TERMS & CONDITIONS and
POLICIES MANUAL for EDUCATION & TRAINING
HCPA facilitates mandatory and specialist training for staff who work in the private, voluntary and independent social care sector. We invest a significant amount of resource into delivering this service, including time, planning and budget. As a result, to ensure members use this service effectively and appropriately, we ask all learners to adhere to the policy outlined below when booking, attending, or cancelling a course.
1.1. Delegates are required to attend the full course, by attending all advertised sessions, whether virtually or in person and to actively participate. It is expected that the delegates Line Manager will support the delegate in ensuring full attendance. If the course is not attended in full, a cost will be charged to the delegate’s employer.
1.2. It is not acceptable to arrive late or leave early. Delegates who are more than 15 minutes late may not be admitted into the training and will incur a cost for non-attendance. HCPA will report any instances of lateness to the delegate’s Line Manager. Learners are encouraged to join the session from 10 minutes before it begins. Via our remote platforms, HCPA may track the duration of attendance, therefore we strongly advise that learners attend in full and complete sessions, otherwise they may not be certificated.
PLEASE NOTE: All learners must be booked separately from all other learners. If you require support with bookings, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
1.3. There may be occasions when a delegate may need to be substituted at short notice. Please notify HCPA as soon as possible at email@example.com to confirm the details of the replacement delegate. HCPA will confirm if the change is possible.
1.4. For virtual interactive sessions, it is the delegate’s responsibility to make sure they have signed in with their unique link associated with their name/registration. If delegates share a link rather than using unique links as instructed, HCPA is entitled to charge the employer with a non-attendance fee for the learners who have not used their unique links.
1.5. The person making the booking is responsible to ensure the name of the learner is spelt correctly, to ensure the correct spelling will appear on the certificate. If the name is misspelt and not corrected on the first day of training, or before it is registered with the awarding organisation, any requested changes will incur a cost to the delegate’s employer. Please note: delegate’s will be required to complete additional documentation for Awarding Organisation registration and funding bodies.
1.6. It is the delegate’s/manager’s responsibility to inform HCPA, at the booking stage, if the delegate has any special requirements, or if they will be accompanied by an interpreter.
1.7. HCPA will send updates and booking confirmations to the email address supplied during booking. It is the delegates’ and managers’ responsibility to ensure the information and contact details are correct. HCPA accepts no liability for any incorrect information entered into the booking forms by the delegate or the employer.
1.8. For fully funded training, HCPA limits bookings to two delegates per site to allow other member organisations to access training. If a site books more than two delegates per site HCPA reserves the right to amend the booking and remove additional delegates at its discretion.
1.9. From early 2022, certificates will be issued via the Care Professional Standards Academy. Our mission is to professionalise the Adult Social Care sector, for Care professionals to see themselves as skilled professionals and for the wider community to see a career in care as an attractive prospect.
- The Care Professionals Standards Academy is a platform where Care Professionals can log training certificates and qualifications and gain access to exclusive rewards and discounts. Employers can also utilise the platform to track and monitor staff training and development, and incentivise their staff to engage with further training.
- The Provider Portal for our Academy allows employers to easily see who has received training and who’s training may be expiring – it even gives you direct access to all the electronic certificates for all your staff.
- Using the Academy also gives staff access to well-deserved discounts based on their commitment to training. For more information about how the FREE Care Professional Standards Academy and Provider Portal work, visit https://www.careprofessional.co.uk/
2. NON-ATTENDANCE, NON-COMPLETION, OR CANCELLATION
2.1. It is the responsibility of a delegate’s Line Manager to notify HCPA if a delegate is no longer able to attend a course. Notice must be given in advance in accordance to clause 2.5.
2.2. Bookings can be cancelled by filling in this cancellation form: https://traininghcpa.wufoo.com/forms/z18vkzk10avo7rd/.Communications via any other means does not guarantee sufficient notification.
2.3. If a delegate does not attend and their Line Manager has not contacted HCPA in accordance with clause 2.2 the employer may be charged.
2.4. If the booked delegate cannot attend, a substitute delegate can be named. HCPA must be informed about this by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible/it is known, and the care provider must endeavour to provide HCPA with any new information that may be required for funding purposes. If no information is provided for the new learner, and this may impact our ability to claim funding for this seat, then a cancellation charge may still apply.
