Design and develop assessment tools

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to design and develop assessment tools, including tools used in formative, summative and recognition of prior learning (RPL) assessment.


An assessment tool is used to guide the collection of quality evidence in the assessment process. It includes the specific instruments for collecting evidence, as well as information about assessment methods and the procedures to be followed in conducting the assessment.

This unit typically applies to those involved in training and assessment or in the development of learning resources or products, assessors, learning resource or product developers, and training and assessment consultants.


Not applicable.

Elements and Performance Criteria

1. Determine focus of the assessment tool

1.1 Identify target group of candidates, purposes of assessment tool, and contexts in which the tool will be used

1.2 Access relevant benchmarks for assessment and interpret them to establish evidence required to demonstrate competence

1.3 Identify, access and interpret organisational, legal and ethical requirements and relevant contextualisation guidelines

1.4 Identify other related documentation to inform assessment tool development

2. Design assessment tool

2.1 Select assessment methods that support the collection of defined evidence, taking into account the context in which the assessment will take place and meeting the principles of assessment

2.2 Enable candidates to show or support their claim for recognition of current competency through selected assessment methods

2.3 Consider different assessment instruments for the selected assessment methods to generate options for collection of evidence

2.4 Consider how the assessment instruments will be administered

3. Develop assessment tool

3.1 Develop specific assessment instruments that address the evidence to be collected

3.2 Define and document clear and specific procedures instructing assessor and candidate on the administration and use of the instruments

3.3 Consider requirements of assessment system policies and procedures and address storage and retrieval needs, and review, evaluation and version control procedures as part of this process

4. Review and trial assessment tool

4.1 Check draft assessment tools against evaluation criteria and amend as required

4.2 Trial assessment tools to validate content and applicability

4.3 Collect and document feedback from relevant people involved in trialling

4.4 Make amendments to final tool based on analysis of feedback

4.5 Appropriately format and file finalised assessment tool according to assessment system policies and procedures and organisational, legal and ethical requirements

Required Skills

Required skills

analysis and interpretation skills to review and evaluate assessment tools

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

design skills to develop different assessment tool designs

research and evaluation skills to evaluate assessment tools on the basis of trials and feedback.

Required knowledge

principles of assessment and how they are applied when developing assessment tools

different types and rules of evidence

different assessment contexts and relationship to developing assessment tools

components of competency and dimensions of competency

contextualisation of competency standards and contextualisation guidelines

Assessment Guidelines of training packages as relevant to developing assessment tools

different assessment methods, their purposes and uses

evaluation methodologies appropriate to the trial and review of assessment 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.

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:

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

develop assessment tools that:

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

show how the contextual needs of different environments are addressed

report on the trial and review of the assessment tools, including proposed changes.

Context of and specific resources for assessment

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

Assessment must ensure access to:

training products, such as training packages and accredited course documentation.

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 tool includes:

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.

Contexts of assessment/RPL may include:

environment in which the assessment/RPL will be carried out, including real or simulated workplace

opportunities for collecting evidence in a number of situations

relationships between competency standards and evidence to support RPL

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.

Benchmarks for assessment:

refer to criteria against which the candidate is assessed which may be a unit of competency, assessment criteria of course curricula, performance specifications, or product specifications

where the benchmark is one or more units of competency the standards may be contextualised to reflect the immediate operating environment.

Organisational, legal and ethical requirements may include:

assessment system policies and procedures

industrial relations systems and processes, awards and enterprise agreements

licensing and legal ramifications of assessing competence

reporting, recording and retrieval systems for assessment

requirements of training, assessment and validation, including the AQTF Standards for Registered Training Organisations

human resource policies, procedures and legal requirements, including:


equal employment opportunity

job role, responsibilities and 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:

relevant training package or accredited course contextualisation guidelines.

Related documentation may include:

requirements set out in the Assessment Guidelines of the relevant training packages

information from the competency standards about:

resources required for assessment

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 Australian Core Skills Framework

organisational requirements for demonstration of work performance

product specifications.

Assessment instrument may be:

profiles of acceptable performance measures

templates and proformas

specific questions or activities

evidence and observation checklists

checklists for the evaluation of work samples

recognition portfolios

candidate self-assessment materials.

Procedures may include:

those that guide the application of the instruments, such as:

instructions for the candidates

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

guidance for 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:

assessment records, and data and information management

recognition of current competency, RPL and credit arrangements

assessor needs, qualifications and maintenance of currency

assessment reporting procedures

assessment appeals

candidate grievances and complaints


evaluation and internal audit

costs and resourcing

access and equity, and 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 assessment tool is appropriate to selected assessment methods

whether assessment tool is appropriate to target group and assessment context

appropriateness of language and literacy for intended audience.



Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

Not applicable.