Plan and organise assessment

This unit specifies the competence required to plan and organise the assessment process, including recognition of prior learning (RPL), in a competency-based assessment system.


This unit addresses the competence of planning the assessment process and making the organisational arrangements which enable assessment to occur. It includes assessments carried out as part of a Recognition of Prior Learning Process (RPL) or as part of a learning and assessment pathway.

The critical focus of this unit is on developing an assessment plan that will be used to guide assessor/s in conducting competency-based assessments. The unit also covers contextualisation of the assessment benchmarks and assessment tools to address the environment in which assessment will take place and organising the human, material and physical resources needed to conduct the assessment.

This competence applies to planning and organising an assessment process, including RPL which may involve single or multiple candidates being assessed against individual or multiple unit/s of competency.

The planning function in assessment is distinguished as a discrete activity and may be undertaken by the assessor responsible for assessing the candidates reflected in the assessment plan or by another person in the organisation.

This competence is to be applied in the context of an existing assessment strategy which documents the overall framework for assessment at a qualification level. In this context, the assessment plan adds further detail relating to the specific organisational arrangements for assessment/s, including RPL against individual unit/s of competency.

The competence of developing an assessment strategy is separately addressed in two other units of the TAA04 Training and Assessment Training Package: TAADES501B Design and develop learning strategies (in a learning and assessment pathway) and TAAASS501B Lead and co-ordinate assessment systems and services (in an assessment only pathway).

The achievement of this unit includes interpretation of competency standards, (where competency standards are used as the benchmarks for assessment). TAADES401B Use Training Packages to meet client needs addresses this skill in depth.

The competence specified in this unit is typically required by assessors, workplace supervisors with assessment planning responsibilities, trainers or other assessors responsible for planning assessment, including RPL


Not applicable.

Elements and Performance Criteria

Elements and Performance Criteria


Performance Criteria


Determine approach for assessment


Candidate/s are identified/confirmed and the purpose/s and context of assessment/ RPL are established/ confirmed with relevant people in accordance with legal/organisational/ethical requirements


A decision is made whether assessment will be undertaken within an RPL, a learning and assessment pathway or a combined approach


The assessment strategy is accessed and used to guide the development of the assessment plan, where applicable


The benchmarks for assessment/ RPL are identified/confirmed and accessed


Prepare the assessment/ RPL plan


The assessment benchmarks are interpreted to determine the evidence and types of evidence needed to demonstrate competency in accordance with the rules of evidence


Where competency standards are used as benchmarks, all component parts of the competency standards, are addressed in defining and documenting the evidence to be collected


Any related documentation to support planning the assessment process is accessed and interpreted


Assessment/RPL methods and assessment tools are selected/confirmed which address the evidence to be collected in accordance with the principles of assessment


Specific material and physical resources required to collect evidence are identified and documented


Roles and responsibilities of all people involved in the assessment process are clarified, agreed and documented


Timelines and time periods for evidence collection are determined and all information to be included in the assessment plan is documented


The assessment/RPL plan is confirmed with relevant personnel


Contextualise and review assessment/ RPL plan


Characteristics of the candidate/s and any allowances for reasonable adjustments and/or specific needs are identified/clarified with relevant people and documented


Where required, competency standards are contextualised, to reflect the operating environment in which assessment will occur, in accordance with contextualisation guidelines


Selected assessment methods and assessment tools are examined and adjusted, where required, to ensure continuing applicability taking into account:

any contextualisation of competency standards

reasonable adjustment/s, where identified

integration of assessment activities, where appropriate and practical

capacity to support recognition of prior learning


Adjusted assessment tools are reviewed to ensure the specifications of the competency standards are still addressed


The assessment plan is updated, as needed, to reflect ongoing contextualisation needs, any changes in organisational resource requirements or changes in response to the conduct of assessment


Assessment plan/s are stored and retrieved in accordance with assessment system policies and procedures and legal/organisational/ethical requirements


