In the process of assessment, there are legal requirements
that must be followed and procedures that are set by the awarding body that
every centre needs to follow.
Policies must be followed that apply to every industry, some
set by the awarding body and also that apply to specific work places which
assessors must take into consideration when planning assessments and planning
how to meet course criteria.
One legal requirement is health and safety. This is very important
as the health and safety of your learner as well as yourself as an assessor and
others is paramount. When planning and during an assessment, the assessor must
ensure no one involved is put at any risk of danger. The assessment method must
comply with everything in the learner’s work place health and safety policy.
Assessing in my own line of work, dentistry, health and safety must cover the
assessor, learner, any other clinicians involved and also dental patients.
Health and safety policies include complying with PPE (personal protective
equipment), this is very important in a dental surgery as there a lot of risks
of sharps injuries and risks of cross contamination. Immunisation is very vital
in dentistry; the assessor must not plan any observation assessments if the
learner cannot prove they are fully immunised against any potential diseases.
This would be very irresponsible of the assessor to plan such assessments,
putting the learner at risk for the sake of meeting criteria quickly.
Other than physical health and safety, emotional health and
safety must also be considered as important when planning assessments. Putting
too much stress on the learner will have a massive impact on their outlook of
the course and their confidence could be put at risk. This will also affect the
learner’s progression as they will be discouraged from learning. Giving too
much negative criticism can also affect the learner’s emotional welfare, too
much negativity and focus on the learner’s weaknesses can give them a damaging
view of the course and make them feel like they do not want to continue.
Another legal issue relevant to assessment is data
protection and confidentiality. The learner’s information and work should not
be shared with anyone. The only people who should have access to this
information is those with authorisation, such as; the assessor, the learner,
the centre, the learner’s work place and others such as moderators and
auditors. Not only should the learner’s work and information be kept
confidential because it is sensitive to the learner, but also because their
work may contain sensitive information. In relation to dentistry, an
observation may be sensitive as it may contain patient information and
information on treatment that the learner took part in when being assessed.
This is very sensitive information and should be kept confidential at all
times. The learner should consider not using any names or personal information
of the patient to keep it as low risk as possible to breaking any
Transparency is another legal requirement relevant to
assessment. The whole assessment process must be made transparent to everyone
involved. This includes the learner, assessor, learner’s work place and the
centre providing the training. The learner must be fully aware of assessment
methods, the purpose of these methods and any information on the appeals
process. The learner’s manager needs to be aware of everything so they can keep
track of the learner’s progress, to help when the assessor is not present and
also to help with any issues the learner has and who to contact if they have
Record keeping is another legal issue to be considered. The
awarding body states that any assessment records must be kept for at least
three years. These records must be kept accurate, up-to-date and managed
properly, following procedures for such management. These records must be
accessible for any authorised person at any time. This is an important legal
issue as it may be useful for quality assurance, if the company want to compare
any assessment methods with their success rate to allow for quality assurance
improvement for the learners. It is also important for auditing purposes, to be
able to provide records efficiently is good for the compliance of the company.
A very important legal issue relevant to assessment is
providing equal opportunities and diversity. All learners are different and all
their different needs are required to be met. The assessor cannot discriminate
against any need of the learner and each learner must given the best
opportunity to meeting all criteria of their course. These different needs
include; race and culture, background, physical and mental ability. The
assessor must be prepared to adapt to every need when planning assessments. One
thing to consider is the physical ability of the learner, the learner may be in
a wheelchair so the assessor must ensure the venue chosen for assessments is
wheelchair accessible. Another need to consider is the learner’s ability to
learning. If they have any difficulties or weaknesses with particular learning,
the assessor must give them the opportunity to learner and provide evidence in
different ways. This can include reading and writing, if the learner struggles
with this then assessor cannot collect evidence via written exams. Therefore,
the assessor should plan observations or oral questions and answers so the
learner has the opportunity to provide evidence, just in a different way. If
the learner does not speak English, this cannot be discriminated against. The
assessor and centre must try and provide translating aid or English-speaking
lessons in order for the learner to receive the best opportunities. Other needs
that need to be considered are racial and cultural influences. The assessor
must take into consideration prayer days or religious holidays when planning
meetings and assessments with the learners so they do not clash. All of these
needs must be priority to the learner and assessor.
A final legal issue relevant to assessment that must be
considered is the compliance with assessment strategy. The training centre will
provide the assessor with an assessment strategy to use as guidelines when
planning assessments. These guidelines show acceptable assessment methods, the
amount of evidence required to meet criteria and how to record assessments effectively.
This is important to follow as it gives the learner the best available methods
of assessment. This is useful because if an assessor chooses their own methods
of assessment and later realises that this method is not accepted, then the
learner’s time has been wasted and the topics covered will need to be covered
again. This will slow down the learner’s progression, having a negative affect
on their learning journey. It also important to know how much evidence is
required to meet criteria so the assessor can plan assessments that will help
match this amount of evidence. This is also good for time saving as the
assessor may ignore the compliance strategy and plan an assessment that will
not gather enough evidence, so more assessments will have to be planned. On the
other hand, the assessor may plan a long assessment that gathers too much,
irrelevant evidence that cannot be submitted, wasting the learner’s time yet
again. Finally, the template for record keeping is an important legal issue as
this allows the assessor to record assessments accurately. This allows for no
mistakes to be made and for no evidence to be lost or not recorded, forcing the
learner to repeat the assessment so the evidence can be recording adequately.
These are all, time saving, cost effective benefits for the assessor, making
the assessment process beneficial for the learner.