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The role of the trainer assessor for apprenticeships is changing: Here’s what you need to know, and how to prepare…

Louise Doyle, Director of Mesma and SDN Strategic Associate

If you currently deliver apprenticeship training as a trainer / assessor, your role is likely to be going through considerable change.

In the new world of apprenticeship standards, trainer / assessors need to:

  • Design and conduct the training differently
  • Integrate new assessment methods
  • integrate the concept of grading within the training, and
  • Prepare apprentices to meet the gateway and undertake end-point assessment.

This change is a huge amount to process for trainer / assessors.

So, to help, we’ve set out 15 quick questions to ask yourself to test whether you’re ‘standards ready’, or need to brush up on a couple of things:

15 quick check questions before embarking on the new trainer / assessor role

  1. I understand the detail of the standards relevant to my technical/professional area
    Check: Would you be able to describe the key elements of the standard to another person?
  1. I can talk confidently about the differences between the roles of TRAINER and ASSESSOR within the new system
    Check: Can you explain the different roles of the training provider and their staff and the end-point assessment organisation and appointed assessors for the end-point assessment?
  1. I fully understand the terms ON-PROGRAMME, GATEWAY and END-POINT ASSESSMENT
    Check: Can you describe these to another person?
  2. I understand the grading criteria as relevant to my standard(s)
    Check: Can you identify what an apprentice needs to do to achieve a pass versus a distinction and where to find this information?
  1. My existing skills / qualifications are appropriate for delivery, at the level for the standard(s), including English and maths
    Check: Can you describe your training/mentoring skills or qualifications? Have you maintained your occupational competence by undertaking CPD activities and retaining industry links?
  2. I can identify similarities and differences between an existing framework and a new standard
    Check: Can you map the learning content from the existing framework to the new knowledge, skills and behaviours in the new standard, as a starting point for your delivery model?
  1. I am confident in my ability to use initial assessment to inform the individual learning plan
    does your initial assessment tease out the right information to create a unique ILP?
  1. I can design appropriate content to meet the knowledge, skills and behaviours which form the apprenticeship standard, including activities that will be conducted off-the-job
    Check: Can you present a high-level scheme of work / training plan to an employer or apprentice? Can you explain what activities contribute to off-the-job training and how this will be tracked?
  1. I recognise and can respond appropriately to those elements of the standard which are qualifications-based and those that are not
    Check: Can you identify these clearly on your proposed scheme of work / training plan?
  1. I am confident in my ability to provide the right level of academic input to meet the relevant standard(s)
    Can you identify any elements of the standard that require more academic input than a relevant existing framework? How will you respond to this?
  2. I can identify which of our existing resources can be used to support this standard and develop new resources where required
    Check: Can you talk through your proposed resource repurposing / development plan through with a colleague?
  3. I can confidently use technology which enhances the learner’s experience
    Check: Can you demonstrate your preferred technology solutions to colleagues to help them to see the value in using it?
  4. I can integrate opportunities to strengthen competence and confidence in literacy and numeracy
    Check: Can you identify the potential to integrate maths and English requirements within the curriculum / scheme of work you have proposed?
  5. I can adapt my style of delivery appropriately to meet the apprentice’s development needs
    Check: Can you explain how you would differentiate your approach to your colleagues or an employer?
  1. I can explain my role in preparing the learner for the experience of end-point assessment
    Check: Can you explain how your proposed curriculum will offer opportunities to practice and prepare the learner for end-point assessment, and the concept of grading?

Louise Doyle, Director of Mesma and SDN Strategic Associate

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