Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is different about TLM?
TLM was set up to reduce the cost of qualifications through a combination of technological and pedagogical innovation. Typically the cost of delivering the TLM ITQ as a GCSE equivalent in the schools sector is 50% of that of a single comparable GCSE and in most cases an even greater saving on other provider’s ITQ and vocational qualifications costs. TLM provides optional VLE facilities for evidence management, progress tracking and reporting that can replace expensive software, all at no additional cost. Our systems are built on Open Source Software and hosted in the cloud so there are no license fees to pay and everything can be managed through any standards compliant web browser from any computer including smart phones and tablets from any supplier. TLM has won 3 transfer of innovation awards from the EU Lifelong learning programme to support this work.
2. Are TLM certificates secure?
TLM enables certificates to be printed on demand because every certificate can be authenticated directly against its secure entry in the TLM database at no additional charge. This means authenticity can be easily and immediately verified by scanning a certificate’s QR code or entering its unique code on the TLM web site. Ease of verification makes checking more likely and deters certificate fraud. At the same time it provides much faster certification and convenience to end-users. More convenient, more secure and lower cost.
3. How is current coursework assessed?
Each unit has a set of learning outcomes specifying what a learner will be able to do after completing their learning. Each learning outcome is underpinned by assessment criteria. TLM’s method is to accredit local assessors who ensure that the candidate provides credible evidence against the criteria from their day to day work. This does NOT require screenshots, annotations and the usual masses of paperwork associated with coursework. Competence based assessment is about proving competence at the appropriate level directly in the work place. Is the learner competent in real situations? TLM provides a comprehensive on-line management system to support this, but centres are free to use their own systems if they prefer. The main issue is proof of competence and the evidence can come from any subject and will normally be the digital files, web pages or similar naturally arising from their work.
4. What facilities are there for students to manage their work and develop their own e-portfolios?
TLM offers a full cloud based system for managing evidence. There is a comprehensive system for learners to pass evidence to assessors and to receive feedback and link the evidence directly to assessment criteria seamlessly through to certification. In addition we have TLM Tracker for tracking and reporting progress if any school wants to use it. These tools are optional at no additional charge, all we require is convincing evidence that the criteria have been met, we are simply trying to minimise the admin overhead to increase the time teachers have to support learning more effectively.
5. I have to certificate lots of individuals, won’t this cause me a lot of detailed administration?
TLM’s online Markbook has been designed to facilitate the speedy processing of batch certification. Once learnt, the on-line systems should provide significant time savings in assessment practice that should be a normal part of any teacher’s work. TLM is not a software sales company, we are providing free tools to support good learning practice as simple value added. No-one is forced to use any particular tools. Our aim is to eradicate as much of the bureaucratic overhead as possible while supporting good assessment for learning practice that leads to accredited qualifications. This will save teachers time, schools and centres money and improve the quality of learning.
6. Do I need to keep portfolios of paper based evidence?
No, the TLM philosophy is to enable the complete elimination of paper. We will accept paper based evidence initially to help centres make the transition from old to new systems easily and we will be supportive of different degrees of readiness for change. We want to help those that are daunted by the prospect of system change to make the transition as painlessly as possible. There is no need for any paper from the outset if that is the preferred route, but in most cases the starting point can be existing evidence gathering systems whether paper or IT based.
7. What is the significance of the TLM?
TLM works internationally with its ITQ operating in several countries. All systems are built on Open Source software and we actively promote the use of open standards. Open standards are vitally important for the future. They are fundamentally responsible for the success of the internet, fair competition in technological business and reduced costs to everyone.
8. How do you support qualifications internationally?
We have several international projects. So far around 1 million Euros of investment has come from the EU lifelong learning programme mainly related to transfer of innovation. Some further examples include:
- A memorandum of understanding with the largest teacher training university in Malaysia.
- A project for certificating IT user skills with a partner in South America.
- Our Bulgarian partner implementing the ITQ in Bulgarian schools.
- An Egyptian partner providing Healthcare qualifications based on the TLM pedagogical model.
- A project managed in New England in the USA.
Our current fees structure can be found at https://tlm.org.uk/fees/
10. How do we become a TLM centre with accredited assessors?
You need to contact TLM to arrange training. This will form part of your Centres risk assessment. You must also read, understand and electronically sign the TLM policies concerning Malpractice, Maladministration and Conflict of Interest. Your Centre must also send to TLM copies of your own policies covering Malpractice, Maladministration and Conflict of Interest. Each Centre has to have a Principal Assessor who is also an assessor trainer and can confer assessor status to suitably experienced colleagues. This again saves costs and time because the centre can become largely self-sufficient in managing its assessors. The TLM model is based on economies of scale so the larger the centre the less expensive per capita certification will be.