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VET Assessment and Resulting Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose / Objectives

(1) This Procedure outlines the requirements for VET teachers in the planning and conducting of assessment, and in the processing of unit assessment outcomes.

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Section 2 - Scope / Application

(2) This Procedure applies to all nationally recognised VET programs. While Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is referenced in this Procedure for resulting purposes, the processes around RPL are documented in a separate procedure.

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Section 3 - Definitions

(3) Assessment means the process of collecting evidence and making judgements on whether competency has been achieved, to confirm that an individual can perform to the standard required in the workplace, as specified in a training package or VET accredited course.

(4) Assessment system is a coordinated set of documented policies and procedures (including assessment materials and tools) that ensure assessments are consistent and are based on the Principles of Assessment and the Rules of Evidence as defined in the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015.

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Section 4 - Policy Statement

(5) Nil

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Section 5 - Procedures

Part A - Roles and Responsibilities

Roles Responsibilities
Manager Ensure all teachers are inducted into this Procedure and the course and assessment documentation requirements of Victoria University Polytechnic.

Establish a compliant Y: drive structure within the program area for the storage and version management of all course and assessment documentation

Provide advice and guidance on assessment and resulting to teachers, as needed

Ensure assessment reviews are completed within 15 working days

Monitor assessment resulting to ensure assessment results are processed within 10 days of the unit end date
Teachers (including ongoing or fixed-term, sessional or teaching contractors) Design and conduct assessments, record assessment outcomes and process results according to the requirements within this Procedure.

Communicate task and unit outcomes to students, and obtain their acknowledgement of this.

Monitor student attendance and/or participation, make contact with non-participating students and initiate withdrawal processes where necessary.

Undertake relevant system and compliance training so that resulting is accurate and entered onto the SMS.

Ensure teaching and assessment is finalised by the unit end date, and initiate unit end date extension processes if required.

Part B - Requirements for Assessment

(6) Managers must ensure that all teachers conducting assessment have the required vocational and training and assessment competency and currency, as required by the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015.

(7) Managers must ensure that all new teachers to the delivery department are fully inducted into Victoria University Polytechnic's assessment procedure, system and documentation requirements.

(8) Wherever possible, assessment strategies should be developed in consultation with industry and other relevant stakeholders. Records of any such consultation must be retained within the program area.

(9) Prior to enrolment, students must be informed about assessment options including Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) and Credit Transfer (CT). Where a student decides to pursue these options, applications must be completed and processed as quickly as possible so that students who do not achieve a successful outcome for the relevant units are not disadvantaged by missing the scheduled training and assessment block.

(10) Prior to or at the commencement of each new unit or cluster of units, students must be provided with information about:

  1. assessment requirements for the unit or cluster, including
    1. key dates and times
    2. venues
    3. the nature and duration of the assessment; and
    4. What they must use (e.g. protective clothing etc), and must not use (e.g. mobile telephones etc.) during the assessment. (Be clear on who is supplying what, which tools are and are not allowed — e.g. calculators).
  2. the provision for support and/or reasonable adjustments to assessment to meet their individual needs in areas such as disability, language, literacy or numeracy.
  3. processes for seeking extensions to assessment deadlines.
  4. the processes for reviewing assessment decisions and their further avenues of appeal.

(11) If the assessment is to take place in the workplace, any other relevant parties (e.g. employer or supervisor) must be given all relevant information about assessment events in a timely manner.

(12) Before conducting any assessment activity, it must be ensured that the student is the correct person. An identification check may be required. ID is checked at enrolment so if a teacher has been working regularly with the student then no formal identification processes are required. However, in other delivery modes such as fully online, a process of identification for the purpose of authenticating the student's work will be necessary.

(13) Other strategies to authenticate the work of students when completed outside normal classes include:

  1. Setting dates for different stages of the work to be completed for review, and keeping a log of the dates of sighting and the stage of the work.
  2. Use of an approved Victoria University Polytechnic Assessment Cover Sheet where the student declares that the work is their own. This is to be attached to printed work prior to submission, or uploaded electronically with assessments for all non-foundation skills programs.
  3. Checking parts of students' work through dedicated software that identifies possible plagiarism.
  4. Contacting the student directly during the assessment period or after the assessment submission and use targeted questioning to ascertain the authenticity of the work. Document such conversations and attach to the assessment record.