Organise assessment/ RPL arrangements


Identified material and physical resource requirements are arranged in accordance with assessment system policies and procedures and legal/organisational/ethical requirements


Any specialist support required for assessment/ RPL is organised and arranged in accordance with organisational/ethical/legal requirements, where required


Roles and responsibilities of all people involved in the assessment/ RPL process are organised


Effective communication strategies are established to encourage regular communication flow and feedback with relevant people involved in the assessment/RPL process


Assessment/ RPL record keeping and reporting arrangements are confirmed

Required Skills

Required skills

cognitive interpretation skills to:

accurately interpret competency standards and other assessment documentation

identify opportunities for integrated competency assessment

contextualise competency standards to the operating assessment environment, including RPL

sort information

observation skills to:

assess the effectiveness of the organisation's assessment, including RPL operations

identify where improvement to the assessment process can be made

identify where improvement to RPL policy and procedures can be made

technology skills to:

use appropriate equipment and software to communicate effectively with others

research and evaluation skills to:

obtain competency standards and other assessment information, assessment tools and other relevant assessment resources

research candidate characteristics and any reasonable adjustment needs

identify and confirm required material and physical resources

evaluate feedback, and determine and implement improvements to processes

make recommendations

planning skills relating to formulation of the assessment plan

organisational skills relating to organising resources required

literacy skills to:

read and interpret relevant information to design and facilitate assessment and recognition processes

prepare required documentation and information for those involved in assessment processes

communication skills to:

discuss assessment, including RPL processes with clients and assessors

establish professional relationships and networks

sensitivity to access and equity considerations and candidate diversity

capacity to promote and implement equity, fairness, validity, reliability and flexibility in planning an assessment process

Required knowledge

competency-based assessment: work focused, criterion referenced, standards-based, evidence-based

the different purposes of assessment and different assessment contexts, including RPL.

how to read and interpret the identified competency standards as the benchmarks for assessment

how to contextualise competency standards within relevant guidelines

the four principles of assessment and how they guide the assessment process

what is evidence and different types of evidence used in competency-based assessments, including RPL

the four rules of evidence and how they guide evidence collection

different types of assessment methods, including suitability for collecting various types of evidence

assessment tools and their purpose; different types of tools; relevance of different tools for specific evidence gathering opportunities

different resource requirements for assessment and associated costs

where to source other relevant assessment information and how to incorporate this into the plan

the principles of inclusivity, and strategies for reasonable adjustment, without compromise to the competency standards

sources and types of specialist support to candidates

methodologies suitable for reviewing assessment tools

the assessment system policies and procedures established by the industry and/or organisation

the RPL policies and procedures established by the organisation

risks and requirements associated with different assessment applications in various contexts, including:

capacities of assessors at higher AQF levels

when linked to licensing

legal implications of assessing competence

the relevant organisational/legal/ethical requirements impacting on the planning and organisation of assessment, as set out in the Range Statement of the relevant competency standards

other relevant policy, legislation, codes of practice and national standards including national Commonwealth and state/territory legislation for example:

copyright and privacy laws in terms of electronic technology

security of information


licensing requirements

anti-discrimination including equal opportunity, racial vilification and disability discrimination

workplace relations

industrial awards/enterprise agreements

OHS responsibilities associated with planning and organising assessment, such as:

hazards commonly found, and preferred risk controls for the specific assessment environment

OHS procedures to be observed in the assessment process

safe use and maintenance of relevant equipment

sources of OHS information

Evidence Required

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of Assessment

To demonstrate competence against this unit, candidates must be able to provide evidence that they have developed an assessment plan and organised the material resources and personnel to support the assessment process.

