Lantra has been very vocal about bringing quality assessments to Veterinary Nursing as we understand how important it is for everyone involved to have confidence in the assessment before, during and after the event.
This update outlines the key processes Lantra follows to deliver high quality assessments.
The structure of the Lantra Veterinary Nursing qualification is:
- Five Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) papers
- One assignment
- Nursing Progress Log (NPL)
In order to ensure that these assessments are robust, we undergo certain quality assurance processes so that we can provide the best experience and quality level possible for Learners.
Firstly, the assessments are written by technical authors who have proven competence and experience in Veterinary Nursing. The authors are assigned a set number of questions to write and once complete, these are returned to Lantra for an internal review. The questions are then sent to an Angoff meeting, followed by another review by an external Subject Matter Expert (SMEs) to be signed off.
When there is a certain volume of questions available, these are reviewed in an Angoff meeting with at least eight external SMEs involved. This applies to both the MCQ questions and OSCE tasks.
The Angoff method is used by Awarding Organisations as an industry standard to set pass scores for assessments. This method is considered a valid and defensible approach for establishing pass scores as it involves the input of Subject Matter Experts, ensuring that the pass/fail decision is based on expert judgment rather than arbitrary criteria.
This allows for a precise alignment between the content of the assessment and the expected performance of Learners taking the assessments. SMEs assess each item's difficulty and relevance to the content domain. The process is transparent and systematic, involving a panel of SMEs who openly discuss and justify their judgments. This transparency helps enhance the credibility of the pass/fail decisions.
We use this method across all of the banked papers we have available, as this helps to maintain consistency in setting passing scores across different versions of the same test - or across different exam administrations, ensuring fairness for all Learners. Each question paper developed will have its own mark based on the questions within the paper and it is not a pass mark for the unit.
This process also provides the opportunity to give feedback to assessment writers, allowing for the improvement of assessment items and the overall quality of the assessment.
While this does take time, it also gives greater confidence in the questions and provides longer term security and sustainability to the question bank.
On top of this, the recruitment, training and standardisation of the Examiners and Assessors is also critical. Without consistency in assessment decisions, it is again difficult to maintain quality assessments.
This is why all of Lantra’s OSCE examiners and Professional Discussion Assessors are required to submit their qualifications, experience and CPD records as part of the initial application process. They are then required to undergo training and standardisation on an annual basis.
The events took place across the country during the summer and the feedback was very positive!
This ensures that the whole Examiner/Assessor team have the same understanding of the marking criteria and can make consistent and fair decisions on Learner performance during the assessment.
The Lantra MCQs have been performing well against the expectations set out in the Angoff meetings and we have been taking feedback from Providers to fine tune any issues. We have the confidence to be open and transparent about our question banks because of the work that has been put into them. We will continue to work with stakeholders to ensure that they continue to improve.
The first Lantra OSCEs have now taken place and it was a fantastic opportunity to see more of our assessments being delivered in person.
The Veterinary Nursing sector deserves to have robust assessments in place and Lantra aims to have these ready to ensure the next generation of Veterinary Nurses are fully prepared and equipped for their career.