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Policy on Accreditation of Assessment Centres

Policy on Accreditation of Assessment Centres

Verification The process managed by the relevant AQP for externally checking moderation processes and confirming or overturning moderation findings.

  1. Preamble

    The Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) was established in 2010 in terms of section 26G the Skills Development Act of 1998 as a juristic person. It was listed as a public entity in Government Gazette No 33900 of 31 December 2010 effective from 1 April 2010 to establish the sub-Framework for Trades and Occupations. The QCTO is responsible for the development, maintenance and quality assurance of qualifications within its sub- framework.

    The QCTO focuses quality assurance of the provision of assessment on the final external integrated summative assessment. The external integrated summative assessment of all QCTO qualifications will be conducted in accredited assessment centres or approved assessment sites to ensure that the required facilities and processes are in place to conduct standardised assessments for determining the required occupational competence to be awarded the qualification.

  2. Objectives and criteria for assessment

    This policy outlines the criteria applied by the QCTO for the accreditation of assessment centres. It provides guidelines for bodies wishing to apply for accreditation as assessment centres. Accreditation describes the process followed by the QCTO to determine if a body meets the QCTO’s minimum specified criteria and has the capacity to conduct secure, reliable and objective external summative assessments.

  3. Legislative and regulatory framework

    In terms of the Skills Development Act, 1998 (Act 97 of 1998) the QCTO will accredit assessment centres, including trade test centres to conduct the external summative assessment for specified occupational qualifications, part qualifications or trades recorded on the NLRD but without an associated occupational qualification.

    This policy and criteria is based on the QCTO Policy on Delegation of Qualification Assessment to Assessment Quality Partners (AQPs) and the Assessment Policy for Qualifications and Part Qualifications on the OQSF.

  4. Audience and applicability

    This policy applies to assessment centres seeking accreditation to assess occupational qualifications, part qualifications and trades recorded on the NLRD but without associated occupational qualifications. Assessment centres may include accredited trade test centres, workplaces, providers, education and training institutions (e.g. FET Colleges or Universities of Technology) or professional bodies. These bodies should have the required facilities and meet the requirements specified by the relevant AQP for the related occupational qualification or part qualification.

    Bodies seeking accreditation as an assessment centre must apply to the relevant QCTO appointed AQP responsible for recommending the accreditation of assessment centres to the QCTO.

  5. Responsibilities of an assessment centre

    An assessment centre must:

    1. assess the occupational qualification or part qualification in accordance with the standards set by the delegated AQP;
    2. comply with the QCTO and AQP assessment policies and procedures;
    3. conduct integrated external summative assessments in accordance with the AQP requirements;
    4. adhere to standards set by the AQP in order to maintain accreditation;
    5. enter into a formal agreement with the relevant AQP;
    6. if also a training provider, provide an assessment area separate from the training area;
    7. only allow candidates registered for assessment and assessment practitioners conducting the assessment into the assessment area;
    8. ensure that candidates are not assessed or moderated by the facilitator responsible for their training; and
    9. have appropriately qualified human resources to conduct assessments as specified by the AQP.
  6. Responsibilities of the AQP

      1. The relevant AQP will recommend to the QCTO, in the form and manner required by the QCTO:
        1. the accreditation of assessment centres for all occupational qualifications and part qualifications that require the use of assessment centres for conducting external summative assessments; and
        2. the de-accreditation of accredited assessment centres where required.
      2. In respect of each occupational qualification or part qualification falling within its scope, and requiring the accreditation of an assessment centre an AQP will:
        1. ensure standardisation of the external integrated summative assessment through the development of nationally standardised assessment instruments;
        2. determine criteria for accreditation of assessment centres to be able to conduct the external integrated summative assessment;
        3. conduct external moderation to ensure that the external integrated summative assessment is conducted in an appropriate manner; and
        4. make recommendations to QCTO for the issuing of certificates.
      3. In respect of an assessment centre accredited to assess competence against an occupational qualification or part qualification, an AQP will:
        1. provide criteria, guidelines and procedures for registration for assessment;
        2. provide criteria and guidelines on security processes required to curb irregularities during the assessment process;
        3. provide criteria and guidelines for capturing learner achievements according to the QCTO’s MIS requirements;
        4. monitor the performance of the accredited assessment centres;
        5. ensure that candidates are not assessed or moderated by the facilitator responsible for their training; and
        6. report to the QCTO on the assessment centre’s performance in the form and manner required by the QCTO.
      4. In the event of de-accreditation of an assessment centre the AQP must arrange an alternative assessment centre for candidates already enrolled for assessment.
      5. In terms of section 26A of the Skills Development Act, the NAMB will recommend to the QCTO the accreditation of trade test centres.
      6. Trade test centres currently accredited by the SETAs will be deemed accredited by the NAMB for trades recorded on the NLRD for a period of 3 years from the publication date of the Trade Test Regulations during which a recommendation to be accredited by the QCTO must be submitted by NAMB.
  7. Responsibilities of the QCTO

      1. The QCTO must consider recommendations from AQPs for assessment centre accreditation.
      2. The QCTO will evaluate and may verify the information on the AQP recommendations for the accreditation of an assessment centre.
      3. The QCTO will make a decision as to whether to accredit the recommended assessment centre within 30 working days of receiving the recommendation.
      4. The QCTO must notify the AQP of its decision in writing and may refer the recommendation back to the AQP for outstanding information or additional information to be provided.
      5. If the QCTO grants accreditation of an assessment centre, it will publish it on its official website the following information –
        1. the relevant details of the accredited assessment centre; and
        2. the occupational qualifications the assessment centre is accredited to assess.
      6. If accreditation is withdrawn, the QCTO must inform the AQP and assessment centre and remove the assessment centre’s details from its official website.
  8. Criteria for the accreditation of assessment centres

