The Standards require that evidence demonstrating current competency is from the present or the ‘very recent past’. The Standards do not specify the time that would be considered ‘very recent past’, as this may vary between industries.
However, trainers and assessors who have currently relevant skills and knowledge should be able to determine what constitutes ‘very recent past’ for their particular industry area. Your RTO must determine whether the evidence is recent enough to show the learner is competent at the time the assessor makes an assessment decision. For example, a computer programmer who has 10 years’ experience but has not been directly involved in hands-on programming work for the past three years may not have current skills in, or knowledge of, contemporary programming methods. However, the programmer may be able to update their skills and knowledge though a ‘gap training’ program.
This does not mean older evidence cannot be included in the evidence used to make an assessment judgement. However, older evidence must be supported by evidence that the person has the required skills and knowledge at the time of the assessment.
Some examples of best practice for checking authenticity of online assessments might include: calling the learner and asking questions relating to assessment submitted or using the student’s webcam to take photos of the student at random intervals during the online assessment process.
Using third-party evidence is different to using a third-party provider to provide services on behalf of your RTO.
To inform a judgement about whether a learner has achieved competency, evidence is often collected by the assessor. However, other people (such as workplace supervisors) can also report what they see or hear to the assessor. Evidence collected in this manner is called third-party evidence (it is also sometimes called ‘supplementary evidence’).
A person collecting third-party evidence is not conducting any assessment. It remains the role of your RTO's assessor to make the judgement about whether competency has been achieved.
Your RTO does not require a written agreement to collect third-party evidence.
ASQA has developed a Fact Sheet about using third party evidence to assess competence. This tool provides valuable guidance as to how to develop an assessment system that will lead to the collection of quality evidence.
However, a third-party provider is any party who provides services under your RTO's registration, including undertaking assessment of training products.
Your RTO does require a written agreement to use a third-party provider.
The glossary in the Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015 defines the term ‘training product’ as including an ‘Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualification, skill set, unit of competency, accredited short course [or] module’.
An assessment instrument is part of the assessment tool.
The assessment instrument is the documented activities developed to support the assessment method and used to collect the evidence of student competence.
An assessment instrument could include:
oral and written questions
projects, case studies, scenarios
recognition or workplace portfolios
An assessment instrument will include:
the tasks to be administered to the student
an outline of the evidence to be gathered from the candidate
the evidence criteria used to judge the quality of performance (i.e. the assessment decision-making rules).
The assessment tool comprises the assessment instrument and the context and conditions of assessment. An assessment tool can also contain the administration, recording and reporting requirements of the assessment.
The RTO and employer are both responsible for ensuring students have access to applicable job tasks, resources and supervision while undertaking on-the-job training as well as off-the-job training.
Ultimately, the off-the-job training component of an apprenticeship is negotiated as part of the training contract between employer and apprentice/trainee and is registered and regulated by the appropriate training authority in your state or territory.
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