1. What are the functions, concepts and principles of assessment in learning and development? (1. 1, 1. 2) The function of assessment is a way to measure a learner’s competence against agreed standards and criteria. The awarding body of the particular qualification will have an assessment strategy what will state which criteria needs to be met to complete the mandatory and optional units and the best method for acquiring the evidence. A range of methods will be used to judge whether a candidate has demonstrated the skills, knowledge and understanding to be competent against the criteria.
The assessor will need to ask themselves if the assessment process when put into practice will be: Fair – the given activities during assessment are relevant to the candidates needs and reasonable adjustments are made so not to disadvantage any person. Reliable – If the assessment was carried out by a different assessor, in a different place, the results would be consistent. Valid – the assessment is suitable to the qualification being assessed. Safe and manageable – the assessor must not put unnecessary demands on the candidate or their work colleagues in the place of occupation.
Suitable for the candidates needs – before planning an assessment the assessor would need to take into account the candidates needs, their subject requirements and take into consideration any prior learning, additionally, plan suitable methods to be used. The assessment cycle to ensure the learner has met the performance and knowledge criteria required to achieve the qualification achieved all aspects of the qualification successfully. The cycle will begin with the initial assessment which will establish any prior learning or experience of the subject to be taken and will identify individual learner’s needs.
Furthermore, diagnostic tests can recognize if a learner has for instance, dyslexia. The second part of the cycle will be the assessment planning, where the assessor and learner agree on the methods to be used for evidence, set target dates and who will be involved, such as, work colleagues. Thirdly, the assessment activity will establish which methods to judge whether a candidate has demonstrated the skills, knowledge and understanding to achieve the required standard. The penultimate part of the cycle will be where the assessor makes a decision as to whether the standard has been met and provide feedback to the learner.
Lastly, progress will be reviewed and any changes to the assessment activities can be made. The assessor will use a range of Benchmarking will be used to ensure the learner’s performance is on target against the accepted standard of the subject area. This data will contribute to the quality assurance and development of best practice. 2. What is the role and responsibilities of the assessor? (1. 3) The role of the assessor is required to be competent and knowledgeable with the standards of the awarding body so they can explain the criteria to the candidate, thus the learner knows what they are working towards.
Subsequent to the assessment planning an initial assessment needs to have been carried out to identify any individual needs, prior learning, skills and knowledge the learner may have. When planning the assessment the assessor should have the relevant information of where the learner works and what they do, this will ensure the correct units will be covered and correct methods are chosen. The assessor will use the assessment plan as a tool for assessing the learner’s competence and knowledge against the agreed criterion ensuring that it is fair, valid and reliable.
The assessor must clearly record all assessment decisions and show which criteria was met. Each conducted assessment will record achievements accurately and any evidence provided by the learner must be checked by the assessor to ensure it is authentic. To ensure confidentiality the information will be available to share with those with a legitimate interest. After the assessment the assessor will provide constructive feedback to the learner concerning their achievements as soon as possible and identify any gaps in the learner’s knowledge and skills. At this stage the candidate will either plan to be reassessed or progress onto the next assessment.
The assessor will be responsible to the organisation, occupational standards and awarding organisation when planning, managing and delivering assessment and must maintain good practice and follow legislation throughout to maintain the integrity of the qualification. 3. Explain the regulations and requirements relevant to assessment in own area of practice(1. 4, 3. 4, 3. 5, 8. 1) The assessor will be required to follow a range of policies and practises set by the regulatory bodies of standards, for example, Ofqual, Sector skills council, Institute of learning.
Other regulations such as, health and safety, equality and diversity, data protection, risk assessment, etc will be discussed below. It is the responsibility of the assessor to ensure that the above are carried out during the assessment process. For example, the assessor must abide by the health and safety rules of the candidates work place and report any unsafe practice or dangerous equipment. The need of wearing protective clothing and safety shoes may be required. The assessor or internal verifier must only intervene with an assessment is if the health and safety is placing someone in danger.
Under the management of health and safety at work regulation 1999, the assessor must assess the risks to prevent any hazardous practices and locate information on who holds the first aid certificate and what the fire and emergency course of action is. The assessor is responsible to carry out a risk assessment to safeguard the learner during assessment and establish any risks which may occur during the assessment activities in the work place. While there is always a possibility of risk in any every day occurrence, the assessor has a duty of care to notify of the risk and advice of the possible outcome regarding safety.
It is the assessor’s responsibility to ensure all documentary evidence is kept safe during external assessments and data kept secure. Any assessor who works with vulnerable adults or children will be required to have a criminal records bureau check before being allowed to work in that occupational area. The check will identify any unsuitable person and must be used to protect and safe guard adults and children at risk. The disability discrimination act legislated that no disabled person should be discriminated against because of a disability, whether it is a physical or mental impairment.
