Putting quality first: what regulates NCFE and why it matters
At NCFE, we’re an educational charity and a leader in vocational and technical learning. As well as this, we’re also a regulated organisation – but what, exactly, does this mean? We spoke with Kelly Miller, Head of Audit, Risk and Assurance, who explained what makes NCFE a regulated company, what this means for our colleagues and customers, and how this impacts our culture.
Q: What makes NCFE a regulated company?
As an awarding organisation, NCFE designs, develops, delivers, and awards the recognition of learning outcomes of individuals, following an assessment and quality assurance process. We are regulated across England, Wales and Northern Ireland – which, in turn, means that we hold esteemed recognition as an awarding organisation in the UK.
This status empowers us to endorse various colleges and training centres to deliver our qualifications, ensuring that they meet our rigorous standards when doing so. Consequently, our learners can decide to study with these centres with confidence, knowing they adhere to a set of high-quality education standards. Consequently, this contributes to us achieving our core purpose of promoting and advancing learning.
Q: What regulators do we work with and what does this mean?
We’re regulated by multiple public regulators governing qualifications, including Ofqual, the Welsh Government, and the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations & Assessment (CCEA).
To maintain our status as a regulated entity, we need to strictly adhere to the regulators’ specific requirements to assure the quality of our offering. Through this unwavering commitment to following requirements, we’re able to ensure the continued validity and recognition of the qualifications we offer.
Q: What training is provided to NCFE colleagues in line with this?
At NCFE, we ensure our colleagues are provided with the right knowledge and support to ensure we follow our regulators’ conditions, tailoring this to specific roles.
From the outset, our induction training covers essential topics such as regulatory requirements, risk management, data protection and assurance.
We also have an Internal Regulations team, complemented by Business Partners, who collaborate with key stakeholders to foster a culture of regulatory compliance. A specialised team is therefore always on hand to assist with a variety of regulated activities, including auditing and staying abreast of regulatory changes.
Colleagues are then made aware of any key updates or changes when they occur, through a variety of communications channels including team briefings, all-colleague events and newsletters.
Q: Why would someone want to work in a regulated environment?
Working in a regulated environment means that our colleagues work within clearly defined parameters and structure. This means that expectations and accountabilities are clear, creating a strong sense of ownership among employees.
Internally, we encourage continued awareness across the organisation of best practices and areas for growth, which ultimately ensures we’re delivering high-quality, robust, and valid qualifications. This can be rewarding for colleagues, through knowing that this, in turn, supports our learners in their career and personal progression.
Q: How is our culture impacted by working in a regulated environment?
Our culture at NCFE is profoundly shaped by our commitment to regulation and compliance. We foster a culture of mutual learning and growth and continuous improvement, where the emphasis on compliance translates to adherence to procedures at all levels. Regular audits and updates from regulators keep us on our toes, with colleagues from across the organisation getting involved and contributing to ensuring the integrity of our qualifications.
This commitment to compliance aligns with our dedication to quality, where we celebrate achievements, share best practice, and continually pursue excellence.
Being an educational charity as well as a regulated company means our focus is on improving education at all levels. We’re proud of the culture that underpins NCFE – a learning culture which supports the development and sharing of knowledge. Our vision is one where every individual can access the highest–quality learning experiences, and this goes for learners as well as our own colleagues.
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