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People entering assessment all have individual needs. Someone these needs can be affected by physical or mental disability or other aspects of their personal make up. These factors can affect a person’s ability and capacity to interact with assessments so care should be taken to ensure that these factors are taken into account when they are assessed. Assessments should not just be made available in one form. This will limit many candidates’ abilities to achieve success at their assessment. I will now review different factors which should be considered in order to help meet an individual’s needs. One factor to consider is where a learner has difficulty expressing them verbally. They may have difficulty completing spoken assessments. An alternative to verbal assessment would be to ask the candidate to write down their answers to meet the aims and ensure a good outcome at assessment.
Another alternative would be to ask the candidate to draw what they mean or to act out for the purposes of the assessment. If a learner has a disability consideration should be given to several factors. These may include for example, completing the assessment around the time that the person takes their medication. A candidate may take medication at specific times such as if they are diabetic and therefore to ensure they can complete the assessment care should be taken to assess around this need. The learning environment may need to be adapted or altered to allow access to, and interaction with the learning environment. Candidates may struggle to access an assessment centre so the environment should be adapted to meet the needs of the learner If a learner has a visual impairment, assessment material can be made available in large print to ensure that the candidate is able to read what they need to for the assessment.
Audio based assessment is another option, also the assessor could instead of requiring the candidate to read written assessment questions, and they could instead speak to the candidate and ask them to answer verbally. Computer software is available which can convert text on the screen into spoken word which could also be used. If a learner has dyslexia one adaptation is to offer the candidate the opportunity of completing the assessment on coloured paper. This is because some people with dyslexia find it much easier to read text on coloured paper rather than plain white paper. Another adaptation could also be to record the candidate speaking after you ask them the assessment questions. Font size and font style can be altered as some people with dyslexia can read text better if the font used is altered in the style and size. A candidate may have difficulty learning by listening. Assessment could be adapted by provided the assessment in written form.
It is also possible that the candidate may benefit from having the instructions for the assessment repeated to them several times so that they are able to understand and take the information on board. The sections within the assessments could be shortened into smaller, easier to understand sections so that the candidate can retain knowledge and respond appropriately in assessment. Consideration may also be given to provided assessment in picture format instead or asking the candidate to visualise their answers before completing the assessment. If a learner has a hearing impairment several adaptations are possible. A hearing loop which helps a candidate who is hard of hearing interact with the assessment by increasing their ability to hear assessments. A sign language interpreter, i.e. British Sign Language interpreter could be made available for the candidate.
The assessor could assist a candidate with hearing impairments also by speaking clearly and looking at the candidate to assist them with lip reading. If a learner has English as a second language the assessor could ensure that the language they used is simplified to a level which the candidate is comfortable and competent in. An interpreter who speaks the candidate’s language could also help the candidate participate in the assessment. Resources could also be made available in the person’s own language or pictures used instead of words. A learner may have varying work patterns and therefore find it difficult to attend the assessments at the same time as other candidates due to their work commitments. It is important in these circumstances that the assessor has flexibility in their assessment arrangements and makes the assessment available at varying times and dates.
It is important to ensure that the activities are planned and scheduled in advance to ensure that the candidate has advance notice of planned assessment dates and can make arrangements at work to attend or an alternative date could be made available. Assignments could be emailed to candidates instead to allow them to access them outside of normal working hours. 8.1, 8.3 Understand the legal and good practice requirements in relation to assessment In order for assessment to be conducted an assessor must ensure that they consider both legal and good practice requirements. These ensure that the assessment is conducted in a manner which is fair and accessible to all to meet legal requirements such as under the Equality Act 2010 and also assessment methods which have a proven track record of delivering success. Firstly equality and diversity should be at the centre of good assessment. Equality and diversity are key considerations when designing and delivering assessment activities.
Activities should be inclusive and representative of a wide range of cultures and origins across society. The assessments and materials used should also be inclusive. This means that all candidates are able to participate in the activities to reach their full potential. The assessment process should be fair to ensure that all candidates are given an equal chance at succeding in the assessment. An assessor should also ensure confidentiality of all candidates. This is a requirement under the Data Protection Act. Assessors should remain impartial to each candidate in the assessment to ensure that they have a fair chance of being successful in the assessment. Health and Safety should also be considered when completing assessments. If necessary a risk assessment should be conducted prior to certain activities to ensure that it is safe to conduct the assessment.
Health and safety should be considered throughout the whole assessment process. Considerations which may need to be given include ensuring that the centre where the assessment is taking place meets health and safety legislation requirements and that the environment is safe for learners to be in. Assessors should conduct regular continuous professional development. This ensures that their knowledge remains up to date with current changes in assessment or course material and to ensure that the assessor remains competent to assess in their field. Assessors should ensure that they communicate with their learners regularly. This helps keep them informed on their progress and highlight any areas for development and strengths. Assessors should also ensure that they regularly communicate with internal quality assessors.
This may be through standardisation meetings with internal quality assurers or one to one meetings to discuss progress and receive feedback to development and enhance performance. Other people within the business may also be included in the process so care should be given to involve these parties if they have a bearing on the assessment process. Assessments should be fair. This includes ensuring that the feedback given to candidates can be justified and a clear explanation given detailing how the result was arrived at. Activities should be designed so that all candidates undertaking the assessment are able to complete it. A key aspect of the role of an assessor is to ensure that candidates are motivated. This can be achieved through regular contact with the candidates, delivering feedback and encouragement on the progress that they are making towards their achievement.
An organisation delivering assessments should ensure that processes are in place which enable the requirements of awarding bodies are adhered to and also that there are processes in place to ensure that the work completed by assessors is completed correctly. Assessors should ensure that accurate and up to date records are kept of achievement to date in the assessment and learning process. This can include giving regular feedback and completion of progress reports to share with colleagues who are also involved in a candidate’s assessment. Within the role of an assessor, the individual has a position which holds much responsibility. An assessor has to ensure that they follow company and regulatory guidelines to help candidates achieve.
Assessors should also be objective when making decisions. This means that they should make decisions which are not influenced by personal opinion or belief about a candidate or a topic. Assessments should also finally be SMART (Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic, Time bound). This means that the purpose of the assessment is clear, it is possible to measure a successful outcome, candidates are able to achieve the requirements of the assessment, the topics being discussed are realistic; this may include considerations of the quantity of material being assessed and finally assessments should be completed within a specified time frame to ensure that all work is completed by an end date.