Assessment Policy and Procedure

The purpose of this procedure is to ensure that the VTI meets the requirements under the SRTO 2015 for conducting assessments and to ensure that the assessment of competencies is conducted with integrity, honesty and fairness, via the establishment of a system of preparing, marking and recording the assessment of learning outcome.

1. Purpose

In line with Standards for RTO (SRTO) 2015 and ESOS National Code 2018 Vocational Training Institute (VTI) outlines the procedures for planning, conducting and reviewing assessments to ensure that the integrity and academic standards are maintained and safeguarded. VTI will ensure that all assessments of competencies comply with the current and relevant training packages and are consistent with the SRTO 2015 and VET Quality Framework. The purpose of this procedure is to ensure that the VTI meets the requirements under the SRTO 2015 for conducting assessments and to ensure that the assessment of competencies is conducted with integrity, honesty and fairness, via the establishment of a system of preparing, marking and recording the assessment of learning outcome.

2. Scope

This policy applies to all student and associated staff. This policy addresses the VTI’s preparation of assessments, administering and marking assessments, and re-assessment opportunities. Assessment is conducted using a range of instruments comprising written knowledge tests, reports, projects, assignments, demonstration, role play, observation, oral etc.

3. Definitions

Academic Misconduct: A breach of rules in relation to impeding the integrity of the assessment/examination and enabling unfair advantage or deceiving the assessor.

Assessment: The process of collecting evidence and formulating a judgment as to whether competency has been achieved at a satisfactory level.

Assessor Requirements: All assessments are undertaken by suitable qualified Assessors who have both assessor competencies and vocational competencies at least to the level being assessed.

Competent: A student is deemed Competent when they have satisfactorily met all the requirements of the unit of competency.

COE: Confirmation of Enrolment.

Intervention Strategies: A range of specialised teaching and learning strategies to facilitate learning for those students considered ‘at risk’.

Moderation: The process of establishing comparability in standards of student performance in order to ensure that assessment evidence collected is sufficient, valid, fair and reliable.

Not Yet Competent (NYC): A student is deemed as Not Yet Competent when they have not met all the requirements of the unit of competency.

Plagiarism: Intellectual theft, either deliberate or unintentional, where a student uses or copies from another person’s work or ideas, without due care to appropriately reference and acknowledge the original source.

All cases of plagiarism, cheating and collusion are treated as a serious matter. Depending on severity and circumstances, penalties of plagiarism, cheating and collusion may include one or more of the following:

  • Completion and resubmission of a new assessment task; and/or
  • All parties receiving a “Not Yet Competent” result for the assessment task; and/or
  • Verbal or written warning; and/or
  • Suspension or expulsion from the course
  • Student records will be noted with all investigated and proven incidents

Unit of Competency: It is the smallest component of a Training Package that can be assessed and recognised. It gives a description of the skills and knowledge required to perform effectively to a specific standard in a particular workplace role or function.

Unit of Competency Academic Integrity Checklist: It’s a tool to ensure the integrity of the assessment records and the assessment completed by students and assessed by the assessors and the assessment submitted by the student must meet Rules of Evidence.

Validation: The act of reviewing, comparing and evaluating the assessment processes, tools and evidence contributing to judgments made by a range of assessors against the same competency standards.

4. Student Rights and Responsibility in Relation to Assessment

4.1 Student Rights

Students have the right to:

  • be informed of VTI’s assessment policies and procedures and other policies associated with training and assessment.
  • be informed of the criteria and methods of assessment for units, specific attendance and performance requirements and the timetable for all assessment tasks.
  • be informed of the relationship of assessments to the learning outcomes and required competencies of units.
  • receive fair, helpful and timely feedback on their academic work, including evaluation of their performance and progress in units.
  • receive required support and assistance.

4.2 Student Responsibilities

Students are expected to:

  • be aware of VTI’s assessment policy and procedures and other policies associated with training and assessment.
  • be aware of services and policies for seeking assistance and course advice in relation to extensions, absences or withdrawals from units or courses, and special circumstances due to illness or other misadventure.
  • be aware of the policy and procedures for appeals against academic decisions.
  • not engage in plagiarism or other academic misconduct (Ref: Plagiarism and Cheating Policy).
  • actively participate in the learning process.
  • attend scheduled course training activities and submit assessment tasks on time, unless unforeseen or exceptional circumstances arise.
  • behave ethically, avoiding any action or behaviour that would unfairly disadvantage or advantage either themselves or another student.
  • not behave in a way that disrupts or interferes with any training or academic activity of VTI.

