Best practice has shown that there are a number of important roles that need to be identified in order to facilitate the recognition of prior learning. These roles include mentors, assessors and external verifiers.
Kgolo Institute will employ or contract personnel to assist the facilitation of prior learning. This includes mentors, assessors and moderators.
Experiences in S.A and abroad in RPL indicate that the learner will need support and guidance to make an application for the recognition of prior learning for either entry to programmes, exemptions or for unit standards/qualifications. A mentor or facilitator is a key support for learners in the facilitation of the recognition of prior learning process.
The support to be provided includes:
- Providing information and advising the learner on the RPL process for entry to programmes, for exemptions.
- Assisting with the determination of eligibility of a learner for entry to programmes, exemptions and attainment of unit standards/qualifications as appropriate.
- Assisting the learner to analyze the unit standards in terms of his or her prior knowledge, skill and competence and the matching of these to the learning outcomes of the unit standards/qualifications.
- Advising the learner on identifying of and gathering of evidence.
- Identifying the learning gaps in terms of knowledge, skills and competence for a unit standard/qualification.
- Co-ordinating the RPL process (in a classroom and workplace etc).
- Acting as a liaison between with the assessor and the learner.
The assessor is central to the implementation of RPL for the purpose of the learners achieving unit standards/qualifications Kgolo Institute as part of our quality assurance procedures requires assessors to accurately assess the evidence of candidates against the outcomes of the unit standards. RPL is a mode of assessment and like all assessment modes needs to be fairly and consistently applied.
In order to facilitate RPL assessors will need to be trained and experienced in their specific field and in assessment requirement for the unit standards/qualifications.
Assessors will be required to:
- Assess i.e. judge the learner’s evidence against the national standards as outlined in the unit standard.
- Make recommendations for either competency or entry to a programme, or an exemption to the learner.
- External Moderator
- The process of assessment of a candidate’s evidence will include external moderation to ensure consistency and compliance with national standards.
- Assessment of prior learning is a mode of assessments. External moderation will ensure that the standard for the unit standards/qualification is met and the overall creditability of Kgolo Institute is maintained.
- Kgolo Institute will ensure that this requirement will be met in their quality assurance policy and procedures on assessment.
Kgolo Institute will:
- Advise and support learners of the value of prior learning and of the steps in the process involved for making an application.
- Provide appropriate information to learners on the entry criteria/requirements to successfully participate in a programme. RPL information leaflets and RPL application procedures will be made available to learners.
- Specify the entry criteria which form the basis for successful participation for each programme to be validated by Kgolo Institute. These criteria will refer to the unit standards and level of the learning programme and take into account the knowledge, skill and competence to be acquired by the learner
- Include RPL information in all programme materials i.e. programme prospectus or course profile prepared in advance of the programme. This information will be readily available to prospective learners in an appropriate medium.
- Establish an application procedure to assist the learner to apply on the basis of prior learning experiences and to attach supporting evidence of prior learning experiences. The application procedure will be simple and allow the individual to document the relevant prior learning experiences.
- The application procedure should gather information on the learner’s prior experience such as : personal information, previous employments, leisure and voluntary activities, education and training undertaken, and references as well as reasons for applying for the programme.
- The applicant will be given an opportunity to highlight the relevant prior learning in relation to the entry criteria.
- Criteria for the evaluation of the learner will include minimum acceptable criteria for successful participation such as : a minimum of 2 years relevant life experience, a clear demonstration of the capacity to succeed – standard of overall application, individual commitment of the learner and other specific requirements which may specific to the programme.
- The assessment of the prior learning in the application will be carried out by assessors with appropriate expertise in the relevant field.
- Kgolo Institute will ensure that the arrangements for selecting and assessing learners for entry are transparent and fair. Prospective learners can be interviewed to discuss the above to assist in the decision making process.
- An appeals mechanism will be available to all prospective applicants in the event of a learner making an appeal.
- We will monitor and record the application and its outcome to meet requirements of quality assurance elements for recognition of prior learning for entry.
The objective of the RPL policy is to facilitate access, transfer and progression of learners through the recognition of prior learning within the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
Kgolo Institute promotes the recognition of prior learning in relation to entry, credit, exemptions and access to qualifications. We will encourage our assessors to facilitate RPL process for the purposes of entry to programmes, exemptions from programme requirements, credit towards an award and eligibility for a full or part qualification within the NQF.
In assessing prior learning Kgolo Institute will strive to operate an assessment process which is fair and in a consistent manner. As the Recognition of Prior Learning is essentially a mode of assessment, learners will be required to meet the assessment criteria specified in the unit standards. To ensure overall credibility and consistency of the processes for the recognition of prior learning, we will monitor and evaluate assessments in accordance with quality assurance and programme validation requirements.
