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Last month we asked you for your input on assessment best practice. We have had some great top tips from centres, here are some of the highlights.

Make the candidate central to the whole process and create the best practice environment to allow them every opportunity to demonstrate skills, competency and underpinning knowledge. This can be achieved by:

  • Briefing the assessor with tools, criteria and involved in organisational standardisation activities – too many assessors work in isolation, good practice can be shared
  • Brief the learner – aim to demystify and explain the assessment process, this can be done without a loss of integrity to assessment
  • Assessment environment – the candidate is the organisations guest and customer
  • Use open verbal/non-verbal communication – critical in creating a level base for the candidate
  • Personal bias – assessors can be aware of their own belief system and steer this to remain as objective as possible when making assessment decisions
  • Honest, structured and balanced feedback in an appropriate environment – how would we all want to be given our results?

On-going standardisation within an organisation, this is often lacking and underpins the validity, reliability and fairness of the assessment practice! Try and do something as a learner each year to remind yourself of the candidate’s perspective – this can be very enlightening!

Optimise learner awareness. There should be no surprises for the learner, both in terms of the assessment process and the criteria they are to be assessed against.

Assessment environment

  • If a verbal or written assessment is taking place, the assessment environment should be quiet, private and comfortable yet formal.
  • You need to ensure the environment is safe for the meeting for both you and the learner
  • If the learner is doing a test it requires to be in a quiet room so no disruption
  • Observations in the work place – you need to make sure the learner is prepared and also their manager and colleagues are aware of the observation taking place.
  • The learner needs to be prepared for the assessment and comfortable with the environment you are in
  • If you need to do a verbal discussion and needs to be recorded, it needs to be quiet and calm so recording can be heard. The learner and assessor to be comfortable

Order/sequence of practice

  • Check assessment plan for the session
  • Log attendance feedback, actions and the plan for next visit
  • Go through the work completed by learner and discuss what you are going to do with the learner in line with the assessment plan
  • Promote independent learning and encourage the learner to choose their next piece of work
  • Update feedback on the session plan and what you have spoken about, add actions that you have agreed on and place in the next session

Maintaining professionalism

  • Always look smart by wearing the company uniform
  • Involve the employer in all stages of the learner’s development
  • Be polite to the learner’s customers as if they were your own
  • Always treat people with respect in line with equality and diversity
  • Always be prepared for the visit with resources and feedback
  • Ensure the learner’s information is kept confidential
  • Always be prepared for the visit and what you are going to do for that session

Maximising learner engagement

  • Involve them in their own assessment plan
  • Build up a positive relationship with them; be friendly, show an interest in their interests and opinions
  • Include the learner in all decisions so they take ownership of their course
  • Keep regular contact & visits with the learner to keep them engaged
  • Promote independent learning
  • Promote and encourage learner to ask questions

Assessment resources

  • Have resources that cover as much criteria as possible whilst not repeating things unnecessarily
  • Ensure the learner has access to the online portfolio and knows how to use it and the resources within it

Any other tips you deem to be important

  • Always make sure the learner has no problems in or out of the workplace
  • Talk and treat the learners as individuals and not as just another learner/number, this will help you get the best from the learner and keep them engaged
  • Keep the managers involved at all times and give progress reports

Thank you for your responses.