Covid-19 Policy 2021-22

Introduction

This policy is designed to ensure that classes and assessments are delivered in a way that reflects the current government guidance in respect of Covid-19. Measures will be taken in conjunction with our partner centres Dragonfly Leisure (Writhlington School) and the Park Centre.

Although current guidelines have removed the requirement for measures to be in place, for example the need for social distancing and the wearing of face coverings, WMR is aware that some staff and students may find this easing of restrictions and transition to increasing social contact more difficult. As such we encourage everyone to respect individual preferences and be mindful of others whilst we all become accustomed to these changes. WMR have Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as hand sanitiser and face masks available on request.

What to do if you have Covid

There is no longer a legal requirement for people with Covid-19 infection to self-isolate, however if you have any of the main symptoms of Covid-19 or a positive test result, the public health advice is to stay at home and avoid contact with other people.

The most effective way to avoid passing on Covid-19 infection is to stay at home and avoid contact with other people.

If you have Covid-19 you can infect other people from 2 days before your symptoms start, and for up to 10 days after. You can pass on the infection to others, even if you have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. You should stay at home and avoid contact with other people. You should also follow this advice If you have a positive Lateral Flow Test (LFT) result, even if you do not have any symptoms.

Many people will no longer be infectious to others after 5 days. You may choose to take an LFT from 5 days after your symptoms started (or the day your test was taken if you did not have symptoms) followed by another LFT the next day. If both these test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, the risk that you are still infectious is much lower and you can safely return to your normal routine. If your day 5 LFT result is positive, you can continue taking LFTs until you receive 2 consecutive negative test results. If you have Covid-19, please notify WMR as soon as possible.

Consider wearing a face covering

Covid-19 spreads through the air by droplets and aerosols that are exhaled from the nose and mouth of an infected person. Whilst there is no longer a legal requirement to wear a face

covering, the Government suggests that you continue to wear one in crowded and enclosed spaces, especially where you come into contact with people you do not usually meet, when rates of transmission are high. We do not ask students to wear masks in the classroom, but you may wish to consider it for your journey to and from college or in communal areas. Wash your hands regularly and cover coughs and sneezes. 

The Government still suggests that you wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day. Regular hand washing is an effective way to reduce your risk of catching illnesses, including Covid-19. They also ask you to cover coughs and sneezes to help reduce the spread of particles carrying Covid-19 and other viruses.

Further Lockdown

Our classes are delivered in a friendly class room setting and we are able to replicate this experience on Zoom. Should a further lockdown be necessary we will continue to teach our classes online.

Further Advice

For the latest government advice within England, please visit one of the following relevant websites:

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-people-with-covid-19-and-their-

contacts/covid-19-people-with-covid-19-and-their-contacts

 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19

 

Updated in line with latest government guidance issued on 22 February 2022

MALPRACTICE AND MALADMINISTRATION POLICY

INTRODUCTION

The integrity and reputation of AAT qualifications is directly linked to the rigour and robustness of their assessments. Anything which threatens the integrity of these assessments, including malpractice or maladministration, also threatens the

integrity of the qualifications, and the reputation of AAT.

Training providers offering AAT qualifications have a responsibility to have in place:

• policies and procedures to prevent malpractice/maladministration occurring

• policies and procedures for reviewing suspected/actual cases of malpractice/maladministration.

WMR Accountancy Training will ensure that all staff and students are aware of those policies and procedures.

DEFINITION OF MALPRACTICE

Malpractice refers to any deliberate action(s), neglect, default or other practice that compromises, or could compromise:

• the assessment process

• the integrity of AAT qualifications

• the validity of a result or certificate

• the reputation and credibility of AAT as an awarding organisation or

• the qualification or the wider qualifications community

In short, malpractice can be the breach of any published regulations or code of practice, whether intentional or inadvertent, or any practices which place the integrity of qualifications and assessments at risk. It can be caused by training providers and their staff, their candidates, and/ or awarding organisations. 

