HCPA EDUCATION & TRAINING MANUAL OF POLICIES
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 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 delegates employer.
1.2. It is not acceptable to arrive late or leave early. Delegates who are more than 30 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. Delegates will be required to sign an attendance sheet on arrival for each day of the course.
1.3. There may be occasions when a delegate may need to be substituted at short notice. Please notify HCPA as soon as possible to confirm the details of the replacement delegate. HCPA will then confirm if the change is possible.
1.4. It is the delegate’s responsibility to make sure they have signed in on the course register when they arrive. If the delegate’s signature is not on the register HCPA is entitled to charge the employer with a non-attendance fee.
1.5. It is the delegate’s responsibility to ensure their name is spelt correctly on the register on the first day of training, as the same name will appear on the certificate. If the name is misspelt and not corrected on the first day of training, before it is registered with the awarding body, any requested changes will incur a cost to the delegate’s employer.
1.6. It is the delegate’s responsibility to inform HCPA at least 5 days before the course if they have 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 responsibility to ensure the information and contact details are correct. HCPA accept no liability for any incorrect information entered into the booking forms by the delegate.
2. NON-ATTENDANCE AND 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 accordance to clauses 3-3.3.
2.2. The Line Manager can cancel by filling in this form: https://traininghcpa.wufoo.com/forms/z18vkzk10avo7rd/
2.3. If a delegate does not attend and their Line Manager has not contacted HCPA in accordance to the Non-attendance section of the training policy, then the employer will be charged.
2.4. If the booked delegate cannot attend, a substitute delegate can be named as late as the day before the course. HCPA must be informed about this by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
2.5. COSTS FOR NON-ATTENDANCE OR LATE CANCELLATION
Non-attendance and cancellation of places without adequate notice will be charged back to the delegate’s employer as follows:
2.5.1. Open Courses and Short Qualifications: Non-attendance or cancellation within 5 working days of the start of the course will be charged at a rate of £50 for each full day or £25 for each half day of the course missed, per delegate.
2.5.2. Leadership Courses and Education for Trainer Courses: Non-attendance or cancellation within 15 working days of the start of the course will be charged at a rate of £100 for each day of the course, per delegate. The full charge of £100 per day of the course will be made for any delegate starting, but not completing the course, and for delegates who fail to complete and submit coursework on time (if required within the course).
2.5.3. Advanced Champion Pathway: Non-attendance or cancellation within 15 working days of the start of the course will be charged at a rate of £100 for each day the course is scheduled to run, per delegate. If a Champion starts, but does not complete the pathway, all remaining pathway sessions will be charged to the delegate’s employer.
3. PAYMENT / REFUND
3.1. The delegate’s employer will be invoiced via email for the cost of the course (only non-funded courses) or for non-attendance, late-cancellation or non-completion reasons. The invoice email will be sent out to the email address provided in the booking form.
3.2. If a delegate’s employer has overdue invoices (our payment terms are 30 days) their HCPA membership status may be suspended until such invoices are paid. As a result of suspension members may not, for example, make claims under the Mandatory and Specialist Grant.
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 via email, to email@example.com (see section 3 for notice periods).
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.
3.6. Changing of course content, timing, date, or venue may be necessary at times. If this occurs, the delegates or/and their employer will be notified via an email sent to the email address 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 the HCPA has a legal and moral duty 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 gender, disability, race or nationality, religious or political belief, sexuality, or age. 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 and diversity 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. The 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 buildings are as accessible as possible by making all necessary reasonable adjustments
- Ensure equal access to the 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 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 special facilities at training because of any disability they may have
4.8. As part of the monitoring of learners / students registering for HCPA courses, we will collect information on any feature which could disadvantage a group of learners / students who share a protected characteristic, requests for special considerations, access arrangements and feedback from recognised HCPAs learners / students, and other stakeholders. This information will be used to monitor the implementation of this Policy and ensure appropriate adjustments. As part of these reviews, we will consider the information we collect on how our communities, learners and staff are accessing our services and employment opportunities to ensure that we are making progress.
4.9. This policy will be monitored via the following activities:
- Routinely analyse Equality and Diversity learner / student statistical reports to identify areas of under-representation or achievement. This will include requests for special considerations, access arrangements and feedback from learners / students, recognised HCPAs and other stakeholders
- Scrutinise the outcomes of any reported incidents of discrimination, harassment and unfavourable treatment
- Summarise the outcomes of equality impact assessments
- Report annually on the outcomes of all of the above to Trustees
5. ZERO TOLERANCE
5.1. Our staff come to work at HCPA to advise, teach and care for others, and it is important for all members of the public and our staff to be treated with respect.
5.2. We aim to treat our customers courteously at all times and endeavour to put in additional learning support where it is identified and 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 care organisation and request that they leave our premises immediately.
5.5. There will be no appeal process, as HCPA have the sole right to refuse admission to our premises at any time.
5.6. Any incident of threatening, abusive or violent behaviour may be reported to the local Police Service, immediately or in retrospect.
5.7. This Policy is in place for the best interests of HCPA staff as well as all the customers we serve.
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 Gateway Qualifications ensures 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 his or her knowledge, skills and understanding of the levels of attainment required by the specification for that qualification. 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 assessment room, 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 only 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 his or her 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 his / her achievement in the assessment and not necessarily his / her 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. Clients should note that:
- Where an assessment requires the learner to demonstrate practical competence or where criteria have to 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
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. The reasonable adjustment must not compromise the competency standard. Examinations and assessments must be rigorous regarding standards so that all students are genuinely tested against a benchmark. While HCPA and Gateway Qualifications will 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. The 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. The 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. The 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. The 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, 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 Programme Manager: Education and Corporate Standards or by filling out this form. 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 investigate 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 assessment 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 assessment.
8.2. As a Learner, you should be involved in the assessment process. There may occasionally be times when you and your 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 Verifier within 24 hours. The Internal Verifier will reconsider the decision and inform you of his/her 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 Verifier (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 Verifier, appointed by the Awarding Body, may be requested to investigate the appeal and the Awarding Body’s decision is final. The Awarding Body may charge a fee payable by you. You would be informed of any charges prior to proceedings. If you have any queries about this process, please discuss it with your Personal Tutor or Assessor, or you can contact the 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 bodies, 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 bodies 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 body 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 any courses or qualifications assured by Gateway Qualifications, please read their policy and procedure here.
Version 4 2018/2019