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Nvq Assessor And Sessions Being Disrupted


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Just wondering how others have managed this....when I did my NVQ the assessor was very good and would observe me, then go over to the meeting room in the school, write up the observation, and I would sign it next time I saw her. I was very nearly never able to have immediate feedback because I am always counted in the ratio's and it would have disrupted the sessions.

 

2 of my staff are now doing an NVQ and the assessor came today to see one of them, and was with her for 2 hours of the session apparantly. Luckily we had a parent in and a support member of staff who is not counted in the ratio so she was able to help out. But she is coming to see the other member of staff on Wednesday afternoon when we don't have a parent in to help and the support member of staff is only in for the last hour. I was not there today but have agreed to go in and help unpaid on Weds as I want to meet her, and see what is going on - I get the impression from the staff that she is new to NVQ or at least to this company that she is working for. My deputy supervisor was on about getting cover, but we can't afford to get in extra staff every time the NVQ assessor comes in, especailly as I fought the committte to get the remaining funding for the course paid for by the committee.

 

THe girls are paniced enough about the NVQ as it is without the hassle of it disrupting sessions.....just wondered how other committee run preschools have managed this situation. If she is not coming into observe them but just to feedback/talk, it is not unreasonable for them to arrange to meet her when they are not in session (but not get paid for it) as they don't go to college each week or anything with this company.

 

Thanks in advance

Clare

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When I was Assessing full time I always found it best practice to give feedback as soon as you could after the observation/assessment. Would it not be possible for feedback to be given in the room, that way the learner is still in the room and you are not out of ratio. I have done it this way many times; however I have not assessed the new standards so don't know if this way would work now. Remember though the Assessor is not an ogre or alien, if its not convenient for her to come in and assess or take staff out of the room then tell her so. I have Assessors coming in now to assess my staff and if its not possible for her to take them out of the room then she will get on with doing observations and all are very happy to do this. Hope this helps

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When I was assessing I would carry out my observation then give very brief verbal feedback. We would then arrange an appointment (this generally was held at their home in their own time) when we could sit and discuss more fully the observation, go over what other evidence they might need to provide and plan for the next time I would carry out an observation. If the assessor is coming in to carry out an observation perhaps they could time it towards the end of your session and then give their feedback after the session has finished.

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would it be possible for the members of staff to be observed in their own time in the setting? we have found depending on the circumstances it is easier for them to cover lots of different areas as they are not part of the ratio but i make sure that all help is given to them to get the most out of their time. i know this may be taking up their day off but has worked in the past for us and the staff have found they feel less stressed as they only have to concentrate on their role rather than their part in the session if that makes sense.

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I have 2 staff on NVQ's at the moment. When they started I made it clear that they must have feedback out of session time. But it seems that the assessor doesn't agree with me. We have 3 staff with 19 so there is no way that someone can be sitting with an assessor during the session. When the assessor calls them over with their folder, I call them back to do a job.

 

There is also no way that playgroup can pay for an extra member of staff each time, I am happy for them to so their activity in the session with the children though.

 

On a different note, I have been amazed at the training on the NVQ3 this year. I know lots of practitioners that have trained with this college before including myself and am very disappointed. One of the students, seems to have borrowed someone's folder and neither have turned up for any lectures but hope to qualify in June! It is like that have been fast tracked but neither were ready.

 

I would like to speak to the college about it but it is difficult.

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"One of the students, seems to have borrowed someone's folder and neither have turned up for any lectures but hope to qualify in June! It is like that have been fast tracked but neither were ready"

 

 

This is where the governments target for all qualified to L3 by 2015 (?) falls down, particularly when we have strongly committed, experienced and highly regarded unqualified staff among us who will be extinct! - Unfair!!

 

Know which one i'd choose! :o

 

 

I think you need to speak to the assessor and explain your point of view regarding feedback, I'm sure she'd be happy to listen and compromise a little.

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As an assessor I couldn't agree more with gingerbreadman's comments

 

With train2gain we are told that candidates must to 'minimum' written work - assessors are supposed to do all the writing/recording........so lots of discussions, added to that we are now only paid whist we are physically with candidate - so no taking stuff away to read/write up (not that there's much to take away and read anyway now). Full feedback is expected straight away as is pre-planning the next meeting.

 

I try and arrange for candidates plan observations in their own time, and, whilst some are happy to do this- others expect to observered in 'paid' time.

 

I only assess part time and through a college - I used to really enjoy it, but I'm not happy with the direction training is going.

I'm hoping that when the new qualifications come in sept things will improve - in the meantime it seems there's a mad rush to get as many NVQs through as quick as possible!

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Thank you all for your input, I was planning to speak to her on Wednesday, but wanted to just find out what was reasonable as I only have my own experience to base it on.

 

Thanks

Clare

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We also have 2 staff completing NVQ at the moment and have similar issues. I understand both the assessor and the student want to get the process finished as soon as possible but the job comes first. I have now told our staff that before booking their next session with the assessor they must check with me or the manager to ensure we can cover the ratios during the time they need to be out of them. This meant one member of staff had to meet the assessor at home in her own time, but to me this is the beauty of doing the course this way - the flexibility. I have also told them both I am happy when possible to stay in the setting after the session to enable them to meet there, but can't guarantee the warmth of the building after the session!