The evidence provided must describe how the purpose of assessment was identified; contain structured plans that detail the selection/confirmation of assessment methods and tools, and assessment environments; include appropriate communication strategies with relevant people regarding the assessment process; outline resource requirements and special assistance required throughout the assessment process; and include recording and reporting requirements

Products that could be used as evidence include:

assessment plans

modified/adjusted assessment tools to allow for specific needs

contextualised competency standards

documentation of consultations with clients and other stakeholders regarding the assessment purpose and context

Processes that could be used as evidence include:

how competency standards and other documents were interpreted

how assessment activities were scheduled

how RPL is incorporated in the assessment process

how resources were identified and obtained

how communication systems were used to include relevant stakeholders in the planning process

how assistance was sought from individuals providing specialist support

Resource implications for assessment include:

access to relevant Training Package/s

access to assessment materials and tools

access to other relevant assessment information

access to suitable assessment venue/equipment

access to RPL policy and procedures

workplace documentation

cost/time considerations

personnel requirements

The collection of quality evidence requires that:

assessment must address the scope of this unit and assessment must address the scope of this unit and reflect all components of the unit, i.e. the Elements, Performance Criteria, Range Statement, Evidence Guide, Employability Skills

a range of appropriate assessment methods/evidence gathering techniques is used to determine competency, including RPL.

evidence must be gathered in the workplace whenever possible. Where no workplace is available, a simulated workplace must be provided

the evidence collected must relate to a number of performances assessed at different points in time and in a learning and assessment pathway these must be separated by further learning and practice

evidence collected must relate to at least one RPL assessment

assessment meets the rules of evidence

a judgement of competence should only be made when the assessor is confident that the required outcomes of the unit have been achieved and that consistent performance has been demonstrate

Specific evidence requirements must include:

evidence of planning and organising the assessment process on a minimum of two occasions. The evidence collected must:

address the provision of documented assessment plans

cover a range of assessment events

cater for a number of candidates

relate to different competency standards or accredited curricula

address an RPL assessment

involve the contextualisation of competency standards and the selected assessment tools, where required

incorporate consideration of reasonable adjustment strategies

include organisational arrangements

Integrated assessment means that:

this unit can be assessed alone or as part of an integrated assessment activity involving relevant units in the TAA04 Training and Assessment Training Package. Suggested units include but are not limited to:

TAAASS402C Assess competence

TAAASS403B Develop assessment tools

TAAASS404B Participate in assessment validation

TAADES401B Use Training Packages to meet client needs

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Purpose/s of assessment may include:

recognising current existing competence of candidate/s

determining if competence has been achieved following learning

establishing candidate/s progress towards achievement of competence

determining language, literacy, numeracy needs of candidates/s

certifying competence through a Statement of Attainment

establishing progress towards a qualification

determining training gaps of candidate/s

measuring work performance

classifying employees/support career progression

meeting organisational requirements for work - operate equipment/develop new skills

licensing or regulatory requirements

Context of assessment/ RPL may include:

part of the enrolment process

the environment in which the assessment/RPL will be carried out, including real work/simulation

opportunities for collecting evidence in a number of situations

relationships between competency standards and evidence to support recognition of prior learning

who carries out the assessment/RPL

relationships between competency standards and work activities in the candidate's workplace

relationships between competency standards and learning activities

auspicing and partnership arrangements

the period of time during which the assessment takes place

apportionment of costs/fees, if applicable

quality assurance mechanisms

Relevant people must include:

the candidate/s

the assessor/s responsible for conducting the assessment/RPL, which may be self or other assessors

Relevant people may include:

the client, company or organisation

team leaders, managers, supervisors

delivery personnel

technical/subject experts

training and assessment coordinators

RPL coordinators

industry regulators

employee and employer representatives

members of professional associations

Commonwealth department official/Centrelink personnel/caseworker

Australian Apprenticeship Centre (AAC) personnel

Legal/organisational/ethical requirements may include:

assessment system policies and procedures

assessment strategy requirements

reporting, recording and retrieval systems for assessment, including RPL

quality assurance systems

business and performance plans

access and equity policies and procedures

collaborative/partnership arrangements

defined resource parameters

mutual recognition arrangements

industrial relations systems and processes, awards/enterprise agreements

Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF2007)

registration scope

human resources policies/procedures

legal requirements including anti-discrimination, equal employment, job role/responsibilities/conditions

