In the process of assessment, there are legal requirementsthat must be followed and procedures that are set by the awarding body thatevery centre needs to follow. Policies must be followed that apply to every industry, someset by the awarding body and also that apply to specific work places whichassessors must take into consideration when planning assessments and planninghow to meet course criteria. One legal requirement is health and safety. This is very importantas the health and safety of your learner as well as yourself as an assessor andothers is paramount. When planning and during an assessment, the assessor mustensure no one involved is put at any risk of danger. The assessment method mustcomply 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 theassessor, learner, any other clinicians involved and also dental patients.Health and safety policies include complying with PPE (personal protectiveequipment), this is very important in a dental surgery as there a lot of risksof sharps injuries and risks of cross contamination. Immunisation is very vitalin dentistry; the assessor must not plan any observation assessments if thelearner 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 andsafety must also be considered as important when planning assessments. Puttingtoo much stress on the learner will have a massive impact on their outlook ofthe course and their confidence could be put at risk. This will also affect thelearner’s progression as they will be discouraged from learning. Giving toomuch negative criticism can also affect the learner’s emotional welfare, toomuch negativity and focus on the learner’s weaknesses can give them a damagingview of the course and make them feel like they do not want to continue.
Another legal issue relevant to assessment is dataprotection and confidentiality. The learner’s information and work should notbe shared with anyone. The only people who should have access to thisinformation is those with authorisation, such as; the assessor, the learner,the centre, the learner’s work place and others such as moderators andauditors.
Not only should the learner’s work and information be keptconfidential because it is sensitive to the learner, but also because theirwork may contain sensitive information. In relation to dentistry, anobservation may be sensitive as it may contain patient information andinformation on treatment that the learner took part in when being assessed.This is very sensitive information and should be kept confidential at alltimes. The learner should consider not using any names or personal informationof the patient to keep it as low risk as possible to breaking anyconfidentiality policies. Transparency is another legal requirement relevant toassessment. The whole assessment process must be made transparent to everyoneinvolved.
This includes the learner, assessor, learner’s work place and thecentre providing the training. The learner must be fully aware of assessmentmethods, the purpose of these methods and any information on the appealsprocess. The learner’s manager needs to be aware of everything so they can keeptrack of the learner’s progress, to help when the assessor is not present andalso to help with any issues the learner has and who to contact if they haveany questions.
Record keeping is another legal issue to be considered. Theawarding body states that any assessment records must be kept for at leastthree years. These records must be kept accurate, up-to-date and managedproperly, following procedures for such management. These records must beaccessible for any authorised person at any time. This is an important legalissue as it may be useful for quality assurance, if the company want to compareany assessment methods with their success rate to allow for quality assuranceimprovement for the learners. It is also important for auditing purposes, to beable to provide records efficiently is good for the compliance of the company. A very important legal issue relevant to assessment isproviding equal opportunities and diversity. All learners are different and alltheir different needs are required to be met.
The assessor cannot discriminateagainst any need of the learner and each learner must given the bestopportunity to meeting all criteria of their course. These different needsinclude; race and culture, background, physical and mental ability. Theassessor must be prepared to adapt to every need when planning assessments. Onething to consider is the physical ability of the learner, the learner may be ina wheelchair so the assessor must ensure the venue chosen for assessments iswheelchair accessible. Another need to consider is the learner’s ability tolearning. If they have any difficulties or weaknesses with particular learning,the assessor must give them the opportunity to learner and provide evidence indifferent ways. This can include reading and writing, if the learner struggleswith this then assessor cannot collect evidence via written exams.
Therefore,the assessor should plan observations or oral questions and answers so thelearner has the opportunity to provide evidence, just in a different way. Ifthe learner does not speak English, this cannot be discriminated against. Theassessor and centre must try and provide translating aid or English-speakinglessons in order for the learner to receive the best opportunities. Other needsthat need to be considered are racial and cultural influences. The assessormust take into consideration prayer days or religious holidays when planningmeetings and assessments with the learners so they do not clash.
All of theseneeds must be priority to the learner and assessor. A final legal issue relevant to assessment that must beconsidered is the compliance with assessment strategy. The training centre willprovide the assessor with an assessment strategy to use as guidelines whenplanning assessments. These guidelines show acceptable assessment methods, theamount 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 methodsof assessment. This is useful because if an assessor chooses their own methodsof assessment and later realises that this method is not accepted, then thelearner’s time has been wasted and the topics covered will need to be coveredagain.
This will slow down the learner’s progression, having a negative affecton their learning journey. It also important to know how much evidence isrequired to meet criteria so the assessor can plan assessments that will helpmatch this amount of evidence. This is also good for time saving as theassessor may ignore the compliance strategy and plan an assessment that willnot gather enough evidence, so more assessments will have to be planned.
On theother hand, the assessor may plan a long assessment that gathers too much,irrelevant evidence that cannot be submitted, wasting the learner’s time yetagain. Finally, the template for record keeping is an important legal issue asthis allows the assessor to record assessments accurately. This allows for nomistakes to be made and for no evidence to be lost or not recorded, forcing thelearner to repeat the assessment so the evidence can be recording adequately.These are all, time saving, cost effective benefits for the assessor, makingthe assessment process beneficial for the learner.