2.5. COSTS FOR NON-ATTENDANCE, NON-COMPLETION, OR LATE CANCELLATION
If the course has not been attended in full, completed (including coursework), or has been cancelled late by the learner or manager, charges will apply per type of course as follows:
|Type of course||Course duration||Charge||Defined as late cancellation notice|
|Non-accredited||Half-day||£25||Less than 5 working days|
|Non-accredited||1 day+||£50||Less than 5 working days|
|Accredited course||1-5 days||£100||Less than 5 working days|
|Accredited course||6-9 days||£200||Less than 5 working days|
|Accredited course||10 days+||£300||Less than 10 working days|
Please note: For courses that are not fully-funded, any fees must be paid in advance as advertised. Please refer to points 3.3 and 3.4 below.
3. PAYMENT / REFUND
3.1. The delegate’s employer will be invoiced via email for the cost of the course (if applicable) or for non-attendance, late-cancellation or non-completion. Invoices will be issued via email to the named finance contact provided on commencement of membership.
3.2. Unpaid overdue invoices (our payment terms are 30 days), may result in HCPA membership status being suspended until such invoices are paid. As a result of suspension members may not, for example, make claims under the Mandatory and Specialist Grant or access any member services.
3.3. If a course has already been paid for and a cancellation occurs, a full refund will be issued only if the necessary notice has been given by the delegate or their employer by completing this form (see table above for notice periods). Communications via any other means does not guarantee sufficient notification.
3.4. No refund will be paid for non-attendance or when cancellations have been made outside the necessary notice period.
3.5. HCPA reserves the right to cancel a course up to and including the start date of the course if insufficient bookings have been received. We will strive to give as much notice as possible in such an event. In all cases, delegates who have registered to attend a cancelled course will be given the option of a full refund (only for paid courses) or the option to attend a future course date where possible.
3.6. Changing of course content, timing, dates, or platform/venue may be necessary at times. If this occurs, the delegates and/or their employer will be notified via email to the email address(es) provided on the booking form.
4. EQUALITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
4.1. HCPA strongly believes that the diversity of our communities is one of our greatest strengths and our most valuable asset. HCPA are fully committed to equality of opportunity and we believe that all individuals have an equal right to develop and achieve their full potential.
4.2. Equality of opportunity and freedom from discrimination are fundamental rights and HCPA has a legal and moral duty under the Equality Act (2010) to exercise leadership in the promotion of equality of opportunity and diversity. We will promote equality and challenge all forms of discrimination through our role as a service provider.
4.3. Equality of opportunity means more than disregarding differences such as the protected characteristics covered in the Equality Act (2010) (Age, Pregnancy and Maternity, Sex (gender identity), Disability, Marriage and Civil Partnerships, Race, Religion or Belief, Gender Reassignment and Sexual Orientation’. It means ensuring that different people receive services, consultation, and training opportunities in a fair and equal way. This means recognising, accommodating, and valuing diversity across HCPA and the community in which we work.
4.4. Our goal is to foster an environment that offers people inclusivity and security, achieving an improvement in the quality of life for all who work alongside the HCPA. Our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion is intrinsic to the way we think and is therefore central to everything that we do.
4.5. We will follow best practice in all of the equality areas and work towards: eliminating unlawful discrimination, eliminating harassment, promoting equality of opportunity, promoting good relations between different groups in the community, recognising and taking account of people’s differences
4.6. Under legislation and this Policy all trainers and learners have a responsibility to listen to what others say and respect different points of view. We must also report all incidents of harassment and discrimination.
