Professional Responsibility and each of the skills taught on the course are assessed during the course. Instructors mark assessments according to established and publicised criteria and the national standards set for competency and in some cases, merit.
IPLS operates an internal and external moderation system for each seminar to ensure trainees are treated fairly and assessments are marked to the same standards across all centres. An IPLS staff member is appointed as the national internal moderator for each assessment and reviews random samples of assessments, as well as any assessment marked “Not Yet Competent” by an instructor.
Assessments are compulsory and under Regulation 21 of the Professional Legal Studies Course Regulations 2004, the National Director has only limited options if asked to exercise her discretion to allow a deferral. These are accident, illness, disability, family bereavement, personal stress or otherwise.
Applications for deferrals must be made in writing at least seven days from the assessment date. Failing to sit an assessment, failing to apply for a deferral or not being granted a deferral, will result in the trainee being graded ‘Not Yet Competent’ for that skills assessment.