(14) The assessor must ensure that students have easy access to any tools or equipment necessary to complete the assessment. They must also ensure that, as far as possible, the environment in which the assessment is being conducted is free from unnecessary noise or distraction.

(15) Assessors must provide students with an opportunity for re-assessment if they do not demonstrate the required knowledge and skills in their first attempt. Assessors are responsible for communicating this information in writing to the student.

(16) Assessors must store electronic copies of all assessment documentation on the program area Y: drive according to program area procedures.

(17) Teachers / assessors must ensure that assessment resources are version managed through the updating of the right hand side of the footer and in the file names used.

(18) Completed assessments must be retained by the teacher:

  1. All completed assessments must be retained for a period of at least six months following the unit end date. Each student's completed assessments must be attached to the relevant Unit/Cluster Assessment Record Book.
  2. Where assessments are used to provide evidence of participation in a unit of competency, they must be retained for a period of two years following the end date for the course the student was undertaking.
  3. Where assessment is of a practical nature and the product cannot be retained, the following strategies should be used:
    1. A completed assessment checklist, clearly stating what was seen and how the student's work demonstrated the knowledge and skills requirements being assessed. The checklist must include the relevant course and unit codes, the name of the student and be signed and dated by all parties.
    2. Digital evidence provides a good support for the checklist. Where possible, include the requirement that the student to take photographs at key stages of their work and provide these electronically, preferably through uploading them to the learning management system.
  4. Even after disposal of all the student assessment work (according to points 18a and 18b above), the Unit/Cluster Assessment Record book is to be retained for a period of 7 years. It may be retained in electronic format (ie a scanned copy).

Part C - Reasonable Adjustment

(19) Teachers/assessors must be mindful of any additional needs that a student may have when determining the assessment approach and schedule. They must provide as much flexibility as possible within the constraints of the particular delivery framework (i.e. class schedules, enrolment periods etc.) and make adjustments to assessment tools/methods/timing/location etc. as appropriate while at the same time ensuring that the integrity of the assessment against unit requirements is not compromised. That is, notwithstanding any additional needs of the student, evidence must still be gathered to support competency against all unit requirements.

(20) Reasonable adjustments made to support a particular student's assessment must be fully documented in the Unit/Cluster Assessment Record Book for the relevant student.

Part D - Victoria University Polytechnic Assessment System

(21) Designing effective and compliant assessment requires a systematic approach which is achieved using the tools provided within Victoria University Polytechnic's assessment system.

(22) Assessment for a unit of competency or cluster of units must cover all aspects of the relevant unit/s, including

  1. For older training package units: the elements and performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, critical aspects of evidence and address the items in the range statement as appropriate.
  2. For new training package units: elements and performance criteria, performance evidence, foundation skills, knowledge evidence and assessment conditions.
  3. To ensure this requirement is met, the Victoria University Polytechnic Unit /Cluster Assessment Map must be used. Note that versions to support older units or new units are available. When complete, this document will align each unit requirement with one or more assessment tasks that have been developed for the unit/s. Use of this document is essential to ensure that all unit requirements are being assessed. See exemplars on the VET Quality site.

(23) Assessment tools must then be developed. Each assessment tool contains a number of components, including

  1. the assessment task — a set of questions or requirements that the student must fulfil
  2. instructions for students — clear information about what is expected from the student, including administrative aspects of the assessment
  3. assessment criteria (sometimes called the assessment instrument) - these are "plain English" statements that reflect the requirements of the unit that are being assessed in this task (i.e. each statement addresses one or more of the unit requirements that are being assessed in this task, as identified from the Unit/Cluster Assessment Map)
  4. instructions for assessors — information for assessors on how to conduct the assessment
  5. answer / response guide or evidence guide — for each part of the assessment task (i.e. question, part of a practical task etc.) there must be a clear description of what constitutes a satisfactory response that demonstrates the skills and knowledge requirements being assessed.
  6. provision for assessment feedback — students must receive timely feedback on assessments completed. In particular, if any of the assessment criteria have not been demonstrated, the student must be given advice on further assessment options.
  7. provision for student comment on the assessment process or outcome and the opportunity for the student to request a review of their assessment.
  8. assessment records — comprehensive records of assessment outcomes must be kept and retained.