5. Principle of Assessment

Fairness: the individual student’s needs are considered in the assessment process; where appropriate, reasonable adjustments are applied by VTI to consider the individual student’s needs. VTI informs the student about the assessment process, and provides the student with the opportunity to challenge the result of the assessment and be re-assessed if necessary.

Flexibility: assessment is flexible to the individual student by reflecting the student’s needs, assessing competencies held by the student no matter how or where they have been acquired, and drawing from a range of assessment methods and using those that are appropriate to the context, the unit of competency and associated assessment requirements and the individual.

Reliability: evidence presented for assessment is consistently interpreted and assessment results are comparable irrespective of the assessor conducting the assessment.

Validity: the assessment decision is justified based on the evidence of performance of the individual student. This principle requires:

  • assessment against the unit(s) of competency and the associated assessment requirements covers the broad range of skills and knowledge that are essential to competent performance.
  • assessment of knowledge and skills is integrated with their practical application.
  • assessment to be based on evidence that demonstrates that a student could demonstrate these skills and knowledge in other similar situations or judgement of competence is based on evidence of student performance that is aligned to the unit/s of competency, and associated assessment requirements. Assessment is designed to develop student learning (formative), to make judgements about student learning relative to stated learning outcomes (summative) and to monitor student learning as a measure of teaching effectiveness. Assessments are to be relevant to the workplace where appropriate and consultation with industry should form part of this process.

The Academic Coordinator (or delegate) will provide the appropriate support and instruction to Trainers and Assessors regarding the design, implementation and evaluation of assessments. Assessment in VET courses is conducted in accordance with the Principles of Assessment and the Rules of Evidence.

6. Rules and Forms of Evidence

6.1 Rules of Evidence

Validity: the assessor is assured that the student has the skills, knowledge and attributes as described in the task or unit of competency and associated assessment requirements.

Sufficiency: the assessor is assured that the quality, quantity and relevance of the assessment evidence enable a judgement to be made of a student’s competency.

Currency: the assessor is assured that the assessment evidence demonstrates current competency. This requires assessment evidence to be from the present or the very recent past.

Authenticity: the assessor is assured that the evidence presented for assessment is the student’s own work.

6.2 Forms of Evidence

A range of assessment methods will be used to accommodate the diversity in the learning styles of students and preferences. These assessment methods may include but not limited to:

  • written assessments
  • knowledge questions
  • reports and presentation
  • demonstrations of skills and knowledge
  • project work
  • case studies and scenarios
  • observation
  • portfolios
  • workplace based training

7. Trainer and Assessor- Support and Responsibilities

The Trainer and Assessor’s role is to identify and support students throughout the course of assessment. If the student has marked NYC (failed) in the unit or have not attended the required scheduled classes for a unit due to reasonable reasons will be offered intervention strategies so as to prepare the student for the assessment. If the Trainer and Assessor finds that the level of skills and knowledge the student has acquired is not sufficient, the Trainer and assessor provide the student with support plan specific to the learner’s situation, and the student may be required to undertake supplementary work to better prepare for the assessment.

Trainer and Assessor are also responsible for conveying to student’s clear advice about the aims and objectives of the course, the assessment requirements, the relationship between the assessment methods and the expected learning outcomes, and the criteria against which individual assessment items are judged. Trainer and Assessor are required to provide feedback to students on their performance in assessment items. Trainer and Assessor should be prepared to discuss with students their performance regarding a knowledge test/assessment.

8. Reasonable Adjustment

Reasonable adjustment will be provided for students with special learning needs (such as a disability or learning difficulty) according to the nature of the learning need. Evidence collection can be adjusted to suit individual student needs if required and agreed by the student. Reasonable adjustments are made to ensure that the participant is not presented with artificial barriers to demonstrating achievement in the program of study. Reasonable adjustments may include the use of adaptive technology, educational support, and alternative methods of assessment such as oral assessment. All students will be given review of current competencies including literacy and numeracy prior to commencement of the course. The learning need identified from this review will form the basis of any adjustment to the train program and assessment strategies will be agreed with the student. Any adjustments will be recorded in the student file and will not compromise the competency standard.

9. Assessment Submission

Students are required to submit the assessment by the due date advised by trainer and assessor prior to the unit commencement. Assessment must be submitted, and the results finalised by the trainer/assessor within 2 weeks of the end date of the delivery of a unit of competency. All the assessments are to be completed and finalised within the 2 weeks of the term end dates for the units that are delivered during the term. Students who would have a Course Progress below 50% in their any term, will receive "Risk Intervention" Letter/Email and Students who would have a Course Progress below 50% in the 2 consecutive terms, will receive "Intention to Report (ITR)" Letter/Email. If the students are not able to complete the assessment within the term, they may require to re-enrol in the unit of competency or may apply for reassessment. Please refer to the reassessment section(s) in this policy for more.

