Understanding the Principles and Practices
Of Internally Assuring the Quality of Assessment
Understand how to internally maintain and improve the quality of assessment
4.1 – 4.3
As a QA I must regularly observe my assessors and team and give regular feedback in order to uphold and maintain the integrity of the award and the awarding body and in result also upholding public confidence in the scheme in question. This is also to be seen as a form of CPD and a valuable instrument in managing risk.
Commonly viewed the type of feedback I should give my assessor or assessor team must be constructive, encouraging, non judgmental, explanatory, specific, recorded and contained in specific order and area for audit purposes and should begin with pointing out the positives first, followed by the point(s) that are identified as where improvement is needed (not to mention negative) and completed on a positive note.
To be able to give an assessor relevant and vital feedback I must sample records, observe, have a discussion with the assessor and perhaps other parties interested etc…
Obviously this is an assessment of assessor’s performance.
For this assignment I would like to approach the points collectively and discuss points I see as relevant in a more extensive manner and keep the remaining assignments brief.
Assessment is the process by which evidence of learner achievement is obtained and judged and is a measure of whether effective learning has taken place.
(Gray 2005, Huddleston and Unwin 2003, Minton 1991)
Assessment plays a significant role in the learning experience of students and determines their progression through their programmes and enables them to demonstrate that they have achieved the intended learning outcomes.
The NVQ assessment guidance document provides a structure for the assessment process covering the main stages of planning, collecting and judging evidence, making decisions and giving feedback.
The guidelines make it clear that while assessment should be jointly planned, by assessors and candidates, management responsibility rests with a team who have assessor and IQA within an approved centre recognised by an Awarding Body and supported by an EQA who is appointed by that body.
As an IQA I must recognise that the credibility and consistency of assessment of NVQ qualifications depends on the relevant Quality Assurance process used.
Originally, the responsibility for the systems of NVQ assessment was given to the National Council for Vocational Qualifications (NCVQ) through its licensing of the processes used by the Awarding Bodies who are responsible for the award of qualifications.
The current QCA guidance for Assessors and Verifiers states that one of the roles of Awarding Bodies is to "ensure the quality and consistency of assessment for qualifications nationally".
This process involves providing guidance for Approved Centres on managing assessment and verification on a day-to-day basis; appointing supporting and developing External Verifiers and monitoring their work; approving and monitoring Centres against approved criteria; collecting information from Centres to inform national decisions about qualification delivery; and provide information to QCA.
It is obvious that the ultimate goal for feedback to assessors is to make them aware on how to improve their practice and maintain a high level of performance in order to benefit the candidate – the most important person in the whole setting.
One area where I see reoccurring issues is the chosen methods of assessment assessors choose, i.e. lack of methods or inappropriate methods utilised.
Trainers or instructors often understand their occupational area very well and can actually pass it on quite well, but when it comes to assessing and utilising a range they often fail the candidate – and there is no need for that.
An example of advice I would generally give would be the following.