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Important definitions

Assessment

Assessment is the process of gathering and weighing evidence in order to determine whether or not learners can demonstrate outcomes specified in unit standards and/or qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). Assessors are those individuals who are appropriately qualified to plan and conduct learner assessments against the requirements of the NQF.

Moderation

Moderation is the process that checks that assessments are done according to acceptable standards and is the process of ensuring that assessments have been conducted in line with agreed practices so that results are fair, valid and reliable.

Provider moderation

Provider moderation (which is sometimes referred to as verification) is the responsibility of providers. Providers are required to conduct a moderation exercise on learner assessments (or a sample thereof) to ensure that the assessors involved have been fair, that the results are valid and that the results are reliable (i.e. assessments conducted by different assessors are consistent). Provider moderation can be undertaken by an appropriately qualified employee of the provider, or can be undertaken by external people or organisations that are qualified to provide such a service. Moderators used for the provider moderation process need to be registered with the SASSETA.

ETQA verification

ETQA verification (which confusingly is sometimes referred to as moderation) is the responsibility of an ETQA, such as the SASSETA ETQA. There are two types of ETQA verification (or moderation):

Verification related to the accreditation process

Verification related to the accreditation process involves verifying whether or not providers adhere to all of the required criteria to be considered for accreditation.

Verification related to the quality assurance of learner achievements

This involves assuring the quality of assessments from providers on behalf of the SASSETA ETQA (as opposed to the provider, as is the case with internal moderation). It is an ETQA function to verify the claims that providers make that their assessments have been properly conducted and moderated. This is known as the Quality Assurance of Learner Achievements (QALA) and is one of the main functions of the SASSETA ETQA.

External moderators do not have to be registered with the SASSETA, but this information has been placed here so that individuals applying for registration understand the differences between internal and external moderation and who has to be registered or not. Also, it is a requirement that those individuals that are utilised as verifiers for the Quality Assurance of Learner Achievements will be registered moderators.

Criteria for registration with the SASSETA

Assessors

According to the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), all assessments that lead to the awarding of NQF-based credits need to be conducted by registered assessors. SAQA’s criterion for the registration of assessors is as follows:

SAQA criteria for the registration of assessors

  1. All registered assessors must have met the requirements of the assessor standard ‘‘conduct outcomes-based assessments’’, and should be certified by the Education and Training Development Quality Assurance Body (ETQA) or the relevant ETQA in agreement with the ETQA in this regard;
  2. This requirement will be enforced from the end of May 2004, by which time all assessors should be able to demonstrate competence against the new standard, either through participating in a training and assessment programme or through undergoing a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process. Once the system is fully operational, the status of certified assessors can be checked on the National Learner Records Database (NLRD);
  3. All registered assessors are registered to assess using specific standards and/or qualifications: the registered assessor must be able to demonstrate competence in relation to these specific standards and qualifications at, or above, the level of the qualifications in question;
  4. All registered assessors must have met any additional requirements laid down by their constituent ETQA. The status of the registered assessor can be checked on the appropriate ETQA database or website.

Criteria for registration as a SASSETA registered assessor

In accordance with the above, the SASSETA requires that registered assessors have the following in place:

  1. In accordance with point 1 above, the SASSETA requires assessors operating in its primary focus to have obtained the unit standard ‘‘conduct outcomes-based assessments’’ (attached in the appendix) and to apply to the SASSETA (rather than the ETQA) for registration purposes. The generic assessors standard ‘‘conductoutcomes-based assessments’’ was registered on the NQF on 11 August 2004 and explains exactly what is required of assessors in terms of the assessment of learning outcomes leading to the award of formal credits. This includes the roles and responsibilities of the assessor and the assessment expertise required.
  2. In accordance with point 3 above, assessors are also required to show competence in relation to the standards and qualifications against which they assess learners, at (or preferably above) the level of the standards and qualifications in question. While it is anticipated that assessors may not have these unit standards, it is expected that the assessors will have the equivalent qualification.
  3. The SETA also requires that assessors have two years of relevant occupational experience to ensure that assessors have the subject matter expertise to assess learners in a particular field/occupation. The application form provides further information on what evidence assessors need tosubmit to the SASSETA in order to be registered.

Provider moderators

Criteria for registration as a SASSETA registered moderator

The minimum requirements for registration as a SASSETA moderator are:

  1. Moderators are registered as assessors with the SASSETA (i.e. moderators first have to become registered assessors and adhere to the requirements outlined for assessors above).
  2. The unit standard ‘‘conduct moderation of outcomes-based assessments’’ worth 10 credits on the NQF at level 6
  3. Two years of relevant occupational experience: this is to ensure that moderators have the subject matter expertise to conduct moderation of outcomes-based assessments in a particular field/occupation. The application form provides further information on what evidence moderators need to submit to the SASSETA in order to be registered.

Duration of registration

The registration of assessors and moderators will be reviewed every five years, unless requirements specified by SAQA change. Please note: the SASSETA ETQA has the right to de-register assessors and moderators who do not adhere to the criteria and relevant codes of conduct for moderators and assessors at any time deemed necessary. Should an assessor/moderator be granted Provisional Accreditation, it is the responsibility of the assessor/moderator to ensure that the status be renewed. Furthermore it is important that the statement of results from the ETDP SETA be submitted for the assessor/moderator in order to be granted full accreditation.

Steps in the application process for assessors and moderators

  1. Applicants must complete the application form and submit it to the SASSETA ETQA. Applicants should ensure that the necessary documents outlined in the application form are attached.
  2. Applicants must sign the Code of Conduct and submit this to the SASSETA ETQA.
  3. The SASSETA ETQA will evaluate the application and supporting documentation. The evaluators will submit recommendation to the HOD: ETQA, who will approve or disapprove the recommendation.
  4. The results of the decision will be communicated to the applicant in writing. If the application has been unsuccessful, a set of reasons will be provided. If the applicant deems it necessary, he/she can appeal the decision. Appeals should be submitted to the HOD: ETQA in writing 21 days after receipt of the decision. Providers should indicate clearly why the appeal is being made and provide reasons. The ETQA will conduct the necessary activities on receipt of the appeal.
  5. If the applicant is successful, a registration certificate will be issued.
  6. The status of registered assessors and moderators is reviewed every five years.

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