Providing feedback as an Assessor

One of the most important roles of an assessor is to provide feedback to the student on their performance and how the assessor has judged that against the required standards.

The difficulty usually arises when the assessor has to give a referred or fail result to the student based on the evidence that the assessor has seen and/or heard. This judgement should be given to the student at the start of the feedback to allow the student to respond, before giving the reason(s) behind the decision.

The assessor will not know how the student will react to this decision and will need all their lifestyle skills and experience when dealing with a situation where the student reacts in a confrontational or upset way. Basically, the assessor is going into an unknown area, and it has been known that assessors will avoid giving a referred result for fear of any form of retribution from the student and will therefore give the student a pass result.

This, of course, is not the right way to make a judgement for a student on their performance against the standards if they have not achieved the required standard. This lacks professionalism by the assessor and does not help anyone, particularly the student who will not know where their performance has failed against the standards. The student needs support and guidance and getting that from the assessor will be very important to the student as they recognise the skills, and experience of the assessor and would want to be given that advice so that they can develop in their role in respect of the qualification that they are aiming to complete successfully.

Whether the student, on hearing the result, reacts with aggression, walks off or simply becomes very upset, will require the assessor to deal with that situation immediately. Sometimes a calming voice will defuse the situation, but sometimes whatever is said does not have an effect on the student’s reaction.

There is no right or wrong way of dealing with a situation such as this, but the assessor will need to listen to their own thoughts and try to resolve the situation as quickly and as sensibly as possible.

Of course, there will be some situations where, whatever the assessor does, has no effect on the student and therefore ending the feedback session is the most appropriate way of closing this session down. Not forgetting that the assessor will need to make a written record immediately of the session and inform the appropriate personnel of what has happened.

By giving a fail or referred result to a student and only when this is the correct decision, will give the assessor invaluable experience in providing feedback, appropriate to their role for the future.

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