(24) In Victoria University Polytechnic's assessment system, the following mandated documents for each unit or cluster combine to provide all of the above requirements:

  1. Unit Guide or Cluster Guide. For each assessment task, this document provides components (23) a, b and c above. In cases where the full assessment task cannot be included (for example, if the task is a test) then a full description of the task must be provided.
  2. Assessor Guide. This document provides supplementary information for assessors, including components d) and e) above. In particular
    1. timing of assessment
    2. resources required for assessment
    3. guidance on appropriate reasonable adjustments
    4. guidance on levels of assistance permissible to give learner
  3. Unit/Cluster Assessment Record Book. For each assessment task, this document includes the same list of assessment criteria as those provided to the student in the unit guide or cluster guide, together with the opportunity for the assessor to indicate whether or not the student has demonstrated the required knowledge and skills for each. For each task, it includes all the requirements for components (23) f, g and h above. In addition, it includes the summary of unit outcomes required for resulting purposes.

(25) Assessment tools should be quality assured prior to use. In this process, an assessor (not necessarily the one who developed the tools) must complete the Unit / Cluster: Assessment Pre-delivery Check Template. Where possible, assessments should also be piloted before use.

(26) After each assessment tool has been implemented, the assessor should record in the space provided in the Assessor Guide any issues, suggestions for improvement or feedback received from students or other assessors. This information is then provided to the next teacher/s undertaking the unit or cluster so the assessment tools and process can be improved prior to their next use.

(27) The Victoria University Polytechnic assessment system also allows for grading of outcomes for courses at Diploma level or above, where not grading may disadvantage a student seeking entry to Higher Education courses at providers other than Victoria University. The use of grading must be approved in writing by the Centre Director on a course-by-course basis.

(28) Grading can only be used after the assessment for competency is completed. Where grading is used, this must be clearly documented in the Unit/Cluster Assessment Record Book as described above. Those students who meet the competency requirement may then be eligible for a higher grade, based on VU's defined grade set "Grades for units using Graded Assessment".

(29) Where grading is to be used, one or more of the assessment tasks used within the unit of competency must be used as the determinant for the overall grade. This must be clearly documented near the start of Section 2 — Assessment Information of the Unit Guide or Cluster Guide in the box under the heading "Graded Assessment". This meets the obligation to fully inform the student about which tasks will be graded. (Note that where grading is not used, this section should be deleted)

(30) In addition, for each assessment task that will be graded:

  1. the Unit Guide or Cluster Guide must be updated as follows:
    1. Under the heading "Additional Criteria for Graded Assessment, indicate clearly what percentage of the grade will be determined by this particular task. (For example, if this is the only graded task, then this figure will be 100%).
    2. In the criteria table, enter the list of specific items against which grades will be awarded. See the exemplar on the VET site for some examples.
  2. The Assessor Guide must be updated to include a marking guide for assessors (ie how to allocate marks against each item of the assessment). Note that this is in addition to the answer guide (or sample responses) that is already in the table to be used for determination of competency. For assessments that are not graded, this column should be deleted.
  3. The Unit / Cluster Assessment Record Book must be updated:
    1. For each task that will contribute to the grade, include a summary of the marks achieved as part of the student's outcomes for that unit. Note that this does not replace the requirement to determine whether the student demonstrated the required skills and knowledge to satisfy competency requirements, it is in addition to that requirement and only occurs after the competency requirement is fully met. For assessments that are not graded, this section should be deleted.
    2. On the Unit / Cluster Summary Page at the back of the record book, the grades achieved by the student must be recorded before the student acknowledges the outcomes of the unit/s.

Part E - Providing Information to Students on the Outcomes of Assessment

(31) Students must be informed of the outcomes of assessment tasks within 10 days of the completion of the task. This includes information on whether or not the student has demonstrated the required skills and knowledge for the task, as well as a graded outcome where applicable.

(32) Students must acknowledge the outcomes of each assessment task. Preferably this is done by the student signing in the appropriate space after each task in the Unit / Cluster Assessment Record Book. However if this is not possible, an email to the student informing them of the outcome, with a request to acknowledge by return email must be sent. Copies of the email sent to the student, along with their email response (if received) must be attached to the relevant pages of the Unit/Cluster Assessment Record Book.

