Why is Education Audit Certification good?
In the not so distant past the Department for Education supported the audit of teaching supply agencies to help ensure standards where being met in particular around safeguarding of children.
Most professional supply teacher agencies were pleased to comply with the audit obligations. Although challenging to make sure every candidate file met the required compliance standards it simply made sense on every level to make sure the agency complied with the quality mark requirements.
The Department for Education supported the audit for a long time which was carried out on their behalf by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) however after many years it was determined that the recruitment industry itself should be managing its own compliance and that the department would no longer invest in the audit process.
The good news is that both the REC and APSCO picked up the need to continue with this essential compliance standard and now undertake education quality mark audits for supply teacher agencies.
The audit from the REC is more demanding than in the past, wider in scope and more expensive. However the audit whilst being wider and more demanding makes perfect sense and is better for the agencies, schools and teachers.
The education audited quality mark determines what information as a minimum must be provided to a school and teacher for every assignment, it ensures the contracts between the school, agency and teacher all comply with the law, that all the appropriate safeguarding checks are carried out and that there is documented evidence in the candidate files to show all checks have been completed.
These are all components that a school, teacher or professional business would expect to comply with. The great thing about the audit is that the business is checked to make sure that every aspect is up-to-date and complies with the laws and this if frankly very reassuring from a business perspective and should also be equally reassuring for schools and supply teachers too. They know that when they deal with an education audited supply agency they will be treated correctly and that all the required information is provided without having to ask for it.
From a schools perspective on the odd occasion when a complaint against a supply teacher is made all the necessary information required and the process to be followed is always available which instantly reduces the stress of a safeguarding allegation which is always difficult to manage.
Schools also need to provide information to OFSTED in respect of supply teachers when the visit happens. A quality marked agency will be able to provide all the required information by return if they have not already provided it in the past as part of the normal assignment confirmation process for each supply teacher engaged.
The REC Education audit is an annual assessment and must be passed to retain the quality mark. The bottom line is that this quality mark provides reassurance for all parties, schools, teachers, parents and the agency itself.