Plymouth NVQ students 'let down' by assessor's fraud
AN NVQ assessor filled in false marks for students in a fraud which netted him £9,225, a court heard.
David Peters, aged 48, pocketed payments for work he had not done with 15 candidates, Plymouth Crown Court was told.
It meant NVQs in waste management were awarded when the students had not been fully assessed.
One candidate ripped up his certificate when he found out he had not been properly monitored, a judge was told.
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Peters, of Camperknowle Close, Millbrook near Torpoint, admitted 15 counts of fraud by false representation between October 2009 and January 2011.
Jo Martin, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said the Skills Funding Agency paid an industry board to contract Exeter College to teach NVQs in waste management.
The college in turn sub-contracted a private company called Safetycor which paid Peters to assess students on the job.
Miss Martin said Peters was paid £450 to meet the students regularly and assess their work with an individually-designed learning plan.
She added: "This case came to the SFA's attention when one of the learners contacted them and started the ball rolling, saying they did not feel they had been assessed properly and they felt that the qualification certificate they had ultimately been given by Peters was pretty worthless."
Miss Martin said the SFA launched a major investigation and called the police, who found Peters had not met the students regularly.
The court heard that he faked several of their signatures on assessment documents.
She added: "The students feel let down. One candidate feels the qualification is worth so little that he has torn up his certificate."
Miss Martin said his fraud added up to £9,225, though the ultimate loser was unclear.
She added Exeter College was taking legal action against Safetycor to force the company to provide education for the students for no additional payment.
Paul Rowsell, for Peters, said he was a man of "impeccable character" who was ashamed of his actions.
He added his deception was born out of stress and overwork rather than motivated by money.
Mr Rowsell said: "He had too much on his plate and he had financial difficulties."
He added he met the candidates and had done some of the work and had carried out other contracts honestly.
Judge Paul Darlow said some of the money he pocketed went on holidays, "nice presents" and paying off credit card bills.
He added he would leave the issue of compensation to the civil courts.
Judge Darlow said: "You have left a trail of litigation behind you for others to sort out."
Peters was given a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work. He must pay £500 towards the prosecution costs.