work thoroughly before submitting it for marking or evaluation. Keeping to strict deadlines will limit the temptation of colluding with another learner or third party or purchasing work with the intention of submitting it as their own.
Learners should make sure that if they use a shared or public computer
that they protect their work by saving it to their own personal drive, USB or memory stick. If a learner uses a shared or public printer to print hard copy versions of work they should ensure that any work is collected promptly from the printer and that any additional copies are securely destroyed.
Cheating is an attempt to deceive A-training assessors, examiners and/or external verifiers and includes:
• Providing or receiving information about the content of an examination before it takes place, except when allowed by A-training (e.g. case study materials issued before an examination)
• Centres giving excessive help to a learners in writing an assignment, or writing any of it for them.
• Impersonating or trying to impersonate a learner, or attempting to procure a third party to impersonate oneself.
• Learners using books, notes, instruments, computer files or other materials or aids that are not permitted (usually relevant only to examinations and online tests).
• Assistance or the communication of information by one learner to

another in an assessment where this is not permitted (usually relevant only to examinations and online tests).
• Copying or reading from the work of another learner or from another learner’s books, notes, instruments, computer files or other materials or aids, unless expressly permitted.
• Offering a bribe of any kind to an invigilator, examiner or other person connected with assessment.
• Any attempt to tamper with assignment or examination scripts after they have been submitted by learners.
• Fabricating or falsifying data or results by individual learners or groups of learners.
Because of the nature of cheating, this mainly applies to examinations and on-line tests, however cheating may also involve a member of staff (e.g. tampering with assessment or examination scripts or results after learners have submitted them), which would be a case of centre malpractice (see Malpractice and Maladministration policy).
Preventing cheating
A-training will check the instructions A-training provides for assessments, tests or examinations and comply with them, especially regarding materials which can and cannot be used in the examination and invigilation arrangements.
The A-training and A-training take all incidents of cheating seriously and learners and others connected with assessments must be made aware of the consequences of cheating.
Exam centres are responsible for the supervision of examinations and the provision of appropriate invigilation in accord with regulations.
Process: plagiarism, collusion or cheating detected by the Centre or Provider A-training will conduct a formal internal investigation where:
• a learner is suspected of plagiarism/collusion or has cheated by

deliberately attempting to deceive and has not signed a formal declaration of authenticity for the work that has been submitted;
• plagiarism, collusion or cheating is detected in a learner’s work where a formal declaration of authenticity has been signed but the work has not been submitted to the A-training Assessment Service or externally verified, the Head of Centre, or delegated authority.
The findings of this investigation will be submitted together with any supporting evidence to A-training’s Regulation and Quality Improvement Manager (RQIM) by emailing [email protected] within 20 working days of the incident being identified.
The investigation report and evidence will be reviewed by A-training and the outcome communicated to all relevant parties no more than 10 working days after receipt of the final investigation report. The report and any actions arising will be communicated to the Quality and Compliance Manager (QCM) and the External Verifier.
Process: plagiarism, collusion or cheating detected by A-training or reported by others
Plagiarism, collusion or cheating may be detected in a number of ways including:
• Identification by an A-training External Verifier, Quality and Compliance Manager (QCM) or another member of A-training staff through A-training’s quality assurance processes or monitoring visits to a centre/provider.
• Verbal or written allegations that are reported openly or anonymously by a learner, third party or other interested party to a centre/provider or A-training. This could be by an individual who has been made aware by word of mouth through a third party that something has happened or is happening that has not been authorised and is inappropriate, or something they have identified or witnessed personally.
A-training will report all suspected or alleged cases of plagiarism, collusion

or cheating to A-training’s Regulation and Quality Improvement Manager (RQIM) by emailing [email protected]. This will include details of
the alleged activity and the source of the allegation and any supporting evidence. The RQIM may delegate the responsibility to investigate the allegation to a lead independent investigator or request a Head of Centre to undertake an investigation.
When asked to conduct an investigation into allegations, a Head of Centre will ensure that it is conducted in line with A-training guidance.
Centre staff and learners will be informed of their rights unless, due to specific circumstances, the RQIM notifies the Head of Centre that this is not appropriate.
All findings will be reported to the RQIM by the date specified or within 20 working days of the allegation being received by A-training.
Where an investigation is undertaken by A-training the outcome will be communicated to the Centre and other relevant parties no more than 10 working days after the conclusion of the investigation.
The report and any actions arising will be communicated to the QCM and the External Verifier.
Where a plagiarism, collusion or cheating incident is likely to cause an adverse effect, for example invalidate the award of a qualification or have implications for another awarding organisation, the RQIM will inform the relevant regulator and the affected awarding organisation.
Defined by the qualification regulators for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, an adverse effect is an act, omission, event, incident, or circumstance has an Adverse Effect if it:
• Gives rise to prejudice to Learners or potential Learners, or • Adversely affects:
– the ability of the awarding organisation to undertake the development, delivery or award of qualifications in accordance with its Conditions of Recognition,

