Your RTOs assessment system must ensure that assessment judgements are routinely validated and consistently made on a sound basis. By introducing robust quality assurance measures in your RTO that focus on compliant assessment practices you will improve the quality of assessment and student and industry outcomes as a result of your self-assurance measures. The following advice provides suggestions for RTOs in meeting these compliance obligations.
Validating your assessors judgements:
The SRTOs 2015 in Clauses 1.9 – 1.11 require RTO’s to conduct validation of assessment practices and judgements. According to ASQA validation is the quality review of the assessment process. This means validation of assessment judgements is conducted post assessment on completed student work. This process 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. ASQA also suggests that validation helps ensure RTO’s training and assessment practices are relevant to the needs of industry.
RTO’s are required to validate the assessment practices and judgements from a sample of the units of competency within each training product on scope of registration. At least two units of competency should be sampled when validating a training product as suggested by ASQA. You can expand the number of units to be validated at any time during the validation process, particularly when validation outcomes indicate that assessment judgments are not valid and the risk level increases.
Moderating your assessment judgements
ASQA defines moderation as a quality control process aimed at bringing assessment judgements into alignment. Moderation is generally conducted after assessment and before the finalisation of student results as it ensures the same decisions are applied to all assessment results within the same unit of competency. RTOs may consider implementing moderation of assessment judgements for high risk delivery areas such as programs delivered by third parties or off-shore for example.
Conducting quality checks on student files:
Another self-assurance measure that ensures assessors are being consistent in their assessment practices is to undertake regular quality checks on student files that compliments validation activities and targets courses of concern or high risk areas. These checks should be focused on identified systemic issues or known areas of non-compliance including:
- Version control of assessment tools used by assessors
- Verification that learners have undertaken all required assessment tasks
- Confirmation of accurate record keeping by assessors
- Marking has been done in line with benchmark answers and marking guides
- Correct recording and issuance of results
These quality checks are valuable in monitoring your RTO’s continuing compliance with the SRTOs 2015 and effectiveness of your self-assurance system.
Professional development for assessors:
You can determine from the outcomes of your validation, moderation and quality checks on student files if you have systemic issues relating to your assessors practices. This data provides information that you can use to establish what professional development needs assessors may have and develop a targeted approach to providing professional development to build their capability. That data may be telling you for example that your RPL assessors need some additional coaching or mentoring in RPL processes, collection of sufficient RPL evidence and recording of their judgements appropriately.