(33) In some cases, teachers may prefer the students to complete their assessment in a template that they provide, and to use a "cover sheet" with the assessment task instead of recording details and getting student acknowledgement in the Unit/Cluster Assessment Record Book. This is permissible, but the teacher must include the relevant sections on the cover sheet, as they are shown for each task in the Unit/Cluster Assessment Record Book. When completed, the student completed work, feedback and signoff must be attached to the Unit/Cluster Assessment Record Book.

(34) The overall outcomes for the unit/s must be recorded on the Unit/Cluster Assessment Summary page, at the back of the Unit/Cluster Assessment Record Book. Since this may not be completed until after the students have stopped attending classes it may be difficult to get the student to personally endorse the outcome of the unit/s. In this case, an email to the student informing them of the unit/s outcome, with a request to acknowledge by return email must be sent. Copies of the email sent to the student, along with their email response (if received) must be attached to the final page of the Unit/Cluster Assessment Record Book.

Part F - Assessment Extensions

(35) Student requests for extensions to assessment must be made in writing, and supporting documentation provided where possible.

(36) Teachers must review extension requests and supporting documentation, and notify the student in writing as early as possible of either

  1. The decision to grant the extension and any subsequent amendment to the assessment date or
  2. The decision not to grant the extension

(37) The extension request, subsequent decision making and communication with the student must be documented and stored in the student file.

(38) There may be times when granting an extension to assessment requires the extension of the unit end date. See Part M - Extending Unit End Dates below.

Part G - Re-assessment

(39) When a student does not demonstrate the required skills and knowledge for a particular assessment criterion, they must be offered the opportunity for re-assessment. Clear information on re-assessment options must be provided in feedback to the student. The following must be noted:

  1. Re-assessment does not necessarily require the student to re-do the entire assessment task, though in some cases this may be necessary. Teachers are only required to re-assess specific assessment criteria that have not been satisfactorily demonstrated.
  2. Re-assessment methods may differ from the assessment method used in the original task. For example, if a student did not demonstrate appropriate knowledge for a particular criterion in a written task, teachers may follow up with an interview or a second written task focussing only on the areas that need to be addressed.
  3. Reassessment must be fully documented (including provision of detailed instructions for the student and assessor, answer guides etc.)
  4. Outcomes of re-assessment are to be recorded in the Unit/Cluster Assessment Record Book, including relevant dates. Where the assessment task outcome needs to be amended, a note to this effect, together with student signature, assessor signature and date must be included.
  5. Evidence of re-assessment must be attached to the Assessment Record Book
  6. Where graded assessment is being used, a student is not allocated a grade until after they have demonstrated competency. Where competency is not achieved, the grade allocated must be a "Fail" (result code "N").

Part H - Student non-participation in scheduled assessment

(40) If a student fails to attend a scheduled assessment activity (or submit work on the scheduled date) without valid reason, this may be considered as their "first attempt". They must be provided with a second opportunity to demonstrate competency.

(41) If the student does not attend a second scheduled opportunity for the assessment activity (or submit work on the new scheduled date) without valid reason, this can be considered as their final attempt.

(42) Teachers must communicate clearly with students about consequences for non-attendance at scheduled assessment activities. Two non-attendances or two non-submissions of assessment may result in withdrawal from the unit.

Part I - Student submitting assessment after the due date

(43) It is at the discretion of the teacher or Manager whether or not to accept student work submitted after the required date, without a formal extension.

(44) Assessing student work after the results have already been entered may involve amending the result already entered. A unit result amendment form must be used for this purpose.

(45) Amended assessment outcomes must be recorded in the relevant Assessment Record Book, along with the work itself. Students must be given the opportunity to sign off the final assessment outcome and unit outcomes.

(46) Where a student submits work after the end of the calendar year for a unit whose end date was in the previous calendar year without valid reason or a formal, documented extension, the student must re-enrol in the unit, and pay appropriate fees to have their work assessed. In this circumstance, the student is only being assessed (ie no additional training) so the RPL process should be utilised.