4.7. HCPA as a Service Provider will:
- Ensure that all our services are accessible
- Provide clear, meaningful information about HCPA services in ways that are fully accessible and meet the community’s diverse needs
- Monitor take-up and evaluate services including learning to ensure that they do not discriminate or exclude
- Ensure our platforms are as accessible as possible by making all necessary and possible reasonable adjustments
- Ensure equal access to HCPA’s complaints procedure
- Ensure that all publicity materials present appropriate and positive images of minority groups
- Encourage (and, where legally possible, require) others to adopt this policy
- Give equal access to all employees involved within its membership
- Review training courses regularly and remove any requirements that are unnecessarily restrictive or which might exclude particular groups
- Use only selection criteria that are relevant to the training course and do not contain unjustifiable elements, including those relating to, gender, race, disability, age or personal circumstances
- Advertise all courses externally and make sure that advertisements do not contain any wording or conditions which might be deemed discriminatory in the context of this policy
- Encourage applications from under represented groups
- Monitor all E&D data collected from learners on a regular basis to ensure coverage is fair – action plan with targets to address under represented and under performing groups including those defined by ethnicity, gender and learning difficulty or disability
- Ensure the Equality and Diversity Policy is available to all learners on request
- Ask learners if they require additional support during training because of any disability they may have
4.8. As part of the monitoring of learners registering for HCPA courses, we will collect information on any feature which could disadvantage a group of learners who share a protected characteristic, requests for special considerations, access arrangements and feedback from HCPA learners , and other stakeholders. This information will be used to monitor the implementation of this policy and ensure appropriate adjustments are implemented. As part of these reviews, we will consider the information we collect on how our communities, learners and staff access our services and employment opportunities to ensure we are making progress.
4.9. This policy will be monitored via the following activities:
- Routinely analyse Equality and Diversity learner statistical reports to identify areas of under-representation or achievement. This will include requests for special considerations, access arrangements and feedback from learners, HCPA member organisations, and other stakeholders
- Scrutinise the outcomes of any reported incidents of discrimination, harassment or unfavourable treatment
- Summarise the outcomes of equality impact assessments
- Report annually on the outcomes of the above to it’s Trustees
5. ZERO TOLERANCE
5.1. Our staff come to work at HCPA to advise, teach and care for others. It is important for all members of the public and our staff to be treated with respect.
5.2. We aim to always treat our customers courteously and endeavour to put in additional learning support where it is identified. We expect our customers to treat our staff in a similarly respectful way.
5.3. We take seriously any threatening, abusive, or violent behaviour, whether verbal or physical, against any of our staff or customers.
5.4. If a customer behaves in a violent, abusive, or threatening way, they will be asked to stop. If they persist, we may exercise our right to contact their organisation and they will be removed from our premises/ remote platforms immediately.
5.5. There will be no right to appeal, as HCPA has the sole right to refuse admission to our services at any time.
5.6. Any incident of threatening, abusive or violent behaviour may be reported to the relevant authorities, immediately or in retrospect.
5.7. This policy is in place for the best interests of HCPA staff and its customers.
6. REASONABLE ADJUSTMENTS AND SPECIAL CONSIDERATION POLICY
6.1. Assessment should be a fair test of learners’ knowledge and what they are able to do, however, for some learners the usual format of assessment may not be suitable. HCPA together with our Awarding Organisations ensure that its qualifications and assessments do not unreasonably bar learners from taking its qualifications.
6.2. We recognise that reasonable adjustments or special consideration may be required at the time of assessment where learners:
- Have a disability, medical condition, mental health difficulty or a specific learning difficulty
- Experience an illness, injury, or some other event outside of their control, that has an impact on the outcomes of assignments, assessments, and examinations
- Are indisposed at the time of an assessment
6.3. The provision for reasonable adjustments and special consideration arrangements is made to ensure that learners receive recognition of their achievement so long as the equity, validity and reliability of the assessments can be assured. Such arrangements are not concessions to make assessment easier for learners, nor advantages to give learners a head start. There are two ways in which access to fair assessment can be maintained:
- Through reasonable adjustments and
- Through special consideration
6.4. A reasonable adjustment is any action that helps to reduce the effect of a disability or difficulty that places the learner at a substantial disadvantage in the assessment situation.
- They are made to an assessment for a qualification to enable a disabled learner to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and understanding of the levels of attainment required by the qualification specification. Reasonable adjustments must not affect the integrity of what needs to be assessed, but may involve:
- Changing usual assessment arrangements, for example, allowing a learner extra time to complete the assessment activity
- Adapting assessment materials, such as providing materials in Braille
- Providing assistance during assessment, such as a sign language interpreter or a reader
- Re-organising the remote presentation, such as removing adverse visual stimuli for an autistic learner
- Changing the type of assessment, for example, from a written assessment to a spoken assessment
- Using assistive technology, such as screen reading or voice activated software
- Providing the mechanism to have different coloured backgrounds to screens for onscreen assessments or asking for permission for copying to different coloured paper for paper-based assessments
- Providing and allowing different coloured transparencies with which to view assessment papers
Reasonable adjustments are approved or set in place before the assessment activity takes place; they constitute an arrangement to give the learner access to the programme. The use of a reasonable adjustment will not be taken into consideration during the assessment of a learner’s work.
