What is Validation
Validation by CDMT is awarded to those providers that offer graded, vocational and diploma examinations in dance, drama, musical theatre and the related performing arts who work with Ofqual, either directly or through a partner organisation, and whose qualifications are recognised on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF). They must successfully undertake a full institutional inspection and programme scrutiny by CDMT, which typically involves submission of self-evaluation documentation by the applicant and a two day visit of the organisation by three industry consultants, as well as make annual membership payments and take part in a regular cycle of monitoring activities.
In support of ensuring the highest standards of examination provision, CDMT carries out quality assurance inspections and comparability studies of member awarding organisations and their examinations, as well as being part of a range of regulatory forums with the purpose of contributing to national initiatives and to improving consistency and public understanding of performing arts’ qualifications across the education system. Validation is used by awarding organisations to support their submissions to Ofqual and other regulators, with CDMT providing an authoritative source of information on matters affecting all graded examinations.
A key feature of CDMT Validation is participation in annual comparability studies, reviewing candidate work at a particular grade. The event itself typically consists of video recordings of candidate work, along with associated documentation and syllabus’, which are reviewed and discussed collectively. Participants are invited to consider:
- Whether the standard of the presented work is consistent with the standard for that of the grade
- Whether the standards are consistent with the level descriptors
The purpose of the comparability studies is to ensure that graded examinations across the multitude of awarding organisations demonstrate consistent expectations at every level, particularly focusing on the general comparison of content, examination timings, mark schemes and quality criteria, and overall grading. The results of this review are then shared with awarding organisations to support their position in the UK qualification market.