Examples of malpractice:

Malpractice may occur at training providers if:

• assessment materials are not kept securely

• assessment and/ or internal verification records are fabricated

• candidates are prompted or assisted with the production of answers

• there is abuse of on line logging systems

• there has been misleading recruitment of candidates

• records are falsified in order to claim certificates

 

• any identified issue or malpractice is not dealt with appropriately.

Candidates may be guilty of malpractice if they:

• copy from other candidates

• plagiarise material

• take unauthorised material into an examination room

• breach invigilator instructions for the conduct of assessments

• impersonate other candidates, or allow themselves to be impersonated, for the

taking of controlled assessments or examinations.

DEFINITION OF MALADMINISTRATION

For the purpose of this policy, maladministration is any activity, neglect, default or other practice that results in non-compliance with the requirements for delivery of AAT qualifications and assessments, as set out in the relevant specifications, codes of practice or other documents. In practice, maladministration is not normally deliberate and can be perpetrated by training providers/assessment venues and

awarding organisations. All maladministration must be addressed to prevent re-occurrence and/ or development into something more significant.

Examples of maladministration:

At training providers, examples may include:

• failure to invigilate according to AAT guidelines

• failure to ensure that an examination venue complies with AAT requirements

• granting inappropriate access arrangements

• inaccuracies in assessment, verification and/ or registration records

• poor certificate security/ administration.

• failure to maintain appropriate records or systems.

WMR PROCEDURES TO PREVENT THE OCCURRENCE OF MALPRACTICE OR MALADMINISTRATION

WMR Accountancy Training will: 

• Ensure that all staff are familiar with AAT requirements for the conduct of assessments and examinations

• Ensure that all examinations are conducted in accordance with AAT

guidelines and that any issues are correctly recorded and reported

• Ensure that examination venues comply with AAT requirements

• Ensure that all records are retained securely and that access to

examination administration software is correctly restricted

 

• Ensure that all assessments are carried out in accordance with AAT requirements by suitably qualified staff and that an approved programme of

internal verification is put in place and completed by a suitably qualified member of staff

• Ensure that requests for access arrangements and reasonable adjustments are properly based on reliable evidence and that such evidence is retained securely.

• Ensure that any suspicion of malpractice or maladministration is identified and notified to the AAT and that it is investigated if required. WMR Accountancy Training will require students to

• Comply with AAT examination regulations

• Avoid cheating and plagiarism (see below)

• Produce photo ID as required at exams

• Report suspicions of malpractice or maladministration to staff or directly to the AAT as appropriate

• Follow the AAT ethical code (which is available from the AAT website). DEFINITION OF PLAGIARISM AND CHEATING

Examples of plagiarism and cheating include:

• A student copies, gives or shares information or answers, unless part of a joint project.

• A student uses an unauthorised aid such as a mobile phone or smuggled notes during an assessment or examination.

• A student copies another student's answers during an assessment or examination.

• A student talks during an assessment or examination All allegations of cheating and plagiarism will be notified to the AAT and may lead to a full investigation. 

REVIEW OF SUSPECTED MALPRACTICE OR MALADMINISTRATION

Investigations will normally be carried out by WMR Accountancy Training's nominated Head of Centre acting on behalf of the awarding body and reported to the awarding body when completed.

The Head of Centre must:

• report to AAT within two days all suspected or actual incidents of malpractice or maladministration

• supervise personally all investigations resulting from an allegation of malpractice or maladministration

• respond speedily and openly to all requests for an investigation into an allegation of malpractice or maladministration, as this is in the best interests of training provider staff, candidates and any others involved

 

• co-operate and ensure their staff co-operate fully with an enquiry into an allegation of malpractice or maladministration, whether the training provider is directly involved in the case or not

• inform staff members and candidates of their individual responsibilities and rights as set out in these guidelines

• pass on to the individuals concerned any warnings or notifications of penalties, and ensure compliance with any requests made by the awarding organisation as a result of a malpractice or maladministration case.