6.5. HCPA are required by law to do what is ‘reasonable’ in terms of giving access. What is reasonable will depend on the individual circumstances, cost implications and the practicality and effectiveness of the adjustment. Other factors, such as the need to maintain competence standards and health and safety, will also be taken into consideration.
6.6. Special consideration can be applied after an assessment if there was a reason the learner may have been disadvantaged during the assessment. For example, special consideration could apply to a learner who had temporarily experienced:
- An illness or injury
- Some other event outside of their control. and which has had, or is likely to have had, a material effect on that learner’s ability to take an assessment or demonstrate their level of attainment in an assessment
6.7. Special consideration should not give the learner an unfair advantage, neither should its use cause the user of the certificate to be misled regarding a learner’s achievements. The learner’s result must reflect their achievement in the assessment and not necessarily their potential ability.
6.8. Special consideration, if successful, may result in a post-assessment adjustment to the mark of the learner. The size of the adjustment will depend on the circumstances and reflect the difficulty faced by the learner.
6.9. Customers should note that:
- Where an assessment requires the learner to demonstrate practical competence, criteria must be met fully, or in the case of qualifications that confer a License to Practice, it may not be possible to apply special consideration
- In some circumstances, for example for on-demand assessments, it may be more appropriate to offer the learner an opportunity to take the assessment at a later date
- During exceptional times,, assessment and IQA will be provided in line with current Ofqual Extraordinary regulatory Framework
6.10. During the qualification development stage an equalities review is conducted to consider the accessibility of the qualification and the assessment methodology to determine if any reasonable adjustments and special consideration are required. The review is undertaken with consideration to the JCQ Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments for General and Vocational qualifications. Once confirmed, qualification specific reasonable adjustments and special considerations are detailed within qualification related guidance.
6.11. There are six key principles for making reasonable adjustments for disabled learners:
6.11.1. Reasonable adjustment must not compromise the competency standard. Examinations and assessments must be rigorous regarding standards so that all learners are genuinely tested against a benchmark. While HCPA and the Awarding Organisations it works with want to ensure reasonable adjustments are in place to allow disabled students, students with health conditions or specific learning difficulties an equal opportunity to demonstrate their competence, it is important that standards are not compromised.
6.11.2. Reasonable adjustment must not give the learner an unfair advantage. While the process for examinations and assessments might be modified, the learner must demonstrate the skills and competence required by the examination or assessment to maintain the equity, validity and reliability of the assessment.
6.11.3. Reasonable adjustment must be based on individual requirements. Decisions about the reasonable adjustments required by each learner must be taken after careful consideration of the assessment needs of the individual. Different learners with the same impairment may have very different reasonable adjustment requirements. Similarly, HCPA should not assume that the reasonable adjustment required by a learner for a particular assessment will be required for all assessments.
6.11.4. The reasonable adjustment must reflect the learner’s normal way of working. The learner should have experience of and practice in the use of the adjustment. For example, if the reasonable adjustment is for additional time for an examination, the learner must have had this reasonable adjustment in place for other examinations such as internal tests while the learner has been studying for the qualification at HCPA.
6.11.5. Reasonable adjustment must be accompanied by suitable evidence, where appropriate. HCPA will want to satisfy themselves that a learner’s request for a reasonable adjustment is legitimate. On some occasions, this will involve obtaining evidence that is sufficient, valid and reliable. Further information about obtaining evidence can be found within this policy.
6.11.6. Reasonable adjustment must meet the requirements of the specification. There are some restrictions to the provision of reasonable adjustments for particular qualifications, such as functional skills and ESOL. HCPA will check with the particular specification to ensure that these restrictions are not breached.
6.12. In order to best provide reasonable adjustments, the learner must provide as much information as possible in the booking form.
7. COMMENTS, COMPLIMENTS AND COMPLAINTS
7.1. HCPA believes that if an individual wishes to make a comment, complaint, register a concern or give a compliment they should find it easy to do so. It is our policy to welcome comments, compliments and complaints and look upon them as an opportunity to learn, adapt, improve, and provide better services. This policy is intended to ensure that complaints are dealt with properly and that all complaints or comments by service users are taken seriously.
