View Document

Assessment for Learning - Assessment Procedure (VET)

This is the current version of this document. To view historic versions, click on the 'Historic Versions' tab above.

Section 1 - Summary

(1) This Procedure outlines the requirements for the planning and conducting of assessment.

Top of Page

Section 2 - Scope

(2) This Procedure applies to assessment of all nationally recognised VET programs.

(3) This procedure does not include Skills Recognition, which is covered by the VET Skills Recognition Procedure.

(4) This procedure does not apply to VCE and VCAL programs which must be assessed in accordance with the requirements prescribed by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA).

Top of Page

Section 3 - Definitions

(5) 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 as specified in a training package or VET accredited course.

(6) Assessment system: 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.

(7) Assessment tool: includes the following components—context and conditions of assessment, tasks to be administered to the student, an outline of the evidence to be gathered from the candidate and evidence criteria used to judge the quality of performance (i.e. the assessment decision-making rules).

(8) Assessor: A teacher who holds the vocational and training and assessment competency and currency, as required by the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 and relevant Training Package or Accredited Curriculum qualification requirements.

Top of Page

Section 4 - Policy/Regulation

(9) Assessment for Learning Policy

Top of Page

Section 5 - Procedures

Part A - Roles and Responsibilities

Roles Responsibilities
Director
Upon student written request, review applications for special consideration not granted by Manager
Director / Manager / Coordinator Ensure that students have access to facilities and equipment for assessment that meet the requirements specified in the relevant training package
Manager
Ensure all teachers (trainers and assessors) hold the required vocational and training and assessment competency and currency; relevant Training Package or Accredited Curriculum qualifications; and any required registrations or occupational licences or certifications
Establish a compliant network drive structure within the program area for the storage and version management of all assessment documentation
Assess and respond to applications for special consideration, and request extension to end dates if required
Assess and respond to requests for submission of assessable work after the due date, and request amendments to results if required
Assign assessors to undertake re-assessments of student work within required timelines.
Manager / Course Coordinator
Ensure all teachers are inducted into this Procedure and the course and assessment documentation requirements of Victoria University Polytechnic.
Ensure that students are provided with information about Skills Recognition assessment options prior to course commencement
Provide advice and guidance on assessment to teachers, as needed
Upon student written request, review applications for short extensions not granted by teachers
Teachers (including ongoing or fixed-term, sessional or teaching contractors) / Course Co-ordinators
Design assessment tools and conduct assessment activities according to the requirements within this Procedure and the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015
Arrange and/or participate in validation of assessment tools prior to use and moderation of assessment outcomes.
Provide students with information about all assessment requirements at the commencement of each unit or unit cluster
Provide assessment information to other relevant parties where applicable (e.g. workplace supervisors)
Document reasonable adjustment arrangements in the relevant Unit/Cluster Assessment Record Book or in VU Collaborate
Confirm student identification where required
Provide access to required tools and equipment for assessment
Conduct assessment in accordance with the documented tools and process
Conduct assessments within the timeframe specified in the relevant assessment documentation. In exceptional circumstances where this cannot be achieved advise relevant Manager / Course Coordinator.  Finalise marking  and return assessments to  the relevant teaching department prior to contract end dates, where applicable 
Mark assessments according to the requirements documented in the relevant Assessor Guide.
Mark assessments onsite at a Victoria University campus wherever possible. Where assessments are marked offsite, keep all documentation secure and return it to the relevant teaching department as soon as practicable.
Document assessment and re-assessment outcomes using VU Polytechnic Quality templates or within VU Collaborate
Communicate task and unit outcomes to students, and obtain their acknowledgement of this.
Communicate in writing with students about consequences for non-attendance at scheduled assessment activities.
Assess and respond to applications for short extensions, and request extension to end dates if required
Conduct assessment reviews as directed by the relevant manager
Store all assessment materials on the teaching department network drive

Part B - Victoria University Polytechnic Assessment System

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

  1. For training package units developed under the Standards for Training Packages, 2012 onwards and ASQA accredited curriculum, elements and performance criteria, performance evidence, foundation skills, knowledge evidence and assessment conditions and any range of condition items.
  2. For training package units developed under the Training Package Development Handbook and Victorian accredited curriculum, the elements and performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, critical aspects for assessment and address any mandatory items in the range statement as appropriate.  To ensure this requirement is met, the appropriate Polytechnic Unit /Cluster Assessment Map must be used. 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.

