Vocal Health Education Ltd Data Protection Policy 2021
This Data Protection policy will lay out the procedures undertaken by Vocal Health Education Ltd to ensure that Vocal Health Education Ltd is compliant with relevant data protection legislation. It has been written in accordance with the information provided by the Information Commissioner’s office prior to the release of the GDPR.
- Establishing a lawful basis for handling data
In accordance with Article 5 (2), This policy will document the ‘lawful basis’ by Vocal Health Education Ltd to handle data. This ‘lawful basis’ is set out in Article 6 of GDPR. The lawful basis may be as follows:
(1) Where express consent has been given. Vocal Health Education Ltd utilises a mailing list in order to communicate lesson or treatment availability. Express consent must be provided in order to be added to such a mailing list.
(2) No credit card data is stored as all purchases are paid for via BACS.
(3) Legitimate Interests Data may be collected for legitimate interests such as marketing purposes. This may include the marketing of events.
(4) Legal Obligations As a service providing manual therapy, a medical form is filled out and signed by any client. This will collect and store data and is documented only in paper form. These files and kept on a secure hard drive.
- Consent Reviews
Any mailing lists have an express option to ‘opt out’.
- Gathering data for contractual purposes
In accordance with S6 s(1) b attending a course will require the collection of data to enable contractual obligations to be fulfilled. This is a necessary procedure and only minimal data will be collected to enable this to take place appropriately. Such data will include:
– Email addresses
– Home/business address
– Telephone number
The above specified information enables appropriate invoicing to take place. Data will be stored for accountancy purposes only GDPR compliant software. At no point, will data be passed on to any other organisation.
- Legal Obligations and the collection of data
In accordance with S6 (1) (C) Vocal Health Education Ltd will collect relevant data when acting in conjunction with another course provider. This section also applies to the collection of data from prospective employees and contractors to enable HMRC obligations to be fulfilled appropriately.
- Safeguarding Privacy
Vocal Health Education Ltd will ensure privacy by engaging fully with the right to be informed. Privacy notices will include the following:
– The purpose of processing the data
– How long the data will be held for (three years)
– Who it will be shared with
This privacy information will be served at the time of data collection in the following foreseeable situations
a) Purchasing a course or event via the website
b) Applying for a course via email or telephone
Privacy notices will be tailored for to suit the purposes of collection but will include in accordance with the guidelines provided by the Information Commissioner’s Office
– The contact details of Vocal Health Education Ltd
– The name and contact details of the relevant representative
– The purpose of the processing
– The lawful basis of the processing
– The legitimate interests for the processing
– The categories of personal data obtained
– The retention period of the personal data
– Details of the contractual obligations
– Details of transfers of the personal data to any third countries or international organisations
– The right to withdraw consent
– The right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority
This content will be contained in ‘just in time notices’ prior to online website purchases or telephone/email purchases.
- Ensuring right of access to personal data
• Vocal Health Education Ltd will allow a right of access to both personal data and supplementary information free of charge. Any requests for information will be provided within one month of receiving the request.
• Where requests are complex and numerous the provision of data will be provided within a two-month period.
• Where requests are excessive and repetitive and administration fee of £50 will be charged to cover the administrative costs involved.
• Responses will be provided in an electronic format
- Ensuring right to rectification
Vocal Health Education Ltd recognises that an individual has the right to have inaccurate personal data rectified or completed if incomplete.
• Requests for rectification can be made either verbally or in writing
• Vocal Health Education Ltd will ensure that rectification will occur within one month of the request being made
- Ensuring right to erasure
• Vocal Health Education Ltd recognises the rights of individuals to have their personal data erased.
• A request for erasure may be made either verbally or in writing
• Vocal Health Education Ltd will respond to the request within one month of it being erased, this time will be extended to two months where the request is complex
• Where data is being processed by Vocal Health Education Ltd and a request for erasure is made, the processing of the data will cease
- Rights related to automated decision making including profiling
• Online purchasing is a form of automated decision making as acceptance onto a course occurs at the point of the online purchase. Data will be gathered as a result of this process to enable the fulfilment of the contractual obligation. The extent of information collected will be communicated in an appropriate privacy statement.
• Vocal Health Education Ltd does not engage in automated profiling marketing systems. Automated decision-making systems are only used to enable a sale of a course or event
- Ensuring accountability and governance
In accordance with Article 5 (2) Vocal Health Education Ltd ensures accountability and governance through the following procedures:
• Regular internal audits
• Appropriate staff training
• Maintenance of relevant processing documentation
• Appointment of a Data Protection Officer: Mr Julian Nichol
- Data Protection Impact Assessments
A data protection impact assessment will be carried out where processing is likely to result in a high risk to individual’s interests. This is likely to be where special category information is collected.
