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The TAQA Awardcandidate Support Document Essay

Introduction to document

This document has been developed to assist you to develop your skills and knowledge to be able to operate as an effective Assessor. The completion of this document will provide knowledge for learning outcomes in order to complete a multi-choice test for unit 1 Understanding the Principles and Practices of Assessment. In your introduction to the award you will have been provided with a variety of information including The role of the Assessor Guidance on assessment of different types of evidence Guidance on the arrangement for assessment The Centres appeals and complaints policy The Centres Quality Assurance Policy These documents and other information provided during your training should assist you in the completion of this document. Introduction to Qualifications and Credit Framework QCF Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) is a unitised qualification framework underpinned by a system of credit accumulation and transfer. The QCF is designed to allow learners to achieve credit for individual units or qualifications, providing learners with the opportunity to accumulate credit at their own pace and use it to claim for a qualification when they are ready. The Assessment Process Assessment is the process of collecting evidence of performance and knowledge and making judgements on Whether the evidence meets the required standard Whether there is sufficient evidence to justify a position decision.

The assessment is concerned with whether the candidate has collected and presented sufficient evidence to demonstrate that they can carry out work to the agreed standard and possess the knowledge and understanding which underpins their practice. If the evidence is sufficient then the candidate is judged to be competent in the specific area of practice. If the evidence is insufficient then the judgement is that competence is not yet demonstrated. Candidates should be afforded every opportunity to demonstrate their competence but it should be acknowledged that some candidates may, irrespective of their assistance and work opportunities available, find themselves unable to demonstrate competence. The assessment system should be Transparent in that the assessment procedures are clear and easily understood by the candidate and that the evidence is explicitly presented and assessed and accessible and open for verification purposes. Valid in that the types of evidence used for assessment are clearly able to demonstrate competence, and where appropriate knowledge. However it should be borne in mind that knowledge does not in itself demonstrate competence, and Reliable in requiring different assessors to make consistent judgements based on the same evidence. Evidence is classified into performance evidence, which refers to competence which the candidate has personally demonstrated and knowledge evidence which refers to what the candidate knows.

The terms primary evidence and supporting evidence for any criteria, will normally be in the form of observation performance or assessment of a work product e.g. reports, records etc. Supporting evidence is used to support primary sources of evidence and is particularly important where there is a doubt as to the sufficiency of the primary evidence. The evidence for the core competences in any element is commonly fully supported by using evidence from observation, work products and a reflective account. Naturally occurring evidence is that which arises out of the candidates normal work activity and is considered to be the most useful type of evidence as it allows assessment of the candidates day to day competence without disruption to normal work activity. It is therefore likely to be a cost effective way of collecting evidence. Please answer the questions below- 1. Understand the Principles and Requirements of Assessment Explain the functions of assessment in learning and development Assessment is used to determine if learning and development is taking place with regard to specific criteria. The criteria are usually set by the awarding body for each qualification the learner is taking.

The purpose of assessment in learning is to determine the learners level of competence by using a range of different methods. Based on the findings of the assessment and the evidence gathered during the assessment, decisions can then be made by comparing the evidence against the qualification standards. This will determine if the learners Competence, Knowledge Understanding of the subject, and Skills required to carry out required tasks are of a sufficient level to meet the laid down criteria. Assessment should be used to focus on improving and reinforcing learning. It can help a learner understand how they are progressing and what they may need to do to improve their knowledge and progress further. Initial Assessment Review of ProgressAssessment Planning Decision FeedbackAssessment Activity Initial assessment ascertaining whether a learner has any previous knowledge or experience of the subject or topic to be assessed. Assessment planning agreeing suitable types and methods of assessment with each learner and setting targets. Assessment activity this relates to the methods used for example observation or reflective account. Assessment decision and feedback making and judgement of success or otherwise. Giving constructive feedback. Review of progress reviewing progress, assessment activities, targets/plans Define the key concepts and principles of assessment Concepts are the aspects involved throughout the assessment process. They include Accountability being accountable to my learners, my organisation and the awarding body to ensure an I am is carrying out my role correctly, Achievement the funding that an organisation receives is related to a learners achievement.

