An insider’s guide to Assessor and Verifier Qualifications

first_imgD342 Maintain and monitor arrangements        No easy match in thenew standardsfor processing assessment informationD343 Verify assessment practice                      V1.3 Monitor the qualityof assessors’ performance No easy link to D34                                         V1.4Meet external quality assurance requirements An insider’s guide to Assessor and Verifier QualificationsOn 3 Oct 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. center_img MaureenScholefield reviews the new Assessor and Verifier Qualifications for NVQs andasks are they are a threat or an opportunity?The quality assurance aspect of National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs)has always been a matter for debate. So the current changes being implementedto NVQs are welcome news and long overdue for those who believe that they are avaluable part of the qualifications structure. The Qualifications Curriculum Authority (QCA) has published The NVQ Code ofPractice1, to replace the previous Common Accord. While the code makes forheavy reading, it gives those involved in NVQ implementation an approved centrecriteria. These are designed to be used by awarding bodies such as City &Guilds, OCR and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. A tariff of sanctions has been drawn up in consultation with the awardingbodies to ensure: – Transparency, equity and consistency of treatment between awarding bodiesand their approved centres in response to identified shortcomings – Public confidence in the quality assurance and control arrangements thatunderpin the implementation and assessment of NVQs The qualifications for assessors, internal verifiers and external verifiers,fall under the standard-setting body for learning and development, theEmployment National Training Organisation. The revised standards were finallyagreed in December 2001. Awarding bodies then worked to agree the evidencerequirements and have prepared their responses to these new standards. Those responsible for the operation of NVQ centres will face someinteresting challenges in the years ahead. They will need to carefully evaluatetheir systems and procedures to see how they measure up to the approved centrecriteria and how they monitor the working practices of their assessors andinternal verifiers. Competence Over the years, a number of qualifications have been offered to ensure thatthose assessing competence were in fact competent assessors. These were acascade model, the Workplace Trainer and Assessor award; an assessed model, theCity & Guilds 929 series; the D units, and now the A and V units. For the assessor units A1 and A22, it will be important to decide who willtake the lead in assessment, especially as there is another unit, L20 – Supportcompetence in the workplace, which could be a suitable unit for a team leader orsupervisor of the NVQ candidate. – Unit A1: Assess candidates using a range of methods. This is themost complex assessment unit as it requires the assessor to use at least fourmethods including observation, questioning, accreditation of prior experienceand achievement and simulations. The use of observation is a mandatory requirement. Evidence of knowledgewill be required for the four assessment methods not used. The NVQ Code of Conduct stresses the need for independent assessment. Thismeans some standard-setting bodies will include formal testing and evidencefrom others in their assessment strategy for their qualifications. D33 has three elements and A1 has four. The last element, A1.4 – Contributeto the internal quality assurance process, is all about how the assessor hasprocessed candidate assessment records and contributed to standardisationmeetings. A written statement from an internal verifier is also needed toconfirm how the assessor has contributed to agreed quality assurance procedures.– Unit A2 is closely linked to D32. The changes are about the need tohave written outcomes from progress reviews combined with updated assessmentplans. Assessment plans must also show how issues of safety, minimum disruptionto work activities and unobtrusive assessment have been planned. The theme of continuous improvement is stressed, as the last elementrequires the assessor’s internal verifier to state how the candidate hascontributed to quality assurance procedures. – L20 Support competence achieved in the workplace This is anotherunit worth looking into. It covers: – Assessing performance in the workplace against agreed standards – Giving staff members support in the workplace and feedback on theirperformance It could really help managers to see the value of NVQs because if standardsof performance are aligned to the NVQ standards, a powerful performancemanagement tool is available to them. The evidence requirements of this unitare currently being devised by the awarding bodies offering it. – V1 Conduct internal quality assurance of the assessment process Ithas some major changes when compared with D34. The chart below gives anoverview: This unit will give NVQ centres that have been operating a high-profilequality assurance system a very real sense of satisfaction. It places emphasison internal verification being a continuous process, rather than an endprocess. The unit describes some of the activities that internal verifiers are likelyto undertake including: – Monitoring the performance of assessors – Supporting assessors to develop their skills – Monitoring and supporting the