The assessment validation process ensures an RTO’s assessment system can consistently produce valid assessment judgements, so that learners are assessed against all tasks identified in a unit of competency and the evidence outlined in the associated assessment requirements. This usually happens after assessment is complete so that the training organisation can consider the validity of both assessment practices and judgements.
Assessment validation is highly important for RTOs to complete, but many get it wrong and are surprised when auditing assessors come in and find a mountain of issues.
RTOs need to check that their assessment tools have produced valid, reliable, sufficient, current and authentic evidence. By reviewing this evidence on statistically valid samples of the assessments to make reasonable validation judgements, the RTO can then make recommendations for future improvements to the assessment tool, process and outcomes.
As a part of validation, your RTO must have a documented plan which describes:
1. Who will lead and participate in the validation activities – this can be one person or a team, external or employees of the RTO, collectively holding:
2. Which training products will be the focus of the validation
3. When assessment validation will occur
4. How the outcomes of those activities will be documented and acted upon
The validation team also needs to focus on whether the principles of assessment (fairness, flexibility, reliability and validity) are adhered to.
RTOs must have a records management process to retain evidence of the validation. RTOs should retain evidence of:
RTOs with a student management system integrated with a learning management system will find the scheduling and management of the validation process, and retention of evidence, easier and more streamlined.
RTOs should develop a planned and ongoing process to systematically evaluate and improve assessment.
According to the Department of Training and Workforce Development WA, systematic approaches that support improvement include:
An RTO might choose to validate its training products more often, for example, if risk indicators demonstrate that more frequent validation is required. Indicators of risk might include:
If the validation outcomes recommend improvements to the assessment tool, these recommendations should be implemented across all training products, not only those included in the sample. If changes are made to the assessment tool, quality checks need to be completed and the revised tool should be reviewed prior to implementation.
Your learners will want to leave glowing reviews about their student experience. This is because learners will be clear about what is expected of them, they will better engage with the assessment because they can see how it relates to the world of work, and learner outcomes will be maximised.
To read about assessment validation in more detail, read ASQA’s information here.
Want more info? Check out this great video on tips for validation from Lauren Hollows.
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