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ASSESSMENT STRATEGIES GUIDE FOR

CHC COMMUNITY SERVICES


TRAINING PACKAGE
Release 3.0 December 2015
Contents

Modification history ________________________________________________ 3

Purpose of this guide_______________________________________________ 4

Increased focus on assessment and implications _______________________ 6

Quality in assessment ______________________________________________ 7

Supporting stronger assessment _____________________________________ 8

Unit of competency _____________________________________________________ 8

Assessment Requirements ______________________________________________ 10


Performance evidence ________________________________________________________ 13
Knowledge evidence __________________________________________________________ 16
Knowledge that applies across units ______________________________________________ 18
Assessment conditions ________________________________________________________ 18

Simulated assessments _________________________________________________ 25

Rural and remote candidates ____________________________________________ 26

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) ______________________________________ 27


An RPL process _____________________________________________________________ 27

Clustering units of competency for assessment ____________________________ 28


Clustering units of competency that form a holistic task _______________________________ 30
Clustering units of competency to meet an enterprise requirement ______________________ 30
Clustering units within a qualification for efficiency ___________________________________ 30

Assessment fundamentals _________________________________________ 35

Rules of Evidence _____________________________________________________ 35

Principles of Assessment _______________________________________________ 36

Types of evidence _____________________________________________________ 36


Direct evidence ______________________________________________________________ 37
Indirect evidence _____________________________________________________________ 37
Supplementary evidence _______________________________________________________ 37

Evidence gathering ____________________________________________________ 38

Access and equity ________________________________________________ 39

Assessing candidates with a disability ____________________________________ 39


What is a disability? __________________________________________________________ 39

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Adjustments in assessment ____________________________________________________ 40

Supports for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander candidates for assessment _ 40

Assessing people with low level foundation skills ___________________________ 41

Resources and additional information ________________________________ 42


RPL Toolkit for Children’s Services ______________________________________________ 43

Modification history

Release number Release date Comments

3.0 December 2015 Revised to provide information for newly endorsed


components in December 2015
2.0 October 2015 Revised to provide information for newly endorsed
components in July 2015
1.3 January 2015

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Purpose of this guide

This Assessment strategies guide is one of several guides produced to help with the
implementation of the HLT Health and CHC Community Services Training Packages.

CHC units of competency, assessment requirements, qualifications and skill sets can be
found on the national register www.training.gov.au.

In addition, the following non-endorsed Training Package components (companion volumes)


have been developed:

 The Implementation guide is a mandatory requirement for Industry Skills Councils


to develop. It is available at www.cshisc.com.au and contains overview information
about the entire Training Package, including a list of all units, skills sets and
qualifications. It also contains key implementation advice for use by registered
training organisations (RTOs).
 Other guides and resources to assist implementation include:
- A Learning strategies guide describes potential strategies for working with a
diversity of learners and possible learning strategies.
- A Knowledge strategies guide identifies knowledge requirements of the
units of competency, a glossary of terms and provides information about
potential resources as well as links to useful information.
- This Assessment strategies guide provides guidance on interpretation of
the Assessment Requirements as well as general advice about assessment.
- A Foundation skills guide provides guidance about identifying foundation
skills and developing them in students in the context of the sector in which
they work.
- A Work placement guide provides guidance on how to set up work
placements, the roles and responsibilities of RTOs and industry partners, how
to ensure that the placements are good learning experiences for students and
are run effectively in organisations.

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These are
optional
Companion
Volumes
developed by
the CS&HISC to
support
implementation

Feedback and contributions

In time, these companion volumes will provide an opportunity to showcase best practice
from RTOs and provide a forum for sharing information and resources. If you have any
ideas, resources, case studies or feedback to contribute to the companion volumes, please
provide your feedback via the CS&HISC Continuous Improvement Feedback Register.
http://www.cshisc.com.au/connect/continuous-improvement-register/

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Increased focus on assessment and implications

One of the most significant changes in the Community Services Training Package (CHC) is
the increased focus on assessment and the specification of assessment requirements. At a
national level across all industries, improving the quality of assessment is a priority.

CS&HISC acknowledges that there are some excellent training organisations offering quality
approaches in community services. However, concerns have also been raised in relation to
the consistency and quality of training and assessment outcomes across the sector. In
particular, concerns have been repeatedly raised in relation to perceived unreasonably short
delivery times and lack of practicum experiences. While in the past there has been some
requirement for workplace assessment in aged care and disability programs, specified work
hours have not formed part of endorsed Training Package components. An Australian Skills
Quality Agency (ASQA) report (2013) on an audit of training in aged and community care
services indicated variation in the quality of training provided in the sector. Assessment was
highlighted as a particular problem area including insufficient assessment of skills in a
workplace context (ASQA 2013). The report also highlighted wide variations in the provision
of work placements and recommended more explicit requirements on work placement
provision and improvements to the existing training for trainers and assessors (i.e. Certificate
IV in Training and Assessment).

In this context, industry has taken up the opportunity provided by the introduction of the
Standards for Training Packages
(http://www.industry.gov.au/skills/NationalStandards/Documents/StandardsforTrainingPacka
ges.pdf) to place a greater focus on the specification of assessment requirements. This is
particularly in relation to specification of frequency and volume of evidence required to
demonstrate competency and the introduction of workplace hours in some units of
competency. Industry feedback is that this will support recognition of prior learning claims
from the existing workforce and provide the sector with better-qualified graduates of
vocational education and training (VET) programs.

Assessment requirements for units of competency are now presented differently – they
contain rigorous performance evidence and knowledge evidence to guide the assessment
process. Additionally, many skills must now be demonstrated in a workplace environment.
Work placement has, in some cases, been part of student development in the sector but not
always mandated within the training package itself.

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The CHC Training Package is now more specific about:

 frequency of evidence – such as, how often skill or task must be demonstrated in the
workplace
 range of evidence – such as, across what range of individuals, equipment or services
skills must be demonstrated
 volume of evidence – such as, how much evidence or the number of hours spent in
demonstrating skills and knowledge to meet the requirements of the performance
criteria.

Assessors will need to be familiar with these changes. The most significant change for RTOs
and their assessors is that demonstration of skill in the workplace is mandatory in some units
of competency.

Quality in assessment

Industry and the wider community expect that people with qualifications from the VET sector
will have the skills and knowledge to perform competently in their job role. Good assessment
practice underpins the VET system. The Standards for Registered Training Organisations
(RTOs) 2015 http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2014L01377 reflects this by requiring that:

RTO’s training and assessment is delivered only by persons who have:

 vocational competencies at least to the level being delivered and assessed;


 current industry skills directly relevant to the training and assessment being provided;
and
 current knowledge and skills in vocational training and learning that informs their training
and assessment.
 In addition:

 prior to 1 January 2016, TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment


or its successor, a diploma or higher level qualification in adult education; or
demonstrated equivalence of competencies
 from 1 January 2016, the training and assessment qualification TAE40110
Certificate IV in Training and Assessment or its successor, a diploma or
higher level qualification in adult education

Assessment practice, including Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) must:

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 meet the requirements of training packages and VET accredited courses;
 be responsive to industry and learner needs; and
 be delivered by appropriately qualified trainers and assessors with the right support
services, facilities and equipment.

