Case study 1

Here is a case study of how one trainee started after training with us.

Nigel is a 29 year old trainee assessor for a training organisation that delivers NVQ’s to Health Centres and Local Authority sports centre employees.

Nigel had a promising career as a football league player cut short when he sustained an injury on his knee. He had always been interested in football, sports activities and health and leisure. With 1 young child and another on the way with his wife Casey, Nigel decided to supplement the family income by becoming a health and fitness assessor. He assesses for the NVQ Diploma in Instructing Exercise and Fitness and the Level 2 NVQ in Leisure Operations.

Nigel already had an old NVQ level 3 qualifications in fitness Instruction from when he used to work in a gym centre but he did not have a Level 3 assessor qualification. Nigel was undaunted and applied to do the Level 3 Certificate. Nigel was advised that the certificate would give him the best opportunity and scope of finding suitable employment.

To obtain his 2 candidates to assess for the practical part of his course, Nigel contacted his old Gym Centre.  They operate their own non accredited fitness and instruction courses for gym employees. Nigel was able to speak to the manager and obtain part time work to help deliver the gym course. Nigel then used 2 appropriate candidates from the gym with their permission to provide material he could use for his level 3 assessments practical. Nigel kept records of observations, discussions, questioning and feedback he prepared for each candidate and explained to the candidate that it was to help with his NVQ. There was no problem in getting the material he required as evidence for his NVQ and Nigel was able to complete his course in just 14 weeks.

Nigel also had a mentor and course advisor that offered him advice and ways around obstacles which he was sometimes faced with. Some of the assessments Nigel carried out were in the evenings or at early mornings as that was the time that the candidates would be at the Gym.

Nigel was able to be flexible and responsive to fitting his own schedule in with his candidates. On the advice of his mentor, Nigel designed simple templates in Microsoft Words and tick boxes that the candidates could complete, which would make it easier for the candidates to provide answers to. Nigel has learned that assessors are free to create their own assessment documents and methods, as long as they obtain the evidence that is required and meets the criteria of the course.

Nigel is now working full time and has never looked back!

Case study 2

Here is a case study example of how an NVQ health assessor spent a typical day.

*Names have been changed

*Laura is a 39 year old NVQ assessor who previously worked in care management. She took voluntary redundancy 7 years ago to spend more time at home and raise 2 young children. With her children now older Laura wanted to utilise her previous knowledge and skills without going back to care management. Working flexibly from home as an assessor for a training organisation is a perfect match for Laura’s natural abilities for motivating and report writing.

Laura works from a lap top at home visiting care homes within 10 mile radius to her. She assesses staff that are doing an NVQ in care work.  A typical day is spent planning her appointments, and reviewing candidate’s work they have submitted by email. She needs to be very organised as she has a case load of 13 candidates based at 4 separate care homes. Each candidate is doing the same NVQ but are at different stages, so Laura has to keep good records.

Today she has planned with 2 candidates an observation of them tackling various tasks to do with patient care, admin work, and following health and safety procedures. Although this sounds very formal and official, her interactions with her candidates are relaxed and supportive. Laura has developed good relationships with all her candidates and has explained to them previously that her observations are not a ‘test’ which they need to pass, but is to support them in ensuring they are following the occupational standards for their Care NVQ Certificate. Laura has a list of these standards with her which she uses to guide her in what to look for during the observation.

In the afternoon, Laura visits the 2nd care home and conducts a discussion with her candidate in a meeting room which is recorded on Laura’s miniature voice recorder. The discussion involves a 20 minute chat about the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of their daily tasks.   Again, this is related to the occupational standards criteria which the candidate and Laura both have copies of.

At the end of an absorbing day, Laura will type up her observation report and the notes from her professional discussion at home. She will provide a copy of both to each candidate with her feedback and upload them to an electronic folder held at the training company’s website. Laura only visits her training office once a week to have update meetings and meet with other assessors. Meeting with other assessors is a great way to standardise work practices and have a good catch up about experiences.


Read some of the experiences of previously trained assessors

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