Excellence in Assessment (academy chain) accreditation

The challenges of getting assessment right are significant but investing time and commitment to assessment has high rewards. The Excellence in Assessment (academy chain) accreditation supports the development of your academy chain's assessment practices and procedures and quality assures your current practices.

What is it?

It is an accreditation of the overarching procedures, processes and systems that an academy chain has in place to manage and implement assessment. Institutions that receive accreditation will have met stringent criteria for excellence. As an accreditation process rather than an inspection, the assessor will act as an enabler, helping to audit what exists already and evolving what is needed to reach the required standard. It is a developmental scheme covering everything about assessment from governance to policy, and from its operation to training and reporting.

What does the programme provide?

The programme provides the following:

  • an objective diagnostic view of the overarching academy chain’s processes and procedures for assessment
  • the testing out of policy, processes and procedures against a rigorous framework
  • recognition of commitment to best assessment practices and staff development
  • successful institutions will receive a year’s free membership of the CIEA Membership scheme to support ongoing development in a changing environment

How does it work?

An academy chain seeking the award completes the application process and is allocated a Chartered Education Assessor, who holds a charter from and is appointed by the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors and has a wide ranging experience of making judgments and providing diagnostic feedback.

An overview of the assessment framework is sent to the academy chain assessment lead who uses this to prepare and submit evidence of its plans and processes. There is no expected fixed format for this and institutions can respond in ways that suit their own systems and practices. The Assessor then reviews the submission and presents their findings to appropriate staff from the academy chain.

A meeting, intended to be a dialogue between the Assessor and the lead on assessment is arranged, and will confirm good practice as well as recommend changes or additions. This may include requests for additional content or amendments to the plan. Following the meeting the institution will make any revisions and resubmit to the Assessor within an agreed timeframe. There may be further communication between the Assessor and the assessment lead to complete the process.

The Assessor then forwards the plans to the CIEA with a recommendation for accreditation, or further review. The institution will be notified of the outcome soon afterwards, and where successful, will be awarded the certificate of Excellence in Assessment (academy chain). The Assessment Quality Assurance Plan and Review document can be retained as evidence of achievement in the area of assessment policy and practice, and as a useful tool for future growth.