10. Late Submission:

If a student fails to meet the assessment timeline, the student will be asked to provide reason for his/her submission. If the student has any compassionate/compelling reasons, appropriate evidence is to be received by the Trainer/Assessor before the assignment can be accepted. Compassionate or compelling circumstances may include:

  • illness accompanied by a medical certificate;
  • death in the family accompanied by a death certificate
  • serious social or physical upheaval in the student’s home country that required the student to suspend their studies, which the student can substantiate with evidence; or
  • other reasons which the student is able to substantiate through written evidence.

11. Finalisation of Assessment Outcome

On completion of each unit, all assessments and results must be finalised within two weeks; all supporting evidence collated, common and agreed assessment record sheets compiled. Trainers and Assessor must get approval in advance from the Academic Coordinator/ delegate if any extension is required to finalise the assessment outcome. Trainers and Assessors are responsible for maintaining their course progress register. Marked assessments are to be kept in student academic folder placed in locked and secured cabinet. Assessment deemed ‘competent’ at the time of review (during internal auditing) by Academic Coordinator to ensure that the assessments meet Rules of Evidence. Where the Academic Coordinator finds the assessment not meeting the Rules of Evidence, he/she has the right to alter the outcome, recall the SoA(‘s) / certificate(s) and request for the learner to be reassessed. The final outcome determined by Academic Coordinator shall be the official result entered onto Student Management System. Students will not be deemed competence just by submitting Assessment.

12. Reassessment

i. Students who are deemed NYC may choose to apply for reassessment by submitting a new assignment to their trainer and assessor. They need to make the reassessment request in writing.

ii. VTI will allow students 3 attempts at assessment, i.e. the original assessment and 2 reassessments, to provide sufficient evidence of competency for each unit. The first two attempts incur no cost whereas the third attempt may be chargeable to the Student (AUD $150 per unit).

iii. If student fail to secure competency in the 3rd attempt, there will NOT be a 4th attempt and student will need to reenrol into that particular unit of competency again depending on availability in future intakes for the course as VTI’s schedule. The CoE may be extended if applicable and re enrolment fee will occurs as pro rata basis (refer to Fees and Charges Policy).

iv. If the student does not submit the assessment by the due date the first time and has been awarded NYC, they will be allowed a reassessment opportunity (subject to academic coordinator/delegate approval).

v. All reassessments are subject to following conditions:

  • All reassessments must be approved by the Trainer and Assessor (academic coordinator may be involved)
  • Students will not be charged additional fees if:

1. the learner is being reassessed for the first time for a particular Unit of Competency

2. the reassessment is being conducted as a result of an appeal

  • Students may be charged reassessment fees:

1. If the learner is being reassessed for the second time for the same Unit of Competency (refer to Fees and Charges Policy)

2. If the learner was granted NYC as a result of non-attendance or academic misconduct (refer to plagiarism and cheating policy).

13. Fee Exemptions Students

Students will not have to pay reassessment fees if the student provides evidence that compassionate or compelling circumstances precluded them from completing an assessment within the period the unit was originally scheduled. Compassionate or compelling circumstances may include:

  • illness accompanied by a medical certificate
  • death in the family accompanied by a death certificate
  • serious social or physical upheaval in the student’s home country that required the student to suspend their studies, which the student can substantiate with evidence

14. Student Not Attending Classes and NYC

If a student has not attended any scheduled classes for a unit, the student must redo the unit. The student will not be permitted to do reassessments by simply paying reassessment fees. To redo a unit, the fee will be calculated as full price of the unit (pro rata to course fees) and CoE may be extended if applicable.

15. Assessment Procedure

This section defines the procedure used for conducting all assessments.

Step 1: Establish the assessment context

The Assessor establishes the context and purpose of the assessment by identifying the relevant competency standards, assessment guidelines and qualification framework and accesses the VTI’s support materials that have been developed to facilitate the learning and assessment process.

Step 2: Prepare the student

The Assessor meets the candidate to:

  • explain the context and purpose of the assessment process
  • explain the competency standards to be assessed and the evidence to be collected
  • assess the needs of the student and, where applicable, negotiate reasonable adjustments for assessing people with disabilities without compromising the integrity of the competencies
  • reasonable adjustments must be documented and agreed upon prior to assessment.
  • seek feedback regarding the student's understanding of the competency standards, evidence requirements and assessment process.
  • determine if the student is ready for assessment and, in consultation with the student.