Depending on your state or territory, and your regulatory authority, please refer to Standard
1 from Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015
http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2014L01377 or AQTF Essential Conditions and
Standards for Continuing Registration Standard 1
http://www.licensinglinenews.com/DownloadAttachment.aspx?AttachmentId=150762 for
further information.

Supporting stronger assessment

Anyone familiar with previous versions of the qualifications in this Training Package will
notice that the units look different. That is because assessment has been highlighted by the
creation of Assessment Requirements for each unit of competency in line with the Standards
for Training Packages.

Below is a snapshot of a Unit of Competency with the new Assessment Requirements to


show how they will appear in the Training Package. Note that the level of specification varies
considerably between different units of competency. Units describing sector-specific skills
tend to have a higher level of specification than the more generic units.

Unit of competency

CHCDIV001 Work with diverse people

Application This unit describes the skills and knowledge


required to work respectfully with people from
Identifies the diverse social and cultural groups and situations,
work context including Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
people.
and who the
This unit applies to all workers.
unit applies
to The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance
with Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation,
Australian/New Zealand standards and industry

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codes of practice.

Elements Specifies the


ELEMENT PERFORMANCE CRITERIA
define the level of
essential 1. Reflect on 1.1 Identify and reflect on own social and performance
outcomes own cultural perspectives and biases needed to
perspectives
1.2 Work with awareness of own limitations in demonstrate
self and social awareness
achievement
1.3 Use reflection to support own ability to workof the element
inclusively and with understanding of others

1.4 Identify and act on ways to improve own self


and social awareness

2. Appreciate 2.1 Value and respect diversity and


diversity and inclusiveness across all areas of work
inclusiveness,
and their 2.2 Contribute to the development of work place
benefits and professional relationships based on
appreciation of diversity and inclusiveness

2.3 Use work practices that make environments


safe for all

3. 3.1 Show respect for diversity in communication


Communicate with all people
with people
from diverse 3.2 Use verbal and non-verbal communication
backgrounds constructively to establish, develop and maintain
and situations effective relationships, mutual trust and confidence

3.3 Where a language barrier exists, use


effective strategies to communicate in the most
efficient way possible

3.4 Seek assistance from interpreters or other


persons according to communication needs

4. Promote 4.1 Identify issues that may cause


understandin communication misunderstandings or other
g across difficulties
diverse
groups 4.2 Where difficulties or misunderstandings
occur, consider the impact of social and cultural
diversity

4.3 Make an effort to sensitively resolve


differences, taking account of diversity
considerations

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4.4 Address any difficulties with appropriate
people and seek assistance when required

FOUNDATION SKILLS

The Foundation Skills describe those required skills (such as


language, literacy, numeracy and employment skills) that are
essential to performance.

Foundation skills essential to performance are explicit in the


performance criteria of this unit of competency.

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Requirements for CHCDIV001 Work with diverse people


Sets out the
product and/or
process
Performance The candidate must show evidence of the ability to
complete tasks outlined in elements and performance
evidence evidence:
criteria of this unit, manage tasks and manage
required, in contingencies in the context of the job role. There must
addition to the be evidence that the candidate has:
candidate
 undertaken a structured process to reflect on
performing the own perspectives on diversity
performance
criteria and  recognised and respected the needs of people
from diverse social and cultural backgrounds in
includes
at least 3 different situations:
frequency,
range and  selected and used appropriate verbal and non-
volume. verbal communication

 recognised situations where


misunderstandings may arise from diversity
and formed appropriate responses

Knowledge The candidate must be able to demonstrate essential


Specifies
knowledge required to effectively complete tasks
what the evidence:
outlined in elements and performance criteria of this
candidate unit, manage tasks and manage contingencies in the
must know in context of the work role. This includes knowledge of:
order to
 concepts of cultural awareness, cultural safety
effectively and cultural competence and how these impact
carry out the different work roles
performance
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 concepts and definitions of diversity

 own culture and the community attitudes,


language, policies and structures of that culture
and how they impact on different people and
groups

 features of diversity in Australia and how this


impacts different areas of work and life:

- political

- social

- economic

- cultural

 legal and ethical considerations (international,


national, state/territory, local) for working with
diversity, how these impact individual workers,
and the consequences of breaches:

- discrimination:

o age

o disability

o racial

o sex

- human rights:

o Universal declaration of human rights

o relationship between human needs and


human rights

- frameworks, approaches and instruments


used in the workplace

- rights and responsibilities of workers,


employers and clients, including
appropriate action when rights are being
infringed or responsibilities not being
carried out

 key areas of diversity and their characteristics,


including:

- culture, race, ethnicity

- disability

- religious or spiritual beliefs

- gender, including transgender

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- intersex

- generational

- sexual orientation/sexual identity - lesbian,


gay, bisexual, heterosexual

 key aspects, and the diversity, of Australia’s


Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
cultures, including:

- social, political and economic issues


affecting Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait
Islander people

- own culture, western systems and


structures and how these impact on
Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
people and their engagement with services

- potential needs of marginalised groups,


including:

o protective factors

o physical, mental and emotional health


issues/care needs

o consideration of impacts of
discrimination, trauma, exclusion and
negative attitudes

o resources that support individuals and


organisations to embrace and respond
to diversity

o language and cultural interpreters

o imagery

o influences and changing practices in


Australia and their impact on the
diverse communities that make up
Australian society

 impact of diversity practices and experiences


on personal behaviour, interpersonal
relationships, perception and social
expectations of others

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Assessment Skills must have been demonstrated in the workplace
Sets out or in a simulated environment that reflects workplace
conditions:
mandatory conditions. Where simulation is used, it must reflect
conditions for real working conditions by modelling industry operating
conditions and contingencies, as well as, using
assessment,
suitable facilities, equipment and resources.
including
equipment Assessors must satisfy the Standards for Registered
and assessor
Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015/AQTF mandatory
competency requirements for assessors.
requirements.

Performance evidence

The Standards for Training Packages require that ‘product’ evidence (what outcome has
been observed) or ‘process’ evidence (what procedure has been followed) is listed here as
well as the frequency (how often) and/or the volume (how much) of that evidence is required.
Industry stakeholders have provided much feedback on this section during the development
of the training package.

In the example given above, the ‘volume’ requirement is met by indicating that the candidate
must have evidence to show that they have ‘recognised and respected the needs of people
from diverse social and cultural backgrounds in at least 3 different situations’.

Here are some examples of the ‘volume’ requirement in the performance evidence of some
other units in this training package.

