Building Trust in Assessor Training

Building Trust in Assessor Training

Everybody’s telling me something different and I just don’t know what to do!

That’s something we hear a lot! There seems to be a lot of conflicting advice online about Assessor training. It doesn’t help that the framework has gone through multiple changes, confusing the issues with old and new qualifications being used interchangeably.

We’re here to make it all clear. There is only one path to becoming a fully qualified Assessor – the CAVA course.

Search for the CAVA qualification

The CAVA course is the only course that will make you a fully qualified Assessor. Any other course will not fully qualify you and will significantly reduce your chances of getting an Assessor job upon completion.

So, if you’re seeing a lot of acronyms or a course phrased in any other way than CAVA or ‘Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement’, you’re on the wrong track.

That being said, it’s good if you know that the CAVA course replaced the A1 Awards back in 2010. So, you may see this term flying around. However, before you start a course, make sure it is the current curriculum and the current award – CAVA.

How to Choose a Training Provider

Now you know you’re choosing the right qualification – the one and only official route into a career in assessment. Now the question is ‘which training provider should I choose?’.

Here is Brooks and Kirk’s checklist to make sure you’re choosing a reputable training provider.

1)      Are they offering a CAVA qualification?

As we discussed earlier, the CAVA qualification is the only official qualification for becoming a fully qualified Assessor. 

2)      Do they have a long history in training assessment?

Be wary of training providers that offer a very wide range of qualifications. A training provider that specialises in assessing is more likely to offer the best expertise and have the highest pass rates.

3)      Do they invest time in people looking to enrol?

You want to enrol with a training provider that is going to offer you continued support throughout your course. If a training provider seems disinterested; too quick to take your money; or can’t answer your questions; you may want to continue searching.

4)        Do they offer flexible (but compliant) learning options?

Many learners want to study to be an Assessor while continuing in their current role. This can cause problems if there are very limited study options. If a training provider offers different learning options (such as distance learning), that’s a positive sign you’ll be able to see your training through to the end.

However, compliance still matters. To become a qualified Assessor, you will need access to learners. A reputable training provider will be able to give you access to learners if you don’t have learners to assess within your own workplace.

If a training provider can’t offer this option, then it may be worth looking to a more prepared organisation.

5)        Is there support throughout the course?

Less reputable training providers will enrol you in the course and then vanish until your final exam. An invested training provider will offer continued support through mentorship, additional resources, and personal guidance.

6)        Is the cost what you expect?

Question the cost. Price point is a good indication of whether a course leads to a legitimate qualification. £20 to become an Assessor? If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Assessor Training with Brooks and Kirk

Brooks and Kirk are training providers who have been providing assessor training for over 20 years. And that’s all we do – assessment and quality assurance are the backbone of our organisation. We are the experts.

What’s more, we offer personalised support to each of our learners throughout their courses. We want our learners to succeed and achieve their goal of becoming Assessors. It’s what we do!

We offer on-site and distance learning with access to learners to ensure you can complete your course. We’ve got all the tools you need for successful completion of your qualification.

So, if you want to gain your Assessment qualification with one of the UK’s leaders in assessment training, to be supported all the way, and have access to our video tutorials, articles, and mentors, then contact us today. We can set you on the path to your dream career as an Assessor.

Who are End-Point Assessment Organisations?

Who are End-Point Assessment Organisations?

So by now, you know what End-Point Assessments are. And, you’ve probably heard of End-Point Assessment Organisations (EPAOs); but may not exactly know who they are. We’re going to have a look into this, and also find out what End-Point Assessment Organisations actually do…

Who are End-Point Assessment Organisations?

Awarding Bodies, Training Providers, and Professional Bodies can become EPAOs. Each of these organisations must be registered on the EPAO register before they can carry out Independent End-Point Assessments with Apprentices. So, once approved and registered by the Government, any of the 3 groups can become an EPAO.

It’s important to know that only the organisations that are on the register are eligible to take part in the Apprentice’s End-Point Assessment. Whilst there might be a number of different people/organisations that are involved in the End-Point Assessment, only the EPAO needs to be listed on the register.

What exactly do End-Point Assessment Organisations do?