In 2002 and 2005 the act was extended to include educational organisations. This meant that suitable provisions must be made for disabled persons to overcome any physical barriers and not be treated less favourably because of their disability. The initial assessment should clarify if the learner has any particular learning needs or disabilities to ensure equality and diversity needs are met. The assessor has a duty to ensure no learner is discriminated against; everyone has an equal opportunity for learning and development.
Assessment activities should reflect the diversity of the learner, for example, culture, language and ethnicity and not be biased to the person who produced them. Every person is entitled to learn in a safe environment, whether it be the assessor or learner. It is illegal to inflict corporal punishment on anyone and if restraint is required then it must follow the organisations strict guidelines on discipline. The copyright, Designs and Patents Act (1988) is one that the assessor should discuss with the learner at the start of the assessment process as it relates to the authenticity of their own work and products.
It is unlawful to use someone else’s work as their own without referencing to the rightful owner, as this is plagiarism. The assessor must always ensure the learner signs and dates their own work, especially if it has been prepared on the computer for acknowledgement that they are the original owner. The assessor will have confidential information about their learners, such as, name, age, birth date on record and under the Data Protection Act all this information must be kept confidential and secure.
If the information is kept on a computer, then it should be protected with a password that protects against other entering the system. If the information is paper based then it must be kept in a filing cabinet which is lockable. The learner can request to see any information held about them under The Freedom of Information Act 2002, so it is important to back up copies, if electronically stored in case of being deleted. The information should not be kept longer than necessary and the holder will need to register as a data user if the period is over 2 months.
There may some occupational areas which require the candidate to wear a uniform, for example, a white tunic top if working in a restaurant or protective clothing, such as, reflective jacket, hard hat and safety boots if on a construction site. The assessor will need to dress in accordance with the health and safety regulations when doing an assessment in the work place with the learner. Once the assessor has qualified they must register with the Institute for Learning and keep up with their continuing professional development.
It is crucial that the assessor abide by the code of professional practice to ensure they are working to the same standard and not under achieving. If the former should happen then it could have a dramatic effect on the assessment centre quality assurance when the external verifier carries out an inspection visit twice a year. To ensure standards are being met and claim for certification is valid the external verifier will need to see a mixture of the candidate’s files and interview a variety of assessors.
If the standards have been met and the external verifier is satisfied that the correct procedures are being followed the centre will receive a grade of 1-2. Unfortunately if the centre receives a grade of 3-5 then there is a possibility that they could have the direct claim status and registration suspended until the matter is resolved. 4. Explain the strengths and limitations of at least 4 different assessment methods, making reference to how each method can meet the needs of individual learners. (2. 1) ASSESSMENT METHOD Observation Strengths.
The observation method is an excellent opportunity for the assessor to take a holistic approach during assessment; benefits are the assessment is viewed by the assessor, thus the evidence is authentic, plus, cost and time effective. The holistic assessment can be time consuming so the assessor will need to plan the assessment so they can identify which learning outcomes from all units can be demonstrated at the same time. Knowledge based and performance based assessment can be linked with evidence which is natural occurring. The method meets a learners needs as they can carry on their normal work practice.
If any prior learning evidence can be presented, such as a certificate or witness statement and/or a professional discussion at the end of the assessment. Limitations It is necessary the assessor and candidate agree for a suitable time and place for the observation to take place. If the assessment is to be cost effective then the evidence must be collected during a busy time when the most evidence can be collected. If a witness testimony is to be used the assessor must find a suitable person who has witnessed the learner do the task, this must be arranged beforehand.
The assessor must ensure that the candidate is confident enough to demonstrate their competence or else it could discourage them and waste time. The assessor must remain open minded throughout the observation and not offer advice or interfere even if they feel the candidate is doing something wrong. Assignments Strengths Assignments are an excellent opportunity for the learner to demonstrate knowledge and use research skills. The assignment can be set out so several aspects of qualification can be assessed. The learner needs are met as they are able to work at their own pace and in their own time.
Limitations The learner must be had been taught all aspects of the syllabus beforehand. The assignment could be time consuming to write and may not be suitable to learners who have literacy difficulties, work full time or have families to support. The assessor must assess each assignment individually and provide written feedback. Witness Testimony Strengths The witness can confirm competence or achievements of the learner as they will have observed them in their normal practice of work, someone who works with the candidate to confirm the learner’s competence in a certain area of criteria.
