What the job involves
As an NVQ Assessor, you would work closely with employers, managers and students. Your role would focus on supporting and assessing students working towards their vocational qualifications, and help them to meet the correct occupational and course standards. Your day-to-day tasks will depend on the type of assessments you carry out, however duties may include:
- Planning and delivering vocational training programmes and workshops
- Observing and assessing candidates in the workplace
- Marking student work and examining portfolios of evidence
- Meeting with students to provide feedback and guidance
- Signing off the award when all requirements are met
- Keeping records of candidates progress
- Participating in team meetings and contributing to quality assurance cycles
Most employers will look for someone who has the ability to motivate people. The ability to deliver training and lead workshops will also be looked upon favourably. Employers will also expect excellent communication skills and meticulous report writing and record-keeping.
NVQ Assessors usually work between 37 to 40 hours per week, from Monday to Friday. You will likely be based in an office or training centre, and will need to travel to students’ workplaces when needed. Working hours may need to be flexible occasionally to suit the needs of learners. For example, fitting in with students’ shifts by visiting them in the evenings or at weekends.
Getting into the profession
You will need to demonstrate occupational competence in the vocational area you wish to assess, for example by holding formal qualifications and significant work history. You will also need to achieve the relevant Training, Assessment and Quality Assurance (TAQA) qualifications to gain an understanding of the assessment approach. These include:
- Level 3 Award in Assessing Competence in the Work Environment
- Level 3 Award in Assessing Vocationally Related Achievement
- Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement
Some employers will deliver the qualifications on the job if needed. In addition, a good educational foundation, for example holding the Level 2 Functional Skills qualifications in Maths and English (or equivalent) would be essential.
Previous experience in assessing would be useful, but not essential, as many employers will have their own support programmes in place for new staff. A good starting point would be to pursue an assessor qualification with a recognised training provider, and begin to build up evidence of your competency in the vocational area you wish to assess. This will be easier if you work within industry already, or have a strong academic background in your subject of choice, however if this is not the case perhaps you should consider undertaking a relevant NVQ/Level 3 qualification.
As an assessor it is likely you will be using e-portfolio systems as part of your assessments, therefore willingness to work with computers and an understanding of IT would be desirable.
Salary and benefits
Starting salaries usually lie between £18,000 and £20,000 a year. Once you have gained experience, however, this can increase to up to £30,000. In some organisations you could be employed on fixed-term contracts and be paid an hourly or daily rate.
With time and experience you could progress to lead an assessor team or become a training manager. There is also scope to work as an internal or external verifier, checking the work of assessors and training centres.