What is Pre-Assessment and Post-Assessment Validation?

Professional Development

In this blog, we unravel the essential differences between pre-assessment and post-assessment validation and explore why these processes are so crucial. Think of them as the dynamic duo ensuring the quality and effectiveness of your assessment tools, guiding you from development to real-world application with confidence and precision.

Pre-Assessment Validation 

Pre-assessment validation is a quality assurance process for checking newly developed assessment tools before they are used with real students for the first time. 

Pre-Assessment Validation

It’s all about identifying and fixing potential issues to ensure the tools accurately assess what they should, aligning with the assessment requirements and The Australia Qualifications Framework (AQF) guidelines. 

The pre-assessment validation involves analysing the assessment tool against the principles of assessment and the rules of evidence and asking questions like…

  • Are the assessment methods valid and collecting the right type of evidence? ( e.g. using practical tasks to assess skills and using some form of questioning to assess knowledge requirements)
  • Are the assessment instructions, tasks, and questions clear and consistently interpreted by everyone? 
  • Is sufficient evidence being collected to cover the unit’s requirements?
  • Does the assessment ensure currency and authenticity of the evidence?

While not yet compulsory in the current Standards for RTOs, pre-assessment validation is expected to become mandatory in the next version of these standards. Regardless, addressing any issues beforehand guarantees a smoother, problem-free assessment process.

Post-Assessment Validation

Now, let’s shift our focus to post-assessment validation, which occurs after the assessment tools have been used and the results recorded. You might wonder why we need another round of validation. Well, while pre-assessment validation is about expectations, post-assessment validation is about reality. It evaluates

  • How the assessment was administered
  • The quality of evidence presented by candidates
  • The accuracy of the assessment judgments
  • Feedback and guidance provided.
Post-Assessment Validation

The post-assessment validation process seeks to evaluate if the assessment tool reliably produced evidence that allowed a reasonable decision to be made by the assessor about a candidate’s competence.  

Because industry trends and requirements are constantly evolving, the post-assessment validation process is also an ideal opportunity to check that the evidence the candidates are being asked to produce is still valid and current in terms of industry expectations. 

Post-assessment validation is a formal, mandatory process for every RTO, requiring a 5-year plan to validate all nationally recognised training and assessment products. At least 50% of these products must be validated within the first three years, with the remainder completed by the end of the five-year cycle.

For more information about the validation obligations of RTOs, be sure to visit the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) website. Get ready to master the art of assessment validation and ensure your tools are always hitting the right notes!

If a career as a trainer in Vocational Education is something you're interested in, why not reach out to one of our Course Advisors to see just how you can get started.

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