The learner may feel more confident displaying skills in front of a colleague rather than being observed by the assessor. Witness statements are useful as they can fill in any gaps. The method would suit the needs of someone who is performing the task frequently. Limitations The assessor must ensure the suitability of the witness and that they are experienced in the occupational area, the assessor needs to confirm this by seeing evidence, such as a copy of their CV or certificates. The witness statement must be authentic and the assessor will need to check this.
A witness cannot confirm the learner’s competence as they are not an assessor. Oral questions and answers Strengths The assessor could use questioning as a way to meet gaps in evidence; questions could be adapted to meet the criteria. A question could be used to increase the candidates thinking about a certain task rather than performing it. Furthermore, it gives the assessor an insight as to how much knowledge the candidate has in their occupational area. This method could be used during an observation or used later after the observation; it would meet the needs of a learner who has difficulty with written English.
The assessor would need to know the candidate understands what is being asked in the question or else the learner may struggle to answer correctly. Limitations The assessor would need to be careful not to ask closed or leading questions as this could be viewed as being subjective as the assessor could be putting words into the learner’s mouth. The most beneficial questions would be open, probing and hypothetical to get the most from knowledge and understanding of the learner. 5. What key factors do you need to consider when planning assessment? (3. 1) WHAT.
The assessor will need to discuss and be in agreement with what criteria is being met and how it is being assessed and others involved. The assessor will need to talk about what the learner’s job role entails and how this is relevant to the unit in question. This will enable the assessor to plan and agree with the learner the types of evidence most suitable for demonstrating competence and the best methods for assessment to be used. The assessor must make sure the evidence is appropriate to meet the specified performance criteria and where possible knowledge to be assessed through performance or professional discussion or questioning.
The assessor must ensure the learner is ready to demonstrate their competence and understands the processes involved, for example targets. WHEN The assessor and learner will need to agree when the assessment will take place and arrange a suitable date, time and duration when the most evidence can be collected and if the holistic approach could be used to obtain evidence. It would be beneficial for the assessor if the assessment took place during a busy period of learner work activity.
However, the assessor must ensure the learner is not taken away from their duties for an unnecessary length of time or cause disruption to the business operations. WHERE The assessor Assessment would ideally take place in the learner’s work place as this where the most evidence can be collected. As the assessor will be entering the learner’s work place it is important to involve the employer in the planning process. However, for non-performance evidence it could be more cost effective to assess via Skype, email or to arrange a meeting in a suitable place of convenience, not necessarily the learner’s work place.
HOW The learner will want to know how the assessment will take place and what will be involved during the assessment. The assessor will need to discuss and agree with the learner the most suitable method of assessment to collect the most evidence. The assessor must ensure the assessment is fair, unbiased and cost effective by making the best use of time; if the learner is required to produce any prior evidence then this must be arranged in advance of the assessment. Holistic assessment in the learner’s work place would be beneficial for it is naturally occurring evidence.
The assessor would use observation, witness testimony and professional discussion for performance evidence and multiple choice questions, verbal questioning and assignments for knowledge and understanding. The assessor will make a judgement on the evidence and decide whether the learner has demonstrated enough to meet the criteria or not. The assessor will need to arrange how and when feedback will be given to the learner to attend to any performance issues. 6. Explain the benefits of holistic assessment and how you would plan for holistic assessment (3. 2).
The assessor is responsible for ensuring that methods used during holistic assessment covers several aspects of the performance and knowledge criteria from different units. This will ensure the assessment is cost effective make evidence collection and demonstration of competence more efficient. The assessor would need to plan the assessment before it took place to ensure that any particular requirements of the learner are taken into account and the assessment is adapted to meet their individual needs. For instance, holistic assessments will benefit learners who have dyslexia or literacy difficulties.
Holistic observation can include oral questioning and minimize the amount of written work the learner has to do. Thus they are not excluded or disadvantaged by having learning difficulties. If the learner has a disability then the assessor should make sure the learner has extra time to complete the assessment tasks and is given any support needed. Moreover, any learner with difficulties are entitled to have reasonable adjustments made to ensure they have the equality of opportunity and support to enable them access assessment.
Furthermore, if the learner has difficulties then the individual learning plan will agree short term targets for achievement, assessment strategies and review dates. The benefits of holistic assessment are that the assessor is able to observe the candidate at work in natural occurring situations. The candidate would be able to demonstrate several aspects of the qualification and cover more than one unit at the same time by taking a performance unit which incorporates parts of a knowledge unit.
