What is the purpose of Assessing a learner? sample essay
1. What is the purpose of Assessing a learner (1.1)
The purpose of assessing a learner is to enable you to see how competent a learner is at their particular profession. To gain the NVQ the learner needs to be assessed and create a portfolio. It will help you ascertain whether or not a learner fully understands the job role and also guide you to points which may not be covered by for example Observations or any gaps in knowledge. It will also help you to measure the evidence you have against the criteria needed to gain the qualification. It checks learners’ competence, knowledge, learning, skills and understanding.
2. What should all evidence be, that is used for assessment? ( 1.2) All evidence used should be
a) Valid – which means it is their work only and no one has helped complete it and it’s not copied or cut and pasted. b) Current that is within the last 6 months, meets working practices which are current and meets legislation for the specific role. C) Sufficient – is there enough work completed and all requirements met and this evidence consistent over a period of time. There are no gaps in knowledge and different assessment methods have been used to ascertain this. d) Reliable – Someone who produces a testimony for learner for example supervisor, colleague, manager. Keep in mind does this person know the learner, what their role is, is not too close to the learner to be biased. Would others make the same decision as you based on the evidence that is provided?
e) fair – is the assessment fair, have you taken into consideration the learners needs, abilities, special circumstances such as work patterns, illness and the Equality & Diversity policy guidance have been met. Ensure learners are treat individually but not favoured and tailor your assessing methods to meet their personal needs for example you could have a professional discussion with your learner if they have difficulty in writing or observe learners in the work place.
3. What is the role and responsibilities of the assessor? (1.3) Candidate induction Give an overview of the award, initial assessment, identify any special needs, explain the role of the assessor, explain qualification. Assessment planning To Identify specific activities where candidate can be assessed to cover the range of units. Use most appropriate methods. Plan how to meet and assess knowledge and address learner needs and current achievements Assessment Undertaken by the assessor in accordance with the assessment plan. Using evidence presented by the candidate. Manage assessments to meet assessment requirements. Make assessment decisions and analyse learner achievement.
The assessor has to judge the evidence presented for assessment against the performance and knowledge laid out in the units to ensure it is VACSR and fair. Recording assessment decisions Assessor records their assessment decision clearly on a record, with achieved qualification criteria clearly identified. Make assessment information available to authorised colleagues, follow procedures to maintain confidentiality. Give constructive feedback This must be given to the candidate after the assessment as soon as possible. This is to inform them how they did and what they have achieved. Planning next stage How to move forward to the next stage of assessment and planning when the assessment has to be revisited. Identify any further implications for learning, assessment progression. Confirm achievement. Maintain legal and good practice requirements Follow policies and procedures, ensure equality and diversity during assessment, evaluate own work and maintain currency of own work.
The role of the assessor is to provide a service to enable employees and individuals to gain a NVQ in their chosen field, for example Health & Social care, Customer Service ect. You should always ensure you use approved methods of assessing and be fair with all learners, ensuring that you meet the Policies and Procedures in place. You are there to support them in gaining their NVQ by providing suitable means of doing this. As an assessor you must make sure that you keep accurate , up to date written and electronic records of learners and the assessment methods: Plan – how you will gather evidence, activities, what you have done to get evidence and Decisions – what you have decided needs to be done.
At first contact you will introduce yourself, give contact details and arrange a suitable time to meet, also let your learner know what to bring along with them such as I.D, certificates and other relevant information. Make sure the meeting is accessible and good time for them to attend. You will explain the NVQ process and provide relevant paper work. At this meeting you will find out if any support is needed to enable the learner to pass the NVQ. You will also find out how much experience the learner has or if they are new to the position, this will help you determine how much work is needed from them. You will explain the NVQ process, the stages of assessment and inform them that there will be an assignment to complete and how any evidence will be gathered.
At this stage I would complete the VAC test to determine their learning styles so you can tailor your assessment to this. It is the assessors responsibility to encourage the learner to complete work, attend meetings and to do this keep the meetings interesting. Also ensure that feedback is given in a timely manor not making learners wait for any feedback helps to keep them interested and creates good relationships. It is the assessors responsibility to ensure that all paper work is complete, up to date and signed and that all criteria has been met.