7.2. In order to protect complainants’ rights all information must be exchanged on a ‘need to know’ basis. Sometimes a complainant will wish to remain anonymous. It is always preferable to reveal your identity and contact details to us, however, if you are concerned about possible adverse consequences, please inform us that you do not wish for us to divulge your identity.
7.3. Comments and complaints may be received verbally or in writing. In both instances HCPA’s primary aim is to resolve matters quickly and fairly by ensuring a full response is made.
7.4. If you wish to make a comment or give a compliment in relation to the service provided via our apprenticeship programme, the manager will handle the comment in an informal manner acceptable to the individual raising the concern.
7.5. If you are unsatisfied with the manner your comment has been handled with, you may still make a formal complaint.
7.6. Any compliments received either verbal or in writing will also be recorded.
7.7. Written and verbal complaints must be referred to the Principal Education & Quality Improvement Manager by emailing email@example.com .
Following the receipt of a complaint HCPA will:
Acknowledge receipt of the complaint.
Initiate an investigation into the issues raised by the complainant.
Provide a response to the complainants.
Ensure the data is captured to allow reflection, analysis and learning from the event.
7.8. We aim to initiate the investigation of the complaint within 10 working days. If your complaint is more complex or involves people who are not available at the time, we may extend this to 20 working days. We may contact you within this period to seek further information or clarification (in some instances we may recommend a meeting). At the end of the investigation, we shall write to inform you of our decision.
7.9. If delays in responding are anticipated the complainant will be informed in writing.
7.10. In situations where a complaint has been successful and indicates a failure in our apprenticeship delivery processes, we will take appropriate actions such as:
Identify any other learner who has been affected by that failure.
Correct, or where it cannot be corrected, mitigate as far as possible the effect of the failure, and
Ensure that the failure does not recur in the future.
7.11. If you disagree with the decision, you can then take the matter through our appeal arrangements which are outlined in our Appeals Policy.
8. APPEALS PROCEDURE
8.1. HCPA is committed to open and fair learning programmes and assessment.
8.2. As an learner, you should be involved in the assessment process. There may occasionally be times when you and your Tutor/Assessor have differing views about an assessment decision. The process described below covers such situations.
8.2.1. Stage 1
If you disagree with an assessment decision, discuss this with your Assessor as soon as possible. Explain your reason for concern and your Assessor will provide a clear explanation and re-examine the evidence with you. Most appeals will proceed no further than this. If you are still unhappy, the appeal can proceed to Stage 2 and will be registered as a Learner Appeal.
8.2.2. Stage 2
The Learner Appeals Procedure Form, together with the assignment/assessment activity, and your evidence or work and any explanation you wish to include, will be sent to the Internal Quality Assurer within 24 hours. The Internal Quality Assurer will reconsider the decision and inform you of their decision within 5 working days. This decision will be entered on the Learner Appeal Form. In the rare event that you are unhappy with the reconsidered assessment decision, the appeal will move to stage 3.
8.2.3. Stage 3
At this stage, the Appeals Procedure Form and relevant evidence will go to an Appeals Panel which includes you, a friend (if you wish), the original Assessor, the Internal Quality Assurer (stage 2) and 2 independent people appointed by the Quality and Standards Team, one of whom will be the chair.
The panel will reach a decision within 10 working days and notify, in writing, all parties of the outcome. The decision of the Appeals Panel is final for most qualifications. For some qualifications, the External Quality Assurer, appointed by the Awarding Organisation, may be requested to investigate the appeal. The Awarding Organisation may charge a fee payable by you. You would be informed of any charges prior to proceedings.
If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome, you can escalate this further to the relevant Qualification Regulator.
If you have any queries about this process, please discuss it with your Tutor or Assessor, or you can contact the Internal Quality Assurance Manager firstname.lastname@example.org .
