In recent years the government has committed to getting young people into the workplace through vocational training such as apprenticeships, NVQs and QCF qualifications. This has increased the need for assessors with both occupational competence in the subject and the teaching skills to encourage and mentor learners through their training programme.
Vocational assessors are now expected to be a 'dual professional', being skilled in their professional area such as plumbing, and equally skilled as a teacher.
What does an assessor in further education do?
An assessor supports and assesses students working towards a vocational qualification within a college, training centre, or workplace. It's an assessors job to ensure that trainees meet the occupational standards required to achieve their qualifications. The majority of positions these days involve both teaching and assessing.
Day to day tasks vary, but could include:
- Planning vocational workshops
- Delivering training
- Observing and assessing candidate's in a workplace setting
- Supporting candidates in developing their portfolio of evidence
- Assessing their portfolio of evidence against occupational standards
- Providing feedback to help students meet and exceed occupational standards
- Keeping records of the student's progress
- Attending meeting with other assessors
- Liaising with training staff and managers within the workplace
- Signing off the qualification once all the training and occupational standards have been met.
As an assessor you may work solely within a college or training provider assessing vocationally related achievement.
Other assessors may work both in a college running workshops and training as well as assessing in a workplace setting.
Alternatively, some work as an assessor as part of a wider role. For example, you may work as a supervisor for a team of plumbing and heating engineers whilst also assessing the apprentices that come through your workplace.
What hours do assessors work?
Assessors usually work full time, between 37 and 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday.
If you assess candidates in the workplace you could also be expected to work evening and weekends to fit in with their shifts.
What salary can an assessor expect to earn?
Full-time assessors can expect to earn between £18,000 to £25,000 a year. With experience and additional responsibilities this could go up to £30,000 a year.
If you are employed on a contract basis you may be paid an hourly rate. You could expect to be paid between £18 - £25 an hour.
Guideline figures only
What qualifications and experience will I need to become an assessor?
To work as an assessor you would first need to prove that you have the relevant occupational competence. This normally includes having recent experience within the role that you are looking to assess, as well as having a level 3 qualification within the subject area.
When it comes to qualifications there are a few different options. The qualification that you take will depend on the setting/s you wish to work in.
To be considered fully qualified to assess NVQ candidates you will need the Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement (CAVA). This will qualify you to carry out both competency based and knowledge based assessments allowing you to support a student throughout their whole NVQ, both in the workplace and college based settings.
If however you only wish to work in a classroom based setting such as a college, you could complete the Level 3 Award in Assessing Vocationally Related Achievement (AVRA).
For those who are taking on an assessor role as part of their job in a workplace the qualification you will need is the Level 3 Award in Assessing Competence in the Work Environment (ACWE)
What's the next stage of progression after qualifying as an assessor?
Once you've gained experience as an assessor you could decide to further qualify as an internal or external verifier. This involves assessing the work of other assessors and training centres to ensure that they meet training and assessment standards. To qualify you would need to complete the Level 4 Award in the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practices (IQA).
With the government's continued commitment towards vocational training, the job prospects for assessors within further education are good. Vocational skills are firmly on the government's agenda for the foreseeable future and if you enjoy supporting young adults in their career development this could be the career for you.