Finally, it will be possible for learners who can demonstrate their competence against a unit standard/qualification to be recognized for prior learning. Kgolo Institute policy is underpinned by the principles of access, transparency, quality and which are consistent with SAQA’s and NQF objectives policies developed to date and reflect national and international best practices.
For each learning outcome the learner should identify a piece of evidence to be used to demonstrate the achievement of the outcome. The evidence can be collected in a Portfolio of evidence/collection of evidence. The same piece of evidence may be presented for more than one outcome if appropriate to those outcomes as a group relating to a particular field of learning. Evidence which applies to more than one learning outcome will be clearly labelled and cross-referenced. The Portfolio/Collection of Evidence will be assessed by an assessor who will make a recommendation on the outcome to be achieved.
The Portfolio/Collection of evidence should contain the following :
- Personal details and contact information.
- Table of contents listing the various sections in the portfolio.
- Full Curriculum Vitae expanded to included detailed work history.
- Reference information on unit standard/qualification identified.
- List of learning outcomes/standards for the award and details of analysis recorded as achieved/not achieved with identified evidence reference.
- Referenced/indexed listing of evidence – referenced to learning outcomes.
- Copies of correspondence/applications forms, etc.
- Details of meetings with mentor.
A range of supporting evidence including the following:
- Project or work based assignments.
- Evidence of work based assessment – on the job assessment for work skills.
- Job specification(s).
- Company organization charts.
- Personnel records of in house training and development.
- Accounts of personnel experiences.
- Employer endorsement and/testimonials.
- Prior qualifications, certificates of Education and Training.
- Training, assessment and rest results.
- Curricula/course descriptions/outcomes.
- Staff training records/personal records.
- Products of work, samples of documentation/word undertaken photographs.
- Membership of related organizations and societies.
- General references.
- Newspaper cuttings.
- Other evidence – accounts of overseas experience, voluntary work, etc.
- All relevant evidence and documentation relating to the prior learning of the learner.
- Must be identified by the learner. Some evidence will be readily available.
- Further research will be required to gather other evidence through contact with present.
- Former employers, personnel departments, trainers, personal contacts as well as other sources.
- As part of learner support the mentor will assist the learner to identify the range and types of evidence to be presented.
Ensuring quality of evidence
Direct Evidence will proof direct proof of knowledge, skills and competence of the learner and will relate specifically to the identified learning outcome/standard of the unit standard. It will fully support a claim.
Other indirect evidence can be used to support the application but may not clearly demonstrate competence. It may support an application but will need to be linked to the standards as clearly as possible. It is likely that this indirect evidence on its own will not be sufficient to prove full achievement of the unit standards.
Knowledge of the unit standards interpretation
All qualifications are designed the same way. They comprise of the following:
- Practical competencies – what a candidate must be able to do
- Knowledge requirements – what a candidate must know
Internal moderator will monitor the work of all assessors involved with a particular learning programme/ qualification, to ensure the accuracy and consistency of assessment activities and decisions.
Internal Moderation Process Flow
- This policy will be reviewed annually by the Director.
The procedure must be read in conjunction with the following policies and procedures:
- Record keeping and secure learner information management, capturing, updating, record keeping, reporting and security policy and procedure.
- Learner entry, guidance and support and remedial policy and procedure.
- Management of off-site or work site component policy and procedure.
- Appeals policy and procedure.
- Moderation policy and procedure.
- QMS evaluation and review policy and procedure.
There are several ways in which this can be assessed:
Assessors will be required to use different methods depending on the particular NQF unit standard/qualification.
There are 3 options for the assessment of practical skills namely:
Competence checklist – observation of performance
- This is a list of activities that a candidate must be able to do in order to demonstrate a particular competence. For each statement the assessor will be asked to say whether the candidate is competent or not yet competent.
Competence checklist – appraisal of a product
- In some instances a candidate may be asked to produce something e.g. a report, a design, or an object. The assessor would then use a checklist to ensure that the product met all the specified requirements.
- This are set by Kgolo Institute in a learning programme content as tasks for candidate’s to complete. Candidates may be required to:
- Produce a product e.g. report, design or an object
- Carry out a task
- Carry out a task and produce a product
Candidates will be required to write knowledge tests to show that they meet requirements. These are provided by Kgolo Institute and can take the form of:
- Written tests-multiple choice
- These will be used to assess underpinning knowledge
Written tests – short, structured questions
These will be used where there is no definite answer or a more detailed answer is required
All written assessments for NQF qualifications will be written in English language. Where appropriate interpreters will be used to assist with language proficiency. Kgolo Institute will review tests materials to ensure that the language used in questions is not a test of the candidate’s ability to use English rather than their subject knowledge. Written papers are marked for correct facts, based on the relevant marking scheme, not for the use of English.
