Formal assessment is a critical process in ensuring that operators have the skills and knowledge to carry out work safely and competently.
In every enterprise at some stage, an employee's performance is measured against the skill requirements of their job. Assessments may also be used to determine whether or not a person can be issued with a licence to work in a specific job role.
Formal assessment is where the employee’s performance is measured against national industry standards, as described in units of competency from the industry Training Package.
Formal assessment is not a one-off test but a process of collecting evidence over time to measure competence against national industry standards.Competence is described as having the skills and knowledge required for the job, and applying them consistently in the workplace to the standard expected.
The assessment process is used to determine whether people are either ‘competent’ or ‘not yet competent’ against the agreed industry standards. A person who is not yet competent against any standard can undertake further study or training and be assessed again.
Who can conduct assessments?
Only qualified assessors working with a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) can conduct assessments leading to a national qualification or statement of attainment. A qualified assessor must have the necessary competencies from the Training and Assessment (TAA) Training Package, together with the relevant vocational competencies at least to the level being assessed.
Where the assessor does not have the vocational competencies, one or more persons who have the relevant vocational competencies may work together with the assessor to conduct the assessments.
How are assessments conducted?
Assessment under the national Vocational Education and Training (VET) system is quite different from the formal examinations and tests most people remember from school. Evidence is gathered to demonstrate competence in the skills and knowledge required by the units of competency.Common types of assessment methods used by assessors to gather evidence include:
Answers to questions
Training and work records
Samples of work
Observation and demonstration
Simulations and role plays
Assessment can take place on the job or off the job. However, as applying skills in the workplace is a key facet of vocational education and training, most evidence should ideally be gathered as the student performs work duties, whether in the workplace or in a simulated work environment.
Skills Recognition Skills recognition is a generic term that can be used to cover the ways in which an individual's skills, experience, knowledge and qualifications can be formally acknowledged.