The Assessment Quality Partners Report to the QCTO

The Assessment Quality Partners Report to the QCTO. AQPs are delegated to manage and coordinate external integrated summative assessments.

The QCTO in South Africa emphasizes the importance of the assessment quality partners’ report to ensure fair and accurate evaluations of learners’ competencies.

The QCTO Assessment Quality Partners Report

The QCTO’s stringent standards require assessment quality partners’ reports to uphold the integrity and credibility of the assessment process.

How Do Assessment Quality Partners Fit Into the QCTO?

An Assessment Quality Partner exists because they can design the assessment for a particular qualification.

The QCTO uses Development Quality Partners (DQPs) to manage and fund the development of occupational qualifications.

Therefore each DQP, on recommendation of the Community of Expert Practitioners, must
recommend an Assessment Quality Partner (AQP) to the QCTO.

The Assessment Quality Partner (AQP) develops qualification assessment specifications during the qualification development process, and manages external summative assessments afterwards.

The Assessment Quality Partners Report Function

Assessment Quality Partners (AQPs) are thus authorised by the QCTO for specified NQF-registered occupational qualifications and part qualifications.

qcto aqp assessment quality partners report

What is the Assessment Quality Partners Report?

The Assessment Quality Partners Report serves as a comprehensive evaluation of assessment practices conducted within institutions seeking accreditation from the QCTO.

The AQP report provides insights into the quality, fairness, and effectiveness of assessments administered to learners.

This report is prepared by assessment quality partners appointed by the QCTO, who rigorously assess and analyze the assessment processes and outcomes.

Why is the Assessment Quality Partners Report Important?

  1. Ensuring Fairness and Accuracy: The report ensures that assessments are conducted in a fair and unbiased manner, providing an accurate reflection of learners’ competencies.
  2. Maintaining Standards: By adhering to the guidelines outlined in the report, institutions uphold the high standards set by the QCTO, thus enhancing the credibility and reliability of the assessment process.
  3. Continuous Improvement: The insights gleaned from the report facilitate a cycle of continuous improvement, allowing institutions to refine their assessment practices and enhance the overall quality of education and training programs.

The Assessment Quality Partners Report to the QCTO

Assessment Quality Partners (AQPs) report on the following:

  1. Assessment centre accreditation /de-accreditation and assessment site approval/de-approval;
  2. Assessment instruments utilisation and performance analysis;
  3. Skills Development Provider (SDP) accreditation and extension of scope recommendations;
  4. Learner Enrolments and Achievements;
  5. External Assessment moderation and management;
  6. Learner Certification recommendations;
  7. Assessment practitioner management practices;
  8. Learner tracer studies and employer satisfaction surveys;
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AQP Project Timelines: Assessment Quality Partners Report on Progress

Timeframes for Assessment Quality Partners

 ActivitiesDue date
14 months after the appointmentDevelop criteria for the accreditation of assessment centres/approval of assessment sites (depending on the relevant strategy)
2Establish criteria and procedures for the monitoring and evaluation of accredited assessment centres / approved assessment sites and post on the websiteAt least 2 months before the first assessments
3Develop and publish on website with link to QCTO website the following information related to external assessment:
  • template, and procedure for application for assessment;
  • procedures and template for reporting irregularities and lodging complaints or appeals;
  • procedures for applications for concessions related to barriers to learning and assessment;
  • language/s of assessment;
  • and agreed cost structure.
6 months after appointment
4Develop a candidate record system in line with QCTO requirements including candidate information, entries, results, and certification details6 months after appointment
5At least 2 months before the first assessmentsAt least 2 months before first assessments
6Develop and validate nationally standardised assessment instruments appropriate to assessment strategy, and secure system to manage scheduled assessmentsAt least 2 months before first assessments
aqp assessment quality partner

Quality Assurance and Monitoring Implementation of AQP functions

1. AQP Service Level Agreement (SLA)

On appointment, the AQP signs an SLA with the QCTO.

This provides a schedule for implementation of the QCTO model for external assessment, giving deadlines for each requirement during the first year of appointment.

This schedule provides the basis for the QCTO to monitor, evaluate and review the initial activities of the AQP.

Annual Assessment Quality Partner Report

In addition, the QCTO has a standardised data reporting template which must be completed and submitted annually.

This then provides specified quantitative data to the QCTO.

The following information will be submitted quarterly to meet the QCTO internal auditor’s requirements:

  • number of skills development providers and assessment centres accredited;
  • number of learners that sat for external integrated summative assessment;
  • number of learner certificates recommended to the QCTO.

Each year after the first year of appointment the AQP must also complete and submit a qualitative report.

This report serves the dual purpose of a self-evaluation, assisting in strategic planning for the coming year, and providing the QCTO with the basis for continued monitoring, evaluation and review.

Assessment Quality Partner Audit

During the fourth year, an in-depth quality audit will be conducted in preparation for the decision on whether or not to extend the appointment of the AQP after the five-year term has been completed.

    Termination of appointment of assessment quality partner

    1. The QCTO may terminate the appointment of an assessment quality partner because the AQP :
      • No longer satisfies the criteria for accreditation;
      • Has failed or refused to fulfil its functions;
      • Has failed or refused to comply with the relevant policies, criteria and procedures of the QCTO
    2. Before the QCTO withdraws the appointment of an AQP, the QCTO will:
      • Notify, in writing, the AQP of its intention to withdraw the accreditation, with reasons;
      • Grant the AQP a period of 20 working days from the date of notice to make representations on the matter; and
      • Consider any such representations received.
    3. If the QCTO withdraws the appointment of an AQP, the QCTO will notify the assessment partner of its decision in writing.
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    Want to become an AQP?

    Steps to be followed in signing a Service Level Agreement to become an AQP

    Step 1: Expression of Intention to Be an AQP

    • The proposed (applicant) AQP will send a letter of intent to become the AQP;
    • The QCTO will acknowledge receipt, capture and record the submission details in the QCTO database;
    • QCTO or applicant may request for a meeting to:
      • discuss the scope of the qualifications to be assessed by the AQP;
      • discuss the project timelines to be developed;
      • discuss any questions the applicant may have about the SLA that will be signed if compliant;
    • The details of the applicant will be captured and recorded in the QCTO database.

    Step 2: Submission and the evaluation of the applicant’s evidence.

    The applicant:

    • Will submit evidence of compliance with stipulated criteria;
    • Make sure that a QCTO official has signed for the delivery; the QCTO will:
    • Capture the details of the applicant in the relevant QCTO format;
    • Acknowledge receipt of the evidence;
    • Conduct the desktop evaluation of the evidence;
    • Will support the applicant to comply where necessary;
    • Recommend for the signing of the SLA.

    Step 3: Notification of the outcome and signing of the SLA

    The QCTO will:

    • Notify the applicant of the outcome; and
    • Arrange a signing ceremony.

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    How Institutions Can Utilize the Assessment Quality Partner Report

    1. Reflection and Evaluation: Institutions should critically evaluate the findings of the AQP report to identify areas for improvement and implement necessary changes in their assessment practices.
    2. Alignment with QCTO Standards: Ensure that assessment practices align with the standards and guidelines set forth by the QCTO to maintain accreditation and uphold quality standards.
    3. Professional Development: Use the insights from the report to inform professional development initiatives aimed at enhancing the capabilities of educators and assessors.
    4. Stakeholder Engagement: Engage stakeholders, including learners and industry partners, in the assessment process to foster transparency and collaboration.


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