The ISTD achieved Government recognition in November 2000 through the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) and was further recognised to operate in the Qualifications and Credit Framework in 2010 by the Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (Ofqual). Ofqual is now the successor to QCA as the Regulator for England and for qualifications on the QCF delivered in Northern Ireland, and works in conjunction with the Department for Education and Skills of the Welsh Assembly Government, as the Regulator, which recognises the ISTD in Wales.
The Customer Services and Quality Assurance Department monitors the activities of the organisation and working of the examinations processes to ensure that the ISTD meets the criteria of the Regulators in every respect. It also monitors the work of teachers and examiners so the ISTD can provide the best possible level of service to its customers. The department is on hand to provide advice or assistance to those who require it, including giving advice on candidates who may have disabilities and handling the applications for adjustments to examinations that they might need. It also deals with the ISTD scheme for teachers in regard to Criminal Record Bureau Disclosures.
The department checks and records every examination result worldwide, and issues them to teachers. It also now issues all examination certificates both for UK and International examinations as part of a new extra secure system to prevent possible fraud.
The ISTD is committed to providing an efficient service in stated timescales and the department monitors and reports on the work of the ISTD in order to continuously review and improve performance.
To download further details of our policies and other related documents, please scroll to the bottom of the page.
Reminders for Teachers
We would just like to remind teachers, particularly when you have new, very young students, to look carefully at their ages to make sure that they are in the right group for their age.
The entry ages for our examinations vary depending on the type of examination and the Faculty, so please check their ages against what they are working towards, as it is very upsetting if we have to refuse entry close to an examination.
We do recognise that particularly those children who were born in the summer may be a problem if you hold examinations before their qualifying age – so we do make an extra allowance of 60 days from the examination date to include those who otherwise would fall outside the entry criteria.
At the same time, it is a good idea to register all your new candidates with us – it doesn’t matter when they are likely to take an examination, but it will speed up your entry at that time if all your pupils already have their pin numbers.
Candidates with Disabilities
The ISTD encourages candidates with disabilities to enter examinations. Please see the Equal Opportunities policy below for guidance, and the Application for Reasonable Adjustments form which can be downloaded, completed and returned by email or post to the Customer Services and Quality Assurance department.
An Application for Reasonable Adjustments form must be completed and sent to the Customer Services & Quality Assurance department each time the candidate takes an examination as their condition and the requirements of the examination may vary over time. It is important though, that teachers and parents realise that the reason for requesting the information is to make sure that we have time to adjust the examination conditions if necessary, and to fully discuss and inform the examiner. Sometimes it is important for us to just let the examiner know so that they can identify the candidate, but in addition changes can be made depending on the candidate’s disability, for example by allowing extra breaks and more time. It does not change the standard of the marking, as this would be unfair to all other candidates, so it is important that teachers and parents consider the reason for them taking the examination, especially if there is a chance they might not meet the minimum standard. It is important that the process is handled and recorded fully by the department, and teachers are requested to send the Application for Reasonable Adjustments form direct to Customer Services and Quality Assurance at least 3 weeks before they submit the timetable entry, so that adjustments can be made as necessary.
We appreciate that often a child with a disability may wish to take part to be like everyone else, but in some cases, this could mean they will not pass the examination, so in such cases please contact the Customer Services & Quality Assurance Department who are happy to discuss and advise, especially in complex situations. Over 700 such candidates entered our examinations in the last year, at all levels and with many different types of disabilities. Feedback from them shows that they were happy with their experience, the challenge it presented to them, and gained satisfaction in their achievements.
There have recently been some cases where the CD or tape operator at an examination session has then appeared as a candidate for the examiner.
Teachers are reminded that the operator should not be the teacher, or a candidate, or a parent of a candidate; that they should not face the candidates or communicate with them; and that they should act professionally at all times.
Charges for re-writing report sheets/certificates
Teachers are advised that there may be a charge of £10 for the re-writing of candidate report sheets due to spelling errors made by the teacher, or where report sheets have been lost.
A similar £10 charge will be made for the re-issue of certificates in such cases. It is important therefore that teachers make sure that the checklist and timetable entries are correct on receipt and advise of any corrections before the examination.
Policies and Related Documents
Teachers should check the policy documentation below for the latest version. Please note that these policies are reviewed on a regular basis and are therefore subject to alteration. For further guidance please contact the Customer Services and Quality Assurance department.