3.4 summarise the types of risks that may be involved in assessment in own area of responsibility.
The candidate assessor provides evidence that they understand the following risks; • Health and safety
• Unrealistic/unnecessary stress on the learner
• Inauthentic evidence/collusion/unjustifiable support to the learner • Over-assessment
• Potential for unfairness to learner
• Failing to meet the requirements of any relevant assessment strategy if assessing a qualification
Risk on the grounds of health and safety is not one which would usually affect the professional Development Award team, this is due to the role of Placement Officers. Amongst the many roles of the Placement Officer is the checking of Health and Safety compliance, any issues founder here are purely for them and the firms they are dealing with to solve as the PDA team does not participate prior to the placement starting.
Should there be any issues relating to health and safety in the submissions of a PDA candidate then they will be immediately raised with a Placement Officer who will then take the matter away from any assessor. Issues may be highlighted in PDA submissions so as to emphasise the importance of Health and Safety in the workplace.
The PDA handbook is written so that every candidate irrespective of prior experience and learning or job role can participate freely and without hindrance. The workload is kept manageable throughout the course of a placement be it 6, 8, 10 or 12 weeks fulltime or even longer on a pro-rate basis. Every candidate is expected to work towards similar timescales for submission but all cases of additional time to complete work are dealt with on a case by case and assessor by assessor basis.
Extension requests are never denied; the closest something comes to being turned down is when approval copies are sought before final submission to ensure that something has been completed.
If and when candidates decide that they do not wish to pursue the PDA then they do need to provide satisfactory reasons for non-participation as this is a mandatory qualification which must be undertaken by all placées.
If no satisfactory reasons are supplied, Placement Officers step-in and can refuse to pay the employer subsidy until their portfolio has been completed. As a result of candidates work, study and home life commitments the assessor has the authority to disallow a placée from going forwards with the PDA if it is likely to cause them issues or difficulties in the future.
Generally speaking candidate statuses can only be in the following categories:
Already completed PDA or similar (PGCE);
Placement not considered suitable;
Completed ILM Level 5;
Left placement early.
Submission dates are always personalised and kept open should they need to change for any reason. Should a submission date need to be changed then the candidate simply only needs to ask.
Issues of inauthentic evidence are a possibility but managers and supervisors are asked to complete Third Party Statements which give feedback on a placées work. As a result this is not likely to be an occurrence. The statements are either signed and posted back the assessor or will come straight from the email address of the staff member who is registered as a supervisor with GO Wales.
Whilst this method may not be 100% foolproof, we can also back it up with employer feedback form which cover all aspects of the placement including the performance of the candidate and also attempts to put a quantifiable financial benefit to them being employed within the firm.
With the PDA having a generic framework for all business sectors and roles it is possible that collusion and a willingness to be plagiarised may occur, this is something which could go unnoticed with a larger team of assessors. However, due to the number of placées working within the same company at the same time doing the same job eing extremely low it is something which does not occur.
Most work will have a familiar feel and look as the candidates are all using the same pro-forma to work from. Frequently files will be compared by staff to see if projects are similar between candidates and also what types of objectives are being set by individuals performing a range of similar role.
Over assessment and failing to meet the requirements of any relevant assessment strategy if assessing a qualification has not been a problem as good practice is shared amongst the assessing team, additionally the use of a structured and template approach to completing the assessment of candidates work simplifies the assessment process and also allows for a level of uniformity amongst assessing staff.
Files are Internally Verified, especially with new staff, and also Externally Verified as well so the opportunity for anything untoward is greatly reduced and can be picked up on very quickly.
Finally, there are no excuses and few opportunities for any member of the PDA team to be unfair to a learner. Good practice models are followed when undertaking inductions and organising submission dates and specific changes due to the learners requirements are always adhered to i.e. disabilities, additional needs, work/time commitments etc. When necessary team discussions are held to run through these barriers and that means a consensus is often reached.