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Assessment Policy

1. Purpose

To describe the requirements that underpin assessment practices at Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT), and ensure assessments reflect leading practices and meet the Standards for RTOs 2015 (RTO Standards).

2. Scope

Where this policy refers to CIT, this includes CIT Solutions.

This policy applies to:

  • all nationally recognised vocational education and training products
  • all assessment tools and instruments
  • assessment conducted as part of recognition of prior learning (RPL).

This policy is to be read in conjunction with the Assessment Procedure and RPL Procedure. Other legislative, regulatory and internal policies and procedures are listed below.

All assessment will be developed in accordance with the Curriculum Development (Learning and Assessment) Procedure.

3. Principles

CIT is committed to providing high standards of assessment to ensure the best possible outcomes for all students, including a student-focused, flexible and supportive assessment environment.

CIT assessment practices must ensure all assessments, including RPL, are designed and conducted in accordance with the Training and Assessment Strategy (TAS), Principles of Assessment (fairness, flexibility, validity and reliability) and the Rules of Evidence (validity, sufficiency, authenticity and currency), as required by the RTO Standards.

CIT assessment practices will:

  • follow the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness
  • maintain CIT’s academic standards and integrity throughout the assessment process and in line with the Academic Integrity and Misconduct Policy
  • provide a right to appeal an assessment result (Academic Appeals Policy)
  • make assessment available online where possible and appropriate
  • meet the individual needs and characteristics of students using reasonable adjustment in a way that does not compromise the integrity of the course outcome (see also Student Support Policy)
  • ensure only appropriately qualified educators plan, conduct and validate assessments and determine assessment outcomes (see also Assessment Validation Policy and Assessment Validation Procedure)
  • enable Industry experts to assist in the assessment judgement, working alongside the assessor to conduct the assessment
  • identify and manage any real or perceived conflict of interest in assessment processes.

3.1 Assessment planning and design

Assessment tools must:

  • be contextualised to each student cohort
  • reflect industry requirements
  • meet all the assessment requirements of the unit of competency
  • be consistent with the relevant Training and Assessment Strategy.

Assessment tools, including purchased assessment resources, must be mapped against the unit requirements and undergo a quality review prior to delivery to ensure all the learning outcomes and requirements of the unit of competency are addressed and that the tools comply with the Principles of Assessment, Rules of Evidence, all requirements of the nationally accredited training product, and other regulatory and licensing requirements (Assessment Validation Policy and Learning Resources and Assessment Development Procedure).

Assessment tools for the courses in the Training and Education Training Package, specified in the RTO Standards, must be approved prior to implementation, and must not be changed or amended without pre-delivery approval from the Academic Council.

Assessment processes ensure students have sufficient time to learn, practice and consolidate the skills and knowledge before being assessed.

Assessment tasks must:

  • clearly link to the learning outcomes of the unit of competency
  • be relevant to the teaching content and learning activities
  • be designed to assess the knowledge and skills relevant to the unit
  • enable students to consistently demonstrate competence in multiple situations and over time
  • include a marking guide for educators to judge the quality of performance.

Assessment improvements, identified through validation, industry consultation, course review or audit, must be implemented in the next delivery cycle of the course.

Assessment tools are saved in or linked to specified network drive locations with standardised naming conventions.

3.2 Conducting assessment

Students are fully informed of the assessment process and CIT’s relevant policies and procedures prior to undertaking assessment including:

  • reasonable adjustment
  • special consideration/deferred assessment
  • assessment re-mark and re-appraisal and/or examination re-sit
  • assessment appeal.

Recognition of prior learning is made available to all students at enrolment or prior to commencement of training.

Students are provided with reasonable adjustment to assessments to enable them to meet the abilities, skills and knowledge requirements of the course.

While reasonable adjustments are provided to students, the evidence criteria must not be altered in any way to ensure consistency and fairness in assessment decisions. The performance standards expected must be the same, irrespective of the individual student being assessed.

Students who have compelling or compassionate grounds with valid evidence may apply for special consideration or deferred assessment within the required timeframe as specified in the Assessment Procedure.

Assessment re-mark/re-appraisal is done anonymously by a suitably qualified assessor without reference to the original result or mark or the assessor’s comments.

Students have the right to appeal an assessment decision in accordance with the Complaints Assessment Appeals Policy.