relevant industry codes of practice

confidentiality and privacy requirements

OHS considerations, including:

ensuring OHS requirements are adhered to during the assessment process

identifying and reporting OHS hazards and concerns to relevant personnel

The assessment strategy is a documented framework to guide and structure assessment arrangements for a vocational education and training qualification. In a learning and assessment pathway it is addressed as part of the learning strategy. In an assessment only pathway it is a separate document. The assessment strategy may encompass:

the identification of the competency standards forming the qualification and

interpretation of the packaging rules of the qualification, where part of a Training Package

interpretation of the competency standards as the benchmarks for assessment

application of Training Package Assessment Guidelines, where part of a Training Package

arrangements for RPL, including provision of guidance and assistance to candidates in gathering and evaluating evidence

determination of assessment methods for identified competency standards

selection of assessment tools for identified competency standards

organisational arrangements for assessment, including physical and human resources, roles and responsibilities and partnership arrangements (where relevant)

nominated quality assurance mechanisms

identified risk management strategies

Benchmark/s for assessment/ RPL refers to:

the criterion against which the candidate is assessed or prior learning recognised which, may be a competency standard/unit of competency, assessment criteria of course curricula, performance specifications, product specifications

Evidence is:

material collected which, when matched against the specifications in the competency standards, provides proof of competency achievement

Types of evidence may include:

direct, e.g. observation of work activities under real/simulated work conditions, examples of work products

indirect, e.g. third party reports from a range of sources

supplementary, e.g. question and answer, work records, training records, portfolios

candidate gathered evidence

assessor gathered evidence


combination of above

The rules of evidence guide the evidence collection process to ensure evidence is:

valid, for example:

address the elements and Performance Criteria

reflect the skills and knowledge described in the relevant unit/s of competency

show application in the context described in the Range Statement

demonstrate performance skills and knowledge are applied in real/simulated workplace situations

current, for example:

demonstrate the candidate's current skills and knowledge

comply with current standards

sufficient, for example:

demonstrate competence over a period of time

demonstrate repeatable competence

not inflate the language, literacy and numeracy requirements beyond those required in performing the work task

authentic, for example:

be the work of the candidate

be corroborated/verified

All component parts of the competency standards refers to:


Performance Criteria

Range Statement including advice on:

range of contexts/conditions to be met in assessment

aspects of the Performance Criteria that can be contextualised

information which adds definition to support assessment

links to knowledge and skills

underpinning language, literacy and numeracy requirements

Evidence Guide requirements, including:

underpinning/required knowledge

underpinning/required skills and attributes

underpinning language, literacy and numeracy requirements

critical aspects of evidence to be considered/quality evidence requirements

concurrent assessment and interdependence of units

assessment methods/resources/context

dimensions of competency, which include:

task skills

task management skills

contingency management skills

job role/environment skills

requirements set out in the Assessment Guidelines of the relevant Training Package/s

Related documentation may include:

information from the competency standards about the resources required for assessment, the assessment context, appropriate assessment methods

assessment activities identified in accredited modules derived from the relevant competency standards

assessment activities in Support Materials related to the relevant competency standards

RPL policy and procedures

any requirements of OHS, legislation, codes of practice, standards and guidelines

indicators and levels of competence of the National Reporting System

organisational requirements for demonstration of work performance

product specifications

direct observation, for example:

real work/real time activities at the workplace

work activities in a simulated workplace environment

Assessment/ RPL methods are the particular techniques used to gather different types of evidence and may include:

structured assessment activities, for example:

simulation exercises/role-plays




activity sheets

questioning, for example:

written questions, e.g. on a computer



verbal questioning questionnaires

oral/written examinations (for higher AQF levels

portfolios, for example:

collections of work samples by the candidate

product with supporting documentation

historical evidence

journal/log book

information about life experience

review of products, for example:

products as a result of a project

work samples/products

third party feedback, for example:

testimonials/reports from employers/supervisors

evidence of training

authenticated prior achievements

interview with employer, supervisor, peers

the instruments developed from the selected assessment methods to be used for gathering evidence such as:

a profile of acceptable performance measures


specific questions or activities

evidence/observation checklists

checklists for the evaluation of work samples

candidate self-assessment materials

Assessment tools contain:

the procedures, information and instructions for the assessor/candidate relating to the use of assessment instruments and assessment conditions

