Explain the functions of assessment

Explain the functions of assessment (1.1)
What is assessment?
Assessment is a tool to find out whether learning has taken place. It gives an idea of learners’ progress and achievement in required skills, knowledge, understanding .In any learning and development an assessment is a measurable tool for the students’ progress.

The main function of assessment is primarily to provide a measurable barometer for the students’ progress. It also provides learners an opportunity to demonstrate what they have learnt and what progress they have made and slowly they can move toward their goals.

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For any learning journey, assessment should be regular and continues process. It should be objective and specific towards the qualification that the learner is targeting and should clearly define the path of progress and achievements, as well as how the learners can improve.

Assessment may not always be formal for example, through tasks, discussions and ongoing activities; it can also be informal like each time assessor is with learners and simply by watching what learners are doing and/or asking questions.
As an assessor it is always a good practice to give your learners feedback when assessing to help them realise what progress they are making and how they can improve and develop further. Feedback should always start with positive note as it impacts the learners’ confidence.
There is a difference between assessment for learning and assessment of learning. Assessment for learning is usually a formative process. It will ascertain progress so far in order to plan further learning and development.
Assessment of learning is usually summative and confirms that learning and achievement have taken place.

Before starting any assessment any qualification learner should be informed how the subject will be assessed. This can be done by providing handbook for the qualification, which should be assured by the organisation that is awarding qualification and certification.

There should be assessment strategy at center from where the qualification is being delivered to ensure the subject is assessed in accordance with relevant guidance and regulations.

The assessment process should be defined at center and which should be followed to give the learner a positive experience. The cycle will continue until all aspects of the qualification have been achieved by learner and throughout the cycle standardisation of assessment practice between assessors should take place.

Define the key concepts and principles of assessment (1.2)
Key concepts and principles of assessment
Key concepts are the aspects involved throughout the assessment process. whereas principles are how the ideas are put into practice. The principles of assessment are that assessment is Valid, Authentic, Current, Sufficient and Reliable – known as VACSR.

Valid- the assessment process is appropriate to the qualification, assesses only what is meant to be assessed and the learner’s work is relevant to the assessment criteria and is at right level.

Authentic – the work has been produced by the learner only
Current- the work is relevant at the time of assessment not very old work
Sufficient – the work covers all of the assessment criteria and learning outcomes
Reliable- the work is consistent across all learners, over time and at the required level.

Laser learning reading material,
From above what I understand is,
The key concepts and principles of assessments are :
Fair – Assessment should be objective and tied towards the qualification that the learner is targeting. At every stage it should ensure the fairness of the assessment decisions made. Assessment decisions should be justifiable; all learners should have an equal chance of an accurate assessment decision. Assessor should be accountable towards learners and organisation. All learners should know how they are being assessed and what they have to do to meet the assessment criteria.
Reliable and Valid – Reliability and validity seem to be synonymous, but according to me they are different. Reliability is when your measurement is consistent, while validity is how the outcome of the program was achieved. There is a lot more to be analysed where validity is concerned like plagiarism, level of the qualification etc. The assessment criteria should be consistent across all learners, not vary as per learners. Assessment method may vary as per learner’s strength, but criteria should be same and has to achieved as per requirement of awarding body. Also the work submitted by learner has to be solely made by the learner. It should not be someone else’s work. Proper referencing should be there to make it valid evidence. Whatever decisions assessor is making must be justified with clear referencing of assessment criteria stated by the awarding body. Another person should be able to grade the same way. Reliability and validity can be achieved by following the assessment strategy and standardisation procedure.
Current : It is very important to ensure that whatever work submitted by learner is relevant to assessment and recent. There is no use of reusing any work which is learnt many years ago. The assessing evidence resulting from the main tasks the learner carries out within their job role should be recent.

Sufficient : The work submitted by learner for assessment should be objective and tied towards the qualification that the learner is targeting. All learners should know how they are being assessed and what they have to do to meet the assessment criteria. Whatever work they have submitted should meet the assessment criteria and learning outcome stated by the awarding body.

Other key principles of assessment include:
• Assessment should be holistic. Instead of looking at each criteria individually, Assessor should motivate the learner to use the evidence across as many criteria as possible.

•Assessor should use different assessment methods because using one method leads to unreliable decisions as it looks only at one aspect of the learners’ competence.

• Assessment criteria should be clear to all who are involved in delivering the qualification. Regular communication should be there between learners, other assessors, IQAs, and others who are involved in delivering the qualification.

• All assessment activities should embrace equality, inclusivity and diversity and represent all aspects of society
• The assessment process should be honest, moral, and take into account confidentiality and integrity
• The assessment methods should be in such a way that it supports and encourage learners to reach their maximum potential and achieve their qualification.

• The records should be maintaining throughout the teaching, learning and assessment process.
• All assessment activities should be SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound
Identify and explain all the legal and regulatory requirements relating to assessment (1.4 and 8.1)
Policies and procedures
Following policies and procedures are followed by my organisation relating to assessment.