      1. The QCTO will accredit an entity as an assessment centre for a specified occupational qualification or part qualification if recommended by an AQP and if that entity satisfies the criteria listed below.The entity must:
        1. be a juristic person registered or established in terms of South African law;
        2. have a valid tax clearance certificate issued by the South African Revenue Service if applicable;
        3. have a suitable and compliant MIS in accordance with QCTO specifications;
        4. be safe, secure and accessible to candidates;
        5. meet the relevant standards for occupational health and safety;
        6. have the required physical resources (e.g. venue; equipment, machinery or protective clothing), specified by the AQP to assess learners’ competence regarding the occupational qualification or part qualification;
        7. have appropriately qualified human resources as specified by the AQP; and
        8. make provision for any other requirements specified for the relevant trade, occupational qualification or part qualification.

    NOTE: Although the QCTO accredits assessment centres and sites, the accredited assessment centre or site remains responsible and accountable for ensuring the safety of the centre staff, students and visitors. The QCTO will not be liable for any loss, damage, expense, costs, delays or other liability whatsoever that the assessment centre or site may incur during its operations.

  9. Duration of accreditation

      1. The accreditation of an assessment centre to conduct assessments for the specific occupational qualification or part qualification is valid:
        1. for a period of 5 years from the date the QCTO grants accreditation; or
        2. until de-registration of the qualification; or
        3. until de-accreditation is recommended by the AQP.
      2. Trade test centres currently accredited by the SETAs will be deemed accredited by the NAMB for trades recorded on the NLRD for a period of 3 years from the publication date of the Trade Test Regulations during which a recommendation to be accredited by the QCTO must be submitted by NAMB.
  10. Applying for accreditation

      1. An application for accreditation must be made to the relevant AQP in accordance with the criteria and guidelines of the AQP.
      2. A centre that applies for accreditation to conduct the external integrated summative assessment for a specified occupational qualification or part qualification must provide evidence of:
        1. the required physical resources (e.g. venue; equipment, machinery or protective clothing), specified by the AQP to assess learners’ competence with regard to the relevant occupational qualification or part qualification;
        2. the required technical expertise (qualified personnel) to conduct the integrated external assessment for the relevant occupational qualification or part qualification;
        3. compliance with the quality assurance requirements needed to conduct that particular assessment; and
        4. systems to handle complaints and appeals.
  11. Amendments to the scope of accreditation

    1. An accredited assessment centre may increase its scope by applying to one or more AQPs for conducting integrated external summative assessments for additional occupational qualifications or part qualifications.
    2. The AQP will recommend the amendment of scope to the QCTO.
    3. The QCTO may amend the scope, if:
      1. the AQP recommends the assessment centre to conduct assessment for one or more additional occupational qualifications. In such a case the generic requirements will be deemed to be met, and the extension of scope application will be restricted to the additional curriculum components; and
      2. the QCTO determines that an accredited assessment centre no longer has the capacity to conduct the external summative assessments for which it has been accredited.
    4. In all cases of an amendment to scope, the QCTO will inform the AQP and fulfil all its responsibilities as detailed in Section 7 above.
  1. Withdrawal of accreditation

    1. The QCTO, may on reasonable grounds, withdraw on recommendation from the relevant AQP the accreditation of an assessment centre in respect of all or a specific occupational qualification or part qualification which it is accredited to assess. Reasonable grounds include, but are not limited to:
      1. inability to meet the accreditation criteria;
      2. assessment irregularities;
      3. failure or refusal to fulfil accreditation responsibilities;
      4. failure or refusal to comply with the relevant QCTO policies and procedures; and
      5. failure to comply with the relevant AQP requirements including but not limited to:
        1. poor record keeping and reporting on assessments;
        2. poor internal moderation; and
        3. ineffective reporting to the AQP.
    2. The assessment centre may appeal the de-accreditation recommendation to the QCTO at a cost determined by the QCTO.
    3. If de-accreditation is appealed, the QCTO will convene an appeals committee to consider any representations received, and will notify the AQP and assessment centre of its appeal decision in writing.
  2. Irregularities

    1. The assessment centre must address irregularities relating to the integrated external summative assessment which include, but are not limited to:

      1. a candidate cheating, copying or accessing assessment instruments in advance;
      2. a candidate bribing, blackmailing, threatening or harassing an assessor or others involved in the assessment process; and
      3. any party that falsifies documents or evidence for access before or during an assessment.
    2. The AQP must address irregularities relating to the integrated external summative assessment which include, but are not limited to:
      1. an assessment centre staff member approved by the AQP not declaring a conflict of interest, such as, but not limited to a family or business relationship with a learner;
      2. an assessment centre staff member approved by the AQP taking bribes or responding to threats, etc. in such a manner that advantages one learner over another;
      3. an assessment centre staff member approved by the AQP demonstrating bias (e.g. in relation to race, class, gender, educational background, ethnicity or religion) that unduly influences assessment or moderation decisions; or
      4. an assessment centre staff member approved by the AQP not making appropriate arrangements for learners with disabilities or language disadvantages (unless the assessment in question is assessing the language in question).
  3. Complaints and appeals

