RTO ASSESSMENT POLICY  - Chillingworth Training Institute

ACCESS & EQUITY POLICY & PROCEDURE

1. Policy Statement

Clause 1.8 of Standards for RTOs 2015 specifies that an RTO implements an assessment system that ensures that assessment (including recognition of prior learning) complies with the assessment requirements of the relevant training package or VET accredited course and is conducted in accordance with the Principles of Assessment and the Rules of Evidence. 

2. Purpose

To ensure that CTI’s:

  1. assessment judgements are consistently made on a sound basis.
  2. validation of assessment judgements is carried out.
  3. assessment system includes materials used directly in conducting assessment, policies, procedures and other supporting documents that inform the way assessment is conducted.
  4. learner’s demonstrate an ability to perform relevant tasks in a variety of workplace situations, or accurately simulated workplace situations.
  5. learners understand what they are doing, and why, when performing tasks with understanding to show they are able to adapt to different contexts and environments.

3. Scope

This policy and procedure will be:

  • communicated to all trainers and assessors.
  • communicated to, and understood by, candidates (Learners/Candidates).
  • readily available for staff to access.
  • reviewed on a regular basis, with trainers and assessors, Candidates and management (and possible validation and moderation partners) input.

All assessment related documentation outcomes must be filed in the Candidate file on Candidate Management System. Where appropriate, the candidate submits their assessments via the Learner Management System, and their submissions are graded in the usual manner by the course assessor.

4. Definitions

Assessment

means the process of collecting evidence and making judgements on whether competency has been achieved, to confirm that an individual can perform to the standard required in the workplace, as specified in a training package or VET accredited course.

Assessment system

is a coordinated set of documented policies and procedures (including assessment materials and tools) that ensure assessments are consistent and are based on the Principles of Assessment contained in Table 1.8-1 and the Rules of Evidence contained in Table 1.8-2.

Assessors

are persons who assess a learner’s competence in accordance with Clauses 1.13 to 1.16.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)

means the framework for regulated qualifications in the Australian education and training system, as agreed by the Commonwealth, State and Territory ministerial council with responsibility for higher education.

Competency

means the consistent application of knowledge and skill to the standard of performance required in the workplace. It embodies the ability to transfer and apply skills and knowledge to new situations and environments.

Learner

means a person being trained and/or assessed by the RTO for the purpose of issuing AQF certification documentation.

Validation

is the quality review of the assessment process. Validation involves checking that the assessment tool/s produce/s valid, reliable, sufficient, current and authentic evidence to enable reasonable judgements to be made as to whether the requirements of the training package or VET accredited courses are met. It includes reviewing a statistically valid sample of the assessments and making recommendations for future improvements to the assessment tool, process and/or outcomes and acting upon such recommendations.

VET

means vocational education and training.

5. Body of Policy

5.1 Training and Assessment Strategy (TAS)

For each CTI qualification registered on training.gov.au, there is a Training and Assessment Strategy (TAS) that describes the qualification and the desired outcomes of the training. Furthermore, the TAS lists the units of competency to be undertaken and describes the structure of the course, the assessments to be undertaken, resources to be used and validation procedures that will be followed. The standardised CTI TAS template: 

  1. Determines the aims and outcomes of any proposed training.
  2. Identifies the qualification and the relevant packaging rules.
  3. Identifies the units of competency to support the desired aims and outcomes.
  4. identifies the characteristics of the clients/ client group/ learners.
  5. Identifies and decides on what adjustments can be made for learner needs and any special needs.
  6. Ensures Access for suitability and compliance with health and safety legislation.
  7. Identifies the appropriate training environment/ facilities.
  8. Determines the volume of learning and duration of the training.
  9. Identifies the learning and assessment pathways, entry requirements, special entry requirements and recognition procedures to be followed.
  10. Determines the mode and methodologies of delivery.
  11. Develops a training plan to outline the structure and sequence of the intended training and the assessments.
  12. States the training and assessment staff, their qualifications and experience; and trainer/ assessor qualifications against the units of competency.
  13. Assesses the required learning support, which includes the resources that will be used to support both training and assessment for suitability, currency and relevance.
  14. Considers strategies for assessing language, literacy and numeracy requirements, in terms of entry into, and completion of, the training program.
  15. Documents the procedures followed with regard to industry consultation when developing the training and assessment strategy.
  16. Maps the unit of competency to the assessment tools and validates the assessment tools.
  17. Develops processes for the validation and moderation of the quality of the training and assessment.