9. MALPRACTICE AND MALADMINISTRATION POLICY AND PROCEDURE
9.1. Malpractice is defined as any deliberate activity, neglect, default or other practice that compromises the integrity of the internal and external assessment process, and/or the validity of certificates. It covers any deliberate actions, neglect, default or other practice that compromises, or could compromise:
- The assessment process
- The integrity of a regulated qualification
- The validity of a result or certificate
- The reputation and credibility of HCPA, awarding organisations, the qualification or the wider qualifications community
9.2. Malpractice may include a range of issues from the failure to maintain appropriate records or systems to the deliberate falsification of records in order to claim certificates. For the purpose of this policy this term also covers misconduct and forms of unnecessary discrimination or bias towards certain or groups of learners
9.3. Maladministration is defined as any activity or practice which results in noncompliance with awarding bodies administrative regulations and requirements and includes the application of persistent mistakes or poor administration within a HCPA (e.g. inappropriate learner records)
9.4. The categories listed below are examples of learner malpractice. Please note that these examples are not exhaustive and are intended as guidance on the definition of malpractice:
- Forgery of evidence
- Plagiarism of any nature by learners
- Collusion in an exam or controlled assessment
- Tampering with another learner’s assessment evidence
- Not adhering to exam or controlled assessment conditions
- Not following instructions from invigilators, examiners or awarding bodies’ staff during supervised exam or controlled assessments
- Obtaining, receiving, exchanging or passing on information relating to and during an exam or controlled assessment by: talking, written paper or notes or electronic means
- Copying from other learners during an exam or controlled assessment
- A loss, theft of, or a breach of confidentiality, in any assessment materials
- Destruction of another learner’s work
- Submission of false information to gain a qualification or unit
- False ID used in the registration process
- Making a false declaration of authenticity
- Impersonation of a learner for an internal or external assessment
- Disruptive behaviour during an exam or controlled assessment
- Accessing prohibited websites during an exam or controlled assessment
- Inappropriate use of technology during assessments (e.g. mobile phone or tablet computer)
9.5. The categories listed below are examples of what could be defined as HCPA malpractice. Please note that these examples are not exhaustive and are intended as guidance on the definition of malpractice:
- Failure to satisfactorily implement conditions imposed by awarding bodies
- Denial of access to resources (premises, records, information, learners and staff) for any authorised awarding body representative and/or the regulatory authorities
- Actions required by External Quality Assurers / Standards Verifiers not being met within agreed timescales
- Deliberate failure to carry out delivery, internal and external assessment, internal verification in accordance with the requirements
- Deliberate failure to adhere to learner registration and certification procedures
- Deliberate failure to continually adhere to HCPA recognition and/or qualification approval criteria
- Deliberate failure to maintain auditable records, e.g. certification claims
- Fraudulent claim for certificates
- Persistent instances of maladministration
- The unauthorised use of inappropriate materials / equipment in assessment settings (e.g. mobile phones)
- Collusion or permitting collusion in exams
- Learners still working towards a qualification after certification claims have been made
- Condoning plagiarism by HCPA staff
- Creation of false records
- Impersonation of a learner for internal or external assessment
- Cash for certificates (e.g. the selling of certificates for cash)
- A loss, theft of, or a breach of confidentiality, in any assessment materials
- Unauthorised amendment, copying or distributing of exam papers and controlled assessments
- Inappropriate assistance to learners by HCPA staff (e.g. unfairly helping them to pass a unit or qualification)
- Submission of false information to gain a qualification or unit
- Deliberate failure to adhere to the requirements of the Reasonable Adjustments and Special Considerations Policy and Procedures
9.6. The categories listed below are examples of what could be defined as HCPA maladministration. Please note that these examples are not exhaustive and are only intended as guidance on our definition of maladministration:
- Persistent failure to adhere to learner registration and certification procedures
- Persistent late learner registrations
- Failure to train invigilators adequately
- Failure to invigilate to awarding body requirements
- Failure to ensure that assessment venues meet awarding body requirements
- Inaccurate claim for certificates
- Failure to maintain appropriate auditable records (3 years), e.g. certification claims and/or forgery of evidence
9.7. If you wish to make an allegation of malpractice or maladministration please contact email@example.com and provide the following information:
- The learner’s name and organisation
- The name and position of any HCPA staff member(s) involved in the case
- Details of the course/qualification affected or nature of the service affected
- Nature of the suspected or actual malpractice or maladministration
9.8. HCPA will carry out an initial investigation and will seek for mitigating circumstances by involving competent staff with no personal interest in the outcome of the investigation.
9.9. In accordance with regulatory requirements all suspected cases of malpractice and maladministration will be examined promptly by HCPA’s involved awarding organisation to establish if malpractice or maladministration has occurred and all reasonable steps will be taken to prevent any adverse effect from occurring.
