From education to employment

Assessors ready to take on challenge of diplomas

As CIEA holds its national conference, deputy head Graham Herbert speaks to FE news.

Assessors are looking forward to the challenge of the new Diplomas according to the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessment (CIEA). The theme of the Institute’s National Conference this week has been how to apply best practice to assessment during times of change. In particular, reforms to the 14-19 curriculum and the introduction of the new Diplomas will mean new methods of verifying and assessing work.
Graham Herbert, the deputy head of the CIEA, told FE News that while the Institute’s members recognised the introduction of the Diplomas would be challenging, it would be worthwhile because of the benefits the new qualifications will bring to the learner. “The Diplomas are exciting and innovative and present immense opportunities for learners.”
One of the features of the new qualifications will be “local assessment. “ In practice, says Mr Herbert, this will mean assessing specific learners in the context of their locality: “Take engineering. The opportunities to do engineering in Newcastle for example are varied. An engineer based there is likely to be working in a large scale operation with heavy equipment and specific health and safety requirements. By contrast, an engineer in Truro will be working in a small engineering company, operating lighter equipment with a different raft of health and safety issues. Therefore the assessment has to be designed to fit the task. It is quite specific. “
Kathleen Tattersall, Chair of the CIEA, opened the Institute’s two day conference on Wednesday. She said: “No area of education and training, from primary and secondary teaching to FE lecturing and workplace training, will be left untouched by the current reforms and the assessment community plays a crucial role in the reforms’ long term successes.”
The IEA was set up in May 2006 to provide support and and focus for everybody involved in assessment across the educational sectors. It was awarded Chartered status last year. Mr Herbert told FE News that the feedback from the Conference seminars and workshops had been extremely positive. Amongst the subjects discussed was assessment in the workplace and the idea that, although content and context may change, the process of assessment was essentially the same as in schools – preparing the assessment, standardisation, applying the scheme and moderating it.
Rosie Spowart

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