Holistic assessment should ideally take place in the learners work environment and the candidate’s job role should be discussed with to establish any prior learning they have, to identify which units could be covered at the same time. By doing this it would reduce the amount of visits needed to the candidate’s work place, make the best use of time and ensure the assessment is cost-effective. 7. Why is it important to involve the learner and others in the assessment process? (4. 1)
A learner should be involved in the assessment process so they can understand why they are doing assessment activities and the purpose of providing evidence of competence. The candidate’s involvement will enable them to remain motivated as they will have the opportunity to add their own input, analyse their own experience and understanding. Without support the learner could become confused and lack enthusiasm, but if others, such as the assessor and employer helped them to achieve their aim, it will give the learner self motivation and encourage them to remain positive through the assessment process.
At some stage of the assessment process it may be necessary for someone other than the assessor to provide evidence of the learner’s competence in the work place. The witness must be known by the learner and experienced in the candidate’s occupational area, possibly a line manager. 8. Give examples of the types of information that should be made available to learners and others involved in the assessment process (4. 2) At the initial assessment the learner will have taken a skills test which is an analysis of the learner’s skills so they are aware of current skills and areas for development.
The learner should be provided with all documentation they need for the award, such as, assessment plans, individual learning plans, feedback sheets, information on the company carrying out the assessment and the assessors contact details, phone number and email address. Additionally, a copy of the complaint and appeal procedure, equality and diversity Policies, how to contact the assessor for cancelling visits and information on health and safety 9. What are the benefits of peer and self assessment? (4. 3).
The benefits of peer and self assessment are the learner develops skills, such as listening, observing and questioning and has a greater involvement in their own learning process. The peer and learner can understand the role and the need for assessment better. It allows for greater understanding of the criteria for achievement and how it is judged, thus, encouraging the individual to take responsibility for their own learning. The learner will develop analytical skills and improve self awareness of strengths and weaknesses and identify opportunities for improvement.
Furthermore, develop the ability not only to assess their own work but that of others, thus developing analytical skills and use reflective practice of their own performance. When a learner assesses their own progress and those of their peers, they will learn to take personal responsibility of how to make a decision and provide feedback as to why that decision was made. 10. How can assessment arrangements be adapted to meet the needs of individual learners? (4. 4).
The learner is entitled to a fair assessment and the assessor needs to use the most relevant assessment methods for the learner to demonstrate their ability. The assessor must take into consideration that not all learners are the same and treat the candidate as an individual, taking into account any requirements they might have. For example, the assessor needs to consider a learner’s work pattern involved working shift patterns and agree a suitable time for assessment which does not disrupt working practice and make the most of the meeting.
Furthermore, confidentiality issues must be taken into consideration and reflection of individual learning styles. If the learner has dyslexia, learning difficulties or English is the second language then the assessor must work with the learner to establish which method of assessment would be more beneficial to them. The assessor will need to vary the methods to keep the learner motivated and extra time given to learners who have difficulties and ensure the learner understands what is being said to them. Feedback should be given as soon as possible to ensure the learner remains interested and motivated.
11. Explain how you judge evidence and make assessment decisions, making reference to the criteria and assessment requirements (5. 1, 5. 2) The assessment plan will need to be agreed by the assessor and learner to which assessment methods will be used to cover the entire criteria standard. The assessor needs to ensure that the assessment is valid, authentic, efficient, fair and reliable. At least four different methods would be used during assessments; these could be observation, evidence of knowledge, witness statements and professional discussion.
Any prior achievement and experience of the learner will be taken into account as long as it is relevant to assessment of their competence; it would not be cost effective to have a candidate repeat an activity they had already acquired in the past. However the assessor must have proof that evidence is authentic by either asking for a copy of certificate or a witness statement and the evidence is current and relevant to the occupational standards. The assessor will review the evidence and assess it against the required elements of the qualification, it will allow for a decision to whether the candidate is competent or not yet competent.
Competence can be awarded if the evidence is: * Valid * Reliable * Sufficient * Authentic * Current * Safe The assessor must abide by the Equality Act 2010 to not discriminate or harass against protected characteristics where fairness might be compromised. 12. Explain the procedures for and importance of quality assurance and standardisation. (6. 1, 6. 2) Quality assurance is important as it ensures the national standards are being maintained. The internal verification procedures will monitor equal opportunities and access the decisions made by the assessor are fair, valid and reliable.
The internal verifier will use a range of methods to confirm that the assessment is meeting the requirements of awarding bodies. Methods used could be through observation, questioning, and professional discussion or sample the portfolio. It is vital that the assessor is assessing according to regulations and guidelines from awarding bodies, qualification and credit framework and keeps accurate records from assessments to create an audit trail for internal and external verification.