    1. Complaints and appeals against irregularities under 13.1 must be referred to the relevant AQP.
    2. Complaints and appeals and appeals against irregularities under 13.2 must be referred to the QCTO.
  4. Quality assurance and monitoring of policy implementation

    1. The delegated AQP will monitor the performance of accredited assessment centres.
    2. The QCTO will monitor the performance of the AQP in terms of this policy.
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115753 Conduct outcomes-based assessment

 

OUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD:

 

Conduct outcomes-based assessment
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
115753 Conduct outcomes-based assessment
ORIGINATOR
SGB Assessor Standards
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
ETDP SETA – Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 05 – Education, Training and Development Higher Education and Training
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined Regular Level 5 Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 15
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered 2018-07-01 2023-06-30 SAQA 06120/18
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30 2027-06-30

 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD
This generic assessor unit standard is for those who assess people for their achievement of learning outcomes in terms of specified criteria using pre-designed assessment instruments. The outcomes and criteria may be defined in a range of documents including but not limited to unit standards, exit level outcomes, assessment standards, curriculum statements and qualifications.

Those who achieve this unit standard will be able to conduct assessments within their fields of expertise. This unit standard will contribute towards the achievement of a variety of qualifications, particularly within the fields of Education Training and Development Practices and Human Resource Development.

People credited with this unit standard are able to carry out assessments in a fair, valid, reliable and practicable manner that is free of all bias and discrimination, paying particular attention to the three groups targeted for redress: race, gender and disability.

In particular, people credited with this unit standard will be able to:

  • Demonstrate understanding of outcomes-based assessment;
  • Prepare for assessments;
  • Conduct assessments;
  • Provide feedback on assessments; and
  • Review assessments.

 

LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING
The credit calculation is based on the assumption that those starting to learn towards this unit standard have no previous assessment experience. It is assumed, though, that the candidate-assessors have evaluative expertise within the area of learning in which they intend to assess (see Definition of Terms for a definition of “evaluative expertise”).

 

UNIT STANDARD RANGE
1. This generic assessment unit standard applies to assessment in all fields of learning. However, it is expected that assessments will be contextualised to meet the requirements of different contexts.

2. Assessment of candidate-assessors will only be valid for award of this unit standard if the following requirements are met:

  • Assessments carried out by the candidate-assessor are in relation to significant, meaningful and coherent outcome statements that include criteria for assessment purposes, and allow for judgements of competence in line with SAQA’s definition of competence i.e. embrace foundational, practical and reflexive dimensions of competence. Outcomes that are highly task-orientated and do not demand much, if any, in the way of reflexive competence, will not be sufficient for measuring competence as an assessor in terms of this unit standard. It is important that candidate-assessors select outcomes that enable them to meet the requirement laid out here.
  • The candidate-assessor demonstrates repeatability by carrying out at least two assessments :
    – One of which may be a simulated assessment (in order to cover a range of typical assessment situations), and
    – At least one of which must involve a real candidate in a real assessment situation, preferably under the guidance of a mentor.
    The assessments may involve two or more candidates in relation to the same outcome.
  • Candidate-assessors produce evidence that they can conduct assessments in RPL situations and for candidates who may have fairly recently acquired the necessary knowledge and skills through courses or learning programmes. However, candidate assessors do not need to carry out both kinds of assessments in practice for the award of this unit standard. Should candidate-assessors carry out an RPL-related assessment for the purposes of this unit standard, then it is sufficient for them to show how they might have conducted the assessment differently had it been an assessment linked to recent learning, and vice versa.3. For the purposes of assessment against this unit standard, candidate-assessors should have access to Assessment Guides and will not be expected to design assessments. (See Definition of Terms for a definition of Assessment Guides). Candidate assessors will be expected to interpret the standards at hand in order to ensure their assessment judgements are in accordance with the requirements of the standard. In cases where Assessment Guides are not available, providers should seek ways to make such guides available for the purposes of this assessment. Where candidate-assessor also intend to design assessments, then providers are encouraged to integrate the learning and assessment of the unit standards:
  • Conduct outcomes-based assessments
  • Design and develop outcomes-based assessments4. Candidate-assessors should have access to organisational assessment policies, procedures and systems (including moderation). It is assumed the organisational policies and procedures are of a quality sufficient for accreditation purposes. Where such policies and procedures are not yet available, the provider may make general policies and procedures available for the purposes of this assessment.Further range statements are provided in the body of the unit standard where they apply to particular specific outcomes or assessment criteria.

 

Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria:

 

SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1
Demonstrate understanding of outcomes-based assessment.

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1
Comparisons between outcomes-based and another form of assessment of learning highlight key differences in terms of the underlying philosophies and approaches to assessment, including an outline of advantages and disadvantages.

 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2
RPL is explained in terms of its purpose, processes and related benefits and challenges. Explanations highlight the potential impact of RPL on individuals, learning organisations and the workplace.

 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3
A variety of assessment methods are described and compared in terms of how they could be used when conducting assessments in different situations.
ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE
The description of methods should cover situations for gathering evidence of:

  • Problem solving ability,
  • Knowledge and understanding,
  • Practical and technical skills,
  • Attitudinal skills and values.

 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4
Key principles of assessment are described and illustrated in practical situations. The descriptions highlight the importance of applying the principles in terms of the possible effect on the assessment process and results.

 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5
The approach to giving feedback on assessment results is described in terms of the possible impact on candidates and further learning and assessment.

