What Do I Need to Become an NVQ Assessor?
Trying to find out what you need to become an NVQ Assessor can be hard work. Especially when every job vacancy and training provider says differently. But that hard work ends here. If you want to find out how to become an NVQ Assessor, all you need to do is read on.
What do I need to become an NVQ Assessor?
Generally speaking, to become an NVQ Assessor, you need two things. These are occupational competence and the appropriate assessor qualification.
Unfortunately, it’s not that straight forward for everyone. So let’s break that answer down into two parts and take a look at each part in more detail.
You need to be experienced in the field that you are looking to assess in. Experience of working within a certain industry, and any qualifications or courses you have completed whilst working in that industry, can be used to evidence your level of occupational competence.
For anyone that has:
- Worked in a certain role for over 5 years, and;
- Has achieved a level 3 or 5 NVQ.
There shouldn’t be any issues with providing prospective employers with occupational competence evidence.
What does Occupational Competence look like?
The most important form of occupational competence is work experience. Ideally, you should have qualifications to back up that experience. However, if you haven’t, not to worry. As this isn’t always a necessity.
At this point, you may be thinking;
“When I research NVQ assessor jobs, it says that I need at least a Level 3 NVQ?“
You don’t have to hold an NVQ, BTEC or even a degree to be eligible for an assessor job. Granted, some assessor job vacancies do say that you need a qualification. But that is because it is down to the individual employer to decide. All employers can decide what they require their assessors to have to be deemed ‘occupationally competent’.
A general rule of thumb
Hopefully this has helped you to see the answer to; ‘How to become an NVQ assessor’ isn’t as simple as you may have first thought! But, we want to give you some kind of idea as to where you stand with being able to become an assessor. So, if you have:
- Picked up at least 2 years experience working in a certain industry;
- A good command of the English language;
- Undertaken accredited vocationally related training;
Then you will be deemed occupationally competent by most employers. All that’s left for you to do is to complete the appropriate assessor qualification.
Ahh now, this part is far easier to advise on. You just need to get an assessor course under your belt and you are good to go. Presumably, we just need to take a look at the qualification(s) that all of the assessor jobs are asking for? So, for the purpose of this post, I searched ‘assessor jobs’ online and looked at the first 5 results. Here are all of the terms I came across referring to the required assessor qualification:
- D Units
- A1 Award
- Formal Assessing Qualification
- Assessor Award
Unfortunately, trying to find the name of the assessor qualification you need can be an absolute nightmare. But it doesn’t need to be; I’m going to explain what A1, D32/33 and TAQA all mean. First, I’m going to talk you through the current assessor qualifications. Then you’ll know which assessor qualification you need to become an NVQ Assessor.
Current Assessor Qualifications
There are four current assessor qualifications to choose from. I’ll start with the most popular and highly regarded assessor qualification of the bunch…
The CAVA is a 3-Unit qualification. In a nutshell, this qualification would make you a fully-qualified assessor. Upon completion of the CAVA, you would be qualified to assess a learner’s occupational competence within a workplace. On top of this, you would also be able to assess vocational knowledge and skills in learning environments. These learning environments could include classrooms, online learning systems, workshops and simulated environments, for example.
This assessor qualification comprises 2 of the 3 units that are covered in the CAVA. The unit that the ACWE leaves out is the one that would qualify you to assess a learner’s vocational knowledge and skills outside of the work environment. So, if you only are only interested in being able to assess occupational competence, then the Level 3 ACWE will be ideal for you.
Again, this Level 3 Assessor Award is also only 2 of the 3 units from the CAVA. This assessor course would only qualify you to assess a learner’s vocational knowledge and skills in learning environments.
Finally, we have the UPPA. This single-unit assessor qualification does not qualify you to assess learners whatsoever. Whilst at first it can sound pretty useless as an assessor qualification, the UPPA has its purposes. If you had previously qualified as an assessor and you needed a refresher course to bring your CPD record up to date, this would be the one.
Your Next Step to Become an NVQ Assessor
To become an NVQ assessor, you need to be experienced in the area you wish to assess. In addition to this, you will also need to have, or be working towards, the appropriate assessor qualification. This would more than likely be the CAVA.
Now that you know this, what’s your next step? For anyone without an assessor qualification, getting one added to your CV would be your starting point. Alternatively, if you are already a qualified assessor, then you just need to find yourself a job! FE Careers have got hundreds of Assessor Jobs live right now, so that would be your next port of call.
BUT WAIT! Before you go anywhere, there’s one final matter that we haven’t gone over yet. I mentioned earlier about how quite a few assessor jobs say that you need the ‘D32/33’, ‘A1 Award’ or the ‘TAQA’? Well, I still need to address what each of these are so that you don’t think that I have given you useless information. So, without further ado…
Making Sense of Assessor Jobs
Old Assessor Qualifications
D Units – D32/D33
This was the very first assessor qualification.
National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) were created in the 1980s. By the time we got to the year 2001, a lot had changed. Both the structure of NVQs and the way that they were regulated were different. This meant that there needed to be a change in the training that assessors received as well. This is where the A1 and A2 qualifications come in.
A1 Assessor Award
Although you will often see the ‘A1 Award’ mentioned on job applications, there was actually 2 units you could do. These were:
- A1 – Level 3 Award in ‘Assess candidates using a range of methods’
- A2 – Level 3 Award in ‘Assess candidates’ performance through observation’
Fast forward to 2010 and the introduction of the Qualification Credit Framework (which is no longer in use); this meant that another change was needed. Cue…
TAQA Assessor Qualification
TAQA stands for Training, Assessment and Quality Assurance. It is the name that is given to the suite of further education qualifications. It is not a qualification.
The TAQA suite includes the Assessor qualifications I went through earlier (CAVA, ACWE, AVRA, UPPA). It also includes the Internal Quality Assurance and Adult Tutor qualifications. Therefore, you can complete a qualification from within the TAQA suite, but you cannot do ‘a TAQA’.
If you are still slightly confused, you might benefit from having a quick read up on what TAQA is.
Now you know how to become an NVQ Assessor! Good luck with gaining your assessor qualification and finding your ideal job. If you have any questions about our NVQ Assessor course, give us a call on 01205 805 155.
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.