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Assessment – Tools

Standards: Clause 1.8

The RTO implements an assessment system that ensures that assessment (including recognition of prior learning):

a) complies with the assessment requirements of the relevant training package or VET accredited course;
b) is conducted in accordance with the Principles of Assessment contained in Table 1.8-1 and the Rules of Evidence contained in Table 1.8-2.

Glossary definition: Assessment system

The assessment system is a coordinated set of documented policies and procedures (including assessment materials and tools) that ensure assessments are consistent and are based on the Principles of Assessment contained in Table 1.8-1 and Rules of Evidence contained in Table 1.8-2.
Components of an assessment tool

An assessment tool includes the following:
1. context and conditions of assessment
2. assessment task/s
3. criteria for judgement
4. recording requirements

1. Assessment context and conditions

The context provides background information to help candidates understand what is expected of them. These must be explained fully as part of the assessment tool. This is part of what makes an assessment fair. Instructions to accompany an assessment task may include information on:

  • Timing of the assessment
  • Length of the assessment
  • Number of attempts available
  • Resources available
  • Safety requirements
  • What the assessor will do
  • What the candidate can do if they are not happy with the result
2. Assessment task

The task is the activity that the candidate must do to demonstrate competence. Examples of tasks:

  • answer oral and written questions
  • participate in a demonstration
  • complete a project or case study or scenario
  • assemble a workplace portfolios

Note: A list of elements and performance criteria does not constitute an assessment task.

3. Criteria for judgement

This is how the assessor will judge the quality of performance – the decision-making rules. They must be available to the candidate in the interests of fairness.

They must be available to the assessor to ensure consistency of judgment. They are usually in an Assessor Report or a Marking Guide.

4. Recording requirements

This is usually included in an Assessor Guide and includes:

  • how performance is to be recorded during the assessment
  • how/where the result is to be recorded
  • how/when the result is to be reported to administration.

QCI considerations

  • Does your RTO have documented instructions on what must be in an assessment tool?
  • Does the person who approves the use of the new assessment tool have an approval checklist to ensure consistency of design?
  • How does your RTO know if the assessment tools that are purchased meet the requirements of this standard?
  • Where are previous versions of assessment tools kept so that they can be accessed if there is a query?
  • How does your RTO make sure that previous versions of assessment tools are not being used by assessors?

Scenario 1

XYZ RTO makes sure that the assessment tool for a unit consists of the task, the evidence that will be gathered, and the judgement criteria. These are all very clear, so they are comfortable that their assessment tools meet the requirements of the standards.

Are their assessment tools complete?

No. They have compliant assessment instruments, but these are only part of the assessment tool.

The assessment tool comprises the assessment instrument and the context and conditions of assessment. An assessment tool can also contain the administration, recording and reporting requirements of the assessment.

Scenario 2

XYZ is a small RTO that only has one assessor for a qualification. This person also developed the assessment tools for this qualification. Therefore, they felt there was no need for a marking guide or for written instructions for the assessor as that person was well aware of what had to be done.

Is this a suitable approach?

No. The Principles of Assessment and the Rules of Evidence are not met if all components of an assessment tool are not present.