Before carrying out a vocational assessment it is important to have a prior briefing with the candidate assessor. This can help identify any individual needs, address policy issues and finalize plans for the assessment.
Check out the below video where a qualified assessor (Martyn) talks a candidate assessor (Bill) through his upcoming observation of a learner on a first aid course.

Initial Assessment

Martyn asks Bill if he has completed the initial assessment on his learner. Initial assessments are an important way of identifying any disabilities and individual learning needs. It is good practice that Bill had already completed his initial assessment because if not done so it could put the learner at risk.

Assessment Standards

One of the things that Martyn is checking is that Bill has a set of standards to assess his learner - in this case on a CPR practical activity. It is always important to have a set criteria to assess against, which ensures that the learner is competent in the given task. In this case Bill is using the First Aid Industry Body (FAIB) nationally recognised specification.


Martyn explains what will be expected during the observation. He puts the candidate assessor at ease by explaining that he will not interfere with the actual process, whereby he will keep his distance. He also goes on to explain that Bill will need to back up his observation with a series of verbal questions to validate the assessment.


One key part of a pre observation briefing is to address the policies that the candidate assessor will need to adhere to:
  1. Health & Safety - Assessment will immediately stop if there are any concerns
  2. Equal Opportunities - Martyn uses the criteria for the Level 3 Certificate in Vocational Achievement (RQF), and the candidate assessor is using the FAIB’s criteria.
  3. Appeals - Martyn explains that Bill has the right to appeal his decision, and offers to explain more further down the line
  4. Data Protection - Martyn vows to securely keep hold of all the data and explains how it may be subject to internal verification (IV) and external verification (EV)
Look out for the next instalment where Bill will go through a pre assessment briefingwith his learner.