– the standards of qualifications which the awarding organisation makes available or proposes to make available, or
– public confidence in qualifications.
The rights of individuals with regard to anonymity and the avoidance of discrimination will be upheld.
For example, Whistle-blowers are protected by legislation which confirms that they are protected from harassment and unfair or damaging treatment regardless of whether the allegations are unfounded. For the avoidance
of doubt the wrongdoing a whistle-blower discloses must be in the public interest i.e. it must affect others.
A whistle-blower is protected by law if they report any of the following: • A criminal offence for example fraud.
• Someone’s health and safety is in danger.
• Risk or actual damage to the environment.
• A miscarriage of justice.
• The company is breaking the law.
• Someone is covering up wrongdoing.
Any individual alleged to be involved in malpractice must be informed of the allegation that has been made and the evidence that supports that allegation. The individual should be given the opportunity to submit a written statement to the investigating team whether the investigation is undertaken by a Centre or by A-training, and informed of the consequences should the allegation be proven.
Process: plagiarism, collusion or cheating detected by an A-training Assessment Assessor
If an A-training assessor suspects plagiarism, collusion or cheating in a learner’s assignment or script, he/she will report the allegation to the relevant

A-training Verifier. Once the assessor’s findings have been verified the incident will be reported to the A-training Assessment Manager. He/she will review the information that has been discovered, evaluate the findings and complete an internal investigation report.
If plagiarism, collusion or cheating is evident the Assessment Manager will communicate this to the Centre. No marks will be attributed to any piece of work under suspicion and the mark sheet that includes the A-training Verifier or Assessment Managers comments will be returned to the Centre.
The Assessment Manager will submit the internal report and a copy of the mark sheet to A-training’s Regulation and Quality Improvement Manager (RQIM) by emailing [email protected] and also notify the centres Quality and Compliance Manager and External Verifier.
The RQIM may delegate the responsibility to investigate the allegation to a lead independent investigator or request a Head of Centre to undertake an investigation.
In most investigations into suspected plagiarism, collusion or cheating, decisions will be made by trained A-training members of staff but in cases of serious incidents, the decision may be made by A-training’s Malpractice Committee.
The A-training Quality and Regulatory Group will oversee the investigation process and will ratify the outcome of each investigation regardless of the decision maker.
If the investigation confirms that plagiarism, collusion or cheating has taken place, dependent on the gravity and scope, one or more of the following actions will be taken:
• Disallowing all or part of a learner/s assessment evidence or marks.
• The learner/s certificates will not be issued, or previously issued invalid certificates for the learner/s will be withdrawn.
• No further registrations will be accepted for the learner/s
• The Centre risk rating will be reviewed which could lead to increased centre visits and/or
the imposition of sanctions. These sanctions could include the suspension of registrations, suspension of certification or suspension of centre approval and/or qualification approval or withdrawal of centre approval
• Appointment of independent invigilators to observe an examination • Implementation of an agreed improvement action plan
• A report will be made to the relevant regulatory bodies and may be shared with other awarding organisations and/or other agencies such as funding bodies or the police
• A-training membership may be withdrawn for the learner/s
• Corporate or individual tutor membership may be withdrawn.
In addition to the above A-training may decide to take specific action against a learner or a specific member of centre staff dependent on the gravity and scope of the investigation outcome. This could include:
• Barring a learner from registering on an A-training qualification or programme at any centre for a set period of time.
• Suspension of a centres member of staff from any involvement in the delivery of A-training qualifications or programmes for a set period of time.
• Imposition of special conditions for a centre member of staff involvement in the delivery of A-training qualifications or programmes.
If a Learner wishes to appeal against a centre or A-training’s decision to take action as recommended in the investigation report, they can refer to the Appeals Policy.
Continuous Improvement
A-training aims to continuously improve our processes and procedures and incorporate any feedback or learning we receive in relation to this policy.
This policy shall be the subject of a 3 years review cycle or as necessary.