Complaints Policy
Conflict of interest policy
Data Protection Policy
Internal Quality Assurer Policy
Recognition of prior learning Policy
Safe guarding policy
Complaints Policy : In our setting we strongly believe that complaints are an opportunity to learn and improve for the future, as well as a chance to put things right for the person that has made the complaint. We welcome suggestions on how to improve our setting and shall be prompt with it. We anticipate that most concerns will be resolved quickly by an informal approach to the appropriate member of staff. If this does not achieve the desired result, we have a set of procedures for dealing with concerns. We aim to bring all concerns about the running of our setting to a satisfactory conclusion for all of the parties involved.

Conflict of interest policy : The Conflict of Interest Policy applies to all staff, including Centre Coordinators, Assessors and Internal Verifiers. A conflict of interest may occur when the personal or business interests of an
individual conflicts with their professional duties and responsibilities. Such conflicts could result in damage to the integrity and compromise the validity of assessment and award of credit.
The following examples of situations might constitute a conflict of interest:
• Direct or indirect financial gain as a result of actions or involvement; such as employment, sponsorship, gifts, hospitality, services or goods;
• Reciprocal arrangements which compromise the ability to make reliable and professional judgments;
• Personal interests in, connections to or family relationships with learners who are being assessed or moderated;
• Situations where commitment, loyalty or integrity is compromised.
• An Assessor or Internal Verifier is making assessment judgments that are part of an award or credit, on behalf of a learner who is their partner/friend or relative.
Anyone involved in the design, development, delivery, assessment qualifications has an obligation to act in a way that does not lead to a conflict of interest.
Data Protection Policy : This policy describes how personal data must be collected, handled and stored to meet the company’s data protection standards – and to comply with the law.

This data protection policy ensures that our organisation:
Complies with data protection law and follows good practice
Protects the rights of learners
Is open about how it stores and processes individuals’ data
Protects itself from the risk of data breach
Internal Quality Assurer Policy : The purpose of this Internal Verification and Assessment Policy is to inform staff at our organisation, including Internal Verifiers, Assessors, Tutors, Centre Coordinators and Centre Management of the requirements for delivering against the assessment process and the competency levels required by individuals undertaking work in respect of qualifications.
We are committed to working with CACHE to continually improve the verification and assessment process. We will therefore apply rigorous monitoring of the assessment and awarding process to ensure that any adjustments that are made to the process, have been considered, thought through and consulted on. We always welcome feedback from tutors, assessors and Internal Verifiers on our current policies and procedures.
Recognition of prior learning Policy: We recognise that learners may begin a programme of learning with some previous experience. The RPL policy ensures that, where applicable, learners do not need to repeat or duplicate topics. This will allow the learner’s individual learning plan to be focused on areas of development.

Safe guarding policy: Our organisation is committed to supporting the welfare of its students and staff and to the promotion of a positive student experience. We are committed to providing a secure environment for learners where they feel safe and are secure.
We also recognize that staff and students may come into contact with children or vulnerable adults who are not directly involved in our center but may be part of an outreach program or a placement. We are committed to promoting good practice in relation to safeguarding.

Outline of the policy and procedures for safeguarding children and vulnerable adults at the center:
• promote safe practices and challenge poor and unsafe practice.
• ensure staff receives adequate training and supervision.
• identify instances in which there are grounds for concern about the welfare of a child or vulnerable adult and take action to ensure safety.
• take appropriate action to prevent unsuitable people from working with children, young people and vulnerable adults.
• develop a culture in which both learners and staff are aware of the actions they need to take to become and remain safe.
• safe recruitment of staff.

A summary of the Quality Assurance and standardisation arrangements in your centre including your EVALUATION on the importance of quality assuring the assessment process (6.1, 6.2) and state what you would do if there was a dispute concerning assessment in your centre (6.3)
A summary of the Quality Assurance and standardisation arrangements in our centre:
IQA has central role in the operation of the Centre’s quality system.
• IQAworks with Assessors to ensure that assessment is planned, appropriate, consistent, fair and transparent and does not unintentionally discriminate against any learner
•We internally verify all assessment tasks before they are used with learners, in order to ensure that all assessment tasks are fit-for learning outcome set by awarding organisation.

•IQA works with Assessors to explain that the assessor is responsible to ensure that learners clearly understand assessment requirements and are given opportunities to achieve against the Assessment Criteria by completing appropriate assessment tasks
• We have internal standardization meeting once a month to ensure that all assessment is conducted to the required standard across all Assessors, Units.

• We use Electronic portfolio to ensure that learners’ work is presented in a manner that enables effective verification to take place and that all assessed work and assessment records are available for sampling by External Verifiers, in the required format and by the stated deadlines
• IQA works with Assessors to ensure that learners’ assessed work presented as evidence for the Award of Credit is authentic
• All Assessors record learner achievement, to include an unambiguous record of the actual assessment decision that is clearly mapped to the Assessment Criteria
• We discuss Recommendations for the Award of Credit and ensure that they are valid, reliable and consistent.
• IQA verifies a random sample of assessed learner work across all Assessors, Units as close to the time of the assessment as possible
•IQA does sampling of all assessment methods over various portfolios
• IQA checks assessment cycle paperwork
• IQA prepares audit trail with centre records and portfolio records
• IQA focuses on the assessment practice of the ASSESSOR which is achieved by :
•Observation of practice in a setting
•Interviews with learners
•Interviews with employers
•Sampling of portfolios with the assessor present
•Sampling of work product evidence sited in the workplace
•Standardization meetings
Evaluating the importance of quality assurance during the assessment process :
Quality assurance throughout the qualification can be achieved by Standardisation practice.