It is useful for me to keep a record of my learners achievement Assessment strategies following strategies in a specific subject will ensure roles are carried out correctly and working toward assessor qualifications Benchmarking involves comparing what is the accepted standard against the current position of our own learners performance Evaluation the assessment cycle should be evaluated on an on-going basis and feedback obtained from learners, managers and assessors Internally or externally devised assessment methods internal assessments would be devised by myself such as projects, questions or written assignments. External are assessments produced by the awarding body Progression progression of a learner should be taken into account when Im assessing learners ie career progression. Progression should always be discussed with the learner Transparency to aid transparency I need to ensure that everyone involved in the process clearly understands what is expected of them Types of assessment includes initial, formative and summative as well as diagnostic tests which ascertain a learners current knowledge Key principles of assessment include Communication should take place regularly with learners, internal quality assurers and employers CPD maintaining currency of knowledge and skills Equality Diversity assessment activities embrace equality, inclusion and diversity Ethics assessment process should be honest, moral confidential and integral Fairness planning, decisions and feedback should be justifiable Health Safety this should be taken into account throughout the assessment process Motivation encouraging and supporting learners

Quality assurance ensuring assessment decisions meet standards Record keeping accurate records should be maintained Responsibility following organisational guidelines and making objective decisions SMART assessment activities should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Standardisation that all assessors are making comparable and consistent decisions Explain the responsibilities of the assessor By following the concepts and principles of assessment will ensure an assessor is performing the role according to all relevant regulations and requirements. The role of the assessor is to assess the learners knowledge and performance. This includes, Assess learners work and evidence against specifications. Ensuring work is authentic Make decisions and give feedback Provide support appropriate to learners. (Adapting teaching, learning and assessment activities Decide whether the learner has demonstrated competence. Apply equal opportunities

Ensure that their assessment practice meets QCF guidance. Keep up to date with training on assessment. Prove they can assess effectively Standardise judgements and practice with others Follow organisational and regulatory authorities procedures Identify the regulations and requirements relevant to assessment in own area of practice Health and Safety at work Act (to ensure the health, safety and welfare of persons at work). I have to be aware of risks involving activities in the assessing of my subject. I need to confirm learners knowledge of fire exits, first aiders and any relevant points concerning the area we are working in. Health and safety issues should be acted upon Equality and Diversity requires me not to discriminate against any learners on the grounds of race, gender or disability. I must provide a learning environment where every learner is treated fairly and equally, promoting inclusion using various resources.

Promoting equality and valuing diversity means allowing every individual regardless of age, race, gender, disability, and culture or religion access to learning and actively removing barriers that would prevent certain learners from gaining a learning experience. At the start of the lesson I would identify experience within the subject with a skills scan. Data protection Act states that I must safeguard personal information at all times, holding only the relevant information and only allowing authorised persons access to these details. SoVA is ensuring I keep young people and vulnerable adults are safe. Recognising the signs of possible abuse and dealing with the situation in a sensitive and calm manner. A vulnerable adults is defined as a person aged 18 years or over, who is in receipt of or may be in the community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation (Bonnerjea 2009) Code of Practice, as an assessor I must adhere to the principles, processes, practices, responsibilities and quality assurance as documented by my organisation assuring all learners receive the best possible learning experience. A criminal background check is typically conducted by law enforcement or employers to verify your criminal history. A full criminal background check will list every arrest, charge, conviction and acquittal you have ever had. Criminal background checks are primarily used by law enforcement and the courts to determine an individuals criminal history for charging or sentencing purposes.

Recently, employers, landlords and other organizations have begun using them to ensure they are not hiring or housing dishonest or violent criminals. My role, responsibilities and boundaries as an assessor within the terms of the teacher/training cycle can be split into 5 areas Identifying the needs of the learner this is the first step within the teacher/training cycle and can also be known as the initial assessment. During this initial assessment it would be my responsibility to identify their needs this could be achieved by obtaining knowledge from the learner by completing a skills scan and by speaking personally to them. The information gathered would enable me to plan a lesson around the individual or group taking into account abilities, disabilities or special requirements. Apply ground rules, these could include the respecting of others within the group, not to criticise their opinions but to understand the reason behind the idea. I believe this would promote equality and diversity within the group. This will also promote appropriate behaviour and respect for others. Planning and designing Now that I am aware of the learners needs I can progress to the next step of planning and designing. There are many areas to address before planning starts. This ranges from the time, location, access, resources, risk assessments and health and safety.

