OCN South East Region

Passionate About Learning

Frequently Asked Questions

Administration

I am registering learners using the ERegistration Submission Form, but receive the error message “invalid start and end date”.

This error message means that the course run start date and/or course run end date on the ERegistration Submission Form, falls outside of the course start or end date as already registered on Quartz.

I am registering learners using the ERegistration Submission Form, but receiving an “invalid units” error message. 

This error message means that the unit codes entered on the ERegistration Submission Form are not currently included in your course OR have expired. To add the units to the course you must complete an ''Adding Units to an Existing Course'' form, and submit it to the web portal. This is available via the web portal, in the Documents section. Before you request units to be added please check that the additional units are included in the qualification, if applicable.

How can I make sure that my learners receive all seven certificates for the seven different sized LEAP qualifications at their level?

You must first register your learners for each of the seven sized qualifications in the LEAP suite at their level if you want them to progress through each one. You must then claim certification for each sized qualification, in chronological order, starting with the smallest qualification. Also please check the learners names are inputted consistently for all registrations, as otherwise the achievement will not be accumulated.

How will I know the unit code for an unregulated unit?

After the unit content has been approved by LASER, the unregulated unit will be allocated a LASER unit code and the completed document (with the LASER unit code and review date) will be sent to you.

What happens if I can't find the unit code for a regulated or unregulated unit?

Email the Quality email address (Quality@laser-awards.org.uk) advising of the unit title and level.

I have incorrectly claimed a learner’s unit achievement. How do I correct the error and get a new certificate?

You need to complete a ‘Request for Correction of Incorrect Learner Achievement’ form which is available on the Documents section of the web portal, and then upload it to the web portal. A charge is applicable for replacement certificates. Please see the Fees and Pricing section of our website for the current charge.

How do I claim an additional unit/qualification for a learner whose achievement has already been claimed?

You must register the learner for the new unit/qualification using the ERegistration Submission Form and upload this to the web portal. Once the registration has been processed you will need to claim the additional unit in the usual way.

I need to claim an additional unit for a learner whose achievement has already been claimed and the unit needs to be added to the course.

You need to complete an ‘Adding Units to Existing Course'' form from the Documents section of the web form, and upload it to the web portal. Once our administration team have processed the additional unit you will be able to register the learner for the new unit.

An ERegistration Submission Form will need to be uploaded to register the learner. You will then be able to claim the learner’s achievement in the usual way.

How do I register our centres learners? 

All of your learners can be registered using our secure electronic learning registration (ELR) process. Please use your user name and password to access the secure centre area of our web portal where you will find detailed instructions.

My user name and/or password for electronic learner registrations does not appear to be working.

Please check that you are typing upper case or lower case appropriately for the password as the web site is case sensitive. If you are still experiencing problems please contact your LASER customer support administrator who will be happy to assist you. Admin@laser-awards.org.uk

Do I need Unique Learner Numbers (ULN) for my learners?

Learners undertaking units from the qualifications and wanting to build their achievements into a full qualification will need to have a ULN. Guidance on obtaining and using an individual ULN is provided in the Centre Handbook.

How long do I have to register my learners before I incur the additional late fees?

Deadlines for sending registrations are applied as follows:

  • Within 25 working days from the start date for courses of 12 weeks or less.
  • Within 60 working days from the start date for courses of more than 12 weeks.

If we receive your learner registrations after the deadline a late fee will be applied.

Is there a minimum age for learner registration?

Individual qualification guides contain full guidance on age restrictions which may apply. General background information is provided on the LASER qualification webpage

How much does it cost to register my learners?

Please see our tariff  for registration fees and any other relevant fees.

I have incorrectly spelt a learner name on the registration document. How do I correct the error and amend the details?

You need to complete a ''Correction to Learner Details Form'' which is available on the Documents section of the web portal, and then upload it to the web portal.  A charge may be applicable, please see Fees and Pricing section of our website for the current charge.

Assessment

Does LASER have any guidelines when designing an assessment? 

