How to Gain Experience as a Newly Qualified Assessor
If you’re a newly qualified Assessor, chances are, you’ve been looking at what kind of job opportunities there are. Much like any other jobs, some vacancies may ask for ‘experience’. Having ‘experience’ as a requirement for a job as an Assessor can be seen as unfair for some. How can a newly qualified Assessor gain experience if they need the experience to get a job in the first place?! If you are having this issue there are options available for you to explore.
Shadow an Assessor
This would involve you in observing another Assessor carrying out their day-to-day job. This Assessor would need to be fully qualified. It would be most ideal to be watching the Assessor actually carrying out assessments with their learner. You wouldn’t be required to do or say anything, as the ‘shadower’ you are simply watching and taking notes.
Whilst this is volunteer experience and therefore unpaid, shadowing is a great way to get your foot in the door. It will also get some well-needed experience under your belt. It’s great for newly qualified assessors and will maximise your chances of getting an Assessing job, so it’s definitely worthwhile!
Plenty of training organisations and/or local colleges are happy to allow newly qualified Assessors to shadow their Assessors; mainly because it doesn’t cost them anything. So all you would need to do is approach these types of companies. Another thing to consider is if you have any family or friends that work in Further Education; have a chat with them and see if they can help you out with any shadowing opportunities. Even consider asking your connections on LinkedIn.
(Our apologies, but because of the way we deliver our courses, we are not able to offer shadowing opportunities.)
End Point Assessment
Another route you could try is End Point Assessment. Independent End Point Assessors (IEPAs) are the people who do the final checks to ensure that an apprentice has passed their apprenticeship. This role is different to one of an NVQ assessor and is in huge demand. Have a quick search for End Point Assessor jobs and you will see what I mean.
To be an EPA you need;
- A recognised Assessor qualification such as the Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement.
- Depending on the EPA you wish to deliver, potentially an IQA qualification. Generally the IQA Award is acceptable.
Within EPA your occupational competence is far more important than your assessing experience. In most cases just having the assessor qualification is enough. This makes it an ideal job for a newly qualified assessor who has worked in their sector for a number of years.
What skills a newly qualified assessor will need to be an EPA
There are a few new skills that you need to have to be an EPA if you are a newly qualified assessor, but you can learn these quite quickly. Until recently, there was no easy way of learning these new skills. Then in January 2021 we started delivering our very own EPA Award; the Award in End-Point Assessment Principles and Practice. This course has been designed to give you all the knowledge and skills behind being an End-Point Assessor. It only takes 6 hours to complete, and looks great on your CPD log!
Even if a job advert does ask for experience, don’t let it put you off from applying. Put yourself forward for jobs regardless of their expectations of your experience – it won’t hurt! There are employers out there that will still consider hiring you even if you don’t have much experience.
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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.