Audit reveals unauthorised assessments at HEART centre
An internal audit of the Culloden Vocational Training Centre (CVTC) located in Westmoreland found that 43 trainees who were certified by the centre in 2014 should not have been approved because their final assessments were administered and graded by unauthorised persons.
"We noted six assessment registers bearing the signatures of assessors indicating that they conducted the final assessments. However, a review of the security log for these dates revealed that these assessors did not enter the location on these dates. Further investigations revealed no evidence to indicate that these assessors conducted these final assessments," the audit report of the HEART centre said. CVTC is a HEART-certified institution, which offers courses in food and nutrition, housekeeping, data entry, and front desk operation.
Pointing to one particular assessor who collected payment for assessments at Culloden and other training centres, for which they did not show up, the audit report noted that the certification of at least 113 trainees remains questionable.
The report also identified other anomalies which, it says, compromised the assessment process at the training centre.
Auditors found no evidence of a 'request for assessment' for 47 trainees as stipulated by HEART's policies and procedures manual, which requires that course materials, portfolios, and pre-assessment grades, which prove the candidate's readiness for assessment, be approved prior to the final assessment.
The audit report cited inadequate monitoring of assessment and certification activities and non-compliance with established policies and procedures as a systemic problem at the centre.
"The engagement of a registered assessor to administer final assessments for trainees, for whom there was no evidence to confirm their readiness for the final assessment, represents inefficient use of financial resources," the report said.
The audit also found that there was no contract or formal agreement in place for at least two assessors.
Additionally, assessment scripts for a trainee who was certified by the centre could not be reproduced, while another trainee who was absent from the final assessment was granted certification.
The audit report chided the centre for poor recording keeping, noting that the institution was not able to retrieve requested documents, such as scripts and assessment registers, in a timely manner and that some documents requested, as supporting evidence that assessments were conducted, have still not been received.
"In the absence of evidence to support final assessments, the possibility exists that these candidates that have been certified may not have attained the required level of competency and many not be able to perform to the standards expected of the workplace," the audit report said.
The management of HEART has said it will be using the results of the audit to improve the operation of its training centres.