EPAOs are completely independent from the rest of the Apprentice’s NVQ. Their main responsibility is making sure that Apprentices’ all receive the same standards in their End-Point Assessments. So, in line with the assessment plan, EPA’s responsibilities are, to name a few:

  • Design and develop the content of the End-Point Assessment;
  • Check and verify that the Apprentice has completed any essential elements prior to the End-Point Assessment, including any mandatory qualifications;
  • Carry out End-Point Assessments of Apprentices;
  • Quality assure the End-Point Assessment they deliver;
  • Stick to the external quality assurance arrangements;
  • Make sure that End-Point Assessment is synoptic and independent;
  • Identify and record when the Apprentice has passed the End-Point Assessment.

So, that’s summed up who End-Point Assessment Organisation are, and what they do. Keep an eye out for our next blog, where we’ll explain how you can find an End-Point Assessment Organisation…

Is TAQA a recognised qualification?

Is TAQA a recognised qualification?

We’ve been delivering Assessor training for a long time now, and we love doing what we do. But we’re going to have to be really honest about something and let out our frustrations, because it has been bugging us for a long time…

TAQA is NOT a course! You cannot be qualified in TAQA. TAQA is not an accredited qualification.

Of course, it’s perfectly understandable that people who are new to Assessing will be confused by what TAQA is. But our frustrations are with awarding bodies and job adverts who specifically ask for ‘TAQA/A1’.

After all, TAQA isn’t a qualification, and A1 is the old name for the CAVA! So, let’s straighten this out once and for all.

What is TAQA?

Alright, we’ve composed ourselves. So, TAQA is the title for a suite of qualifications. It is not a qualification itself. You cannot be ‘qualified in TAQA’.

TAQA stands for Training, Assessment, and Quality Assurance. Now, inside of TAQA, is where you will find the Assessor qualifications, along with Quality Assurance qualifications and the Adult Teaching qualifications. This diagram should help you…

So! Under ‘T’ for ‘Training’ we have:

Under ‘A’ for ‘Assessment’ we have:

And finally, under ‘QA’ for ‘Quality Assurance’ we have:

(We’ve kindly linked all of the above qualifications to their respective pages on our website so you can easily find out which one qualifies you to do what!)

In any event, if you do happen to see any job adverts that specifically asks for ‘TAQA‘ or ‘A1‘ or ‘D32‘ – this means the Level 3 CAVA. We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again; you cannot be qualified in ‘TAQA’. Companies should not be asking for you to be as this is not factually correct.

And of course, if you have any questions about TAQA and it’s components, please feel free to drop us a comment below or give us a call on 01205 805 155.

Office Life as an Elf

Office Life as an Elf

As some of you may know, we’ve had a visitor staying with us in the office for the past few weeks. Our very own Elf! He’s seen us write a number of blogs over the past few weeks and wanted to have a go of it for himself – take it away, Elfie!

Office Life as an Elf

The First Day

“The 30th November 2018 was the day I found a new office to cause mischief in. It was Friday teatime, in a very busy London Kings Cross train station. I saw four very withered looking people, who looked like they’d been working very hard in the City.  I knew this was my prime opportunity to jump into the very loud blonde lady’s rucksack and we hopped onto a train to Peterborough.

The train journey was only 50 minutes long, but it felt like a lifetime; stuck in a bag full of dirty clothes and makeup! Finally, we got off the train, walked to the car – and then I got tossed into the boot! Little did they know I was in the lady’s bag!

Fast forward to 3rd December, it was my first day in the office! Here’s a photo of me in the car on my way to Brooks and Kirk!”

Let’s Decorate!

“When I arrived, I thought where is the Christmas spirit? There were no Christmas decorations up, which meant no tinsel for me to hang off! The staff looked like they had no Christmas spirit what so ever. Maybe they were on Santa’s naughty list?

A couple of days passed, and I was settled into my new playground – but still no sign of the Christmas decorations. Conveniently, a few hours later some boxes were plonked in reception and two girls started to open them. Finally, the Christmas decorating had commenced! I must admit, the girls did struggle just to put up a ‘Merry Christmas’ banner but they made the best out of a bad bunch. An hour or so later, I was hanging off the tree! Who needs an angel when you can have me; an elf behaving badly?!”

“A bonus of being a new member of staff is all the food. I’ve helped myself to lots of food whilst I’ve been here, especially biscuits – they are definitely my favourite! Piling on the pounds to keep me warm for my journey back to the North Pole.”

My New Friends

“Whilst getting up to mischief, I’ve made a few friends – or should I say; partners in crime, along the way! I even got to experience different cultures when I met a few Russian dolls! They dressed me up and made me part of their family!

