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What Qualities Does a Workplace Assessor Need?

Assessment is making judgments about an individual’s competence in a particular employment or role.

Matching evidence collected to the outcomes of a specific unit standard, a series of unit standards, or a full qualification registered on the Regulated Qualification Framework (RQF) validates those judgments.

A candidate for assessment may appeal assessment decisions orpractices regarded as unfair based on

  • Unfair assessment
  • Invalid assessment
  • Unreliable assessment
  • Unethical practices
  • Inadequate expertise and experience of the assessor

Assessors need to have certain skills and expertise to be competent. These include

  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Subject Matter Expertise
  • Assessment Expertise (and experience)

Interpersonal Skills

It is essential the assessor has good interpersonal skills and can communicate effectively and appropriately with learners.

The assessor must establish a trusting relationship with learners – not only so they perform optimally during an assessment but also trust the assessor to have their best interests at heart. The candidate should feel


  • The assessment is fair
  • The assessor acts with integrity
  • The assessor maintains confidentiality
  • They conducted the assessment according to the principles of a goodassessment


Subject Matter Expertise

Assessors must be proficient in and knowledgeable about the subject of the learning area they are assessing. They should be experts in their field of knowledge with a thorough understanding of the unit standard requirements or qualifications for which they are registered to assess.

In addition, the assessor’s subject knowledge should be at least one levelhigher than that of the unit standard being assessed.

For example, an assessor carrying out an assessment of an RQF Level 2 subject candidate, must be qualified in the same subject to at least Level 3.

If any doubt exists (including as to relevance), seek advice from a suitably qualified IQA (Internal Quality Assurer) or EQA (External Quality Assurer).

Assessment Expertise

All assessors must have completed the relevant assessor training and be adjudged competent following the submission of a portfolio ofevidence.

He or she should also have a certificate of competence awarded by a relevant Ofqual regulated Awarding Organisation andbe ‘current’.

Some assessor qualifications that were regarded as ‘core competence’ for many years have been fairly recently superseded, such as the A1/A2 and D32/D33. Assessors presenting with these qualifications should have their currency checked.

Ideally, they would by now have upgraded to a Level 3 CAVA (Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement), TAQA (Training, Assessment and Quality Assurance) qualification or similar.

If any doubt exists as to currency, seek advice from a suitably qualified IQA (Internal Quality Assurer) or EQA (External Quality Assurer) before accepting their competence at face value.

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