4. Explain the regulations and requirements relevant to assessment in own area of practice(1.4, 3.4, 3.5, 8.1) There are many regulations and requirements relevant to assessment in Health & Social Care. Health & Social Care Act 2003 – CQC are the body who inspect care providers. They ensure that care standards are met for example good value, Health & Safety at work act – identifies the responsibilities of both employers and employees and sets out what needs to be met by both parties. Equal Opportunities act 2010 – states that all people should be treated the same regardless of age, sex, ability, religion, social status ect.
Data Protection act states that all data gained must be collected for the purpose of specific use, it is accurate and up to date, not kept for longer than necessary, not transferred out of the EU and kept in a confidential manor. Lone working – all risks must be identified as much as possible and lone workers not put at any more risk than other workers. Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults and Children Act is in place to protect vulnerable adults and children. Health & Safety at Work act 1974 – this law states that both employer and employers are responsible to theirs and others safety. The Management of Health & Safety at Work 1999 – this law set guideline to stop unsafe practices and lessen the risks caused by Moving & handling, 1st Aid and other emergency procedures.
Risk assessing is also a requirement by employers and employees to ensure that working practices, areas and environments have had identified risks eliminated or reduced as much as possible. The Equality Act 2010 – this bans unfair treatment of individuals and groups and helps achieve equal opportunities for workers, learners and wider society. There are many laws that are related to Health and Social Care and these can be found on government web sites.
Child Protection – all people who are involved with children and vulnerable adults must have a current enhanced CRB check to help protect and meet law requirements before commencing involvement. Duty of Care – as an assessor you have a duty of care to your learners ect. statute laws, criminal laws and common and civil laws all apply to assessors. Code of Practice – assessors should follow the NVQ code of practice from their organisation Dress codes – follow policies of dress for example certain job roles require certain uniforms, safety wear ect.
5. Explain the strengths and limitations of at 7 different assessment methods, making reference to how each method can meet the needs of individual learners. (2.1,4.3,4.4) Professional Discussion – to arrange this you would contact the learner and explain what will be discussed. Ask the learner to bring with them any certificates, I.D and information about what they have done previously and do currently. It also tells you how much the learner understands. Give the learner enough time to prepare what is required but not too long as they may lose interest. At the meeting it is a good idea to complete the VAC visual, auditory, kinaesthetic learning styles if not already done so. This enables you to tailor your assessment to the individuals learning style.
The P.D also is a good tool for times during assessment when criteria may not be met and also to keep learners up to date and provide feedback in more detail. It will support you ascertaining the learner fully understands. You can use this for example if the learner has dyslexia or other needs. You can always ask questions in the discussion if not all criteria has been met in observations. Observations – you should try to cover as much criteria as possible for example observe care given to a client who has a lot of Moving & Handling, personal care, dietary needs, medication support and domestic duties. This will enable you to cover as much information as possible and reduce the need to observe more.
This is especially good if the learner is based some distance away and may not be practical to keep commuting to a minimum. Witness Testimony – this would be provided by a colleague of the learner or someone who can verify that the criteria is and has been met consistently. When asking for a witness be careful that the person is not too friendly with the learner as they may be biased. The witness can be an ordinary witness or expert witness and should have witness over a period of time that the learner consistently meets the criteria. You need to encourage them to buy into it by explaining the benefits of the NVQ for their workplace. It makes work colleagues feel important and is a good method for night shift workers.
Personal Statement – this will help support other assessment methods and will help clarify the learners understanding. You should inform the learner that a statement will be needed and to prepare for this. You can ask verbal questions to help clarify that the statement is original and they understand. Recognised Prior Learning – this would be done in the induction process. It will form the basis of the assessment plan and will encourage learners to record skills gained, these may be professional and life skills, there are always transferable skills and this will help identify these too. You can consider evidence from previous job roles but must be in the last 6 months and they must be authentic.