Step 3: Plan and prepare the evidence gathering process

The Assessor must:

  • use the VTI’s assessment tools to gather sufficient and valid evidence about the student’s performance in order to make the assessment decision.
  • organise equipment or resources required to support the evidence gathering process.

Step 4: Collect evidence and make the assessment decision

The Assessor must:

  • establish and oversee the evidence gathering process to ensure its validity, reliability, fairness and flexibility.
  • collect appropriate evidence and assess this against the elements, performance criteria, foundation skills, performance evidence and knowledge evidence in the relevant units of competency.
  • evaluate evidence in terms of the four dimensions of competency − task skills, task management skills, contingency management skills and job/role environment skills.
  • incorporate allowable adjustments to the assessment procedure without compromising the integrity of the competencies evaluate the evidence in terms of validity, consistency, equity, authenticity and sufficiency
  • consult and work with other staff in the assessment process
  • record details of evidence collected
  • make a judgement about the candidate's competency based on the evidence and the relevant Unit[s] of Competency.

Step 5: Ensure integrity and quality assurance of assessment

  • Assessor must go through each criteria of the unit academic integrity checklist to ensure that the assessments submitted by the students meet the assessment criteria.
  • The checklist must be implemented for each assessment task and unit of competency as a whole and kept in students file.

Step 6: Provide feedback on the assessment

The Assessor must provide advice to the student about the outcome of the assessment process. This includes providing the student with:

  • Clear, constructive, comprehensive and objective feedback on the assessment decision to enable student to understand how there were assessed
  • Information on ways of overcoming any identified gaps in competency revealed by the assessment, the opportunity to discuss the assessment process and outcome information on reassessment and the appeals processes
  • An opportunity for reassessment.

Step 7: Record and report the result

The Assessor must:

  • record the assessment outcome for each unit in course progress register and maintain confidentiality.
  • record all the communication and evidence in course progress register. For e.g. communication and documents related to assessment reassessment/extension request and outcome, intervention meetings etc.
  • provide signed and dated assessment outcomes/ updated course progress register to the Administrative Office for updating in Student management system.
  • copies of all completed, marked assessments are to be kept in student academic folder placed in a locked, secured cabinets.

The Administration Staff must:

  • retain all the completed student assessments items for each student for a period of six months from the date on which the judgement of competence for the student was made and be able to produce in full at audit if requested to do so after which they are to be disposed in a responsible and appropriate manner.
  • retain sufficient data to be able to reissue a qualification or statement of attainment during this 30‐year period.
  • ensure all the relevant student document related to the assessment system is properly recorded and maintained.

Step 8: Review and validation of the assessment process

VTI’s Trainers and Assessors are expected to act as internal validators/moderators and follow organisational procedures. Validation checklist is provided to trainers and assessor to assist them in the validation process. Trainers and Assessors must undertake validation of assessment tool/s as directed by the Academic Coordinator, complete a validation report, and submit it to the Academic Coordinator.

As requested by VTI, the Trainer and Assessor must be willing to:

  • participate in a review of the assessment process, including participating in validation meetings.
  • provide feedback on the positive and negative features of the assessment to those responsible for the assessment procedures.
  • make suggestions (if necessary) on improving the assessment procedures to appropriate personnel in VTI.

Step 9: Participate in reassessment and appeals process

The Assessor must:

  • provide feedback and counselling to the student, if required, regarding the assessment outcome or process including guidance on further options.
  • provide the student with information on the reassessment and appeals process.
  • report any assessment decision that is disputed by the student to the Academic Coordinator/delegate.
  • participate in the reassessment or appeal according to the policies and procedures of VTI.

16. Assessment Decision Review

Students are encouraged to discuss with Trainer/Assessor their performance in assessment items during a course. Where a student believes that an error has been made or an injustice done in respect of the competency awarded, the student may request a review. This request must:

  • Be made in writing.
  • State the grounds for the review request.
  • Be lodged within 14 working days of the date on which the Statement of Attainment or the assessment result was received by the student.
  • All requests will be reviewed by the Academic Coordinator/delegate, who will seek the advice of the relevant Trainer/Assessor.
  • Students will be notified in writing within ten (10) working days of the outcome of the requested review.

A student who is dissatisfied with the outcome of the review may lodge a formal complaint through the Complaints and Appeals process.

17. Relevant Documents

  • Fee and Charges Policy
  • Compliant and Appeal Policy and Procedure
  • Compliant and Appeal Form
  • Plagiarism and Cheating Policy
  • Student code of Conduct and Discipline Policy
  • Monitoring Course Progress Policy and Procedure
  • Intervention Strategy Form

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