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VAC 7.10

VET accredited courses specify course assessment strategies which:
  • (a) are valid, reliable, flexible and fair
  • (b) support the collection of evidence that is sufficient, valid, authentic and current
  • (c) are consistent with assessment requirements in the relevant Training Package(s) were nationally endorsed units of competency are used
  • (d) ensure that workplace and regulatory requirements, where relevant, are met, and
  • (e) identify and justify any requirements for workplace and/or simulated assessment.

In Section B: 6.1 of ASQA’s Accredited course document template, you must outline the approach to assessment and evidence‑gathering that an RTO delivering your accredited course must follow.

The assessment strategy in your course document must provide a general overview that will act as a guide to RTOs when they develop their assessment strategy. The information in the course document informs an RTO’s training and assessment strategy. It is not the same as the RTO’s specific strategy for its implementation of the course.

The strategy should describe how the assessment approaches will ensure that an RTO’s assessor can make sound judgements of ‘learner competence’ and ‘achievement of course outcomes’.

Your accredited course’s assessment strategy may contain ‘mandated’ and/or ‘suggested’ requirements for assessment of the units of competency. When developing your course, keep in mind that mandated requirements apply not only to the course owner’s RTO’s delivery of the course but to all RTOs the course owner may enter into a licensing/franchise arrangement with to deliver the course during its accreditation period. Therefore, your information should not be written around a particular RTO’s strategy.

Mandated requirements must align with the information in the assessment requirements template for all units that comprise the course.

A learner must be assessed against all of the tasks required by the unit/s and demonstrate they are capable of performing these tasks to an acceptable level. In doing so, they must demonstrate they hold all of the required skill and knowledge, as identified in the unit/s assessment requirements.

Any workplace and/or regulatory requirements must be clearly identified to ensure RTOs develop assessment strategies and assessment tools/processes that will meet these requirements, for example, legislative requirements.

Where units of competency are imported from a training package the information in the assessment strategy must align with the assessment guidelines in the parent training package and its implementation guide.

RTOs are required to conduct assessment in accordance with the Principles of Assessment and the Rules of Evidence. See Table 1.8-1 and 1.8-2 from the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 (see Tables 10 and 11).

Table 10: Principles of Assessment (Table 1.8-1 in the Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015)

Principles of Assessment
Fairness

The individual learner’s needs are considered in the assessment process.

Where appropriate, reasonable adjustments are applied by the RTO to take into account the individual learner’s needs.

The RTO informs the learner about the assessment process, and provides the learner with the opportunity to challenge the result of the assessment and be reassessed if necessary.

Flexibility Assessment is flexible to the individual learner by:
  • reflecting the learner’s needs
  • assessing competencies held by the learner no matter how or where they have been acquired, and
  • drawing from a range of assessment methods and using those that are appropriate to the context, the unit of competency and associated assessment requirements, and the individual.
Validity

Any assessment decision of the RTO is justified, based on the evidence of performance of the individual learner.

Validity requires:

  • Assessment against the unit(s) of competency and the associated assessment requirements covers the broad range of skills and knowledge that are essential to competent performance
  • assessment of knowledge and skills is integrated with their practical application
  • assessment to be based on evidence that demonstrates that a learner could demonstrate these skills and knowledge in other similar situations, and
  • judgement of competence is based on evidence of learner performance that is aligned to the unit(s) of competency and associated assessment requirements.
Reliability Evidence presented for assessment is consistently interpreted and assessment results are comparable irrespective of the assessor conducting the assessment.

Table 11: Rules of Evidence (Table 1.8-2 in the Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015)

Rules of Evidence
Validity The assessor must be assured that the learner has the skills, knowledge and attributes as described in the unit of competency and associated assessment requirement
Sufficiency The assessor must be assured that the quality, quantity and relevance of the assessment evidence enable a judgement to be made of a learner’s competency.
Authenticity The assessor must be assured that the evidence presented for assessment is the learner’s own work.
Currency The assessor must be assured that the assessment evidence demonstrates current competency. This requires the assessment evidence to be from the present or the very recent past.

Case study—Describing an accredited course assessment strategy

Section B: 6.1

The assessment strategy that the RTO designs for the course must meet the requirements of the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015, including the Principles of Assessment and Rules of Evidence.

Assessment evidence gathered must:

  • align to, and meet, all the requirements of the units of competency included in the course structure that have been imported from national training packages
  • meet all the requirements of each enterprise unit of competency
  • confirm the learner’s ability to demonstrate their competence in a real or simulated workplace environment with access to resources required by the industry.

A holistic approach to assessment is encouraged to enable learners to demonstrate the application of their skills and knowledge in an environment that reflects real workplace situations and time constraints.

Assessment of practical skills must be conducted via observation by the RTO’s assessor and may be undertaken in a simulated environment.

Assessment must be conducted using a variety of methods over time to ensure a sufficient range of valid evidence is gathered to base a judgement of competence. Additional assessment methods may include:

  • case studies/scenarios
  • written and/or oral exams
  • assignments, and/or
  • portfolios of evidence.

RTOs must ensure that recognition of prior learning (RPL) is offered to all learners.