Develop assessment tools

This unit specifies the competence required to develop assessment tools.


An assessment tool is used to guide the collection of quality evidence in the assessment process. It includes the instruments for collecting evidence, based on the selected assessment methods and the procedures to be followed in conducting the assessment.

The development of effective and relevant assessment tools requires interpreting the benchmarks for assessment to determine the evidence needed to demonstrate competency. It also involves analysing the assessment context to ensure the tools will be appropriate and relevant, identifying or confirming assessment methods which most effectively address the evidence requirements, then designing and developing the assessment tool documentation.

The availability of well-designed assessment tools is essential for assessment. Both this unit and TAAASS404B Participate in assessment validation address reviewing assessment tools as an outcome. This review can occur as part of assessment tool development. It can also occur as part of a validation exercise which may be carried out before and after use of the assessment tool.

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, learning resource/product developers, and training and/or assessment consultants.


Not applicable.

Elements and Performance Criteria

Elements and Performance Criteria


Performance Criteria


Determine the focus of the assessment tool


The target group of candidates and the purpose/s and context/s of assessment are identified/clarified


The relevant benchmarks for assessment are accessed and interpreted to establish the evidence required to demonstrate competency


Where competency standards form the assessment benchmark/s, all component parts of the competency standards are interpreted and, where relevant, these standards are contextualised to meet organisational legal/ ethical requirements, in accordance with contextualisation guidelines


Other related documentation is identified to inform assessment tool development


Determine assessment tool needs


Assessment methods are selected which will support the collection of defined evidence, taking into account the context in which the assessment will take place and meeting the principles of assessment


Nominated assessment methods enable candidates to show or support their claim for recognition of current competency


Different instruments for the selected assessment methods are considered and options for assessment activities are generated using critical thinking skills


Design and develop assessment tools


Specific instruments are developed to address the evidence to be collected based on devising assessment activities which:

meet the competency standards

reflect the principles of assessment

incorporate principles of access and equity

meet the rules of evidence

provide choice, where appropriate

are sequenced to reflect competency development in a learning and assessment pathway

are user-friendly

reflect the assessment environment

are practicable


Assessment instruments are developed using appropriate:

style and format

language, literacy and numeracy

sensitivity to audience diversity

visual and aural representation



Clear and specific procedures instructing the assessor and/or candidate on the administration and use of the instruments are defined and documented


Relevant assessment system policy and procedures requirements are considered and addressed including storage and retrieval needs, review and evaluation, version control procedures


Review and trial assessment tools


Draft assessment tools are checked against evaluation criteria and amended, where necessary


Draft assessment tools are trialled to validate content and applicability


Feedback from relevant people involved in trialling is collected and documented


Amendments to the final tools are made based on analysis of feedback, where required


Revised assessment tools are appropriately formatted and filed in accordance with assessment system policies and procedures and organisational/legal/ethical requirements

Required Skills

Not applicable.

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 assessment tools that support different assessment methods and which address at least three units of competency packaged at different Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) levels.

These tools must include the instruments for collecting evidence reflecting the principles of assessment and the rules of evidence and the related instructions to assessor/s and candidates. They must also show how the contextual needs of different environments were addressed. Evidence must also include a report on the trial and review of the assessment tools, including any proposed changes.

Evidence Requirements

Required knowledge includes:

competency-based assessment including:

vocational education and training as a competency-based system

assessment is criterion referenced/distinction to norm referenced assessment

criteria used in national VET is endorsed or accredited competency standards defining specifications for performance of work/work functions and skills/knowledge

reporting of competency-based assessment

competency standards as the basis of qualifications

the principles of competency-based assessment

the structure and application of competency standards

what is an assessment only pathway and a learning and assessment pathway

the principles of assessment and how these principles are applied in developing assessment tools

what is evidence, different types of evidence and rules of evidence

what are the different purposes of assessment

different assessment contexts and relationship with developing assessment tools

how to interpret competency standards, including components of competency and dimensions of competency

what is the meaning of contextualisation of competency standards and what are contextualisation guidelines

what are Assessment Guidelines of Training Package/s and what information in Guidelines is relevant to developing assessment tools

different assessment methods, their purposes and uses

what are assessment tools including:

what do they comprise

different types of assessment instruments and procedures

relationship to assessment methods

how tools support the assessment process

different assessment tool design for different purposes including:





