We introduced our quality assurance model in September 2021. In replacing our previous model, we aimed for the HCPC’s Education function to be flexible, intelligent and data-led in our risk-based quality assurance of education providers.
Through our first year of operating the model, we changed the way we worked with our stakeholders. As such, we appreciate this has been a time of transition and would like to thank you for your input and patience while we transformed the way we work together.
We have now evaluated our first year of operations through internal audits, analysis of assessments and outcomes data, and interactions with stakeholders through surveys and workshops to understand their experience.
Evaluation activities showed we delivered what we intended, namely:
- Achievement of risk-based outcomes which are proportionate and consistent;
- Operation of efficient and flexible quality assurance processes;
- Using a range of data and intelligence sources to inform decision making.
The key findings of our evaluation were:
- The model successfully scaled for full implementation in January 2022 – this included working with all approved education providers to identify key contacts and explain how they would work with us moving forward;
- We have become a more active partner in the sector – this is shown through our engagement with professional bodies and commissioning organisations, which have enabled ad hoc information sharing to inform process decisions;
- Education providers value the regional model – providers are confident they can engage with us in relation to their institution and programme(s), and value having a named contact to engage with;
- Provider support and engagement is important to timely and high-quality outcomes – due to the way we supported providers, they did not always understand our requirements, particularly through the performance review process, which led to challenges in process application;
- We have experienced resourcing challenges which mean we have not always reached assessment outcomes along planned timeframes – to address this, we focused our resources to deliver the most important outcomes, for example prioritising the approval process to facilitate planned programme start dates. This meant that other activities were deprioritised and have taken longer to deliver than we wanted;
- Governance arrangements are working well – the tiered system of governance for decision making functions as intended, with the Education and Training Committee and its Panel being confident in assessment-level decisions, and with overall performance reporting;
- We continue to align our work to the strategic objectives for the model – feedback and information shows that the principles of the model are being applied through assessments.
We have learned from feedback, and have improved the way we work by:
- Developing guidance / templates to facilitate engagement and understanding – we have made many granular changes our documentation, but have also overhauled some more significantly, for example our process outcomes report template, and the submission document for providers undertaking performance review;
- Introducing a formal step in our processes to ensure we plan assessments from the start, and share these plans with our stakeholders;
- Reducing reliance on overall performance ‘score’ for providers (we use provider level data points to arrive at a ‘performance score’ for education providers). The use of this score in assessment activity was reductive, hiding nuances which could be drawn out through data and assessment;
- Developing resourcing expectations – this is helping plan our resources to progress assessments in a timely manner moving forward;
- Developing internal capability to identify ‘exceptional’ assessments, allowing us to prioritise these assessments to meet external expectations;
- Developing external reporting to embed time and quality based KPIs.
We will continue to learn and improve as we work with you in this academic year and beyond.