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The question is often asked: “Why do we need assessors and moderators?”

This blog will shed some light on this subject as we explore eight (8) Common Questions people tend to ask. From the offset, we just need to emphasize that there is a very distinct difference between each of these roles.

The following questions will provide clarity on the subject and hopefully set the stage for a deeper exploration through training and hiring both Assessors and Moderators in South African businesses.

1. What is assessment?

Assessment is a process where the activities of an employee are observed and compared with a set of requirements to determine whether the employee can execute a task according to set requirements.

2. What is a registered assessor?

A registered assessor is someone who is trained specifically against a national unit standard, 115753, on the process and principles of assessment. A registered assessor meets the set criteria and requirements of the specific SETA which they intend to register with. To register as an assessor with a SETA, the assessor must provide evidence of his/her proficiency in the specific area in which s/he wants to register.

3. What does a registered assessor do?

A registered assessor has the primary responsibility of evaluating (assessing) an employee’s ability against a set criteria to confirm that the employee is competent and able to do the tasks allocated to her/him.

4. What benefit is there in having a registered assessor?

There are a number of reasons why companies should have registered assessors on their staff. All of the points below will be made possible for companies by having a registered assessor on their staff. It follows, then, that the criteria and guidelines for assessors are extremely strict, thus ensuring that the best possible assessors go through the course. These practitioners ensure that well-qualified and competent people in the workplace, along with the company’s training programme, should:

  • Create opportunities for employees to progress/advance through a company;
  • Be certified, recognised and accepted anywhere in the country;
  • Enable an employee to find alternative employment in the event of job loss;
  • Acknowledgement in B-BBEE verification; and

Employees could achieve nationally- (in some cases internationally) recognised workplace-based qualifications.

5. Who should be registered assessors?

The following people are recommended to be trained as assessors:

  • Anyone who needs to become a registered assessor;
  • Line staff responsible for assessment in the workplace (such as supervisors and managers);
  • HR and HRD practitioners; and
  • Anyone who needs to achieve an NQF-registered ETDP or HR-related qualification, since this qualification requires competence in the generic unit standard Conduct Outcomes-Based Assessment.

6. What is moderation?

Moderation is a process of quality assurance where the activities of an assessor are quality assured to confirm that the assessor conducted the assessment in a fair manner and that the evidence for competence, required by the standard, is available and correct.

7. What is a registered moderator?

A registered moderator is someone who is trained specifically against a national unit standard, 115759, in the process of moderation. A registered moderator meets the set criteria and requirements of the specific SETA which s/he intends to register with. To register as a moderator with a SETA, the moderator must provide evidence of her/his proficiency in the specific area in which s/he wants to register and that they have also successfully completed the unit standard training for assessors, 115753.

8. Who should be registered moderators?

The following employees are recommended to be trained as moderators:

  1. Anyone who is a registered assessor; and
  2. Line staff members responsible for assessment in the workplace (such as supervisors and managers).

The fact is that if a company pays more than lip service to its training programme, it must make use of assessors and moderators. The company must ensure that its assessors and moderators are trained to the highest standards and that the people being trained in the company improve their skills and that the products being produced show a marked and quantifiable improvement. The company should also show an improvement in its reputation, as the quality of its people start being recognised as industry leaders being sought after by other companies in the industry.

Assessors and Moderators are the building blocks of any company’s skills base.

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