Vocal Health Education Ltd ensures that all data will be processed and stored securely to meet with GDPR requirements including a crocoblock security system on the LearnDash platform, and data back up which includes a Dropbox file, Cloud file and offline hard drive copy.
- Personal data breaches
Vocal Health Education Ltd will report any personal data breaches that risk rights and freedoms of a data subject to the relevant parties involved. All breaches of data will be recorded.
Student Support Policy Including Reasonable Adjustments
Vocal Health Education aims to provide confidential and impartial information, advice and guidance to all students from initial contact via the recruitment process, whilst on a programme, through to progression onto other training routes.
Vocal Health Education is committed to providing equality of opportunity in education employment for all learners and potential students, staff, and subcontractors. This commitment is shared and acted on by all Vocal Health Education staff and is the overall responsibility of the Head of Centre. The effectiveness of our policy, and the importance we place on it, are central to the ethos of our organisational values.
All potential new students are made fully aware of the purpose, content and assessment methods of the programme they are applying for.
Students are made aware of how to access support and the complaints procedure. Students are encouraged to identify any potential support requirements including reasonable adjustments to the assessment methods to be used.
Supporting Students whilst on Programme
Vocal Health Education provides a student support service for all individuals who are on one of our training programmes. We operate an ‘open door’ policy for students to speak to their tutor or another member of the team at any time. Where staff cannot provide the expertise needed, we support learners to find the appropriate agency/organisation.
Vocal Health Education will make reasonable adjustments to enable students with specific needs or disabilities to, as far as is reasonably practicable, to overcome any disadvantage.
Such adjustments may include
- providing additional time to complete assessments
- allowing written assessments to be completed in alternative ways e.g. verbally.
- providing assistance from another person as a prompter, a scribe (amanuensis) or as a reader.
- allowing the use of assistive technology
- providing course material in large print and audio format.
- using coloured filters or overlays.
Learner Recruitment, Registration and Certification
Purpose and Scope of Procedures
- To ensure procedures are in place to verify the identity of students, and ensure that upon completion of programme procedures are in place to validate that the achievement is issued to the correct student who completed the qualification or product.
- To ensure that all records and evidence which are used to identify students should be retained for quality assurance purposes and in compliance with awarding organisation requirements and relevant data protection legislation.
Registration: informs the awarding organisation about students at the beginning of a programme of study.
Key dates & actions: deadlines for registration and certification.
Certification claim: the process of informing the awarding organisation of learner achievement.
Exams Officer: responsible for timely, accurate and valid registration, transfer, withdrawal and certificate claims for students.
Head of Centre/Programme Contact: responsiblefor ensuring student details held by the awarding organisation are accurate and that an audit trail of student assessment and achievement is accessible.
Registration: The Exams Officer will ensure that students are registered on the correct programme at the outset. Students enrolling into flexible start programmes will be registered within one month of enrolment.
Withdrawal: the centre will inform the awarding organisation when a learner leaves before completion of the programme.
Certification Claims: Certificate claims will be undertaken promptly after the student completes the programme. Claims procedures will prevent fraudulent or inaccurate claims by ensuring that claims are cross checked against assessment records and that at least two members of staff are present when this process is completed.
Learner Recruitment, Registration and Certification
Examination / Centre Policy
- To register individual students to the correct programme within agreed timescales.
- To claim valid student certificates within agreed timescales.
- To construct a secure, accurate and accessible audit trail to ensure that individual student registration and certification claims can be tracked to the certificate which is issued for each student.
- To ensure records and evidence which are used to identify students are retained for quality assurance purposes and in compliance with relevant data protection legislation.
In order to do this, we will:
- take appropriate, proportionate and reliable steps to confirm each learner’s identity before registration takes place. This will include using appropriate visual identification methods.
- use the record of the student’s previous achievements to make sure that, where possible, credit transfer, exemptions and equivalences are applied, with the student’s consent.
- register each student within awarding organisation requirements
- comply with any limitation on the minimum amount of time that students must be registered with the awarding organisation before certification
- provide a mechanism for programme teams to check the accuracy of student registrations
- inform the awarding organisation of withdrawals or changes to students’ details
- ensure that certificate claims are timely and based solely on internally verified assessment records
- submit certification claims only for students who have met the requirements of the programme
- audit certificate claims made to the awarding organisation
- audit the certificates received from the awarding organisation to ensure accuracy and completeness
- keep all records safely and securely for three years post certification.
