It’s been a long road. You’ve demonstrated your occupational competence, you’ve completed your course, and now you’re ready to keep an eye on those learners; you’re a newly qualified Assessor!
First of all, good job on getting qualified! You’ve entered into a career that is both challenging and rewarding. You’ve shown you’re an industry expert and now it’s time to demonstrate your ability as an Assessor.
So, by following our six top tips, we guarantee you’ll build confidence and competence as a newly qualified Assessor.
1) Shadow experienced assessors
There’s no better way to pick up the tricks of the trade than to see others at work. Shadowing an experienced Assessor is a great way to see what you’ve learned in action, to learn techniques to deal with obstacles, and to consider how your newfound skills might translate in a real assessment setting. When working with a long-time Assessor, you also have the chance to ask questions as you go.
However, a shadowing placement is usually unpaid, unless it’s employer-funded. So, you might find you’ll be out of pocket for the time you’re taking notes from a practiced Assessor. Nontheless, the experience you gain will be invaluable and will look great on a CV if you’re still looking for a paid position.
2) Make sure you know your National Occupational Standards
Of course, it’s important your industry knowledge is as sharp as your assessment skills. According to gov.uk, “A National Occupational Standard (NOS) is a document that describes the knowledge, skills and understanding an individual needs to be competent at a job.” These are used to assess NVQ learners.
As an NVQ Assessor, you’ll need to know what the NOS criteria are for the qualification(s) you’re assessing. These will be very specific to your industry and to the course being taken. Being up to date with these shows you’re prepared to assess within your field and that your knowledge of assessment within your industry is current.
All NOS documents can be found at UK Standards. You can use the finder tool here.
3) Gain experience in End-Point Assessment
End-Point Assessment is a chance for newly qualified assessors to dip their toe into the world of assessment. The role of the End-Point Assessor is not to follow a student through the NVQ assessment process, but simply to determine whether their final result warrants a Pass, Merit, or Distinction. It’s a relatively new role in the assessment world that has appeared since the apprenticeship reform in 2017. You can find more information on End-Point Assessment through our EPA Knowledgebase.
4) Promote yourself
Now your role has changed, you want to make sure everyone knows. Update your social media, CV, and business cards. If you’re not using LinkedIn – you should be! It’s the perfect platform for online networking, identifying job opportunities, and communicating with others in the field of assessment.
Some of the best LinkedIn groups for NVQ Assessors include:
- Assessor Training Jobs, News and Courses
- Assessor & IQA Group
- NVQ & Apprenticeship Assessors looking for work
- RQF/QCF/NVQ Assessors, IQAs and EQAs
5) Stay ahead in your vocational knowledge
Even after you’ve qualified as an Assessor, you’ll find the landscape of your industry will always be changing. Standards change, best practice changes, and new ways of doing things come into play. It’s important your vocational knowledge always stays current.
To stay ahead of changes and stay occupationally competent, you should be actively making efforts to continue your professional development (CPD). Some of the ways you can do this are:
- Subscribe to industry journals
- Join relevant networks online and in the real world
- Shadow classes
- Keep on top of the latest NOS.
6) Take the next step in your professional development
There are qualifications above and beyond CAVA. One qualification that we would recommend alongside your CAVA is the Level 3 Award in Education and Training. This qualification replaced a qualification that was commonly known as the ‘PTLLS’ Award.
The Level 3 Award in Education and Training is the first step towards becoming a teacher in adult education. When working with adults, you don’t need a PGCE (required for teaching children). Instead, you can take the AET (Level 3 Award in Education and Training) to get your foot in the door at Further Education colleges and other adult learning institutions.
After more tips and advice?
Contact Brooks and Kirk today. We can give you advice about continuing professional development, including the AET qualification.