Becoming an NVQ Assessor requires you to have the relevant qualification and occupational competency in your specific field. Once you have qualified as an assessor, you are the first line of quality assurance within the delivery of vocational qualifications. It is your responsibility to undertake the marking and assessment of evidence produced by the learner.
The Assessment Planning Process – Good Practices
Before carrying out an assessment, you should take the time to thoroughly plan the best assessment methods for your specific learner. By preparing them properly you will give your learner the best chance to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and behaviours.
A good assessment should include the following:
- The location and time the assessment will take place
- Ensure the evidence produced will be authentic, reliable, valid and sufficient
- Identify any mandatory assessment methods
- Identify the qualification requirements that will be met by the planned assessments
It is important that you include your learner within this planning process so they know exactly what to expect when it comes to the assessment. They should also understand how the assessment plan matches the requirement of the qualification.
By taking the time to plan assessments in advance, this will also give you an idea of the assessment methods that you will use for each learner. This preparation will enable you to gather as much naturally occurring evidence as possible. Be mindful of the learner’s role and their day-to-day activities. Will they naturally produce certain documents? Do they operate certain machinery which is included in the criteria for their qualification or apprenticeship? If the answer is yes to either of these, plan assessments that incorporate these activities.
Finally, another important good practice is to take into consideration any specific requirements of the learner. Whether the learner has physical needs (for example is recovering from an injury), or has mental needs (for example is dslyexic), make sure the assessments meet these.
The Assessment Planning Process – Bad Practices
Unfortunately, we do have to touch on some of the bad practices of assessment planning too, just to make it a balanced blog! One of the most common examples of poor planning is when an assessor plans assessments to make their life easy. As opposed to taking into account the learner’s job role and extra requirements. The assessment is planned with speed in mind, rather than guiding the learner through slowly.
The assessment plan should also be nice and clear to read. Of course within vocational training there are hundreds of different acronyms (QCF, RQF, GLH, TQT, just for starters!). Make sure you are completely clear in your writing, and any abbreviations are fully explained. Don’t use jargon that will confuse your learner.
Finally, when putting together the assessment plan try and not make it too structured. You may notice that as you go through the apprenticeship or qualification, several outcomes or units per plan could be met, rather than just one that you had included within the plan. It is all about being flexible, there may be extra opportunities for evidence that you hadn’t considered too. It is important to not be too rigid with your assessment plan.
We hope this has helped to highlight some of the good and bad practices of planning an assessment, have you come across any that we haven’t mentioned? Don’t miss part 2 of this series where we discuss communicating with your learner.
If you would like any further assistance on planning an assessment, please contact our team on 01205 805 155.