What is an A1 Assessor Course?
You have likely landed on this page because of your interest in the A1 Assessor qualification. However, the qualification you most likely need to achieve is not the A1 assessor course but the Level 3 Certificate In Assessing Vocational Achievement. That is because the A1 assessor award ceased to be delivered in 2010. Incidentally, if history is your thing then we have a page dedicated to the history of all the different assessor qualifications there has ever been.
Prior to 2010 the A1 assessor qualification or to give it its full name Level 3 award in Assess candidates using a range of methods was the only course that would fully qualify you as an NVQ assessor. In 2010, the A1 assessor award received a replacement with a new suite of qualifications. This suite contained no fewer than 4 separate assessor qualifications. To add more confusion, this suite of qualifications is frequently referred to as TAQA. We will talk more about TAQA later.
To help put everything into context we will answer all the following questions.
- What is the A1 Assessor Qualification
- What are the four different current assessor qualifications?
- What jobs can I get with an Assessor qualification?
- What is the average salary for assessors?
- What do I need to get my CAVA Assessor course?
- Is the A1 assessor course still valid?
- What is TAQA?
What is the A1 Assessor Qualification
The A1 assessor qualification was formally known as the Level 3 Award in Assessing candidates using a range of methods. Its introduction took place in late 2002. It served as a replacement for the previous D32 and D33 units and was a single-unit qualification. However, it ceased to be offered after 2010, marking the end of its availability.
In conjunction with the A1 qualification, there was also a related sister qualification known as the A2. Its formal name was the Level 3 Award in Assessing Candidates’ performance through observation. The A2 assessor qualification was also phased out simultaneously with the A1 qualification.
Together, these two qualifications played significant roles in equipping assessors with the necessary skills and knowledge to evaluate candidates effectively through various methods and performance observation. Even though they are no longer available, their legacy undoubtedly played a significant role in contributing to the development of assessment practices throughout their active years.
What are the four different current assessor qualifications?
Of all the current assessor qualifications the closest match to the A1 assessor course is the Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement. You will often see this referred to as the CAVA course or CAVA qualification.
The CAVA assessor qualification allows you to assess learners both in the classroom and in their workplace. It is currently the most popular assessor qualification and the one most looked for by employers.
The other three assessor qualifications are
The Level 3 Award in Assessing Vocationally Related Achievement (AVRA). With this assessing qualification you will only be able to assess learners in a training environment such as a classroom or other dedicated training facility.
The Level 3 Award in Assessing Competence in the Work Environment (ACWE) is the qualification you require if you only need to assess learners in their place of work. This could be as part of an NVQ qualification or as part of the on-program element of their apprenticeship.
Finally, we have the Level 3 Award in Understanding the Principles and Practices of Assessment (UPPA). This is only a knowledge-based qualification. It does not qualify you to assess in either a classroom or the workplace. However, it is an ideal CPD course for those who need to understand what assessing is without actually doing it.
What jobs can I get with an Assessor qualification?
Assessors are present in almost every educational setting imaginable. The majority are employed by colleges and independent training providers. However, over recent years with have seen many gain employment with End-point assessment organisations (EPAOs) delivering End-point assessments for apprenticeships. Additionally, there is a growing trend of companies hiring assessors directly to offer in-house training for their staff.
The role can be either delivering stand-alone qualifications or the on-program element of apprenticeships. In addition, some also deliver the end-point assessments of apprentices. The only limiting factor to what and where assessors can assess is what sector they are occupationally competent in.
What is the average salary for assessors?
Like most jobs, there is quite a large range of salaries for assessors. The biggest factors are what sector you are assessing in and of course your experience. Assessors can also work as End-point assessors and the salary ranges and generally very similar.
A trainee assessor can expect to earn around £22,000 per year rising to about £37,000 per year for an experienced assessor who assesses in subjects where there are assessor shortages i.e. construction, finance and business.
Rates of pay are usually higher for freelance assessors who can easily earn more than £200 per day.
What do I need to get my CAVA Assessor course?
To gain your CAVA qualification you will have to complete three units. You can easily do this on a part-time basis, so you can continue working while qualifying. The qualification guidance is that it should take about 150 hours so completing it in about 12 weeks is perfectly achievable for anybody with a couple of hours a day to spare. In addition to the time, you will need to be at least 19 years old.
There are no formal entry requirements but you will need maths and English at level 2 standard and be occupationally competent in the area you wish to assess. Additionally for any of the assessor qualifications, except for the UPPA, you will need access to two learners to assess. If you don’t have these you will not be able to complete your qualification. Luckily for you, Brooks and Kirk can ensure you do have access to two learners so this is not a problem.
Is the A1 Assessor Award still a valid qualification?
Although the A1 Assessor qualification no longer exists it is still valid. The key to keeping your A1 qualification up to date is CPD. If you took your A1 assessor course in 2006 and have been assessing ever since you will also have done a lot of CPD activities to keep your skills up to date. That is why it is still valid.
However, if you took the A1 course in 2006 and have not been assessing you will need to refresh and update your skills and knowledge before you start assessing again. The Level 3 Award in Understanding the Principles and Practices of Assessment (UPPA) Assessor qualification is an ideal way to do that.
Another reason for people to think the A1 assessor qualification is still available is job advertisements. They continue mentioning the A1 assessor qualification in job advertisements because some employers might not be aware that the A1 assessor award was discontinued 13 years ago. Therefore, when applicants encounter job advert stating the need for an A1 assessor award, they naturally assume that is the current qualification.
In reality, for most individuals seeking to become assessors, the appropriate qualification they need to achieve is the Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement. This certificate provides all the necessary skills and knowledge for general assessing. Incidentally, most End-Point Assessor vacancies advertised in the job market also require it. So, if you aim to pursue a career as an assessor, the Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement is the qualification you need.
Finally, when talking about the A1 Assessor Qualification we must deal with “What is TAQA?”
As we mentioned right at the beginning TAQA is not a qualification. It is an acronym for a suite of qualifications.
TAQA stands for Training, Assessment, and Quality Assurance. So the TAQA suite includes the 4 assessor qualifications we have spoken about. It also includes all the Quality assurance and Training qualifications as well.
We have a page that gives far more detail about this so for a deep dive into all the qualifications that make up TAQA take a look at our page What is TAQA.
Or you could just watch the video
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.