Assess competence

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to assess the competence of a candidate.


This unit typically applies to assessors.


Not applicable.

Elements and Performance Criteria

1. Prepare for assessment

1.1 Interpret assessment plan and confirm organisational, legal and ethical requirements for conducting assessment with relevant people

1.2 Access and interpret relevant benchmarks for assessment and nominated assessment tools to confirm the requirements for evidence to be collected

1.3 Arrange identified material and physical resource requirements according to assessment system policies and procedures

1.4 Organise specialist support required for assessment

1.5 Explain, discuss and agree details of the assessment plan with candidate

2. Gather quality evidence

2.1 Use agreed assessment methods and instruments to gather, organise and document evidence in a format suitable for determining competence

2.2 Apply the principles of assessment and rules of evidence in gathering quality evidence

2.3 Determine opportunities for evidence gathering in actual or simulated activities through consultation with the candidate and relevant personnel

2.4 Determine opportunities for integrated assessment activities and document any changes to assessment instruments where required

3. Support the candidate

3.1 Guide candidates in gathering their own evidence to support recognition of prior learning (RPL)

3.2 Use appropriate communication and interpersonal skills to develop a professional relationship with the candidate that reflects sensitivity to individual differences and enables two-way feedback

3.3 Make decisions on reasonable adjustments with the candidate, based on candidate’s needs and characteristics

3.4 Access required specialist support in accordance with the assessment plan

3.5 Address any OHS risk to person or equipment immediately

4. Make the assessment decision

4.1 Examine collected evidence and evaluate it to ensure that it reflects the evidence required to demonstrate competence

4.2 Use judgement to infer whether competence has been demonstrated, based on the available evidence

4.3 Make assessment decision in line with agreed assessment procedures and according to agreed assessment plan

4.4 Provide clear and constructive feedback to candidate regarding the assessment decision and develop any follow-up action plan required

5. Record and report the assessment decision

5.1 Record assessment outcomes promptly and accurately

5.2 Complete and process an assessment report according to agreed assessment procedures

5.3 Inform other relevant parties of the assessment decision according to confidentiality conventions

6. Review the assessment process

6.1 Review the assessment process in consultation with relevant people to improve own future practice

6.2 Document and record the review according to relevant assessment system policies and procedures

Required Skills

Required skills

analysis and interpretation skills to:

break down competency standards

interpret assessment tools and other assessment information, including those used in RPL

identify candidate needs

make judgements based on assessment of available evidence

observation skills to:

recognise candidate’s prior learning

determine candidate’s performance

identify when candidate may need assistance during the assessment processes

research and evaluation skills to:

access required human and material resources for assessment

access assessment system policies and procedures

access RPL policies and procedures

evaluate evidence

evaluate assessment process

cognitive skills to:

weigh up the evidence and make a judgement

consider and recommend reasonable adjustments

decision-making skills to:

recognise a candidate’s prior learning

make a decision on a candidate’s competence

literacy skills to:

read and interpret relevant information to conduct assessment

prepare required documentation and records or reports of assessment outcomes in required format

communication and interpersonal skills to:

explain the assessment, including RPL process

give clear and precise instructions

ask effective questions

provide clarification

discuss process with other relevant people

give appropriate feedback

discuss assessment outcome

use language appropriate to candidate and assessment environment

establish a working relationship with candidate.

Required knowledge

competency-based assessment, including:

vocational education and training as a competency-based system

criterion-referenced assessment as distinct from norm-referenced assessment

competency standards as the basis of qualifications

structure and application of competency standards

principles of assessment and how they are applied

rules of evidence and how they are applied

range of assessment purposes and assessment contexts, including RPL

different assessment methods, including suitability for gathering various types of evidence, suitability for content of units, and resource requirements and associated costs

reasonable adjustments and when they are applicable

types and forms of evidence, including assessment instruments that are relevant to gathering different types of evidence used in competency-based assessment, including RPL

potential barriers and processes relating to assessment tools and methods

assessment system, including policies and procedures established by the industry, organisation or training authority

RPL policies and procedures established by the organisation

cultural sensitivity and equity considerations

relevant policy, legislation, codes of practice and national standards, including commonwealth and state or territory legislation that may affect training and assessment in the vocational education and training sector, such as:

copyright and privacy laws in terms of electronic technology

security of information


training packages and competency standards

licensing requirements

industry and workplace requirements

duty of care under common law

recording information and confidentiality requirements

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

workplace relations

industrial awards and enterprise agreements

OHS responsibilities associated with assessing competence, such as:

requirements for reporting hazards and incidents

emergency procedures

procedures for use of relevant personal protective equipment

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

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

Evidence of the ability to:

assess competence of a number of candidates within the vocational education and training context against different units of competency or accredited curricula, following the relevant assessment plan

assess at least one candidate for RPL

consider reasonable adjustment and the reasons for decisions in at least one assessment

cover an entire unit of competency and show:

the application of different assessment methods and instruments involving a range of assessment activities and events

two-way communication and feedback

how judgement was exercised in making the assessment decision

how and when assessment outcomes were recorded and reported

assessment records and reports completed in accordance with assessment system and organisational, legal and ethical requirements

how the assessment process was reviewed.

Context of and specific resources for assessment

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

Method of assessment

Guidance information for assessment

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 plan may include:

overall planning, describing:

what is to be assessed

when assessment is to take place

where assessment is to take place

how assessment is to take place.

Benchmarks for assessment:

refer to a criterion against which the candidate is assessed

may be a competency standard/unit of competency, assessment criteria of course curricula, performance specifications, or product specifications.

Assessment tools include:

the learning or competency unit(s) to be assessed

the target group, context and conditions for the assessment

the tasks to be administered to the candidate

an outline of the evidence to be gathered from the candidate

the evidence criteria used to judge the quality of performance (i.e. the assessment decision-making rules)

the administration, recording and reporting requirements

the evidence of how validity and reliability have been tested and built into the design and use of the tool.

Specialist support may include:

assistance by third party, such as carer or interpreter

support from specialist educator

provision of developed online assessment activities

support for remote or isolated candidates and assessors

support from subject matter or safety experts

advice from regulatory authorities

assessment teams and panels

support from lead assessors

advice from policy development experts.

Assessment methods include:

particular techniques used to gather different types of evidence, such as:

direct observation

structured activities

oral or written questioning

portfolios of evidence

review of products

third-party feedback.

Individual differences may include:

English language, literacy and numeracy barriers

physical impairment or disability

intellectual impairment or disability

medical condition that may impact on assessment, such as arthritis, epilepsy, diabetes and asthma

learning difficulties

mental or psychological disability

religious and spiritual observances

cultural images and perceptions



Feedback may include:

ensuring assessment/RPL process is understood

ensuring candidate concerns are addressed

enabling questions and answers

confirming outcomes

identifying further evidence to be provided

discussing action plans

confirming gap training needed

providing information regarding available appeal processes

suggesting improvements in evidence gathering and presentation.

Consultation may involve:

moderation with other assessors, or training and assessment coordinators

discussions with client, team leaders, managers, RPL coordinators, supervisors, coaches and mentors

technical and subject experts

English language, literacy and numeracy experts.



Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

Not applicable.