Simulation – if an activity would be deemed as dangerous or unobservable you can simulate the activity. You must check with the awarding body that this is acceptable. It must mirror the activity performed in the working environment. You should ensure the learner is well prepared, and consider ways to do this which creates minimal disruption to the work place. Assignment – you will have already informed your learner that this will be part of the NVQ assessment. The learner will be able to research the subject over a period of time and write up this work. This will help clarify that they understand the work they do and why they do things in a particular way.
It can also identify laws that are in place and what they protect us against. Make sure this is planned well as this will help measure their understanding of different criteria. Project – this can be used at the end or near the end of the NVQ as it will help keep interest in their learning. You should use a subject the learner covers daily, make it interesting and give a time limit and a specific task. Ensure that you use S.M.A.R.T – Specific. Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time bound.
6. What key factors do you need to consider when planning assessment? (3.1) The key factors to be considered are to take account of the learners needs you do this by identify your learners learning type and any special considerations, what you are assessing, where you are assessing, when this will take place and how you will do this. You must ensure that the assessment fits with the learners needs, fits in with the employers business and does not interrupt work. What criteria they need to meet. To help plan when this will be evidenced, check with the employer, the learner, check what they do on specific days / times and plan around this.
Do not use busy times if not required. If there are witnesses there get a statement at the same time. Assess the criteria in one visit as far as possible. Remember that this needs to be S.M.A.R.T. you need to plan the assessment well and always check before the visit it is still ok for you to assess on that day. You will need to take into account shift pattern, working long hours and lack of understanding from the learner. They may have special needs such as dyslexia or problems reading or writing.
7. What is holistic assessment? How would you plan holistic assessment and what are the benefits. (3.2) A Holistic approach is where you would gather evidence from the whole subject, you would cover as much criteria as possible from one session. It may be that you can observe learner, ask questions if criteria not met and perhaps get a witness statement at the same time from a colleague. Cover as much criteria as you can in one piece of work which can be used cover different units of work.
The observation may be able to cover customer skills, health and safety, confidentiality and your moving and handling skills. These will cover a wide range of points you will need to gather. I would plan a holistic assessment by covering as much criteria as I can in one meeting. I would prepare the candidate well and make sure all parties agree to this. I would identify what information I needed and record any extra gained. It can also include skills test, previous learning, projects and assignments and questions and answers. Holistic is the whole thing so it would be the whole of the learning time.
8. Why is it important to involve the learner and others in the assessment process? (4.1) It is important to involve the learner as this is their award and they will take ownership of it. It will help keep them motivated. It is also good practice to involve others such as managers as this shows respect for their business and helps them understand that it will benefit their work place and work practices. Colleagues should be involved as they may be able to give witness statements; it is also good for business if you provide a good service employers will come back in future. By asking colleagues to give witness testimonies it involves them and makes them feel important, they are more likely to support the learner.
9. Explain how you judge evidence and make assessment decisions, making reference to the criteria and assessment requirements (5.1, 5.2) To judge evidence provided you use VASCRF (valid, authentic, sufficient, current, reliable and fair). I would make sure that the criteria asked for is met, how it has been assessed, where from. I would check that it was the candidates work by asking questions to make sure they understand what has been evidenced, make sure that there is enough evidence to cover criteria, and that it is fair that they were not at a disadvantage and this level of knowledge is kept up over a period of time. I would ensure that feedback is given in a timely manor and that all is recorded accurately. I would make my decision on: Has all criteria been met? Is the assessment fair?
10. Explain the procedures for and importance of quality assurance and standardisation. (6.1, 6.2) We have quality assurance to make sure that standards are met and this is done by verifiers who will check the portfolio, speak to learners about their experience with their assessor and observe the assessor they will have standardisation meetings which you need to attend. These meetings are very important as they set the standard for assessments and update assessors of changes in policies, procedures and the law. There are also external verifiers their job is to ensure that all assessments are made to the same standards.
As and assessor I will need to ensure my records are accurate, up to date, and have a paper trail for audit purposes. I will need to attend standardisation meeting and follow the guidelines set for assessing. To meet quality assurance standards we need to abide by rules and regulations set, ensure legislation is adhered to for example Health & Safety, Data Protection act ect. As part of quality assurance we must ensure that our work is of high standards, consistent and we check, mark and give feedback in a timely manor.
