Assessment is about making judgments about learners’ competence through evidence that links to relevant outcomes relating to specific subjects or roles. This may be standards or qualification driven.
Assessment should give learners’ the opportunity to demonstrate what they know and can do during and after a process of learning, that is, formative or summative assessment of diverse evidence. All learners should have the opportunity to receive feedback, retake unsuccessful assessment and appeal should they feel that they were not fairly assessed.
Educational assessment takes many forms and pathways and it is essential that assessment practice is conducted by skilled and experienced practitioners; from those employers assessing in the workplace as part of an apprenticeship to those assessing on degree programmes in higher education establishments and vocationally in schools and colleges.
Assessors are not always teachers, and some may not even hold an assessor qualification. This depends on the learning and circumstances that they assess on and within. What does need to be understood though is that all assessors need to maintain their commitment to Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and reflect on their skills and experience, conducting a skills gap analysis to inform their ongoing development.
End Point Assessment
With the advent of End Point Assessment (EPA), the upsurge in the need for more assessors is considerable. Many assessors employed or contracted to end point assess will have a wealth of occupational experience, coming direct from industry but may not have the underpinning experience and qualifications as a formal assessor. Conversely many assessors will be highly experienced practitioners but lack the up to date industry skills required of apprenticeships.
This means that the requirement for training and professional development of assessors is crucial now more than ever, for learner success.
When conducted as part of the on-programme part of apprenticeships formative assessment must be as valued and significant as the role of EPA. If not, then the apprentice will be woefully unprepared for EPA.
Formative assessment needs planning, achievement tracking, effective feedback loops to learners, improvement plans and consistent approaches to quality and assessment processes.
Without this, it will be impossible to know when an apprentice or vocational learner is ready for their final assessment, whether this is a vocational summative as part of a qualification route or Apprenticeship End Point Assessment.
Who are the technical and vocational assessor community?
The assessor community is diverse in terms of roles, experience and qualifications. There is no one type of assessor but instead a breadth of educationalists involved in promoting learner achievement.
We need to be embracing the skills, knowledge and behaviours that different assessors bring to learning and share the culture and wisdom of different methods. Collective participation in Professional Standards, Codes of Conduct and CPD will define the success of our learners.
Education is now less disparate than ever and requires a unified approach to the assessment of learners through collaboration, networking and sharing.
- Vocational trainers and tutors
- Technical/Practical assessors
- Lecturers in FE and HE
- End Point Assessors
- Work based learning providers
- Internal quality assurers
- External quality assurers
We come from:
- Further Education Institutes (FEIs)
- Higher Education Institutes (HEIs)
- Schools and Academies
- Awarding Organisations (AOs)
- Private Training Providers (RTPs)
- End Point Assessment Organisations (EPAOs)
Sam Taylor, Head of Assessors Guild
About The Assessors Guild: We are currently welcoming our first members and the database is fast growing. Our membership portal will be launched in the Autumn and this will offer member profiles, availability for work, booking tools, events, news updates, announcements and vacancies. As we progress into phase two the portal will also have the functionality to upload and record member CPD, feature a document library, knowledge base and other member benefits.