 

SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2
Prepare for assessments.
OUTCOME RANGE
Preparation for assessments relates to organising and preparing resources, people, schedules, venues, assessment instruments and documentation for a particular assessment and/or related assessments for an individual or a number of assessment candidates/learners. Preparation is to be carried out in situations where the candidate assessor has access to:

  • Relevant organisational assessment and moderation policies and procedures, and
  • Assessment guides and instruments for the assessment at hand, including the relevant outcomes and criteria.

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1
Preparation of assessment resources, logistics, documentation and environment meets the requirements of the assessment at hand and ensures fairness and safety of assessment.

 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2
Parties involved in the assessment are notified in good time. Checks are carried out to ensure parties involved in the assessment are ready and available to meet required schedules.
ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE
Parties include assessment candidates and moderators, and may include assessment facilitators and/or assistants, teachers, trainers, invigilators and safety personnel.

 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3
All pre-assessment moderation requirements are carried out in accordance with relevant assessment policies, moderation plans and ETQA requirements.

 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4
Assessment details are explained to candidates clearly and constructively. Opportunities for clarification are provided and responses promote understanding of the requirements.
ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE
Assessment details cover the specific purpose, process, expectations, roles, responsibilities and appeals procedures related to the assessment at hand, as well as the general context of assessment in terms of the principles and mechanisms of the NQF, as applicable to the situation and assessment context.

 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5
Inputs are sought from candidates regarding special needs and possible sources of evidence that could contribute to valid assessment, including RPL opportunities. Modifications made to the assessment approach on the basis of the inputs do not affect the validity of the assessment.

 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6
Candidate readiness for assessment is confirmed. In cases where candidates are not yet ready, actions taken are in line with assessment policies.

 

SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3
Conduct assessments.
OUTCOME RANGE
The ability to make assessment judgements using diverse sources of evidence must be demonstrated. Assessments to include cases where candidates have special needs and where evidence arises through RPL situations. Should it not be feasible to gather evidence for assessments of special need candidates or in RPL situations, evidence may be produced through scenarios.

Candidate-assessors must show they can make judgements in situations where:

  • Candidates meet all criteria for a particular outcome,
  • Candidates clearly do not meet the criteria for a particular outcome,
  • Candidates meet some, but not all criteria, and
  • More evidence is required in order to make a judgement of competence.

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1
Assessment practices promote effective, manageable, fair and safe assessment. Assessment practices are in line with quality assurance requirements, recognised codes of practice and learning-site or work-site standard operating procedures where applicable.
ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE
Professional, industry or legislated codes of practice.

 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2
The assessment is carried out according to the assessment design and in line with the assessment plan. Adjustments are justified by the situation, and unforeseen events and special needs of candidates are addressed without compromising the validity or fairness of the assessment.

 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3
Questioning techniques are appropriate and have the potential to successfully elicit appropriate responses. Communication with candidates is non-leading, and is appropriate to the assessment at hand and the language ability of the candidate.
ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE
“Leading” refers to the practice of inadvertently or deliberately influencing the evidence candidates produce through the style of questioning, instructions or responses to candidates.

 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4
Sufficient evidence is gathered, including evidence generated over time, to enable valid, consistent, reliable and fair assessment judgements to be made.

 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5
Assessment judgements are consistent with judgements made on similar evidence and are justified by the authenticity, validity, sufficiency and currency of the evidence.

 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6
Records of the assessment are in line with the requirements of the organisation’s quality assurance system. Records meet requirements for making assessment judgements, giving meaningful feedback, supporting internal and external moderation, and addressing possible appeals.

 

SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4
Provide feedback on assessments.
OUTCOME RANGE
  • Parties include candidates, educators, trainers, managers and moderators as applicable to the situation.
  • Evidence must be provided of the ability to give written and oral feedback.
  • The ability to give feedback must be demonstrated in situations where:
    – Candidates meet all criteria in relation to an outcome,
    – Candidates clearly do not meet the criteria in relation to an outcome,
    – Candidates meet some, but not all criteria, and
    – More evidence is required before a judgement is possible.

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1
Feedback is given to relevant parties in accordance with confidentiality requirements, in an appropriate sequence and within agreed timeframes.

 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2
Feedback is clear and confined to strengths and weaknesses in performance and/or requirements for further evidence in relation to the outcome/s at hand.

 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3
The type and manner of feedback is constructive, culturally sensitive and related to the relevant party’s needs. Sufficient information is provided to enable the purpose of the assessment to be met, and to enable parties to make further decisions.
ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE
Further decisions include awarding of credit, redirecting candidates to further learning or guiding candidates to further application or re-assessment.

 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4
Feedback on the assessment process is obtained from the candidate and opportunities are provided for clarification and explanations concerning the entire assessment.

 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5
Disputes and/or appeals that arise are dealt with according to the assessment policy.

 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6
Agreements reached and key elements of the feedback are recorded in line with the requirements of the organisation’s quality assurance system.

 

SPECIFIC OUTCOME 5
Review assessments.
OUTCOME RANGE
The review should address at least the following aspects:

  • The quality of the assessment instruments, including the outcomes against which assessment takes place and Assessment Guides used,
  • The assessment process, and
  • Candidate readiness for assessment.

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1
The review identifies strengths and weaknesses in the instruments and process, and records these for incorporation in assessment redesign.

 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2
Feedback from relevant parties is analysed and used to influence future assessments positively.

