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April 04th, 2016

Assessment review explores opportunities for best practice for ITOs

Identifying good practice in on-the-job assessments is crucial to the success of learners. Last month Competenz hosted meetings with researchers Heather McDonald and Anne Alkema from Heathrose Research, and local contract assessors in Rotorua and Masterton to discuss this assessment process.

The information gathered from these meetings will go towards the National Partnership Project: Good practice assessment review which explores and identifies good assessment structures, systems and practices for Industry Training Organisations (ITOs). Five ITOs, including Competenz, and Ako Aotearoa are providing resources for this study.

Heather met with Rotorua-based forestry contract assessors Brian Rutgers (contract assessor for BR Logging and Thomassen Logging), Mike Diamond (MD Forest Management and Training), Bruce Hill (Interpine), and Competenz National Manager, Forestry Mark Preece who gave insights into how assessments are done in a production environment, how assessors work with trainees to overcome literacy issues, and assessing in the inventory and scaling areas of the industry.

“From speaking with the contract assessors, a key focus is making sure trainees understand what they need to achieve, as well as keeping their companies informed on what their trainees are working towards. The relationship between assessor, trainee, and company is hugely important,” Heather says.

“It was great talking with them about the importance of making sure trainees are at ease while being assessed.”

Anne met workplace assessor Adrian Greig at his Masterton-based business with Competenz Regional Manager Steve Brooks to discuss their assessment practices for the engineering and wood manufacturing industries.

“It was great to talk about how the assessment process works and get the company perspective on this," Anne says.

"It was also a bonus talking to an apprentice who knows exactly what is expected of him, and what he has to do to complete his apprenticeship.”​

Competenz Quality Assurance Manager Leeann Clark says it was an opportunity to showcase the forestry, engineering, and wood manufacturing industries in the assessment space.

“Meeting with our Forestry and Trades teams was a chance to show Heather and Anne the working relationship between us, contract assessors, learners, and employers,” Leeann says.

“The study is an opportunity to review what Competenz and other ITOs have done in this space so far, and to identify potential areas to improve.”

The study is funded by Ako Aotearoa and the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). The review will be completed in mid-2016. ​

If you would like more information on contract assessing, please contact Leeann Clark, Competenz Quality Assurance Manager: L.Clark@competenz.org.nz

Photo(L-R): Brian Rutgers, Anaru Powell, and Heather McDonald