Student Appeals Procedures
- That there are clear procedures for students to enable them to enquire about, question or appeal an assessment decision
- That any appeal is recorded and documentation is retained for 18 months following the resolution of the appeal
- That the Head of Centre facilitates the student’s ultimate right of appeal to the awarding organisation, once the centre’s appeal procedure is exhausted.
Appeal: a request from a student to revisit an assessment decision which they consider to disadvantage them.
Appeals procedure: a standard, time limited, sequenced and documented process for the centre and student to follow when an appeal is made.
Student: responsible for initiating the appeals procedure, in the required format, within a defined time frame, when s/he has reason to question an assessment decision.
Assessor: responsible for providing clear assessment feedback to students. If assessment decisions are questioned the assessor is responsible for processing the appeal within agreed timescales.
Internal Quality Assurer: responsible for judging whether assessment decisions are valid, fair and unbiased
Head of Centre/Programme Contact: responsible forsubmitting an appeal in writing to the awarding organisation of the student remains dissatisfied with the outcome of the centre’s internal appeals procedures.
Student induction: will inform the student of the appeals procedure.
Student appeals procedures: A staged procedures to determine whether the assessor
- Used procedures that are consistent with the awarding organisation requirements
- Applied the assessment proceduresproperly and fairly when arriving at judgements
- Made a correct judgement about the students work.
Appeals procedure stages
Stage 1 – Informal: Student consults with Assessor within 10 working days of the assessment decision, to discuss an assessment decision. If unresolved, then the issues are documented before moving to stage 2
Stage 2 – Review: Review of assessment decisions by Internal Quality Assurer. Student notified of findings and agrees or disagrees, in writing, with outcome. If unresolved, move to stage 3
Stage 3 – Appeal Hearing: Head of Centre hears the appeal: last stage by the centre. If unresolved, move to stage 4.
Stage 4 – External Appeal: The grounds for appeal and any supporting documentation is submitted to the awarding organisation within 14 days of the completion of Stage 4: a fee may be levied
Recording appeals: each stage will be recorded, dated and show either agreement or disagreement with decisions. Documents will be kept for 18 months.
Monitoring of appeals: all appeals will be monitored by centre management to inform development and quality improvement.
- To enable the student to enquire, question or appeal against an assessment decision.
- To attempt to reach agreement between the student and the Assessor at the earliest opportunity
- To standardise and record any appeal to ensure openness and fairness
- To facilitate a student’s ultimate right of appeal to the Awarding Organisation, where
- To protect the interests of all students and the integrity of the qualification.
In order to do this, the centre will:
- inform the student at induction, of the Appeals Policy and procedures.
- record, track and validate all appeals
- forward appeals to the Awarding Organisation when a student considers that a decision continues to disadvantage her/him after the internal appeals process has been exhausted
- keep appeals records for inspection by the Awarding Organisation for a minimum of 18 months
- have a staged appeals procedure
- take appropriate action to protect the interests of other students and the integrity of the qualification, when the outcome of an appeal questions the validity of other results
- monitor appeals to inform quality improvement.
- protecting children, young people and adults at risk from abuse and maltreatment
- preventing harm to the health or development to children, young people and adults at risk
- ensuring children, young people and adults at risk grow up with the provision of safe and effective care
- taking action to enable all children, young people and adults at risk to have the best outcomes.
Safeguarding applies to all Vocal Health Education’s programmes.
It focuses on protecting individual children identified as suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. This includes child protection procedures which detail how to respond to concerns about a student. In all our work, the welfare of the child, young person, adult at risk is paramount.
Every child, young person, adult at risk, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, has the right to equal protection from all types or harm or abuse.
This means that in relation to safeguarding surrounding lessons, tutorials, workshops, feedback sessions etc. Vocal Health Education staff should:
- a) Take all suspicions and/or allegations of abuse or risk to students seriously.
- b) Support the timely sharing of information, with relevant authorities, when there are concerns about a student’s welfare
- c) Allow access to the Head of Centre to join online sessions if they wish to do so.
The Safeguarding Officer for Vocal Health Education is Lydia Easton firstname.lastname@example.org
Recognition of Prior Learning Policy (RPL)
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a method of assessment [leading to the award of a qualification] that considers whether students can demonstrate that they can meet the assessment requirements for a unit through knowledge, understanding or skills they already possess and do not need to develop through a course of learning.
