Becoming an Assessor ~ The Assessor’s Guide | Brooks & Kirk
Our ultimate guide to becoming an Assessor is fundamental to those who are considering a career in assessing. We can tell you everything you need to know, including:
- What is a qualified assessor and what does an assessor do?
- How do you become a qualified assessor and what assessor qualification do I need?
- Can I get funded or free assessor training?
- What benefits and opportunities are there for being an assessor?
So for all of that and more, carry on reading.
What is a qualified Assessor?
If you’re looking to explore a new career and step outside the boundaries of your current job, becoming an assessor may be the perfect opportunity for you. You can use all of your experience and/or qualifications that you already hold in your industry, and retrain to become an assessor.
An assessor is someone who guides apprentices and students through their vocational qualification in order to demonstrate their competence. Over a period of time assessors will collect evidence from their learner by using a variety of assessment methods, and provide guidance and support to help learners reach their maximum potential.
What does an Assessor do? What responsibilities does an Assessor have?
The Assessor will carry out assessments either in the workplace of the learning, or within a classroom environment (college, workshops, etc.). The main responsibilities of an Assessor cover:
- Supporting and guiding learners to develop KSBs
- Delivering training and hosting workshops
- Carry out observations in the learner’s workplace
- Collecting evidence to develop a learner’s portfolio
- Giving feedback to the learner following assessments
- Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
As with any job and career, these responsibilities can vary depending on the assessor’s organisation, the industry they are assessing in, and the environment they are assessing in – more on this ‘environment’ aspect later.
What are the requirements for becoming an Assessor? Do I need an Assessor qualification to become an Assessor?
In order to become an Assessor, you need two things. The first thing is occupational competence. The second thing you need to become an Assessor is a relevant, up to date Assessor qualification.
Occupational Competence is, as we touched on briefly before, the experience and/or qualifications that you have earned through your time in your industry.
These years of experience or qualifications are a way of demonstrating that you are competent to perform your job. Therefore, you can spot whether someone else in your field is competent as well.
We recommend a minimum of 3 years of work experience to be deemed as occupationally competent. Qualifications in your industry can prove your competence, and can also be used to back-up your years of experience.
When it comes to the assessor qualification that you need, it can be a bit of a minefield. So we’ll try to keep it as basic as possible. You will need the Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement (CAVA), in order to become a fully qualified Assessor.
This assessor qualification used to be called the A1, and the D32/33. It is also sometimes referred to as the TAQA qualification. TAQA is an entire other minefield however, so take a read of our blog ‘What is TAQA?‘ to find out more about that. Spoiler alert: TAQA is not a qualification.
Now, there are other assessor qualifications available too; but we strongly recommend the CAVA qualification to become a fully qualified Assessor.
How do I choose an Assessor qualification? Which Assessor qualification is suitable for me?
First things first – there are no industry-specific assessor courses available; they are all universal qualifications. This means it is transferable across all sectors that you can prove occupational competence in. Whether you’re looking to assess in Health & Social Care, Bricklaying, or Dental Care, it’s all the same assessor qualification. You can become an Assessor if your industry has:
- Functional Skills
- Technical Skills
All Assessor courses are at Level 3 – there are no Level 2/4/5 (and so on) courses to become an Assessor. This is down to the difficulty of the qualification and does not reflect the level at which you can assess. You will be able to assess at the level you can prove occupational competence – for example, if you hold a Level 3 in Beauty, you can assess learners also working towards their Level 3. However, if you hold a Level 5, you can assess learners working towards a Level 5.
The course you need to complete to become a fully qualified assessor is the CAVA – the Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement. There are some other assessor qualifications available, however they don’t fully qualify you to assess.
Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement – CAVA Assessor Course
We recommend this course the most to those who want to change their career and become an Assessor. This qualification allows you to assess learners’ occupational competence in their workplace and their vocational knowledge and skills in their learning or training environment. With this assessor course under your belt, you can become an NVQ Assessor, an On-Programme Assessor, or an End-Point Assessor.
If during your time researching you have been recommend the A1 Assessor course, or the D32/D33 Assessor course – this is the same qualification, but an up-to-date version. The CAVA qualification is the most up-to-date and current assessor course, and has been since 2010.
Level 3 Award in Assessing Competence in the Work Environment
This assessor course qualifies you to carry out assessments with learners in their workplace. It does not allow you to assess in the learning environment, and you cannot deliver any workshop or classroom based training.
Level 3 Award in Assessing Vocationally Related Achievement
This assessor course is effectively the opposite of the previous, and qualifies you to assess in the learning environment. As you may have guessed, this does not qualify you to carry out assessments in the workplace.
Level 3 Award in Understanding the Principles and Practices of Assessment
This course does not qualify you to assess in the learning environment or the workplace. It is a knowledge based course, and is best suited for current assessors with an out-of-date assessor qualification or that are looking to enhance their assessing skills and knowledge.
Different Types of Assessor Roles
Once you are a fully qualified Assessor, there are a variety of roles that you can perform. Each one has different responsibilities and you may find there is one role that is preferential to you than another.
Becoming an NVQ Assessor
If you take on a role as an NVQ Assessor, you will most likely be assessing learners working towards their own NVQs. NVQs are National Vocational Qualifications and are accredited by an Awarding Body.