Unit code and title Example of ‘volume’ requirement in the performance evidence

CHCAGE002 Implement  Implemented falls prevention strategies for at least 2


falls prevention strategies older people and monitored and evaluated those
strategies in a collaborative, positive and respectful
manner
CHCCCS023 Support  safely supported at least 3 people to enhance
independence and independence and wellbeing
wellbeing  performed the activities outlined in the performance
criteria of this unit during a period of at least 120 hours
of direct support work in at least one aged care, home
and community, disability or community service

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organisation
CHCCSL001 Establish and  conducted an initial session with at least 3 different clients
confirm the counselling presenting with different issues, to establish, confirm and
document the nature of the helping relationship, including:
relationship  followed the structure and process of a counselling
interview
 developed counselling plans, that include required:
o safety or reporting issues
o recording of clients own identified priorities
o observations of client requirements
o involvement of other agencies/referral
information
o special needs information
o goals
o evaluation strategies
CHCDIS001 Contribute to  Contributed to ongoing skills development, using a
ongoing skills development strengths-based approach, for at least 3 people with
using a strengths based disability
approach
CHCECE003 Provide care  provided care and responded appropriately to at least
for children three children of varying ages, including:
- promoting physical activity and encouraging
participation
- engaging children in discussions around physical
health and wellbeing
- adapting the physical environment to ensure challenge
and appropriate risk-taking
- ensuring the smooth transition of new arrivals
- supporting children through transition and change
 performed the activities outlined in the performance
criteria of this unit during a period of at least 120 hours of
work in at least one regulated education and care
service.
CHCFAM001 Operate in a  correctly applied family law to at least 5 different client
situations, that individually or cumulatively include needs
family law environment
relating to:
 domestic and family violence/safety
 finance
 property
 children
 relationship conflict
CHCFIN001 Facilitate the  performed the activities outlined in the performance criteria
financial counselling of this unit during a period of 220 hours of work in a
financial counselling agency that has met the

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process requirements for the Australian Securities and Investments
Commission (ASIC) exemption from a financial services or
credit licence
 used critical thinking and problem solving skills to engage
with the client and develop, implement and review options
and action plans for at least 5 different clients presenting
with multiple and complex needs.
CHCGRP002 Plan and  facilitated at least 3 different group sessions, each with a
minimum group size of 5 people, using the following
conduct group activities
communication and interpersonal skills:
 listening
 questioning
 effective non-verbal communication
 empathetic responding
 paraphrasing
 summarising
 negotiation
 techniques for maintaining group cohesion
 conflict resolution
CHCLAH002 Contribute to  contributed to the planning, delivery and evaluation of 3
leisure and health leisure and health activities for a client or group of
programming clients
 documented 4 activity modifications/adaptations that
have been investigated
 visited a suitable outing venue for a chosen client or
group of clients

In some units the performance evidence contains the additional requirement that the
candidate has undertaken workplace hours, for example:

 performed the activities outlined in the performance criteria of this unit during a
period of at least 120 hours of direct support work in at least one aged care,
home and community, disability or community service organisation
(CHCCCS023 Support independence and wellbeing)
 performed the activities outlined in the performance criteria of this unit during a
period of at least 120 hours of work in at least one regulated education and care
service (CHCECE003 Provide care for children)

 performed the activities outlined in the performance criteria of this unit during a
period of 220 hours of work in a financial counselling agency that has met the
requirements for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)

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exemption from a financial services or credit licence (CHCFIN001 Facilitate the
financial counselling process)
The requirement for a specified number of hours of work within a specified type of workplace
appears in some, but not all, of the units of competency in this package. The requirement is
usually within at least one core unit of a qualification but there are some qualifications in the
package that do not have this requirement. There are also qualifications where the
requirement may appear in multiple core units. This does not mean that the candidate has to
complete the nominated hours for each unit – note the wording ‘during a period’. The same
work hours may provide evidence for a number of units of competency. A full list of
qualifications and the associated required hours of work can be found in the companion
volume Implementation Guide and also in the Work Placement Guide.

Knowledge evidence

Knowledge evidence must specify what the individual must know in order to safely and
effectively perform the work task described in the unit of competency.

The knowledge evidence is set out in all the units in this training package using a common
approach and units have been updated to provide much clearer guidance about the breadth
or depth of knowledge required.

EXAMPLES

In the unit of competency CHCAOD004 Assess needs of clients with alcohol and other
drugs issues there is a requirement to know about assessment tools. Rather than simply
having the statement ‘assessment tools’ in the knowledge evidence, the following is included
to provide guidance:

AOD assessment tools, including:

 types of tools

 purpose of tools

 components of different types of tools, and the information they include

 availability of standardised tools

 benefits of standardised tools

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 how to select tools for different situations and client presentations

In the unit of competency CHCCSL003 Facilitate the counselling relationship and


process, there is a requirement to know about the key stages of a counselling session.
Rather than simply having the statement ‘key stages of a counselling session’ in the
knowledge evidence, the following is included to provide guidance:

structure of key stages of a counselling session, and techniques for managing each stage,
including:

 introduction and establishment of relationship

 body (getting the client’s story)

 issues identification and exploration

 options and plan for change

 session closure

Of course complete specification is not always possible. Users should also review the
application statement in each unit to fully establish the context of work, which in turn,
provides guidance on the scope of knowledge required.

EXAMPLES

In the unit of competency CHCCS023 Support independence and wellbeing see how the
following can provide guidance on the depth of knowledge required:

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to provide individualised
services in ways that support independence, as well as, physical and emotional
wellbeing.

This unit applies to workers in a range of community services contexts who provide
frontline support services within the context of an established individualised plan.

In the unit of competency CHCCCS028 Provide client-centred support to people in


crisis, note how the application emphasises the nature of the support provided and
therefore gives guidance on the scope of knowledge required.

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to build relationships with help-
seekers, use crisis support micro skills and address the personal issues that affect working

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with people in crisis. The support is immediate and short term, and not ongoing.

This unit applies to individuals in crisis support roles who work according to established
procedures and models. They work under supervision.

Knowledge that applies across units

The latest review of the Training Package has focused on removing duplication and
repetition to develop a Training Package that is less ambiguous and easier to navigate for
employers, RTOs and learners. However, because the knowledge required performing one
area of work often overlaps with that required to perform another aspect, assessors will
notice that knowledge may reappear in multiple units, such as legal and ethical
requirements. This is only the case when the knowledge is critical to the performance
criteria of the unit and overall assessors will note reduced repetition and duplication across
the knowledge requirements in units. It is also essential to collect evidence that the
candidate can tailor knowledge to the particular task described in the unit of competency.

Assessment conditions

The assessment conditions specify any mandatory conditions for assessment, including the
conditions under which evidence must be gathered. It is very important to read assessment
conditions for each individual unit of competency because the conditions vary from unit to
unit in this training package.

There are several different types of statements used to reflect varying requirements.
Requirements generally relate to:

 whether skills must be demonstrated in the workplace – this is not always the case
 whether simulation is a requirement prior to demonstration in the workplace
 whether there must be interaction with real people/particular types of people
 types of resources (e.g. equipment, documentation) required for assessment
 any additional assessor requirements.

There are many units of competency which do allow for simulation or scenarios and do not
mandate a workplace. For example, units of competency that apply to workers in a broad
range of contexts may give the option of simulated or workplace assessment. Similarly,
when a competency is difficult to demonstrate in a workplace because the range of
conditions may not be present during the time a candidate is there will be better assessed in
simulation. The table below shows examples of the various wordings used under

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assessment conditions in order to highlight some of the variations found across the training
package.

