I believe that records that are essential in the quality assurance may include: training records; records of support to learners; feedback on assessors’ and learners’ performance and monitoring records and background information on staff. I recognise that the IQA process must consider the types of information collected and how these are stored to ensure that they are not pervasive and does not lead to discrimination. Thus, I agree that the general principles which underpin record keeping in the assessment and QA process is to consider the safe and secure storage of records following data protection, safeguarding and confidentiality regulations. Thus, I anticipate that there should be appropriate information management principles that must guide the processes of recording, logging, tracking documentation of information and how the outcomes of these information are shared with learners. I expect that there should be clear lines of access to data so that it only specific group of people will have access to specific information for specific purposes in order to safeguard recording and storage of information. For example, I find it appropriate that Centres and assessors identify those with legitimate access and limiting access to certain data. I imagine this will include recording evidence in a way that can be shared with appropriate access at team meetings, assessment or standardisation meetings.
I find it to be the responsibility of Centres and assessors to put in place organisational procedures for data protection, security and safety of paper-based records, electronic formats for recording and storage and electronic safeguards to prevent leakage of sensitive information to those who should not have access to personal information of others. I recognise that information breach could ruin the reputation of the organisation/Centre and eventually the reputation of awarding bodies. Lack of data security that results in information loss, I believe can have serious consequences on the learners’ qualification. For example if the portfolio submitted by a learner is made to go missing, then I believe there will be no evidence for the learner to get his/her qualification. Certain background information of staff, for example their qualifications, salary levels and performance management if expose to people who should not have access to such information will lead damage to self-image and moral of staff. Where mistakes have occurred and discrimination against learners have been investigated and the report gets into the hands of people who should not have access, I believe this can result in court proceedings which will have devastating consequences – financial, structural damages - on the individual staff and the Centre as a whole. It is for this reason that I argue that it is essential to have in place appropriate and safe storage for all information in lockable cabinets and safes as well as ensuring that electronic documents are passworded and encrypted. Even so, to meet the requirements of quality assurance for data protection and the rules governing confidentiality, I recognise the need for centres to define clearly which information must be recorded and which ones are considered confidential and who is allowed access to which information.
Equally, I anticipate that there should be different layers of access to information with regards to the internal quality assurance process. In providing feedback to learners, I expect that this will be done in a secure environment that supports confidentiality. The practices of safe and secure storage of information in different environments and how potential risks of divulging information unnecessarily are curtailed. This means that the Data Protection and Confidentiality policies at the Centre must be