Course File Documents

We’ve created this free guidance to help you with maintaining or setting up a course file for our qualifications.

When you deliver an NCFE qualification you’ll be supported by an External Quality Assurer (EQA). Your EQA will be allocated when you register learners and they’ll visit you at least twice a year to offer support and guidance or once if you have Direct Claims Status (DCS). Your EQA will complete a report on their visit which will have feedback on your delivery process. The report has a number of questions relating to the delivery of NCFE qualifications. Your EQA may recommend that you create a course file to contain all the relevant documentation and evidence you’ll need when they visit. This guide will show you what kinds of things you could include in a course file.

Please be aware that this is for guidance only it isn’t mandatory that you include everything here. You might like to adapt the documents to fit with your centre’s own way of working. This is intended to demonstrate what basic documents could be included in the course file and what NCFE EQAs will look for to complete their report. It may be that you have many other documents depending on the internal processes in your centre and the qualification you’re delivering.

We've outlined the suggested contents here along with an explanation of what the document could include. You can also find examples of the documents. If you need any advice on how to use any of these documents, please contact your External Quality Assurer or speak to the External Quality Assurance team.

[icon]Access to Assessment Tracking Sheet

The tracking sheets are another way of tracking learners’ progress through the qualification. The tracking sheet can make it easier to find evidence in the portfolio and can ensure that any gaps are identified. This can produce a snap shot of the evidence to make managing the learners’ progression through the qualification easier. You will also need to record any Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in the tracking sheet.

[icon]Appeals Tracking Sheet

The appeals process should be clearly documented to ensure the process is transparent to staff and learners. If any appeals have taken place they should be recorded along with the outcome.

[icon]Attendance Record

The attendance record will help you to track learners’ progression through the qualification and to pick up on any issues which may affect learners completing the qualification. This will also be evidence for your funding. You may have a process for tracking attendance within your centre or you may like to adapt the example log.

[icon]Learner Induction Form

This is a really important part of the process. This ensures that learners have been given the necessary information and confirmed their understanding of the relevant policies and procedures. This should also include an initial assessment with the learner where you ensure the level of the qualification is appropriate to the learner and any access requirements are identified and discussed. Finally you should also use this session to explain RPL and discuss any previous learning which could be mapped to this qualification. You may have a process for induction in your centre already but the example form will show everything which should be included. If your learner wishes to access their Personal Learner Record you should discuss this during induction and put steps in place to update this on the learners’ behalf.

[icon]Centre Guidance on Assessment and Internal Quality Assurance

This process should outline the responsibilities of the Assessor and Internal Quality Assurance in terms of the delivery of the qualification and should provide clarity and transparency in terms of when activities should take place. You could adapt the example process and add in any specific processes relating to your centre.

[icon]CPD Log

CPD is an important part of a course file as it demonstrates that staff are keeping up to date with changes in the sector and keeping their knowledge current. You may have your own internal procedure for recording CPD or you might like to adapt the example tracker. You might also like to use evidence of any internal training or updates staff have attended to demonstrate how they keep up to date with changes in the centre and the qualification.

[icon]End of Course Questionnaire

It’s important to gather and use learners’ feedback following the qualification. There are various ways of gathering feedback and you may like to use an end of course questionnaire. You should also discuss the feedback as a team and plan any changes which you could put in place as a result of the feedback. The example end of programme questionnaire shows questions you may like to ask.

[icon]Guidance Notes

Guidance notes and instructions will ensure that all staff working on the qualification are clear on the internal procedures of your centre. It’s not necessary to include guidance notes on every process as this would require a huge amount of space. You may like to have a sheet detailing where to find the necessary information.

[icon]Internal Quality Assurer and Assessor Meetings

It’s important to document the feedback from the Internal Quality Assurer to the Assessor. This will be recorded in the IM tracking sheets but meetings should be recorded too to ensure that Assessors have the chance to ask questions and clarify any queries.

[icon]Job Descriptions for Staff Involved

Staff job descriptions should be included so that all staff working on the qualification are clear on their responsibilities. You may like to include a sheet documenting where to find key documents rather than the actual documents.

[icon]Organisational Chart

The organisational chart should show the team who work on the qualification and their responsibilities. This should ensure transparency and that everyone knows what their role is. The example chart shows information you might like to include.

[icon]Policies and Procedures

You should have a reference to all of the key policies in your course file. You may have generic policies which are used across your centre and so you could have a sheet in your course file with details of where to find the policies, when they’re updated and confirmation of how learners are told about the policies. You may like to use NCFE’s policies as a guide to what needs to be included in your own policy.

[icon]Quality Statement

This is an optional document which would detail the process for quality assurance on the qualification. This could include the contents of the course file and how it should be used. It may have a plan for quality assurance to show what should happen throughout the session. You may like to adapt the example document to fit your centre’s purposes.

[icon]Risk Register

There are a number of possible risks when delivering a qualification. If the qualification has external assessment there will be the risks of keeping the papers secure. There’s a risk of learners’ work being lost and various other risk factors. You’ll need to keep a record of any risks and the process you have in place to manage these so that staff on the qualification are aware of what to do should a risk happen. You might like to adapt the sample log to suit your purpose.

[icon]Scheme of Work

The scheme of work or planned programme outline will show how you’ve planned to deliver the qualification and will give you a benchmark to track progress. You may have a standard template for the scheme of work within your centre or you could adapt the example to suit your purpose.

[icon]Staff Induction Checklist

All staff on the qualification should have an induction to the policies and procedures the centre operates. These should be recorded in the course file as evidence that the staff understand the practices and where they can find necessary information. You may have your own induction checklist to suit your centre’s own practices or you may like to adapt the example checklist.

[icon]Team Meeting Minutes

It’s important to keep a record of team meetings and discussion of the qualification between team members to ensure any information about the qualification is shared effectively with the team and standardisation is carried out between Assessors and Internal Moderators.


The timetable is a good way to record when teaching session will take place and to ensure that a suitable room and any resources are booked. Your centre may have a system for recording time tables or you may like to adapt the example document.