Follow-up statement on the PPAD pre-validation process for the Musical Theatre Academy

Follow-up statement on the PPAD pre-validation process for the Musical Theatre Academy

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BY: Trinity College London
05 September 2022

In our initial statement of 16th August, we confirmed that we had received a complaint from the Principal of the MTA regarding their PPAD pre-validation and that these concerns were being reviewed by an independent expert. This independent review, expected to be delivered by 13th September, has been completed and the report sent to the MTA today, along with Trinity’s final pre-validation report.

The integrity and diligence of our validation processes have been recognised and upheld by the independent expert, who considers our processes just and fair. In particular, the expert finds that the evidence clearly demonstrates that we did not suppress or falsify any findings of the original assessor in our final pre-validation report. On the contrary, the recommendations in our report reflect the original assessor’s findings, often verbatim.

The expert notes that the recommendations in the report relate to what would be needed to adapt the course to the delivery of a Level 6 Diploma and are not criticisms of the course as previously run. Furthermore, in upholding Level 6 assessment standards, requesting evidence of a functioning assessment system, and requiring institutional stability, Trinity has operated with appropriate due diligence as a validating body.

In addition, she points out that validation is designed as a multi-stage process precisely to allow colleges to identify what they will need to do in order to succeed before committing to the time and expense of undergoing a full validation, and that the pre-validation of MTA delivered exactly what this stage of the validation process is designed to do.

The expert did find, however, that we had taken too long to issue our pre-validation report and that we had failed to manage the MTA’s expectations regarding our findings sufficiently. Although there were mitigating circumstances for our delay and the report was produced within our published timelines, we accept that some of our processes can take too long, and we will address this as part of a general review of validation that is now underway. As part of this review, we will also look at how we can improve our customer communications.

We would like to repeat again that we are sorry for this delay. Whilst we note again that the delay did not contribute to the MTA’s inability to secure government funding, we are also sorry that the MTA is to close.

In acknowledgement of the delay the MTA experienced, Trinity accepts the recommendation of the independent expert to process a refund of the pre-validation fees and we will action this straight away.

The complaints process is now concluded.

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