Assessing Competence in the Work Environment
Assessments enable competence to be measured when learners / employees are carrying out practical tasks or working towards an accredited qualification. Qualified assessors may need to perform pre diagnostics on learners, plan their visit and carry out the most relevant assessment based on the environment.
It is important to think about the assessment way in advance to the visit within the workplace. Planning the right assessment will prove crucial and can avoid embarrassment on the day and most importantly will make the process as straightforward as possible for the learner.
Assessments will need to be at the right level (valid) for the learner. They will also need to be reliable, which means they should be consistent eg when assessing multiple learners within the same workplace.
National awarding bodies will have a set of criteria that needs to be met in order to obtain their qualifications. It is useful for assessors to have a copy of the qualification specification to hand so they can mark off the various aspects of the criteria.
Some assessments may just be ‘skills based’ and not attached to a qualification eg a vehicle inspection. These type of assessments may not have a specification, but can still lead to a record of achievement and internal progression within the workplace.
Vocational qualifications such as NVQ’s in trade subjects provide a great platform for learners to start and progress through a career path. They are often attached to an awarding body framework and the assessment process will prove important when measuring the learner's current level of ability.
Initial assessment will prove important in diagnosing whether the learner is at the right level for the assessment to take place. When deemed not extra training / time could be setup to ensure they have the best chance to pass their assessment.
The assessment will be ready to take place once the assessor has completed the pre diagnostics, gathered the assessment materials and liaised with any awarding body protocols. The following factors should be considered when carrying out a visit within the workplace:
- Notify all parties involved - including teachers, managers and the learner
- Consider how they will travel to the workplace and parking arrangements
- Arrange a time that is suitable for the learner and in line with their shift pattern
- Ensure all assessment methods are in place prior to arrival