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Criteria for the approval of an Assessment Quality Partner

The QCTO will appoint an entity as an assessment quality partner only if it is satisfied that the entity has: i.      The necessary expertise, experience and standing in relation to the occupational qualifications or foundational learning for which the assessment quality partner is appointed; and ii.      the resources necessary to perform its functions In terms of clause of the QCTO Delegation Policy, 22 June 2011 the criteria have been defined in detail as follows: i.     be  recommended  to  the  QCTO  by  the  relevant      DQP  during  the occupational                           development  process at a point  when they submit  an occupational profile. Possible evidence: letter of recommendation from [...]


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The aim of the training project should be stated. An aim is an overall broad statement of intent, that is, the purpose of the training project e.g. “The aim of the raining is to prepare health care assistants in acute settings to deliver brief interventions in support of healthy lifestyles “ or The aim is to develop resources to enable community mental health providers train others in mental health awareness”

Learning objectives / curriculum

If there is content you expect or wish to be included in any training workshop course or programme you can state it as a learning objective “participants should be able to describe the policy context for physical activity in pre-fives” or a broader statement “the course should cover the policy context for physical activity in pre-fives”.

There might be specific competencies or occupational standards that you want participants to be able to demonstrate or work to. These can form the basis of a training course and need to be shared with the providers e.g. “ this course should provide the underpinning knowledge for participants undertaking a level 3 SVQ in learning and development”.

Where you have the broad aim or need identified (e.g. group work skills training for smoking cessation workers) but aren’t clear about the learning objectives or content you might need to do some form of training needs analysis with your target audience to refine their requirements. You will then be able to request the training providers to develop content that meets those requirements (e.g. to feel more confident in dealing with people that ‘take over’ the group).

You should also invite providers to indicate how they will incorporate issues of equality, diversity and health inequalities into the curriculum. This could be by adapting scenarios, case studies and reading materials or a specific session exploring the issues.

Training methods

You may have some ideas of what approaches you think are most appropriate for the training so put these in (e.g. interactive and participatory), but state that you are open to suggestions from the training provider themselves. Alternatively, you may keep the methods section very open and invite the training provider to come up with their proposed methods based on the aims and objectives for the project

You should get some sense from the training provider that their approaches are based on current adult learning theory and the required learning outcomes e.g. it is difficult to have a skills outcome without some skills practice – a lecture on riding a bike is not likely to end with participants able to cycle off into the sunset

Additionally training providers should be invited to describe how they will ensure methods and approaches take into account equality and diversity matters in respect of participants

Administrative issues

Ensure that you are clear as to who will provide materials for participants, arrange venues etc. some training providers will provide participants’ packs at a cost per participant others will expect the commissioning agency to arrange photo-copying from master documents.

Evaluation requirements

If you have a standardised evaluation system make it clear that you expect the provider to use it. Request an indication of how the provider will assess the participants against the learning outcomes and evaluate the training overall.


This is essential where you are committed to a timeframe and development work is required

Budget / Costing

If you are quite specific with your requirements, it is best not to put in the budget as comparing budgets will help you decide on which training provider to use. If you have
not been specific it can be useful to put in an indicative budget to give the provider an idea of what they are working towards. Most training projects are constrained by the time you can expect participants to be released to attend courses or work on distance or e-learning packages

Clearly state whether the budget / costing should include VAT. You should also ask
the agency to provide a detailed breakdown of their costs for each component of the work. It is easiest if they do this by cost for development time, course delivery and administration. This will allow you to (more easily) compare costing between providers and explore value for money.

Payment is made after satisfactory delivery of the training, where there is an extended programme of training e.g. a six month leadership development course, payment may be staged at agreed intervals.

Other contractual issues e.g. ownership of materials

It is our experience that where you commission delivery of training the materials tend to remain the property of the training provider though many are happy to share them with the commissioning organisation. Where training materials and resources them selves are being sought ownership rests with the commissioning organisation.
Please check with procurement if in any doubt over this area.

Tender specification

This gives specific details to the agency what information you specifically want included in their proposal. You would normally write “In responding to this brief, tenders should provide:” and detail the key information you require. Some items normally included in a training brief are:
• A proposed outline of the course content / programme of training
• The range and nature of training methods to be used
• A outline of participant assessment, accreditation and certification where appropriate
• The evaluation tools to be used
• Quality mechanisms used by the provider
• The extent of providers’ knowledge and experience of raising awareness of equality and diversity issues
• An indication of requirements from the commissioning organisation such as resources, venues, contact information
• A timeline for the work (especially if this is a bespoke course)
• A C.V. detailing skills and experience relevant to the brief
• Two references relevant to the brief

Further Information / Submission of tender

You should put in the name, telephone number and email address of at least one person that the training provider can contact should they require any further information about the brief. However, be aware, that you should not disclose anything significant to one provider and not to another, as this would result in an unfair competition.

At the end of the training brief you should again state the date and time that any tender should be returned by. You should also give the name, job title and full address of the person that it requires to be returned to.