9.10. HCPA aims to action and resolve all stages of the investigation within 20 working days of receipt of the allegation. Please note that in some cases the investigation may take longer; for example, if an awarding organisation visit is required.
9.11. The fundamental principle of all investigations is to conduct them in a fair, reasonable and legal manner, ensuring that all relevant evidence is considered without bias. In doing so investigations will be based around the following broad objectives:
- To establish the facts relating to allegations/complaints in order to determine whether any irregularities have occurred
- To identify the cause of the irregularities and those involved
- To establish the scale of the irregularities and whether other qualifications may be affected
- To evaluate any action already taken by the HCPA
- To determine whether remedial action is required to reduce the risk to current registered learners and to preserve the integrity of the qualification
- To ascertain whether any action is required in respect of certificates already issued
- To obtain clear evidence to support any sanctions to be applied to the HCPA, and/or to members of staff, in accordance with the Sanctions Policy
- To identify any adverse patterns or trends
9.12. The investigation may involve a request for further information from relevant parties and/or interviews with personnel involved in the investigation. Therefore, our awarding bodies will:
- Ensure all material collected as part of an investigation be kept secure. All records and original documentation concerning a completed investigation that ultimately leads to sanctions against HCPA be retained for a period of not less than five years. If an investigation leads to invalidation of certificates, or criminal or civil prosecution, all records and original documentation relating to the case will be retained until the case and any appeals have been heard and for five years thereafter
- Expect all parties, who are either directly or indirectly involved in the investigation, to fully co-operate with the organisation
9.13. If you disagree with how HCPA chose to mediate and solve your allegation, and the allegation is made against qualifications, you can contact the relevant Awarding Organisation:.
11. ONLINE SAFETY POLICY
11.1 General Internet Use
The use of the internet and other digital and information technologies are powerful tools, which open up new opportunities for learners. These technologies can stimulate discussion, promote creativity and increase awareness of content to promote effective learning.
The requirement to ensure that learners are able to use the internet and related communications technologies appropriately and safely is addressed as part of HCPA’s wider duty of care. This policy is in place to help to ensure safe and appropriate use.
The use of innovative technologies has been proven to raise educational standards and promote learner achievement.
However, the use of these new technologies can put individuals at risk within and outside of the learning environment. Some of the dangers they may face include:
- Access to illegal, harmful or inappropriate images or other content
- Unauthorised access to/loss of/sharing of personal information
- The risk of being subject to grooming by those with whom they make contact on the internet
- The sharing/distribution of personal images within an individual’s consent or knowledge
- Inappropriate communication/contact with others including strangers
- Redirection to inappropriate websites through links and pop-ups
- Access to unsuitable video/internet games
- An inability to evaluate the quality, accuracy and relevance of information on the internet
- Plagiarism and copyright infringement
- Illegal downloading of music or video files
11.2 The Use of Email
General considerations when using Email
- Email is not a confidential means of communication. Staff and learners should bear in mind that email messages can be very easily read by those for whom they were not intended and in particular recognise that emails can be;
- Intercepted by third parties (legally or otherwise)
- Wrongly addressed
- Forwarded accidentally
- Forwarded by initial recipients to third parties against your wishes
- Viewed accidentally on recipient’s screens
- Sensitive personal data should not be communicated by email unless there is a lawful basis for doing so and adequate encryption facilities are used
- Learners must not include any defamatory comments in any email messages. Email is a form of publication and the laws relating to defamation apply
- Learners should never use a false identity in emails and must be aware that there is no guarantee that email received was sent by the purported sender
- Email systems used in HCPA classes must not be used to create or distribute unsolicited, offensive or unwanted email, including the dissemination of chain communications.
- Email messages that show HCPA in an unprofessional light or could expose HCPA to legal liability must not be sent by any member of staff or learner
- Be very careful when downloading material from the internet and opening external emails if there is any suspicion of it including a virus. Any suspicions should be reported to your tutor or a member of staff immediately
- An individual’s privacy must not be invaded by any means using email
- The laws applying to copyright apply to email messages and attachments
11.3 The Use of Social Networking
Acceptable use of social networking sites – social networking applications include, but are not limited to; Facebook, Instagram, blogs, online discussion forums, collaborative spaces, media sharing services, ‘micro logging’ applications e.g. Twitter.