Reviewing malpractice/maladministration will normally involve:

• identification

• notification to the AAT and, if required by the AAT:

• investigation

• report to the AAT

It will then be the AAT's role to make a decision, apply sanctions where appropriate and administer the appeals process

IDENTIFICATION AND NOTIFICATION TO THE AAT

• Assessors or verifiers. Those who suspect malpractice/maladministration

should report it immediately to the AAT. Full details of the incident should be supplied together with any supporting evidence.

• Training providers. The Head of Centre should inform the AAT immediately, providing full written details within two days

• Individuals. This may include training provider staff, employers, students, or members of the public. If reports are made verbally, the informant will be

asked to put the allegation in writing. The AAT will protect the identity of any informant who wishes to remain anonymous, as far as possible.

 

INVESTIGATION

All investigations must be undertaken in a fair, reasonable and legal manner ensuring that all evidence is considered without bias. Where the investigation has been undertaken by WMR Accountancy Training, the Head of Centre will submit a written report to the AAT.

 

REPORT TO THE AAT

The report should be accompanied by the appropriate documentation, which may include:

• a statement of the facts, a detailed account of the circumstances of the alleged malpractice or maladministration and details of the investigations carried out

• written statements from any training provider staff or candidates interviewed as part of the investigation

 

• any candidate work, assessment, or internal verification records relevant to the investigation

• in the case of candidate malpractice, details of any remedial action being taken by the training provider to ensure the integrity of certification

• details of any mitigating factors. 

AAT ROLE

The AAT procedure for managing reported malpractice and maladministration is set out in detail in policy documents available on the AAT website.

This policy reviewed on 7 September 2021

Access to fair assessment policy

INTRODUCTION

Our aim is to ensure that all assessment processes are implemented in a way which is fair and non- discriminatory. To this end we must have in place the necessary systems and procedures to allow the provision of access arrangements, including reasonable adjustments and special consideration.

These should reflect the needs of individual learners and must also ensure that assessment continues to enable a valid, reliable and consistent judgment to be made about achievement of learning outcomes against the stated assessment criteria. Access arrangements may include, for example, the use of readers or the allowance of additional time. These arrangements will be agreed before an assessment. They are intended to allow a student with special educational needs, disabilities or temporary injuries to access the assessment. Please refer to Appendix A for more information about reasonable adjustments and special consideration and how they will affect assessments.

WHAT STUDENTS CAN EXPECT FROM US

§ We aim to ensure that all assessment of work is carried out fairly and in keeping with the AAT's requirements.

§ All students' assessment work will be assessed fairly against the qualification standards and tutors involved will be fully trained.

§ Internal assessments will be carried out fairly and according to the AAT's instructions.

§ Externally marked assessments and exams will be conducted according to the requirements of the AAT.

STUDENTS CAN ALSO EXPECT

§ To be fully inducted onto a course/qualification and given information that can be shared with employers, parents and carers if required.

§ Learning outcomes, performance criteria and other significant elements of learning and assessment to be made clear at the outset of the course and when assessments/assignments are set. Tutors will consider the follow points when determining suitable access arrangements:

 

§ The student's normal way of working (eg support normally given in lessons or the workplace)

§ The details of how specific access arrangements would work in an assessment

§ Whether evidence or an application to the AAT is required

§ Any assistance from the AAT that may be required to put the arrangements in place If there is any doubt about the acceptability or appropriateness of an access arrangement than WMR Accountancy Training will consult with the AAT.

EVIDENCE OF NEED

WMR Accountancy Training must keep evidence on file for access arrangements. For example, in the case of a student with learning difficulties,

diagnostic assessments of reading, comprehension, writing, spelling or cognitive processing, as appropriate, should have been given. The

assessments that are needed will vary depending on what access arrangements are required. In addition, WMR Accountancy Training will retain copies of confirmations from the AAT that access arrangements have been approved. The student should always be consulted before an access arrangement is made or an application is submitted to the AAT.

