Accellier is the provider of choice for thousands of people and hundreds of organisations in Australia and around the world. Under our former name SAVE Training, we built a solid foundation on which Accellier now stands, embodying almost 10 years of service to Australia’s Tertiary and Vocational Education Sector. As a testament to this, since our inception in 2010 we have spent only a few thousand dollars on advertising. Our clients are almost entirely referred from our happy graduates and business customers.

Accellier is the trading name of SAVE Training Pty Ltd and is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO 32395) that offers a range of nationally recognised courses in education and business Australia wide through our online and face to face courses.

Our mission is to enhance people’s value through excellence in service and learning outcomes.

TAE Assessor

There are some scenarios where this may be possible, and many situations where it is not.

Let’s begin by looking at something which is unfortunately still a fairly commonly held belief:

Yeah I got my Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, so I’m qualified to assess you mate. Just get the provider to send you the assessment forms and I’ll tick you off buddy. I’ve seen you train and assess plenty of times.

There are two main issues with the scenario above.

Firstly, as you can probably tell by the language, the person making the assessment decision appears to be a mate. You can see the potential conflicts of interest this brings into the picture. That’s not to say that just because she’s a mate of the candidate, she’s going to assess unethically. Most people with a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment are trained to know the importance of making proper assessment decisions. It’s plain to see the challenge this creates for the provider issuing the certification, however.

The second issue is it appears this person holds only a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. Since January 2017, under the Standards for RTOs, assessors and trainers of any TAE qualification must hold one of the TAE Diplomas, or a higher level qualification in adult education. You can read about it here at the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA).

So what can we do?

Being a heavily regulated qualification, you can see how providers of TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment are reluctant to let just anyone make assessment decisions on their behalf.

Think about the recruitment, induction and staff development requirements of a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). Not only must they find a fit and proper person with a passion for quality learning outcomes, they must vet their qualifications, induct them into the organisation’s policies and procedures, then ensure the assessor demonstrates regular ongoing professional development.

There are some situations where it may be appropriate to let someone who isn’t an employee of the provider offering TAE Cert IV, contribute to the assessment process. We’ve presented the common two scenarios below.

Assessing the Cert IV on behalf of the RTO

Yes, it is possible. It should be relied upon only in situations where the usual assessment process would unfairly disadvantage the student. Some possible scenarios could include:

  • The person is training in a risky environment and the assessor cannot attend (in this case video may be used as an alternative)
  • The person is training in a classified or sensitive environment where they are not able to record video and/or bring outsiders in (in this case, can the assessor sign a non-disclosure agreement?)
  • Remote locations where it is also not possible to make videos
  • Any other situation where it’s simply not possible for the main nominated assessor to observe the candidate’s performance

What’s required?

To comply with the Standards for RTOs 2015, the person essentially must be ‘inducted’ as an approved assessor of the RTO. This means they must:

  • Hold one of the TAE Diplomas, or a higher level qualification in adult education.
  • Demonstrate relevant, current experience and professional development as an adult vocational education trainer
  • Provide copies of qualifications and evidence to demonstrate the above
  • Be approved by the RTO
  • Be briefed by the lead assessor on the requirements and conditions of the assessment
  • Complete the assessment and gather all required evidence, supplying this to the lead assessor in a timely and professional manner.

More information on the requirements are available here.

Are they making an assessment decision? Or a third-party report?

It’s a risky endeavour to hand over the entire assessment decision-making process for a unit of competency to someone the provider doesn’t know. However it may be possible to have the supervisor (or some other suitably experienced person) complete a report on the candidate’s performance.

For example, if they were completing TAEDEL401 Plan, organise and deliver group-based learning, a unit within the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, they may have a supervisor who has witnessed their training sessions on many occasions. This has many benefits because the supervisor can comment on things that the assessor may not get to see, such as:

  • How the candidate performs when teaching a wider range of groups of people
  • How the candidate handled real world challenges
  • The candidate’s attitude
  • Consistency of their performance over a longer period of time (everyone puts on their best performance under assessment conditions!)

In this case, the TAE assessor isn’t handing over the reigns of the entire assessment to an unknown person. They are simply gathering some additional evidence that may help them make the overall assessment decision in TAEDEL401. They would give the supervisor a form to complete that allows them to provide commentary on the student’s performance, against specific aspects of the unit. It is common for assessors to call the person who made the third-party report for additional follow up and verification.

Using a third-party report is not a replacement for the typical assessment process. It’s just another form of evidence for the TAE assessor to rely on. As a result, they may be able to reduce some of the usual evidence required of a student.

Again, let’s use the example of TAEDEL401 Plan, organise and deliver group-based learning, which requires the student to prepare and deliver at least three 40-minute training sessions, to different groups of at least 8 students, include two consecutive sessions.

Typically the student would be required to be observed by the assessor during all three sessions (or provide videos if doing it online). With a positive third party report, the assessor may only need to observe one or two sessions, or allow the candidate to provide less videos.

It would be risky to eliminate the observation or videos altogether. The assessor – the key decision maker – (the one who loses their job if they are found to have made a dodgy decision) – would then be in a position where they are making an assumption, based on comments from someone they don’t know, that the person can train effectively. That’s called guessing! The assessor cannot comfortable assert that someone can train people effectively without actually seeing them do it.

Unsure? Want further advice? We’re happy to help.

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