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C H A P T E R    3

Spotlight On assessment validation:
How and when to validate


Chapter 3 aims to help providers select which training products to focus on, when they are required to be validated and how to determine what makes an appropriate sample.

So, how should you validate your assessment, and when?

Using ASQA’s validation calculator

Now you know the requirements your chosen sampling approach must meet, how do you select your sample size?

Watch this video for a quick demonstration of how to use ASQA’s validation calculator, which helps you determine the required sample size. Keep reading this page to gain further insights.

Documenting and planning

You need a plan that sets out when validation for each training product will occur. The plan is a requirement of Clause 1.9 of the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015.

Your documented plan needs to include:

  • when assessment validation will occur
  • which training products will be the focus of the validation
  • who will lead and participate in the validation activities
  • how the outcomes of those activities will be documented and acted upon.

Training providers also need a records management process which documents evidence of validation. You will need to retain evidence of:

  • the person/people leading and participating in the validation activities (including their qualifications, skills and knowledge)
  • the sample pool
  • the validation tools used
  • all assessment samples considered
  • the validation outcomes
  • the strategies for acting on any identified improvements

When to validate

Refer to Clause 1.10 of the Standards for RTOs for the minimum requirements for how often providers must perform validation.


A five-year plan

A validation schedule is a five-year plan. Each training product – qualification, accredited course, skill-set or explicit unit of competency must be reviewed at least once in that five-year period. At least half of all training products must be validated in the first three years of the schedule.

However, risk indicators may flag that you need to validate your training products more often. Indicators of risk might include:

  • the use of new assessment tools
  • training products identified by ASQA, industry, or by you as high risk
  • delivery of training products where safety is a concern
  • the level and experience of the assessor
  • changes in technology, workplace processes, legislation, and licensing requirements.

Sampling approach to validation

Your chosen valid sampling approach must provide sufficient and confident evidence that all judgements have been made in line with the:

  • training package requirements
  • Principles of Assessment
  • Rules of Evidence.

You are not required to validate every assessment judgement. Instead, your sample should be:

  • Large enough – so that the validation outcomes of the sample can be considered relevant for the entire set of judgements
  • Random – and taken from the set of assessment judgements being considered.

Use our validation calculator

ASQA’s validation calculator can help you determine the required sample size.


Improving validation with broad samples

Sample at least two units of competency when validating a qualification, accredited course or skill set. You may expand the number of units at any time during the validation process, particularly when validation outcomes indicate that assessment judgments are not valid.

How to select a random sample

To select a random sample, use an alphabetical list of all students who submitted work within the training product being validated. Highlight the fifth surname and then every third name thereafter. If more records are needed, start from the top of the list again with a different number.

Validation outcomes

Validation can either confirm that your processes are operating as intended, or identify recommendations for improvement.


If concerns with the tools or judgements are noted, you should consider:

  • increasing the validation sample size to assist in identifying patterns of issue
  • validating completed assessments from other units of competency to see if the issue is spread across the whole of the qualification, and
  • looking for patterns of error (for example, consider if it is one assessor making invalid judgements—this could indicate the assessor requires further training in competency-based assessment).

Visit other chapters from this series:





Still have a question? Check out the Users’ guide to the Standards for RTOs 2015, or send through a question for consideration for our webinar via our website.


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