STUDENTS

WMR Accountancy training hopes to have the full support of students in ensuring access to fair assessment. We hope that students:

§ Will notify tutors of any support needs they have identified as early as possible and well in advance of a planned assessment

§ Will take part in necessary diagnostic assessment where this will provide evidence to support the provision of a particular assessment arrangement

§ Will give feedback on the effectiveness of procedures so that future practice can be improved

APPEALS AND COMPLAINTS

WMR Accountancy Training has policies in place which set out the relevant procedures for appeals against assessment outcomes and complaints about

any aspect of the process. Details of these policies are available on our website or from a tutor. In brief, appeals and complaints should initially be raised with the course tutor. In the absence of a satisfactory resolution the matter can be taken to the internal verifier and ultimately to the AAT external verifier.

This policy was reviewed on 4 September 2020

 

APPENDIX A

REASONABLE ADJUSTMENTS & SPECIAL CONSIDERATION

 

What are Reasonable Adjustments?

A Reasonable Adjustment is an arrangement that can be put in place by AAT or WMR Accountancy Training prior to an assessment to help students with a long-term disability such as dyslexia, or who are temporarily impaired, such as a student who has broken their arm, to do their best. For example, applying extra time for dyslexic students, or the use of a Scribe for a student with a broken arm.

What is Special Consideration?

Special Consideration is a process which takes into account the student’s circumstances. For example, a temporary illness or injury, or some other event outside of the student’s control, at or shortly before the time of assessment, which has or is likely to have had an effect on the student’s ability to take the assessment, in light of the result that has been/will be issued.

What do students need to do?

It is the student's responsibility to inform WMR Accountancy Training of any:

- existing Reasonable Adjustment requirements when they enrol on their course

- New Reasonable Adjustment requirements before their assessment is scheduled

- personal circumstances that may affect, or have affected, their performance within the assessment (this must be notified before, during or immediately after the assessment)

- provide WMR Accountancy Training with any relevant evidence to support their request.

What next?

For Reasonable Adjustment requests, it is important to first agree, and be comfortable with, the type and level of Reasonable Adjustment required before

any assessments take place. This decision will need to be made in agreement with WMR Accountancy Training. AAT does not recommend that an assessment takes place if a student is uncomfortable with the Reasonable Adjustment, or lack of, being applied. For Special Consideration requests made immediately before the assessment has started, it may be more appropriate to take the assessment at a later date. WMR Accountancy Training will then submit the necessary form and any supporting evidence to AAT for approval. For reasonable adjustments, this will be prior to the assessment being scheduled. For special consideration requests, this will be within one working day of the assessment being sat.

 

How is assessment affected?

Any approved Reasonable Adjustment request will be applied when scheduling a student's assessment (for example, extra time) or to their sitting (for example, the use of the Scribe) by AAT or WMR Accountancy Training. For approved Special Consideration requests, a student's assessment performance will be reviewed in the light of available evidence and may result in a small, post-assessment adjustment to the assessment mark.

Policy reviewed on 7 September 2021

WMR ACCOUNTANCY TRAINING

Complaints Handling Policy

Our complaints policy

We are committed to providing a high-quality of teaching and support to all our students. When something goes wrong, we hope you will tell us about it. This will help us to resolve the problem if possible and to improve our standards for the future.

WMR Accountancy Training is a very small organisation with two Partners who are also our tutors and an Internal Verifier. We don't have separate management staff to deal with complaints. Our complaints system is very simple:

1) If you have a complaint about any aspect of your course, we hope that you will discuss it with your own course tutor. Ideally they will be able to resolve the problem.

2) If you wish to continue with your complaint after step 1) or if you feel it is not possible to approach your own course tutor, please contact the other tutor or the Internal Verifier to discuss the issue.

 

We promise that:

 

o Your complaint will be taken seriously and acted on promptly

o We will aim to respond to you appropriately in a short space of time. In

any event you will receive an initial response in 10 working days.

o We will respect any confidential information contained in your complaint.

