Assessors and learners should be continually engaged in the process of assessment, this can be planned or unplanned and formal or informal. Assessment may be initial, formative or summative.
Initial assessment is an integral part of the induction process. It should be carried out before any learning or training commences and should establish a number of things such as:
- Existing skill and knowledge level of the learner.
- How the learner learns best.
- Provides information to help the assessor/trainer plan the programme.
- Can provide and introduction into the course and training in an informal and non-threatening way
- Introduces the learner to some of the skills and knowledge they will be acquiring on the programme.
- Is this the right course for them?
- Have any special needs been identified?
Formative (interim) Assessment
This takes place throughout the course and involves checking that learning is taking place and can include:
- Finding out what knowledge and skills the learner has acquired.
- Helping to plan the next stage.
- Enable the assessor/trainer to give feedback.
- Encourages motivation.
- Helps indicate to the assessor/trainer if the course needs modifying
- Enables learners to identify what they have learned and what they need to learn next.
- Summative (final) Assessment
This is used at the end of the programme to:
- Enable learners to recognise their achievements.
- Justify awarding a qualification or other recognised achievement.
- Help the trainer/assessor plan for future courses.
- Guide the learner through the next steps.
Learners appreciate feedback and it should always be given after assessment. It is a vital part of the learning process and can be given verbally or in writing.
Some points to note when giving written feedback.
You need to assess the evidence which basically means you need to ‘mark’ the work book and check it against the QCF standards.
So for example at a few points in the book you need to physically write down feedback but each question/activity needs to be acknowledge with a tick or initial.
Examples of feedback:
- John this is a great definition of what enterprise is, well done!
- John you have provided a detailed example of an enterprising individual in your local area and also explained what he does.
- This is a comprehensive audit of your own enterprise skills and qualities, there are some well thought out examples.
- John this is a really good example of an improvement that you could make to develop your enterprise skills.
- John this is a great enterprise activity, it shows you have planned the activity and then completed the activity to show how you will grow your business.
Things to consider when giving feedback:
- Make the feedback relevant to the person and not generic.
- Make the feedback link into a criteria in the standards.
- Give praise!
- Be constructive if need be.
Procedures for Learners with Learning Difficulties and/or disabilities
Sometimes the usual format of assessment is not suitable to some learners. Providers should ensure that any special needs are identified at the initial assessment stage, where possible and planned adjustment is in place.
Therefore reasonable adjustments must be made in advance of any assessment activities so that the validity and reliability of the assessments can be assured. Some examples are; adapting assessment materials ie; larger font or braille, allowing for a sign language provider, providing a reader for exams.
Any special needs and adjustments must be discussed with the IQA.
Role of the Assessor
The role of an assessor for an externally assessed programme is a big responsibility and they should adhere to all policies and procedures.
An assessor must:
- Have relevant qualifications, knowledge and experience in the subject area being assessed.
- Have relevant qualifications, training and experience in the assessment process
- Ensure that learners are fully briefed on assessment procedures and methods, including appeals procedures.
- Involve learners in the assessment planning process.
- Provide constructive feedback to learners on assessments, discuss targets and areas for development on an individual basis.
- Adhere to the awarding body’s assessment specification in the judgement of evidence towards an award.
- Record outcomes of assessment using appropriate documentation.
- Follow agreed procedures for recording, storing, reporting and confidentiality of information.
Responsibility of the Assessor
Develop Plans for Assessing Competence with Learners
The assessor/trainer should:
- Check that all learners understand the assessment process involved, the support available to them and the complaints and appeals procedures.
- Agree fair, safe, valid and reliable assessment methods.
- Identify appropriate and cost-effective opportunities for assessing performance.
- Identify how past experience and achievements of learners can contribute towards the assessment process, where appropriate.
- Identify how to protect confidentiality and comply with data protection requirements.
- Ensure that learner progress is reviewed and that records of achievement are regularly updated.
- Be able to handle difficulties or disputes in the assessment process.
Judging Evidence Criteria to Make Assessment Decision
The assessor/trainer should:
- Ensure that the work being assessed is the learner’s own work.
- Make fair, safe, valid and reliable assessment decisions based on the agreed standards.
- Apply any agreed special arrangements to make sure the assessment is fair.
- Make a record of the outcomes of assessments by using an agreed recording system.
Providing Feedback and Support to Learners on Assessment Decisions
The assessor/trainer should:
- Give learners feedback at an appropriate time and place.
- Give learners feedback in a constructive and encouraging way, which meets their needs and is appropriate to their level of confidence.
- Clearly explain assessment decisions.
- Provide advice and encouragement to learners where it is necessary for them to resubmit work or provide additional evidence.
- Follow the agreed complaints and appeals procedure if candidates disagree with the assessment decision
Contribute to the IQA Process
The assessor/trainer should:
- Ensure assessment records are accurate and up to date.
- Contribute to standardisation arrangements so that assessment decisions are in line with others.
- Contribute to the agreed quality improvement process.
Record Assessment Activity
- It is the responsibility of the assessor to choose the best methods of assessing a candidate in relation to their individual circumstances. The methods of assessment must be; valid, authentic, reliable, sufficient and current.
- Assessment decisions should be made on agreed paperwork.
- Assessment decisions should be made available to the IQA team, centre staff and external bodies as appropriate.
If a candidate is dissatisfied with an assessment decision made by an assessor, they have the right to appeal. The main reasons for an appeal are likely to be:
- The candidate does not understand why the assessment decision has been made because of lack of or unclear feedback.
- The candidate believes that the assessor has missed, misjudged or misinterpreted some of the evidence put forward for assessment.
There are three stages to the appeals procedure and each stage must be completed before proceeding to the next one. All candidates who make an appeal will receive a formal reply.
The candidate appeals directly to the assessor/trainer who has carried out the assessment by completing the candidate appeal report. The assessor will advise the candidate of the decision in writing within 10 working days.
Assessor Name:………………………………………………………………….. Contact Details…………………………
If the candidate is not satisfied with the decision made in stage 1 they can proceed to stage 2 by appealing to the IQA. All candidate appeals will be acknowledged and investigated to establish the facts. If an appeal is considered justified then remedial action will be taken. The IQA will discuss the appeal with the Chief Executive and then respond with a decision within 10 working days of receiving the candidate appeal.
Assessor Name………………………………………………………………… Contact Details……………………………
Candidates who have exhausted stage 1 and stage 2 and are still not satisfied with the decision may proceed to stage 3. This appeal must be in writing to the Awarding Body and must be accompanied by copies of all the documentation used in stage 1 and stage 2.
The Awarding Body decision will be final.
Awarding Body Name……………………………………………………..Contact Details………………………………