An assessment activity should:

  • be valid
  • be reliable
  • be comparable
  • be manageable
  • minimise bias
  • be fit for purpose
  • be sufficient
  • be authentic
  • be set at the appropriate level 
  • be in line with credit value of the unit/qualification with a clear opportunity for all unit assessment criteria to be met

What does "valid" mean in this context?

The assessment is effective and clearly related to the learning outcomes and assessment criteria.

What does "reliable" mean in this context?

The assessment is replicable, with the same standard being acheived if the same assessment was repeated.

What does "comparable" mean in this context?

The assessment is consistent in level with other assessments of units/qualifications at the same level, and different learners assessments can be marked in a consistent way.

What does "manageable" mean in this context?

The assessment is deliverable and achievable with the resources, including staffiing, that the centre has.

What does "minimise bias" mean in this context?

The assessment is inclusive, designed to allow all learners to potentially achieve, irrespective of their background, culture, or any other differences between them.

What does "fit for purpose" mean in this context?

The assessment is appropriate for the content of the unit/qualification, and allows the learners to demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes and assessment criteria.

What does "sufficient" mean in this context?

There is enough assessment evidence produced to enable the assessor to make a consistent and reliable judgment. It is enough for the assessor to be confident that the learner would be able to replicate this in the future, but is not unnecessarily repetitive or excessive.

What does "authentic" mean in this context?

The assessment evidence is the learners own work or performance. Each assessment criteria has been met by the learner on their own.

How can the assessment evidence be authenticated?

There are a number of ways this can be done, depending on the type of assessment and evidence. The learners can sign a declaration confirming the assessment evidence in their portfolio/assignment is their own. Photographic evidence can be authenticated by learner signature with a brief description of the assessment activitiy being undertaken. A tutor, or support staff, may authenticate the evidence, ready for the assessors decision. Video and/or audio recordings may be used.

A learner has achieved all of the assessment criteria for a unit apart from one. Can they achieve this unit?

No. All of the the assessment criteria must be evidenced and achieved.

If a learner hasn’t achieved an assessment, can they resubmit?

Yes. The resubmitted work must be clearly labelled “Resubmission” and have the date when it was resubmitted. Each resubmission must be assessed and feedback provided. The resubmission and feedback must be kept in the learner’s portfolio of evidence along with the original submission and assessment feedback. The number of resubmissions allowed can be decided by each centre. All learners must have the same opportunities to resubmit if the original assessment evidence has not met the assessment criteria.

When should the assessment brief be internally quality assured?

The actual timings are to be decided by the centre, but an assessment brief must not be given to learners before it has been internally quality assured and approved.

Does LASER insist centres use standard forms when designing, planning and assessing assessment?

No. LASER is flexible in allowing centres to design their own documents. However, there are a number of guideline templates which centres can use if they wish. These can be downloaded from the LASER web site Customer Support/Resources section: Tutor Assessment Templates

Across the qualification, centres should adopt a standard approach and be consistent in the types of assessment forms and templates they use. 

What types of Tutor Assessment Templates are there on the LASER web site?

Can the Tutor Assessment Templates be adapted by the centre?

Yes. The templates can be adapted to meet the needs of the centre. This should be consistent across the qualification.

I have not assessed LASER qualifications and units before. Where can I find out more information?

Look at the LASER web site: Assessment Guidance 

Where can I find out more about different types of assessment?

Look at the Assessment Definitions documents on the LASER web site. These have been divided into the following:

What are "Reasonable Adjustments" and "Special Considerations", and how do these contribute to "Access to Fair Assessment"?

Reasonable adjustments are specific changes made, by prior approval of LASER, for the assessment of learners who have special needs, for example dyslexia, or a visual impairment, in order to allow them the same opportunities as other learners to acheive, whilst ensuring that the assessment continues to be reliable, fit for purpose, valid sufficient and authentic.

Special considerations may be given to learners who experience temporary illness, injury or other unexpected event at the time of assessment. This might include, for example, a fire alarm going off during an assessment. The incident/illness etc in question must be reported to LASER as soon as possible in order to request a special consideration be given to the learner or group of learners. The special consideration should allow the learner/s to demonstrate the achievement they are capable of for units that are subject to special consideration, despite the incident/situation which occurred.