 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3
Weaknesses in the assessment design and process that could have compromised the fairness of assessment are identified and dealt with according to the organisation’s assessment policy.

 

ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4
Weaknesses in the assessment arising from poorly defined outcomes and criteria are identified, and effective steps are taken to inform relevant bodies.

 

UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS
  • A candidate-assessor wishing to be assessed, against this unit standard may apply to an assessment agency, assessor or provider institution accredited by the relevant ETQA.
  • Anyone assessing a candidate-assessor against this unit standard must meet the assessor requirements of the relevant ETQA. In particular, such assessors of candidate-assessors must demonstrate that they assess in terms of the scope and context defined in all the range statements.
  • Any institution offering learning towards this unit standard must be accredited as a provider with the relevant ETQA.
  • External moderation of assessment will be conducted by the relevant ETQA at its discretion.

 

UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE
The following knowledge is embedded within the unit standard, and will be assessed directly or indirectly through assessment of the specific outcomes in terms of the assessment criteria:

  • Outcomes-based education, training and development
  • Principles of assessment – directly assessed through assessment criterion ‘Key principles of assessment are described and illustrated in practical situations. The descriptions highlight the importance of applying the principles in terms of the possible effect on the assessment process and results.’, and indirectly assessed via a requirement to apply the principles throughout the standard.
  • Principles and practices of RPL – directly assessed through assessment criteria ‘RPL is explained in terms of its purpose, processes and related benefits and challenges. Explanations highlight the potential impact of RPL on individuals, learning organisations and the workplace.’, ‘Inputs are sought from candidates regarding special needs and possible sources of evidence that could contribute to valid assessment, including RPL opportunities. Modifications made to the assessment approach on the basis of the inputs do not affect the validity of the assessment.’ and specific outcome ‘Conduct assessments.’, as well as through application in the rest of the standard.
  • Methods of assessment – directly assessed through assessment criterion ‘A variety of assessment methods are described and compared in terms of how they could be used when conducting assessments in different situations.’, and indirectly assessed through application of the methods
  • Potential barriers to assessment – assessed when dealing with special needs.
  • The principles and mechanisms of the NQF – this knowledge underpins the standard
  • Assessment policies and ETQA requirements
  • Moderation requirements
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Assessment Policy for Qualifications and Part Qualifications on the Occupational Qualifications Sub-Framework (OQSF)

Glossary of terms

  • Accreditation The certification, usually for a particular period, of a person, a body or an institution as having the capacity to fulfil a particular function in the quality assurance system set up by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO).
  • Administrative errors Means irregularities that are of a technical nature, where the student or an assessment official unintentionally fails to follow the prescribed administrative procedures.
  • Assessment The process of collecting evidence of learner’s work to measure and make judgements about the competence or non-competence of specified National Qualifications Framework (NQF) occupational standards or qualifications and part qualifications.
  • Assessment centre A centre accredited by the QCTO for the purpose of conducting external integrated summative assessments for specified NQF registered occupational qualifications and part qualifications
  • Assessment Process Includes the total process of assessment that commences once the candidate has satisfied and met the assessment criteria for writing an external integrated summative assessment including passing the knowledge, practical and workplace components.
  • Assessment Quality Partner A body delegated by the QCTO to develop assessment instruments and manage the external integrated summative assessments of specific NQF registered occupational qualifications and part qualifications.
  • Assessment site Any site selected as suitable and approved by the relevant AQP to conduct the external integrated summative assessments for specified registered occupational qualifications and part qualifications, where the specific assessment specifications do not require the use of an accredited assessment centre.
  • Assessment specialist A person who has been appointed by the relevant
  • AQP in accordance with established criteria to conduct, develop and/or moderate external integrated summative assessments for NQF registered occupational qualifications and part qualifications.
  • Applied competence The ability to put into practice in the relevant context the learning outcomes acquired in obtaining an occupational qualification or part qualification.
  • Candidate A person whose performance is being assessed by the relevant AQP at an accredited assessment centre or approved workplace.
  • External integrated summative assessment An assessment managed by a body appointed by the QCTO, using nationally developed assessment instruments at end of sections of learning or the end of the whole learning process to facilitate demonstration of both theory and practical competence in achieving the outcomes of the occupational qualification or part qualification.
  • Formative Assessment On-going assessments, reviews, and observations which would be a range of formal and informal assessment procedures applied during the learning process in order to modify teaching and learning activities and to improve learners’ attainment;
  • Internal assessment refers to the assessment (formative assessment) conducted by a provider during the course of learning to re-inforce learning and support the learner. It also refers to internal self-evaluations done by the provider to monitor its general performance on the training delivery and formative assessments
  • Invigilator Means any person appointed to manage the conduct of an assessment.
  • Irregularity Means any event, act or omission and any alleged event, which may undermine the integrity, credibility, security, or the fairness of the assessment process.
  • Learner a person undergoing education and training at an accredited Skills Development Provider (SDP)
  • Moderation The process managed by the AQP which ensures that the assessment of the learning outcomes described in the NQF occupational standards, qualifications and part qualifications is fair, valid, reliable and unbiased.
  • Moderator A person who has been appointed by the relevant AQP in accordance with established criteria to ensure that the assessment process and procedure is fair, valid, reliable and unbiased.
  • Monitoring A continuous process of the review of quality that can be conducted internally and/or externally to recommend quality improvements.
  • National Learners Records’ Database The electronic management information system of the NQF, which contains records of qualifications, learner achievements, recognised professional bodies, professional designations and all related information such as registration and accreditations..
  • Occupational curriculum Is derived from the occupational profile and is the purposeful combination of conceptual, practical and work experience knowledge and skills in order to achieve a certain occupational qualification.
  • Occupational qualification A qualification associated with a trade, occupation or profession, resulting from work-based learning and consisting of the knowledge, practical skills and work experience standards as defined in the Skills Development Act (Act No. 97 of 1998).
  • Part qualification An assessed unit of learning that is registered on the NQF as a part qualification. Occupational part qualifications must comprise all three learning components.
  • Quality Assurance The process of ensuring that standards and procedures are adhered to and that delivered products or services meet performance requirements according to the QCTO requirements.
  • Skills Development Provider A body that delivers learning programmes which culminate in specified registered NQF occupational standards and qualifications and part qualifications and manages the internal assessment thereof.
  • Systems auditor The person responsible for auditing the management and information systems of the AQP
  • Validation The end-process by which it is determined by the relevant AQP whether or not an assessment is valid and leading to the acceptance or rejection of assessment results.
  • Verification The process managed by the relevant AQP for externally checking moderation processes and confirming or overturning moderation findings.

