From education to employment

Qualifications needed to become an Assessor

Sam Sleight, Head of Marketing, Brooks and Kirk (Assessor Training) Ltd

The requirements for assessor roles can vary from employer to employer and qualification to qualification.

However, generally speaking, to become an assessor, you need two things.

These are occupational competence and the appropriate assessor qualification.

Sam Sleight from Brooks and Kirk explains the qualifications and routes available to become an Assessor:

Assessor Qualifications

I’m not going to beat around the bush with the various names for assessor qualifications that you may have seen. So, we’re going to give you a very quick assessor qualification history lesson. Then you can be absolutely sure that you know what the name of the course is that you need.

Back in the 90s, if you wanted to train to become an assessor, you would complete the D32 and D33 units.

The D Units were replaced in 2002 by the A1 and A2 Awards. These were two units from the Learning and Development NVQ.

Finally, in 2010 the A1 and A2 Awards were replaced by the current suite of qualifications, which are commonly referred to as TAQA (Training Assessment and Quality Assurance).

Current Assessor Qualifications

There are in fact four different assessor qualifications within the TAQA suite.

The four assessor courses are made up of one, a combination or all of the following three units:

  • Understanding the Principles and Practices of Assessment – Unit 1
  • Assess Occupational Competence in the Work Environment – Unit 2
  • Assess Vocational Skills, Knowledge and Understanding – Unit 3

Here’s a quick breakdown for you on what each qualification involves.

Level 3 Award in Understanding the Principles and Practices of Assessment (UPPA)

I will start by introducing you to the UPPA. This qualification is a stand-alone unit; I bet you can’t guess which of the three it is…(Unit 1) This knowledge-based unit covers all of the theory behind vocational assessment.

What is important to note, is that this qualification alone won’t qualify you to carry out any assessments.

However, it is an appropriate qualification for anyone who has previously qualified as an assessor and needs to update their CPD record.

So, if you completed your D32/D33 or the A1/A2 Award and haven’t assessed since, the UPPA will be ideal for you.

The AVRA will qualify you to carry out assessments to an extent. This course covers units 1 and 3. Upon completion of the AVRA, you would only be qualified to assess learners outside of the workplace.

So whilst you would be able to asses their vocational knowledge, skills and understanding, you would only be able to assess in learning environments (classrooms, workshops, online systems).

Level 3 Award in Assessing Competence in the Work Environment (ACWE)

Once you know what the AVRA qualifies you to do, the ACWE is pretty easy to get your head around. This level 3 Award qualifies you for the opposite of what the AVRA does. Unsurprisingly, the ACWE covers units 1 and 2.

With this qualification, you would only be qualified to assess learners in a work environment.

Consequently, this course is ideal for people that are looking at training to become in-house assessors for a company that they currently work with.

Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement (CAVA)

And last but certainly not least, there’s the CAVA. This qualification gives you the full house (with regards to units).

Once you have attained this qualification, you will be qualified to do all forms of assessment mentioned above.

This is the only course that will make you a fully-qualified assessor.

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For anyone that is new to assessment and becoming an assessor, we would certainly recommend the CAVA.

Quick tip: Most assessor vacancies you find online will be looking for you to hold/working towards the CAVA or the ACWE. So, if you are new to assessing and want to give yourself the best opportunity to secure an assessor job, I would recommend the CAVA. At least then you know that you will be qualified to cover all types of assessments. 

Sam Sleight, Head of Marketing, Brooks and Kirk (Assessor Training) Ltd

About Sam Sleight: Sam is the Marketing Manager at Brooks and Kirk. Whenever he’s not working away on websites, managing advertising campaigns or creating new content, he’s probably watching football. But aside from his passion for football and Chelsea in particular, he is also passionate about helping those that are eager to start a new career in the FE industry to receive the best advice, guidance and support possible.

About Brooks and Kirk: Brooks and Kirk are an independent training provider with over 20 years’ experience in delivering assessor and internal quality assurance qualifications. They have loads of great content on their assessor training website for anyone that is interested in becoming an assessor. If you are interested in finding out more here is a link to the Brooks and Kirk assessor training website.

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