Maintaining good assessment standards for apprentices  

Ensuring that apprentices are being assessed by the same robust standards, wherever and whenever they may be assessed, is important for all parties along the food chain – from apprentice to employer to the sector at large.

For apprentices, good assessment standards make sure that what they’re learning is relevant and reflects their industry’s requirements, while allowing them scope to develop. They also instil confidence in employers, who can be sure that any apprentice that has taken the assessment is prepared for the role.

Reliability of assessment standards is also crucial for the sector’s reputation, says educational awarding body SQA.

“Assessments must assess what they are meant to assess; must be transparent; and demonstrate that apprentices have met the agreed standards,” SQA adds.

But how can Trailblazers ensure these good standards are being met, while reflecting any changes in the apprentices’ sectors and industries? It’s a complicated task, but this whitepaper by SQA shows Trailblazers how they can play a role in standardising assessments, while explaining the impact on apprentices, employers and the sector.

The whitepaper outlines the key principles that underpin quality assurance and maintenance, focusing on specific issues and considerations relating to standards and assessment.

It also advises on what approach to take if assessors’ judgements are found not to comply with the assessment standards, by accepting insufficient evidence, being too lenient or too hard, or making inconsistent judgements.

“For SQA, quality assurance of assessment spans development to delivery,” SQA say in the whitepaper.

“This ensures that whether a qualification is delivered in Beijing, Edinburgh or Newcastle, the same high standards are being met.”

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