TAEASS401 Plan assessment activities and processes

The Rules of Evidence pertain to the criteria required to ensure an assessment meets the standards of the national VET system. 

These rules are observed when developing and validating assessment tools and instruments. The rules of evidence may be explained as: 

Valid. The evidence must clearly map to the requirements of the unit being assessed. If the unit requires a particular skill to be demonstrated, is that skill being observed or gathered some other way by an assessor in line with the training package’s assessment guidelines?  When developing an assessment, the best way to ensure your tools are valid is to Map them against the competency standards as you go (or after they’ve been created). Mapping aligns each element of a competency to a specific part/s of the assessment.

Authentic. Is the evidence the work of the candidate? The evidence must clearly illustrate the competency of the candidate in question and cannot be the work of another or a collaborative effort (unless specified in the unit of competency). This has implications for the RPL/RCC process (recognition of prior learning or current competency) when past work must be verified as authentic before being permissible as evidence.  Authenticity statements that require the candidate to confirm and date the statement to confirm that their submission is their own work are provided as part of the assessment tool along with instructions. 

Current. The evidence must be collected within a reasonable time of the assessment decision. It must demonstrate the candidate’s current level of skills and knowledge. Older evidence may still be permissible if the candidate can show supporting evidence that the skills and knowledge are still being applied in their workplace. Typically, the evidence should not be more than 12 months old – however, this is industry specific and no clear guidelines exist. Providing for dates on your assessment tools, along with strict version control, can help to ensure your tools provide for current evidence.

Professional judgment is required by the assessor, and the judgments will need to be justified. 

Sufficient. Is there enough evidence provided to support an assessment decision? Consider the critical evidence requirements of the unit of competency – found in the Assessment Requirements. These usually require that the skill or knowledge be demonstrated over time and within different contexts. This leads to the need for assessments to occur over a period of time. Sufficiency may entail that an assessment includes multiple observations, and therefore multiple instruments within the tool (or, at least, record of multiple performances where the same instrument is used multiple times). 

These rules can be remembered by the mnemonic ‘VACS’