Preamble

The Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) was established in 2010 in terms of section 26G of the Skills Development Act, of 1998 as a juristic person. It was listed as a public entity in Government Gazette No 33900 of 31 December 2010 effective from 1 April 2010 to establish the Sub-framework for Trades and Occupations. It is responsible for the development, maintenance and quality assurance of qualifications within its sub-framework.

External integrated summative assessment is an integral and critical component of the QCTO’s quality assurance system. External integrated summative assessment ensures consistency and credibility of the assessment of occupational qualifications, trades and part qualifications. The external integrated summative assessment will be conducted by the relevant AQP, applying nationally standardised assessment instruments.

For learners to qualify for an external integrated summative assessment, they must provide proof of completion of all required modules. Foundational Learning Competence (FLC) is a pre-requisite for the external integrated summative assessment of all occupational qualifications and part qualifications at NQF levels 3 and 4.

  1. INTRODUCTION

    1.1 Objectives and criteria for assessment

    The objectives and criteria for External Integrated Summative Assessment are to:

      • outline how the external integrated summative assessment will be conducted, by whom how and where i.e. the model to be used

      • outline the requirements for the external integrated summative assessment for occupational qualifications, trades and part qualifications and guide all assessment practices;
      • ensure that all assessment practices are aligned to legislation and national policy environment;
      • ensure that assessment is understood as an integrated process within the learning experience; and
      • outline the most appropriate way for the AQP to carry out its functions for the given context.

        1. Legislative and regulatory framework

          In terms of the Skills Development Act, 1998 (Act 97 of 1998), the QCTO must design and develop occupational qualifications and standards and ensure the quality assurance thereof. A nationally standardised external integrated summative assessment (EISA) is an integral part of the quality assurance of occupational qualifications, trades and part qualifications.

          This policy should be read in conjunction with the QCTO Policy on Delegation of Qualification Assessment to Assessment Quality Partners (AQPs).

        2. Audience and applicability

          This policy applies to AQPs responsible for developing standardised assessment instruments in accordance with the external assessment specifications document and accredited assessment centres responsible for conducting external summative assessments. The policy is applicable to the assessment of occupational qualifications and part qualifications registered on the Occupational Qualifications sub framework (OQSF).

        3. Rationale for a flexible approach

          The assessment strategy will vary according to a number of factors. Since the qualifications in the Occupational Qualifications Framework cover a variety of occupational contexts, levels of complexity, percentage of knowledge, practical skills and work experience as well as NQF levels, there can be no one model for external assessment which will suit all occupational qualifications. Part of the design process for each qualification focuses on determining the most efficient, effective, practical and economic way to conduct valid external assessment in the context of that particular qualification and this information is outlined in the Qualification Assessment Specifications document.

        4. Underlying principles and values

          The following principles and values must be taken into consideration during the development of the processes.

          External Assessment systems and processes must:

          1. be fair, reliable, valid, ethical and transparent
          2. be consistent across time, place, role players and respond to a non-sectoral demand led model
          3. use methodologies that are fit-for-purpose and reflect a consistent level of higher cognitive challenge
          4. avoid tendencies of exclusivity
  2. ASSESSMENT REQUIREMENTS

      1. Qualification Assessment Specifications

        The QCTO has introduced a compulsory external assessment as a prerequisite for certification for all occupational qualifications. The purpose of this is to establish and maintain a national standard for each occupational qualification. By ensuring the validity and reliability of the external summative assessment based on a national standard the QCTO aims to enhance the credibility of the certificates issued to qualifying learners for occupational qualifications.

        Internal assessment is conducted by providers in line with the guidelines given in the curriculum for each curriculum component. Workplaces offering the work experience are provided with a work experience record which must be completed and signed off, as well as specifications regarding supporting evidence to be collected. The learner achievements resulting from internal assessment are recorded in statements of results. Candidates become eligible for external assessment when they have all the statements of results as specified in the assessment specifications.

        Because the external assessment strategy needs to be fit for purpose, a Qualification Assessment Specifications document spelling out the requirements for external assessment is developed for each occupational qualification. Assessment instruments will be developed in accordance with the assessment strategy for each occupational qualification. The actual assessment is thus standardised nationally for all candidates for any single occupational qualification.

