What is direct claims status?

A centre with direct claims status (DCS) is judged to have an appropriately skilled and knowledgeable Approved Internal Moderator and robust quality systems. These enable the centre to make the right decisions about awards to learners, without constant checks by the awarding body. The status is therefore built on trust and confidence.

A centre with DCS can directly claim credit certificates for learners from OCN London on the signature of its Approved Internal Moderator (AIM) alone. The need for a Centre Moderator to visit, sample portfolios and confirm the ERAC’s during the year is not required. The Centre Moderator arranges to visit only once a year to monitor the centre’s DCS status. DCS applies to all OCN London provision in a centre with the exception of Access to HE.

What are the benefits of direct claims status?

For the centre:

  • Time and staff resources are saved. The process of getting certificates is faster; and staff time organising and attending external verification visits is reduced.
  • A better service can be offered to learners. Faster certification turnaround helps learners in progressing their learning or career.
  • The standing of the centre is enhanced. The trust and confidence implicit in DCS signals to others (including funders) that the centre is well-regarded and takes quality seriously.

For the Approved Internal Moderator:

  • More satisfaction from the role. The Approved Internal Moderator Verifier has greater control over and responsibility for the process of checking and approving awards.
  • Career prospects improved. AIM status is a mark of confidence by the awarding body in the individual which is based on effective performance of verification.

What you need to do to get direct claims status

A centre which obtains DCS has provided sufficient evidence to OCN London that demonstrates:

  • It has in its employment an internal moderator who possesses appropriate internal moderator qualifications and has demonstrated good IM practice. This person receives Approved Internal Moderator Verifier Status (AIM);
  • It has a robust internal moderation policy which is being effectively implemented and covers all aspects of internal moderator;
  • It has robust quality systems for areas directly affecting the achievement of learners, such as subject, teaching and assessment qualifications of tutors.

What is the process to be followed?

  1. The Quality Assurance Contact at the centre discusses the issue of DCS with the Centre Moderator who will recommend whether the centre is ready for DCS and provide further information.
  2. The centre identifies one or more people to apply for Approved Internal Moderator status. A centre with a more complex range of provision is likely to need more than one AIM in order to operate direct claims status across the whole Centre.
  3. The applicant(s) fills out an AIM status Nomination Form (provided by the Centre Moderator) and returns it to the Centre Moderator. The form requires a signature and therefore needs to be printed and posted.
  4. The Centre Moderator, after consultation, informs the Quality Assurance Contact and the nominated IM(s) of the actions the centre has to take to achieve DCS. These may involve training for the nominated IM; observation of IM practice; improvements to the quality systems of the centre. The centre should acknowledge its acceptance of the conditions.
  5. Actions are undertaken, monitored by the Quality Assurance Contact and the Centre Moderator. When successfully completed the centre will receive a letter from OCN London confirming the new status.

How long do we retain direct claims status?

Your Centre Moderator keeps your new status under review and formally renews it each year. The status is retained as long as the centre runs OCN London accredited training, unless:

  • The Approved Internal Moderator no longer performs the IM role for OCN London accredited training because s/he leaves the centre or moves to another job within the centre. AIM status is given to named individuals NOT to the centre itself.* In this situation, the centre can discuss with the Centre Moderator the nomination of another person to play the AIM role;
  • The Centre Moderator, on their visit to check performance, has serious doubts about the quality of work being done, especially in the internal moderation process and recommends withdrawal of the status;
  • The centre ceases delivering OCN London accredited training for a considerable period of time.

* Direct claims status is not transferable, either between moderators or between centres.

Will our relationship with OCN London change?

Relationships with your Curriculum Development Manager and Centre Support Contact at OCN London remain the same and all processes and rules relating to these two functions still apply.

Regarding annual review:-

  • You do not need to contact OCN London to arrange external moderation;
  • You upload your ERACs which does not need the Centre Moderator to confirm the AIM’s decision.
  • The Centre Moderator visits once a year to meet the Quality Assurance Contact and AIM to review practice during the year and, all being well, confirm DCS for a further year. This review will include sampling of portfolios.