5.2 Assessment Context

CTI establishes the correct context for candidates to undertake their assessment. To achieve this, CTI applies the following strategies:

  1. Negotiate a Training Plan with the candidate and their workplace employer to consider policies and procedures into the assessment scenario or task.
  2. Conducts the assessment in the candidate’s workplace performing real workplace tasks and performance, using direct observations, indirect evidence collection tools and supplementary third-party evidence to form assessment decisions.  
  3. Integration of relevant industry standards and codes of practice and other relevant information into the assessment activity.
  4. Alignment of industry job tasks with realistic workplace scenarios and projects.
  5. Incorporation of regulatory information relating to licensing (where applicable to the unit of competency).
  6. Tailoring the assessment to meet an organisation’s goals without compromising the Training Package requirements.
  7. Creating assessment activities which require the Candidate to conduct specific research relating to industry situations and occurrences, where applicable.
  8. Providing a simulated workplace within Newfurn’s facilities where it is not able to conduct in real environments.

5.3  Types of Assessment Evidence 

The CTI Training and Assessment Strategies (TAS) outlines the types of assessment evidence required to assess each unit of competency. The types of assessment evidence include:

Direct evidence – this is where an assessor has a direct line of vision to see and hear the candidate perform. Evidence that can be observed or witnessed by the assessor includes, but is not limited to:

  • Observation of workplace performance
  • Oral questioning
  • Demonstration
  • Challenge tests
  • Reports from supervisors, colleagues and/or clients (Ready Skills APP). Assessment evidence gathered from a candidate’s workplace supervisor or employer supplements and confirms other direct/indirect forms of assessment evidence.

Indirect evidence – an assessor can review work the candidate has completed either on or off the job. Evidence of a candidate’s work that can be reviewed or examined by the assessor includes, but is not limited to:

  • Finished products.
  • Written assessments, projects or tests.
  • A portfolio of work performed (previous and current)

Supplementary evidence – this is where additional evidence presented to assessors to support a candidate’s claim of competence. These include:

  • Reports from supervisors, colleagues and/or clients (Ready Skills APP). Assessment evidence gathered from a candidate’s workplace supervisor or employer supplements and confirms other direct/indirect forms of assessment evidence.
  • Testimonials from employers.
  • Work diaries and log books
  • Evidence of training.

Manufacturers and Alliance Partners – contributing to assessment evidence and training. 

Engagement with Industry – Consultation with the Newfurn organisation as an industry peak body, provides information about assessment requirements relevant to workplaces. CTI association to Choices Flooring and Style Flooring & Interiors as their RTO, provides a first-hand reliable and objective opportunity to consult with the industry. 

5.4 Assessment Tools and Instruments

Assessment tools gather evidence about a candidate’s competence. CTI uses assessment tools which support the assessment of applicable units of competency in accordance with the requirements of Australian National Training Packages. Assessment tools must be contextualised to reflect the needs of the RTO’s clients or target industry group and enterprise requirements.

Some units of competency are associated with licensing requirements and, whilst this is not always stipulated in the unit, The RTO incorporates these additional requirements in the assessments. 

The following are examples of Assessment tools/instruments which may be incorporated into a TAS to meet the Training Package and industry requirements, and the Rules of Evidence and the Principles of Assessment:

  • Direct observation checklists with instructions for demonstration.
  • Simulation exercises or role-plays.
  • Residential Projects.
  • Case studies.
  • Written and / or oral questioning. 
  • Presentations.
  • Portfolios (for example, collections of work samples by the candidate).
  • Products with supporting documentation.
  • Journal/log-book entries detailing the process of development.
  • Workplace samples/products.
  • Industry/workplace evidence reports.

