In the Education and Training world, there are a lot of different acronyms. It can be extremely confusing for newbies looking into becoming an assessor. From TAQA to A1, the acronyms range and it's important that you know what each one means.
This is why Brooks and Kirk have created this handy beginners' guide to TAQA. So even if you're new to the Education and Training world, you'll be able to get a hang of everything. With over 25 years of experience in Training and Assessing, Brooks and Kirk are the perfect source for all your information.
Let's get started with the one everyone is going to hear; TAQA. What is it and what does it mean?
What is TAQA?
You may have seen employers or job adverts asking for ‘TAQA’. This is where the confusion starts for a lot of people, as they don't know if it's a course or a qualification. However - it's in fact neither! It's actually an umbrella term for a series of qualifications.
TAQA stands for Training, Assessment and Quality Assurance. Don't worry, we're going to break it down further and tell you what they are. It's common for someone who is looking for a TAQA qualification is actually interested in becoming an assessor. They'll need one of the assessor qualifications from the TAQA suite.
To begin with we have Training, which is the T in the acronym. Training qualifications are for people who want to start teaching or tutoring adults (over 18’s) in their industry. With the training qualifications, you can teach in a further education setting, such as colleges.
These qualifications used to be a part of the Teaching in Lifelong Learning sector. Brooks and Kirk offer two different qualifications under Training.
The Level 3 Award in Education and Training.
First, we have the AET. The AET was previously known as PTTLS. Another acronym that you may see! This would be the qualification if you're looking at getting into teaching and training adults. Additionally, this is a ‘foot in the door’ course, so you don't need to already be in a teaching role.
The Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training
Next, we have the CET. Also known as the CTLLS. As opposed to the AET, the CET does require you to already be in a further education role. This is because part of the qualification requires you to be observed delivering real-life teaching to students. The CET is a great piece of CPD!
The next part of TAQA is ‘Assessment’. Assessment is made up of four different qualifications. These are, CAVA, ACWE, AVRA and UPPA. Each qualification has a combination of the three different Units.
Unit 1: Understanding the Principles and Practices of Assessment
Unit 2: Assess Occupational Competence in the Work Environment
Finally, Unit 3: Assess Vocational Skills, Knowledge and Understanding
Figure 1 - Assessor Qualification Matrix
As you can see from the matrix above, to become a fully qualified assessor, you need to complete all three units. This would be the CAVA qualification. UPPA, AVRA and ACWE qualify you to do part of the role of a fully qualified assessor. We're going to take you through each qualification and what they stand for.
UPPA – LEVEL 3 AWARD IN UNDERSTANDING THE PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES OF ASSESSMENT (UNIT 1)
UPPA is a theory-only qualification. Meaning it doesn't qualify you to work as an assessor. However, it's great CPD, as it keeps your knowledge fresh and up to date. If you already hold the A1 Assessor qualification or the D32/33 you can complete the UPPA to keep your knowledge relevant. It's also great for someone who is going to be working closely with assessors, as it teaches you all about their roles and responsibilities.
AVRA – LEVEL 3 AWARD IN ASSESSING VOCATIONALLY RELATED ACHIEVEMENT (UNITS 1 AND 3)
Next, we have AVRA. This qualification allows you to assess in NVQs in a classroom setting, workshop or virtual learning environment. It doesn't qualify you to assess in a learner's work environment. If you want to do that, you'll need a different qualification.
ACWE – LEVEL 3 AWARD IN ASSESSING COMPETENCE IN THE WORK ENVIRONMENT (UNITS 1 AND 2)
Alternatively, if you want to become qualified to assess in a workplace setting, this is the qualification for you. This qualification can be great for more hands-on NVQs, like Construction or Plumbing. However, it does not qualify you to assess learners in a classroom setting.
CAVA – LEVEL 3 CERTIFICATE IN ASSESSING VOCATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT (UNITS 1, 2 AND 3)
Finally, we have the most sought-after qualification, the CAVA. This is the qualification you need if you need to assess learners in a learning environment and the workplace. Making you a fully qualified NVQ Assessor. Furthermore, you can become an Apprenticeship Assessor (End-Point Assessor) and an On-Programme Assessor.
When looking for the CAVA qualification, it can be confusing as some employers may still call it the D32/33 or the A1 Assessor Award. But these were what they were called previously. Now it's called the CAVA.
Now we have the QA part of TAQA. Quality Assurance is the IQA qualifications. The role of an IQA is a step up from the role of an Assessor. Meaning, the qualifications are Level 4 instead of Level 3. IQA is another acronym you'll need to know, it stands for Internal Quality Assurance. There are three qualifications within Quality Assurance. Similar, to the Assessor qualifications, each IQA qualification has a combination of the three units.
The three units are:
- Understanding the Principles and Practices of Internally Assuring the Quality of Assessment
- Internally Assure the Quality of Assessment
- Plan, Allocate and Monitor Work in Own Area of Responsibility
LEVEL 4 AWARD IN UNDERSTANDING THE INTERNAL QUALITY ASSURANCE OF ASSESSMENT PROCESSES AND PRACTICE (UNIT 1)
This qualification is theory-only. It does not qualify you to become an Internal Quality Assurer. However, it's another piece of great professional development. Whether you're in the industry or for managers.
LEVEL 4 AWARD IN THE INTERNAL QUALITY ASSURANCE OF ASSESSMENT PROCESSES AND PRACTICE (UNITS 1 AND 2)
Next, we have the qualification that qualifies you to become an Internal Quality Assurer. It may be known as the Internal Verifier, A2 or IV qualification. Your role as an IQA will be to conduct quality assurance for assessments and assessment decisions. This doesn't qualify you to manage the quality assurance process. You will need a different qualification for that.
LEVEL 4 CERTIFICATE IN LEADING THE INTERNAL QUALITY ASSURANCE OF ASSESSMENT PROCESSES AND PRACTICE (UNITS 1, 2 AND 3)
To complete the set, we have the Lead IQA qualification. This IQA qualification covers all three units. Additionally, it qualifies you to manage internal quality procedures and staff. Along with, quality assure assessments and assessment decisions. In fact, it also qualifies you to coordinate with External Quality Assurers.
We hope this handy guide has helped you! Now you know all about TAQA, what it is, and what each qualification consists of. If you have any questions about any of the courses or TAQA in general, you can contact Brooks and Kirk by calling, 01205 805 155 or can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org