I also got to catch up with one of my bosses, the man himself, Santa! At first, it was a bit awkward as I wasn’t sure how he knew I was here but it turns out he’s not out delivering presents this year. He’s leaving it up to Mrs. Clause and Rudolph. Instead, he’s joined a band so I got to be a ‘groupie’ for a night and we performed a few Christmas classics to the staff.  They didn’t seem too impressed; I think Santa needed to recharge his batteries.”


“Anyway, I’m going to end this here as I have arm ache (I only have little arms) and I am missing out on causing mischief before the staff leaves for Christmas tomorrow! I might as well make the most of it whilst they’re here, as I’ll be on my way back to the North Pole when they come back to work next Thursday.

Overall I have really enjoyed my stay at Brooks and Kirk head office and would definitely like to visit again next Christmas. I have been well looked after, especially with all the biscuits. I’d definitely give them a 5 star on trip advisor!

I hope you have a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone!”

Love Elfie


Becoming a Retail Assessor – Are you a Mo?

You may feel like you can relate to a man we know… working in Retail and sick of the same old 9-5? Wanting to put your retail knowledge and skills into practice by helping others? We may have just the career for you…

Are you a Mo?

Mo (Formally known as Mohamed) is a family man. He lives with his wife, Maya and has two children who live locally. His Daughter called Amira, she’s 25 and a son called Imran, who is 30. Mo is also a dog lover and has 2 Labradors one called Buster and the other called Billy. He enjoys spending all his spare time being outdoors, come rain or shine. Whether that’s taking the dogs for a walk down around the woods or off out golfing with his friends.

9 – 5 and the rest…

Mo is a Manager of a store for a fairly high-end international clothing brand. He has worked in retail for 37 years now, starting in the industry at 18 years old. Over the years Mo has climbed up the Retail ladder from gaining his Level 3 NVQ in Retail to completing his Level 5 in Management. This has opened up more doors and opportunities for him, which is why he has been a Store Manager for various brands over the past 30 years. Although he loves Retail, the hours can sometimes be inconvenient… Especially when Mo has to work Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and New Years because of the festive sales. This means he misses out on valuable family time! Therefore he would like something with hours that suit him.

Goodbye frontline Retail

As Mo has been working in Retail for so long he has seen many different eager beavers who want to learn more about Retail. This ranges from people doing a week of work experience or even doing a 2 yearlong apprenticeship. He enjoys these aspects of his job as he loves to help people and give out as much of his knowledge as he can.

Once, one of the Assessors visited to observe an Apprentice and as Mo was the manager he decided he wanted to sit in on the observation just out of curiosity. As the observation went on Mo wasn’t happy with the standards of the Assessor. So he asked a little bit more about day to day life as an Assessor and how to become one. This was purely because he wanted to see if he could become an assessor and assess people to a higher quality due to not being happy with the Assessor on that day.

The Assessing Life

At first, Mo didn’t pursue a career in assessing but as a couple of years went on he decided to gain his Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement. Now he travels around his local county assessing learners in a variety of different Retail backgrounds. This means no more work over the festive period and more time to spend home with the family!

So, are you a Mo?

If you would like more information about the Assessor Course or would like to speak to a member of our team, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch on;

01205 805155


Get Back into Education This Autumn

As summertime comes to an end, so does the six weeks holiday which means one thing… the kids are back to school! You’re on a mad dash to get them all the latest stationary and new uniform for the autumn term. The nights are starting to draw in and it is starting to get colder. What can you do now the kids are back at school and it’s too cold to sit in the garden after work? Well, we’ve come up with an idea! Now is the prime time to get back into education as the new academic year starts. Why not gain a new set of skills or another qualification whilst sitting next to the fire with a hot chocolate. That way you can join in with the stationary hype too! Look at that notebook or that pen that rubs out! Yes, you heard a pen that rubs out… Why not put that new notebook and pen to use, we’ve got plenty of courses to keep you busy. You never know you could end up landing yourself a new career by Christmas! So let’s take a look at what courses we have to offer;

Assessor Courses

The Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement (CAVA)

Level 3 Award in Assessing Competence in a Work Environment (ACWE)

Level 3 Award in Assessing Vocationally Related Achievement (AVRA)

Level 3 Award in Understanding the Principles and Practices of Assessment (UPPA)

Internal Quality Assurance Courses (IV)

Level 4 Certificate in Leading the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice

Level 4 Award in the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice

Level 4 Award in Understanding the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice

Education and Training Courses

Level 3 Award in Education and Training (AET)

Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training (CET)

If you are interested in enrolling on to one of our courses or would like to find out more information then please contact one of our sales team;

01205 805155


Becoming a Hairdressing Assessor – Are you a Nathan?

