The Function of EQA (External Quality Assurance)

External quality assurance of assessment looks to develop excellence on behalf of an awarding organisation, in terms of qualification delivery, assessment, learner achievement and learner satisfaction within an approved centre.

The function of external quality assurance of assessment is to ensure that any qualifications offered by an awarding body are planned, delivered and assessed by a centre in an appropriate manner.

External quality assurance is in place to ensure that:

  • the national standards of qualifications are maintained.
  • Learner achievement and performance is assessed in accordance with published qualification specifications and regulatory requirements of an AO.
  • Learners are aware of what is expected of them to meet the assessment requirements of their qualification.
  • Appropriate resources, including staff, are in place within an approved centre to support a qualification and the learners undertaking it.
  • Centres are committed to maintaining and improving their quality assurance activties.
  • Centre staff including; assessors, tutors and IQAs are offering a qualification that meets the awarding organisations assessment practice and procedures.

An External Quality Assurer will:

  • ensure that a centre has up to date resources and documents relating to the qualifications they are offering
  • review assessment practice and procedures within a centre against the awarding organisation requirements
  • review the quality and consistency of assessor judgements through sampling assessments
  • review the quality and consistency of internal quality assurance (IQA) judgements, through sampling IQA reports
  • observe assessment and IQA practice, if appropriate
  • ensure standardisation activities take place within a centre
  • ensure IQA practices are planned and recorded
  • ensure centre staff and resources are adequate to support a qualification devilry, assessment and internal quality assurance
  • talk to learners and staff members to gain feedback on how well they think a centre performs
  • provide feedback to a centre, identifying areas of good practice, agreeing action points and providing development advice
  • identify if there are any issues or activities within a centre that do not meet with awarding organisations requirements
  • Produce a report of their findings

Principles and Concepts of EQA

There are a number of key concepts and principles of external quality assurance to ensure all activities are carried out efficiently and effectively.

One important principle is known as VACSR and is applied to assessment, internal and external quality assurance.

All assessed evidence should be:

Valid Evidence is relevant to the assessment criteria and appropriate assessment methods were used to obtain the evidence.
Authentic Evidence has been produced by the learner.


Evidence is relevant at the time of assessment and is up to date.


Evidence covers all of the assessment criteria.


Evidence is consistent across all learners and is at the required level for the qualification.

The concept and principles of external quality assurance of assessment are to monitor and evaluate the performance of an approved centre and to promote continuous improvement in the assessment process. An AO must ensure a centre is undertaking internal quality assurance activities correctly and the assessment process is robust.

An EQA’s role is to review the processes of assessment and internal quality assurance within an approved centre. An EQA must ensure approved centre staff members are making assessment judgements that are consistent with the qualification learning outcomes and assessment criteria.

Key Concepts and Principles an External Quality Assurance include:-

  • ensuring quality procedures and practice are in place and are robust within a centre
  • ensuring accuracy and consistency of assessment judgements within a centre
  • identifying issues and trends within a centre
  • supporting and advising assessors, tutors, and IQAs within a centre.