(11)  Assessment tools must 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 fulfill
  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) - "plain English" statements that reflect the requirements of the unit that are being assessed in the 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.) 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.

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

  1. Unit Guide or Unit Guide (Cluster). 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. This is required for all courses with the exception of those delivered in the VU Polytechnic blended model in VU Collaborate. 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. In addition, it includes the summary of unit outcomes required for resulting purposes.

(13) Assessment tools should be validated prior to use. In this process, an appropriately qualified assessor (not the one who developed the tools) must validate the tool.

(14) 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.

Part C - Requirements for Assessment

(15)  Directors, Managers and Coordinators ensure that students have access to the facilities and equipment for assessment as specified in the relevant training package.

(16) 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, and relevant Training Package or Accredited Curriculum requirements.

(17) Managers and/or Course Coordinators must ensure that all new teachers are fully inducted into the Polytechnic's assessment procedure, system and documentation requirements.

(18) 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.

(19) 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 processed in accordance with the VET Skills Recognition Procedure.

(20) Prior to or at the commencement of each new unit or cluster of units, students must be provided with information about assessment requirements for the unit or cluster, including:

  1. dates;
  2. venues;
  3. the nature and duration of the assessment;
  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);
  5. the provision for support and/or reasonable adjustments to assessment to meet their individual needs in areas such as disability, language, literacy or numeracy;
  6. processes for seeking extensions to assessment deadlines;
  7. the processes for reviewing assessment decisions and their further avenues of appeal.

(21) 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.

(22) 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.

(23) For assessments completed in the Victoria University Polytechnic blended model in VU Collaborate students are required to agree to the Assessment Conditions prior to the release of the assessment task.

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

  1. 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.
  2. Checking written components of students' work through dedicated software that identifies possible plagiarism.
  3. Contacting the student directly during the assessment period or after the assessment submission and using targeted questioning to ascertain the authenticity of the work. Document such conversations and attach to the assessment record or uploaded as additional evidence in the Assessment Feedback area of VU Collaborate.

(25) 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.

(26) Assessment must be conducted using the approved tools and within the timelines detailed in the assessment documentation; exceptions would be on the basis of documented arrangements for reasonable adjustment or extension / special consideration.

(27) Assessments should be marked according to the relevant Assessor Guide.

(28) If students do not demonstrate the required knowledge and skills in their first attempt, assessors must provide students with one opportunity for re-assessment within 15 working days of the initial judgement. Where delivery is in block mode, re-assessment must occur during the first attendance block following the initial judgement.  Assessors are responsible for communicating this information in writing to the student and for providing feedback and opportunities for learning prior to the re-assessment.

(29) Current unit of competency assessment tools must be kept on the department network drive Quality and Compliance/ Content Management System. Assessors must store electronic copies of all final version assessment documentation on the program area network drive for a period of 7 years after final delivery.

(30) 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.

(31) Where possible assessments should be  marked on campus where assessments are marked off site, they must be kept in a secure location and returned to the relevant teaching department as soon as practicable.

(32) Completed assessments must be retained by the teaching department:

  1. Each student's completed assessments must be attached to the relevant Unit/Cluster Assessment Record Book or stored in VU Collaborate.
  2. All completed assessments must be retained for the period stated in the relevant VET Funding Contract.
  3. Where assessment is of a practical nature and the product cannot be retained, the following strategies should be used:
    1. A completed observation 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 relevant parties.
    2. Digital evidence as support for the checklist. Where possible, include the requirement that the student should take photographs at key stages of their work and provide these electronically, preferably through uploading them to the learning management system.

Part D - Reasonable Adjustment

(33) Teachers/assessors must take account of any additional needs that a student has  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.

(34) Reasonable adjustments made to support a particular student's assessment must be fully documented in the Unit/Cluster Assessment Record Book or uploaded as additional evidence in the Assessment Feedback area of VU Collaborate.

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

(35) 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.

(36) Students must acknowledge the outcomes of each assessment task.  This is done by the student signing in the appropriate space after each task in the Assessment Record Book or by viewing it in VU Collaborate.

