A Day in the Life of a Construction Assessor
Welcome to the second part of this blog series where we delve into the everyday life of a construction assessor. In part one we showed you a typical day in the life of a childcare assessor so you can see what their role involves. Let’s have a look to see how this differs from an assessor in the construction industry.
The day still starts pretty early, but at least it is my own choice and I am not being forced to get up at an ungodly hour. Also, it only happens 2-3 days a week which is much more bearable, not every day like it has been for the past 29 years. I could theoretically start my day at 12.30pm if I wanted to, but I wouldn’t be half as productive!
My wife isn’t quite as much of an early bird as me so I sneak out of the bedroom and put the kettle on. Coffee is the only way I can start the day. Whilst that is brewing away I head back upstairs, get showered and changed ready for the day ahead.
Today I am carrying out observations with several learners so I make sure my assessment plans are all ready, and my video camera is charged up. I made that mistake once before and let’s just say it won’t happen again! Trying to write up an observation with no video recording to remember the session is not easy. Particularly when you have visited several learners in one day and they just merge into one.
I get my packed lunch ready (force of habit), pop my coffee in a travel mug and head out to the van. I am lucky that all of my learners are fairly local, and today I don’t have far to travel at all. My furthest one is an hour away so I start there and work my way back across the town throughout the day.
I try to be on-site with my first learner at 8.30am so I can fit in more observations. Over the years I have found most actually prefer starting early and getting it out of the way. We head over to the office where I run through what will be happening throughout the observation, and the units we will be looking at. Making sure the learner is happy with everything, I then triple check they are happy for me to record the observation and explain my reasoning behind this. After all, it isn’t exactly easy to write up notes on a building site!
With the first observation of the day done and dusted, I give the learner feedback and run through any questions he has. He mentions he is struggling with some of the coursework so I give him some guidance on this. We then put a date in the diary for a second visit (it is always much easier to do this on the day), and I get back in the van.
I get to the second learner’s place of work and am immediately notified by his Line Manager that unfortunately my learner has just been rushed off to the hospital. Unfortunately in this line of work, incidents on construction sites are fairly common so this news hasn’t thrown me too much off guard.
My day is slightly mixed up now and I find myself with 2 and a half hours to kill. Luckily I am only a short distance from home, so I take this opportunity to catch up on some of the dreaded marking!
Once I arrive home I decide to write up the assessment report from this morning whilst it is all still fresh in my mind, putting the marking off once again. My wife also works from home so we decide to make the most of this extra time and have lunch together (a real treat for us both). Have I mentioned how much I love the flexibility of being a Construction Assessor?!
It is time to get back on the road again to visit my third learner at his workplace. As normal, I have a chat with him about what the observation will entail, sign off the assessment plans, and make a start. The observation lasts about an hour, and I make sure the learner has met all the criteria required.
Once the observation is finished I give the learner feedback on how it has gone. He is fairly used to the process now as he has been an apprentice in construction for 2 years. Come to think of it, he was actually my first learner when I became a qualified Assessor in Construction. Wow, how time does fly! So with this learner, I organise a time to come back and help him prepare for the End Point Assessment, which will be assessed by someone independent (so not me).
I really do love these short journeys. My next two learners are both employed by the same company, which is only 10 minutes away from my previous location. It looks like it is going to be an early finish today!
Both of these learners had Professional Discussions as opposed to observations, and I also collected a witness statement from their Line Manager. Everything went very smoothly and I am done for the day. I try to make sure I am finished by 4pm so that I can pick up my daughters from the bus stop after school (which is 20 minutes from our home in the middle of nowhere). Something I just wouldn’t be able to do if I didn’t work for myself.
After a quick debrief from the girls on the drive home, I decide to write up the assessment reports from the afternoon. I always find this so much easier to do whilst they are fresh in my mind. I try and set myself a deadline so that if I finish on time we can go out for dinner as a treat!
I have always been a bit of a workaholic, so lo and behold, the reports are completed in good time. My wife, the girls and I head off to the local pub for dinner (and a cheeky pint for me) to unwind after a busy day. The rest of the week is a fairly quiet one for me – I just have the marking to do which I keep putting off, and then it is half-term. Two whole weeks of family time without having to worry about work. That is one of the best things about working for myself, I can schedule my own time off!
Are you looking to take the next step in your career and become an assessor? Then have a look at our CAVA course to find out more information.
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.