Compass launches online self-assessment solution for colleges

Published 6/9/2014 by Advanced, Editor

Compass Computer Consultants, an Advanced Computer Software Group company, today announces the launch of ProSAR - a solution that helps colleges to streamline the self-assessment of their courses. ProSAR is the latest solution in an 11-strong suite of products, which is used by more than 90 per cent of colleges in England.

ProSAR is a web-based application that is run on the college’s intranet to allow staff, such as heads of departments, to evaluate the effectiveness of the courses they manage. Every college completes a self-assessment review annually and this is used to create action plans for improvement and forms part of Ofsted inspections.

The system’s default set of questions are the same as those used by Ofsted’s College Inspection Framework, to ensure both the inspectors and the colleges are working to the same criteria. They can also be configured to include other questions.

Andy Makeham, Managing Director of Compass, says, “This centralised online system integrates with other Compass products and third party software to pull all relevant information together into an electronic report, giving Ofsted inspectors and college managers instant data regarding self-assessment.

“The solution takes something that can be a time-consuming and laborious process and makes it easier and quicker.”

Compass developed ProSAR in partnership with one of its long-term customers, Newcastle-under-Lyme College. The ProSAR solution was born out of an in-house system created by the college to carry out its self-assessment.

Since implementing its own in-house system, the college, which has around 600 staff and 3,500 16-18 year old students, has seen a significant increase in its overall success rate. The number of people who passed a course as a percentage of the number of people who started it increased by nine per cent. Compass worked with the college to further develop and adapt the system, and create a solution that can be used more widely across the further education sector.

Martin Lawrie, Head of Learning and Quality Systems at Newcastle-under-Lyme College, said: “Many people in colleges are writing their own self-assessments at course level and this can be problematic and time-consuming with varying reports using different data.”

ProSAR ensures those doing self-assessment are using centrally validated data with only one version that is used by everyone. It also allows managers to track individual stages of completion as well as comparing performance against action plans.

Lawrie adds, “A significant benefit of this system is that it makes the whole self-assessment process easier and more effective, which makes it less of a chore for those having to complete self-assessment.”

Compass was acquired by Advanced Computer Software Group in February of this year and is part of the group’s Business Solutions division.