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End-Point Assessment – Change, Change and More Change

Recent years have seen a proliferation of changes to the guidance on how vocational qualifications should be assessed, and also to the structure and role of the organisations put in place to ensure the standardisation of qualifications and assessment.

Assessors have been doing ‘end-point assessments’ since NVQs were set up, in that assessments are done only when the Learner/Candidate is ready to prove their knowledge & performance. There is nothing new in this, except that recent guidance appears to want to take the ‘Gove-ish’ view that all forms of assessment must be returned to high-pressure end-point scenario in the mistaken belief that this is more robust than doing any form of continuous assessment. High-pressure assessment, where everything depends on the outcome of one test, is wasteful and unfair, favouring those who are not adversely affected by the (artificial and non-representative) pressure in such situations.

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