Assessment Conditions Wording Intent

Workplace or simulation Assessment conditions require assessment


to be undertaken either in a workplace or a
Skills must have been demonstrated in the
simulated environment. RTOs need to
workplace or in a simulated environment
ensure that simulated environments reflect
that reflects workplace conditions. Where
realistic workplaces to assess
simulation is used, it must reflect real
competencies. This is at the discretion of
working conditions by modelling industry
the RTO and should be based on the
operating conditions and contingencies, as
outcomes of their industry consultation.
well as, using suitable facilities, equipment
and resources.

Workplace or simulation with additional Assessment conditions require assessment


specification to be undertaken either in a workplace or a
simulated environment. The workplace and
Skills must have been demonstrated in the
simulated environment must include the
workplace or in a simulated environment
facilities, equipment, resources and
that reflects workplace conditions. The
operating conditions listed.
following conditions must have been met for
this unit:
 use of suitable facilities, equipment and
resources, including:
- medicaments
- nail files
- foot washing equipment
- personal protective equipment
- individualised plans
- infection control procedures
- cleaning, disposal and sterilisation
facilities
 modelling of industry operating
conditions and contingencies, including:
- real people simulating minor foot
problems for whom candidates can
provide foot care

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Assessment Conditions Wording Intent

Workplace with addition of simulation Assessment conditions require that


assessment is undertaken in the workplace.
Skills must have been demonstrated in an
However simulations may be used if the
ageing support workplace with the addition
workplace did not or cannot provide an
of simulations and scenarios where the full
opportunity to assess the specific task.
range of contexts and situations have not
Some of the reasons this might occur
been provided in the workplace. These are
include:
situations relating to emergency or
unplanned procedures where assessment  it might be unsafe to assess a particular
in these circumstances would be unsafe, task in the workplace
impractical or threatens the dignity of the
 the client might have refused to take
older person. The following conditions must
part in assessment
be met for this units:
 a broader range of experiences and
 use of suitable facilities, equipment and
scenarios was required
resources, including:
However, it must be noted that most of the
- relevant risk assessment tools
unit must be assessed in the workplace and
- relevant organisation policies and only select tasks should be undertaken in
procedures simulation. RTOs will need to provide a

Overall, assessment must involve rationale as to why some components were

workplace interactions with older people, assessed in simulation. For example if the

colleagues and families/carers. RTO feels that a broader range of


scenarios was required it would be
expected that assessment did in fact
involve those broader ranges.

In this example the specific workplace is


also stipulated, i.e. ageing support
workplace.

Required simulation prior to workplace Assessment conditions require workplace


assessment but also require that there has
All aspects of the performance evidence
to be some level of simulation prior to
must have been demonstrated using
assessment involving real people.
simulation prior to being demonstrated in

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Assessment Conditions Wording Intent
the workplace. The following conditions
must be met for this unit:
RTOs will see this example in units where it
 use of suitable facilities, equipment and is unsafe or inappropriate to assess in the
resources, including: workplace without first ensuring that the
learner is competent in the task. Industry
- relevant organisation policies and
would still like learners assessed in the
procedures
workplace but they need the assurance that
- relevant aids to assist with
the learner is ready first.
independent living

Each example will differ, so RTOs need to


read the assessment conditions to
determine which aspects of the unit must
be demonstrated in simulation first and then
in the workplace.

Required simulation without workplace Assessment conditions require that


assessment takes place in simulation only.
(note this example is from First Aid in HLT a
unit often used in community services)

Skills must be demonstrated working It should be noted that this does not apply
individually in an environment that provides for assessment of prior learning. If a
realistic in-depth, industry-validated learner can provide evidence that they have
scenarios and simulations to assess real work experience in the tasks specified
candidates’ skills and knowledge. in the particular unit they should not be
Assessment resources must include: required to undertake assessment again in
simulation.
 adult and infant resuscitation manikins
in line with ARC Guidelines for the
purpose of assessment of CPR
procedures

 AED training device

 workplace injury, trauma and/or illness


record, or other appropriate workplace
incident report form

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Assessment Conditions Wording Intent

Simulated assessment environments must


simulate the real-life working environment
where these skills and knowledge would be
performed, with all the relevant equipment
and resources of that working environment.

Below are some further examples referencing specific units of competency:

Example statement in assessment conditions Notes

Unit requiring demonstration of skills in the Note the highlighted words, ‘with the
workplace: addition of’. In these units it is clear that
assessment must take place in a relevant
CHCMHS003 Provide recovery oriented workplace but where some aspects of the
mental health services assessment cannot be done then simulations
Skills must have been demonstrated in the can be used. In this instance, industry has
workplace with the addition of simulations chosen not to specify the types of situations
and scenarios where the full range of or contexts that may not be possible in the
contexts and situations have not been workplace and there are no specific
provided in the workplace. Where simulation boundaries placed around the simulation.
is used, it must reflect real working
conditions by modeling industry operating
conditions and contingencies, as well as,
using suitable facilities, equipment and
resources.
Unit requiring demonstration of skills in the Note the highlighted words, ‘with the
workplace: addition of’. In these units it is clear that
assessment must take place in a relevant
CHCCCS023 Support independence and workplace but where some aspects of the
well being assessment cannot be done then simulations
Skills must have been demonstrated in an can be used. For example, in Performance
ageing support workplace with the addition criteria 4.8 ‘Recognise and report possible
of simulations and scenarios where the full indicators of abuse or neglect and report
range of contexts and situations have not according to organisation procedures.’ The

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been provided in the workplace. These are assessor could use a simulation or scenario
situations relating to emergency or in the case where no report would be written
unplanned procedures where assessment in as no indicators of abuse were observed. As
these circumstances would be unsafe, the assessment is in a workplace it would be
impractical or threatens the dignity of the possible to use the organisation procedures
older person. for the scenario.

Overall, assessment must involve workplace


interactions with older people, colleagues
and families/carers.
Unit where demonstration of skills in While there is some boundary around the
simulation is appropriate: conditions for assessment, such as
interactions with diverse people and the
CHCCCS017 Provide loss and grief need for policies and procedures, a
support simulated environment is considered
Skills must have been demonstrated in the appropriate for this unit.
workplace or in a simulated environment that
reflects workplace conditions. The following The individual who chooses this unit as an
conditions must be met for this unit: elective in the Certificate IV in Ageing
 use of suitable facilities, equipment Support, (one of the many qualifications that
and resources, including organisation list this unit as an elective) would still be
policies, procedures and related undertaking at least 120 hours as a work
documentation to assist in the placement (a requirement in CHCCCS023
provision of grief and loss support which is a core unit in the qualification), so it
modelling typical workplace would be very possible for the assessor to
conditions and contingencies, undertake some of the assessment for this
including: unit in the workplace, although as the
 interactions with people from conditions state, it is not a requirement to do
a diverse range of so.
backgrounds
 links to other services
Unit requiring demonstration of skills in the Note the highlighted words, ‘in addition’. In
workplace: these units it is clear that assessment must
take place in a regulated education and
CHCECE003 Provide care for children care service but where some aspects of the
Skills must be demonstrated in a regulated assessment cannot be done then simulations