 

5.5 Assessment Information

  • Information to candidates of their assessment is provided by the Learning Management System (LMS) and CTI assessors to guide their conduct of the assessment and the completion of assessment activities. 
  • Examples of assessment information include clear and complete instructions for the assessment activity and the expected outcomes of the assessment. 
  • For scenarios or role-plays and simulated assessment activities, it is important to note that any assessment must align to the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level. 
  • Industry information including documents such as codes of practice, policies and procedures, legislation and regulations are available within each Unit of competency (UoC) Learner guide and the LMS.
  • CTI conducts assessments with clear assessment information to ensure reliable assessment processes.

5.6 Determining Assessment outcomes 

      1. Assessments are marked by qualified Assessors using approved marking guides/benchmarks for marking.
      2. Candidates are entitled to an additional two (2) attempts for each assessment within the due dates for submission.
      3. Where a Candidate satisfies the requirements of an assessment task and is assessed as meeting the criteria from the unit of competency, a result of Satisfactory (S) is recorded. Where a Satisfactory (S) result is achieved for all assessment tasks associated with a unit of competency, the final result of Competent (C) is recorded for the unit.
      4. Where a result does not meet the requirements of the assessment task and related criteria, a result of Not Yet Satisfactory (NYS) is recorded with feedback. Where appropriate the candidate is offered an additional two (2) opportunities to gain a Satisfactory (S) result for the assessment task.
      5. If the third attempt (the final re-submission) is still assessed as NYS, the Candidate receives a final result of NYS for the assessment task and a final result of Not Yet Competent (NYC) for the unit.
      6. Any further opportunities for assessment outside section 5.4, must be approved by the Learning and Development Manager (L&D).

5.7 Re-Assessment

      1. Candidates who are assessed as ‘Not Yet Competent’ are provided with detailed written feedback to assist them in identifying the gaps in their knowledge and skills (refer to the Assessments). These gaps can be addressed through further training. Candidates are provided with additional training and learning support to target their specific gaps in knowledge and/or skills and prepare them for re-assessment.
      2. Candidates requiring additional training and re-assessment after they have exhausted their additional two (2) opportunities are required to re-enrol in the unit for re-training and re-assessment.
      3. Candidates requiring additional learning support are brought to the attention of Lead Trainer/Assessor to enable the progress of the Candidate to be monitored closely, and additional support provided. Where Candidates repeatedly do not demonstrate competence following significant learning and assessment support, the employer and the Apprenticeship Support Network provider (ASSN) will be notified.
      4. Assessor’s must participate in the re-assessment and appeals process. They are required to provide feedback and counselling to the candidate, regarding the assessment outcome or process, including guidance on their options.
      5. Assessor’s need to provide the candidate with information on the re-assessment and appeals process and report any assessment decision that is disputed by the candidate to the L&D Manager. 

 

5.8 Assessment due dates

Assessment due dates for each unit or cluster of units are provided to candidates in advance of the assessment activities. These assessment ‘due dates’ are unique to each delivery of a UoC and correspond with dates set for each UoC in the Candidate Management System and in the Learner Management System (anew design).

5.9 Failure to submit 

Candidates who fail to submit an assessment on the ‘due date’ may be subject to the following infringements:

  • First (1) attempt defaults to Not Yet Satisfactory (NYS) and automatically triggers a second attempt.
  • Second (2) attempt is provided to Candidate.
  • Third (3) and final attempt unless a discretionary decision is made by the L&D Manager to facilitate reasonable adjustment (to be co-ordinated with the lead trainer/assessor).  

If a candidate has a special circumstance and extenuating reason for not submitting an assessment, a written request (via their Learning Management System (LMS)) must be submitted to the L&D Manager requesting an extension to the due date. Further information can be obtained from the Learner Handbook.

