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Functional Skills Guidance on remote assessment of SLC for Centres and Assessors

Ref : B20-78

Type : Amendment

Date : 23 October 2020

Updated October 2020

Centres who wish to carry out remote Speaking, Listening and Communicating assessments are now able to do so. This applies to all levels (Entry 1, Entry 2, Entry 3, Level 1 and Level 2).

NOCN wish to acknowledge that remote assessment will not be appropriate for all learners, but this is being offered as an option for centres who judge that a remote assessment would be appropriate for their learners.

Remote assessment guidance

Centres must ensure that learners are not disadvantaged through this process, and that prior preparation has been carried out with the learners. This may involve; trialling the process with the learners to acclimatise them to the remote processes and checking that recording systems are accessible.

All SLC assessments are required to be recorded by audio or visual means to allow for internal and external quality assurance checks.

Technical preparations should be observed to ensure that:

1. Learners and assessors have the required knowledge and access to a reliable Wi-Fi connection to support the system being utilised eg Microsoft Teams, Skype, Zoom, Google Hangout etc. A telephone can be used, but a video is the NOCN preference; in order to support internal and external quality assurance checks.

2. A test of the recording equipment must carried out; to make sure that the equipment is working sufficiently prior to the start of the assessment. Please ensure that cameras and microphones are capturing a good quality recording and the learner(s) are visible. This test of the system will also allow the learner to become familiar with the systems being used.

3. The assessor will act as an invigilator and an assessor due to the assessment being recorded.

4. The date and time of the assessment must have been scheduled to allow sufficient preparation time for all parties. Further, the assessment should not take place in a public place, in order to avoid distractions.

5. A check on the learners’ identity must be carried out by the assessor prior to the assessment starting. At the commencement of the assessment:

  • The assessor should state: the centre number, centre name, their name, the date of the assessment, what assessment is taking place (subject/level), and state what technology is being used
  • eg ‘Centre 1234, NOCN Group, Elizabeth Pawlowski, SLC Level 2, Teams meeting recording at 11.15am on Tuesday 20th October 2020’.
  • The assessor will then ask the participants to state their names, so that a familiarisation with individual voices can be ascertained, for internal and external quality assurance checks.
  • The learner should state : their name, their student ID number (if known) and they should show their ID badge (if one is available).

6. Assessors are to complete the Assessment Observation Record Sheet for each learner they are assessing, for internal and external quality assurance checks.

7. NOCN SLC requirements must be adhered to, this includes the group sizes and timings stipulated.

8. All recordings must be securely stored to allow for internal and external quality assurance checks. All recordings should be stored securely, and the file name should state the centre name, assessor name and assessment date.

Recommendations to support learners

1. Centres must ensure all learners are provided with sufficient notice of their assessment date/time, ensuring that learners understand that this is an assessment under controlled conditions and that the recording will not be shared with anyone other than those concerned internal and external quality assurance checks. Adding that the recordings will be deleted upon certification of the qualification.

2. Learners are to be allowed preparation time prior to assessment. Preparation time is not assessed and is not included in the recording of the assessment. Brief notes can be used as prompts in the assessment but should not be heavily relied upon as the assessment could become a reading assessment instead (verbatim).

3. Learners are to undertake the assessment in a suitable location, in an isolated room or a quiet outside space, eg a bricklaying yard if the learner is using a demonstration of the tools used for their presentation. There must be no access to members of the public.

Please contact nocn@nocn.org.uk if you have any further queries, with the subject field marked For the attention of the Skills for Life Team.