 

Currently my big issue is getting them to do their job and not just doing what needs to be done for the course. But that's another story altogether!

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We also have 2 staff completing NVQ at the moment and have similar issues. I understand both the assessor and the student want to get the process finished as soon as possible but the job comes first. I have now told our staff that before booking their next session with the assessor they must check with me or the manager to ensure we can cover the ratios during the time they need to be out of them. This meant one member of staff had to meet the assessor at home in her own time, but to me this is the beauty of doing the course this way - the flexibility. I have also told them both I am happy when possible to stay in the setting after the session to enable them to meet there, but can't guarantee the warmth of the building after the session!

 

Currently my big issue is getting them to do their job and not just doing what needs to be done for the course. But that's another story altogether!

 

Candidates SHOULD be checking with you about assements anyway!!!

 

I like to meet the candidates outside the workplace for professiona disscussion - they are much more relaxed and we seem to cover so much more without any distractions.

I think sometimes candidates get so obsessed by the course work they forget that it is in fact a 'vocational qualification' therefore if they do their job to the correct standard they could cover loads in one observation without any distruption to the daily routines of the setting.

 

xx

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I might just have to quote you there louby loo! That's my argument exactly. I feel sometimes I created a monster as I asked both staff members to do the course as I knew they were more than capable. Since starting they seem to have checked their common sense at the door on their way in!

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My staff are observed in working time, and then the Assessor goes away to write up her report in another room, fill out all the paperwork etc... the staff then go on their break with their assessor to complete feedback forms and plan their next visits. We do not alllow them to do their file work, which was what started happening. Some students do need extra help but if you look into the time they actually spend being taught in college, its ridiculously short! and there is plenty of time to get help there, it shouldn't be taking place in their working session.

 

All assessments must be booked in through myself as i do the rota's and for set times either 9.30 or 1pm this gives up to an hour for observation/writing up, then 15 min's break time for feedback. if the assessor requires the student for anything longer this must be pre-arranged too, and if more than an hour, the staff pay the time back e.g. on their college day.

 

Ive never really had a problem negotiating with the Assessors, and often find they are grateful for any time the staff are released from the ratios, but do not expect it to be long. :o

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  • 1 month later...

Wow reading some of this I am quite shocked.

 

As an NVQ assessor time and time again I have come up against settings that really do not understand the ethos of the NVQ system.

 

When a student is taken on we ask the managers to really consider the implications and the support that will be required for each student and the time frame it takes to include the impact on the setting.

 

Whilst we try to minimise disruption to workpractice we do ensure that managers understand that currentlly those training to be level 3 are doing just that.

 

As this is a National Vocational Qualification students are expected to be already working to a level 3 capacity. - It is the setting that is responsible for training the students in relation to work practice, policies and procedures, the EYFS etc, The assessors come in to purely assess the students knowledge gained from their work practice and experience that has been provided by the setting. All too frequently the setting management have misunderstood the NVQ and have looked to the training companies for full core training for these students. This should not be the case with the NVQ.

 

When a setting agrees to take on board students we ensure that settings understand the full benefit of the process and the end result being that they have a fully competent and qualified level 3 candidate who can be left in a supervisory capacity. Settings sign to say that they will allow sufficient time for feedback after an assessment has taken place - good feedback and discussion should take between half an hour and on occasion an hour if the student needs further development and support.

 

Sadly what we have found is that settings put students forward in order for them just to be able to say they can supervise in that room without a good levelling of experience, training and support from the setting. The assessors have had to pick up the pieces on numerous occasions, and this is where feedback after observation, professional discussion does take time and should have ample time to undertake this in the workplace - as the NVQ is work based. Assessors do not get paid for evening work - therefore we have to undertake sessions in the workplace during work hours. And we do most of the written work for the candidates - particularly as it is undertaken via written discussions which we not only type then cross reference through standards - again takes a little time.

 

The top up training we do is usually to ensure that the settings are covering policies and procedures, that all students are involved in those processes (often not as some do not even know what they contain until we ask for the policies for them to discuss) we also ensure they know how to undertake observation, assessment, planning - something settings should teach them, but often these students are not even familiar with the EYFS and planning. More importantly we are having to ensure that students are able to communicate, listen and interpret childrens meanings in order to be able to observe and assess effectively. Again this is difficult in some settings through lack of training from management. All too often we get young students who find communicating even in their own peer groups hard, with a very low command of English to boot.

 

All i can say is thankfully the NVQ's are going. Initially they were a good idea - until a level 3 was said to be achievable within 6 months and the pressure was on for assessors to put students through whom they knew needed more in-house support and training from the setting.

 

I look forward to the new level 3 where their is more expected input from the colleges to train students as currently we find the settings are not doing enough to support their staff, but that is because settings perhaps were unaware that the award was vocational and students should have been competent to carry out the award - and therefore it was just assessed with a little back up training when required from the colleges or training providers.

