External review rates NEC childcare and early years courses as ‘excellent’


An external review by NCFE CACHE has reported a high level of quality in the National Extension College's (NEC’s) Childcare and Early Years Distance Learning Courses – with three courses receiving an overall rating of ‘excellent’.

The NEC is committed to delivering quality in distance learning across its diverse course portfolio. An external review by NCFE CACHE has reported a high level of quality in the NEC’s Childcare and Early Years Distance Learning Courses – with three courses receiving an overall rating of ‘excellent’.

NCFE CACHE is a national awarding body that designs, develops and certifies qualifications in the care and education sector. Through the NEC, distance learners can access a range of NCFE CACHE courses in Childcare and Early Learning to support professional development and widen future career prospects.

In a recent External Quality Assurance (EQA) inspection by NCFE CACHE, three NEC courses were rated ‘excellent’ in all areas:

As an awarding body, NCFE CACHE has a comprehensive EQA process, created to ensure its qualifications are delivered effectively and to a high standard. The process covers all aspects of course delivery from management and administration, to assessment and internal quality monitoring.

The NCFE CACHE report highlights the NEC’s firm commitment to supporting distance learners: “The team has a shared approach to supporting, monitoring and driving improvement and takes seriously its responsibility for removing barriers to learning.” The report also notes that in the Early Years sector, the College has “developed a wide range of local, national and European connections.”

With regard to course management and administration the EQA report confirmed that the NEC systems: “do exactly what is required without taking over from the main objective of learning and achieving.” The report also noted that the impact of the NEC staff was: ‘a good example of what can be achieved with the right people in the right places.’

The student experience at the NEC was reported in a favourable light, with feedback from tutors described as: “supportive, positive and encouraging”. Evidence was provided to show that the NEC delivers: “sustained, supportive and constructive feedback [which] shows the journey of each learner and not just the end result.”

Assessment and internal quality processes at the NEC were shown to follow best practice, with evidence of a “… continual strive for effective assessment to take place and for the quality process to identify any developmental needs.”

Alison Edwards, Education and Quality Manager at the NEC, reflects on the findings of the EQA report: “Following a thorough EQA process, we were delighted to receive confirmation from NFCE CACHE that our systems, assessment and quality processes deliver the highest standard of learning for students on our Childcare and Early Learning courses.”

Dr Ros Morpeth, CEO of the NEC comments: “At the NEC we are committed to quality in distance learning. To be independently validated as ‘excellent’ by NFCE CACHE is a great achievement for our staff – from administrators through to tutors and assessors. It demonstrates their personal commitment to ensuring each student has access to an exceptional learning experience.”




About the National Extension College (NEC)

The National Extension College (NEC) transforms lives through learning. It opens up futures for people of all ages, from diverse backgrounds and cultures by offering access to flexible distance learning courses across the UK and beyond.

Over the past 50 years, the NEC has forged a reputation for quality and innovation in learning, alongside a deep commitment to offering each student an exceptional level of support in achieving their future ambitions.   www.nec.ac.uk


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NEC is a not-for-profit organisation which offers flexible learning opportunities to people who are unable to attend a school or college, and has helped more than 750,000 learners and broaden their education since 1963.

National Extension College (NEC)