Are assessors properly assessed and qualified?

Front Page Looking For… Skills Development Facilitators Are assessors properly assessed and qualified?

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 6 total)
  • Author
  • #40786
    Des Squire

    Assessment demystified and clarified


    Speaking to various providers recently has brought me to a point of total frustration, irritation and disenchantment with some, perhaps many of our colleagues in the field of Education, Training and Development practices.


    I am now writing, tongue in cheek, and will perhaps attract the wrath of many. I will however state my case in the interest of ethical practice and in the hope I can assist those in doubt.


    I refer in particular to the various providers who fail to comply with the detailed requirements of specific unit standards. I refer to providers who complete the POE with or for the learners. I refer to providers who supply specific pages as part of the learner manual to be used for inclusion in the POE.


    Applied Competence is defined as – The ability to put into practice in the relevant context the learning outcomes acquired in obtaining a qualification. In the case of assessor and moderator training I ask is this is the case?


    Some of our training colleagues are in effect completing the POE on behalf of the learners. The assessor unit standard suggest the learner should have access to assessment guides and where such guides are not available then the provider should makes such guides available for the purpose of assessment.


    This does not indicate or imply in any way that providers should spend a day assisting the learners in the completion of the POE or supplying the learners with specific pages for inclusion in the POE. It refers specifically to the assessment guide. 


    I addition I am disappointed at the approach taken particularly in the training of assessors and moderators where very basic requirements are not adhered to and/or the policies and procedures are not explained to the learners. So much within the unit standard 115753, refers to explaining and ensuring understanding of the purpose, process, expectations, roles and responsibilities of assessors.


    I have spoken to a large number of assessors recently who claimed to be registered as assessors but when asked if they are registered as constituent assessors had no idea what I was referring to.   


    Let’s have a look at some definitions in the hope we can clarify and assist in putting new assessors and moderators on the right track. The following definitions have been taken directly from the SAQA web site.



    The process of collecting evidence of learners’ work to measure and make judgments about the achievement or non-achievement of specified National Qualifications Framework standards or qualifications



    A person who is registered by the relevant ETQA body to measure the achievement of specified National Qualifications Framework standards or qualifications


    Constituent Assessor

    A qualified assessor (US 115753) and/or Moderator (US 115759) must be registered   as a constituent assessor and/or Moderator against specific Qualifications and/or Unit Standards with the relevant SETA or ETQA


    In a nutshell – Once a person has qualified as an Assessor and/or Moderator and is registered with the ETDP SETA as such they receive a certificate from the ETDP SETA.

    They must then make application to various SETAS of their choice for registration as constituent assessors and/or moderators against specific unit standards and /or qualifications for which the SETA is the ETQA.


    Assessors and moderators are only permitted to assess or moderate against the unit standards and qualifications against which they are registered.


    On successful registration the relevant SETA will issue a certificate of registration as a constituent assessor indicating the unit standards and/or qualifications against which the individual has been registered.


    Without such registration an assessor is not permitted to assess, as is currently happening, and any such assessments would be null and void.


    To those who behave ethically and have taken the time to read this  I compliment you. To the others I say shame on you. 


    Des Squire – AMSI (Pty) Ltd

    011 646 9369


    Share on Social Media

    hi Des,

    i couldnt agree with you more. i have seen this tendancy in the market quite recently, i do believe this is happening more often than we realise, because of an intense shortage of qualified assessors in the various fields. i know that in the past the SETA’s accepted people working and assessing as “subject matter experts” but when that happened the portfolio was checked afterwards by a registered assessor as a type of “sign off” methodology. maybe we should start motivating people with relevant qualifications to do the assessor’s course and by doing that empower people to get involved in the education and training industry thus causing an overflow of qualified assessors instead of shortage, thus giving back to the community and getting paid for it?

    i must be honest Des i have no idea if the “subject matter expert” rule still applies, maybe you can shed some light on this.


    Hi Des,

    Thank you for having the courage to ‘talk’ about this but in essence, you are probably opening a ‘barrel’ of worms!

    Nigel Shipston

    Hi Des
    Is it possible that, over time, we find providers reverting to the old system of doing everything in a classroom / training environment? Assessors are trained in 2 or 3 days, with no exposure to a realistic assessment environment, and subsequently declared competent. Where learners are unleashed to complete assessments “in the workplace”, evidence is a completed assessment document with no verification as to whether it was a real assessment or a filling in and signing exercise around the tea table.

    Reflexive (or Reflective) competence is seldom properly addressed across a range of fields and not just ETD. Providers have steadily slipped back in to our old system of training because they have not bothered, by intent or misunderstanding, to properly apply the processes of assessment of Applied Competence.

    To complicate matters, there are providers who are actually advising learners that, once qualified as an assessor, they can go forth into the big wide world and assess. They neglect to advise the new assessors that they must apply for registration with the appropriate ETQA against the relevant Qualification/Unit Standard. I have encountered 3 new assessors who have made the claim that their ETD provider told them that they could now assess to their hearts content. Yes, the common denominator was a particular provider, but one wonders if this is an isolated incident or not.

    Like yourself, I salute those providers who are making a genuine effort to make our system work. It is unfortunate that they must be associated with those providers whose prime purpose appears to be anything but quality training. Without thrashing a dead horse, I believe that the ETQA’s are directly responsible for this. Their general lack of knowledge and experience in an operational training provider environment, has allowed their focus to drift to far less important issues in their evaluation / moderation / monitoring activities. Applied competence is a somewhat unclear principle to many, to ETQA’s, to providers and perhaps more so to every new batch of assessors and moderators being generated.

    Tom Ventouris

    As a provider we share these sentiments. All too often we see advertisements for “power workshops”, portfolio building on the last day of training. Of course, this sounds attractive -no effort, quick results, but where is this leading? Who will be assessing the next generation of operators, trainers, first aid prationers…

    I have, today, engaged with an individual who was “Trained” as an Assessor. The Learner guide consists of 13 pages of notes which appear to be copied and pasted from legislation. The POE, I am told, was completed in the class. “We were sent to rooms in pairs to assess each other”.

    Whre are the CCFO’s. Where is the reflexive (applied) competence?
    Who accredited and who is verifying this provider?

    This was one of the many people I have come across, too frequently, who do not know where to begin assessment practices. This is clearly through no fault of theirs, they are simply victims of unscrupulous providers who fail to understand that we sell a training service – certificates we give away for free on completion of the training.

    This is but one example of the many I have seen, particularly when the “qualified” assessors move onto the moderator learning programmes. The Learner Guide and Assessment Process are on my desk. I will probably use them as a marketing tool:)

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 6 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Share on Social Media