Assessment Tool – Assessments are one of the most important documents of any RTO (Registered Training Organisation). According to the ASQA (Australian Skills Quality Authority) more than 70% RTO audited by ASQA were non-compliant against assessment practices. As an RTO you need to make sure that your assessment tool are meeting training package requirements, principal of assessments and rules of evidence.
Ineffective and non-compliant assessment tool can lead to major issues in your RTO because ineffective assessment leads to ineffective students files and evidence will not be sufficient to deemed competent. Due to the assessment issues, you may need to reassess large numbers of assessments/students and it is a costly exercise and add significant pressures on RTO management and staff.
So here are some important tips to ensure that your assessment tools are compliant and meet students and industry requirements:
1). Review unit requirements holistically
You need to check the whole unit requirements including performance evidence, knowledge evidence, assessment conditions, elements, performance criteria, unit overview and other conditions specified in the unit.
This process will help you to identify any mandatory requirements including work placement requirements, trainer qualification requirements and how many times students must perform the task, etc. You are also able to identify different assessment methods required to create an effective and compliant assessment tool.
You may select the following assessment methods to create your assessment tool:
2). Clear instructions for students and trainers
Your assessment tool instruction must be clear to the students. You need to make sure that students have enough instructions including what to do, how to do and what evidence must be submitted. You also need to inform the appeal process, reasonable adjustments, resources required to complete the task and location. The learner clearly needs to understand the tasks. If the learner reviews the tasks and needs to clarify the instructions or ask further questions, then the information provided is not valid or reliable.
Your assessment tool must have a clear benchmarking guide to measure the student’s performance so you will get consistency between different trainers and delivery locations. Well-designed assessment instructions minimise the variation between assessors.
3). Create templates and checklist to get consistency
Based on my experience, many RTO’s have a complicated assessment tools that leads to confusion and not able to provide relevant templates so students and trainers are struggling to meet assessment requirements. Your student files do not have enough evidence to meet the training package requirements.
Performance checklist should be detailed enough and must include observable behaviours so the trainer can effectively make the judgement and it also helps to achieve consistency.
4). Clear mapping
A mapping document is important to make sure that the assessment tool is meeting the training package requirements. It is also useful for quality review and internal audit process.
Your mapping must be clear and identify the areas where assessment is meeting the requirements. For example unit requirements says “ plan and implement” so you need to map both requirements and plan may be covered in part 1 and implement covered in part 2 so you need to include part 1 and 2 in a mapping document.
Focus on the following points while you creating, reviewing or updating assessment tools for your RTO.
- Review unit requirements holistically – identify mandatory requirements and assessment methods that you will use to create an assessment tool.
- Clear instruction to the students and trainers– Your instruction should be clear so the student can understand the task and identify what pieces of evidence need to be submitted. You also need to provide a clear benchmarking guide for your assessor to mark the students work.
- Create templates and checklist to get consistency– Provide templates for students to complete and provide observable behaviours in the observation checklist for your trainer.
- Clear Mapping– Mapping document represents, how your assessment tools are meeting the training package requirements.