Saturday, August 31, 2019
Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement Essay
Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement Assignment 3 Understanding the legal and good practice requirements in relation to assessments It is imperative for all assessors to have an in depth understanding of the legal and good practice requirements in relation to assessment. Furthermore, the Awarding Body have their own stipulations regarding assessment. These include; educational centres must ensure that they employ assessors that are suitably qualified and meet the occupational competency requirements of the sector assessment strategy and ensure that the assessment process is robust. Assessment carried out by an unqualified assessor must be countersigned by a qualified assessor who is occupationally competent. The assessment process should be informed by best practice and the latest NOS for Learning & Development. Centre assessors are responsible and accountable for: a) Ã managing the assessment system, assessment planning, making and recording assessment decisions b) Ã assessing evidence of learner competence against NOS and the requirements of the assessment criteria in the qualification c) Ã ensuring that learnersÃ¢â¬â¢ evidence is valid, authentic and sufficient ) Ã maintaining accurate and verifiable learner assessment and achievement records. The assessment process should support learners towards the achievement of their qualification aim, whilst ensuring that the requirements of the NOS for assessment and the sector are met. Part of the role of the assessor is to raise the quality of assessment through: a) engaging learners at an early stage in t he assessment process b) Ã effective and efficient assessment of naturally occurring activity c) Ã holistic assessment to maximise assessment opportunities ) Ã using interim assessment to provide advice and support at an early opportunity e) Ã encouraging access through using the range of assessment methods f) Ã using technology to reduce the assessment and administrative burden Assessors should always be aware that assessment needs to be fair, consistent and transparent, with all students having the opportunity of attaining the assessment criteria. All learners should be treated as individuals to ensure that no learner is discriminated (directly or indirectly) against and to uphold a Ã¢â¬Ëfair playing fieldÃ¢â¬â¢ in respect that no learner has any advantage over another. In order to ensure this happens the assessor has a legal and moral obligation to share the same information to all learners, along with appropriate support and development of all learners in order for them to complete assessment tasks. Therefore, one additional aspect of assessment is an appeals procedure for candidates not happy with results. Assessment within NVQ is ongoing with the candidate fully participating in the assessment process, e. g. through assessment planning and reviews of performance. If this participation is taken seriously then it must be accepted that there will be times when the candidates and assessors perceptions, of whether agreed evidence (agreed during assessment planning/review stages) meets the standards, are going to be different. If this occurs, the candidate should have the right to appeal via an accessible and open system. The characteristics of our appeals structure related to NVQ will include: Access to fair and reliable assessment Clear and prompt response times Stages that provide all parties with the opportunity to put their case Clear outcomes Constructive feedback Be related to the Candidates assessment records A formal recording system Evaluation of appeals Response times to appeals will be measured in days rather than in months or years and not be so bureaucratic as effectively to nullify the purpose of having such a system. From a legal standpoint it is an Assessors remit to enforce strict guidelines with regards to the difference between guiding and supplying the learners with answers for assessment tasks. Legally, assessors cannot give assessment answers or condone learners copying each others learning and assessment material. As an NVQ Assessor I am aware of the duty of care encompassing the legislation and code of practice regarding the following: Health and Safety Act of 1974 Equal opportunities Act of 1974 Data protection act of 1998 Disability discrimination Risk Assessment Lone working The Health and Safety Act 1974 (HASAWA) places certain responsibilities on the employer, or in this case, the Assessor. The Assessor has to provide a safe working environment, provide information on health and safety, such as emergency exits and fire assembly points, and also undertake risk assessment of all hazards in the working/assessment environment. However, risk assessments are primarily the responsibility of the owner or manager of the facility. Moreover, all staff must be CRB checked in order to confirm that there is no risk whatsoever to the learner, in line with the Child Protection Act of 1984. Equal opportunity Act of 1974 also needs to be implemented, as was alluded to in the above paragraph, by adopting an inclusion policy and understanding that each learner will have specific and unique needs and that it is the job of the Assessor to differentiate tasks and lessons to meet these individual needs. For example, in my NVQ class I had a variety of needs from, learners with dyslexia, partial sighted and also with speech impediments. Therefore I made sure that I always used a variety of tools in which to teach and assess, such as, reading material in larger print, visual aids on the projector which explained what I was teaching and also electronic recording equipment (video and dictaphone) as another option for learners to utilise in learning and assessment. However, due care needs to be taken and strict adhesion to the Data Protection Act of 1998 in order for any material not to fall into the wrong hands. In terms of confidentiality regarding assessment all exams papers and any other marking material must not be shared with the learners before assessment in accordance with Award Body regulations. Assessment guidelines and assessment criteria can be shared as long as it is not providing answers that can be used by learners. This can be done by formulating individual action plans with learners, to highlight how learners can improve. Furthermore, all completed assessments must be located securely as to ensure no students can acquire papers or material and duplicate answers. In the case of my NVQ group all assessment material was locked away in head office and was only accessible to me and senior management. Senior management would have the final say if ever an event occurred in which a learners welfare was at risk and then safeguarding the learners welfare becomes the higher priority (Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act, 2006) The welfare of learners, whether that be my NVQ learners, school pupils or any other individuals in the community, is paramount and also a legal requirement. In the community that