6. Reasonable Adjustment 

CTI provides equal access and equity to all candidates (learners/Candidates) when attempting to perform and complete assessments. The RTO promotes inclusive practices to integrate the principles of access and equity into all assessment strategies (see the Access and Equity Policy). Reasonable adjustment strategies ensure all candidates can participate in assessment activities equally. 

Reasonable adjustment in teaching, learning and assessment activity lessens the impact of an individual’s disability on their capacity to learn. But the learner still needs to do the work and demonstrate the required knowledge. Reasonable adjustment does not give learners with disability an advantage over others. Nor does it change course standards or outcomes or guarantee success. It is also not about making unreasonable adjustment; every reasonable adjustment needs to be justifiable and must uphold the integrity of the qualification. A reasonable adjustment can be as simple as changing classrooms to be closer to amenities or installing a particular type of software on a computer for a person with low vision. Practices that facilitate making a reasonable adjustment include:

  • encouraging learner disclosure of disability
  • gathering relevant supporting information (evidence of need)
  • consulting with the learner, and/or their associate where applicable.

Examples of Reasonable Adjustment in assessment include:

  • Extend or modify timeframes for assessment.
  • Extra reading/writing/performance time for completion. 
  • Extend break times during an assessment task or workplace assessment.
  • Use of a scribe for those requiring assistance when they have difficulty with writing.
  • Use an Interpreter for candidates who are deaf or who have a hearing impairment (see the RTO Manager) at the candidates cost. 
  • Use of adaptive technology equipment (for example digital audio and video recordings or files (Can be identified as authentic) speech recognition software, ergonomic furniture, etc).
  • View video and photo evidence of a candidate undertaking a task.
  • Seek evidence from an independent party to demonstrate competence (Note: independent evidence is supplementary and supports direct evidence as gathered by the CTI Assessor). 
  • Ensure the language used in the formulation of assessment instruments does not create barriers (for example, plain, understandable English is to be used, suitably matched to the level of the learners).
  • Altered fonts on learning and assessment material (e.g. easier fonts to read for people with dyslexia).

7. Assessment Process 

  1. At the commencement of the course, learners are advised of the general assessment tasks, criteria and requirements of each unit of competency they will need to attain for the issuance of relevant qualifications.
  2. All candidates complete relevant assessments along with the training schedules and then submit the completed assessments for marking with signed statement of authenticity. Most of the assessments need to be submitted through the Learning Management System (LMS) a New design learning platform. All candidates will be provided with a unique online learning platform password. By signing onto the online learning platform, the Learner automatically signs and acknowledges an authenticity declaration as part of submitting their assessments.
  3. Each assessor will ensure that candidates’ submitted assessments are all signed and dated with a statement of authenticity.
  4. The Learning and Development Manager (L&D Manager) will ensure that all assessment will be marked/evaluated within 14 working days following the date of submission, unless otherwise agreed.
  5. The appointed assessor returns the marked units assessments (Competent or Not Yet Competent) with signed assessments feedback sheets to learners and notifies the Candidate Services Co-Ordinator or update the result into the system within 14 working days following the date of submission, unless otherwise agreed.
  6. If being deemed Not Yet Satisfactory in an assessment, candidates will be offered the opportunity to re-submit.
  7. The candidate has the opportunity to dispute the assessors’ decision and request for re-assessment according to the CTI Complaints and Appeals policy and procedure.
  8. The L&D Manager will ensure that all required assessments have been marked as ‘Competent’ prior to approving certificates and/or statement of attainments.
  9. The RTO Manager will ensure that no qualification/certificates/transcripts are issued until the final assessment checklist has been submitted by the L&D Manager and confirmed by the Candidate Services Co-Ordinator with the signature(s) of the approved assessor(s) with all assessments of units marked as Competent.