Feel like you’ve fulfilled your potential in your current career? We may have just the career for you…

Are you a Nathan?

Nathan is a well-groomed 27-year-old. He loves going to the gym and keeping up with his personal appearance, especially his hair. Like most people in their 20s, Nathan lives for the weekends. Every weekend he has something planned whether that’s going to a gig or event or just traveling to a city to visit friends. Most of his weekends are spent in Manchester as his best friend lives there. Whilst visiting his pal in Manchester he’s never short of things to do there. They go shopping, out for a bite to eat and then hit the clubs. Once the weekend is over Nathan trundles back home in his pristine, gunmetal grey Audi A1. This is his pride and joy, one of his most beloved possessions. Apart from his Louis Vuitton bag of course.  He saved for years and years just for those two items so they are very well looked after! This means washing and polishing his car weekly and cleaning his designer bag religiously with leather cleaning equipment.

He lives alone in his perfectly decorated apartment. We forgot to mention… he is obsessed with decor and architecture. Every time you visit he’s probably got a different colour scheme going on or changed the wallpaper. So you could say he’s a very creative individual. Pinterest is like Nathan’s bible, always giving him ideas for different feature walls or inspiration for what pair of designer trainers he should save up for next.

Salon Life

Once the weekend is over, Nathan is back at work. He is a hairdresser who works in a local salon, he works Monday to Friday. He started off in the hairdressing industry at just 14 as a Saturday boy, sweeping up hair and making cups of tea. Since then he began to take a liking to hairdressing and decided to put his creative flair into this sector. At 16 he signed up for Level 2 hairdressing at the local college, then progressing on to Level 3. 13 years later Nathan is starting to get bored of the same job day in day out and feels like he has fulfilled his potential as a hairdresser.

Becoming a Hairdresser Assessor

The thing Nathan enjoys most about his job is speaking to people and socializing, which he does on a daily basis with clients. Also as part of his job he attends the yearly Hair and Barbering show at the NEC in Birmingham. After looking around various stalls there, he saw a stall advertising jobs for a hairdressing academy. One of the jobs advertised was a hairdresser assessor. He decided to get more information from the stand, in ways in which he could become a hairdressing assessor.

A few days later Nathan decided to do some online research into the CAVA Course; what the course entailed, how long the course is, and where can you do the course? After looking into the course itself, the next logical step for him was to look for potential assessor jobs. Was there many in Nathans local area? What are the hours? How many learners are there? The Hair and Barbering show was a step in the right direction for Nathan’s career change!

The Assessing Life…

After weighing up the course and finding job prospects as a Hairdressing Assessor, Nathan decided to go ahead with the CAVA Course. After completing he decided to go on to do some shadowing of another assessor at the local college. After shadowing the assessor for a month, Nathan got offered a job as a Hairdressing Assessor. He now only works 3 days a week and still gets the same wage as he did when he worked 5 days a week at the Hairdressers! This means more time spent in Manchester and more time to clean his car and designer bag. 

So, Are you a Nathan?

If you would like more information about the Assessor Course or would like to speak to a member of our team, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch on;

01205 805155



Job Prospects as a Qualified Assessor

assessor jobs


One of the most popular questions I get asked daily, is “Where can I find an assessor job?” this is from both learners and potential learners. So, I thought I would write you all a short but sweet blog on ways to find an assessor job.

Job and Recruitment Sites for Assessor Jobs

Here at Brooks and Kirk, we always recommend that you get yourself in front of as many potential employers as you can when you are looking for an assessor job. Obviously, the best place to start this search online, is to have a look at what opportunities job sites and recruitment agencies have. There are a few websites out there that are specifically for jobs in Further Education. Without a doubt, those are the sites you should be trying first.

We know your time is precious, you’ve got assessor jobs to be finding and assessor courses to be completing! So, we have listed a few websites below that tend to be rich with assessor jobs; including a couple of those industry-specific job sites as well:

As well as looking at job sites, it is also worth seeing what a few of the recruitment sites have got in the way of opportunities for assessors as well.

