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Assessment issues in VET: Miniminising the level of risk

July 16, 2013

Vocational education and training (VET) graduates applying for jobs these days face an interesting dilemma: a growing suspicion among employers that VET graduates may not have the skills, knowledge, and work-readiness their qualifications claim they have. “Quantity before quality” is the lingering perception, unfortunately, and shaved corners in VET assessment are posing risks to the integrity of VET qualifications.

Last week, the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) released a report addressing the issues associated with VET assessment. Researchers identified the following risks and areas of concern regarding assessment integrity:

  • Trainers and assessors not having the depth of skills and knowledge to conduct valid and reliable assessments
  • Providers not providing enough time for the repeated practice required for demonstration of competency and compromising rigour for quick completions
  • Students not having adequate access to work placements and adequate supervision in work placements, lacking the basic literacy and numeracy skills to assure success in training or assessment tasks, and not being adequately screened for their suitability for courses
  • Inadequate rigour applied to assessments, especially to recognition of prior learning (RPL) assessments
  • Lack of clarity about industry or employer role in assessments
  • Lack of regular and widespread systematic processes for the moderation and validation of assessments either within or between registered training organisations.
“Assessment needs to be driven by the need for quality improvement: firstly, to address changes and improvements in our understanding of the assessment processes themselves; and, secondly, to respond to industry and student expectations for valid and consistent assessment decisions.” NCVER

The NCVER research team has tailored their report to the areas of childcare services, aged care services, and the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAE), but the content is applicable across the VET sector and may be useful/informative to you. The full report can be viewed here.

For help with Standard 1 compliance, check out our 6-stage assessment approach.

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