The RPL Process
Stage 1 Awareness, information and guidance
Ahead of enrolling a potential student, the possibility that they may be able to claim unit(s) for some of their previous learning and/or experience should be raised with them. If the student is interested in this,
they will need to know the:
- Process of claiming achievement by using RPL
- Sources of support and guidance available to them
- Timelines, appeals processes and any fees involved
Stage 2 Pre-assessment,gathering evidenceand giving Information
At this stage the student will carry out the process of collecting evidence against the requirements of the relevant unit(s). In some cases the development of an assessment plan and tracking document or similar may be required, to support the student through the process. The evidence gathered will need to meet the standards of the unit, or part of unit, that the evidence is being used for.
Stage 3 Assessment/documentation of evidence
Assessment as part of RPL is a structured process for gathering and reviewing evidence and making judgments about a students’ prior learning and experience in relation to unit standards. The assessor may be looking at work experience records, validated by managers; previous portfolios of evidence put together by the student or essays and reports validated as being the student’s own unaided work. Assessment must be valid and reliable to ensure the integrity of the award of unit(s) and, as above, the evidence gathered needs to meet the standards of the unit, or part of unit, that the evidence is being used for.
If the collated evidence of RPL for a student is judged by the centre not to be sufficient to meet all the requirements of the relevant unit(s), then the student will have to complete the normal assessment for those unit(s) if they wish to be awarded the qualification.
The assessment process will be subject to the usual quality assurance procedures of the centre, for example internal standardisation and internal verification. Evidenced gathered through RPL should be clearly referenced and sign posted to aid internal assessment and internal and external verification.
Stage 4 Claiming certification
RPL processes and evidence used by the centre will be subject to the normal internal quality assurance processes.
The awarding organisation may check RPL via its external quality assurance processes, and if we identify that not all requirements for a unit have been met via the RPL evidence, then more evidence will be needed or the student will have to undergo the normal assessment requirements.
Once the internal and external quality assurance procedures have been successfully completed, certification claims can be made by the centre. Assessment and internal quality assurance records, along with any additional RPL records completed, should be retained for the standard three year period following certification.
The assessor must ensure that all learning outcomes and assessment criteria being claimed for each unit are achieved and that the records of assessment are maintained in the usual way.
Stage 5 Appeals
As with any assessment decision on procedural grounds; if a student wishes to appeal against a decision made about their assessment they need to follow the standard centre policy and procedures.
Plagiarism and Assessment Malpractice Procedures
- To ensure that this centre has policies and procedures in place to deal with malpractice.
- To ensure that issues are dealt with in an open, fair and effective manner.
- To ensure that this centre provides appropriate deterrents and sanctions to minimise the risk of malpractice.
Student malpractice: any action by the student that has the potential to undermine the integrity and validity of the assessment of the student’s work. (plagiarism, collusion, cheating, etc.).
Assessor malpractice: any deliberate action by an Assessor that has the potential to undermine the integrity of qualifications.
Plagiarism: taking and using another’s thoughts, writings, inventions, etc. as one’s own
Minor acts of student malpractice: handled by the Assessor by, for example, refusal to accept work for marking and student being made aware of malpractice policy. Student resubmits work in question
Major acts of student malpractice: extensive copying/plagiarism, 2nd or subsequent offence that is inappropriate for the Assessor to deal with.
Centre:will seek proactive ways to promote a positive culture that encourages students to take individual responsibility for their learning and respect the work of others
Assessor:responsible for designing assessment opportunities that limit the opportunity for malpractice and for checking the validity of the students’ work
Internal Quality Assurer:responsible for malpractice checks when moderating work.
The centre will
- promote positive and honest study practices
- ensure students declare that work is their own via assigned and dated authenticity declaration.
- use student induction and handbook to provide information about malpractice and outcomes
- ensure students use appropriate citations and referencing for research sources
- use assessment procedures that help to reduce and identify malpractice
Addressing staff malpractice:
The centre will
- provide staff with an induction and updates as necessary
- use robust Internal Moderation processes and audited record keeping
- audit student records, assessment tracking records and certification claims
Dealing with malpractice:
The centre will
- inform the individual of the issues and of the possible consequences
- inform the individual of the process and appeals rights
- give the individual the opportunity to respond
- investigate in a fair and equitable manner
- inform the awarding organisation of any malpractice or attempted acts of malpractice, which have compromised assessment.
- apply penalties that are appropriate to the nature of the malpractice under review.
Gross misconduct should refer to student and staff disciplinary procedures.
Assessment Malpractice Policy
- To identify and minimise the risk of malpractice by staff or students
- To respond to any incident of alleged malpractice promptly and objectively
- To standardise and record any investigation of malpractice to ensure openness and fairness
- To impose appropriate penalties and/or sanctions on students or staff where incidents (or attempted incidents) of malpractice are proven
- To protect the integrity of this centre and qualifications.
