What is assessment validation, and why do we need it?
Assessment validation refers to a process where assessors compare and evaluate their assessment methods, assessment procedures and assessment decisions. The goal of assessment validation is to ensure that assessment tools provide valid, reliable, sufficient, current and authentic evidence to enable reasonable judgement. Validation activities:
- ensure that assessment strategies meet the needs of clients
- facilitate the professional development of assessors
- enable enterprises and other stakeholders to contribute to assessment processes
- provide a means of gathering feedback and identifying ways of improving assessment processes
- facilitate consistent interpretation of the unit of competency
- foster the development of informal networks and provide assessors with access to up-to-date information about what is happening in their industry
- help assessors working across the industry to apply consistent standards and make consistent judgements.
Assessment validation can be carried out by assessors from within one Registered Training Organisation (RTO), from a number of RTOs, or from a particular industry area.
Validation is a required process under the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF), which has a strong emphasis on the continuous improvement of assessment practices, processes, tools and judgements. Validation is also a way to ensure that different applications of industry performance criteria or performance benchmarks remain within acceptable limits.
Assessment validation strategies that an RTO may implement include:
- meetings, where groups of assessors have the opportunity to compare and discuss their assessment processes
- the use of external assessment panels or teams of assessors
- external and written assessment tasks where markers' results are compared statistically
- benchmarking exercises with other organisations to compare assessment processes, and practices
- the use of common assessment tasks by a number of assessors
- the use of a 'lead assessor' to manage or oversee the assessment process
- the use of an assessment panel to oversee or monitor the assessment process.
Each RTO will need to choose the most appropriate methods of assessment validation based on its scope of registration, its size and organisational structure. It will also need to focus the validation process on those areas determined to be of highest risk within the area being assessed.
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