Therefore, the NVQ Assessor must assess and train the learner to gain the required occupational standards that they need to achieve their qualification.
An NVQ Assessor will work closely with the student and their employer/manager, and will take a learner from the start to the end of their qualification.
Becoming an Independent End-Point Assessor (IEPA)
An Independent End-Point Assessor is the person who assesses an apprentice’s portfolio and carries out other assessments with an apprentice, at the end of their apprenticeship. Their job is to confirm that an apprentice is occupationally competent to perform their job.
This person is completely separate to the training provider, the employer and the apprentice in order to make an unbiased decision.
Independent End-Point Assessors are most likely to be employed by an End-Point Assessment Organisation or Awarding Body, and typically work on a freelance basis.
Becoming an On-Programme Assessor
The On-Programme Assessor is the assessor who takes an apprentice through their apprenticeship, up until the Gateway of their Apprenticeship, where they undertake their End-Point Assessment.
An On-Programme Assessor typically works for the apprenticeship training provider and will focus on making sure apprentices have all the KSBs for their End-Point Assessment.
You can be an Independent End-Point Assessor and an On-Programme Assessor, as long as you are not working with the same candidates in both roles.
What are the benefits of becoming an Assessor?
A lot of people choose to become an Assessor in order to help young people in their industry succeed. They get satisfaction from seeing someone they have helped develop their knowledge and skills, achieve their goals.
If you’re someone who has spent years in a role and are getting fed up with it, becoming an assessor is the best way to switch it up whilst utilising your experience. Or, if you’re looking towards getting promoted, an assessor qualification under your belt can boost your employability. Employers are always looking at ways to improve their team, and developing an in-house training team is a great step to take.
Some people just want to slow down and get a flexible job, or want to get a better work-life balance. Assessor jobs vary from full-time, to part-time, to freelance. You have the potential to work as-and-when you like, or even do some extra hours outside of your normal job to help combat the cost of living crisis.
Taking on a new role will always have its challenges – but how rewarding is it when you overcome them? You can get the ultimate job satisfaction by becoming an assessor. Once you’ve spent some time as an assessor, there is a career progression opportunity just waiting for you.
Career progression as an Assessor
If the endless opportunities that come with being an Assessor still aren’t quite taking your fancy, think about the progression routes you can take. After a while of gaining assessing experience, you may wish to considering becoming an Internal Quality Assurer (IQA).
An IQA’s responsibility is to monitor the operations of the training provider and make sure it runs smoothly. From the learning and studying the learners undertake, to any exams and final pieces, and everything else in between.
If you’ve got your sights set on the future and your career development, our CAVA & IQA course bundle is the perfect option (and saves you some money).
How much can I earn as an Assessor?
The all important question – what is the pay like for an assessor? This varies as with any job, depending on the location, the employer, and the hours you will be working.
According to Totaljobs, the average salary for an assessor is £32,500. If you’re looking at working in London, the average is £42,500 – but if you’re based in, for example Derby, it’s back down to the £32,500 mark. Remember this is just an average and some employers may pay more or less.
Our friends at NVQAssessor.org.uk wrote a great blog a short while ago about 3 reasons to become an assessor and included a detailed section about the assessor wage and what to expect.
Can I enrol on a government-funded assessor course?
You can but there’s a catch.
In 2021, the Government started offering free Level 3 courses to eligible adults. The assessor course did fall in to this category – HOWEVER. It’s a big however. The eligibility criteria is ’19 or over and do not already have a level 3 qualification or higher’.
9 times out of 10, those who are looking into becoming an assessor already hold a level 3 qualification or higher. This is because it is what they intend on assessing themselves. So, the majority are unfortunately not eligible to undertake this assessor qualification government funded.
You also don’t need to enrol on a university degree or an open university assessor course in order to become an assessor. At Brooks and Kirk, we specialise in Assessor, IQA and Tutor training and have done so for 25 years. Our 5* reviews demonstrate that you’ll be in good hands with us. Whilst we don’t offer any loan-based funding methods, we do have instalment plans available so you can start your new career for just £62 per month.
Am I eligible for the assessor course?
If you are 19 or over and have that all important occupational competence, then yes you are eligible to enrol onto the assessor course!
There aren’t actually any eligibility requirements to enrol onto the CAVA course, but the occupational competence is key to getting an assessing job upon completion.
Start your assessor course today!
Get started on your assessor course today with Brooks and Kirk Assessor Training. We are the only specialist assessor training provider who can guarantee access to learners. We also offer unlimited support for the entire duration of your course. Speaking of duration; we don’t have any set start or end dates – so you can start today, and finish as quickly as you need to.
Brooks and Kirk are a not-for-profit training provider, so our course fees are VAT exempt. Our prices include everything from general administration to get you started, all the way through to your certification; regardless of the way that you pay. There are no sneaky hidden costs! If you’d like to have a chat with us, please give us a call on 01205 805 155 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve is a Chartered Manager and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.
He provides Educational Consultancy to the 19+ sector as well as being an Assessor, IQA, EPA and Digital Marketing Professional. When not doing any of these he finds time, every now and then, to write blogs and articles.