Identifying Assessors, and Assessor Training and Qualifications

 In Assessor, Blog

Identifying Assessors, and Assessor Training and Qualifications: What Do You Need To Consider?  What about qualifications?

Within your competency management system you will need assessors, then you will need to consider assessor training and qualifications. However, as you will see in this article, assessor training is almost certainly needed, but assessor qualifications very much depends on your own organisation’s assessment strategy.

The first step is to identify who would be best to take on this role.


The Role of the Assessors

Your assessors need to be occupationally competent in the area that they will be assessing.  So this is your starting point.

The next step is to look at what your assessors will be doing.  The key areas are:

  • Managing the assessment process with their candidates including:
    • Planning the assessment
    • Gathering Evidence
    • Judging Evidence
    • Giving clear and accurate feedback
  • Maintaining assessment records which might be paper based or might be online.

In order to do this, the assessors need to be able to work with people, giving their candidates feedback, letting them know what has been done well and advising of the areas that might need more attention.

So What do You Need from Your Assessor Training?

From our experience assessor training and qualifications are two different topics that need to be considered closely yet separately. Assessor training is nearly always essential. We always encourage that this is supplemented by a requirement for the assessors to apply what they have learnt back in the workplace and receive feedback on this.

The first step to think about with assessor training is to ask: what do you need your assessors to be able to do at the end of the training?

At the end of the training you will need to have competent assessors who:

  • Understand their roles and responsibilities in the assessment process
  • Know how to use your assessment paperwork and process
  • Understand the judgement that can be made, e.g. competent and not yet competent
  • Are comfortable having the necessary conversations with the assessors, providing feedback and dealing with difficult conversations.

If you would like to know more about how we can help, please get in touch.

Do Your Assessors Need Qualifications?

There are a number of things to consider when deciding whether or not you need assessor training and qualifications, or just assessor training.

The first thing to look at is what your assessment strategy or competency management system requires.

If your assessors are involved in the assessment of nationally and internationally recognised qualifications, then they will usually require assessor qualifications.  We offer assessor qualifications from the SQA:

  • SQA L&D9DI Assess Workplace Competence Using Direct and Indirect Methods
  • SQA L&D9D Assess Workplace Competence Using Direct Methods

In addition, some organisation’s competency management systems may require that the assessors are qualified.  This might be because of an industry requirement, e.g. OPITO in the oil and gas industry or it might be a client requirement.

What Are the Alternatives?

If there is not a requirement for your assessors to be qualified, we would always recommend that you look at alternative options.  Qualifications can work very well, and we can work with you to help that happen.

However, your assessment process may not align well with a qualification and if this is the situation, trying to achieve the requirements of the qualification can be a distraction from making sure that the assessors know how to assess, know how to judge evidence and give feedback, and know what your organisation expects from them (their roles and responsibilities, their process and paperwork, for example).


Training with a Practical Assignment

If you are not using qualifications, we would still recommend instead that you ask your assessors to complete a practical assessment, which is then reviewed before you sign them off as competent at assessing.

This is a really important part of making sure that we check that the assessors have been trained but also know how to apply what they have been trained on.  If possible, it works well if we can use your organisation’s paperwork and process as part of this assessment.

By applying their assessor skills quickly after the training, we help the assessors get started with the work of assessing, we can support them in the early days and we can feed back to you if there are any issues or areas that they are struggling with.

Get in touch if you would like to discuss anything we have talked about or would like to know more.

Tel: +44 (0) 1651 873398

Email: or

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