        When an organisation is appointed as an Assessment Quality Partner by the QCTO for a specified occupational qualification, its first task is to participate in the development of the Qualification Assessment Specifications for the qualification in question. The Qualification Assessment Specifications are developed during the qualification development process and it is expected that a minimum of 50% of the working group members should be experts in that particular occupational qualification.

      2. Criteria for the development of the external assessment specifications document

        1. The external assessment strategy must be included.
        2. Key occupational outcomes must be described.
        3. The point(s) at which the occupational qualification is to be assessed must be indicated.
        4. Critical identified elements of ‘external assessment’ to be externally moderated (if any) must be indicated.
        5. Eligibility requirements for candidates for external assessment must be specified.
        6. Exemplars of external assessment instruments must be included.
        7. The language(s) of assessment must be included.
        8. Minimum requirements (qualifications/experience) for the assessment specialists must be specified.
      3. Criteria for the development of external assessment instruments

        1. The guidelines on the content to be assessed should ensure consistency and quality across time, place, role players and occupations.
        2. Assessment instruments should be developed to ensure the validity, consistency, quality and credibility of the assessments.
        3. Assessment instruments should be based on the outcomes of the occupational qualification or part qualification and assessment criteria stated in the assessment specifications document.
        4. Assessment instruments should be developed by subject matter experts in a particular occupational qualification or part qualification.
      4. Assessment techniques

        A range of assessment techniques to ensure that assessment is educationally sound, appropriate to the discipline or field of study, all outcomes are assessed and the criteria of validity, reliability, authenticity and feasibility are met will be spelled out in the curriculum component of the occupational qualification, trade or part qualification.

      5. Responsibilities for the implementation of internal assessments

        1. The accredited Skills Development provider (SDP) is responsible for conducting formative assessments and learners must be given feedback on their performance;
        2. The SDP must conduct internal self-evaluations to monitor its general performance on the training delivery and formative assessments;
        3. The AQP and the QCTO will monitor the performance of the SDP with respect to the implementation of internal formative assessments and the internal self-evaluations of its performance on the training delivery and formative assessments.
      6. Roles and responsibilities of the QCTO

        The QCTO will

        1. Where necessary appoint an AQP for each occupational qualification or part qualification.
        2. Publish assessment specifications document, developed as part of the qualifications development process.
        3. Monitor and evaluate AQPs performance in managing the external integrated summative assessments and where necessary undertake audits to determine the quality performance of AQPs.
        4. Ensure that national standards are met through monitoring and evaluation of the execution of functions by the AQP.
        5. Evaluate the assessment and moderation processes.
        6. Maintain a database of accredited SDPs and assessment centres/sites.
        7. Monitor adherence to the QCTOs Code of Conduct for AQPs.
        8. Monitor the readiness of learners for the EISA
      7. Roles and responsibilities of the AQP

        The AQP will:

        1. Ensure that it receives learner enrolment data from accredited Skills Development Providers (SDPs) on time for planning purposes.
        2. issue candidate registration numbers after the learners have been recommended to sit for final external assessment;
        3. Liaise with the accredited assessment centres and approved sites on assessment instruments to be administered for a particular session.
        4. Ensure that complete assessment instruments and related documentation are forwarded to the accredited assessment centres and approved sites in a secure manner agreed upon.
        5. Keep a record of assessment specialists that assess and moderate the external assessments involving practical tasks which are conducted at decentralised assessment centres that simulate working conditions or approved workplace sites.
        6. Ensure that learner results are credible and that the assessment process was fair, valid, reliable and unbiased.
      8. Roles and responsibilities of assessment centres

        Accredited assessment centres are addressed in a separate policy as they must meet a number of criteria. The accredited assessment centres and their approved sites will ensure that:

        1. Assessment instruments should be developed to ensure the validity, consistency, quality and credibility of the assessments.
        2. There are sufficient invigilators during assessments and they receive appropriate training.
        3. There are no fraudulent activities during the assessment.
        4. The safe storage of assessment instruments and related documentation is adhered to.
        5. Assessment results are delivered to the relevant AQP within the stipulated time and in a manner agreed upon.
        6. Assessment materials are marked and results are captured accordingly.
      9. Roles and responsibilities of systems auditors, invigilators and administrators

        These key role-players need not necessarily be subject matter experts or expert practitioners since they focus on compliance. They check:

        1. That all relevant assessment policies and procedures are implemented correctly
        2. The secure handling of the assessment instruments and
        3. The procedures for checking the identity of candidates and
        4. The authenticity of the assessment processes.
      10. Roles and responsibilities of the skills development providers

        The skills development providers will:

        1. Conduct internal assessment in line with the guidelines given in the curriculum for each curriculum component.
        2. Record the learner achievements resulting from formative assessments in statements of results.
        3. Register the learners with the AQP when they become eligible for final integrated external assessment.
        4. Coordinate the provision and assessment of the knowledge and practical skills curriculum components of an occupational qualification based on the recommendations from the AQP.
        5. Liaise with workplaces to assist candidates to have access to work experience.
      11. Roles and responsibilities of the learners

        The learners must:

        1. Take responsibility for their learning and assessment by being active participants;
        2. Participate in assessment processes in an honest and disciplined manner;
        3. Monitor their learning towards readiness to sit for an external summative assessment and inform the provider when ready for external assessment;
        4. Know the appeals procedure of the AQP so that they can follow it should there be a need to do so.
      12. Complaints and Appeals

        1. Complaints about the assessment and assessment process by learners should be lodged at the accredited assessment centre or approved site.
        2. Appeals on the assessment and assessment process by learners should be lodged with the relevant AQP, in which the decision of the AQP appeals committee shall be final.
  3. MANAGEMENT OF ASSESSMENT

      1. Coordination of Component Provision

        The QCTO will ensure, for occupational qualifications, that a single agent is responsible to assist learners to navigate through all three learning components and have access to the external summative assessment.

