Competency Standards and the Road Transport Industry – (Part 3) The Assessment

In this blog we will cover the assessment process. Assessment is the crux of Competency Based Training. We have a set of Competency Standards and Assessment. These are the endorsed parts of training. We don’t care what comes in the middle. As long as you can be assessed to the Standards and pass that assessment, you are entitled to have a Nationally Recognised Certificate.

Assessment is all about collecting and presenting evidence of competency and there are many ways to this. Evidence can consist of questioning, observation of performance, a project, a portfolio showing your experience and even third party reports for example, from an employer. In most cases proof of competency needs to be demonstrated in at least 2 ways so a combination of the methods listed above is the accepted way of assessment. There are rules that apply to the assessment that include fairness, reliability, flexibility and validity.

Fairness is about ensuring the process does not disadvantage any individuals and the outcomes can be achieved through a range of various strategies. Reliability means that the interpretation of evidence and results are consistent. Flexibility ensures the skills and knowledge can be demonstrated in a variety of ways suitable to the workplace. Finally, validity means that evidence is collected in a variety of contexts and on a number of occasions, and that the assessment process and materials assess everything they claim to, and nothing else

The person conducting the assessment needs to be qualified. Normally this would be someone who holds a minimum of Certificate 4 in Workplace Training. This qualification includes 3 Units of Competency in assessment.

As part of their registration, RTOs had to make provision for Recognition of Prior Learning or RPL. This was how, in the beginning, many trainers got their qualification in the area they were training. It was often done as a one for one between RTOs.

A person can apply to any RTO for RPL for a qualification that that RTO is accredited to deliver. These days this is generally not encouraged especially if the person works for another RTO, such is the competition. However, the main reason is that to grant RPL the evidence for competency must be overwhelming or next audit, the RTO is in trouble. Not only that but RPL is usually cheaper than having the person enroll in a full course and they would receive less money. Most of the time its just easier to enrol in the course and do the assessment

If you know the name and code of the qualification you want to attain then you can download the Competency Units from You can also search from a RTO that delivers it and, if you think you have the evidence to support you, apply for RPL.

One more thing, a RTO cannot issue a Certificate to its own trainers. I hope this has given you a bit of an insight as to how the system works. As before, any comments please post so we can all share.

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