Initial Assessment programme
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Initial Assessment is the beginning of the Assessment programme (Cycle) of a learner where the assessor finds out about the learner(s), and identify any particular aspects, which might go unnoticed. It is the legal responsibility of the assessor to treat the learner(s) with dignity, respect, individually, and with utmost confidentiality, one that has choices and with their independence intact.
As the training and assessment, is aimed to get the learner(s) from knowing, to doing and doing competently, it will be right to know what they are bringing into the training in form of qualifications, current skills/abilities and knowledge as a way to meeting their expectations in the above stated mode. At the Initial assessment, learner(s) can check the suitability for a chosen qualification to meeting their expectation. The Learner(s) will give their current job role against the standards towards which they intend to work or achieve.
This help identify their knowledge of the tasks to be covered in the units of their proposed qualification, and will help to identify whether they need any further training or experience before undertaking assessment. This is important, as Adults, we learn by building on the knowledge and skills we already possess on the job. The levels of literacy, numeracy and/or ICT would be taken into account, to be able to plan on needs for support or sign posting to required groups or institutions.
Language barriers (English/Yoruba/Hausa/Ibo or French as the case maybe), a plan will have to be made to aid the learner(s) from the beginning so that he/she will not be disadvantaged or discriminated against. For instance, the approach to be used to assess a graduate learner will be different from an illiterate, or a highly skilled learner that needs certification only (recognition of prior learning) but lacking in communication skill will or might require little help in terms of interpretation.
In abiding with Equality Law which provides rights for people not to be discriminated against or harassed based on the protected characteristics or association, and their Culture, and Ethnicity of individuals in a group of learners must be acknowledged and reflected. Initial assessment enables the assessor and learner(s) differentiate and separate individual requirement to planned to ensure diversity and equality in the assessment, noting that the risk of incomplete or insufficient care in safeguarding requirement for the vulnerable, be reduced to the barest minimum and noting we like to learn in different ways, time and speed.
If there are specific needs, such as requiring help with physically getting around or help in accessing certain areas. In such cases, one will have to be sure that the assessment takes place on ground floor or the facility for assessment is specifically adaptable to the needs of the learner without exposing them to any danger or harm. At the initial assessment, the Assessor and learner(s) are able to find out expectations of both sides in achieving the unit or qualification in terms of works and tasks required to meet standard and required in terms of time schedule by the learner(s).
Convenience of time available and cost of the appropriate meeting point will be made known and negotiated. In essence, it help creates expectations and social norms for the group of learner that allow them to experience success and develop confidence in their abilities to learn. Motivational strategies will likely come to surface and subtly discussed to help assessor “know” the learner. The Learner knowing that the assessor is open to discussion will be encouraged to negotiate suitable and tangible targets and opened to a wider scope on goalsetting that will eventually help achieve more.
Information that are confidential to the learner will be discussion and note at the initial and such are kept confidential in respecting the Information/Data protection Act(2000), backed up if written under lock and key. In addition, the ones that can be shared with others like co-assessor and learner(s) are known and this will encourage transparency, fairness and grow the confidence of the learner in the results and person of the assessor. The assessor will be accountable/liable if such information leaks or is heard from any other person.
The information must be considered adequate, relevant, processed with fairness and used for the purpose it was issued for. Such information must not be kept or held for longer than necessary. In addition, the learners have the right to view and update any information he/she has given. The Initial Assessment is a tool in planning the actual strategies to planning the assessment- namely Methods and principles i. e. Formative which is either ongoing, interim or continuous as it suits the learner, summative and/or Holistic.
The Initial will help to identify the literacy capacity; will determine if assignments will be written or oral. For reason of making the assessment Valid and Reliable, methods that suitable for the learner must be adapted and used. The reasons for the assessment to the learner will also help in determining when it will take place for example if the learner require the assessment for specific units only, the timing of the assessment will be different from, for one that requires the whole qualification.
In addition, place of Assessment with all legal and social provisions and meeting basic health and safety standards with the Learners and Assessors’ wellbeing in focus will be evaluate and agreed in meting the HSE provisions according to The . The place of assessing must be fit for use and protected from all form of interference. The Methods of Assessing will be discussed and reviews planned with the learners’ abilities and styles of learning put in consideration from the Strongest Methods used mandatorily and others used to maintain quality of the process in making the learners progress towards achieving their expectations.
The assessor must ensure that all regulations (Internal and external) are considered and complied with, standardising practice across board (peer assessing) and attending meetings. The objective of the whole process is for the Learner to become competent and consistently perform the works or tasks assigned to him/her. Like all key stages in the learning process, both initial assessment and the development of individual learning plans needs to be both managed and quality assured.