ASQA: Reliability in assessment

From: <>
Sent: Friday, 20 December 2019 2:20 PM
To: ASQA - Enquiries <>
Subject: Question re reliability in assessment


Dear ASQA,

Is it satisfactory to confer with a second assessor or an industry expert as a method of achieving reliability in assessment?

If conferral with a second assessor or an industry expert is permissible, is it sufficient to use it only for borderline or disputed cases? (In some cases, the required student performance is obviously either acceptable or unacceptable.)

Ross Woods, ACAS



ASQA - Enquiries
RE:Question re reliability in assessment [SEC=OFFICIAL]
14/1/20 06:03
To: "" <>
Cc: "ASQA - Enquiries" <>
From "ASQA - Enquiries" <>
To "" <>
Cc "ASQA - Enquiries" <>
Date Mon, 13 Jan 2020 22:03:37 +0000
Subject RE: Question re reliability in assessment [SEC=OFFICIAL]



Dear Ross,

Thank you for your email.

Clause 1.13 of the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 states the following:

·         Industry experts may also be involved in the assessment judgement, working alongside the trainer and/or assessor to conduct the assessment

Thus, it is acceptable for an industry expert (who holds the vocational competencies and current industry skills) to conduct assessment and for the industry expert to be involved in an assessment judgement, in conjunction with a trainer/assessor who holds the required TAE credentials and current knowledge and skills in vocational training and learning.

Please note the Standards describe what outcomes an RTO must achieve, not how they must be achieved. It’s the responsibility of training providers to develop their own templates, policies and procedures that meet their specific business needs and be able to demonstrate to ASQA how the Standards are being met.

The Users’ Guide to the Standards for RTOs 2015 gives some examples of how to meet the Reliability Principle of Assessment under Clauses 1.8 to 1.12—Conduct effective assessment which includes:
• Make assessment decisions consistently across different students and different assessors in the same unit or module.
• Provide an assessment system that details the context and conditions of assessment for assessors (in order to ensure consistency in the application of assessment across different assessors and different student cohorts).
• Have a well-designed assessment system that includes measures to minimise variation between assessors. The same evidence presented by different students or to different assessors should result in the same decision.
• Develop evidence criteria (i.e. decision-making rules) to judge the quality of performance. This will help assessors make consistent judgements about competence. Evidence criteria could include:
    ◦ model answers (where appropriate)
    ◦ descriptions of observations needed to assess skills and application of knowledge in a practical activity.
• Benchmarks for practical activities must necessarily be broad enough to allow for variations in the precise task being undertaken and any variations in the context, but must include ‘observable behaviours’—the behaviours which must be exhibited by the student when carrying out the task.

I trust this information assists, and please do not hesitate to contact ASQA should you have any further enquiries.

Kind regards,



Australian Skills Quality Authority
GPO Box 9928, Melbourne VIC 3001
Info line 1300 701 801


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