|This unit standard replaces unit standard 9927, “Conduct an assessment”, Level 4, 12 credits.
This unit standard replaces unit standard 7978, “Plan and conduct assessment of learning outcomes”, Level 5, 15 credits.
Definition of Terms
The following terms are defined as used within this and related unit standards:
- Assessment: – a process in which evidence is gathered and evaluated against agreed criteria in order to make a judgement of competence for developmental and/or recognition purposes.
- Assessment activities: – what a candidate does or is involved in as a means of producing evidence e.g. designing things, making things, repairing things, reporting on something, answering questions, solving problems, demonstrating techniques.
- Assessment criteria: – descriptions of the required type and quality of evidence against which candidates are to be assessed.
- Assessment design: – the analysis of defined outcomes and criteria to produce a detailed description of how an assessment should take place, including all instructions and information regarding the assessment activities and assessment methods. The product of assessment design could be termed an Assessment Guide (see definition below).
- Assessment facilitator (or evidence facilitator): – a person who works within particular contexts, under the supervision of registered assessors, to help candidates/learners gather, produce and organise evidence for assessment.
- Assessment Guide: – this is a complete package based on a thorough analysis of specified outcomes and criteria, assessment requirements and a particular assessment context. Assessment Guides are designed primarily for use by assessors to conduct an assessment (or possibly a series of related assessments) in terms of a significant and coherent outcome of learning e.g. a unit standard. Assessment Guides address the following key aspects in detail:
– How will the assessment take place?
– What is needed to make the assessment happen?
– How will evidence be gathered, recorded and judged?
In general, Assessment Guides include descriptions of the approach to the assessment, assessment conditions, assessment activities, instructions to assessors and candidates/learners, assessment methods, assessment instruments (e.g. scenarios, role-plays, questions, tasks), resource requirements, guidance for contextualising assessments, relevant standard operating procedures, administrative procedures, moderation requirements, assessment outcomes and criteria, observations sheets, checklists, possible or required sources of evidence and guidance on expected quality of evidence including exemplars, memoranda or rubrics.
- Assessment instruments: – those items that an assessor uses or a candidate uses as part of the assessment e.g. scenarios with questions, case studies, description of tasks to be performed, descriptions of role play situations.
- Assessment method: – for the most part, assessment methods relate to what an assessor does to gather and evaluate evidence. Assessment methods include observing candidates, questioning candidates, interviewing supervisors/colleagues/managers of candidates, listening to candidates, reviewing written material, testing products.
- Assessment plan: – this is produced at provider level, and gives an overview of the timeframes and responsibilities for assessment and moderation for the agreed delivery period. The plan addresses practical implementation details, including, for example, decisions about the clustering of certain outcomes or unit standards/outcomes for integrated assessment, any planned RPL, and the relation of assessment and moderation to delivery of modules/ programmes in terms of timeframes.
- Assessment principles: – see more detailed definitions in next section.
- Candidate/learner: – person whose performance is being assessed by an assessor. Such people include those who may already be competent, but who seek assessment for formal recognition (candidates), as well as those who may have completed or are in the process of completing learning programmes (learners).
- Candidate-assessor: – the person who is being assessed against this particular unit standard.
- Evaluative expertise: – the ability to judge the quality of a performance in relation to specified criteria consistently, reliably and with insight. Evaluative expertise implies deep subject matter understanding and knowledge about the outcomes being assessed at a theoretical and practical level, but does not necessarily include practical ability in the outcome.
- Evidence: – tangible proof produced by or about individuals, that can be perceived with the senses, bearing a direct relationship to defined outcomes and criteria, based on which judgements are made concerning the competence of individuals. Evidence includes plans, products, reports, answers to questions, testimonials, certificates, descriptions of observed performances, peer review reports.
- Evidence facilitator: – see assessment facilitator
- Moderation: – a process that supports and evaluates the assessment environment, process and instruments with a view to confirming the reliability and authenticity of assessment results and improving the quality of assessments and assessors.
- Performance: – includes demonstration of skills, knowledge, understanding and attitudes, and the ability to transfer these to new situations.
- Portfolio of evidence: – a carefully organised and complete collection of evidence compiled by candidates/learners to prove competence in relation to defined outcomes.
- RPL – Recognition of Prior Learning means the comparison of the previous learning and experience of a learner against specified learning outcomes required for:
– The award of credits for a specified unit standard or qualification,
– Access to further learning,
– Recognition in terms of meeting minimum requirements for a specific job,
– Placement at a particular level in an organisation or institution, or
– Advanced standing or status.
This means that regardless of where, when or how a person obtained the required skills and knowledge, it could be recognised for credits. In this sense, RPL is an important principle of the NQF. RPL involves an assessment process of preparing for RPL, engaging with RPL candidates, gathering evidence, evaluating and judging evidence in relation to defined criteria, giving feedback and reporting results. Given that the all candidates are assessed against the same criteria, credits awarded through RPL are therefore just as valid as credits awarded through any other assessment process.
- Outcomes-based assessment: – a planned process for gathering and judging evidence of competence, in relation to pre-determined criteria within an outcomes-based paradigm, for various purposes including further development and recognition of learning achievements.
- Verifier: – those who operate at systems level to monitor assessment and moderation practices, trends and results.Principles of assessmentMethods of Assessment:
- Appropriate: The method of assessment is suited to the outcome being assessed i.e. is capable of gathering evidence in relation to the intended outcome, and not something else.
- Fair: The method of assessment does not present any barriers to achievements, which are not related to the achievement of the outcome at hand.
- Manageable: The methods used make for easily arranged, cost-effective assessments that do not unduly interfere with learning.
- Integrated into work or learning: Evidence collection is integrated into the work or learning process where this is appropriate and feasible. (Often referred to as naturally occurring evidence).Evidence
- Valid: The evidence focuses on the requirements laid down in the relevant standard and matches the evidence requirements of the outcome/s at hand under conditions that mirror the conditions of actual performance as closely as possible
- Current: The evidence is sufficient proof that the candidate is able to perform the assessment outcomes at the time the assessor declares the candidate competent.
- Authentic: The assessor is satisfied that the evidence is attributable to the person being assessed.
- Sufficient: The evidence collected establishes that all criteria have been met and that performance to the required standard can be repeated consistently in the future i.e. the performance to standard is not a “once-off”.Overall Assessment Process
- Systematic: The overall process ensures assessment is fair, effective, repeatable and manageable.
- Open: The process is transparent i.e. assessment candidates understand the assessment process and the criteria that apply and can contribute to the planning and accumulation of evidence.
- Reliable/Consistent: The same assessor would make the same judgement again in similar circumstances and judgements match judgements made on similar evidence.