Assessment & Moderation

Assessors get raw deal

This topic contains 1 reply, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Irene James 2 years, 3 months ago.

  • Author
  • #35969

    Dear All – Assessors, I a have seen and heard a lot of misgivings about what training service providers are prepaid to pay for assessment services. Compounding this is the fact that assessor ourselves do not sit down and agree on what our services are worth and charge the same to force providers to comply with what we deem the worth of our work. It is true that the work the assessor puts in the work is too much in comparison with remuneration it gets at the end of the day. There are ways I belive assessors can use to get a better deal though not a satisfactory one.

    • We should separate the fees for the POE from the Summative Assessments within it.

    E.g If a programme is at NQF Level 2 and you charge R 250.00, you can say Summative Assessment is R 800.00          If the POE is for one Unit Standard the total cost will be R1050.00 per POE.

    • If the POE is for more than one US every US has its Summative Assessment charged at the same price.
    • The Summative Assessment fees will increase as you go up the NQF Level hierarchy.

    This is the only way that assessors can get the worth of their services. It is true that service providers will resist this but we should not loose memory of the fact that they are making a killing of the sweat of poorly rewarded assessors. It is only when we stand our ground that we can can a better deal.

    Share on Social Media
  • #35984

    I am both a provider and an independent assessor, so can see things from both sides of the coin.

    The problem with charging R1 050 for assessing 1 unit standard, is that you are forcing providers to charge an astronomical amount for the course to their clients and what will happen is that clients then won’t choose to pay for accredited training, so learners won’t get credits, providers will lose business and assessors will lose work.

    Share on Social Media
  • #35983

    Thanks for your perspectives, Peter and Glenda. While yours is welcome you both do not say what you think will be resonable to all parties.

    Remember the work the assessor puts:

    • ensuring that the POE is properly compiled.
    • All SOs are satifactory met.
    • The Workplace Assignments to be marked.
    • The Summative Assessments.
    • The Assessment Report to the Provider,Moderator and the client/learner
    • The Re-assessments involved.


    Let this be a candid debate with full disclosures of the size of the cake at stake.



    Share on Social Media
  • #35982

    Hi Fikile

    I know how much work is involved, as I conduct assessments myself and the amount of time I spend on them is never met by the payment, as I like to do the job properly and like to give lots of feedback.

    I just thought it important to see things from the other side as well.

    It is hard to determine a specific amount to pay an assessor, as Ezra is right, it depends on the amount of assessments within the POE, the credits, the level, the volume of work received and the time is takes to complete an assessment.  I have been paid anywhere between R200 and R450 for an assessment per porfolio.  It’s very hard to have a standard, as there are so many factors to take into account, so I like to get all the facts before I quote to do the work.  Have a lovely weekend.

    Share on Social Media
  • #35981

    As much as we as training providers want to pay higher assessment rates, it simply is not always that possible. The reality is the higher the assessment (and facilitation) fees, the more expensive courses become for clients and the more likely they will rather go to a provider with a cheaper price. So, in the end the training provider will loose business with the higher prices and consequently the assessor too will loose work. No learners = No Business for Training Provider and Assessor.

    Share on Social Media
  • #35980

    Melanie Harvard

    It really depends on what the assessor/moderator is bringing to the mix. If it is just their expertise and their time (plus of course the fact that they have acquired seta registration to assess etc) then a fair fee would be based on an hourly rate, really. I do not agree that the higher the level the more you charge, as actually the lower level assessments can be the most complex to assess due to the poor quality of PoE you have to review. 

    If the provider is supplying the templates, the process and the learners (ie has done all the marketing as well) – as well as dealing with all the admin, uploads, audits etc, then summative assessment is a small part of the mix, really.

    In the end it is supply and demand – and as an assessor you have to ask yourself how easily can you be replaced, or do you bring something to the mix which sets you aside from other assessors etc. 

    I am an assessor myself – but offer an holistic service to my clients. Although I am highly qualified, and have been in the game for more than 15 years, I would not consider charging more than R550 per unit standard – and this includes learner support (emails, phone support), briefings, tracking of the assessment from handover to submission as well as data uploads to the relevant seta as required. I also discount for modules of more than 1 standard and based on numbers . . . 

    Pricing depends on what the market is prepared to pay and right now it is tough for anyone in the skills arena – especially with seta grants taking such a knock recently . . . we have to do our homework – certainly charge a bit more for a quality service but keep it closer to an accepted market average. At the end of the day 100% of 0 is still 0.