(37) The overall outcomes for the unit/s must be recorded in the Assessment Record Book or in VU Collaborate. Where a student is  no longer attending an email should be sent to the student’s email address informing them of the unit/s outcome. This email should be attached to the final page of the Assessment Record Book or stored in VU Collaborate.

Part F - Assessment Extensions

(38) Students can request short extensions of time (maximum 10 working days) for the submission of assessable work. Where the short extension request relates to a practical task and the delivery is in block mode, the maximum extension period is to the next attendance block.  

(39) Short extensions are available for situations including an unavoidable employment, family, cultural, religious or elite sporting commitment known in advance, or other unexpected circumstances outside the student's control. Applications should be submitted at least one day in advance of the assessment due date.

(40) Special Consideration applies to situations where a student requires an extension beyond 10 working days. Applications for special consideration must be made within three working days of the assessment due date. Grounds for Special Consideration include:

  1. giving or having just given birth;
  2. psychological issues;
  3. illness or surgery;
  4. death of a close family member;
  5. crises and traumatic incidents such as family violence, victim of crime, loss of employment or accommodation; or, 
  6. attendance for jury duty.

(41)  Applications for both short extensions and Special Consideration should be made on the VET Student Request for Extension Form and submitted with supporting evidence attached.

(42) Teachers must review short extension requests and Managers or Course Coordinators must review Special Consideration requests. The student should be notified in writing as early as possible of either:

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

(43) The completed VET Student Request for Extension form should be stored in the student file with the relevant Assessment Record Book or in VU Collaborate.

(44) Evidence provided to support an application for special consideration should be stored in the student file and must not be shared with anyone who does not have a decision-making role in relation to the application.

(45) There may be times when granting an extension to assessment submission dates requires the extension of the unit end date. Managers or Course Coordinators must request applicable extensions to unit end dates.

(46) Changes to submission dates for units delivered in VU Collaborate must be consistent with the applicable learning space on VU Collaborate.

(47) Where a student is dissatisfied with the outcome of an application for a short extension, the student can request a review by the Manager or Course Coordinator. Requests for review must be made in writing.

(48) Where a student is dissatisfied with the outcome of an application for special consideration, the student can request a review by the Director. Requests for review must be made in writing.

Part G - Re-assessment

(49) 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 and learning support to address any skills / knowledge gaps. Clear information on re-assessment requirements and options must be provided in feedback to the student.

(50) Re-assessment should occur as soon as practicable. Wherever possible this should be prior to the end date of the unit. In circumstances where this is not possible, an extension to unit end date must be requested.

(51)  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 focusing only on the areas that need to be addressed.
  3. Re-assessment 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 or in VU Collaborate, 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 or recorded in VU Collaborate.

Part H - Student non-participation in scheduled assessment

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

(53) 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 will be considered as their final attempt.

(54) Teachers must communicate clearly in writing 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 assessable work after the due date

(55) It is at the discretion of the Manager whether or not to accept student work submitted after the required date without a formal extension under medical, mental health or compassionate grounds, such as:

  1. giving or having just given birth;
  2. psychological issues;
  3. illness or surgery;
  4. death of a close family member;
  5. crises and traumatic incidents such as family violence, victim of crime, loss of employment or accommodation; or 
  6. attendance for jury duty.

(56) Evidence provided to support a request to submit assessment after the due date should be stored in the student file and should not be shared with anyone who does not have a decision-making role in relation to the request.

(57) 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.

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

(59) Where a student submits work after the end of the calendar year for a unit where the 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 (i.e. no additional training) so the RPL process should be utilised.

(60) 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 (i.e. no additional training) so the RPL process should be utilised.

Part J - Assessment Review

(61) 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.

(62) 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. The second assessor must refer to the relevant Assessor Guide when reviewing the assessment outcome. If absolutely necessary, the second assessor can 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.

(63) Where the second assessor supports the assessment judgements of the original assessor, the student must be informed in writing that the original outcomes will stand. They must also be provided with a copy of the Student Appeals Procedure.

(64) 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. The Assessor Guide should be reviewed to ensure that clear guidance is provided to support assessors in making assessment judgements.

(65) The assessment review must be completed within 15 working days of the initial request.

(66) All documentation related to the assessment review is to be stored with the relevant student's Unit/Cluster Assessment Record Book, or in VU Collaborate.

Top of Page

Section 6 - Guidelines

(67) Nil.