Standardisation practice provides reliability validity and fairness related to planning of assessment, decisions about learner’s work and feedback to learners.
It ensures that people who are involved in delivering the qualification understand the assessment criteria, assessment methods to use and how to complete records appropriately.

It also ensures all those involved are consistent and fair to all learners throughout their time with the organisation. It actually helps people to work as a team rather than on their own, and helps them to give the same opportunities to all learners.

Through standardisation practice expected evidence is clear. This helps the Assessors to choose the right Assessment method depending upon the situation. The Assessment method may differ from learner to learner for the same aspect of a qualification.

The standardisation provides a quality assurance of practice and a consistency across learners that ensures they are assessed against the same barometer as any other students in the qualification.

Standardisation practice gives accountability to awarding organisation and helps in maintaining audit trails.

It gives an opportunity to discuss changes, developments and sharing good practices.

Standardisation meetings contributes to CPD of staff members and all assessors can meet formally.
state what you would do if there was a dispute concerning assessment in your centre
As per complaint policy at my center if learner has dispute/ complaint about assessment I will guide learner to follow the process and guide her as and when needed.

At the time of Admission for qualification we make clear to our learners the process that they can follow if they have any disputes concerning assessment.
Our complaint policies state that there are three stages of complains as following,
Stage 1: Informal Stage
If learners have a complaint, they should take it up in the first instance with their tutor/assessor who is directly concerned, within seven working days of the issue arising.
This is often best done verbally and informally, although they may present their complaint in writing if they wish. they can send email to [email protected]
Tutor/assessor involved will report back to them within ten working days where an attempt to resolve the issues rose. Most complaints do not progress beyond this initial stage.
Stage 2: Formal
If learners are not satisfied with the outcome of Stage 1(if they find the outcome unsatisfactory/or if the outcome does not satisfy or is suitable due to the character, complexity or seriousness of the matter, then they may refer the matter in writing to the Internal quality assurer within ten working days of the response at the informal stage.
they should complete the attached Complaints Form (Appendix 1) and email to [email protected]
It is important that Lerner give full detail in the complaint:
• Learner’s name (a complaint will not be investigated if it is anonymous);
• How Learner may be contacted (preferably address and telephone number);
• The general nature of your complaint;
•The specific substance of Learner’s complaint (including names, dates and documentary evidence where relevant); and
• Details of the action learner has taken under the informal stage, and the outcome, reason for learner’s dissatisfaction and any proposals learner may have for its satisfactory resolution.
Internal quality assurer will acknowledge the complaint within ten working days of receipt where possible. The complaint will then be referred to the relevant member of staff to consider if the complaint is well-founded and, then to further investigate the complaint.
Internal quality assurer dealing with the complaint will endeavour to provide a final written response within twenty working days where possible, via email and maintain a record of the complaint.
Stage 3: Formal – escalation to Lead Quality Assurer
If learner has followed all of the escalation steps above and Learner’s complaint remains unresolved, we will escalate the complaint to the Lead Quality Assurer.

If learner is not satisfied with the Stage 2 response, learner may choose to request her complaint be escalated. Learner must do so in writing, within 14 working days of the Stage 2 outcome being given to you. You must outline why learner believes that complaint has not been resolved and / or properly addressed. Email: [email protected]
Our Lead Quality Assurer will consider the evidence from all aspects of the complaint to date and the actions we have taken to resolve it, to determine whether we have dealt with learner’s complaint correctly and fairly.
We aim to resolve any complaint lodged with our Lead Quality Assurer within 20 working days. We will inform Lead Quality Assurer’s decision within one working day of the decision being made to learner.

Exceptions to stated timescales
The timescales relating to each stage of the complaints process are outlined above. Please note that in some cases, particularly where the complaint may be complex, the complaint may take longer than the stated working days to investigate and / or resolve. In such instances, we will advise you of the reasons why and of the revised timescale.
Outcome of a complaint
If we uphold your complaint, we will tell you what remedy we propose. The remedy chosen will be proportionate and appropriate to the issue being complained about and may include:
• An apology; and / or
• An explanation of any poor service you have received; and / or
• An explanation of how a matter has been or may be rectified; and / or
• Recommendations to change or improve our processes or procedures.
Taking it further
We hope to always solve and resolve learner’s issues and concerns. However, if learner is unhappy with our final response, learner has the right to refer complaint to our Qualifications Regulators. Our Regulators would require evidence that learner has fully exhausted the steps within this Complaints Policy. Qualifications Regulators can be contacted on
NCFE Q6Quorum Business ParkBenton LaneNewcastle upon TyneNE12 8BT
T: 0191 239 8000F: 0191 239 8001
 [email protected]

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