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Feedback, Evidence, Judging Competency

Your Progress

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Now you must decide whether or not your candidate is competent, and tell them what you have decided. This is called ‘giving feedback’.It is very important that you are able to show that you can provide feedback to your candidate on how he/she has been progressing during or after the assessment. The essence of the Assessor’s role is to be able to communicate with the candidate. Nowhere is this more important than when giving feedback during and after an assessment.

Here is a checklist of things to remember when you are giving feedback.
o Use the candidate’s name
o Give feedback at an appropriate time and place
o Ask the candidate how he or she felt about his or her performance.
o Tell the candidate the assessment decision (Clearly explain your assessment decision on whether candidates€™ evidence of competence is good enough)
o To start with, always highlight the candidate’s strengths (Give candidates feedback in a constructive way, which meets their needs and is appropriate to their level of confidence)
o Be specific about the performance criteria which were or were not met
o If there are any weaknesses, suggest what the candidate could have done differently
o Give the candidate the opportunity to contribute
o Finish by discussing with the candidate what happens next.

You should also record the decisions on the forms provided by the organisation or the Awarding Body. Feedback needs to be thorough, even if the candidate performed satisfactorily for you. This is the most ‘touchy-feely’ part of the assessment process and even if you find such activities embarrassing or un-masculine, it pays to persevere with them. Make some effort to point out to your candidate how important this part of the assessment process is and how you can both learn from it.

The easiest way to do this is to put together what is called a €œpraise sandwich€. You emphasis the positive: make sure you point out to your candidate what he/she did well. Then you point out one or two things which your candidate could have done better, even if it does sound a bit like nit-picking. Finally you finish with more praise, once again emphasising the positive. The reasoning behind this is that many people work in jobs in which they have very little interaction with persons who could make them seem valued. Very seldom does anyone comment favourably on the work they do.

The best managers do this all the time, but then, good managers are still quite rare. Even persons whose job it is to carry out an appraisal of their staff rarely do this properly. So therefore; positive feedback to persons who work in this world is surprisingly rare. Assessing candidates for their NVQ provides a wonderful example of a way in which you can redress the balance. You will both feel buoyed up by it.