The Sustainable Operations qualifications are designed to complement an employee’s primary role and existing skills. In a manufacturing environment these might be in production, engineering, maintenance, logistics or other technical skills. As the qualifications are for experienced workers, they will typically be delivered and assessed in a workplace or a combination of off-the-job and on-the-job.
Designing the assessment brings together the information you have collected in understanding your client’s business needs, developing a customised program and captured in your training and assessment strategy.
Designing the assessment focuses on selecting the most appropriate combination of assessment methods and evidence for the units of competency in the context of the business, sector and learner group/s.
If you are looking for more detailed advice on developing assessment tools and assessing the MSS units of competency take a look at these sections of the website:
The Core unit resources explain key concepts and practices for each core unit of competency in the Sustainable Operations qualifications. [Read more…]
There are six Energy Efficiency Skill Sets in the MSS. These resources explain each Skill Set and its key concepts and provide video case studies and ideas for online assessment. [Read more…]
You must refer to the Assessment Requirements when developing your assessment methods and materials. This includes the Performance Evidence and Knowledge Evidence sections and the Assessment Conditions. Remember that the Assessment Requirements form part of the complete unit of competency and you must meet all of these requirements in your assessments.
The MSS units of competency typically include statements in the Assessment Conditions about how the assessment must be conducted, for example:
- The collection of performance evidence is best done from a report and/or folio of evidence drawn from multiple smaller projects which together provide sufficient evidence of the requirements of all the elements and performance criteria.
- A third party report, or similar, may be needed to testify to the work done by the individual, particularly when the project has been done as part of a project team.
- Assessment should use real projects where opportunities for sustainability improvements are identified and their implementation occurs in an operational workplace.
Check each unit of competency for the exact requirements.
Work based assessment
Work based assessment must meet the rules of evidence and principles of assessment. There are many options for work based assessment methods, for example, direct observation of work activities, planned demonstrations or presentations; verbal questioning in interviews and discussions; written assessment; and projects.
Project based assessment is recommended for the Sustainable Operations qualifications. A project should be contextualised for the individual workplace and can help to deliver a real benefit to the business. Undertaking a project in the workplace helps to ensure the learner can effectively apply the skills and knowledge while dealing with the range of challenges that are common in most workplaces.
Projects and other work based assessment methods provide an opportunity to use day to day documents and activities within the assessment.
Assessing underpinning knowledge is essential in a work based assessment as it is in a more traditional assessment. However this does not necessarily mean a written test.
Questioning might include an interview or a discussion. It should be combined with assessment methods that focus on practical skills. Questioning can be used to assess aspects of competency that are difficult to observe or support with documentation. It can also form part of the authentication of the learner’s role in a team activity or project.
Most skills are applied in combination in a workplace so there are opportunities for integrated assessment and clustering of units (see Flexibility). In addition to reflecting real work practices this can mean that one method of assessment or piece of evidence may apply across more than one unit of competency. An assessment project can usually be designed to cover several related units of competency, often combining core and electives.
The Guideline Assessment Tools in the Core unit resources provide some examples of work based projects and questions and how they relate to the requirements of the unit. NB: these sample assessment tools align to the earlier versions of the core units and should only be used as a general reference.
Simulated workplace environment
Where it is not possible to assess in the workplace the units of competency allow for assessment to be done in a ‘simulated workplace environment’. Assessment using a simulated workplace environment should reflect key characteristics of applying the selected unit/s of competency in a workplace. You should gather information about what happens in typical workplaces while you are developing your training and assessment strategy – based on your consultations with clients and/or industry.
Key characteristics of a workplace to consider might include:
- Self directed learning and sourcing of information
- Having a thorough technical knowledge of the production and other processes on which to base the sustainability activities
- Scoping the problem and filtering out irrelevant issues/data
- Working in a team with other stakeholders
- Managing the workplace politics and tensions
- Managing competing demands.