Contents


Introduction

The following document is a guide on our responsibilities under the regulators General Conditions of Recognition. IQL UK must ensure that Regulators are notified immediately where an event occurs that may cause or has caused an Adverse Effect.

Everyone involved in the delivery of IQL UK regulated and non-regulated qualifications and awards have the responsibility to take all reasonable steps to ensure they are aware of the contents of this policy. If you become aware of any event you feel may cause or has caused an Adverse Effect, you must in the first instance refer your concerns to the IQL UK Compliance Team, who will escalate the report to the Responsible Officer (RO). The RO will decide whether the event constitutes an Adverse Effect that the Regulators should be informed of.

There may be instances where events are not considered to be an Adverse Effect but may still cause concern for the integrity of IQL UK qualifications. The RO will make decisions on the appropriate actions in all events and utilise a ‘lessons learned’ approach to promote best practice and make changes where necessary. IQL UK has a duty to mitigate, reduce and remove where possible anything that may cause an Adverse Effect.

Definitions 

An Adverse Effect:-
An act, omission, event, incident, or circumstances that have an Adverse Effect if it -

  • Gives rise to prejudice to Learners or potential Learners, or

  • Adversely affects –
      o  The ability of the Awarding Organisation (AO) to undertake the development, delivery, or award of qualifications in accordance        with its Conditions of Recognition
      o  The standards of qualifications which the AO makes available or proposes to make available, or
      o  Public confidence in the qualifications.

Examples of Adverse Effects within the Awarding Organisation

Examples of Adverse Effects where we as an AO must notify the relevant regulators are where:

  • There is a substantial error in the AO’s assessment materials
  • There has been a loss or theft of, or a breach of confidentiality in, any assessment materials
  • The AO cannot supply assessment materials for a scheduled assessment date
  • There has been a failure in the delivery of an assessment which threatens Assessors’ ability to differentiate accurately and consistently between the levels of attainment demonstrated by a candidate
  • The AO will be unable to meet a published date for the issue of results or the award of a qualification
  • The AO has issued incorrect results or certificates
  • The AO believes that there has been an incident of malpractice or maladministration, which could either invalidate the award of a qualification which it makes available or could affect another AO
  • The AO has (for any reason, whether inside or outside its control) incurred an increase in costs which it anticipates will result in an increase in its fees of significantly more than the rate of inflation
  • The AO is named as a party in any criminal or civil proceedings or is subjected to a regulatory investigation or sanction by any professional, regulatory, or government body, or
  • A Senior Officer of the AO is a party to criminal proceedings (other than minor driving offences), is subject to any action for disqualification as a company director, or is subject to disciplinary proceedings by any professional, regulatory, or government body

Examples of Adverse Effects within an Approved Training Centre or Provider

Examples of Adverse Effects where any staff member, candidate, trainer, assessor, or ATC/P Co-ordinator must notify IQL UK are where:

  • There has been an incident of malpractice or maladministration, which could invalidate the award or qualification.
  • Assessment reports forms altered, to change the outcome of the result.
  • Falsifying Certificates
  • There has been a loss or theft of, or a breach of confidentiality in, any assessment materials.

In addition, where either the AO, ATC/P or third party identify an actual or potential conflict of interest that might cause an Adverse Effect, they must notify IQL UK. The RO will then make a judgment as to whether they notify the regulators of the conflict and how we have removed or mitigated against this.

How to Report an Adverse Effects

If you identify any event that has occurred or is likely to occur that could have, or has had an Adverse Effect, you should report it in writing immediately to IQL UK Compliance Team. Where it is not possible to report the incident immediately you should notify us within 10 working days of the incident happening or before the event is due to take place.
Where possible, we would like to deal with your report informally and may do so over the telephone or via email.
Sometimes a more formal approach is required and in these cases, your report must be put in writing directly to: [email protected]

If the report cannot be put in writing, a member of the Compliance Team will relay any verbal conversation via email, to ensure the details around the incident have been understood.
The report should detail:

  • A full description of the incident (including dates, times, venue and, the context where appropriate)
  • Names of others involved
  • Copies of any evidence, e.g., letters, completed forms, witness testimony
  • Contact details (in accordance with Data Protection legislation. e.g., name and contact email or phone number).

If the report is excessively long or complex, we may ask you to provide a summary so that we are clear about what the issues are.

What will happen to my report?

We will acknowledge all reports within three working days, investigate and provide a response within 10 working days where necessary.
If the incident is not resolved informally, it will be escalated and dealt with formally.

  • In all cases, the incident will be recorded by a member of the Compliance Team.
  • The report will be given to the RO who will then decide whether the seriousness of the event constitutes an Adverse Effect.
  • Where an event has or has the potential to cause an Adverse Effect the RO will immediately inform the relevant regulators of the event.
  • Where the event affects the integrity of the qualification and leads to the withdrawal of an ATC/P the RO will instruct the Compliance Team to notify other AOs and relevant third parties of the withdrawal immediately in line with condition A7.8
  • To establish whether an event could cause or has caused an Adverse Event the RO or a member of the Compliance Team will gather sufficient evidence to make an informed decision. This evidence should include:-
    (a) What has happened? (Details of what the event is)
    (b) Where it has happened? (Has this happened at the AO or within one of its centres)
    (c) When the Adverse Effect happened? (Dates and time scale of when the event has happened)
    (d) Why did the event happen (reasons as to why the event came about)
    (e) Who was involved/ who has been impacted by this? (Has this impacted candidates/ training centres etc)
    (f) The RO must conduct a report on the findings highlighting actions that have been taken to prevent this from happening in the future.

We will endeavour to complete any investigation within 28 working days of the receipt of the initial written report. To ensure a fair and thorough investigation, the duration may depend on the nature and severity of the report received, and the investigating team member will notify the complainant as soon as possible if the investigation will take longer than expected.

Where possible, complainants will be kept informed during this period and will be informed of the outcome.

If the incident proves to be an Adverse Effect, we will, subject to the requirements of confidentiality, inform you of the actions we propose to take. If the incident is not deemed an Adverse Effect, we will explain why.

Confidentiality and Whistleblowing

To enable a full investigation to take place, it will be necessary for complainants to provide their name and contact details. However, in some instances, a complainant may wish to remain anonymous.

We always aim to keep a whistleblower’s identity confidential, where we are asked to do so, although this cannot be guarantee. There may be situations where we have a duty to disclose identity for example to:

  • The police, fraud prevention agencies or other law enforcement agencies (to investigate or prevent crime, including fraud)
  • The courts (court proceedings)
  • Relevant authorities where there are safeguarding concerns
  • RLSS UK as part of any investigations into issues around qualification delivery
  • Other third parties, e.g., Regulators

Contact Details

Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 0300 323 0096
Address: RLSS UK, Red Hill House, 227 London Road, Worcester, WR5 2JG.

Last updated: May 2021