Assessment Guidance

It is intended that the Care Scotland web pages (and the Care Scotland Bulletin) will be used to inform approved centres of developments in the assessment of candidates for SQA care sector awards, specifically SVQs and SPAs. Practical guidance will be given to assist candidates, assessors and internal verifiers on assessment planning and also to respond to typical queries about the assessment process.

The guidance given in the SQA booklets Assessor's Guidelines for the SVQs in Care and Additional Guidance for the SVQs in Care are still relevant. This guidance serves to clarify and develop these in the light of experience.

Links between HNC and SVQ at level 3

Knowledge evidence

The Higher National Units of the HNC in Social Care were written in part to provide underpinning knowledge for the mandatory Units of the SVQs in Care, Promoting Independence, and Caring for Children and Young People at level 3. Details of the mapping of HN outcomes against the knowledge requirements of the SVQs are given in the Support Notes section of the relevant HN Units.

Please note that the candidate is being assessed specifically against the HNC outcomes/performance criteria and the suggested links to the SVQ still need to be judged by the SVQ assessor, as evidence for the SVQ. Each candidate will provide different evidence for the HNC outcomes and, therefore, different evidence towards the SVQ. This should be taken into account in the SVQ assessors judgement.

However, in undertaking an HNC a candidate is gathering a wealth of evidence towards an SVQ, even beyond the suggested links. This should be recognised, and a candidate should be able to claim a significant amount of the SVQ knowledge evidence from HNC outcomes. This, together with performance evidence from the SVQ, and perhaps some questioning by the SVQ assessor, should enable a candidate who has achieved the relevant HN Units to provide sufficient knowledge for the mandatory Units of the SVQ.

Similarly, substantial evidence can be gathered in this way towards the optional units of the SVQ.

It may well be appropriate for the candidate to lead this process, making the connections between his/her HN evidence and that required for the SVQ, and to present it to the SVQ assessor. This would save the assessor from necessarily having to read in detail the whole range of HN assignments etc the SVQ assessor should be able to scan the evidence from the HNC, as matched by the candidate, and judge it against the SVQ knowledge requirements.

Performance evidence

The Support Notes sections of the relevant HN Units also show how performance evidence generated for the HNC in Social Care link into the SVQ performance criteria. Again, the confirmation of competence lies with the SVQ assessor, and there can be no straight matching-in without this process having been undertaken. It is important to remember that the links are just that there is no direct or designed correlation between the HNC performance criteria and the SVQ performance criteria. In addition, the methods of assessment used by the HNC supervisor may differ/vary from the SVQ methods of assessment, and the supervisor of an HNC student may not be an SVQ assessor.

Having said this, assessors for the SVQ should certainly take full account of the evidence generated through an HNC programme, and considering the limitations, make judgements about its validity as evidence towards the SVQ.

Depending on when the HNC is undertaken in relation to when the SVQ is undertaken, it may provide current evidence of competence or evidence through the Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL). Remember, that if APL is being used to claim evidence for an SVQ, the candidate still has to show that he/she can carry out the performance currently. Again, it is advised that the candidate drives this, makes the connections and claims the evidence.

SVQ in Care at level 4

The assessment guidance project, due to be completed in January 2002, will include additional guidance on this SVQ, incorporating exemplars of completed recording documentation. The reflective account will illustrate the incorporation of performance and knowledge. This will be available on these web pages.

Knowledge Evidence

There is some ambiguity in the issue of recording knowledge evidence for SVQs.

Sufficiency of knowledge evidence means that all the items under the knowledge specification incorporated into each unit have to be evidenced by the candidate. Typically many of these can be covered and recorded through the reflective accounts, observation checklists and witness testimony, that is, through the performance of the candidate. However, there are also many that may not be demonstrated in this way and these might be met through, for example, a product, an assignment or project, using other available knowledge evidence (e.g. HNC in Social Care), or by questions and answers. It is important that it is made clear which knowledge requirements these relate to.

If an assessor chooses to fill knowledge gaps by using questions and answers (whether written or oral), it is asked that samples of these are recorded using the proforma provided.

Recording Documentation

Centres are reminded that prior approval should be obtained from SQA if a centre proposes to change any of the recommended recording documentation, beyond minor modifications. The Assessment Guidance Project, mentioned under social care news on the wesite, will be making some small amendments to the documentation in the light of comments and experience gathered over the last three years of their use. Some changes have already been introduced to the SPA in caring for children and young people. Others will be notified to centres in due course.

In the Knowledge Specification grids within the candidate Portfolio, underneath where it says Relates to performance criteria, and in the space available, please insert the evidence index number where the knowledge evidence can be located in the portfolio.

SVQ in Caring for Children and Young People at Level 3

Within the SVQ Caring for Children and Young People reference is made to the document Early Years Statement of Underlying Principles. Copies can be obtained from Care Scotland.

Assessment Guidance project

The project to harmonise the assessment guidance provided for all the qualifications covered by Care Scotland is now well underway. By the end of January 2002 all SVQs and Scottish Progression Awards (SPAs) will have:

You will be able to access and download these materials (including the standards) from the SQA website at no cost. This means that the cost for a candidate undertaking an SVQ will be based on entry and certification charges only.