In this blog post, we hear from lead assessors Allison Young of Department of Education, Tasmania and Marilyn Visnjic from the Education and Early Childhood Services Registration and Standards Board, South Australia.
Allison and Marilyn recently attended an ACECQA training and workshop for lead assessors. We asked them to share their experience.
What is the role of a lead assessor?
Allison: The lead assessors train authorised officers but most people working as lead assessors also give day to day support to authorised officers with knowledge, current practice and research.
Marilyn: It was interesting to hear how this role is administered in the different jurisdictions, depending on each organisation’s structure. Some have a stand alone role, while others incorporate it as part of a bigger role. Even with the differences however, the role and focus of the lead assessors is very similar across jurisdictions. It includes:
- supporting, guiding and mentoring authorised officers, both new and existing
- responsibility for training of authorised officers as well as identifying training needs and training opportunities for all authorised officers
- monitoring consistency, validity and reliability both at a state and national level
- identifying potential drifting of reliability and/or consistency
- moderating reports
- conducting assessment and rating visits as well as accompanying other authorised officers on visits (co-visits).
What were the highlights of the recent workshop you attended at ACECQA?
Marilyn: With all jurisdictions represented, it meant that we all had the opportunity to hear each other’s experiences and stories 12 months down the track. This allowed a cross section of experiences and practices to be shared and provided opportunity to identify and highlight what worked well and what needed more thought and discussion. It also allowed us to identify and highlight practices that may assist and support us in our own jurisdictions.
Allison: We looked at the content of the training, discussed what kind of information could be available nationally for authorised officers. We created material for fact sheets that ACECQA and jurisdictions will develop together.
What were the benefits from attending a national workshop?
Allison: It was great to share the successes, stories and surprises of the NQF over the last 12 months, and it was great to hear that everybody was experiencing similar things.
Marilyn: Very valuable. It was great to be exposed to the different backgrounds, roles and experiences we all brought with us and to be able to support each other as a community of learners. I came back enthused and looking forward to sharing information with authorised officers.
Professionally, I am excited about the ideas put forward for ongoing work and building the lead assessor community.