(47) Where a student submits work after the results have been finalised and published (ie AQF certificates or statements of attainment has been issued to the student) without valid reason or a formal, documented extension, the student must re-enrol in the unit, and pay appropriate fees to have their work assessed. In this circumstance, the student is only being assessed (ie no additional training) so the RPL process should be utilised.

Part J - Assessment Review

(48) After any assessment activity or at the end of the unit / cluster, the student may request a review of the outcome/s of their assessment/s. This must be done in writing by including this request in the student comment space of relevant assessment task in the Unit/Cluster Assessment Record Book, or by ticking the "I request a review of this Assessment" in the Student Endorsement section of the Unit /Cluster Summary Page of the Unit/Cluster Assessment Record Book, before signing the endorsement.

(49) Where a student requests such a review, the Manager must assign a different, qualified assessor who was not involved in the delivery or assessment of this student for the relevant unit/s. This second assessor must review the assessment completed by the student and the assessment judgements of the original assessor. If absolutely necessary, the second assessor might request that the student demonstrate their skills and knowledge by repeating a practical assessment. The second assessor's review must be fully documented and presented to the Manager when complete.

  1. Where the second assessor supports the assessment judgements of the original assessor, the student must be informed in writing that the outcomes given will stand. They must also be provided with a copy of the Student Appeals Procedure.
  2. Where the second assessor does not support the assessment judgements of the original assessor, the manager shall review the judgements of both assessors either in person (if the Manager holds the relevant vocational and training and assessment competency and currency), or by engaging a third, independent assessor who does hold the necessary vocational and training and assessment competency and currency. After consideration of the views of the three separate assessments, the manager will determine the appropriate outcome of the review.
    1. Where the original assessor's judgements are upheld, the student must be informed in writing and provided with a copy of the Student Appeals Procedure.
    2. Where different assessment judgements are recommended, the student must be informed in writing of the change in outcome and the updated results processed as soon as possible. If necessary, the Student Appeals Procedure should also be provided to the student.

(50) The assessment review must be completed within 15 working days.

(51) All documentation related to the assessment review is to be stored with the relevant student's Unit/Cluster Assessment Record Book, and retained for the same period as this book (2 years).

Part K - Resulting

(52) Unit end dates must be set to consider any planned post-class assessments or work placements that will contribute to the overall outcome for the unit.

(53) Results for units of competency must be entered onto VU's Student Management System within 10 days of the unit end date.

(54) The appropriate grade set to use for a particular unit is determined by the following points. Note that grade sets described in a) and b) below must not be mixed within the one qualification:

  1. Where a course contains no units that are graded, the grade set "Grades for Units using Competency Based Assessment" must be used.
  2. Where a course contains one or more units that are graded, the grade set "Grades for Units using Graded Assessment" must be used.
  3. Only the teaching programs where non-assessable enrolments are approved can the two grades Satisfactorily Completed (SC), or Unsatisfactorily Completed (UC) be used.
  4. Recommendations for successful or non-successful outcomes for the below are made using the proscribed forms (see relevant procedures). These results are entered only by staff in the Enrolment Centre.
    1. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) or
    2. Credit Transfer

(55) Withdrawals:

  1. Where there is no documented evidence of participation in a unit of competency, because the student did not attend any scheduled classes and did not submit any work that can be related to the relevant unit by unit code and title, student name and date, the result WDN must be used.
    1. WDN results must be processed as early as possible, rather than waiting until the end of the unit.
    2. WDN results must be documented on a Withdrawal Form and submitted to the Enrolments Centre for processing, not later than the 15th of the month following the unit start date.
  2. Entering the WDN result has significant funding implications and so should only be used where there is absolutely no evidence of participation. If there is a valid expectation that the student will complete assessment work then the unit end date should be extended rather than processing the WDN result.
  3. Where there is documented evidence that a student has participated in a unit of competency, and stops participating prior to the end of the unit, the result WDA must be used. This includes the case where a student attends most or all of the scheduled classes but does not participate in a final assessment.
    1. Documented evidence should be either attendance records, training log entries or submitted work that can be clearly linked to the unit (ie the inclusion of unit code and title, and the student name and date).
    2. WDA results must be processed as early as possible, rather than waiting until the end of the unit or semester.
    3. WDA results must be documented on a Withdrawal Form and submitted to the Enrolments Centre. The last date of participation in the unit must be included on the form. This is the date of the last class attendance or the date of submission of the last piece of work or assessment, whichever is the later.

