There seems to be no uniform or standard answer, as it can vary greatly between assessment plans and organisations. NCFE say you must hold a relevant assessor qualification and an internal quality assurance qualification, as well as having both two years industry experience and assessing experience, while City and Guilds simply want occupational competency and the requirements set out by the assessment plan and standards you wish to assess. To make this more complicated an answer, Professional Assessment Ltd say that some assessment plans state no specific qualifications are needed, others that industry accepted qualifications are acceptable while many also require assessor qualifications.
So, what are the relevant assessor qualifications?
Brooks and Kirk have produced an outline about the most common assessor qualifications, explaining that all include one or more of the following units:
- Understanding the Principles and Practices of Assessment
- Assess Occupational Competence in the Work Environment
- Assess Vocational Skills, Knowledge and Understanding
Furthermore, the most common and recognised qualifications are:
- Level 3 Award in Understanding the Principles and Practices of Assessment (UPPA) – which is not enough on its own to qualify you to carry out assessments
- Level 3 Award in Assessing Competence in the Work Environment (ACWE) – this incorporates the above theory with the ability to assess those within a work environment
- Level 3 Award in Assessing Vocationally Related Achievement (AVRA) – this combines the first unit’s theory with the knowledge and ability to assess those within learning environments
- Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement (CAVA) – which enables you to complete all forms of assessment, both inside and outside the workplace.
The ACWE and CAVA are the ones most likely to be expected or requested, especially for someone new to assessment.
Highfield qualifications have a new version of the UPPA titled Highfield Level 3 Award in Undertaking End-Point Assessment and focuses on the new apprenticeship standards and assessment methodologies, but again, it is only providing theoretical knowledge.
You can take this qualification with Best For Training.
It seems, therefore, that the CAVA is the one which is most likely to be relevant and useful, no matter which end-point assessor path you wish to take.
There are four relevant internal quality assurance qualifications on offer:
- Level 4 Award in the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice
- Level 4 Award in Understanding the External/ Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice
- Level 4 Certificate in Leading the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice
What does seem to be a consistent answer is that you must do your research first. You need to look into the requirements of the EPAOs you may want to work with, as they may additional requirements to the assessment plans. Familiarising yourself with the assessments plans and standards that you are hoping to assess is also vital. Gaining knowledge of the new assessment methods, particularly those which are new to apprenticeships, such as ‘Professional Discussions’ and the new ‘pass’, ‘merit, ‘distinction’ grading system would be highly useful and desirable. This is all on top of the industry experience you’re required to have, which must be relevant and up to date.
Remember, if this seems a lot to take in, or you’re not sure which is the right choice, get in touch and we can support [email protected]