Different learning styles VAK must also be considered and the variety of resources available to me. I must also be aware of the core standards and work to a criteria and the learners must be conscious of time constraints ensuring the plan is completed on time. Facilitate As an assessor I must ensure the environment is suitable and the learner has every opportunity to learn, understand and be supported and that my aims and objectives are clear and can be met. Feedback from the learners is important to ensure I am on the right track and that the session is being carried out correctly. I can adapt the session accordingly to ensure all learners receive the correct learning incorporating inclusion. It is my responsibility to maintain a safe and supportive learning environment for the learner to enable the best from the individual. This will ensure the learner is comfortable with me and their surroundings to be able to meet their needs and the criteria. Assess During the session I have to constantly monitor understanding, participation and assess progress. The assessment phase of the teacher/learning cycle lists continuous progress and review. I must give feedback regularly and it must be kept positive and constructive.

All records must be kept relating to the individual, these include test results, reviews, attendance, initial assessments and feedback. The boundaries are that I must only assess what is relevant and valid, always allowing the learner to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding without interference from me or outside sources not involved in the assessment. Evaluate It is my responsibility to evaluate how the session went. With feedback it should be kept confidential as it usually contains personal views and information. There may also be a requirement to get other parties involved to promote the learners learning. It is my responsibility to ensure the session meets the needs of the learner and the criteria. Understand different types of assessment method Compare the strengths and limitations of a range of assessment methods with reference to the needs of individual learners. Performance evidence provides proof of what a candidate can do. Sometimes, performance evidence can also provide evidence of what a candidate knows.

Method of assessment How and when this method could be usedEvaluation of methods (include reference to the needs of particular learnersStrengthslimitations Workplace observation During the learners day to day job role/taskGives a better overview of how the learner performs and how they can cover the criteria holistically. Observations are natural and reliableLearner can be called away to do something not related to the criteria. Can be simulated. Learner may feel nervous of on edge during observation Examining products of work Once an assignment has been set for learner to gather information needed.This will emphasise what the learner understands about the criteria and it is product evidence that can be used and referenced within the learners portfolio. Reliable as these are naturally occurring Some learners may not be able to gather product evidence as they do not use it for their job role. Files may not be accessible due to confidentially Simulations and skills tests To ensure the learner has the relevant skills needed to meet the criteria. Simulate a situation to cover criteria.Skills tests will high light what strengths the learner has and what can be worked on to meet the criteria. The learner can also have more input on how to achieve the units.

Aids in covering awkward criteria and can make the learner think about their role in more depth Time can be a factor if the learner is too busy. If the learner has not completed a skills test before they may be nervous. Its not a real event and therefore could be completely false Projects and assignments To meet criteria of a unit that cannot be assessed by observation.This will show the knowledge the learner has and their ability to complete and understand the project/assignment.Personal life can restrict a learner from completing assignments and projects. If they have not understood the criteria they may not cover it completely and need to revisit to complete. Questioning and discussion During an observation or guided discussionTests the learners knowledge and understanding. Prep the learner so they can do some research. Validates reflective accounts and learners knowledge If no prep has taken place the questions and the discussion will not be structured. Some learners do not perform well and they feel pressured. Witness testimony To cover criteria of certain units where a skills testimony is needed. This is a statement from a peer regarding the learner and their competency.This will give an insight about the learner from another colleague or peer on how they complete certain tasks to cover the criteria.

Good coverage of evidence when assessor is not there If the context of the WT is not explained an incomplete WT may be written or it can be unreliable. Learner statement/ Reflection To check the learners knowledge of certain criteria points and also a scenario they may have encountered that relates to the unit.This will give an honest account from the learner regarding a situation they have been involved in and how they dealt with it.Some learners cannot reflect well and do not know how to converse situations onto paper. They can be completely false events Case study This can be used when the learner has a colleague/student they have worked with on a certain project. It can be a real situation they describe or a scenario set by the tutorThis method can be strong to be able to cover the criteria if the learner writes the case study well. Poorly written will not cover criteria and if the learner cannot convert a situation onto paper well it can cause stress to the learner. RPL Recognition of Prior Learning is a method of assessment by which learners can gain recognition for Knowledge, understanding, skills and competences that they already possess.If a learner has evidence from another qualification or experience they have already completed it can be used to support the criteria on the new qualification. Theres no repetition in assessments and is time effectiveIf evidence cannot be found or it is out of date it cannot be used.

