Course Content
Prepare to develop an assessment tool
1.1 Clarify tool purpose, target group and context of assessment 1.2 Analyse target group characteristics and identify their needs relevant to assessment tool design and development 1.3 Access and analyse nationally recognised units of competency to identify what is required to demonstrate competence 1.4 Analyse available assessment instruments for their suitability for use, and identify required modifications
Plan and design an assessment tool
2.1 Review own skills and knowledge required to develop the assessment tool and identify gaps in subject matter expertise, industry relevance and industry currency 2.2 Address identified gaps according to organisational procedures 2.3 Determine steps and estimate time needed for the design and development of assessment tool 3. Design assessment tool 3.1 Review and select assessment methods appropriate to purpose, target group, required evidence collection and assessment context 3.2 Check and confirm that combination of assessment methods meets unit of competency requirements and supports principles of assessment and rules of evidence 3.3 Identify instruments required to collect evidence using selected assessment methods and according to organisational requirements
Develop an assessment tool
4.1 Record the context and conditions for assessment 4.2 Develop tasks to be administered to candidates 4.3 Develop outline of evidence to be gathered from candidate 4.4 Develop instruments to be used to collect evidence from candidate in line with universal design principles and according to legislative and regulatory requirements 4.5 Develop criteria to be used to make judgements about whether competence has been achieved 4.6 Develop administration, recording and reporting requirements 4.7 Develop instructions for assessor and for candidate 4.8 Map assessment tool to the nationally recognised training product 4.9 Document draft assessment tool according to organisational procedures
Finalise the assessment tools
5.1 Undertake a systematic review of the assessment tool according to organisational procedures 5.2 Trial assessment tool to validate its content and applicability 5.3 Collect and document feedback on assessment tool and amend tool as required 5.4 Finalise and store assessment tool according to organisational procedures
TAEASS512 – Design and develop assessment tools
About Lesson

Here’s why clustering units of competency to address a job function or role in assessment is beneficial for both trainers and trainees in an Australian Registered Training Organisation (RTO) context:

Increased Relevance and Efficiency:

  • Mirrors Workplace Reality: Jobs rarely involve isolated tasks perfectly aligned with individual units of competency. Clustering reflects how skills and knowledge are applied together in real-world scenarios, making assessments more relevant and meaningful for trainees.
  • Streamlined Assessment: By grouping related units, you can assess a broader range of competencies within a single activity or project. This reduces the need for repetitive assessments and saves time for both trainers and trainees.

Enhanced Learning Outcomes:

  • Integration of Skills and Knowledge: Clustering encourages trainees to see how different units interconnect and how specific skills contribute to overall job performance. This promotes a deeper understanding and strengthens knowledge retention.
  • Transferable Skills Development: By working on a clustered assessment that reflects a job function, trainees practice applying their knowledge and skills in a holistic way, preparing them to transfer those skills to various work situations.

Benefits for Trainers and RTOs:

  • Improved Efficiency: Less time is spent administering and marking multiple isolated assessments. This allows trainers to dedicate more time to individual support and feedback.
  • Clearer Learning Objectives: Clustering helps trainers present learning objectives and assessment criteria in a more cohesive manner, making them easier for trainees to understand and achieve.


Here’s a breakdown of the process for clustering units of competency for assessment in Australian Registered Training Organisations (RTOs):

Identify Job Roles and Functions:

  • Analyse the training package and industry requirements to identify the specific job roles or functions targeted by the training program.
  • Consider the vocational area and the range of workplaces graduates might find themselves in.

Map Units to Job Roles:

  • Review each unit of competency within the training package and determine how it contributes to the identified job roles.
  • Look for units that share common skills, knowledge, and application areas.

Group Units for Clustering:

  • Based on the mapping, group related units of competency into logical clusters that reflect the performance requirements of the job role(s).
  • Aim for clusters that represent a realistic and integrated set of tasks performed in the workplace.

Develop Cluster Assessment Strategies:

  • Design assessment tasks or projects that encompass the knowledge and skills addressed by the clustered units.
  • Ensure the assessment tasks allow trainees to demonstrate their ability to apply the combined skills and knowledge in a holistic manner.
  • Consider using a variety of assessment methods within a cluster, such as written tests, practical demonstrations, and case studies.

Ensure Alignment and Compliance:

  • Verify that the clustered assessment still covers all the elements and performance criteria of the individual units within the cluster.
  • Ensure the assessment strategy aligns with the learning outcomes and assessment requirements set out in the training package.
  • Maintain compliance with the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) standards for assessment and training practices.

Additional ideas:

  • Consult with subject matter experts (SMEs) familiar with the industry and job roles to ensure the clusters accurately reflect workplace practices.
  • Pilot test clustered assessments with a small group of trainees to identify any gaps or areas for improvement.
  • Document the clustering rationale and mapping clearly, outlining how each cluster relates to the targeted job roles and individual units.

By following these steps, RTOs can create effective clustered assessments that enhance the learning experience and prepare trainees for success in their chosen careers.