In order to do this, this centre will:
- seek to avoid potential malpractice by using the induction period to inform studentsof the centre’s policy on malpractice and the penalties for attempted and actual incidents of malpractice
- show studentsthe appropriate formats to record cited texts and other materials or information sources
- ask studentsto declare that their work is their own
- ask studentsto provide evidence that they have interpreted and synthesised appropriate information and acknowledged any sources used
- conduct an investigation in a form commensurate with the nature of the malpractice allegation. Such an investigation will be supported by the Head of Centre and all personnel linked to the allegation.
It will proceed through the following stages:
- The individual will be made fully aware at the earliest opportunity of the nature of the alleged malpractice and of the possible consequences should malpractice be proven.
- The individual will be given the opportunity to respond to the allegations made.
- The centre will inform the individual of the avenues for appealing against any judgment made.
The centre will document all stages of any investigation.
Definition of Malpractice by Students
This list is not exhaustive and other instances of malpractice may be considered by this centre at its discretion:
- plagiarism of any nature
- collusion by working collaboratively with other studentsto produce work that is submitted as individual studentwork
- copying (including the use of ICT to aid copying)
- deliberate destruction of another’s work
- fabrication of results or evidence
- false declaration of authenticity in relation to the contents of a portfolio or coursework
- impersonation by pretending to be someone else in order to produce the work for another or arranging for another to take one’s place in an assessment.
Where malpractice by a student is proven, this centre will apply the following penalties / sanctions as appropriate:
- Warning- The studentis issued with a warning that if the offence is repeated within a set period of time, further specified sanctions will be applied.
- Loss of credit for a unit- The studentloses all credit gained for the unit in question.
Definition of Malpractice by Centre Staff
This list is not exhaustive and other instances of malpractice may be considered by this centre at its discretion:
- improper assistance to students
- inventing or changing marks for internally assessed work (coursework or portfolio evidence) where there is insufficient evidence of the candidates’ achievement to justify the marks given or assessment decisions made
- failure to keep studentcoursework/portfolios of evidence secure
- fraudulent claims for certificates
- inappropriate retention of certificates
- assisting studentsin the production of work for assessment, where the support has the potential to influence the outcomes of assessment, for example where the assistance involves centre staff producing work for the student
- producing falsified observation records or witness statements, for example for evidence the studenthas not generated
- allowing evidence, which is known by the staff member not to be the student’s own, to be included in a student’s task/portfolio/coursework
- facilitating and allowing impersonation
- misusing the conditions for special studentrequirements, for example where studentsare permitted support, such as an amanuensis, this is permissible up to the point where the support has the potential to influence the outcome of the assessment
- falsifying records/certificates, for example by alteration, substitution, or by fraud
- fraudulent certificate claims, that is claiming for a certificate prior to the studentcompleting all the requirements of assessment.
Where malpractice by a member of staff is proven, this centre will apply the following penalties / sanctions as appropriate:
- Written warning – Issue the member of staff with a written warning that if the offence is repeated within a set period of time, further specified sanctions will be applied.
- Training – The centre may require the member of staff, as a condition of future involvement in its assessments, to undertake specific training or mentoring within a particular period of time and a review process at the end of the training.
- Special conditions -The centre may impose special conditions on the future involvement in its assessments by the member of staff.
- Suspension – The centre may bar the member of staff from all involvement in the delivery or administration of its assessments for a set period of time.
Health & Safety Policy – Working Remotely with Computers
- Prevent accidents and cases of work related ill health
- Manage health and safety for those working with computers.
Computer related health problems can include
Aches and pains caused by:
- Repetitive work.
- Uncomfortable working postures.
- Incorrect screen settings.
- Carrying out tasks for long periods without suitable rest breaks.
Strain in Legs and Feet caused by:
· The height and position of the chair
Eye Strain and Headaches caused by:
- Prolonged use of a screen
- Glare from lights or windows
To promote safe and healthy working practices Staff and students will be provided with information about how to ergonomically set up their workspace and Display Screen Equipment(DSE).
In order to achieve this, Vocal Health Education undertakes to ensure that all job applicants, employees, students and participants in the range of the Company’s activities are treated equally and encouraged to develop and maximise their true potential irrespective of their sex, sexual orientation, marital status, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion, age, disability or union membership status.
Statement of Intent
Vocal Health Education aims to create a culture that respects and values each others’ differences, that promotes dignity, equality and diversity, and that encourages individuals to develop and maximise their true potential.
We aim to remove any barriers, bias or discrimination that prevent individuals or groups from realising their potential and contributing fully to our organisation’s performance and to develop an organisational culture that positively values diversity.
We are committed wherever practicable, to achieving and maintaining a workforce that broadly reflects the local community in which we operate.
