The quality of our graduates and staff within an industry relies on quality assessment. If the training was conducted well, it will be reflected in the student's ability to perform tasks and their knowledge which are evidenced in the assessment process. Effective assessment is an evidence gathering exercise, whether via RPL or following training. Assessment is simply an opportunity for students to demonstrate their competence against the requirements of a unit of competence. The assessors role in the process is to guide them and determine if the evidence gathered demonstrates competence or not.
Common errors of Assessors include:
- Being afraid to deem a student not yet competent. Assessors have an obligation to only sign off a student as performing competently, when they have. Some assessors have been known to sign off a student as competent when thy are not due to perceived or real pressure from the student, the RTO or the employer. It is essential that all assessors assess a student based only on the evidence provided.
- Recording the start and finish dates for all units as the same. For example a Certificate III that has 10 units, trainers and assessors are still reporting the date the units all started as the same for all units and the dates completed for all units as the same. The dates recorded must be a true reflection of when the students started and finished the individual unit. It maybe that some units are clustered, in which case the start and finish date would be the same for the cluster, it is unlikely this would be the case for all units in a full qualification.
- Not using the marking guide when making assessment decisions. Auditors are in many cases requesting the marking guide and comparing answers that have been deemed competent by assessors with the marking guide. In many cases they are finding that assessors are marking responses as competent that are not aligned to the marking guide. This suggests that the marking guide is not being used, the responses are not a true reflection of the correct answer or the marking guide is not flexile enough. The validation of assessment judgements should identify if this is an issue in your RTO and identify an area requiring improvement.
- Not recording sufficient information relating to re assessment. Many assessors are still not providing sufficient information regarding the assessment particularly in relation to reassessment. It is essential that information be recorded on the students file regarding any reassessment activities, what, how, when, the response (if an oral assessment) and the outcome. It is not sufficient for an assessor to make a note that reassessment was undertaken and the student is now competent.