National Examination Board

Terms of Reference of National Examination Board

Role:

The role of the National Examination Board is to meet and to consider the delivery and the assessment of the national apprenticeship programme.  It will also ratify the results of the National Apprenticeship Programme.

Following and separate from the formal business of the meeting, instructors and assessors will be afforded an opportunity to reflect on the programme and to share experiences.

The size and membership are dependent on the range of providers involved in the consortium and the number of collaborating providers.

Membership

Chair: National Programme Co-ordinator

Secretary: Coordinating Provider Programme Leader

Other Members:        

  • At least one Instructor from the Co-ordinating Provider.
  • At least one teacher/trainer/instructor/tutor from each Collaborating Provider,
  • At least one nominated mentor(s) from employers,
  • A representative from the ETBI’s External Monitoring and Enhancement panel (for the first cycle of the programme),
  • External Authenticator(s),
  • QA Officer of the Co-ordinating Provider,
  • Collaborating Programme Leaders from all providers where assessments have taken place

Accountable to:        

LOETB FET Quality Council

Schedule of Meetings:

After each examination session

Responsibilities:

  • Operate in accordance with the appropriate rules and regulations of QQI
  • Review results and final assessment grades and take into consideration Internal Verification Reports and External Authenticator Reports and have the capability of dealing authoritatively with the results presented to it
  • Consider any issues arising in relation to the results and make recommendations regarding corrective action
  • Ratify the national results of the apprenticeship programme
  • Recommend, based on the assessment results that apprentices be permitted to proceed to the following year of their training
  • Recommend results to the FET Quality Council for noting at their next meeting
  • Promote best practice in assessment and the development of a community of practice among instructors and assessors
  • Submit results to the awarding authority QQI to request awards
  • Undertake a review of the operations of the National Examination Board itself at the end of each programme cycle

Operational Matters:

  • Following the robust exam and assessment processes in each ETB, the National Examination Board will convene to ratify the programme results
  • The National Examination Board may act once the Chair of the Board is satisfied that an appropriate quorum for the proper discharge of the board’s responsibilities is in place
  • Normally decisions should be reached by consensus.However, where a consensus cannot be achieved, the members of the National Examination Board shall arrive at a decision via a majority
  • The proceedings and deliberations of the examinations boards of LOETB are strictly confidential.Under no circumstances should any person attending a meeting of the National Examination Board disclose to any other person a decision of the board or any document, information or opinion considered, conveyed or expressed at the meeting
  • The Chair of the National Examination Board may, however communicate appropriately with the LOETB FET Quality Council with regard to any matter requiring such communication, arising out of the proceedings of the National Examination Board
  • At the meeting of the National Examination Board, a Table or Broadsheet of Results, or equivalent, shall be endorsed which shall record the total marks awarded to each apprentice in each Examination Module and which shall indicate, in relation to each apprentice’s overall result, whether the apprentice has passed, has passed with Distinction, has passed with Merit, or is being referred
  • Any dissenting opinion by an External Authenticator which shall have been recorded upon the Examination Report shall be brought to the attention of the FET Quality Council by the chair
  • Meetings of the National Examination Board should allow for full and frank discussion of all borderline cases before a final decision is made.That final decision should be based on the cumulative evidence presented rather than on the view of one examiner
  • The Report of Results shall be signed by the Chair and Secretary of the meeting, and by all the Examiners present at the meeting.It shall be forwarded by the Secretary of the National Examination Board to the National Programme Co-ordinator at the earliest opportunity
  • The Secretary of the National Examination Board will forward the Broadsheet of Results, together with any additional reports, to the next meeting of the FET Quality Council
  • Where clear-cut recommendations emerge at a meeting of the national Examination Board, the Chair of the National Examination Board may cause a provisional list of results to be issued to apprentices by the National Programme Co-ordinator
  • The National Programme Co-ordinator shall not issue a provisional result in the case of any apprentice whose result is in dispute, indeterminate, the subject of a recorded dissenting opinion, or whose entry is regarded as provisional.The name of any such apprentice may not be included in any provisional list of results issued by LOETB, nor should any information in relation to results be communicated to any such apprentice pending a decision thereon from the FET Quality Council
  • The following guidelines shall be followed with a view to arriving at definite recommendations:
    • In the case of apprentices in the first year of the programme, the National Examination Board shall accord the apprentices a greater degree of latitude, given reasonable grounds
    • In the case of final (award stage) examinations/assessment the results should be interpreted in such a manner as to require the apprentice to have demonstrated an entitlement, based on examination performance, to the result being sought
  • The National Examination Board may, in the case of illness, bereavement or other unavoidable circumstances that have been verified and are deemed significant in terms of the apprentice’s assessment performance, recommend that a final decision on an apprentice’s result be deferred to enable the apprentice to complete specific outstanding requirements of the programme or examination
  • The National Examination Board must be cognisant of fairness to all apprentices in granting individual apprentices referrals
  • The final consensus of the Board is agreed and noted in the minutes

Appeals Procedures:

It is the policy of LOETB, as Co-ordinating Provider, to endeavour insofar as is practicable to

  • Deal with all reviews, appeals and disputes in relation to assessment matters in accordance with the principles of natural and constitutional justice
  • Provide arrangements in relation to reviews, appeals and disputes in relation to assessment matters which ensure that they are dealt with fairly, transparently and in a timely way and which may involve, as necessary, experienced ETB staff and wholly independent persons of appropriate knowledge and experience in the process
  • Ensure that any potential lessons are learned from the processing of rechecks, reviews and appeals and where appropriate that this learning is captured in revised processes and procedures
  • It is a requirement of LOETB that any complaint or dispute arising in relation to any result considered or to be considered by it for the purposes of an award of Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) shall fall to be resolved as a matter of first recourse, via its procedures

 

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