(56) Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

  1. For students enrolling in programs, applications for RPL should be completed and submitted at course commencement wherever possible. Such applications must be processed and finalised as quickly as possible so that the student is not disadvantaged if their application is unsuccessful (ie they still have the option of enrolling in the training and assessment program).
  2. Once the finalised application is forwarded to the enrolment centre for processing, a result of RPL granted or RPL not granted will be entered for each unit.

(57) New staff into the program area must be inducted into the process for determining and processing results.

Part L - Entering Result Units

(58) Only those staff approved by the Manager may enter student results. Such staff must have completed the VU resulting training program.

(59) Those teachers not approved by the Manager (for example sessional teachers or teaching contractors) must pass on their final results to a designated person within the program area for entry. A Unit Results Summary template is to be used for this purpose.

(60) Once results are entered, a printed list of the final results must be reviewed for accuracy by the original teacher. Once satisfied that the results have been accurately entered, the printed copy must be signed and dated by the teacher and then placed on the course file.

(61) No person is to enter or amend results unless the results or amendments are recorded on official Victoria University Polytechnic source documents. Entering or amending results based on an email or verbal request is not permitted. Approved documentation includes

  1. Unit/Cluster Assessment Record Books
  2. Printed Attendance Register with final results recorded
  3. Allocate Plus printed spreadsheet
  4. Apprentice Training Plans
  5. VET Withdrawal form (A07)
  6. Application for RPL form (A80)
  7. VET Result Amendment Advice (A70)

Part M - Extending Unit Dates

(62) Periodically there are valid reasons for a unit end date to be extended: These include (but may not be limited to):

  1. The student requesting an extension for a particular assessment, preferably including supporting documentation.
  2. Changes to timetable or individual / group training plan.

(63) Any request to extend a unit end date must be approved by the Manager and forwarded to the enrolment centre for processing.

(64) Where such an extension means that a unit end date is extended into the following calendar year, there may be funding implications so this step should only be taken when there are no other options.

Part N - Results Monitoring

(65) Managers must monitor the resulting within their program areas, ensuring that staff have completed their resulting prior to taking scheduled leave.

(66) During peak periods (i.e. end of semester) GRSS must issue missing result reports daily to Directors and Managers for immediate action.

(67) During non-peak periods, GRSS must issue fortnightly reports to Managers, highlighting missing results for units whose end dates have passed or are approaching. Managers must take action when results are overdue.

Part O - Amending Results After Publication

(68) Where a student submits work after the results have been published without valid reason or a formal extension, see section earlier on Student submitting work after the due date.

(69) Otherwise, the only way an amendment after publication can occur is where an error was made in the initial results entry. Such errors are minimised by teachers reviewing entered results for accuracy and signing and dating these reports for storage in the course file.

(70) Where there is a need to amend a result after publication, the Manager must document the circumstances and gain approval from both the relevant Centre Director and the Vice-President: Vocational Education before requesting the amendment.

(71) The Manager must notify the student in writing if a result is amended after publication.

  1. If the amended result has improved the student's published unit outcome, new AQF certificate, transcript or statement of attainment must be provided to the student at the same time as the amendment advice.
  2. If the result is lower than the student's previously published unit outcome, the student must be provided with
    1. a full rationale of the reason for the amendment
    2. a request to return the original published AQF certificate, statement of attainment or transcript of results. When received, these should be destroyed.
    3. updated AQF certification documentation
    4. a copy of the assessment appeals procedure in case they wish to appeal the amendment.

(72) All documentation relating to the amendment must be retained and stored on the student file.

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Section 6 - Guidelines

(73) 2015 VET Grade Sets

(74) A70-result-amendment-advice-VET-editable

(75) Unit End Date Extension Template

(76) Assessment and Resulting Summary for Teachers

(77) VET Assessment Cover Sheet

(78) VET Unit-Cluster Pre-delivery Assessment Check Template

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Section 7 - References

(79) VET Unit Guide or Cluster Guide

(80) Unit / Cluster Assessment Record Book

(81) Assessor Guide