11. Explain the appeals and complaints procedure (6.3)
The appeals and complaints procedure is to in the first instance if you are able, speak to your assessor this may be all that is needed if you are not able to do this then you should contact your internal verifier who will be able to deal with any issue. If this is not satisfactory then you can contact in writing: Chief Executive Bright International Training 78 York Street London W1H 1DP Please refer to the below link.
This will fully explain the procedure: http://www.ncfe.org.uk/Home/AllDocuments/PoliciesandRegulations.aspx The Chief Executive will look at your complaint and respond within 5 days. There will be a panel who will look into your claim and inform you of the outcome. This will be time bound (14 days). There will be points put in place with the relevant person to ensure that standards are met or they may need to re- register after training. The appeals and complaint procedure should be given to each learner at your induction meeting.
12. Why is the management of information important? (7.1)
The management of information is important as we have to meet the Data protection laws and meet legislation which governs the way information is stored and shared. It helps in the assessment process and help with auditing. You need to keep accurate up to date records that are specific to their needs. It will provide evidence and information if needed by verifiers and Chief executives. Information must be kept confidential. There must be a transparent audit trail and good management of information will assist in managing the learning records of learners. All work must be signed and dated to be valid.
13. Why should you give the learner feedback? (7.2)
You should always give learner feedback as it keeps them interested and helps build good learning relationships. It shows that you are respectful to their needs and want them to succeed. It also helps with motivation. Feedback should be given on a one to one basis if in workplace or you can telephone Email or text messaged but always recorded. It should be given in good time and should respect the need for confidentiality. It should be constructive and help build their confidence. It should be sandwiched for example a positive feedback, then areas not met or lacking followed by positive it help to soften the blow and gives learners constructive help.
14. What are the key policies and procedures that relate to assessment? For example Bright delivery policy and NCFE policies and procedures etc. Give a brief explanation of what each one is. (8.1) Bright delivery policy – the quality audits of ILP’S is completed by internal and external verifiers. It ensures that standards are being met consistently. There are audits of completed information, assessing plans feedback and reviews. As an assessor you must ensure that the learner has achievable and S.M.A.R.T goals, the external verifier may check this for audit purposes. You must ensure that plans are set for learning using the above. The verifier will check that assessors are completing tasks properly, above board and are auditable.
The NCFE has a site that contains a host of information. The link is: http://www.ncfe.org.uk/Home/AllDocuments/PoliciesandRegulations.aspx The NCFE are an awarding body. The agreement with NCFE is that they will work towards safeguarding the best interests of the learner and assessor and can help you with guidance and policies. They are there to try make life easier in learning and so agree to signpost you in the right direction. The appeals policy is for customers and learners who use NCFE products. You can appeal against and decision on your results via them. The Equality and Diversity policy is for anyone using the services of NCFE and ensures that all are treated equal irrespective of race, religion, ability ect. It recognises learners diverse needs and helps ensure these are met. The invoicing policy explains the NCFE ‘S charging policy.
15. How can you use technology in assessment? (8.2)
You can use various technologies in assessing for example using a Dictaphone if schedules are busy You MUST get permission to use one from the learner or who is recorded. You can also use photos and video recordings but not so you would identify a client or others involved, again you must get permission to do this. The other electronic means would be using computers, Skype calls and video calling. Always get written permission and protect people’s identities. If it’s not written and signed it hasn’t happened.
16. How do you ensure equality and diversity during assessment? (8.3) Make sure you follow Equality & Diversity policy and tailor your assessing to your learners needs. To ensure you are using the correct methods you would refer to your first meeting, this will provide you with information on any difficulties a learner may have. As you will be in regular contact you will review your assessing methods constantly to ensure you are meeting their needs over time, review and adjust as needed. Ensure all learners are treat the same no preference to certain learners should be given all are equal.
17. Why is reflective practice and CPD valuable? (8.4)
Reflective practice is very important. By reflecting on your practices and your learning it is a good tool to use to improve your effectiveness as an assessor. It also helps you to keep up to date as policies and criteria change all the time. It also identifies new learning opportunities and shows you want to progress. It can help you to become a better assessor as you will reflect on previous practice and find ways to improve on these