The Assessment Centre is one of the accreditation process stages for schools applying for Quality Mark accreditation for the first time. Accredited schools are also required to successfully complete the Assessment Centre biennially in order to maintain their accreditation as a World Class school.
Find out more about the accreditation process and eligibility criteria.
The WCSQM Assessment Centre – what to expect
The Assessment Centre is a one-day real-life project that takes place in real time. Wherever possible this will be a physical event hosted by a World Class school or partner organisation / charity.
The Assessment Centre presents participating students with a challenge they must work together to complete. Working in teams, students will need to work together in their self-allocated roles to carry out a number of tasks expected in the workplace. Roles and tasks include
- Project management
- Presentation coordination
- Resource management
- Video production
- Finance management
- Research and development
- risk assessment
- Research and awareness of the environment and sustainability in relation to the project.
On the day, students work in their teams to complete their project in the allocated time, before presenting on their project to a panel of industry experts. Throughout the day they will be attending meetings with their peers, with stakeholders and with the panel of industry experts. Qualified and trainee student assessors will be on hand throughout the process to assess student performance and to provide guidance where needed, with assessment measured against the WCSQM framework of characteristics.
Who will attend?
Applicant school students
The Assessment Centre is entirely student led and student focused. Up to six World Class ambassador students from each eligible applicant school can take part. Students can be from any year group.
Participating students will be allocated into teams, with students from each school working in a team together, alongside peers from other applicant schools – where possible teams are made up of a combination of primary, secondary and special school students, to maximise the learning experience.
Each participating student will be shadowed on the day by their allocated student assessor, who will in turn be supervised and supported by the WCSQM Assessment team, on hand to support all assessors, and to oversee the smooth running of the assessment process.
Industry expert consultants
A team of industry consultants specialising in areas relevant to the project and specific team roles will be available to support, advise and guide students throughout the day. Teams will present their final projects to this panel of experts at the end of the day, and consultant feedback will be shared with assessors.
Students and staff from the host school
Event management on the day will be undertaken by student ambassadors selected by the host school, and their role will be to ensure all visiting staff, students and consultants are welcomed, signed in and out, directed to their relevant areas and meetings throughout the day, and to set up, oversee and ensure the smooth running of the final presentation at the end of the day. Student event managers will be supported on the day by a small team of staff from the host school. Students will also take on the role of focus group, ensuring participating students have a good understanding of their school’s ethos and their own perspective as the primary stakeholders.
When does the Assessment Centre take place?
Subject to reaching a minimum number of accrediting schools, we run two Assessment Centres each year in March and October. Wherever possible it will take place on a school day in term time, but as term dates vary from school to school, it may be that some Assessment Centre dates fall in your school’s half term, and indeed many schools prefer this. Timings may vary, but the day tends to mirror a school day – i.e. 9am – 3:30-4pm.
In 2020/21 the assessment centre process was adapted to respond to the Covid-19 restrictions. Anisha, Year 9 at King Edward VI Handsworth Wood Girls’ Academy has written a blog highlighting her team’s experience of the assessment centre process during the pandemic.
Where does the Assessment Centre take place?
With schools participating from around the UK, we aim to vary the location of our Assessment Centres, to make it as convenient and affordable travel-wise as possible for participating schools.
Upcoming assessment centres
20th October 2022, Swavesey Village College, Swavesey, Cambridgeshire
16th March 2023, Finham Park School, Coventry
Application and participation deadlines
If you are an accredited WCSQM school, you will be eligible to take part in the Assessment Centre every two years, in order to maintain your accreditation. You will be notified of your Assessment Centre date at least six months in advance.
Once you are registered for the Assessment Centre
Within 4 weeks of receiving confirmation of your Assessment Centre booking – you will be asked to confirm details of your student ambassadors that will be taking part in the event, and any accompanying staff (students below the age of 16 will need to be accompanied by at least one member of staff).
1 – 2 weeks prior to the Assessment Centre – your students and nominated staff member/s will receive the event joining instructions with details of the project and what to expect on the day. This marks the official start of the second stage of your assessment process, and in the days prior to the event, students will likely be asked to:
- Introduce themselves (virtually) to their fellow team members
- Familiarise themselves with the scope of the project
- Through discussions with their team decide on and allocate team roles that maximise the strengths of all team members
- Introduce themselves to their assessor/s and keep their assessor/s in the loop on all pre-event communications relevant to the project
- Make contact with specialist industry consultants as part of pre-event planning and research
- Carry out initial project planning, resourcing and research required prior to the day
- Submit pre-event planning and research documentation to assessor/s
On the day – students will arrive at the host school / venue to be welcomed and registered by student ambassadors. Following an initial briefing, students will be allocated the space and resources required to work together as a team to complete their project. The scope of the project itself will vary, but it will likely include a range of administrative, theoretical and practical tasks. The day will end with each team presenting on their project to the team of expert consultants and stakeholders. Students will have deadlines to meet throughout the day for submitting various pieces of project work, and they will need to work together and independently to meet these deadlines.
Up to a week after the event – Students may have up to a week after the event to complete and upload various elements of their project e.g. brochure, video.
Up to 8 weeks after the event – In the weeks following the event, assessors will write up their reports based on the skills and competencies evidenced in person and in face to face and virtual communications by each student. Each report undergoes an in-depth quality assurance process, overseen and signed off by a Qualified Assessor, Lead Assessor and/or Assessment Manager, and by the WCSQM Director. Schools will be issued with assessment reports for each individual student and the school as a whole (where relevant the video submission will form part of the assessment report), along with a pass/fail mark, no later than 8 weeks after the event.
2-3 months after the event – If you have successfully passed the Assessment Centre, you will:
- Receive details of the WCSQM Awards Ceremony where your school’s accreditation will be announced, and your students will be awarded the WCSQM plaque which you can display in school.
- Be invited to email us your school logo / promotional copy / an image to feature on the Schools page of our website to promote your school as World Class.
- Receive detailed information on the benefits of WCSQM accreditation, including tips on how to get maximum value from your World Class status
If you are unsuccessful in passing the Assessment Centre, your reports will provide positive and constructive feedback on strengths and areas of improvement to help you maximise your chance of success should you choose to re-apply for accreditation in the future. You can re-apply at any time following your first Assessment Centre, as long as your school continues to meet the eligibility criteria required.