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education and care service. can be used. As the assessment is in a
In addition, simulations and scenarios must workplace it would be possible to use the
be used where the full range of contexts and organisation procedures to develop a
situations cannot be provided in the simulated case study or scenario for a
workplace or may occur only rarely. These situation that did not occur during
are situations relating to emergency or assessment, for example, performance
unplanned procedures where assessment in criteria 5.4 ‘Respond to child’s distress at
these circumstances would be unsafe or is separation from the family in a calm
impractical. reassuring manner’. If no children have
Simulated assessment environments must been distressed during drop off this may be
simulate the real-life working environment assessed in simulation.
where these skills and knowledge would be
performed, with all the relevant equipment In this context, a regulated education and
and resources of that working environment. care service is defined as any service
Assessment must ensure use of: providing education and care to children less
 National Quality Framework for Early than 13 years of age that is licensed or
Childhood Education and Care approved under state or territory legislation.
 the relevant approved learning This would include long day care, family day
framework under the National Quality care, preschools/kindergartens and outside
Framework for Early Childhood school hours care (which are typically
Education and Care. regulated under National regulations) as well
Assessors must satisfy the NVR/AQTF as occasional care and mobile services
mandatory competency requirements for (which are typically regulated under state or
assessors. territory specific legislation).
Unit requiring demonstration of skills in the Note the highlighted words, ‘with the addition
workplace: of’. In these units it is clear that assessment
must take place in a relevant workplace but
CHCDSP001 Facilitate dispute resolution where some aspects of the assessment
in the family law context cannot be done then simulations can be
used. In this instance, industry has chosen
Skills must have been demonstrated in the
not to specify the types of situations or
workplace with the addition of simulations
contexts that may not be possible in the
and scenarios where the full range of
workplace and there are no specific
contexts and situations have not been
boundaries placed around the simulation.
provided in the workplace. The following
Note also the requirement for supervision of
conditions must be met for this unit:
the work by an accredited Family Dispute

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 use of suitable facilities, equipment and Resolution Practitioner (FDRP).
resources, including:
- client and dispute information
- screening tools
- current family dispute resolution
regulations
- organisation policies and procedures
 modelling of industry operating
conditions, including:
- scenarios that involve complex
interactions with families
 supervision of client work by an
accredited Family Dispute Resolution
Practitioner (FDRP).

Simulated assessments

In some cases it is not practical or safe to conduct assessment in the workplace and it will be
necessary to provide a simulated environment. For example, some occupations in the
community sector require specialised skills in responding to abuse and/or neglect or in
dealing with critical incidents. It could be inappropriate or not possible to observe these
skills being demonstrated in the workplace. In other cases, the nature of the unit of
competency means that demonstration of skills in the workplace is simply not required nor
appropriate. An example of this might be a research unit where it really does not matter
where the person does the research because the focus is on cognitive skills rather than
where a person is when they use the skills. Having said that, good practice would require
that the research activities relate to a real workplace situation, outcome, issue or need.

Typically, community services assessors will need to use case studies, role plays, scenarios
or simulations in the context of work where workplace assessment is not feasible or relevant.

Given the nature of the many community service roles the need for interaction with real
people (whether they be real clients or not) is often a requirement. Having the learner
reading case studies and writing down how they might interact with a person in distress or
an aged person could contribute to the assessment of their knowledge. However, it is not
always enough to show that that the learner has acquired the skill. Actually demonstrating
that the learner can interact appropriately with real people is sometimes a condition of
assessment in this training package. This requirement for real people would mean that if
skills were not being demonstrated in the workplace with real clients, colleagues or families

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then they would need to be simulated (e.g. role played) with fellow learners. Isolated online
demonstration of skill would not be acceptable when ‘real people’ are a condition of
assessment. The assessment would need to involve interaction with real people to
demonstrate competency in the relevant components of the unit.

Simulated assessments for community services units should:

 provide access to all the equipment and resources that would normally be used in the
workplace for the task being assessed
 reflect the type of conditions usually found in the workplace, including interactions with
others and interruptions that would typically occur
 present realistic scenarios and problems, such as dealing with difficult or distressed
clients or family members or people with complaints
 require the candidate to demonstrate their skills under the time constraints that would
normally apply in the workplace.

In reality candidates have to perform the required skills as a component of multiple tasks,
within a multi-disciplinary team, with interruptions, difficult clients and unexpected glitches.
These conditions must also be replicated in the simulated assessment environment.

EXAMPLE: simulated early learning centre

An example of a simulated early learning centre can be found at Holmesglen TAFE in


Victoria. This includes fully equipped indoor and outdoor play spaces and one way
observation windows so candidates can gain opportunities and experiences of an early
learning centre in a supported environment. Visit
www.holmesglen.edu.au/showcase/facilities/simulated_early_learning_centre

Rural and remote candidates

The assessment of candidates in rural and remote areas present particular challenges and
often RTOs see it as more costly. Candidates in these locations should receive the same
support and rigour in the assessment process.

Technology can provide a helpful means for assessors to stay in touch with the candidate.
Skype and emails provide a useful method of communication between visits. Recorded
evidence is also a helpful means to observe the candidate’s work practices.

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Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

RPL can be an effective assessment approach where the candidate has already learned the
required skills and knowledge. The candidate may have learned on-the-job, through life
experience or through community activities such as volunteering. Good practice in RPL will
save the candidate time but still be a rigorous process that reflects the Rules of Evidence
and Principles of Assessment.

RPL should not:

 rely solely on documentation


 expect the candidate to find their way around training packages and units of competence
 be a “rubber stamp”.

It is important that assessors do not equate years of experience in the workplace with
competence. Good RPL assessment practice will commence with a clear plan so that
candidates understand what is involved and what they will be required to do. They should
know that they will be supported at each step in the process.

Assessors should seek a range of evidence sources, including:

 relevant documentation such as position descriptions, curriculum vitae, meeting notes


and rosters
 interviews and questioning
 workplace observation
 work samples
 reports from reliable sources.

As with all forms of assessment, RPL relies on sound professional judgment so assessors
should review evidence in different forms until satisfied that the requirements of unit have
been met.

An RPL process

In 2009, the Coalition of Australian Governments published the final report of its RPL
Program. This set out a number of benefits and challenges in delivering RPL programsi.
Many states and territories have developed their own guidelines on RPL, all which generally
involve:

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 initial discussions with the candidate wishing to undertake RPL
 review of candidate’s relevant documents relating to work and previous study
 development of a partnership with the workplace to support third party evidence and
workplace assessment
 competency conversation
 a practical assessment and/or observation in the workplace to see work performed
 discussion with workplace and/or third party reports from workplace about the
candidate’s work
 review of evidence collected
 decision as to competency and/or gap training required.

This process highlights:

 the need for partnership (between the candidate, assessor and workplace)
 opportunities to provide many different types of evidence (direct observation, indirect
evidence, third party) and
 support for the candidate throughout the whole process.