Every possible step will be taken to ensure that individuals are treated fairly in all aspects of their employment at the Company.
Our aim is that the workforce will be truly representative of all sections of society. Selection for employment or promotion or any other benefit will be on the basis of merit and ability only. Selection for training will be on the basis of job requirement only. Intimidation, harassment and bullying will not be tolerated and may lead to disciplinary action.
The Company will challenge discrimination in its own policies. It aims to provide equality and fairness for all job applicants, employees whether part-time, full-time, fixed term or temporary, volunteers and Directors irrespective of gender, marital status, race, ethnic origin, colour, nationality, national origin, religion or belief, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment or age.
As Vocal Health Education works with students including young people, this type of work may require employees to undertake criminal record disclosure checks. As job applicants may be asked to reveal all past offences whether spent or unspent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975, the Company’s Recruitment of Ex-Offenders Policy details related equal opportunity issues.
Vocal Health Education commits to:
- Encourage equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace as they are good practice and make business sense
- Create a working environment free of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination, promoting dignity and respect for all, and where individual differences and the contributions of all staff are recognised and valued.
- This commitment includes training managers and all other employees about their rights and responsibilities under the equality, diversity and inclusion policy. Responsibilities include staff conducting themselves to help the organisation provide equal opportunities in employment, and prevent bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination.
- All staff should understand they, as well as their employer, can be held liable for acts of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination, in the course of their employment, against fellow employees, customers, suppliers and the public
- Take seriously complaints of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination by fellow employees, customers, suppliers, visitors, the public and any others in the course of the organisation’s work activities.
- Such acts will be dealt with as misconduct under the organisation’s grievance and/or disciplinary procedures, and appropriate action will be taken. Particularly serious complaints could amount to gross misconduct and lead to dismissal without notice.
- Further, sexual harassment may amount to both an employment rights matter and a criminal matter, such as in sexual assault allegations. In addition, harassment under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 – which is not limited to circumstances where harassment relates to a protected characteristic – is a criminal offence.
- Make opportunities for training, development and progress available to all staff, who will be helped and encouraged to develop their full potential, so their talents and resources can be fully utilised to maximise the efficiency of the organisation.
- Decisions concerning staff being based on merit (apart from in any necessary and limited exemptions and exceptions allowed under the Equality Act).
- Review employment practices and procedures when necessary to ensure fairness, and also update them and the policy to take account of changes in the law.
- Monitor the make-up of the workforce regarding information such as age, sex, ethnic background, sexual orientation, religion or belief, and disability in encouraging equality, diversity and inclusion, and in meeting the aims and commitments set out in the equality, diversity and inclusion policy.
- Monitoring will also include assessing how the equality, diversity and inclusion policy, and any supporting action plan, are working in practice, reviewing them annually, and considering and taking action to address any issues.
This policy has been developed from materials provided by London Council for Voluntary Services and ACAS.
Contingency and Adverse Effects Policy
This contingency plan f is intended to facilitate the decision-making process and the centre’s timely response to any disruptive or extended interruption of normal business activities
The purpose of this plan is to enable a sustained execution of teaching and assessment processes in the event of an extraordinary event that causes disruption to these activities.
- To protect students from the effect of any adverse event
- To communicate effectively with staff, students and awarding organisations as appropriate.
- To manage all responses, recovery and restoration of activities.
- To ensure regulatory requirements are satisfied.
Stage 1: Response
- To establish an immediate and controlled response
- To conduct a preliminary assessment of the impact of the incident
- To disseminate information as required
- To provide all staff with facts necessary to make an informed decision on the resumption or recovery activity
- To alert staff, students and awarding organisations as necessary.
Stage 2: Recovery
- Prepare and implement procedures necessary to facilitate the recovery of time-sensitive teaching and assessment activities
- To coordinate with staff and other external individuals or businesses as necessary.
Stage 3: Restoration
- Prepare and implement a plan to facilitate the relocation of office and/or teaching spaces.
- Implement actions necessary to restore IT facilities and for the transportation of back-up files.
- Inform internal and external individuals or businesses of any changes to ensure communication remains possible.
Emergency procedures and vital information
Emergency contact numbers:
Data back up systems
- Passwords for all computers are maintained off-site.
- Assessment and internal quality assurance n data is backed up to cloud based storage systems on a weekly basis.
- Copies of all key policies and procedures are stored in cloud based storage systems.
Evacuation of site
- Laptops and other IT equipment should be retrieved in the event of an impending site closure.
- All filing cabinets should be locked and data secured before evacuation where time permits.
