Hilary Read, Read On Publications Ltd

This is an update to my last article on the changing role of assessors within new apprenticeships. The pointers below are based on the CPD courses I run for teachers, trainers and assessors, the messages I receive, and the discussions on the Linkedin group I manage which has over 5,000 members and is for assessors, IQAs, EQAs and vocational trainers.

If you are thinking of becoming an end-point assessor …

  1. Requirements for end-point assessors vary: all apprenticeship standards and assessment plans are different; there’s no consistency now that they are linked to occupations and are specified by employers. Some require assessors to hold a current qualification while others don’t.

There are still occupations where standards and/or assessment plans have yet to be approved. You can check yours here.

  1. Even if the assessment plan doesn’t state the need for a qualification, don’t rely on your assessment experience and/or assessor qualification to get you a job as an end-point assessor. Approved Apprenticeship Organisations (AAOs) s have started recruiting end-point assessors and, in addition to a qualification, are asking for evidence of an up-to-date CPD record that shows you have had recent, relevant industry or occupational experience and that you have kept your assessment practice up-to-date. You’ll need to keep up to date to maintain your occupational currency, for example, by spending a period of time working on the job (established occupations such as hairdressing already require assessors and trainers to do this).

You will also be required to attend training on how end –point assessment (EPA) will work for particular occupations. This may be in the form of face-to-face sessions, online webinars or a blended approach. Make sure you understand the change of assessment approach from evidence-based to synoptic and that you know what this means for the apprenticeships you will be involved with.

(Remember though, where there’s a qualification involved as part of the on-programme requirements, evidence-based approaches are still relevant.)

  1. Emerging models between AAOs and centres concern partnership working. In practice, this means AAOs paying their approved centres for access to your services and expertise as assessors if they have spare capacity. However, there is a shortage of end-point assessors with the necessary industry knowledge and experience of assessing (particularly at higher levels) so if you are experienced you may be able to (re)negotiate your terms and conditions. AAOs are currently recruiting for end-point assessors in occupations where standards and assessment plans have been approved so compare rates of pay and go directly to the AAO if necessary.
  1. The term ‘generic’ assessor is sometimes used for those assessing low-level qualifications across a number of occupational areas. There is no place for a generic assessor within end-point assessment. You need to demonstrate relevant experience and the ability to carry out robust assessment in the specific occupation you are assessing.

If you are thinking of becoming an on-programme assessor/coach …

  1. You may still be required to assess as you do now if there’s a qualification involved. The assessment plan tells you whether or not the apprentice has to achieve a qualification: for example, some assessment plans specify that the apprentice only needs to attempt a qualification at a particular level.

AAOs have to produce guidance and resources to help but these can be assessment-oriented (mapping tools, mock tests, progress monitoring) rather than teaching and learning resources. If you are hoping to become an assessor/coach, your role will involve managing the individual’s progress, and coaching them where needed. You need to think in terms of ensuring the apprentice is acquiring the necessary skills, knowledge and behaviours as set out in the apprenticeship standard. Remember, your apprentice needs to have learned something and be able to apply her/his knowledge, skills and behaviours before you assess summatively.

  1. You will need to follow a formal curriculum of teaching, learning and assessment to ensure the apprentice covers the whole apprenticeship standard and meets any gateway requirements. Practising for end-point assessment also needs to be introduced gradually so that the apprentice gets used to performing under test conditions and/or having their knowledge and performance assessed independently by assessors they have not met before.
  1. If you are responsible for apprentices’ progress, you’ll need to work with each apprentice and agree individual learning programmes with specific targets to do with improving performance. You will also need to employ formative strategies for gauging progress, giving feedback, setting targets and agreeing how these will be met.
  1. Think in terms of managing the learning process and making the apprentice’s learning and progress visible to them and the employer. (Making what you do relevant and visible to the employer is very important indeed as they are paying for your services via the apprenticeship levy and will want to know what you are doing to add value to their business.) This means adopting a one-to-one coaching approach and using formative assessment strategies to ensure the apprentice knows how well they are progressing. It also means starting from the work task the apprentice is currently involved in and making the links to other parts of their programme such as their Functional Skills learning. Involving the employer in choice of work tasks and adapting learning projects to meet business objectives are ways of making teaching, learning and progress relevant and visible to them.
  1. You may have a teaching qualification, but ask yourself honestly whether or not you have the right experience to deliver new apprenticeships. If you haven’t planned and delivered formal teaching or coaching, get some experience and/or update your AET to either the CET or DET. There are forward-thinking training providers that have arranged for their assessors and trainers to go in to employers’ premises and gain industry knowledge in exchange for teaching, mentoring and/or assessment services. Ask your provider for help.
  1. Finally, don’t put up with a provider that insists their ways are best if your professional knowledge and experience tell you otherwise (for example, if you are given an impossible caseload, or are expected to deliver the whole standard with little or no support). Some use the jigsaw approach when putting together their offer to employers. This means they outsource the teaching, assessment and/or quality functions at fixed rates without detailed knowledge of what’s involved. Instead, find employment in an organisation where your professionalism will make a difference, your expertise is valued and you can gain the necessary CPD needed if you are to become a successful end-point assessor or on-programme trainer.
Hilary Read, Read On Publications Ltd.

Glossary

AAO (Approved Assessement Organisation) is one that has been approved to offer end-point assessment for specified apprenticeship standards.

AET: The Award in Education and Training, an entry-level qualification aimed at those entering the teaching/training profession.

CET: The Certificate in Education and Training, a Level 4 qualification.

DET: The Diploma in Education and Training, a Level 5 qualification.

EPA (End-point assessment): assessment that takes place independently at the end of an apprenticeship.

Gateway requirements set out what the apprentice must achieve before proceeding to end point assessment.

RoATP (Register of Approved Training Providers) is the register of training providers approved to deliver apprenticeships.

Synoptic assessment versus evidence-based assessment: synoptic assessment is a‘snapshot’ of the apprentice’s competence across the knowledge, skills and behaviours within an apprenticeship standard and is carried out by an independent, end-point assessor(s) at the end of the apprenticeship. Evidence-based assessment may still be needed on apprenticeships where the assessment plan specifies that the apprentice has to achieve a qualification. If this is the case, then the person assessing might also be the apprentice’s coach.

Hilary Read publications best Assessor guide 750 pixels

About the author

The best assessor’s guide: apprenticeships edition (2016) is an updated edition of her best-selling guide aimed at those delivering and assessing apprenticeships and vocational qualifications. It explains approaches to vocational assessment using real examples from new apprenticeships and existing vocational qualifications. You can buy Hilary’s guides here.


Hilary is running a CPD conference for practitioners with Ann Gravells in central Leeds on June 9th. Gavin O’Meara from FE News is a keynote speaker and exhibitor. Book your place here.

 

 

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page