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ICE to evolve its professional review programme

21 August 2023

The institution is rebalancing the programme to reflect post-pandemic needs. Changes come into effect after the March 2024 session.

ICE to evolve its professional review programme
Survey feedback made it clear that both online and in-person reviews are needed. Image credit: Shutterstock

The ICE has announced it will be updating its professional reviews programme from 2024, changing the frequency of sessions and rebalancing the mix of in-person and online reviews.

Now that the need for emergency measures during the Covid-19 pandemic has passed, more in-person reviews will be offered.

The number of review sessions will also be updated to one every four months.

The changes will come into effect after March 2024, with the next two main sessions in June and October 2024.

Informed by feedback from the community

During the pandemic, the ICE moved rapidly to adapt the reviews programme.

ICE Professional Reviews Panel co-chair Caroline Tong thanked all who contributed to that response and who have sustained the reviews programme since then:

"The ICE moved swiftly to online and more frequent reviews when the pandemic hit in 2020. It was a tremendous achievement that everyone involved with the ICE can be proud of.

“Our thanks go to everyone involved with professional reviews for their support and commitment through the most challenging of times,” she said.

The institution is aware that those emergency measures, while necessary at the time, are putting unsustainable pressures on the programme.

But, also, that many pandemic-induced innovations have been received positively and should be retained.

A survey with responses from over 1,200 members and other stakeholders commissioned in late 2022 has clarified the needs and priorities for the review community – from candidates, to reviewers, mentors, and employers.

The ICE extends its gratitude to those who took the time to provide input through the survey – it has shaped the institution’s thinking on how the reviews programme needs to evolve.

A framework fit for all stakeholders

The survey feedback made it clear that both online and in-person reviews are needed and that there’s a middle ground where the frequency of review sessions can work for all stakeholders.

In addition, to ensure the integrity of the reviews long-term, more need to be in-person to support reviewer training and development.

Reflecting those findings, and to support the different stakeholders including candidates preparing to sit a review, the ICE will be adopting the following framework after March 2024:

  • Session frequency: the ICE will run three main review sessions a year centred on February, June, and October plus an additional main session in Hong Kong in October.
  • Session format: at least one week in each session will be in-person with reviewer training, briefings, and workshops run in parallel. The remaining weeks will be online.
  • Session locations: London, UK, will be the focus for in-person reviews, with additional in-person sessions at other locations in the UK and internationally.

The three main sessions will be open to review candidates as well as apprentices sitting End Point Assessments (EPA), which are the final stage of an apprenticeship in England.

The ICE is aware that EPAs may work to a different timetable and will be consulting with apprenticeship training providers to ensure these sessions can align with apprenticeship programmes.

The new framework ensures a more sustainable pace to reviewing, while continuing to offer candidates regular opportunities to sit a review both online and in-person.

The more structured hybrid sessions create space to bring reviewers together in numbers to support the training and networking that are so vital for good practice and consistency across the reviewer community.

Meanwhile, the strong online component ensures reviews remain open and accessible to all.

“We trust that the changes announced today will give everyone involved confidence that the ICE has listened and that the reviews programme is being reset to meet our current and future needs,” ICE Professional Reviews Panel co-chair Alistair Hitchcock said.

Further details and FAQs

Review dates for 2024 have now been updated to reflect these changes.

The ICE has created answers to common questions, including for apprentices planning for End-Point Assessments.

Any questions not covered by the FAQs, can be directed to [email protected].

  • John Laverty, head of qualifications at ICE