When the old apprenticeship frameworks were switched off last July it prompted many providers to reconsider their delivery programmes and the methods they used for assessment. Framework delivery meant delivering NVQs or Diplomas that had very clearly defined criteria that needed to have evidence to demonstrate they had been met.
Apprenticeship standards delivery is very different and requires are rethink on what learners need to know and be able able to do and how this is evidenced throughout their programmes. More importantly, learners need to be able to demonstrate that they are ready for the End Point Assessment. There is little point in a learner going through the gateway if they haven’t demonstrated that they meet the knowledge, skills and behaviours.
Creating Assessment Plans
It is vital that providers have a very clear assessment plan for each of their programmes. An assessment plan does two key things. It sets out your curriculum intent, which is obviously important when considering your planning for OfSTED. The second thing that an assessment does is to set out what you need learners to do to demonstrate they meet the knowledge, skills and behaviours and how you can measure this.
What assessments can be used?
The starting point when determining the types of assessment you need to use is the endpoint assessment plan. This should set out what sort of evidence the EPA will want to see. However, this should not be the only assessments used during delivery.
It is important to identify assessments that can be used during a programme to show that learners are developing the necessary knowledge and skills, that feedback on progress can be offered and also to give confidence that the learner will be successful at EPA.
Types of Assessment
Creating an assessment plan will help to identify the assessments and how you will measure this.
For each of the knowledge elements, you will need to identify methods to confirm understanding. This could be through a series of short quizzes, practice questions, exams or assignments. If the EPA requires a professional discussion then think about having professional discussions as you move through the programme.
To determine the competence of skills you can introduce observations, short practical demonstrations or get learners to present what they have done and can do. Get feedback from managers too.
Behaviours can be assessed through feedback from managers or you can get learners to submit self-reflective accounts.
Reviewing Assessment Plans
It is equally important to review assessment plans. This should be done on an annual basis. It provides a method to ensure that the assessment plan is fit for purposes and that the assessments are valid and are supporting learner development.