Company Policies

Equal Opportunities

Flow Hospitality Training Ltd is an Equal Opportunities organisation, and as such will ensure that no discriminatory barriers will be placed in the way, for whatever reason, of any member of staff undertaking SQA awards. The organisation will ensure that no person will be discriminated against by virtue of their protected characteristics; age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race and ethnicity, religion and belief, sexual orientation, or other unjustifiable factor, within the constraints of available resources and current legislation.

The above factors will also apply to the recruitment of additional staff.

 

Complaints Procedure

Informal Complaint

Complaint related matters can include unfairness on such things as access to fair assessment, access to correct resources, etc.

Learner’s should be made aware that if they wish to complain they will be given the opportunity to do this informally through 2 members of staff within the organisation.

This will usually be the admin support and then referred to Centre Contact.

Learners will be informed that they have a period of 2 weeks to submit the complaint and that any complaint will be dealt with in a four week period from the date of the complaint being submitted.

The complaint will be logged and held on record securely.

Formal Complaint

If a complaint is deemed serious or if a learner feels they are unable to raise the matter informally with a staff member they can go directly to a formal complaint.

This should be made directly to Centre Contact and learner will be provided with contact name details for this person.

All formal complaints will be dealt with as a matter of importance. These will be investigated completely by the senior manager who will provide a formal written response.

The timescale for this is 4 weeks from date of complaint.

See link: https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/files_ccc/SQA_Evidence_retention_requirements.pdf

 

Appeals Procedure

All learners will have the right to appeal against any decision taken by Flow Hospitality. And is usually relating to the award decision. The learner may disagree with this.

This appeal must be presented to the Centre Contact within seven days of the original award being taken.

Initially, any concern about award will be dealt with by the admin support, however, if, following discussion, the matter is still not resolved, the admin support and the learner will refer the matter to the Centre Contact. If no satisfactory outcome is reached at this stage, the appeal will be referred to an independent third party.

This can be another internal verifier, not previously involved with the assessment of the candidate, or someone out with the approved centre with an extensive expertise in the occupational area.

Details of the appeal, the people involved, dates of discussions held and the final outcome will be recorded and kept on file.

If all of the above procedures are exhausted and no conclusion is reached the matter should then be raised with SQA at the following web address:

https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/files_ccc/Internal-Assessment-Appeals-Procedure-guidance.pdf

As part of both the complaints and appeals procedure learners must be made aware that they also have the right to complain to SQA Accreditation once they have exhausted all correct complaints/ appeals procedures within the organisation.

In the case of an appeal to SQA against an internal assessment, the centre must retain records, including all materials and evidence, until the appeal has been resolved. Thereafter, assessment and internal IV records for appeal cases should be retained for 5 years. (see policy on Malpractice below)

 

Malpractice Policy

Flow Hospitality Training Ltd treats all cases of suspected malpractice very seriously and will investigate all suspected and reported incidents of possible malpractice. The purpose of this Policy is to set out how allegations of malpractice in relation to all SQA qualifications are dealt with. The scope of the policy is to provide:

  • a definition of malpractice
  • examples of trainee and centre malpractice and maladministration;
  • possible sanctions that may be imposed in cases of malpractice.

Malpractice means any act, default or practice (whether deliberate or resulting from neglect or default) which is a breach of SQA assessment requirements including any act, default or practice which:

  • Compromises, attempts to compromise, or may compromise the process of assessment, the integrity of any SQA qualification or the validity of a result or certificate and/ or
  • Damages the authority, reputation or credibility of SQA or any officer, employee or agent of SQA.

Malpractice can arise for a variety of reasons:

  • Some incidents are intentional and aim to give an unfair advantage or disadvantage in an examination or assessment (deliberate non-compliance);
  • Some incidents arise due to ignorance of SQA requirements, carelessness or neglect in applying the requirements (maladministration).

Malpractice can include both maladministrations in the assessment and delivery of SQA qualifications and deliberate non-compliance with SQA requirements. Whether intentional or not, it is necessary to investigate and act upon any suspected instances of malpractice, to protect the integrity of the qualification and to identify any wider lessons to be learned. Where SQA becomes aware of concerns of possible malpractice, its approach will be fair, robust and proportionate to the nature of the concern. These procedures will be applied where SQA’s view is that there is a risk to the integrity of certification, which is not being successfully managed through our regular processes.

 Examples include:

  • misuse of assessments, including repeated re-assessment contrary to requirements, or inappropriate adjustments to assessment decisions
  • insecure storage of assessment instruments and marking guidance
  • failure to comply with requirements for accurate and safe retention of candidate evidence, assessment and internal verification records
  • failure to comply with SQA’s procedures for managing and transferring accurate candidate data
  • excessive direction from assessors to candidates on how to meet national standards
  • deliberate falsification of records in order to claim certificates

Reporting suspected malpractice

Any member of staff, candidates, or other member of the public who suspects assessment malpractice by candidates or members of staff may contact:

  • the internal verifier in the first places who will notify the head of department

Any candidates who suspected malpractice has taken place by other candidates or by members of staff should contact:

  • their assessor who will then pass on the information to the Internal Verifier

Investigating suspected malpractice

Flow Hospitality Training Ltd will investigate all cases of suspected malpractice.

  • The investigations will be conducted by the head of the relevant department
  • The investigations will include reviewing assessment evidence and records, seeking a second opinion from an internal verifier, interviewing other candidates or members of staff)

Communicating outcomes of investigations will be done in writing. Depending on the seriousness of the allegation this will be between 2 and six weeks to:

  • the candidate or member of staff under investigation
  • other interested parties (eg assessor, tutor, heads of department, data management staff dealing with results, line manager of members of staff)

Reporting malpractice to SQA

Any suspected cases of centre malpractice must be reported to SQA. In addition, for those qualifications that are subject to statutory regulation by SQA Accreditation or Ofqual, centres are required to report any suspected case of candidate malpractice to SQA. The matter must also be reported to the police if the malpractice involves a criminal act.

Actions and sanctions if malpractice is proven

Any actions to be taken as a result of malpractice being proven through investigation will be specified clearly in the written feedback on the outcome of the investigation. It may be appropriate to move to candidate or staff disciplinary procedures at this stage. Potential sanctions will be put in place depending on the level of severity depending on the circumstances and seriousness of the malpractice. This will include such things as a learner having to re-sit one assessment to exclusion from a course.

Candidates involved in an investigation of malpractice (whether candidate or centre malpractice) must not be resulted for the assessments in question until the investigation is completed, the outcome decided and any appeal concluded.

Appeals against malpractice decisions

Candidates and staff should have the right to appeal any malpractice decision against them.

Appeals should be made in writing to the head of department within one week of the decision being made. Appeals will be dealt with immediately and the outcome communicated. On receipt of the appeal, we would respond to an appeal within 2 weeks.

In addition, where malpractice is investigated by SQA, decisions can be appealed.

Centres have the right to appeal a decision where a case of reported malpractice by the centre has been confirmed through investigation by SQA. Centres also have the right to appeal a decision in the case of suspected malpractice by a candidate reported by the centre to SQA. Candidates have the right to appeal to SQA where:

  • the centre has conducted an investigation, the candidate disagrees with the outcome and has exhausted the centre’s appeals process
  • SQA has conducted an investigation and the candidate disagrees with the decision

For regulated qualifications only

Candidates and centres have the right to request a review by the appropriate regulator (SQA Accreditation or Ofqual) of the awarding body’s process in reaching a decision in an appeal of a malpractice decision for qualifications subject to regulation. Please refer to: