Taqa Assessors Award

10 October 2016

To check for authenticity the candidate must have confirmed that this is their own work; the assessor must deem it to be original work and the assessor must have checked that any testimonies are from bona fide colleagues. If any of the above is in doubt then it is the assessor’s responsibility to question the learner. To be current the evidence must meet the most recent criteria and regulations from the relevant awarding body, and must be produced within any applicable time constraints detailed in the assessment plan. Question 2

Some of the risks n assessment may pertain to the workplace, such as Health and Safety. This could be due to machinery or materials in the workplace that could pose a risk to both the learner and assessor. It could also be due to the leaner working with vulnerable people that could mean that procedures have to be followed that could delay assessment.

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Other risks in the workplace could be due to workload and the candidate either being too busy to complete the evidence required or being too busy for assessment which could lead to the assessment being cancelled.

Supervisors may also cancel assessments at late notice is the workplace becomes too busy for the learner to spare the time. Other delays may be due to standards changing, for example in my industry ATOL certificates for consumers recently became compulsory, which may lead to the evidence required being altered. Other risks may be due to the assessor themselves rather than external influences. If the assessor is inexperienced they may not have sufficient grasp on the evidence required for each unit which may result in delays as further evidence has to be produced, or the assessment may be poorly planned.

There may also be issues of bias if the learner is a colleague or friend, or complaints that lead to delays, or simply inconsistency that leads to delays while the assessor is verified, which may lead to time constraints not being met. Time constraints may also not be met if the assessor is too busy to assess thoroughly and feedback promptly. Question 3 Risks should be able to be minimised through careful planning. If Health and Safety is an issue in the workplace or if CRB checks need to be made then this should be taken into account at planning stage and any necessary steps taken at that time.

To minimise the risks of assessments being cancelled supervisors should be consulted to make sure they are in full support of the learner and less likely to object to time taken for assessments. Assessments should be planned to minimise any disruption to the normal workday and should not take longer than stated in order to retain the support of the learner’s colleagues. Clear communication during the planning stage should mean that disagreements later on are less likely to happen as all involved know what is expected of them. Question 4 Candidate Induction

The role of the assessor would be to explain the content of the award, get to know the candidate in terms of any special requirements they may have, do an initial assessment to identify their starting point, explain what they can expect from the assessor and assessments and to explain the qualification that they will gain. Assessment Planning The assessor should plan with the learner activities to be assessed and communicate the method of assessment that will be used and when it will take place in order to cover the widest range of units. Identify current achievements and any particular needs of the learner Assessment

The assessor should follow the assessment plan agreed previously inn order to make the assessments from evidence supplied by the learner. Make Assessment decisions and analyse learner achievement The assessor’s role is to judge whether the evidence from the learner meets the criteria for the relevant units being assessed and that the evidence is Fair, Valid and Reliable. Recording Assessment Decisions The assessor should record their assessment decision with the criteria met clearly identified. The assessor should follow procedure with regards to making this information available to authorised colleagues and should maintain confidentiality.

Give Constructive Feedback The assessor should feedback to the candidate what they have achieved as soon as possible after assessment has taken place. Planning Next Stage Confirm achievement with the learner and plan the next assessment by returning to stage one. Identify any implications for learning, assessment and progression. Maintain Legal and Good Practice requirements Assessor should follow procedures and policies at all times and ensure they are up to date with regulations and legislation, ensure equality and diversity and monitor own work. Question 5

It is important to follow all these stages to ensure that each candidate has a similar experience and that standard are the same regardless of who the assessor is. Following a set procedure will also make sure that nothing is missed and promote good practice. If a procedure is followed it will also ensure that you comply with any legalities such as the data protection act. If a third party needs to be involved it will also help as you will have a clear plan so that they can see what has been achieved and what the plan is going forward. Question 6 The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 –

This covers the content of brochures such as what information should be included, the legal contract between tour operator and client, the price of holidays and whether the price can be changed after sale, alterations allowed to the package sold, cancellation terms, liability, insolvency, bonding and insurance required by tour operators. Aviation Legislation – thi5s covers safety standards on aircraft, environmental concerns, air accident and investigation procedures, consumer protection (ATOL), Aviation Insurance, Reduced Mobility, Denied Boarding, Compensation, Health and Safety and ground handling.

