External Quality Audits

The field of education is becoming ever more professional. Educating people is very high on the agenda, both in the formal school system and in the field of commercial education and in-service training. New methods of education are arising and more and more education tenders are coming to the fore. This means there is a great variety of formative and summative examinations to choose from giving a plethora of diplomas and qualifications.

But what is the value of all these diplomas? How do you distinguish yourself from other examination providers? How do you know for sure that your organisation offers high quality exams and how do you show this to your customers? RCEC examines the quality of examination and rewards solid exam programmes, products and processes with the official RCEC quality mark. Our external quality audits provide insight into your tests and exams. In this way, you may discover opportunities for improvement. After a positive assessment, you can use our quality mark to objectively demonstrate that your tests and exams meet the highest quality standards.

Leaders

RCEC is involved in the audit of large national examination systems, both in formal education under the heading of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, and in non-formal education, under the heading of, for instance, the autonomous administrative authorities set up by the ministries.

The RCEC review system for the quality of tests and exams

RCEC has developed a unique system for an objective and expert assessment of the quality of examinations. The RCEC review system is scientifically based and contributes to the substantive, organisational and psychometric quality of the examination process and examination product: from construction and administration to scoring and evaluation.

The RCEC review system is initially intended for certified RCEC auditors to evaluate the quality of tests and exams. In addition, those involved with examination can use the RCEC review system to construct and improve their tests and exams according to the RCEC quality standards. It can also be used to help the users of tests and exams such as teachers, schools, commercial/in-service training and examination committees to assess and select the best quality tests and exams.

An appropriate review system for every exam

There are several types of tests and exams, each of which requires its own specific assessment. That is why we offer three variants of our review system. So there is always one that suits your situation.

  1. RCEC review system for the quality of paper and digital study tests and of (practical) exams
  2. RCEC review system for oral exams
  3. RCEC review system for simulator exams

Two additional variants of the review system are currently being developed. The RCEC review system for the quality of exam programmes and the RCEC review system for the quality of the exam construction process will soon be available.

The different variants of the RCEC review system are free of charge and can be requested here. This first step makes the contents available to you and gives you an overview of the operation of the whole review system. It's a practical guide to constructing your exams.

 

A professional, tailor-made audit process

On finalising the whole procedure of constructing your tests, we will be pleased to evaluate the quality of all submitted work. RCEC has a network of carefully selected qualified and certified auditors. They judiciously work at evaluating your test (programmes). The audit process consists of five phases, which are carried out for each audit assignment in the most appropriate order.

Audit process

Phase 1. Collection and organisation of information and documentation

The audit starts with a joint kick-off to get acquainted and to explain the different steps. Then, for each of the six RCEC criteria, the corresponding information is inventoried and documentation is collected and organised in a working document. This is  all filed by us in the strictest of confidence and only shared with relevant parties and RCEC qualified auditors upon signed receipt.

Phase 2. Advisory audit

On the basis of your test package and the completed working document, we will carry out an advisory audit in order to assess the current quality of the exam. Where necessary, we supplement the findings with practical recommendations for improvement.

We are aware of the fact that we must take an impartial position in our consultancy work in order to avoid any possible conflict of interest. For this reason, we can mention areas for improvement, but cannot advise on the specific implementation of these measures in order to keep the possibility of a formal audit open in phase 4.

Phase 3. Implementation of recommendations for improvement

After the advisory audit, you will have the opportunity to implement any improvements. This is again reported in the working document.

Phase 4. Formal audit

After delivery of the final working document, the formal audit starts. In the formal audit, two anonymous and certified auditors, who were not involved in the advisory audit or data collection, give an independent quality assessment of each criterion. This is complemented by a final opinion of the RCEC Certification Board. Tests and examinations that score at least sufficiently on all six criteria during the formal audit are awarded with the RCEC quality mark. The quality mark is valid for a maximum of three years, provided that the structure of the test or exam does not change.

Upon request, a summary of the advice and the final assessment will be included in the public RCEC register of positively assessed exams. This allows you to demonstrate the quality of your tests and exams to interested third parties.

Phase 5. Control audit

After the quality mark has been awarded, RCEC can carry out periodic control audits in consultation with you. If deviations are found during a control audit, these must be demonstrably resolved within a jointly agreed period of time. If you are unable to comply with this, this may result in RCEC (temporarily) withdrawing the quality mark. Three years after the quality mark has been issued, we will carry out a more extensive investigation, after which the certificate can be awarded again for a maximum period of three years.

The register of positively reviewed examinations

After permission from the client, the RCEC-approved exams are included in our public examination register. This register contains a summary of the recommendations of our auditors and the final assessment of the RCEC certification board. In this way, exam providers can demonstrate that their products meet the highest quality standards.

We are currently working on the development of the examination register. If you are looking for information about specific exam products, please contact us.

Contact RCEC

Would you like more information? Feel free to call or mail with your question or fill in the form below. Do you prefer an appointment? Please contact us for a free consultation, in which we will discuss your needs and see what is the most suitable solution for your situation.
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