The resources list at the end of this Guide provides links to some RPL Resources.

Clustering units of competency for assessment

Clustering involves the grouping of competencies into combinations for training and/or
assessment purposes for efficiency, to reflect a role or to meet the needs of the enterprise.

Clustering for assessment purposes involves identifying evidence that can be used across a
number of units to assist in determining the competency of the learner. It also involves
identifying units of competency that form work tasks. This means one work task or process
can actually reflect a number of competencies or aspects of competencies.

Interrelationships across units should be examined so that evidence gathered can be used
across a number of units. For instance, there is no need to keep assessing a learner’s
knowledge of the legal and ethical considerations that overlap across 2 or more units
provided that the assessment covers the contexts of all those units. The learner need only
be assessed as competent once.

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Units CHCCCS016 Respond to client CHCCOM005 Communicate and
needs work in health or community
services
Knowledge legal and ethical considerations legal and ethical considerations
requirement for working with clients and how in relation to communication:
(extract) these are applied in an  privacy, confidentiality
organisation and individual and disclosure
practice, including:  discrimination
 duty of care  duty of care
 dignity of risk  mandatory reporting
 human rights  translation
 discrimination  informed consent
 mandatory reporting  work role boundaries –
 privacy, confidentiality responsibilities and
and disclosure limitations
 work role boundaries –  child protection across all
responsibilities and health and community
limitations services contexts,
 work health and safety including duty of care
when child is not the
client, indicators of risk
and adult disclosure
Sample work tasks  Communicating and  Communicating and
relevant to both interacting with client interacting with client
units  Following mandatory  Following mandatory
reporting procedures reporting procedures
 Dealing with a problem or  Dealing with a problem or
issue outside role issue outside role
boundary boundary

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Clustering units of competency that form a holistic task :

Task Providing spiritual and pastoral care


Units CHCPAS001 Plan for the provision of pastoral and spiritual care
CHCPAS002 Provide pastoral and spiritual care
CHCPRP003 Reflect on and improve own professional practice
Sample evidence  100 hours of work placement and log book
relevant across all  Resource portfolio
units  Personal and professional development plan
 Correspondence between learner and other service providers
 Reflection log (20 hours)
 Pastoral Care Verbatim Report
 Supervisor/mentor reports
 Feedback (clients, peers, supervisor)

Clustering units of competency to meet an enterprise requirement

An enterprise might require that specific competencies are undertaken prior to a work
placement in order to ensure the safety of the learner and others in the workplace.

EXAMPLE

For example, a workplace accepting a learner undertaking the CHC34015 Certificate III in
Active Volunteering might require that the learner completes the following units prior to
undertaking their 20 hours of volunteer work placement:

HLTWHS001 Participate in work health and safety

CHCLEG001 Work legally and ethically

CHCVOL001 Be an effective volunteer

Clustering units within a qualification for efficiency

Assessors should consider the following when planning clusters for assessment:

 How units interrelate

 Links between elements and performance criteria

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 Links or overlap in the performance evidence requirements

 Links or overlap in the knowledge evidence requirements

 Consistency in assessment conditions between related units

 Overlap in foundation skills

Note that there are many different ways of clustering. Below are some examples.

Sample of clustering for CHC52015 Diploma of Community Services (with case


management specialisation)

The qualification requires a total of 16 units (8 core and 8 electives). The approach below
provides 5 clusters that group related units. It includes a case management specialisation
and therefore a Diploma of Community Services (Case Management) would be achieved.

Cluster Unit
Cluster 1 CHCLEG003 Manage legal and ethical compliance
Legislation and HLTWHS004 Manage work health and safety
organisation
CHCCOM003 Develop workplace communication strategies

Cluster 2 CHCDEV001 Confirm client developmental status


Development CHCDEV002 Analyse impacts of sociological factors on clients in
community work and services
CHCDEV003 Analyse client information for service delivery and
planning
CHCCCS007 Develop and implement service programs

Cluster 3 CHCCCS019 Recognise and respond to crisis situations


Critical incidents CHCMGT005 Facilitate workplace debriefing and support processes

Cluster 4 CHCCCS004 Assess co-existing needs


Case CHCCSM004 Coordinate complex case requirements
management
CHCCSM005 Develop, facilitate and review all aspects of case
management
CHCCSM006 Provide case management supervision

Cluster 5 CHCDIV003 Manage and promote diversity


Sensitive practice CHCDIV002 Promote Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural
safety
CHCPRP003 Reflect on and improve own professional practice

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Sample of clustering for CHC52015 Diploma of Community Services (with a
focus on family work)
The qualification requires a total of 16 units (8 core and 8 electives). The approach below
provides 5 clusters that group related units.

Cluster Unit
Cluster 1 CHCFAM001 Operate in a family law environment
Legal and ethical CHCLEG003 Manage legal and ethical compliance
Framework
HLTWHS004 Manage work health and safety

Cluster 2 CHCFAM010 Provide intervention support to families


Family Work CHCDFV001 Recognise and respond appropriately to domestic and
family violence
CHCCCS007 Develop and implement service programs

Cluster 3 CHCCCS004 Assess co-existing needs


Case CHCCSM005 Develop, facilitate and review all aspects of case
management
management

Cluster 4 CHCCSL001 Establish and confirm the counselling relationship


Communication CHCCSL002 Apply specialist interpersonal and counselling interview
and Counselling
skills
CHCCSL003 Facilitate the counselling relationship and process
CHCCSL007 Support clients in decision-making processes

Cluster 5 CHCCOM003 Develop workplace communication strategies


Organisation and CHCMGT005 Facilitate workplace debriefing and support processes
Professional
CHCDIV003 Manage and promote diversity
Practice
CHCPRP003 Reflect on and improve own professional practice

Sample of clustering for CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support


(Ageing)

This qualification reflects the role of workers in the community and or residential setting who
follow an individualised plan to provide person-centred support to people who may require
support due to ageing, disability or some other reason. The packaging rules allow for the
award of a Cert III in Individual Support, or specialist qualifications in Ageing, Disability,
Home and Community or a combination of these. The example of clustering below, is based
on the following packaging of 7 core units with 6 electives and would lead to the award of the
Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Home and Community).

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The qualification requires a total of 13 units (7 core and 6 electives). The approach below
provides 4 clusters that group related units. Note: This cluster is just one way of showing
how units may be brought together.

Cluster Unit

Cluster 1 CHCAGE001 Facilitate the empowerment of older people


Empowerment CHCAGE005 Provide support to clients living with dementia
CHCCCS025 Support relationships with carers and families
CHCCCS023 Support independence and well being

Cluster 2 HLTAAP001 Recognise healthy body systems


Health and safety CHCHPS006 Assist clients with medication
HLTWHS002 Follow safe practices for direct client care
Cluster 3 CHCCOM005 Communicate and work in health or community services
Ways of working CHCDIV001 Work with diverse people
CHCLEG001 Work legally and ethically

Cluster 4 CHCCCS011 Meet personal support needs


Support CHCHCS001 Provide home and community support services
CHCCCS015 Provide individualised support

Sample of clustering for CHC30113 Certificate III in Early Childhood Education


and Care The qualification requires a total of 18 units (15 core and 3 electives).
The approach below provides 5 clusters that group related units.