ABTA – The Association of British Travel Agents – Provides bonding and consumer protection for people buying a package from a travel agent. ATOL – Air Travel Organisers Licence – Provides consumer protection for anyone buying air travel and accommodation separately rather than in a package from a travel agent. Question 7 All assessment methods can be adapted to be used with learners who have special needs. For example a learner who has dyslexia may be more comfortable with visual or audio assessment, but computer programmes may enable them to submit written evidence easily by speaking and allowing the computer programme to type.

If the assessment type is not flexible such as an exam they would be able to have someone to scribe their answers. Blind learner s may be able to submit their evidence in braille if the assessment must be written. If the special need is physical then as long as the learner can access the place of the assessment then any method will suit. If the leaner has learning difficulties then audio / visual methods may be best suited, or multiple choice online tests. The special requirement may simply be the learner has time constraints.

The best methods of assessment to use then would be ones that impact on their work the least by identifying evidence that occurs naturally during their working day, or being flexible in when you do the assessment, e. g. out of hours. To ensure that your methods are holistic the assessor needs to be very familiar with the evidence required within each unit so that they can gather as much naturally occurring evidence at each visit that can be then used against several units.

Good planning will ensure that a holistic method is adopted and each assessment plan can identify which units this will provide evidence for. To decide what technology to use in assessment you must discuss with the leaner what they have access to, and what they are comfortable using. Video chat can be used to gain evidence if both parties have access, which will then be more time efficient than the assessor travelling to the learner, and provides hard evidence of the standards and criteria met.

The assessor must be familiar with the awarding bodies’ procedures on equality and diversity and ensure that all the learners have the same potential for achieving their qualification and are not discriminated against for any reason. Making sure assessment decisions are based solely on whether the evidence has met the criteria will help the assessor to ne non discriminative and taking into account any special needs will allow for diversity. Question 8 Written Assessments – These could include witness statements, learner statements, essays, assignments or projects.

The advantages of these include the ability to research the content, they are able to be longer and more in depth than other forms of assessment, the learner can complete the task at their own pace and they provide clear evidence of the learner’s knowledge. The disadvantage of this form of assessment is that some learners with poor literacy skills may find this more difficult or people with dyslexia. There are computer programmes that would help with this though. Oral Assessments – This could involve questioning the learner or participating in a debate.

The strengths include the immediacy of the evidence, and the fact that you can be sure it is authentic. It is also good for people with special needs or with poor literacy skills, and is a good indicator of their communication skills. The disadvantages are that it requires learners to think on their feet and affords no preparation time, and can be difficult for shy or self-conscious learners. Visual / Audio Assessment – This could include simulation / role playing, watching the learner in their workplace or presentations.

The simulations and role playing are strong for situations where you need to replicate real life situations so that you can check the learner’s competence, and you can be sure that the evidence is authentic and immediate. Disadvantages may be that learners can be shy, you may get interrupted and the assessor will need to assess while watching and potentially participating. Learners may also find being watched stressful. Question 9 Reflective practice means reflecting on your experience, and enables people to evaluate their own performance from several different perspectives to see what they did well and what could be improved upon.

By doing this you will, in theory, be constantly improving your performance. CPD is important as each assessor will need to ensure they are up to date with any changes in their own field of expertise. They could keep up to date by reading recent publications within their area or by speaking to or shadowing people working currently within that field. Some institutions will make this a requirement of membership. Question 10 It is important to involve the learner in the assessment process to enable them to become independent learners.