what is recognition of current competency - designing an assessment tool for recognition of current competency

evaluation methodologies appropriate to the trial and review of assessment system tools

principles of reasonable adjustment

relevant workplace information including:

organisational policies and procedures

workplace tasks and activities

standard operating procedures

procedures for use of relevant personal protective equipment

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

copyright and privacy laws in terms of electronic technology

security of information


Training Packages/competency standards/other relevant assessment documentation

licensing requirements

considerations of access and equity

industry/workplace requirements

duty of care under common law

recording information and confidentiality requirements

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

workplace relations

industrial awards/enterprise agreements

relevant OHS legislation, codes of practice, standards and guidelines that need to be reflected in the assessment tool design and content

Required skills and attributes include:

analysis and interpretation skills to:

unpack and interpret competency standards

analyse work functions

review/evaluate the assessment tools

critical thinking skills to translate the interpreted competency standards and other relevant assessment information into meaningful assessment instruments

design skills to order to develop different assessment tool designs

research and evaluation skills to:

evaluate units of competency to determine appropriate evidence requirements

evaluate different environments, target group needs and special circumstances for assessment

evaluate assessment tools on the basis of trials and feedback

literacy and communication skills to:

read and interpret relevant information to determine evidence requirements

give clear and precise information/instructions

receive and interpret feedback on assessment tools

prepare required documentation using clear and comprehensible language; using a layout appropriate to the audience and competency standard as it is applied in the workplace

editing and proofreading skills to:

modify and validate assessment tools

balancing different needs and demands

attributes, including:

capacity to think logically and clearly in order to develop tools

willingness to encourage, accept and utilise feedback

Products that could be used as evidence include:

a plan for developing the assessment tools

draft assessment tools including instruments and related procedures

documents demonstrating version control

reports on the trialling of the assessment tools, including any proposed changes

identified amendments addressing trial/review outcomes

final assessment tools

Processes that could be used as evidence include:

how competency standards and other documents were interpreted

how the target group was identified

why certain instruments were developed

how the assessment tools meet the components of competency for the target group and why

how the assessment tools were reviewed

Resource implications for assessment include:

access to competency standards and other relevant assessment documentation

access to workplace documentation

access to environment and resource needs

cost/time considerations

access to assessors, candidates and appropriate assessment contexts for trial/review

The collection of quality evidence requires that:

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

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

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 demonstrated

Specific evidence requirements must include:

evidence of the development and trialling of new assessment tools that support a range of different assessment methods

the tools must address at least three units of competency or accredited curricula, packaged in qualifications at different AQF levels

the processes used to trial and review the tools, including feedback obtained from relevant personnel

documentation setting out the specific instruments and procedures that have been developed

Integrated assessment means that:

This unit can be assessed alone or as part of an integrated assessment activity involving relevant units. The following units are suggested:

TAAASS401C Plan and organise assessment

TAAASS402C Assess competence

TAAASS404B Participate in assessment validation.

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.

Assessment tools contain:

the instruments 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

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

Target group of candidates may be:

broadly based or specifically targeted

drawn from range of backgrounds

defined industry or organisation

trade- or profession-based

defined by training arrangement, e.g. apprenticeship

defined by specific needs

defined by funding body requirements such as apprentice/trainee, unemployed, English language learner

Purpose/s of assessment may be to:

recognise current existing competence of candidate/s

determine if competence has been achieved following learning

establish candidate/s progress towards achievement of competence

determine language, literacy, numeracy needs of candidates/s

certify competence through a Statement of Attainment

establish progress towards a qualification

determine training gaps of candidate/s

measure work performance

classify employees/support career progression

Context/s of assessment may include:

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

opportunities for collecting evidence in a number of situations

who carries out the assessment

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

relationships between competency standards and learning activities

assessment under partnership arrangements

the period of time during which the assessment takes place

apportionment of costs/fees, if applicable

quality assurance mechanisms

individual unit or integrated approaches to competency assessment

Benchmark/s for assessment refers to:

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


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

All component parts of the competency standards include:


Performance Criteria

Range Statement including:


link to knowledge and enterprise requirements

focus of assessment

underpinning language, literacy and numeracy requirements

areas of contextualisation

any links to knowledge and enterprise requirements

range of contexts/conditions to be met in assessment

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, for example:

task skills

task management skills

contingency management skills

job role/environment skills

Contextualised means:

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

Organisational/legal/ethical requirements may include:

assessment system policies and procedures

industrial relations systems and processes, awards/enterprise agreements

licensing/legal ramifications of assessing competence

reporting, recording and retrieval systems for assessment

requirements of training and/or assessment organisations relating to assessment and validation

quality assurance systems

business and performance plans

access and equity policies and procedures

collaborative/partnership arrangements

defined resource parameters

mutual recognition arrangements

Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF) Standards for Registered Training Organisations, in particular Standard 8, RTO Assessment

registration scope

human resource policies/procedures and legal requirements including anti-discrimination, equal employment, job role/responsibilities/ conditions

relevant industry codes of practice

confidentiality and privacy requirements of information relating to completed assessments

OHS considerations, including:

ensuring assessment methods and tools incorporate appropriate measures to maintain the health, safety and welfare of candidates

ensuring OHS requirements and specified benchmarks are accounted for within evidence requirements and assessment materials

identifying hazards and relevant risk control procedures associated with the assessment environment

Contextualisation guidelines relate to:

DEST Guidelines on Training Package contextualisation

relevant Training Package contextualisation guidelines

Related documentation may include:

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

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

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

Assessment methods are the particular techniques used to gather evidence and may include:

direct observation, for example:

real work/real time activities at the workplace

work activities in a simulated workplace environment

structured activities, for example:

simulation exercises/role-plays



activity sheets

questioning, for example:

written questions, e.g. on a computer



verbal questioning


oral or written examinations (applicable at higher AQF levels)

portfolios, for example:

collections of work samples compiled 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, peer

Principles of assessment guide the assessment process and must address:





Recognition of current competency means:

the process of assessment and formal recognition by an assessor of competence currently held by a candidate which has been gained through any combination of formal, informal training and education, work experience or real life experiences

Instruments are the documented questions/ assessment activities developed to support the selected assessment method/s used to collect the evidence of candidate competence and may include:

oral and written questions

observation/demonstration checklists

projects, case studies, scenarios

candidate self-assessment guides

recognition portfolios

workplace portfolios

simulation activities

definition of relevant workplace documents

a profile of acceptable performance measures


evidence/observation checklists

checklists for the evaluation of work samples

Rules of evidence are closely related to the assessment principles and provide guidance on the collection of evidence to ensure that it is:





Procedures guide the application of the assessment instruments and may include:

instructions for the candidates

instructions for administering the assessment tool, including resources needed to conduct assessment and the context for the use of the tools

guidance for the development or review of decision making process

guidance on reasonable adjustments

specified variations or restrictions on the tools

rules for verifying assessment decisions

OHS requirements, for example, identified hazards in the assessment environment and appropriate controls and reporting mechanisms

information on access and equity considerations

Assessment system policies and procedures may include:

candidate selection

rational 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

Evaluation criteria may include:

effectiveness and relevance to the competency standards

whether the assessment tool meets the principles of assessment

whether the assessment tool meets the rules of evidence

whether the assessment tool is appropriate to selected assessment methods

whether the assessment tool is appropriate to the target group/assessment context

whether the assessment tool provides guidance on reasonable adjustments

whether the assessment tool addresses organisational/legal/ethical requirements including OHS requirements

whether the assessment tool enables the candidate to demonstrate current competency

level of engagement and direct participation of candidates

appropriateness of language and literacy used for intended audience


simplicity/ease of use/practicability

inclusivity/avoidance of bias

guidance on reasonable adjustments

cost effectiveness

Trialled may involve:

expert review by individuals with expertise in assessment and the relevant Training Package/ accredited course or relevant benchmark

field or pilot testing with groups of assessors and candidates

review of OHS considerations

peer review by assessors in the relevant industry

workshopping with assessors and other key stakeholders in the relevant industry sector

Feedback may relate to:

reliability, flexibility, validity and fairness

relevance to workplace context

content accuracy

ease of use

cost/time effectiveness for candidates and assessors

language, literacy and numeracy requirements in terms of the relevant competencies

Relevant people may include:



technical and subject experts, including OHS, English language, literacy and numeracy specialists

training and assessment coordinators

industry regulators

union and employer representatives

members of professional associations

state/territory registering body


Not applicable.

Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

Not applicable.