The focus of the following guidelines is on the planning and assessment of practical skills.
Action Planning for Assessment
Action planning is about helping candidates to:
- Understand what they are being asked to do, show, know, produce and towards standards and under what conditions.
- Organize how they will work towards achieving a unit standard/qualification.
- Identify what they already do or have done; matching against the skills and knowledge requirements they meet through current work activities and through prior learning.
- Plan further activities to meet outstanding requirements.
A personal action plan can then be drawn up to indicate the source from which evidence can be gathered, the competences of knowledge requirements which require training or experience and opportunities/dates to action these activities.
In developing action plans for the collection of competence, candidates should be advised to note against each unit standard in which competence may be proven – standards given.
The prime responsibility for the assessment planning lies with the assessor. The assessor should take a lead role in the assessment process in such a way that the candidate is not overwhelmed and demotivated by the whole exercise and feels sufficiency involved in the ownership of whole process.
Collection of Evidence
As discussed practical competences will be assessed by observation of performance of appraisal of a product. This will be obtained from workplace activities of simulations.
Real work environment
The preferred source of evidence for NQF unit standards and qualifications is by collection of naturally occurring evidence in the workplace.
This is where product or service provided involves a third party other than the candidate. It need not imply paid employment as it may be a work placement for the candidate, however assessment must reflect business practices, and pressures, consequences and the work being assessed must be authentic to the candidate.
Simulated work experience
Any source of performance evidence other than the candidate’s normal naturally occurring work activities in the workplace is considered to be simulation. It will be a second choice mode of assessment, which will be carefully designed and undertaken. Only high quality simulated work experience which reflects the reality of a true work environment with its attendant constraints and pressure will be acceptable.
Whatever the circumstances in which simulated work experience is used, assessment must meet the full requirements of the particular practical competence/s. The assessor must be confident that the competence can be transferred to a range of working environments. Reasons of using simulations will include confidentiality, safety, covering contingencies and increasing access.
Some examples of situations where simulations may be appropriate are:
- Candidate’s workplace does not offer opportunities to provide appropriate evidence for some part of the unit standard, and an alternative opportunities are not readily available
- Infrequent events and waiting for event to occur could delay assessment
- Avoid hazards to the candidate or others in the working environment; procedure which may have dangerous or complicated consequences, e.g. dealing with a fire or handling dangerous chemicals
- Life threatening conditions, such as resuscitation of a person who stopped breathing
- Situation in which collecting evidence would intrude on personal privacy or confidentiality
- Where simulations will be used, it will be used sparingly. The reason being that high proportion of simulation could call into question the credibility of assessment.
- Assessing Competence
- Competence will be determined by the ability of the candidate to meet the standards set on the occasion that the task is performed. In judging a candidate competent, the assessor should be convinced that the candidate meets the unit standards requirements and will continue to do so in the future.
There are two types of assessments that will be used namely :
- Formative Assessment
- Summative Assessment
This is used during the training programme to assess the progress the candidate is making towards the practical competence/s. The assessor will discuss with the candidate what has been achieved and what still needs to be learned.
This is used to determine the final level of achievements and to record a statement, mark or competence demonstrated.
Completing administrative requirements for assessment records
Kgolo Institute will use the following documents for assessments and moderation processes namely:
Candidate details form: The information recorded when recruiting candidates to undertake the NQF learning programmes. The information will be kept in our recording system.
Diagnostic profile: A sheet used by assessors during the candidate’s induction period to indicate skills, interests and aspirations to assist in guiding candidates about career choices.
Action planning sheet: An action planning sheet is used by assessors during candidate’s induction period to determine where and how evidence will be collected.
Signature sheets: A document used that provides assessors and moderators with information about the personnel who has signed the candidate’s portfolio.
Assessment plan – candidate briefing
A form used by assessors to complete candidate’s details prior to a formal assessment session. It prepares the candidate for formal assessment, dates and content.
Assessment report – candidate debriefing
An assessment report that is used by assessors following a formal assessment session with the candidates. It gives the candidate a feedback on their assessment.
Assessor observation form
To record details observed by the assessor of the practical competences and underpinning knowledge demonstrated by the candidate.
Assessment interview form
Details information regarding supplementary questions and answer sheet based on the particular assessment criteria on the unit standard.
Internal Moderation report – assessor monitoring and review
This will be used for monitoring of individual assessors. Records a single/multiple assessment activities.
Candidate tracking record
Information recorded by internal moderator. Shows candidate progress and random moderation checks on assessment.
During the assessment process, the evidence presented, outcomes and all records will remain confidential. Assessors will be provided with resources to maintain records in a confidential fashion. Kgolo Institute will give guidance as to the type and time records will need to be maintained for audit purposes.
Kgolo Institute will ensure that all assessors follow the recording and reporting action and feedback during the assessment process.