 

 

Also if students were on train to gain, then settings could claim back for extra staff and hours, but again we found that settings were claiming the money, but not putting in that extra staff allowing the student the time to be effectively and efficiently assessed and supported.

 

Sorry for the rant, but I am an experienced assessor and IV and for most part the setting management have been brilliantly supportive as we have always undertaken a comprehensive induction with both the Management of settings who then fully inderstand the implications and sign up to say how they will not only support their students, but provide sufficient time to talk to us in order that we can then go back to them with any training we felt the student required - we kept open paths of communicaiton at all times.

 

My heart goes out to settings and students as training is always a hard one to fit in - but we do look to the settings to ensure that firstly management attend as much training as they can and then ensure this is provided and filtered down to their own staff via in-house training - often undertaken after work. Which sadly we rarely see some management undertaking which does affect the time the assessor may need to spend with the students.

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Thank you for explaining it all very clearly and making several points that many may not be aware of.

 

I must admit to the fact that NVQ meant students should have good experience and underpinning knowledge was one of the reasons I sent all my staff to do the DPP instead... they found this taught them as well as took into account their experience and they all came back with good knowledge and understanding which we were often able to use to improve our practice.

 

Our NVQ students were apprenticed and went to the college for 1 day a week. the assessor booked a day to come in with the student and we then ensured we had additional staff or were sufficiently staffed...

 

 

We also ensured they had in house mentor and were taught as well.. I wanted to ensure any student we had through I would be willing to employ as a level 3 and not just have the paper... in fact we did employ them when a suitable post became available..

 

But I know we were in the minority..

 

Inge

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Hi Inge

 

Thanks for your reply. I hope I did not come across as being too harsh on management. But i do feel that it is alo down to the training provider to ensure that management understand the implications of staff undertaking the NVQ.

 

I am glad however that this new qualification entails guideded learning hours, hopefully more college based as candidates can also network and discuss best/good practice to support their learning and development. Also the training providers need to pull up their socks and find out from undertaking evaluations at the end of each workshop or session to find out what the students are learning and how they can implement back in their settings to also include what the students feel they need more help and input on.

 

I am currently looking into the units, and waiting to attend further training days with CACHE to better my understanding of the expected delivery to candidates. but I also hope that those I work for ensure they listen to the needs of the candidates and put on not only the relevant workshops on child development, understanding EYFS and welfare requirements, but also workshops to enable candidates to share their work practice - e.g., learning journey templates, obs templates etc., So much to add, but cant due to time today.

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Thank you for the detailed explanation, I think it was a good idea, but as you say has not been used in the way it was designed to.

 

Our Early Years Team has for long time pushed people to go straight for an NVQ 3 because 'there is no point to an NVQ 2' but I would argue there is every point, as a training pathway for those to gain a better understanding and insight. I put 2 candidates forward for the NVQ not so that they could necessarily supervise the room, but so that they could gain a level 3 qualification which is required for half of my work force. One of them has been there for 5 years, so with a bit of confidence will find she does know alot more than she realises. The other one is realatively new to us, had worked voluntarily in the reception class for over a year and was a lunchtime controller there, and she is having to learn an awful lot, which I am supporting her with along the way, and I keep explaining to her that she is not expected to 'know' everything now, but that by going through the units we can cover everything in turn so that she will know it by the end. The problem is the assessor has not been very clear in explaining her expectations to them, nor even spoken to me about my staff's training, and I think somewhere along the line some assessors are not even clear what the NVQ was all about in its origin.

 

Clare x

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HI

 

Thanks for your reply. Yes I agree, assessors only relay what the training provider wants them to relay! - I only work for those that are clear and can allow me to explain the pathways and options prior to signing up candidates for the awards, to include the expected input from ourselves and the setting.

 

For those new to working in a setting a level 2 is a good place to start, simply to help them learn and understand the implications of the setting, work environment and expectations of the award in conjuction with their workpractice.

 

Level 3 is for those who have been working in that setting for a while and are confident enough in their practice and knowledge of the settings policies, procedures and welfare requirements to be able to undertake the supervisory qualification that is the level 3.

 

Assessors should be given time to fully explain the NVQ to managment and candidate. A clear pathway of how the award is to be achieved should be clearly outlined in an initial meeting with the setting and candidate - to include any professional development the candidate may need support with. An open dialogue is needed with the setting manager to be able to achieve this in order to support the candidate.

 

You need to ask permission from the candidate to hold a meeting with both her/him and the assessor to discuss how all parties can be involved for the benefit of the candidate and ultimately the setting.

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As an ex tutor and assessor for NVQ's who is now a Nursery Manager with staff completing NVQ's I can see things from both sides , but when your staff sign up for the qualifications as settings you also sign up to giving support be that time, mentoring, other training etc. You get nothing in this world for nothing - a little bit of support and time in exchange for a qualified member of staff is a fair deal IMO ? Assessors are aware of the constraints of settings and can be flexible but again they have only so many hours in each day to see people and carry out thier job too. :o

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I have 1 session a week when we have extra cover. This allows for Early years visitors, assessors,parents and teachers to visit throughout the term.If students cannot arrange their visits to suit they have to arrange it for a session when they wouldn't normally be at the session.

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