Selected/confirmed means:

selected on the basis that they are suitable and effective in collecting the evidence in light of the purpose and context

confirmed in accordance with the assessment strategy, where appropriate

Principles of assessment are:





Material and physical resources may include:

documents required for the assessors and candidates, including competency standards and assessment tools

plant and equipment


personal protective equipment

venues for assessment

adaptive technologies

physical adjustments to assessment environment

Assessment plan is the overall planning document for the assessment process and may include:

the purpose and aims of the assessment

the context of assessment/RPL

relevant competency standards to be used as the benchmarks for assessment/RPL

other assessment information/documentation identified as relevant

identified personnel

identified assessment methods and assessment tools

possibilities for clustering units of competency for assessment purposes

identified OHS hazards, including assessed risks and control strategies

material and/or physical resources required

organisational arrangements for conducting assessment/RPL

OHS reporting requirements

any special assessment needs, e.g. personal protective equipment requirements

outline of assessment milestones, time lines and target dates

candidate self-assessment procedures

connections to relevant organisational plans, polices and procedures

Relevant personnel may include:

self in such contexts as one-person/small training and/or assessment organisation

lead assessor

training and/or assessment supervisor/coordinator

training and/or assessment manager

Characteristics of the candidate/s may include:

level of work experience

level and experiences of previous learning and assessment

motivation for assessment - personal/organisational

English language, literacy and/or numeracy levels/needs

physical impairment or disability involving hearing, vision, voice, mobility

intellectual impairment or disability

medical condition such as arthritis, epilepsy, diabetes, asthma that is not obvious but may impact on assessment

differences in learning progress

psychiatric or psychological disability

religious and spiritual observances

cultural background images/perceptions



Reasonable adjustments and/or specific needs must not compromise the integrity of the competency standards and may include:

adjustments to the assessment process taking into account candidate's language, literacy, numeracy requirements

provision of personal support services, for example, reader, interpreter, attendant carer, scribe, member of community in attendance

use of adaptive technology or special equipment

flexible assessment sessions to allow for fatigue or administering of medication

format of assessment materials, for example, in braille, first language, use of audiotape/ videotape

adjustments to the physical environment or venue

revising proposed assessment methods/tools

considerations relating to age and/or gender,

considerations relating to cultural beliefs, traditional practices, religious observances

Contextualised means:

to change the wording of some component parts of the competency standard to reflect the immediate operating environment

Contextualisation guidelines relate to:

DEST Guidelines on Training Package Contextualisation

relevant Training Package contextualisation guidelines

Recognition of prior learning is defined as:

an assessment process that assesses an individual's non-formal and informal learning to determine the extent to which that individual has achieved the required learning outcomes, competency outcomes, or standards for entry to and/or partial or total completion of a qualification

Assessment system policies and procedures may include:

candidate selection

rationale and purpose of competency-based assessment

assessment records/data management/information management

recognition of current competency/recognition of prior learning/credit arrangements

assessors - needs, qualifications, maintaining currency

assessment reporting procedures

assessment appeals

candidate grievances/complaints


evaluation/internal audit


access and equity/reasonable adjustment

partnership arrangements

links with human resource or industrial relations systems

links with overall quality management system

Specialist support may include:

assistance by third party - carer, interpreter

development of online assessment activities

support for remote or isolated candidates and/or assessors

support from subject matter or safety experts

advice from regulatory authorities

assessment teams/panels

support from lead assessors

advice from policy development experts

Communication strategies may include:

interviews (face-to-face or telephone)

email, memos and correspondence


video conferencing/e-based learning

focus groups

email, memos and correspondence


video conferencing/e-based learning

focus groups


Not applicable.

Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

Not applicable.