Cluster Unit
Cluster 1 CHCCS400C Work within a relevant legal and ethical framework
Legislation and CHCPRT001 Identify and respond to children and young people at risk
policy
CHCECE009 Use an approved learning framework to guide practice

Cluster 2 CHCECE002 Ensure the health and safety of children


Health and safety CHCECE004 Promote and provide healthy food and drinks
HLTAID004 Provide an emergency first aid response in an education
and care setting
HLTWHS001 Participate in workplace health and safety

Cluster 3 CHCECE011 Provide experiences to support children’s play and


Fostering play learning
and relationships
CHCECE007 Develop positive and respectful relationships with
children
CHCECE012 Support children to connect with their world

Cluster 4 CHCECE003 Provide care for children

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Supporting CHCECE005 Provide care for babies and toddlers
children’s
CHCECE010 Support the holistic development of children in early
development
childhood
CHCECE017 Foster the holistic development and wellbeing of the child
in early childhood

Cluster 5 CHCECE001 Develop cultural competence


Sensitive practice CHCECE013 Use information about children to inform practice
HLTHIR404D Work effectively with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait
Islander people
HLTHIR403 Work effectively with culturally diverse clients and co-
workers

Sample of clustering for CHC41115 Certificate IV in Employment Services


The qualification requires a total of 14 units (9 core and 5 electives). The approach
below provides 5 clusters that group related units .
Cluster Unit

Cluster 1 CHCECD001 Analyse and apply information that supports employment


Employment and career development
services practice
CHCECD002 Deliver and monitor contracted employment services
CHCECD003 Promote job seekers to employers
CHCECD006 Develop and monitor employment plans
CHCLEG001 Work legally and ethically

CHCPRP001 Develop and maintain networks and collaborative


partnerships

Cluster 2 CHCCCS016 Respond to client needs


Communication CHCCOM002 Use communication to build relationships
and service
CHCDIV001 Work with diverse people

Cluster 3 CHCCCS004 Assess co-existing needs


Client needs CHCCCS006 Facilitate individual service planning and delivery
CHCDIS007 Facilitate the empowerment of people with disability
CHCECD007 Maximise participation in work by people with disability
CHCMHS001 Work with people with mental health issues

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Assessment fundamentals

Many issues with quality of assessment stem from confusion or lack of knowledge about the
fundamental rules of evidence and principles of assessment. These underpin sound
assessment practice.

Rules of Evidence

Despite a lot of change in this industry sector, the fundamentals of assessment still apply.

The Rules of Evidence require that evidence is

Valid - The assessor is assured that the learner has the skills, knowledge and attributes as described
in the module or unit of competency and associated assessment requirements.

Sufficient - The assessor is assured that the quality, quantity and relevance of the assessment
evidence enables a judgement to be made of a learner’s competency.

Authentic - The assessor is assured that the evidence presented for assessment is the learner’s
own work.

Current - The assessor is assured that the assessment evidence demonstrates current competency.
This requires the assessment evidence to be from the present or the very recent past.

(Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2014L01377


Table 1.8-2)

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Principles of Assessment

Assessors also need to observe the Principles of Assessment.

Assessors should ensure that all assessment activity undertaken is:

Valid: the methods of assessment relate to the elements, performance criteria and
assessment requirements of the unit
Reliable: the assessment approaches would consistently provide similar outcomes for
candidates at different times and in different places
Flexible: the assessor ensures that the candidate understands the assessment process and
can negotiate the timing of the assessment, the context of the assessment
Fair: candidates are not disadvantaged and are given opportunities to ensure that they can
perform to the standards outlined in the workplace and the units of competency being
assessed (see also ‘reasonable adjustments’ below).

In summary, the Rules of Evidence relate to ‘what’ is being assessed, while the Principles
of Assessment relate to ‘how’ assessment is being done.

Types of evidence

Evidence may be:

 direct
 indirect

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 supplementary

Direct evidence

Examples of direct evidence might include:

 an assessor attends a community services workplace and observes a candidate


interacting with a client
 an assessor attends a community services workplace and asks a case management
candidate why they chose particular resources and tools for assessing a client’s needs
and to evaluate its effectiveness
 an assessor asks a candidate how and why they referred a client to a specific
organisation
 an assessor attends a residential aged care service and observes a candidate
interacting with clients and family members
 an assessor asks a candidate to explain and show how they have documented
observations and reported them to supervisors

Indirect evidence

Examples of indirect evidence might include;

 a written assessment piece where the candidate is responding to specific knowledge


questions related to tasks
 a portfolio of evidence collected during a work placement in which the candidate was
asked to keep notes of their own work activities, notes of observations, and a project
relevant to the workplace

Supplementary evidence

Also referred to as third party evidence, supplementary evidence provides another important
means for assessors to make a judgment about the candidate’s competence. The ‘third
party’ is someone who is not an assessor but can comment on, or observe, the candidate’s
performance. Most commonly it is someone within the workplace where the candidate is
working or undertaking a work placement.

ASQA has produced a Fact Sheet about third party evidence available at
http://www.asqa.gov.au/verve/_resources/FACT_SHEET_Use_of_third_party_evidence.pdf

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Each RTO will have standard procedures and documentation about how and when the
workplace will be informed about their role in the assessment process.

Assessors should make their professional judgment after reviewing a range of evidence
remembering that it is the quality, rather than the quantity, of evidence presented that is
important. Third party evidence is particularly helpful where there are issues of confidentiality
and privacy and also for validating RPL evidence.

Supervisors, team members, clients and consumers can all provide third party evidence.
Their reports can save assessors time and ‘authenticate’ the candidate’s evidence. In
addition to structured assessment tasks, third party reports can comment on the candidate’s
performance in ongoing work tasks. For example, a learner might be asked to write a report.
The third party evidence can provide verification from the learner’s supervisor that the
learner did actually write that report.

When planning to use third party reports, RTOs should:

 provide clear information about the role of third party evidence and what is required

 provide suitable checklists and tools that clearly link to the units

 select people who are in a position to make informed comment on the performance
of the candidate

 be available to respond to questions about the process.

Evidence gathering

Assessors should employ a range of assessment techniques and be wary of over reliance
on documentation. Different forms of evidence will enable assessors to build a more
complete picture of the candidate’s skills and knowledge. Forms of evidence that will
typically be most suitable for assessment in community services settings include:

Direct Observation: for example, watching how the candidate communicates with clients,
attends to their needs and deals with problems
Competency Conversation: for example, asking the candidate to explain their
understanding of person-centered service delivery model and how this is evidenced in their
work

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Research Projects: for example, asking candidates to review and report on websites with
information about quality standards or asking a candidate to develop a resource of local
service providers relevant to clients
Workplace Projects: for example, reviewing examples of products that the candidate has
generated to assist with the implementation of a policy or procedure
Third Party Reports: for example, reports from supervisors about how the candidate has
worked as part of a team, undertaken a particular task or project or handled a particular
problem
Workplace Documents: for example, rosters and timesheets, minutes of staff meetings,
position descriptions
Video and Photos: for example, a video of a candidate undertaking volunteer
environmental work or facilitating a community meeting.

