Bridging the Gap in Assessment – Lack of Assessors
It has been known for some time now that there is a vocational skills shortage in the UK, and the problem only seems to be getting worse. In order for people to become skilled, they need training – which is where an NVQ Assessor comes in. What if there is a shortage of Assessors too though?
Many organisations have been faced with the problem of fewer Assessors available to keep things going. Whether this is due to people being furloughed, or redundancies being made, there is a gap that needs bridging. Here are our tips on how you can manage your Assessor workload.
Understand the Size of the Problem
First of all, you need to take a step back and look at the problem from an outsider’s perspective. Take stock of how many Assessors you currently have, what they assess, and their current workload. Once you have looked into this, you will be able to identify any gaps and whether your current team have any added capacity to assess more learners.
Look at the Risks
The next stage is to identify high-risk areas, for example particular areas where you have a substantial lack of Assessors. Prioritise these areas, and if resources are tight then focus on where you have the greatest risk. Another place to look at is areas where you can have the greatest impact with fewer people. Are there certain areas where you would only need a couple of Assessors to take on more work? But this could impact a large number of learners? Try to think strategically.
Go Back to Basics
Of course this isn’t a long-term strategy; but now is a good time to review both your competency management system and your assessment processes. Here are some questions to consider:
- Are you focusing on the essentials in order to achieve safety-critical tasks?
- Is there anything that can be de-prioritised in the short term?
- Is there a way to rely on the Assessor less during the gathering evidence part? Can witness testimonials be used instead?
- Could the employer be involved more in the assessment so there is less work for the Assessor?
Review the Competency of your Team
What we mean here is look at your team of Assessors and identify whether they need more training in order to fill the gaps. Would online learning such as our Assessor qualifications help to give them the knowledge they need to assess in other areas?
Do your Assessors Have the Right Training?
It is important that your Assessors know what is expected of them, and the procedures that they need to follow when it comes to assessing learners. If you are adding more workload to their pile, they need to be able to crack on without second-guessing what they are doing.
When time is of the essence, you may not be able to release your Assessors for face-to-face training. That is why distance learning is the perfect solution – they can improve upon their knowledge and skills within their own time, without impacting the business.
If you would like any more information on the Assessor courses that we offer, please call us on 01205 805 155 and our team will be more than happy to help.
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.