people and organisations who provideadministrative support to the assessment process – Monitoring and reporting on the achievement rates of candidates – Monitoring the progress and satisfaction of candidates – Meeting the assessment requirements of awarding bodies and other externalagencies These activities show that the scope of this unit is much broader. Itdescribes a role that is not fulfilled by many internal verifiers. Is this afault in the unit specification, or is it a fitting challenge for aspiring andexisting internal verifiers? It may well be that the development of internal verifiers will be a muchlonger process in the future, which in itself is not such a bad thing. It willgive verifier candidates time to consolidate and build on existing skills. TheEMPNTO Learning and Development Assessment Strategy2 has given internalverifiers the criteria which includes that “all internal verifiers willhave sufficient experience of having conducted assessments of the specificnational occupational standards they are verifying or in an appropriate andrelated occupational area”. Sufficient occupational competence is defined as: – Having been an assessor for the standards being assessed, or for a set ofstandards in a related occupational area, for a minimum of one year within thelast two years – Having demonstrated updating within the last year involving at least twoactivities, including: – Attending awarding body verification training courses – Studying for learning and development units – Study related to job role – Collaborative working with awarding bodies – Qualifications development work All internal verifiers will have direct responsibility and quality controlof assessments of the occupational standards, or the quality assurance of theassessment process within an assessment centre which has been approved by anawarding body. Other requirements include that all internal verifiers will either hold therelevant qualification for internal verifiers of national occupationalstandards, or have a development plan indicating progress towards thatqualification. Internal verifiers of assessor candidates are required to have achievedtheir Internal Verification unit before they can start to internally verifyassessor candidates. Similarly, internal verifiers of internal and externalverifier candidates must have achieved their own Assessor and Verifier Unitsbefore they can start to internally verify the verifier candidates. The development of internal verifiers needs to be more considered. Asuitable development programme would be to focus on V1.2 first, then move on toV1.3. Once these elements are consolidated V1.1 should be tackled, and finally,V1.4. ImplicationsThe implications for those managing NVQ centres will be the need to evaluatecurrent practices against the NVQ Code of Practice, and the requirements ofEMPNTO’s Assessment Strategy and the A and V units. It is an excellent time tore-evaluate procedures, systems and processes. The regulatory aspect of the NVQ Code of Practice will place pressure on NVQCentres and awarding bodies. Those NVQ centres benefiting from governmentfunding also need to take account of the Adult Learning Inspectorate3 (ALI) Thetransparency of their operations is excellent, and at last, an employer wishingto work with a funded organisation can immediately see the status of thepotential partner by visiting the website. Those who are passionate about the value of vocational qualifications willrise to the challenge. Those who do not provide a quality service to theircandidates will see the changes as another imposition. Overall, the marketplacefor vocational qualifications will be the better for these changes as long asfunding agencies such as the Learning and Skills Councils start to take note ofNVQ centres failing to meet awarding body requirements and those who haveproblematic inspections from the ALI. Comparison between the D units and the A and V unitsD32 Assess candidate                                     A2Assess candidates’    performance                                                     performancethrough observation D33 Assess candidate                                     A1 Assesscandidates     using differing sources                                       using arange of methods of evidence      D34 Internally verify the                                    V1 Conduct internalquality     assessment process                                           assuranceof the assessment process D35 Externally verify the                                   V2 Conduct externalquality     assessment process                                           assuranceof the assessment processMaureen Scholefield is managingdirector of Cullen Scholefield – a personnel, management and trainingConsultancy. Maureen has been a National Verifier for Training and Developmentwith City & Guilds. She works with organisations to devise strategic plansand tactical responses to the management of NVQ systems Contacts1 NVQ Code of Practice published byQCA. Order Ref QCA/02/875 Free from QCA Publications Telephone: 01787 844 4442  Learning andDevelopment standards published by EMPNTO. Available on CD-Rom: Adult Learning Inspectorate Comparison between D34 and V1No easy link to D34                                         V1.1Carry out and link to D34 evaluate internal assessment and quality assurance systemsD341 Advise support assessors                        V1.2 Support assessors    Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more