How to prepare for External Quality Assurance reviews for our new Quality Assurance (QA) Model

On the 1 August we introduced our new QA model for NCFE qualifications which is based on a centre level approach. The new model has been introduced following the success of the CACHE brand ensuring centres have a consistent service from one External Quality Assurer (EQA) per sector area and as a response to customer feedback.

NCFE has 10 new QA groups and all our qualifications fall within one of these groups:

  • Arts and Media
  • Business, IT and Sales
  • Engineering and Manufacturing Operations
  • Health, Childcare and Education
  • Hospitality and Catering
  • Music and Performance
  • Preparation for Life and Work
  • Retail and Commercial Enterprise
  • Sport, Exercise and Fitness
  • Travel and Tourism

Allocation of EQA

For each QA group, you’ll be allocated a dedicated EQA who’ll complete up to 2 EQA reviews for all of the qualifications delivered within that group.  Please ensure you know what qualifications sit within each QA Group and work with your EQA to prepare the necessary documentation required for a successful and efficient visit.

Arranging the EQA review

Your EQA will be allocated once you have registered your learners, so ensure you do this early in your delivery to ensure that you and your learners receive the best support from us.  You should agree with your EQA the date for your review well in advance of your planned review date.

Your EQA will email your Programme Contact to arrange a review date and will let them know what to prepare in advance.  It is important that you let your EQA know who’ll be responsible for coordinating the EQA review for all qualifications in the QA group so that we’re contacting the most appropriate person.  This maybe the Quality Manager, Centre Lead or Lead IQA.  To check who your Programme Contact is, you can view your EQA Report in the Portal or discuss this with your EQA on your centre visit.

Preparing for your EQA review

In order to get the most out of your EQA review, it will be necessary for delivery staff involved in all qualifications within the QA group to organise and plan together so that the required documentation for all qualifications are presented and available for the review. You’ll need to let the EQA know who will be the point of contact for your qualifications within the QA group and they’ll be responsible for coordinating this to the relevant delivery staff in your centre. 

This communication and organisation is important for centres that deliver over multiple sites to ensure work from all qualifications is available for the EQA review.

Supporting Documentation

You will find the User guide to EQA report in the QualHub area of our website under Delivery and Support which will make sure you know what to expect at the EQA review. 

There’s also a Centre preparation document containing links to useful documentation.   

Your EQA will also send you information via email to ensure you’re well prepared prior to the visit date.


If your qualifications are eligible for DCS this will now be calculated at the qualification level and the usual DCS rules apply which you can find on our website. 

We hope these changes support you in building positive relationships with your EQA and streamline the external quality assurance process minimising the impact on your time to prepare for EQA reviews as well as reducing the amount of duplication you have previously experienced in producing generic QA documentation.

To see the original messaging about the Changes to our Quality Assurance Process, please use this document.