we serve there are many vulnerable individuals whoÃ¢â¬â¢s safety can be at risk without any obvious signs, and also individuals with many kinds of underlying medical conditions which need to be considered by the assessor. During the first week of my NVQ class we had a Ã¢â¬ËProtecting child welfareÃ¢â¬â¢ course in which we were taught how to identify warning signs of; abuse, depression and other mental health issues. Therefore, it is always of paramount importance that as an assessor you are vigilant and aware of all your learners behaviours at all times and if need be intervene and assess steps that may need to be taken. As far as the physical health related issues are concerned, we (NVQ class) used confidential pro-formaÃ¢â¬â¢s to identify any issues of individuals so that we could be prepared and have any relevant equipment close at hand and maybe also adapt sessions accordingly with respect to individual needs. Health questionnaires are in the award body regulations and can be found in the Health Related activity book. Technology can vastly improve the assessment process as it makes it a more dynamic process in which all learners have an opportunity to show their true understanding of the subject matter covered and their particular skill set. I also believe that it interlinks with fair assessment as no learner is at a disadvantage due to the fact they cant show their understanding in one medium. Therefore everybody has the same opportunity to display their knowledge. For example, a learner may have a great understanding of subject matter, yet may not be able to put their understanding down in words. Therefore, if they could be video recorded displaying their knowledge practically (with written consent from themselves or carers if pre 16 years of age) or audio recorded giving answers to questions they could be graded accurately and attain the optimum level of achievement. Another great advantage to the integration of technology is that it is relatively simple and easy to use, sometimes even more straight forward than traditional assessment, and brings a new exciting dimension to learning which in turn can inspire and motivate learners to achieve more. Some great wall displays have been produced and a good database full of information due to the integration of technology in class and assessment. Furthermore, greater feedback can be given as learners can see themselves in real time on video instead of trying to decipher pages of feedback. They can see exactly where they need to improve and develop in a very clear and concise manner. Another main area of concern regarding the principles and practices of assessment is equality and diversity (Equality Act, 2010). There are many issues which need to be taken into consideration regarding assessment with respect to equality and diversity. Individual needs, beliefs and cultures need to be respected and treated with the appropriate sensitivity. For example, in my NVQ class I had learner Ã¢â¬ËOÃ¢â¬â¢. Learner O was of Muslim faith and was celebrating the festival of Eid, which requires followers to fast for a large part of the day for a month. During this month all learners were scheduled to perform their practical sessions and take part in other sessions. However, it would not have been ethical to expect learner O to take part in these sessions as he would be depleted of energy and could be at risk of negatively effecting his health. Therefore, special dispensation was afforded to learner O to take part in these sessions the following month. Furthermore, I was aware that concentration may decrease during this month. Other areas which need to be considered from equality and diversity prospective are; gender, race, sexual orientation and age (Disability and Equality Act, 2010). These factors give rise to a number of individual needs. Assessment needs to be age specific and be compared to relevant performance criteria, along with being written in age appropriate language as to not confuse or patronise learners. Moreover, topics covered need to ensure that no offense will be incurred by any party with regards to the above categories. For example I would not start a debate regarding the idea of male dominance in sport or peoples view of homosexuality. Another aspect of diversity in the assessment process may be a language barrier, especially in the case of my NVQ class who were predominantly from an ethnic background. There are ways to overcome such barriers. The use of an interpreter could be used for assessment (a dialogue being recorded and sent off) with the aid of assessment material converted into the required language. If one thing is abundantly clear in the nature of assessment, it is the need for individuals to constantly develop. Nobody has ever learned enough and there is always room for improvement. Therefore, this goes for the assessor themselves. It is imperative that assessors constantly monitor their own progress with self assessment, peer review, learner feedback and continued development of CPDÃ¢â¬â¢s. The act of reflective practice is the driving force that spearheads future development and evolves the assessment process by ascertaining what aspects work best, when, how and why. Furthermore, sharing this reflective practice with other assessors fosters an environment and situations which aid the effective use of assessment and help reach the goal of accurately and fairly assessing learner knowledge along with realising potential. Without reflective practice the assessor risks walking blindly down a Ã¢â¬Ëdark alleyÃ¢â¬â¢ of assessment where they fail themselves, but more importantly fail the learner, which is wholly unacceptable. Effective planning also aids the reflective process, as you can see the amount of work covered and the result of certain class dynamics, i. e. group work, group size etc. This gives you a great visual format in which to adapt your future plans in order to maintain optimum, effective performance in sessions and assessment. Assessment will always carry some for of risk at some level. Perhaps one of the greatest risks posed in my NVQ group was the risk of injury and participant health & safety whilst taking part in a variety of sports. The best way to protect against the risks are to have effective planning in place with all relevant risk assessment completed, checking pitches for broken glass, making sure goals are anchored and equipment checks, along with alternative provisions incase your first plan of action cannot go ahead. Moreover, another challenge is not discriminating against any learners. This could involve taking all learning types into consideration to ensure that all learners understand what they have to carry out through agreement on the assessment action plan that the learner signs, so effective communication is extremely important, which means the assessor listening as giving input. Furthermore, clear guidelines on discipline are needed in order to prevent any hazards occurring and also to foster a safe, productive learning environment.
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