The use of social networking sites within HCPA classes is only allowed in appropriately controlled situations and in support of legitimate learning activities.Learners must not place inappropriate photographs on any social network space and must – where they do post photographs – ensure no details are included that might identify others without their permission
11.4 HCPA’s network and/or ICT facilities and devices must not be used for the following activities:
- Conducting illegal activities
- Accessing or downloading pornographic material
- Soliciting for personal gain or profit
- Revealing or publicising proprietary or confidential information
- Representing personal opinions as those of HCPA
- Making or posting indecent or offensive remarks or proposals
11.5 When using HCPA, shared or public devices, it is important to ensure that all personal data is cleared from the device, including internet browsing history, before logging off or exiting the device
Please speak to a tutor if you are unsure how to do this.
12. Risk Assessment
12.1 HCPA recommends a suitable teaching environment for both Learners and Trainers. Both Learners and Trainers must be physically located in a safe working space, appropriate for online learning.
12.2 HCPA will structure suitable breaks into the online training sessions. Learners will be encouraged to move around. Should a learner feel the need to take a break outside the allocated time, they will be permitted to do so. (This will be covered in the housekeeping)
To minimise risk whilst online training, HCPA recommends the following control measures: (Please note, these are recommendations only)
|Potential Hazard||Control Measures|
|Repetitive Strain Injury||Where possible, ensure your keyboard is separate from your screen. Found a comfortable keying position. Ensure you have correct support for your arm and wrist when using the mouse.|
|Back / Neck Injury||Correct chair where possible, with back height and tilt adjustments, and seat height adjustments. Foot rest if needed|
|Eye strain / Headaches||Ensure frequent breaks are taken and adhered to. Where possible, make sure there is no glare or reflections on your screen. Ensure your screen is at a suitable distance and within eye level.|
13. Service Level Agreements
13.1 HCPA may ask learners to complete a Service Level Agreement prior to a course starting. This will be to ensure that all participants understand their roles and responsibilities and have clear expectations of what may be involved in the course. SLA may also be required to meet funding requirements
13.2 Learners will ensure that they have read and understood their roles and responsibilities within the course and terms and conditions of the SLA before signing and returning the SLA to the course Tutor/Assessor. The learner should raise any concerns regarding the SLA with the course Tutor/Assessor prior to the start of the course
13.3 The course Tutor/Assessor will then sign and agree the SLA with the learner before the start of the course.
13.4 If during the course there are changes to the SLA this will be discussed and reviewed with the learner and course Tutor/Assessor
13.5 If the SLA is not adhered to, HCPA will follow points 7 – complaints, 8 – learner appeals procedure and 9 – malpractice and maladministration, of the online training policy .
14. Data protection
14.2. HCPA is unable to book you unto our remote training sessions without collecting some personal details. Every detail will be collected securely and for a specific reason. HCPA use your personal information to ensure that we are meeting our funder’s requirements and our equality duty as set out in the Equality Act 2010. HCPA will use this information to offer relevant training which supports your needs, obtain feedback and reclaim funding from funders for training provided. We take your data privacy very seriously.
14.3. We will not share your information with a third party other than Hertfordshire County Council and any other funder of this learning. We will be required however to share some of your personal data with the Awarding Organisation if you attend an accredited course, as you will be registered for a qualification, or a unit of a qualification.
14.4 We will use your contact details to inform you of course information, , celebration events, other learning opportunities, or to discuss your progress.
14.4 Please note that some of our virtual interactive training sessions and information sessions are recorded for learning and development purposes or to support learners further in completing the course. If you are booking onto a course with us and you do not wish to be recorded (applicable for the courses where you participate via camera and microphone ), then please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to support you further with your request. By booking onto a course, you are agreeing to be recorded as a participant of the session.
14.5. Safeguarding. If there are any safeguarding concerns witnessed during sessions, it is HCPA’s responsibility to escalate these in line with HCPA and Hertfordshire’s County Council safeguarding procedure.
15.1 Some of the courses that HCPA deliver require learners to complete and submit course work. Learners will submit this course work as specified by the Tutor/Assessor.
15.2 For quality assurance and integrity of qualifications, HCPA utilises the use of e-portfolios to adhere to Awarding Organisations retention of evidence requirements. . Learners are able to access their portfolio on demand with their secure log-in details.
15.3 Learners work will be held securely and in line with HCPA’s Data Protection and GDPR policy.
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