Qualifications body leads review into training centres
Following warnings of malpractice in a centre offering security qualifications, a UK awarding body has announced an open and thorough review of its quality procedures. The reviews’s focus will be to determine whether additional approaches could be adopted that might detect malpractice more reliably and quickly.
Industry Qualifications, based in the West Midlands, oversees colleges and training providers that offer qualifications to the security industry. The company has briefed both Ofqual and the Security Industry Authority after it was informed of potential fraudulent behaviour at two training centres approved by the company. To date, one of those centres has been identified. Assessments and the issue of qualifications at that centre have been placed on hold while an inquiry is conducted.
Chief executive Raymond Clarke commented, saying, “At the end of last month, a source warned us of malpractice at one of our centres. We take such issues extremely seriously and have decided to look at all of our procedures. Where we find malpractice, certificates will be withdrawn and learners will be given the opportunity to be independently re-tested. It is important that we get to the bottom of this allegation and act to ensure such malpractice cannot be repeated. IQ uses all of the standard techniques deployed by awarding organisations to identify and manage malpractice, but we recognise that approaches can always be improved, and we need to explore whether we can enhance common practice to make it quicker to identify malpractice.
“We have contacted all of our customers to keep them informed and have briefed both the Security Industry Authority and Ofqual and asked them to guide us in this review process. We have a zero-tolerance policy with regard to malpractice and if proved we will take the strongest possible sanctions against the centre. As an organisation we strive to go above and beyond the industry norms and are confident that once the investigation is completed and lessons learnt we will be able to detect the very small minority of failing centres far more quickly. We have also discussed this matter with the police and I hope that, through this honest and open approach, we can stimulate a wider industry led discussion about the identification and eradication of malpractice. Whilst we are not complicit in this allegation, it is only by working together, in partnership with other awarding organisations and regulators, that we can reduce the risk of fraud and malpractice creating a more secure training platform for all industry stakeholders.”
The full white paper on the matter can be downloaded in full here.