Assessors make resolutions

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Marietta van Rooyen

On 21 and 22 August we hosted our first ever Assessor Conference. The event was a huge success, attracting more than 200 delegates from Industry, Further Education Colleges and Universities.

Our speakers went out of their way to research, prepare and present up to date, relevant and stimulating presentations. We listened to ideas around RPL, communities of trust /practice, moderation, legal matters around assessment, economic impact of assessments and many more.

Our challenge now is to take what we have learnt and integrate that into our daily lives and make an effort to improve on NQF systems in South Africa.

Our heartfelt thanks to all those who participated in making this event possible, in particular all the delegates for their support and participation. We are planning to have another Conference in 2008 and have already found a sponsor for the venue. We will announce the date and theme shortly.

Delegates to the conference felt that they would like to contribute to the national policy and procedures around assessment and the NQF in general.

We decided that this could be achieved by taking up their suggestions as resolutions of the conference and sending these to the relevant authorities as suggestions for improvement and simplification of the systems.

The following resolutions were sent to us by delegates:

Rationalise ETQA recommended assessment processes

1.1 Streamline and economise the procedures as much as possible.

1.2 Put pressure on SAQA, Industry Representatives on SETA Boards and ETQA staff to make sure that no unnecessary procedures cluster up the assessments.

1.3 SAQA needs to take an active role in the rationalisation process to simplify assessments.

1.4 Use a TQM model and do not try to have perfect assessments.

1.5 We need smarter assessment systems.

1.6 SAQA needs to do research on the use of naturally occurring evidence in the workplace and
classroom.

Standardise issues relating to fundamentals

2.1 Standardise ETQA policy related to fundamentals, e.g. RPL acceptance of matric
qualifications in all ETQAs.

2.2 HEQC needs to re-visit entrance requirements for students. Do they really need two
languages?

2.3 Standardise fundamentals to get related occupations doing the same fundamental unit
standards.

2.4 Umalusi to QA fundamentals? Although they said they will not, they are now starting to do
this. What is the SAQA view on this matter?

2.5 Collaboration between high schools and tertiary institutions needs to be closer.

2.6 HET to prepare people for the world of work.

2.7 If only one language was used in the training for FETC, is the qualification legal?
Do providers need to call back learners to finish the second language training?

2.8 Which second language? Can providers please get some directives on how to choose the
second language?

Facilitators need to be trained better and need to be registered and encouraged to do CPD.

Workplace RPL assessment must get more attention and be prioritized. SAQA needs to continue taking the lead in encouraging RPL and Continuous Accumulation of Credits (CATs). RPL must focus on demonstrated competence.

SAB-CAP system seems to be best practice and needs to be held up as a case study for excellence. DOL and SAQA Please note.

Feedback on bad unit standards to ETQAs and SAQA needs to be done as a matter of course and passed on to the correct SGB, who should make sure this is considered at the next review of standards.

Providers and trainers would like to be part of the consultative forum around the new systems (OTQC) in such a way that will not give us any status, voluntarily and in a non-intrusive way. (Think-tank?) Broad consultation? Assessment College can assist in this through the use of our web site? The Skills Portal could also play a role in this.

Moderators must be qualified in assessment design to be able to moderate assessment instruments (one of their outcomes).

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