Feature Article: How to prepare for and conduct validation of assessor judgements activities

ASQA has defined validation as a quality review process that ensures your RTO’s assessment system can consistently produce valid assessment judgements. A valid assessment judgement is one that confirms you have collected sufficient evidence of a learner holding all of the knowledge and skills described in the relevant unit of competency. This activity is carried out post assessment on completed student work so you can confirm the validity of both assessment practices and judgements. The following practical advice assists RTO’s in preparing for post-delivery validation activities so as to simplify the process.

Identify the unit of competencies to be validated:

Your RTOs validation plan should identify the units of competency scheduled for validation. Units should be prioritised for validation according to their risk levels. Be sure to extract enrolment data from your Student Management System that confirms units actually delivered and results for the students selected. 

Nominate suitable validation leads:

Ensure that you have nominated qualified and/or experienced validation leads for your validation panels and advise them of their responsibilities. It is recommended that your validation leads hold the unit of competency TAEASS503 Lead assessment validation processes. It is also advisable to provide validation training or a refresher of your RTOs validation processes for those leads participating in your validation activities so you get the best possible outcome from the process.

Nominate validation panel members:

Once you have identified your validation lead/s you should confirm appropriately qualified validation panel members and advise them of their responsibilities. RTOs must ensure you have people on the panel who are vocationally competent and current for the units being validated and have appropriate training and assessment credentials and VET currency. If possible have someone from industry on your panel as well. Provide your panel members with appropriate validation training or a refresher of your validation processes as required.

Recordkeeping systems:

Documenting your validation outcomes is critical in ensuring an effective validation process is conducted and appropriate records kept. Ensure you accurately calculate your statistically valid student sample size and gather the student evidence required. Organise an electronic filing system and create folder structures to organise the records according to your process. Make sure you inform your validation panel of the availability of the records and where they are located. If you are accessing student records from within your Learning Management System ensure all of your validation panel has the required system access beforehand.

Know your unit of competency:

Read the unit of competency thoroughly as found on www.training.gov.au to familarise yourself with its requirements before you conduct the validation exercise.

Look at the assessment tool:

It is advisable you familiarise yourself with the unit’s tool before you look at the completed student work. Review assessment tasks and check the instructions provided. Check the version of the assessment tool for the unit of competency to be validated so you can compare it with the version administered by the assessor in the sample of completed student work being reviewed. Check the templates used and other supporting documentation to ensure they are the correct versions as required by your RTO’s assessment system.

Review the assessment mapping document: 

Check the assessment mapping document for the relevant unit of competency to confirm that the assessment tasks meet all the requirements so you know the evidence collected by the assessor is relevant and sufficient.

Locate the completed student work: 

Gather the assessment evidence collected by the assessors, student outcomes/records of results issued and feedback given post-delivery. All completed student assessments for the specific units of competency need to be collated for the validation. You are checking that the assessor has marked student’s assessments appropriately and according to benchmark answers and other marking criteria. You are also confirming they have documented their judgement appropriately and their recordkeeping is sufficient.

Complete your validation report:

Pre-populate your report with the details of the units of competency being validated. Be sure to identify required actions to be assigned to responsible officers in your report once the outcomes/findings have been determined. Store your completed validation records in your electronic filing system and other supporting documentation/evidence so they are easily located in one central place.

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