Here are a few to have a look at:

Approach Local Colleges and Training Providers

Sometimes, it pays to be proactive in your job searching. One way of doing this is to contact local colleges and training providers directly to see if they have any vacancies available or could potentially have any freelance work coming up.

Failing that, just asking if they may be able to provide you with any opportunities to shadow an assessor can also be worthwhile. Obviously, not only will you be keeping busy and getting a kind of experience under your belt (which looks better on your CV than a blank space!) but you never know; they could offer you a job at the end of it… If you don’t ask, you don’t get!

The Power of LinkedIn

We also recommend joining LinkedIn as we’ve mentioned before in previous blogs. By joining LinkedIn, you can build your contacts in your industry as well as potential employers. There have even been instances when people have been headhunted for jobs via LinkedIn, so there’s certainly no love lost in getting yourself on there.

There we have it; I have these few pointers come in handy when it comes to finding yourself an assessor job. Now the next step is to find the right job, apply for it and then; to Ace your NVQ Assessor job interview.

Our FAQ Page Has Been Updated

Our FAQ Page Has Been Updated

You’ll all be pleased the know that our Frequently Asked Questions page has had an update!


Now, you won’t need to scroll through an extensive amount of questions to find the answer you’re after!

So, if you want to know;

  • How Do I Become an Assessor?
  • What Does an NVQ Assessor Do?
  • How Does the CAVA Compare to the A1, D32/33 or TAQA?
  • What is TAQA? NEW
  • Are the Old D32/33 & A1/A2 Qualifications Still Valid?
  • What Level would I be Qualified to Assess up to? NEW
  • What are the Job Prospects like for Assessors?
  • What Does the Assessor Course Involve?
  • What’s the Difference Between the 4 Assessor Qualifications? NEW
  • Which Assessor Qualification is Suitable for my Industry? NEW

Get yourself over to our newly-updated NVQ Assessor FAQ Page!

Our New #CertSelfie Competition

Our New #CertSelfie Competition

new certselfie competition

We have a new monthly competition which is only accessible to our past learners and the first one is running next week!

With learners completing our courses weekly and lots of them sending in selfies with their certificates, we wanted to put these masterpieces to good use. So, three scraps of paper, two cups of tea and one lengthy brainstorming session later, we came up with the new #CertSelfie competition. Here’s everything you need to know about our new competition and how you can get involved… 

Can I Enter?

If you have completed a course with Brooks and Kirk then yes, you will be able to enter! If not, then I’m afraid you won’t be able to enter. However, you can take part in helping to decide a winner.

What’s Involved?

In a nutshell, five selfies with certificates, one Facebook page and a whole load of likes, once a month… Every month! 

Anyway, that probably doesn’t help a great deal. So, here’s a breakdown of what’s involved with the new #CertSelfie Competition: 

  • There will be one CertSelfie Competition running every month;
  • Every competition will have 5 entrants (5 CertSelfies);
  • The 5 entrants will be selected at random at the beginning of every month;
  • The competition will run throughout one week (Monday – Friday) towards the end of the respective month;
  • Every day during that week, we will post one of the #CertSelfies on our Facebook page;
  • The person with the selfie that gets the most likes by Monday of the following week wins.

What Can I Win?

If your #CertSelfie rakes in the most likes on our Facebook page by the end of the week, you will win £25 in Love2shop vouchers. 25 quid just for getting your pictured liked? Can’t be bad! 

How Can I Enter?

It’s really quite simple and in fact, some of you may already be in the pipeline to be contacted for future #CertSelfie Competitions!

If you have already sent us over a selfie with your certificate, then you will be contacted at some point over the coming months to see if you would like to feature in one of our competitions. 

However, if you haven’t sent us over a #CertSelfie, but you have completed the course with ourselves, then I think you know what you need to do… Please email me over a selfie of you with your certificate and your name, to the email address below. Feel free to make your selfie as nice, random and/or pet orientated as you like!  

email me icon

Look Out For The First Competition

The first #Certselfie competition is running throughout next week. Here are the names to look out for on the respective days next week. 

Monday – Sarah

Tuesday – Rachel

Wednesday – Andy

Thursday – Fiona

Friday – Abi

If you haven’t already done so, please head over to our Facebook page and hit like so that you don’t miss out on the first of many new #CertSelfie competitions.