Access and equity

Assessing candidates with a disability

What is a disability?

A disability presents some sort of impairment on a person's mental, sensory or mobility


functions and restricts their ability to undertake or perform a task in the same way as a
person who does not have a disability. This does not signify that the person with a disability
is unable to perform all important job requirements or exceed the expectations of their
employer.

A disability may affect an individual’s mobility, stamina, lifting ability, memory, vision,
hearing, speech, comprehension and mood. This may have been caused by an accident,
trauma, genetics, birth or disease.

An individual’s disability is always specific to that individual. There is no ‘one method fits all’
approach that can be used to train and assess any learner with a disability. Strategies to
accommodate candidates with disabilities undertaking an assessment will need to be
customised to meet the needs of that particular learner.

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Adjustments in assessment

While adjustments can be made to assessment procedures, the integrity of the unit of
competency and/or qualification must be upheld. Learners still need to achieve the
standards outlined in the unit of competency. A learner with a disability can have training and
assessment that is fair depending on the RTO’s attitude, preparation and application of
adjustments. This may include varying assessment tasks to produce the same outcomes via
different methods, for example:

 allowing additional time or the use of a computer in a written test for a candidate who has
a disability that impacts on his/her ability to write
 asking a candidate to record responses on a video or audio tape where they have
difficult writing
 allowing candidate to provide oral responses rather than written responses or vice versa
 using an Auslan interpreter during assessment tasks.

Although it is important to consider the individual candidate’s needs, the rigour of the
assessment process must not be compromised. For example, if it is a requirement of the unit
of competency that the individual produce written documentation, an oral report cannot be
substituted.

Supports for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander


candidates for assessment

The special needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities are
recognised as a key focus for this Training Package. Consideration should be given to:

 impact of rural and isolated communities and experiences on the training, learning and
assessment needs
 need for trainers and assessors to be aware of the impact of European colonialism on
the experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
 potential for particular consultative requirements by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
communities which may impact the training and assessment experience
 the inclusion (by assessors) of methods which refer to community activities and reflect
community culture and standards

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 need for trainers and assessors to be conscious of community protocols, codes of ethics
and guides to consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and
communities
 potential language and literacy needs that impact both clients and workers in the
community sector
 the impact of cultural safety issues on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers in
the community sector, both in their work in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
communities and in mainstream community sector work.

All these considerations should be made when working to assess Aboriginal and/or Torres
Strait Islander candidates.

Assessing people with low level foundation skills

Just as candidates with a disability will need specific adjustments to suit their individual
needs, learners with specific language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) needs will need specific
assessments and supports. You may need to use a range of tools, each adjusted, to
determine the specific needs of the individual candidate. If the assessor has been involved in
the training process, he or she will have developed such an understanding of the individual’s
needs. However, where an assessor is only engaged for the assessment process, they will
need to consult the trainer and also have their own processes developed to identify LLN
needs.

The following are some guidance points:

 look at non-formal tests and options to gauge LLN levels – a written test or on the spot
quiz could be very challenging and intimidating and may undermine the candidate’s
confidence and impact on performance
 interviews can be very useful – create a safe place for the candidate to talk openly (but
confidentially) about their needs
 if possible, observe the candidate with others and during training to see where their
strengths and challenges lie
 use a range of assessment activities to achieve the same end. For example, can a
candidate produce something or answer questions rather than write a report

Tips for effective questioning of candidates:

 ask one question at a time

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 order questions logically – make the flow of questions clear to the candidate
 be specific and precise with questions – don’t ask for broad descriptions or ask for
‘everything you know’ about a topic
 use open ended questions – questions like ‘why’ or ‘tell me how’ allows the candidate to
talk at length and be descriptive
 adjust your language to the candidate’s level – don’t use words that are unfamiliar or that
the candidate would not have heard during training
 listen to the responses and use the responses to lead to more questions – this can build
confidence in the candidate e.g. ‘What you did with Luke was great. Thanks for telling
me how you handled that situation. Tell me, why did you choose those specific things?’
 use constructive feedback in questions

See the companion volume Foundation skills guide for more ideas.

Resources and additional information

All of the projects and products listed below can be found by following the link then choosing
community services and health from the industry listing.

https://www.training.nsw.gov.au/training_providers/resources/skillsonline/coagrpl_catalogue.
html

Sector Notes
Aged care The project sought to increase the capability and expertise of the aged
services sector, and to raise and diversify the skills of the existing aged
services workforce
https://online.det.nsw.edu.au/clearhse/Preview.do?no=228&type=O
Volunteering Over 150 rural fire service volunteers undertook a training and recognition
process towards the 'contribute to assessment' unit within the certificate III
qualification in the training and assessment training package.
https://online.det.nsw.edu.au/clearhse/Preview.do?no=231&type=O
This project developed and trialled new models of recognition of prior
learning involving 50 candidates across the not-for-profit sector in NSW.
https://online.det.nsw.edu.au/clearhse/Preview.do?no=259&type=O
Community The project facilitated quality improvement and better community mental
mental health health provisions

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https://online.det.nsw.edu.au/clearhse/Preview.do?no=239&type=O
Employment The aim of this project was to deliver the Certificate IV in Employment
services Services to existing works using flexible and online delivery.
https://online.det.nsw.edu.au/clearhse/Preview.do?no=242&type=O
Early
For further information on RPL for early childhood educators visit
childhood
http://education.gov.au/recognition-prior-learning-early-childhood-
education
educators-0

COAG RPL Project - Out of School Hours Sector


The project highlights the use and benefits of workplace recognition.
https://online.det.nsw.edu.au/clearhse/Preview.do?no=240&type=O

For some interesting case studies about how RPL has been incorporated
into assessment processes in children’s services, visit Northern Territory
Children’s Services Assessment Guide at
http://www.hstac.com.au/old2011/csassessment/casestudies/martha.html

RPL Toolkit for Children’s Services

In 2012, with the recently introduced Quality Framework, the


Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment and Workforce
Relations ran a series of RPL workshops specifically for Children’s
Services. RPL Toolkits were developed for the Certificate III, Diploma and
Advanced Diploma of Children’s Services. These are available at
http://education.gov.au/recognition-prior-learning-toolkit

Note: these RPL Toolkits relate to the CHC08 versions of the


qualifications. However, they do provide useful information on:

 Building partnerships with the workplace to support RPL

 Supporting candidates through the RPL process

 Templates which can be adapted for RPL

 Examples of questions and activities that could be used in


workplace observations

 Working with candidates with different cultures, backgrounds,

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languages and specific needs.

Other Additional resources for the community, services and health industry are
resources available.
https://online.det.nsw.edu.au/clearhse/Preview.do?no=251&type=O

SkillsOnline is a website that offers free vocational education and training


(VET) resources:
http://www.training.nsw.gov.au/training_providers/resources/skillsonline/

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