7 May 2002
To all Training Institutions, Nursing Colleges, Technikons, Universities and Stakeholders
Assessment of Learning Outcomes – A Paradigm Shift
The Urgent Need to Train Assessors in Generic Assessor Standards
Much is changing in the area of assessment in South Africa. The development in education around outcomes based education, a radical shift from the previous knowledge and input based systems is an indication that assessment and the role of the assessor has to change as well.
The following statement describes the desired change from the assessment practice in the past to the present ethos of assessment.
Learning is no longer something that is “done to” the learner, but something that the learner is actively involved in. As such the role of the ASSESSOR has changed from being a “gatekeeper” who uses assessment to prevent learners from developing further, to a SUPPORTIVE GUIDE who has the success of the learner at heart – so that the learner can gain access to further learning
(SAQA 2001 Criteria and guidelines for the Registration of Assessors – Page 7)
The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) requires consistency of practice in relation to the assessment of National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Standards and Qualifications. For this reason generic assessment standards cutting across all the NQF fields have been developed. These generic assessor standards constitute the basic minimum requirement for all assessment leading to credits for standards or qualifications registered on the NQF. This therefore means that:
||all assessors must meet the requirements of the generic assessor standards; and
||subject specific assessors should meet criteria determined by the Education and Training Quality Assurance body (ETQA) registering the assessors.
For SAQA all practitioners who will be responsible for the assessment of the achievement of learning outcomes leading to qualifications and standards registered on the NQF should within a period of 3 years (i.e. by May 2004) become certified assessors and registered constituent assessors for specified qualifications and/or standards.
(SAQA 2001 – Criteria and guidelines for the registration of assessors – Page 13)
The South African Nursing Council as an accredited ETQA has a responsibility of:
ensuring that existing assessors are registered as assessors for nursing qualifications and standards.
In order to meet the above deadline, providers are urged to train existing assessors in generic assessment standards.
It is recommended that by the end of year 2002 each provider have at least two certified assessors.
For more information on the issue of assessment you are advised to acquaint yourselves with the content of the following SAQA document:
CRITERIA AND GUIDELINES FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS
Documents are available on the internet at http://www.saqa.org.za
(N.B. : This document is no longer available)
For providers who have no access to the internet, contact the South African Nursing Council’s Communication Section, for attention:
Ms L Jele
Tel: (012) 420-1066
Fax: (012) 343-5400
Copies of the above documents will be posted to you on request.
A list of accredited providers for training in generic assessor standards can be found on the internet for your information. These providers are accredited by the Education and Training Development Practices Sectoral Education and Training Authority (ETDP SETA) ( http://www.etdpseta.org.za )
By December 2002, all providers should submit names of certificated assessors in their employment.
From January 2003 assessment of candidates for Recognition of Prior Learning should be done by nurse educators who are certified assessors.
Grace Ramadi (Dr)
for Registrar and Chief Executive Officer