Where can I find out more about "Access to Fair Assessment"?

Look at the LASER web site: Access to Fair Assessment

You will need to click on the Access fo Fair Assessment word document.

What is formative feedback and how does it differ from summative feedback?

Formative feedback is designed to assist the learning process by providing ongoing constructive feedback to learners during their learning journey, in order to support them and enhance their performance. Formative feedback is provided before submission/completion of the assessment evidence for summative assessment, which evaluates whether the learner has achieved the assessment criteria. 

Can you explain the meaning of the verbs used in the assessment criteria?

Please see our definition guides below for an explanation of the verbs used.

Entry Level Verbs

Level 1 Verbs

Level 2 Verbs

Level 3 Verbs

Level 4 Verbs

Internal Quality Assurance

What is internal quality assurance?

Internal quality assurance is a process where assessment practices and decisions are sampled and evaluated by a different member of the centres staff from the person who carried out the assessments, and the findings are acted upon to ensure consistency and fairness. It also helps to develop assessors and identify training/CPD needs, and/or changes necessary to policies and procedures. 

When does internal quality assurance take place?

Internal quality assurance is not a one-off event but a continuous process, and specific activities should take place:
  • before a learning programme is delivered, to ensure all assessment criteria will be covered by appropriate assessment methods and activities
  • during a learning programme, to sample assessment decisions and feedback (formative sampling), and enable any necessary changes to be made before the learners complete the programme in order not to disadvantage the learners.
  • at the end of a learning programme to sample assessment decisions and feedback (summative sampling).

What assessment decisions does an internal quality assurer (IQA) sample?

An IQA samples and makes judgements on assessment decisions made by all assessors against the:

  • learning outcomes
  • assessment criteria
  • prescribed/mandatory assessment methods (if relevant).

How much assessed work should an IQA sample?

As a general guide, an IQA should sample at least 10% of completed portfolios, or five portfolios, whichever is the most, per course run.

However, the experience of the assessors must be taken into account, with new/inexperienced assessor decisions being sampled more often than those made my experienced assessors. It is also important to consider other aspects which may increase risk factors, such as whether the unit is new to the centre or established, when selecting the sample size.

What does currency mean and how is it relevant to an IQA?

Currency relates to the content and information provided to learners being up to date, for example ensuring that where legislation is taught, this is always the latest version. One of the IQAs responsibilities is to check that this remains the case.

Does LASER insist centres use standard forms when designing, planning and undertaking internal quality assurance?

No, LASER is flexible in allowing centres to design their own documents. However, there are a number of guideline templates which centres can use if they wish. These can be downloaded from the LASER web site Customer Support/Resources section: Internal Quality Assurance Templates

Across the qualification, centres should adopt a standard approach and be consistent in the types of internal quality assurance (IQA) forms and templates they use. 

What types of internal quality assurance templates are there on the LASER web site?

The templates available are:

Can LASER’s internal quality assurance templates be adapted by the centre?

Yes. The templates can be adapted to meet the needs of the centre. This  should be consistent across the qualification and cover the key internal quality assurance activities.

When should the assessment brief be internally quality assured?

The actual timings will be left to the centre but an assessment brief must not be given to learners before it has been internally quality assured and approved.

Learners

How do I find out about courses?

Courses using LASER qualifications are offered at many colleges, schools and other organisations. LASER recognised centres can provide information and advice about their courses.

What is a unit?

It is a set of learning outcomes with matching assessment criteria. A learner will be assessed against the criteria. If you achieve all of the criteria you will achieve the unit. A unit is assigned a number of credits which describes the amount of learning and a credit level which describes the level of the learning.

What is the difference between a unit and a qualification?

All qualifications in the national Qualification Credit Framework (QCF) are made up of units. A unit is a set of learning outcomes and criteria that you are assessed against. If you achieve a set of units that make up a qualification and have fulfilled any other requirements of the qualification you will achieve a full qualification.

What are credits?