The more involved and familiar they are with the assessment process, what is expected of them and the standards they need to achieve the more independent they will be able to be, so that after their qualification has been achieved they can continue to self-assess and develop their skills. The assessor can help with this process by fully involving the learner in the assessment planning, which will allow the leaner to question the plan and ask questions so that they are clear what they need to do. They will then fully understand the timescales involved and they will be able to alert the assessor if anything falls behind.

The assessor should be in regular contact with the learner so that the assessment plan can be reviewed and altered if necessary, which will keep the leaner on track and involved in the process. If there is an opportunity for peer assessment this will allow the learners to become more familiar with the criteria and standards they need to achieve. Question 11 There are essentially four bodies of people involved in the assessment process: the learner, the assessor, the workplace or college where the leaner is studying and the awarding body.

All need to openly share information so that everyone knows what is expected and what they need to do. The learner will need to share any special needs that they have in order that these may be taken into account during assessment. They also need to share any other qualifications they have which may be taken into account or used as evidence. The assessor will need to share the assessment plan so that the learner and manager know what evidence in required and when by, and will also need to share feedback and results.

The workplace or college will need to share times of assessments, and if any costs are involved these need to be communicated. The awarding body will need to share the criteria, procedures, assessment documentation and industry standards. Question 12 To ensure the evidence provided through others is fair, valid and reliable, the assessor must ensure that the candidate knows what evidence is expected of them through a detailed assessment plan which has been discussed with the learner in advance.

They must be aware of the learning criteria that need to be met and the way you will be assessing this. The criteria needs to be followed very precisely and not be strayed from. Personal opinions must not enter into assessments, and the only consideration should be whether the criteria have been met as set out in the unit. If the learner displays any behaviour above and beyond the criteria this can be stated as feedback. By looking at additional evidence you may determine whether the standard displayed in one particular piece of evidence would be met at other times.

The assessors reliability could be verified by having someone else verify their assessment. To ensure the assessment is fair you should take into account any special needs of the learner. Question 13 To judge evidence and make assessment decisions you would need to judge whether it is sufficient (met all the criteria at the appropriate standard), authentic (the learners own work), current (adheres to current regulations and industry standards and is within timescales permitted if previous work), valid, reliable and fair. The assessor must judge whether the work meets he criteria without being biased in any way, and whether it has changed from the assessment plan. You would do this by attending standardisation meetings, following the assessment plan and being familiar with the criteria for each unit. Question 14 Quality assurance processes will have been agreed with the awarding body for each qualification. Some of the quality assurance measures will include an annual verification schedule where pieces of assessed work are submitted to ensure that the correct assessment decisions are being made.

There will also be an internal quality assurer, and as an assessor you should make sure you are familiar with what you will have to submit to them and when in order that they can oversee assessments and satisfy themselves of the quality of your work. You must also attend standardisation meetings, keep accurate records so that results can be recorded and used to see whether a qualification is being successfully delivered or needs alterations, and you must keep up to date with any new standards / procedures or changes within your particular specialism.

It is important that these procedures are followed and standards and quality is the same for every candidate studying, as the qualifications are offered throughout the country, and therefore employers need to know that someone with a particular qualification will have reached the same standard regardless of who delivered it and where they qualified. Question 15 If the customer is not happy with the assessors feedback or decision they can appeal to have this re-assessed.

In the first instance they will log their dissatisfaction with their assessor, who will raise this as an appeal case, which will notify the IV / IQA. The Assessor with then re-a9ssess the evidence and pass the work to the IV / IQA for checking within 48 hours. The IV / IQA will assess the work within 5 days and inform the customer of the outcome. If the customer is satisfied then the case is closed, the ales force are notified and no further action is required. If the appeal is unresolved then the work then goes to a panel consisting of HoT, another IV / IQA and DoT to reassess work and the EV will also be consulted. The outcome is reported within 28 days. If this still does not resolve the complaint then the customer of DoT must make a written complaint to the awarding body within 28 days. If there is no response then they must write to Ofqual.

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