The 7 Most Important Tips for Trainers and Assessors

The 7 Most Important Tips for Trainers and Assessors

You have your Certificate IV in Training and Assessment; you have a wealth of knowledge and experience in your chosen profession, now what?

You are about to embark on a challenging career in this new role. Here are some key tips to help you on your way through a sound and ethical assessment.

  1. Access and read a copy of the Assessment plan and the unit of competency – For example many units require the observation of a task three times on three separate occasions. Have you checked? Always look at source documents as well as your Companies material because you are the Assessor signing off here NOT your Company. Take it personally!
  2. Collect ALL the Assessment tools you will need prior to conducting the assessment – remember most assessment plans call for a demonstration of the skills being applied as well as evidence of the theoretical underpinnings of the unit of competency. Simply asking questions will not demonstrate they can apply the skills in the workplace.
  3. Make sure the Assessment tools match the Assessment methods you will be using. For example if you are undertaking an observation of the Candidate do you have the observation checklist?
  4. Don’t rush making your judgement. Review all the information (evidence) collected. Did you collect it using the methods outlined in the Assessment Plan? Does the evidence collected match the requirements outlined in the plan and the unit of competency? For example  units the Assessment Conditions or Evidence Guide of a unit of competency MUST be checked by you.  Have you checked you collected it all? The evidence must be able to stand scrutiny by outside authorities and your fellow Assessors.Are you satisfied that the person demonstrated the Dimensions of Competency?   Have you separated your knowledge of the Student in your Training role from what you evidenced as their Assessor?
  5. Create a checklist from the rules of evidence and tick off each one as you scrutinise the evidence.
  6. Are all documents signed and dated? Have you summarised your findings from each assessment. For example if you use three assessment methods, you will have three completed assessment tools each with a result recorded. Three ‘satisfactory’ results should be recorded and then a final ‘Competent’ recorded on a summary sheet.Create a checklist to make sure that all the evidence and all the organisational paper work is completed.
  7. Create a checklist to make sure all the paperwork is complete and evidence attached. Will an independent person review your assessment documentation and see the evidence of how you made your judgement? This is vital!


I call Assessment the ‘pointy’ end of the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.  Will your documentation stand up under the scrutiny of Audit? Will it stand up to the scrutiny of a court room? Assessment is an opportunity to act as gatekeeper to your profession. Don’t be tempted to ‘go easy’ on a Candidate or give them ‘the benefit of the doubt’. Without the evidence of competency the Candidate cannot and should not be deemed competent! The results could be catastrophic. In less risky environments a death or injury may not result through the actions of an incompetent person but you have eroded your own standing as an Assessor, eroded the standards and reputation of the Company you work for and eroded the confidence industry should have in Vocational Education and Training (VET).


More practical tips next week for the new Assessor with 5 Tips for Giving Feedback on Assessment #2

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