 

3) If you wish to take your complaint further or it is an issue which cannot be resolved internally by WMR Accountancy Training we will, with your consent, refer the matter to the External Verifier appointed by the AAT. As a student of WMR Accountancy Training you will already be a student member of the AAT and our organisation is an AAT registered training provider. The AAT dispute resolution process can be accessed via their website www.AAT.org.uk

 

Policy reviewed 7 September 2021

Equality and Diversity Policy

 

INTRODUCTION

Our aim is to ensure equality of opportunity in line with the Equality Act 2010. We seek to reduce disadvantage, discrimination and inequalities of opportunity, and promote diversity in terms of our students and WMR colleagues. We will assist our students in achieving their very best potential. When students experience barriers to their success we will work with them to address these in a sympathetic and sensitive way.

As an organisation, we will give due regard to our duties under the Equality Act 2010 when making decisions, taking actions and developing policies.

OUR COMMITMENT TO EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY

WMR is committed to equality and diversity and compliance with the requirements of the Equality Act 2010. The Equality Act provides protection from

bullying, harassment or discrimination of individuals and groups with the following 9 protected characteristics:

§ Age

§ Gender

§ Sexual Orientation

§ Gender reassignment

§ Race (including ethnic origin, colour, nationality and national origin);

§ Disability

§ Pregnancy and maternity

§ Religion and or belief

§ Marriage and civil partnership

EQUALITY OBJECTIVES

WMR's aim is to promote equality of opportunity for all, through the following

objectives:

§ Complying with its legal obligations;

§ Monitoring the success of different learner groups and responding to any

areas for improvement;

 

§ Ensuring any imbalance or evident variation in student, colleague or

other stakeholder group participation or performance is not as a result of

unfair or unequal access, treatment or opportunity;

§ Ensuring that all WMR colleagues undergo appropriate equality and

diversity training appropriate to their role;

§ Promoting equality and diversity through internal and external

communications;

§ Ensuring student support services are accessible to all;

§ Ensuring that wherever practicable we adapt our services to meet the

individual needs of WMR colleagues and students in respect of their

“protected characteristics”;

§ Treating all potential and existing colleagues and students fairly and

judged solely on merit;

REPORTING COMPLAINTS

Staff, WMR colleagues or other parties who make a complaint of discrimination have the right to do so without fear of victimisation and WMR will make every effort to ensure victimisation does not occur and that any complaints are dealt with promptly and fairly. Further information about how to make a complaint can be found in our Complaints policy. Any cases of harassment, discrimination, bullying or victimisation will be taken very seriously. Any member of staff or students found guilty of unlawful discrimination or harassment will be subject to disciplinary action, including where appropriate, dismissal for gross misconduct.

 

This policy was reviewed on 7 September 2021

Academic Appeals Policy

 

The AAT have robust quality assurance procedures in place to ensure that the results of computer based tests issued to students are correct and are an accurate reflection of their performance. However, a student (or WMR Accountancy Training acting on their behalf) can use AAT’s enquiries and

appeals procedure to request a review of their results if they:

§ have reason to believe that the result and/or percentage score for an assessment, or the overall grade and/or percentage score for a graded qualification or apprenticeship End Point Assessment (EPA), is incorrect

§ disagree with decisions made regarding reasonable adjustments or special considerations for an assessment they have taken (where an application has

been made to AAT)

§ disagree with a result of an assessment carried out by their training provider.

AAT will carry out various checks to determine whether the student's result is correct. If they find any errors, they will correct these and refund any fees that have been paid as part of the enquiries and appeals procedure. However, it is important to note that marks or grades can go down as well as up.

The enquiries and appeals procedure is not for:

- reporting an error in an assessment: if a student believes there is an error in the content of the assessment material itself, they should contact contentqueries@aat.org.uk

- applications for special consideration: if a student would like their assessment to be granted special consideration because of illness, a traumatic accident or a major and unpredictable life event (for example the death of a close relative) at or shortly before the time of assessment, they should speak to their tutor for guidance on the correct procedure.

 

If a student wants to request an appeal, they should discuss it with their tutor.

This policy was reviewed on 7 September 2021