- In the event that a disruption occurs to IT capability for longer than 24 hours, the Head of Centre/Programme Contactwill operate from an alternative office.
Withdrawal of awarding organisation approval
- Up to date assessment, QA records and current student data to be made available to the awarding organisation .
Conflict of Interest Policy
Responsibilities of Centre Assessors and internal Quality Assurers.
Members of staff are expected to perform assessment and internal quality assurance duties impartially, in accordance with specified procedures and make decisions based solely on the circumstances of cases.
Consequently, if a member of staff finds themselves in a position where motives could be questioned, they must declare any relationship that could be seen as affecting their judgment.
A full declaration should be provided in writing to the Head of Centre.
There is no definitive list of specific persons or relationships that could give rise to possible conflict of interest within the centre. Reliance must be placed on the judgment of individual members of staff as to what might be seen as Conflict of Interest by any third party and it is therefore appropriate for the Head of Centre to give guidance.
Relationships that should be declared are recommended to include
- relatives including relatives by marriage
- personal friends and neighbours
- the children of friends and neighbours
- colleagues or former colleagues
The responsibilities of the centre.
Where a conflict of interest has been declared by a member of staff the centre will
- require the member of staff to complete a written declaration stating theinvolved and their relationship to the .
- ensure all assessment and internal verification of the student’s work is undertaken by a separate member of staff
- ensure assessment records for the student are audited by the head of centre prior to certification.
In order to ensure our services remain at a high and improving standard, we have a procedure through which you can let us know of for any reason you are not satisfied with your dealings with the organisation.
If you are not happy with Vocal Health Education please tell us. If you are unhappy about any Vocal Health Education’s services, please speak to the relevant staff member.
If you are unhappy with an individual in Vocal Health Education sometimes it is best to tell him or her directly. If you feel this is difficult or inappropriate then speak to the Head of Centre. Often we will be able to give you a response straight away. When the matter is more complicated we will give you at least an initial response within five working days.
Making a written complaint
If you are not satisfied with our response or wish to raise the matter more formally, please write to or email the Head of Centre. All written complaints will be logged. You will receive a written acknowledgement within three working days. The aim is to investigate your complaint properly and give you a reply within ten working days, setting out how the problem will be dealt with. If necessary, we will call on our external assessors to hear your complaint, Christina Shewell and Dr Trish Rooney. If this is not possible, an interim response will be made informing you of the action taken to date or being considered.
Assessment and Internal Quality Assurance Policy
- To ensure that assessment methodology leads to processes that are valid, reliable and does not disadvantage or advantage any group of students or individuals
- To ensure that the assessment procedure is open, fair and free from bias and to national standards
- To ensure that there is accurate and detailed recording of assessment decisions.
In order to do this, we will ensure that:
- sufficient number of appropriately qualified/experienced Assessors are in place to assess the volume of learners they intend to register
- all staff involved in assessment are provided with appropriate training and undertake meaningful and relevant continuing professional development
- assessors have undertaken the necessary standardisation processes
- students are provided with assignments that are fit for purpose, to enable them to produce appropriate evidence for assessment
- a clear and accurate assessment plan is produced at the start of the programme
- dates are published for hand out of assessment tasks and required deadlines
- assessment planning leads to students being fully prepared for any assessment
- assessment student’s evidence uses only the published assessment criteria and associated assessment guidance
- assessment decisions are impartial, valid and reliable
- assessment procedures minimise the opportunity for malpractice
- accurate and detailed records of assessment decisions are maintained
- samples for moderation/verification are provided to the awarding organisation as required
- awarding organisation reports are monitored and any remedial action required undertaken
- we share good assessment practice between all staff
- assessment methodology and the role of the assessor are understood by all staff
- we provide resources to ensure that assessment can be performed accurately and appropriately.
Distance Learning and e-Assessment
- To ensure distance learning and e-Assessment methods are fit for purpose.
In order to do this, we will ensure that:
- The delivery of any study materials direct to students remotely through, for example, e-learning methods or correspondence, is secure and reliable, and that there is a means of confirming its safe
- Assessed work is properly attributed to students, particularly in cases where the assessment is conducted through remote methods that might be vulnerable to interception or other interference
- Any mechanisms, such as web-based methods or correspondence, for the transfer of their work directly to assessors, are secure and reliable, and that there is a means of proving or confirming the safe receipt of their work
Internal Quality Assurance
- To ensure there is an Internal Quality Assurer for each programme
- To ensure that Internal Quality Assurance is valid, reliable and covers all Assessors and programme activity.
- To ensure that the Internal Quality Assurance procedure is open, fair and free from bias
- To ensure that there is accurate and detailed recording of Internal Quality Assurance decisions and resulting actions.