8. Assessment Procedure

The following procedure is to be applied for conducting assessments:

  1. Prepare for assessment

The assessor is to:

  • Establish the context and purpose of the evidence to be collected, identify and analyse the units, Training Package and assessment strategy to identify the evidence requirements.
  • Review the assessment tools and confirm their currency and adequacy in meeting the Principles of Assessment and the Rules of Evidence (RTO Standards 2015).

2. Prepare the candidate 

The assessor informs the candidate and:

  • Explains the context and purpose of the assessment and process.
  • Explains the unit to be assessed and the evidence which is to be collected.
  • Outlines the assessment procedure and the preparation the candidate will undertake and answer any questions.
  • Assesses the needs of the candidate and where applicable, negotiate reasonable adjustment without compromising the unit of competency outcomes.
  • Seeks feedback regarding the candidate’s understanding of the units, evidence requirements and assessment process.
  • Determines if the candidate is ready for assessment and, in consultation with the candidate, decide on the time and place of the assessment.

3. Plan and prepare the evidence-gathering process

The assessor must:

  • Plan to gather sufficient and quality evidence about the candidate’s performance in order to make the assessment decision.
  • Organise equipment or resources required to support the evidence-gathering process.
  • Coordinate and brief other personnel involved in the evidence-gathering process.

4. Collect the evidence and make the assessment decision

The assessor must:

  • Establish and oversee the evidence-gathering process to ensure assessment meets the Rules of Evidence and Principles of Assessment.
  • Collect appropriate evidence and match compatibility to the elements, performance criteria, assessment requirements for the relevant unit.
  • Incorporate reasonable adjustments to the assessment procedure without compromising the integrity of the competencies.
  • Consult and work with other staff, assessment panel members or technical experts involved (where applicable) in the assessment process.
  • Record in the LMS all details of evidence collected.
  • Make a judgement about the candidate’s competence based on the evidence and the relevant unit(s).

5. Provide feedback on the assessment

The assessor must provide advice to the Candidate about the outcomes of the assessment process. This includes providing the candidate with:

  • Clear and constructive feedback on the assessment decision.
  • Information on ways of overcoming any identified gaps in competency revealed by the assessment.
  • The opportunity to discuss the assessment process and outcome.
  • Information on reassessment and the appeals process where necessary. 

6. Recording candidate results

The assessor must:

  • Record the assessment outcome according to the policies and procedures.
  • Maintain records of the assessment procedure, evidence collected and the outcome.
  • Maintain confidentiality of the assessment outcome.

To comply with the requirement under the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (2015) all awards must be issued within 30 calendar days of the candidate being assessed as meeting the requirements of the training product.

All unit results must be entered into the Learning Management System within 10 working days from the date the final assessment was completed (final determination). 

9. Trainer and Assessor Competence 

Trainers and Assessors are required to hold as a minimum:

    • The relevant Training and Education (TAE) qualifications as outlined in the Standards for RTOs 2015 or, if they do not meet this requirement, work under the direct supervision of a qualified trainer.
    • The vocational competencies at least to the Unit of competency level being assessed.
    • Where an assessor does not hold the required training and assessment competence but is a subject matter expert, CTI has appropriate supervision arrangements in place to support the gathering and judgement of assessment evidence. Further guidance can be obtained from the L&D Manager.

10. Credit Transfer

Credit Transfer (CT) is not an assessment. It recognises and grants credit transfer/s where an enrolled candidate presents a Statement of Attainment confirming a ‘competent’ outcome for the equivalent unit of competence and the issuing RTO documentation.

Assessment outcomes determined through CT are recorded as such for the unit where this applies. Only whole units can be granted CT. Further information can found in the RTO RPL and Credit Transfer Policy.

11. Recognition Of Prior Learning (RPL)

CTI provides all Candidates the opportunity to seek recognition of their prior learning. Recognition is another method of assessment and is therefore conducted in accordance with the terms of this Policy.

Assessment outcomes determined through RPL process is recorded accordingly for the unit of competency, where this applies. Only ‘whole’ units of competency (or groups of units) can be granted RPL. Further information can be found in the RTO RPL and Credit Transfer Policies.