The management of information relating to assessment will be subject to the provisions of the Data Protection Act (DPA), and by any regulatory requirements within awarding organisations, and accredited centres that running assessment. The DPA 1998 Act protects information storage as well as making sure appropriate updates are made. All information data must be treated within the confines of the provisions of the act and within organisational provisions.
Assessors need to know and understand their legal position with regard to information gathering, storage and retrieval. If they say, lose any personal data that is held on electronic equipment e.g. Laptop – what would be their legal standing and would this lead to prosecution? Within organisational guidelines, there will be requirements to make sure that assessment information is kept up to date and secure, and this may involve uploading this to a central server daily. If this is not done, then disciplinary action may be taken.
Information management may involve that of assessment evidence, learner portfolios, assessment records, observation records, witness records and assessment plans. All assessment information relating to an individual, also covering that information that has been provided as part of any assessment, should be kept where it cannot be read by others (who do not have the necessary authority), altered by others, or stolen by an third party.
As custodians for this data information, they have a responsibility for compliance under the principles of the DPA 1998 and for confidentiality. A breech of this may have implications depending on the nature of the breech and any complaints that are received.
Many organisations have now developed comprehensive electronic systems, allowing results to be input through a secure online process. Handwritten records still exist and must be legible as any mistakes entering these records to electronic systems needs to have a defined audit trail and only updated and altered with the relevant authority. Many centres and awarding organisations recommend that file copies of information be kept for three years before secure destruction.
Learners must be made aware of policies relating to the sharing of any data and where this is shared. For example Ofqual, award organisation, employers and other assessors. As custodians of the data, there is a legal responsible to ensure that provision of this data to identified ‘third parties’ complies with any Data Protection principles.
There is also a requirement to let learners know the provisions of storage of data, and is this stored in a safe and secure manner within locked rooms and access controlled