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How to implement the Rules of Evidence in your RTO

October 26, 2021

We recently covered how to implement the four Principles of Assessment in your RTO, which are used to ensure all assessments meet the relevant standards, are consistent with the requirements of training packages and VET accredited courses, are relevant to the needs of industry and are informed by industry engagement. In this article we’ll be covering assessment evidence, which is used to make a competency judgement against a unit of competency.

What are the Rules of Evidence?

Clause 1.8 in the Standards states the Rules of Evidence are: 

  • Validity
  • Sufficiency 
  • Authenticity
  • Currency

Let’s break them down. 

Validity

According to ASQA, validity means that the assessor is assured that the learner has the skills, knowledge and attributes as described in the module or unit of competency and associated assessment requirements. Fortress Learning states the rule of validity means that the evidence collected must:

  • address the elements and performance criteria 
  • reflect the skills, knowledge and context described in the competency standard
  • demonstrate the skills and knowledge are applied in real or simulated workplace situations.

Examples

One example could be the unit BSBMKG546 - Develop social media engagement plans. If the assessor has instructed the learner to develop a newspaper advertisement, the evidence won’t be valid as the performance required won’t match the performance described in the elements and performance criteria. The evidence collected needs to clearly show and confirm the learner’s ability to achieve the outcomes described in the unit of competency. 

However, assessors must make sure they don’t just copy and paste the unit of competency’s performance criteria. The evidence needs to include details such as what was achieved, when it was achieved and what context it was achieved in[1]. 

If the candidate is producing a product for their assessment, such as constructing a chair and couch frame (MSFFM3001), the chair’s physical characteristics should be assessed. If the product is intangible, such as a social media engagement plan (BSBMKG546), characteristics like content, relevance of information provided and usability should be assessed. 

If the candidate is producing a service, such as delivering a service to customers (BSBOPS203), the assessor should record the service provided. For the BSBOPS203 unit, one example of this could be resolving a customer complaint, with the evidence capturing feedback from the customer, procedures followed and more[1]. 

Sufficiency

When it comes to sufficiency of evidence, the assessor needs to make sure that the quality, quantity and relevance of the assessment evidence enables a judgement to be made of a learner’s competency. The evidence needs to demonstrate competency over a period of time, that is able to be repeated and complies with language, literacy and numeracy levels which match those required by the work task. This means the evidence must demonstrate that the learner has performed the task more than once, or to the specific minimum number of occasions for a task to be performed as outlined in the unit of competency. For example, the RIIMPO318F unit (Conduct civil construction skid steer loader operations) requires the candidate to demonstrate completion of skid steer loader operations that safely, effectively and efficiently follows workplace procedures to carry out work activity on at least two occasions.

The RTO should also use industry engagement activities to determine a benchmark for sufficient evidence that is in line with industry standards. 

Authenticity

This rule means the assessor is assured that the evidence presented for assessment is the learner’s own work. The three types of evidence used in VET are direct, indirect or supplementary, and confirming authenticity looks different for each type.

With direct evidence, the assessor needs to confirm the identity of the candidate, and observe first-hand the candidate completing a task or through oral questioning. The date, time, location and duration of the assessment event should also be recorded. 

Indirect evidence, for example a portfolio of evidence from a project or a written assignment, needs to include measures to confirm authenticity. These measures could include photo or video evidence, a ‘declaration of own work’ and more. 

Supplementary evidence is usually produced by third parties in the workplace, such as by supervisors, colleagues or clients. Proving authenticity here can require referees, testimonials, work logbooks and other evidence of training. 

Currency 

​​The assessor needs to be assured that the assessment evidence demonstrates current competency. This requires the assessment evidence to be from the present or the very recent past.

The time that would be considered ‘the very recent past’ varies between industries, but trainers and assessors who have currently relevant skills and knowledge should be able to determine this for their particular industry area. Your RTO needs to determine whether the evidence is recent enough to show the learner is competent at the time the assessor makes an assessment decision. This doesn’t mean older evidence can’t 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.

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[2]. 

Why is assessment evidence important?

Assessment evidence essentially legally proves that the learner is competent or not yet competent, and has or has not attained the skills, knowledge and attributes as described in the unit of competency. Evidence needs to meet the Rules of Evidence in alignment with the Standards. 

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References

  1. Collecting relevant assessment evidence
  2. As part of the Rules of Evidence, under Currency, the Standards refer to ‘the very recent past’. What does this mean? (Clause 1.8)


Want to learn more about assessment compliance? Check out these articles: 

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