In order to do this, we will ensure that:
- a sufficient number of appropriately qualified/experienced Internal Quality Assurers are in place to internally quality assure the anticipated number of Assessors and students
- all staff involved in internal quality assurance are provided with appropriate training and undertake meaningful and relevant continuing professional development
- Internal Quality Assurers have undertaken the necessary standardisation processes
- each Internal Quality Assurer oversees effective Internal Quality Assurance systems on the programme to which they are appointed
- staff are briefed and trained in the requirements for current Internal Quality Assurance procedures
- effective Internal Quality Assurance roles are defined, maintained and supported
- Internal Quality Assurance is promoted as a developmental process between staff
- standardised Internal Quality Assurance documentation is provided and used
- all centre assessment tasks are verified as fit for purpose prior to issue to students
- programme assessment schedules include details of Internal Quality Assurance activity.
- an appropriately structured sample of assessment from all programmes, units, sites and Assessors is subject to Internal Quality Assurance, to ensure centre programmes conform to national standards
- secure records of all Internal Quality Assurance activity are maintained
- the outcome of Internal Quality Assurance is used to enhance future assessment practice.
Head of Centre/Programme Contact
The Head of Centre (Stephen King) will ensures that centre Internal Quality Assurance and standardisation processes operate, acts as the centre coordinator and main point of contact for the programmes.
The Head of Centre ensures awarding organisation reports are monitored and any remedial action is carried out
Internal Quality Assurers
Members of staff able to verify assessor decisions, and validate assessment tasks. The Internal Quality Assurer records findings, gives assessor feedback, and oversees remedial action
Responsible for carrying out assessment to required standards. The assessor provides feedback to students; assures the authenticity of student work; records and tracks achievement.
Vocal Health Educators
Vocal Health Educators must adhere to the standards of professionalism
A certificated Vocal Health Educator will:
1 be able to deliver Vocal Health Practice safely and effectively
1.1 know the limits of their practice
1.2 know when to seek further medical advice, or onwardly refer to another professional with a different scope of practice
1.3 recognise the careful need for time management and pacing within the practice to ensure burnout risks are low, and time given to each client is high.
2 be able to practise within the respective laws of their practice location, with careful ethical and philosophical considerations
2.1 understand the need to act in the best interests of the student or client at all times
2.2 understand what is required of them by registration to Vocal Health Education including the philosophy and ethics of the organisation.
2.3 understand and respect that unless formerly or currently registered as a member of the GMC or HCPC, a VHP cannot medically diagnose pathological issues with the voice, and may only assess and address functionality within a voice.
3 be able to uphold rigorous yearly CPD
3.1 understand that regular, life long learning helps to inform you as both a holistic and wholistic practitioner.
3.2 be able to commit to one CPD course every 12 months.
4 be able to practise as an autonomous professional, exercising their own professional judgement, but seeking mentorship when needed
4.1 be able to assess a voice, and determine whether you have the correct scope by which to best help that person, and help them address functional issues in their voice.
4.2 understand the need for mentoring, and have a mentor in place who may or may not be connected to Vocal Health Education for further guidance.
5 be aware of the impact of your culture, equality, and diversity on your practice, and be able to practise in a non-discriminatory manner
6 understand that the learning done, and knowledge gained from the professional development within Vocal Health Education and the name of the qualification/s is to be used with integrity.
7 Understand key concepts of Vocal Health
7.1 understand that you cannot hear specific vocal pathologies, therefore endoscopic evaluation must be sought for clarity of diagnosis
7.2 understand that, for example, semi occluded vocal tract exercises are suitable for use in some vocal fold pathologies, but full rehabilitation treatment should be sought by someone with a greater scope of practice.
7.3 understand that the healthier the person, the healthier the voice, therefore often a multidisciplinary approach to healing is beneficial for one problem.
7.4 be able to work as part of a team, especially when a client is referred to you from another practitioner.
8 Understand that words matter, and the contextual factors of an interaction combined with your coaching language can lead to a more positive or negative outcome
8.1 be able to use positive, affirming, but not misleading language to help with the person’s confidence and general feeling of empowerment
9 Understand the various roles of other practitioners in either a healthcare setting or a holistic setting
9.1 understand the difference between facilitating Health and Wellbeing and providing Healthcare
9.2 be able to accurately refer to a practitioner network based on your functional assessment of a voice
10 Be able to accurately document interactions, including treatment notes and referral letters
10.1 be able to keep all documentation securely for 7 years post the initial appointment
10.2 be able to keep all documentation up to the age of 25 if the person is under the age of 18