Award of credits and qualifications

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QCF 5.12 - 5.16

Award of credits

The procedure for awarding credits

  • Assessor provides learners with assessment criteria in a format that they can understand.
  • Learners use self and/or peer assessment to decide their capability against the criteria (optional)
  • Assessor verifies that learners match the criteria using any mandatory instruments required by TLM
  • Assessor enters learner assessment data into the TLM secure on-line mark book and requests and Award
  • TLM Account Manager reviews data and requests samples of learner work as appropriate
  • TLM Account Manager checks samples against the standards and provides feedback to Assessor
  • If there is a disagreement about the assessment outcomes, AM requests Assessor to review and amend the assessment data
  • TLM AM authorises awards for learners that meet the criteria
  • Assessor prints awards and gives them to the learner

In the case of errors, the database entry can be removed which would cause any attempts to verify a credit certificate to fail. This is likely to be rare and learners will be given the opportunity to demonstrate that they can match the criteria to reinstate their certificate.

Each learner record on the TLM certification site has a field for a ULN. This field can be populated at the time of registering the learner or subsequently.  The ULN enables TLM learner records to be transferred to other databases such as DAS, and compatibility testing has been completed with MIAP, DAS and BathData (Forvus). TLM will provide data in a format to transfer information to other legitimate databases as deemed necessary by the Regulators.

Awarding and issuing certificates

When a learner demonstrates that they have matched the criteria relevant to a particular award, a certificate will be available for that award for the particular learner.

The certificate will conform the the design criteria provided in Annex C of the QCF Regulatory Arrangements.

Certificates can be issued as soon as they are authorised

All certificates can be authenticated immediately and at no cost by visiting and entering the unique certificate number

No certificate, whether an original or a replacement, can be printed without verification of the authenticity of the owner using the entry in The Learning Machine Ltd database.


Award of qualifications

Rules of combination are built into the Certification site such that the system will indicate as soon as sufficient data has been entered for a qualification to be awarded.

As an additional safeguard, assessors will be reminded to check with learners to be sure that there are no credits in their learner records that can count towards a qualification

Qualification grades are aggregated automatically by the INGOT certification site based on grades provided for the constituent units.

The procedures for dealing with errors is the same as for credits above.

The procedures for secure award of qualifications as speedily as possible are the same as for the award of credits above.

The procedures for relating qualifications to ULNs is the same as for the award of credits above

The procedures for issuing qualifications certificates is essentially the same as for the awarding of credits. When sufficient data from credits is accumulated, the system will automatically notify the assessor that a qualifications has been achieved.

QCF 5.16

On-going review

There will be an annual review led by the Chief Assessor and involving at least the Senior Account Manager and Principal Moderator to

  • ensure that assessment methods meet the requirements of the regulators as defined in the document Regulatory Arrangements 2008. This will include explicit checking of levels of expertise and the procedures for design, development and delivery of assessment and grading.
  • ensure that the award of credits and qualifications fully meets the specifications in the Regulatory Arrangements.
  • ensure best value. As part of the development of units and assessment instruments for units there will be review focused on reducing costs and administration while maintaining standards and consistency both across credits and qualifications and over time in individual qualifications.
  • ensure that the standards for all awards are consistent and comparable year on year across centres. This will draw on evidence of moderation sampling which is stored on TLM's computer systems, student e-portfolio and Blogs on the Community Web Site (All dated with every piece of assessed work available with revision histories), review of questions and AO set tasks, the annual site visits to all centres and dialogue between account managers and assessors.


Certificates can be authenticated on the web site using the verify certificate link on the front page by entering the certificate number. For this reason learners are advised to record the certificate number so that authentication can be achieved quickly and easily without reference to the issuing centre.  In this way they can print a duplicate certificate should their certificate be lost. Further authentication can be provided eg by using photographic evidence, address data or other similar evidence to verify the candidate is who they say they are. Should it be requested, this added level of authentication will be carried out by the Awarding Body at cost.


The main issue for security is through an individual accessing the assessor's account without authorisation. The only way that this can be achieved is by someone else learning the assessor password. A password meter is in operation and so assessors are forced to use secure passwords.

If an account is compromised, the Assessor must take the following action.

Make a note of any changes that have occurred since they logged in. Change their password to a new and robust password. Inform the Principal Assessor and your Account Manager with as much detail of any changes as soon as possible and the dates and times of the last log in and the previous to last log in. From this information the account can be restored. The Learning Machine reserves the right to charge for time incurred where damage to an account is shown to be due to assessor negligence. In extreme cases of repeated negligence the account could be terminated.

Extract from Assessor Training

"Treat security seriously, your account is your responsibility. There are restrictions on editing designed to minimise the risk of damage should a malicious individual hack into the system. It is only possible to edit pupil names up until the first award is made so be careful with spelling. Once an award is made, the assessor can not delete the record (and neither can anyone hacking into the system). When making further awards the assessor can only change the awards within 15 minutes of making them. After this time they need to contact to make changes for them. For these reasons be careful when requesting awards. Although it might be a little less convenient, it also means that it will be relatively easy to put right any security breaches. The system is regularly backed up and remembers the times when alterations take place. If an assessor knows they haven't made any changes for three days but there are changes two days ago we can determine exactly what has been altered and set it back to where it should be. Be vigilant and check records regularly reporting any changes that you have not made yourself to your Principal Assessor and Account Manager. The Assessor will lock any records against alteration when the candidate has finished at the Centre or has completed the range of certificates on offer. From this point the record can only be un-locked for updating by The Learning Machine Ltd."


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