      2. Entry requirements

        In order to qualify for entry into the final external integrated summative assessment, a learner will have:

        1. been enrolled with a QCTO accredited provider for that particular occupational qualification;
        2. met the entry requirements specified in the registered occupational qualification document;
        3. met the requirements for the knowledge, practical and work experience components of the occupational qualification; and
        4. met the requirements for FLC where applicable.
  4. QUALITY ASSURANCE AND MONITORING OF POLICY IMPLEMENTATION

    1. The effectiveness of the policy on the external integrated summative assessment shall be monitored and reviewed on a regular basis against the set quality assurance standards and associated performance indicators to identify and implement appropriate amendments aimed at improving the effectiveness, efficiency, economy and impact of the said policy and procedures.
    2. Best practices in the occupational space for policy implementation will be identified and best practice models will be used to benchmark the practice amongst AQPs.
    3. On appointment the Assessment Quality Partner signs a Service Level Agreement with the QCTO. This provides a schedule for implementation of the QCTO model for external assessment, giving deadlines for each requirement during the first year of appointment. This schedule provides the basis for the QCTO to monitor, evaluate and review the initial activities of the AQP.
    4. In addition, the QCTO has a standardised data reporting template which must be completed and submitted quarterly. This provides specified quantitative data to the QCTO.
    5. Each year after the first year of appointment the AQP must also complete and submit a qualitative report, which serves the dual purpose of a self-evaluation, assisting in strategic planning for the coming year, and of providing the QCTO with the basis for continued monitoring, evaluation and review.
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115753 Conduct outcomes-based assessment

ETDP SETA Accredited Assessors Course in South Africa

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD
This generic assessor unit standard is for those who assess people for their achievement of learning outcomes in terms of specified criteria using pre-designed assessment instruments. The outcomes and criteria may be defined in a range of documents including but not limited to unit standards, exit level outcomes, assessment standards, curriculum statements and qualifications.

Those who achieve this unit standard will be able to conduct assessments within their fields of expertise. This unit standard will contribute towards the achievement of a variety of qualifications, particularly within the fields of Education Training and Development Practices and Human Resource Development.

People credited with this unit standard are able to carry out assessments in a fair, valid, reliable and practicable manner that is free of all bias and discrimination, paying particular attention to the three groups targeted for redress: race, gender and disability.

ETDP SETA Accredited Assessors Course in South Africa

In particular, people credited with this unit standard will be able to:
Demonstrate understanding of outcomes-based assessment;
Prepare for assessments;
Conduct assessments;
Provide feedback on assessments; and
Review assessments.

ETDP SETA Accredited Assessors Course in South Africa

UNIT STANDARD RANGE
1. This generic assessment unit standard applies to assessment in all fields of learning. However, it is expected that assessments will be contextualised to meet the requirements of different contexts.

2. Assessment of candidate-assessors will only be valid for award of this unit standard if the following requirements are met:
Assessments carried out by the candidate-assessor are in relation to significant, meaningful and coherent outcome statements that include criteria for assessment purposes, and allow for judgements of competence in line with SAQA’s definition of competence i.e. embrace foundational, practical and reflexive dimensions of competence. Outcomes that are highly task-orientated and do not demand much, if any, in the way of reflexive competence, will not be sufficient for measuring competence as an assessor in terms of this unit standard. It is important that candidate-assessors select outcomes that enable them to meet the requirement laid out here.
The candidate-assessor demonstrates repeatability by carrying out at least two assessments :
– One of which may be a simulated assessment (in order to cover a range of typical assessment situations), and
– At least one of which must involve a real candidate in a real assessment situation, preferably under the guidance of a mentor.
The assessments may involve two or more candidates in relation to the same outcome.
Candidate-assessors produce evidence that they can conduct assessments in RPL situations and for candidates who may have fairly recently acquired the necessary knowledge and skills through courses or learning programmes. However, candidate assessors do not need to carry out both kinds of assessments in practice for the award of this unit standard. Should candidate-assessors carry out an RPL-related assessment for the purposes of this unit standard, then it is sufficient for them to show how they might have conducted the assessment differently had it been an assessment linked to recent learning, and vice versa.

3. For the purposes of assessment against this unit standard, candidate-assessors should have access to Assessment Guides and will not be expected to design assessments. (See Definition of Terms for a definition of Assessment Guides). Candidate assessors will be expected to interpret the standards at hand in order to ensure their assessment judgements are in accordance with the requirements of the standard. In cases where Assessment Guides are not available, providers should seek ways to make such guides available for the purposes of this assessment. Where candidate-assessor also intend to design assessments, then providers are encouraged to integrate the learning and assessment of the unit standards:
Conduct outcomes-based assessments
Design and develop outcomes-based assessments

4. Candidate-assessors should have access to organisational assessment policies, procedures and systems (including moderation). It is assumed the organisational policies and procedures are of a quality sufficient for accreditation purposes. Where such policies and procedures are not yet available, the provider may make general policies and procedures available for the purposes of this assessment.

Further range statements are provided in the body of the unit standard where they apply to particular specific outcomes or assessment criteria.