    Share on Social Media
  • #35979

    Alexander Robertson

    I like this very much, but we need to be careful that we do not price ourselves out of the market.  The total fee that the provider charges to the learner/company includes the assessing and moderation.  If you look at the figures that you have given and add to that the cost of moderation, the total costs to the provider becomes extremely high.  The fees of the moderation are also extremely low when you think that the moderator is actually assessing the assessor and not the learner.  The assessor will assess 100% but the moderator will check only between say 10 and 30% depending on the number of POEs are in the batch.  Over and above the assessing and moderation fee which the provider has to pay, there is still the facilitator, material, possibly venue etc. plus he wants to make a profit, not to say that the providers are not making any money

    Share on Social Media
  • #35978

    Melanie, you said you can not charge more than R550 per US.


    Does this include Summative Assessments, Report report writing, uploading, re-assessments etc?


    Would you charge NQF Levels the same?


    Share on Social Media
  • #35977

    Mr Robertson sir, what would you say is a reasonable (market-related) fee for NQF Level 2 POE with four US.


    This is a frank discussion.


    Share on Social Media
  • #35976

    Dear Fikile,

    The sad part about your suggestion is that some SETA’s are paying about R1250 for a unit standard regardless of the number of credits. in that case I see lots of trouble. who pays for training, why are providers in business. surely with your suggestion maybe all providers should close shop.

    Share on Social Media
  • #35975

    Alexander Robertson

    First of all you need to look at the SETA under which the US falls.  What market is going to want that particular training. Remember that your Level 02 is for your lowest level and it is at this level where the clients are wanting to try to help better the staff on the lowest rungs so that they can at least say that they have done a course.  Your Level 02s do not have complicated POEs which require a huge amount of work to assess one US.  It is when you get up to the higher levels that an assessor can start to increase the fees for assessing and moderation.  You need to start at a lower fee because you will get the learners not wanting to stop there but to continue with their studies and if the fee at the bottom of the rung is high, it will discourage any further studies with the provider and it is the provider who supplies you as the assessor or moderator with your income. So if the provider is not getting any work because he has priced himself out of the market due to your high fees, you in turn will get no fees.  Perhaps it is a case of negotiation in each and every case taking into consideration the SETA and the course.

    Share on Social Media
  • #35974

    I am also a provider and assessor.I see things from both sides of the coin I agree with Glenda and peter . In some cases your Course price vs your assessing and moderation cost does wrk put you in a situation we’re u could be out of business and working for the system not yourself . We are service providers We need to comply but not at the cost putting your profit back into the system Its rediculous . There’s rent and other expenses that have to be seen to as well so I don’t agree with ur costing fikle.I would rather close down then put in so much with no reward ,me specking from a business Point of view

    Share on Social Media
  • #35973

    Its sad that of you look at ur charge per unit standard in the computing field market related R 550 vs R1250 that without moderation is a bit steep

    Share on Social Media
  • #35972

    The past two years I have been working for two institutions as an assessor who appreciated my skills and gave me a fair deal (unfortunately confidential). Before that I worked for a privatre provider who abused me by paying laughable amounts so that he could pay of his Merc and give his son and daughter a salary. Since then I wisened up: I will rather do something else than being abused by a dishonest private provider. Providers must begin to understand that an educator has a variety of skills sets and does not have to do something like assessment for charity or to enrich somebody else. I suggest that all assessors contact the CIMAP and ask them to negiate minimum fees for all assessors.

    Share on Social Media
  • #35971

     Dear all


    Do we know how SETAs come to this figure?

    Share on Social Media
  • #35970

    Irene James

    I have been reading this post with interest, and find it quite bizarre!  We are a Private FET Provider, and ensure that we hire/employ people who can both facilitate and are registered constituently to assess the qualifications – I would never allow an “independent assessor who has not been in the classroom during the learning intervention” to assess a candidate’s work  (unless it is absolutely unavoidable – e.g. the facilitator is no longer available and the work still has to be assessed).  It smacks of old fashioned “get somebody to mark the test against a memo” approach – and tick.  No wonder so many of the ignorant moderators/verifiers look to “double tick in the green pen”!  Traditional bad practice –  “Teachng to test to get the tick.”   Come of folk – this is surely about outcomes based approach to learning where the WHOLE CANDIDATES’ NEEDS are taken care of?   How do you assess the critical cross field outcomes?, and the “Attitude and Value” part of Competence (SKAV) when you have not witnessed the candidate in action in the classroom?   Where do formative and summative assessments feature here?  Or are you confused about the difference between these as well?  If you are, read the SAQA definition.

    I am not surprised that you are battling to price this element – it should never be seen as a separate issue, anyway!

    Share on Social Media

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Share on Social Media