Feature Article: How to identify non-compliances in your assessments

RTOs should undertake quality checks of assessment tools before implementing them to confirm they are fit for purpose and meet the units of competency requirements, principles of assessment and rules of evidence. Validating your assessment resources as part of quality assurance processes in your resource development activities ensures your RTOs assessment system provides quality outcomes for students and industry. Here is some advice on how to quality check your assessment tools and identify non-compliances before using them.

Check that assessment tools meet unit of competency requirements:

Creating assessment mapping matrices when developing assessment tools is an effective way to confirm that your resources reflect the requirements of the relevant unit of competency. The mapping documents should identify if there are any gaps in the evidence being collected as you will be able to determine at a glance if the performance criteria; knowledge evidence; performance evidence and assessment conditions have all been covered in the assessment tasks provided. Ensure that your assessment tools are mapped to the dimensions of competence and foundation skills if required. Some common issues to look for include if you are assessing performance with written tasks or have all assessment conditions been addressed in your task instructions. If you have assessment resources that are not mapped start with this process and use an assessment mapping matrix template to determine if you have addressed all requirements of the unit of competency in your tools.

Check that assessments address the principles of assessment:

Conduct the following checks on your assessment tools to fix non-compliances:

  • Fairness – Are your assessment task instructions clear and do they provide guidance on the assessment process and advise of the appeal process and incorporate reasonable adjustment?
  • Flexibility – Are you using an appropriate range of assessment methods and is the evidence being gathered coming from a variety of sources reflecting the needs of learners. Are you providing options for RPL or alternative assessment only pathways?
  • Validity – Is the evidence being gathered by the tool addressing the requirements of the specific unit of competency including assessment conditions and reflects workplace practice
  • Reliability – Does the tool provide assessors with benchmark answers / marking criteria, so judgements are consistently made regardless of who is conducting the assessment.

Check that assessments gather evidence that meet the rules of evidence: 

Conduct the following checks on your assessment tools to fix non-compliances:

  • Validity – Does the evidence being collected from the learner confirm that they have the skills, knowledge and attributes as reflected in the specific unit of competency
  • Sufficiency – Is the evidence being collected from the learner enough to confirm that the assessor’s judgement of competence is sound
  • Authenticity – Is the evidence being collected from the learner being authenticated as their own work e.g. declaration and signature
  • Currency – Is the evidence being collected from the learner considered recent or from the present time

Other feature articles:

Cheat sheet for validating assessments prior to use 

Four ways to ensure your RTOs assessment practices are compliant

A quick way to deal with non-compliances in your assessments

Implementing systems for self-assurance

Key benefits of conducting regular quality checks of your training and assessment strategies and practices

Common compliance mistakes every RTO makes