This can mean that the learner will take longer to complete the qualification and will need to do more work if RPL was planned to be used. Needs backing up with questioning as attendance doesnt necessarily mean understanding Understand how to plan assessment Summarise key factors to consider when planning assessment Evaluate the benefits of using a holistic approach to assessment Explain how to plan a holistic approach to assessment The key factors to consider when planning assessment are Assessment type and method Dates, times and duration of assessment activities Individual learner and qualifications/employment level Location and environment Requirements for making decisions and giving feedback Resources and materials Special requirements/learner needs Staff availability Type of evidence required I must consider how the criteria will be met i.e. observation guided discussion or personal statement. I would plan the time needed for the assessment chosen to make sure enough is captured and the assessment process recorded. A holistic approach to assessment allows me to see the process as a whole and in some cases can cover so much of the units that cross referencing can be achieved.

I will need to take into account the learners previous experience and if they can provide evidence relating to the experience. This can all be considered if a holistic approach is carried out. This can be gathered and provided at the next planned meeting. Sometimes an observation can take place straight away as long as the key factors have been considered. If not I would plan for the next visit so the learner is aware and they can also make arrangements so I can observe holistically relating to the units and criteria. There are times when meetings and an assessment process have been scheduled but cannot be carried out because of an unplanned event. I would discuss a different approach with the learner to ensure the criteria can be covered. Within my job role I have to take into account the needs of the learner and what is the best process to cover the unit. Some of my leaners do not feel comfortable writing so in this instance I would use a guided discussion. There are some learners that do not feel comfortable talking so I would explain the use of a personal statement/reflective writing and how it can be written. A personal statement/reflective account is a form of self-assessment for the learner. If they understand the unit and how it relates to their job role they will be able to write a detailed personal statement/reflective account about themselves and their understanding.

Summarise the types of risk that may be involved in assessment in own area of responsibility Explain how to minimise risks through the planning process 4.1 Explain the importance of involving the learner and others in the assessment process With all assessment processes there are some risks involved and these need to be taken into consideration. I will always ensure I am not stopping the learner from completing their duties and that the assessment can take place. Health and Safety is very important as I may need PPE in some areas of the assessment. This should be asked and verified when the planning is discussed. Lone working is another factor to consider. There are also risks relating to the learner work itself. Every learner has to sign their own work to validate it, but there is always a risk that the work that has been completed is false. This relates to breach of quality assurance principles (VARCS) Practical assessment and 1st hand observation helps reduce the issues of plagiarism of false misrepresentation. Open questioning and rationales of duties roles and responsibilities, help promote confirmation of validity, as would a greater understanding of the candidates style of work Other risks may include Learners not turning up for their appointment Learners not being competent in their job role Learners not being ready for assessment

Others involved may need notice of assessment ie managers and service users Costs involved in travelling if appointment are not properly planned To minimise these risks it may be possible to Send the learner a reminder message Complete a skills scan prior to sign up Email managers to keep them up to date with assessment appointment Ensure all parties agree and sign a plan 4 Understand how to involve learner and others in assessment 4.1 Explain the importance of involving the learner and others in the assessment process 4.3 Explain how peer and self-assessment can be used effectively to promote learner involvement and personal responsibility in the assessment of learning

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Abraham Maslow developed the Hierarchy of Needs model in 1940-50s USA, and the Hierarchy of Needs theory remains valid today for understanding human motivation, management training, and personal development. Indeed, Maslows ideas surrounding the Hierarchy of Needs concerning the responsibility of employers to provide a workplace environment that encourages and enables employees to fulfil their own unique potential (self-actualization) are today more relevant than ever. Abraham Maslows book Motivation and Personality, published in 1954 (second edition 1970) introduced the Hierarchy of Needs, and Maslow extended his ideas in other work, notably his later book Toward A Psychology Of Being, a significant and relevant commentary, which has been revised in recent times by Richard Lowry, who is in his own right a leading academic in the field of motivational psychology.

Involving the learner and others is very important when discussing and planning an assessment. This will give the learner chance to give their input into how they can cover the criteria and also what evidence they can bring to supplement their knowledge and training they have already had. Encouraging the learner to reflect on, and correlate previous experiences or qualifications will aid the assessment process. Reflective writing not only aids improvement, but promotes learner inclusion in their own learning. Reflective accounts throughout the course are a good example of this. By involving others i.e. learners manager or peer they can be used to provide a WT (witness testimony) relating to the learners everyday tasks and duties. This is ideal as the manager has a good insight into the learner and can give a very detailed account that is role related.


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