Internal Quality Assurance – Questions & Answers

As we prepare to embark upon our second (June) cohort on the Level 4 Award in Internal Quality Assurance, we wanted to first dive into the topic of IQA, for those who are interested in learning more about the area in general and how our new qualification prepares participants to undertake high-quality quality assurance within their organisation.

Below, Crossfields Institute’s Lead EQA, Julie Smith, explains what IQA is, why it matters to an organisation and how our course works.

To get more information on the qualification or register on the course, please see our course brochure, or contact

What is ‘IQA’?

Internal Quality Assurance. It is a process that seeks to ensure that assessments are undertaken using a consistent and fair approach across one or several assessors.  It monitors the teaching, learning and assessment systems and processes of a programme of learning as well as the evidence produced by the learners. This ensures that the requirements of the awarding organisation and the qualification have been fully met and helps to keep the centre in a continuous improvement cycle.

Why is IQA important?

Internal Quality Assurance helps a centre to identify areas of good and not-so-good practice. When used as a continuous process throughout the year a well-planned IQA strategy can efficiently and effectively scrutinise every aspect of a programme to allow for continuous improvement of the process and the assessment practice of the assessor.

What can effective IQA do for an organisation?

Effective IQA will support the whole assessment process from all aspects of teaching and learning through to assessment of the learner.  Areas of good practice will be identified, shared and built upon whilst any areas of poor practice can be addressed through working with individuals who need professional development to improve their teaching and assessment skills.  Ultimately effective IQA will ensure that a centre is meeting the awarding organisation’s and the qualification’s requirements whilst giving the learners a positive teaching, learning and assessment experience.

What makes the IQA course delivered by Crossfields Institute unique?

The Crossfields course is unique because it allows the trainee IQA to focus on their own organisation’s programme/s of learning and to generate naturally-occurring IQA evidence that they will be required to undertake by their awarding organisation as part of being an approved centre.  This means that the evidence requirements are possible to meet (unlike other similar IQA qualifications).  Another unique point is that the course starts with the trainee IQA demonstrating that they understand the assessment requirements of the qualifications they will be quality assuring before moving on to the knowledge they are required to have around IQA systems and processes.  It then moves on to a more practical element, where by doing their job, the trainee IQA will be generating appropriate evidence.

What kinds of organisations have taken the IQA course?

Organisations that have a programme of learning with learning outcomes and/or assessment criteria.  These organisations have had a mixture of regulated (RQF), self regulated (SRQ) and quality mark (QM) programmes.  The types of organisations have ranged from schools and training organisations to employers who train their own staff.

What is important for people to know about IQA?

Knowing about IQA is the first step to being able to implement IQA.  Without it, a centre is not likely to be meeting the requirements of the awarding organisation and therefore the qualification.  They will also less likely to be in a position to ensure consistency and fairness in the teaching, learning and assessment of the learners within their centre.  They certainly will not be demonstrating best practice.

Why do you enjoy being a facilitator on the IQA course?

I get to work with a great variety of people from a number of different sectors.  The courses they run are so very different and it feels like the ‘door to their world’ is opened up for me in the time that I work with them.  On the last course the subject areas ranged from Integrative Education, Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy to a level 4 award in Holistic Estheticians to Regenerative Land Based Systems.  I enjoy the cross-fertilisation of ideas from those working across such different sectors as I firmly believe that we can all learn from each other.

What is your favourite part of the IQA course?

That is quite a difficult question to answer as I enjoy the whole course!  If I were pushed, then I think it would have to be the great conversations we have as a group during the online taught sessions.  Having said that, I do get an enormous amount of satisfaction as I see the evidence generated by the trainee IQAs as they undertake genuine IQA practice based on what they have learnt.

What do you like to do when you’re not delivering the IQA course?

Work-wise, I am an EQA and I really enjoy this role as I get a real buzz from supporting people in their approved centres and helping them to grow into confident and capable individuals.  Outside of work I enjoy sailing and paddle-boarding!

How can people sign up to the next course?

They can contact us via, or see our course brochure for more information.

About Crossfields Institute

Crossfields Institute is an educational charity specialising in holistic and integrative education and research. The Institute develops specialist qualifications which aim to support the development of autonomous students with the intellectual rigour, practical skills, social responsibility and ability to think creatively and act decisively.

Crossfields Institute
Stroud House | Russell Street | Stroud GL5 3AN | United Kingdom
T: +44 (0) 1453 808118
Company no: 06503063 | Charity no: 1124859