To ensure all assessment decisions are consistent and fair the assessor will be encouraged to attend meetings with colleagues involved with the same subject and their internal verifier, to ensure they all understand the units they are assessing and looking for similar evidence. To compare assessment decisions and share good practice with colleagues will help the assessor to develop skills, up date knowledge and personal development. However, it is not compulsory to attend the meeting, the assessor could standardise their practice by reviewing standards and documents online. 13.
Explain the appeals and complaints procedure (6. 3) The assessor should provide the learner with a written copy of the complaints and appeal procedure which meets the requirements of the awarding body and discuss this with them in the assessment planning session. If at any time during the assessment process the learner has a complaint or feels a decision the assessor has made is unfair to them, then the learner will know who to go to with their issue and how it will be followed up. However, before this stage is reached the assessor should encourage an informal discussion with the learner to see if the issue can be resolved.
If the learner is not confident about discussing it with the assessor then it may be necessary to involve the internal verifier. However if the complaint or appeal remains unresolved then this must be put in writing to the chief executive who will look into and respond within 5 working days. If the learner is still unsatisfied with the outcome then they can request the complaint or appeal is investigated by an independent panel, which will consist of an independent assessor and internal verifier.
The panel will investigate the appeal or complaint and notify of their decision within 14 working days. If at this stage the complaint or appeal has still not been rectified then the learner should contact the awarding body – NCFE, whose details will be given once it has reached this stage. 14. Why is the management of information important? (7. 1) The assessor will need to ensure that any documentation acquired during the assessment process is following the national standards for assessment and verification and be aligned with the centre and awarding body policies.
Each document must be accurate stating which assessment methods where used, whether, observation, oral or written. Furthermore, they must show that both candidate and assessor agreed to how the evidence will be obtained and the decision made as to whether it was achieved or not. It is essential that any document is signed, dated and stored correctly to ensure data protection and confidentiality. Other types of documentation could be completed log books, action plans, feedback comments, learner records or anything which records the candidate’s achievement.
It is imperative that the information is managed professionally as the assessor could find themselves in breach of laws and regulations, such as, data protection Act if they fail to comply. Failure to manage information correctly could result in having complaints and appeals made against the assessor and have a dramatic effect on the assessment centre quality assurance when the external verifier carries out an inspection visit twice a year.
To ensure standards are being met and claim for certification is valid the external verifier will need to see a mixture of the candidate’s files and interview a variety of assessors. If the standards have been met and the external verifier is satisfied that the correct procedures are being followed the centre will receive a grade of 1-2. Unfortunately if the centre receives a grade of 3-5 then there is a possibility that they could have sanctions placed upon them and lose their direct claim status and registration suspended until the matter is resolved.
15. Why should you give the learner feedback? (7. 2) Feedback is an important tool for learning and development and to improve performance and motivate the learner. The learner will have a better understanding of how they have progressed during assessments. After the assessor has carried out an assessment they would need to give feedback to the candidate as soon as possible by either verbal communication or written. If verbal is used via phone or face to face, then this must be backed up by a written copy.
The assessor should include information about achievement in relation to the criteria and any comments should provide detailed advice on how to cover any gaps between current performance and the target aimed for. The candidate should be encouraged to ask questions regarding the feedback to help them understand how the assessor had reached their decision. This would also assist the assessor to reflect upon their role and evaluate if the assessment process was fair, valid and reliable and the assessment methods used was the most appropriate for the candidates needs.
If the candidate did not meet the required standard then the assessor should give constructive feedback which would focus more on the activity or work produced rather than the candidate. Constructive feedback is part of a successful assessment as the learner will know what they have achieved or need to develop. Thus the learner will be encouraged to take more responsibility of their own learning development and deepen their understanding of the criteria. Feedback should be given on a 2. 1 scale, known as the sandwich approach.
It should start with positive comments, then the areas which need to be improved; lastly, the assessor should end the feedback on a positive to encourage the candidate to keep interested, motivated and confident. 16. What are the key policies and procedures that relate to assessment? For example Bright delivery policy and NCFE policies and procedures etc. Give a brief explanation of what each one is. (8. 1) The assessor will need to follow policies and procedures additionally to those mentioned in question 3, for example: Bright’s delivery policy states the following points: Bright’s delivery policy sates the following points:
•Once the candidates deposit has been cleared and relevant paperwork is complete the candidate will receive their registration pack within 48hrs •Following this the mentor will contact the candidate within 48 hours •Mentors can be contacted mon – fri 9am – 6pm sat 10-1 •Alternately leave a message and the mentor will contact the candidate within 4 hours •Once all theory and practical assessments are complete candidates will receive their certificate. Under Bright’s delivery policy the following procedures relate to assessment: •Quality audit of completed Individual Learning Plans •Quali.
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