online accreditation visits

Everything you need to know

Home > Everything you need to know about online accreditation visits

If you are planning to go ahead with an accreditation visit this term, well done!

We know how challenging the conditions are in school right now and signing up for an accreditation visit at this time shows us how committed you are to children’s rights.

We want to make the experience as positive and supportive as possible for you. So, we will adopt a flexible approach, tailored to the criteria you have in place in your school around keeping safe.We know that it may feel daunting, but we have successfully trialled our virtual accreditation visits with many schools now.

One RRSA lead who took part in a Gold virtual accreditation visit provided positive feedback on their experience and said: “I would recommend the process to anyone that may be thinking about arranging their accreditation or reaccreditation assessments.”

Having an accreditation visit on the horizon is a great way to focus your efforts on children’s rights. Once you book you will be assigned an assessor with whom you can discuss the details of the visit.

Meetings with children during the visit

We will be guided by you on who we speak to during the visit. If we cannot meet, for example, your steering group pupils that is fine. We trust you to tell us about their work and its impact. Possible approaches to meetings might include:

  • Bringing a range of children, socially distanced, into one space with the laptop camera and microphone set up to show most of children and an image of the assessor(s) displayed on a screen.
  • Meeting several groups of three or four children in different bubbles for shorter periods of discussion, perhaps 15 minutes per bubble. In their bubble, they could gather around a laptop or table if their voices can be picked up on the device used.
  • Using Microsoft Teams with pupils at workstations around the school site but all joining the one meeting with the assessor(s). This may work particularly well for steering groups, especially in secondary settings.
  • Parents and governors may be able to contribute to the visit through this method too.

Our top tip for a smooth running session is to build in quick breaks between each meeting so you can move around or gather new groups – you can leave the meeting and then return when you are ready.

In some special schools or occasionally in other settings, direct conversations with children and young people are not possible. If this is the case in your school, we encourage you to be creative in how you share their voice with us, get evidence of their awareness and why rights matter in their lives.

Your evidence portfolio

Careful curation is the name of the game when it comes to your evidence file or portfolio. We do not want you to send us everything. Be selective and just send us your most powerful examples. If there seems to be a lack of evidence for any of the Outcomes, we will let you know during the visit and you can fill us in on that particular area.

Collecting and presenting everything in a PowerPoint file is the method that we have found works best for evidence portfolios. If you have paper-only evidence, like a piece of work completed by a child, we recommend photographing this and putting it into the PowerPoint file. Photos of things like displays and charters can be helpful to include as well. A few hyperlinks to relevant website evidence can be useful, for example to a policy linked to rights or to a newsletter mentioning articles. We do not want to add a huge task to your already high workload, so do keep it simple and concise.

Having an accreditation visit on the horizon is a great way to focus your efforts on children’s rights. Once you book you will be assigned an assessor with whom you can discuss the details of the visit. So do email the team to book in – the 2020/21 calendar is filling up!

To book email us at rrsa@unicef.org.uk