A credit is a way of measuring, recognising and valuing your learning. One credit represents ten hours of the average total learning time, including time with a tutor and private study or homework.

What are credit levels?

The level given on the certificate for each unit you have achieved shows the stage you have reached in your learning. For example,

  • Entry level – qualifications and units at Entry level provides a basis for progression to other qualifications
  • Level 1 – this is comparable to working at NVQ level 1, GCSEs D-G and Foundation Diploma
  • Level 2 – this is comparable to working at NVQ level 2, GCSE’s A-C and Higher Diploma
  • Level 3 – this is comparable to working at NVQ level 3, A and AS levels, Advanced Diploma.

What is the difference between Awards, Certificates and Diplomas?

There are three sizes of qualifications in the Qualifications Credit Framework (QCF).

  • Awards (1 to 12 credits)
  • Certificates (13 to 36 credits)
  • Diplomas (37 credits or more

The qualification type – Award, Certificate, Diploma – represents the size of a qualification not how difficult it is.

How will my learning be assessed?

Your tutor will tell you move about how your learning is to be assessed. On most courses the tutor or training assesses your work as you go along and this does not involve exams. For example, the course work you produce, such as computer printouts, paintings or projects, will show you and your tutor what you have learnt.

How do I get my results?

If your course is assessed through course work then your tutor will provide you with feedback on your progress and results. If there is any delay in getting your results contact the centre to enquire about them.

How do I get my certificate?

The centre where you are learning is responsible for registering you with Laser Learning Awards. The centre notifies LASER of your achievements and will then issue your certificate which is despatched to the centre for forwarding to you.

How do I get a replacement certificate if I have lost or damaged the original?

You will need to contact the centre where you studied, and ask them to submit a replacement certificate request form to LASER. Your centre has to obtain the form from LASER.

What can I do if I don’t agree with the assessment decision?

In the first instance you need to discuss the assessment with your tutor. If you are still not happy you need to contact the centre and follow their procedure for making a formal appeal. If you are still not happy you can appeal to LASER but you will need to have evidence that you have followed and exhausted the centre’s appeal process.

What if I am moving part way through my learning?

The units that make up qualifications are nationally recognised as part of the new Qualifications Credit Framework. This means that if you move to another part of the country your credits can move with you and you can achieve more credits at your new location with a new centre.

What is the National Qualifications Framework (NQF)?

The national qualifications framework (NQF) for England, Wales and Northern Ireland is the framework that sets out the levels at which qualifications are recognised. The NQF is being progressively phased out and replaced by the Qualifications Credit Framework (QCF).

What is the Qualifications Credit Framework (QCF)?

The Qualifications Credit Framework is the new structure for recognising and accrediting qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The QCF is designed to make the whole qualification system simpler to understand and use, as well as being more inclusive, flexible and accessible for a wider range of learners. It is also intended to be more relevant to the needs of employers.

Can LASER award certificates for our in-house training?

Yes, we can accredit your in-house training courses and award certificates. Contact us for further information.

Can LASER help improve the skills of our workforce?

We have good experience of working with employers to develop the skills of their workforce. For more information please contact us.

Training

How do I find out if there are any spaces available on my chosen date?

Email k.burton@laser-awards.org.uk  with details of the date you would like to attend.

Call us on 01932 569894 for information about courses and places.

How do I pay for training courses? 

Payment can be made by the following methods:

  • By cheque, made payable to LASER and addressed to the West Byfleet office
  • By BACs transfer and details will be supplied with course booking confirmation
  • By providing a purchase order number and the LASER will issue an invoice

Please note we do not accept payment by credit or debit cards.

What if I cannot make a booked training event?

Contact us as soon as you can and we can discuss alternative arrangements with you. However, if you cancel a place within five working days of a training booking a cancellation fee will be charged, see our booking form for our terms and conditions.

What time do training events start and finish?

The start and end times are published in the training programme. If these are amended you will be notified with the confirmation of booking.

How do I book a LASER Training Course?

Complete a training booking form and email to k.burton@laser-awards.org.uk

Call us on 01932 569894 for information about courses and places.

Explore LASER