Students will be notified, preferably through the learning management system (LMS), when an educator decides to extend an assessment or re-assessment due date for all students.

3.3 Assessment submission

Assessment dates and times must be clearly documented in the subject guides and assessment tasks.

Assessment tasks, whether submitted in hardcopy, physical assessment items, or via the Learning Management System (LMS), may be subject to authentication.

Completed assessment items are retained, in accordance with the Records Management Policy, for validation and audit purposes.

3.4 Assessment attempts

Students will be provided with the opportunity for two attempts at each assessment task, with additional attempts at the discretion of the Head of Department.

Students with valid, extenuating circumstances, who miss a scheduled assessment or due date, are allowed two attempts at each assessment task.

Students without an extension, or valid extenuating circumstances, who miss a scheduled assessment or due date, are allowed one other opportunity to complete the assessment.

3.5 Determining competence

A student is assessed as ‘satisfactory’ in an assessment task when they have successfully met the specified standard against each of the criteria being assessed.

A student is granted a ‘competent’ result for the whole unit of competency when they have met all assessment criteria of the unit (i.e., achieved ‘satisfactory’ in each assessment task of the unit).

A student is granted a ‘fail/not competent’ result when they have attempted all assessment tasks for the unit and have been assessed as ‘not satisfactory’ in one or more tasks, following resubmission attempts.

Determination of competency must be undertaken by CIT's qualified educators and must not be outsourced to a third party.

Educators must declare any conflicts of interest to the Head of Department, who will organise an alternative process of assessment for the affected student.

Educators must provide specific, timely, supportive, regular and constructive feedback to students to support their learning progress.

Failure to achieve a ‘satisfactory’ result within an enrolment period will result in a 'competency not achieved/fail' outcome for that unit. A student may be required to re-enrol in the next enrolment period to repeat the unit.

Where the nationally accredited training product requires that a unit of competency be assessed in the workplace (whether in full or in part), a CIT educator must conduct that assessment. Workplace supervisors may assist the student to assemble evidence for workplace assessment.

3.6 Assessment judgements

Educators must make criterion-referenced assessment judgements; marking with percentages is not acceptable.

Students will be provided with timely and detailed feedback within two working weeks of the date of submission of the assessment. Online assessment judgements and feedback will be provided where possible and appropriate.

Students may be awarded a modified grade on the recommendation of the Disability Education Advisor.

Students will be provided with the opportunity to request an assessment or re-assessment extension.

3.7 Graded assessment

CIT will make available graded assessment for qualifications at AQF level 5 or above, where there is evidence that:

  • industry uses evidence of assessment performance in employment selection processes and requests CIT to provide such evidence
  • grading is important for a major piece or capstone assessment task
  • a graded result is required by a higher education qualification, an ELICOS course or a higher education articulation agreement that specifies a graded subject
  • grading was approved during development of a course of study and was implemented on the Student Management System (SMS) with the correct grading mode.

CIT assessors will establish competency before a grade is applied in the LMS.

3.8 Post-assessment validation

A reliable sample of assessment judgements is validated against the requirements of the unit of competency selected for validation, including the Principles of Assessment and Rules of Evidence, to confirm assessment judgements are being made correctly.

Assessment validation is undertaken by an appropriately qualified panel, and a validation report is completed for each course/training product at least once every five years (refer: Assessment Validation Policy and Procedure).

3.9 Business Practices

CIT assessment practices will:

  • meet business requirements to enter final results in the Student Management System (SMS)
  • issue certification documents (qualifications and statements of attainment) only to students who are assessed as meeting the requirements of the nationally recognised training product
  • securely retain all completed student assessment items, assessment tools, evidence of reasonable adjustment and evidence of the assessment judgements in accordance with relevant legislation and CIT policies. If the assessment task cannot be retained (e.g., perishable item/workplace materials), evidence retained must be sufficiently detailed to explain the circumstances leading to the assessor’s judgement of the student’s performance against the required competency. Retention requirements will vary.

3.10 Responsibilities

3.10.1 Heads of Department

Heads of Department are responsible for:

  • leading the planning and designing of assessment including:
    • completing a TAS for Academic Council endorsement
    • quality reviews of all assessments, whether written, purchased or obtained from other sources, prior to first delivery
    • consulting with relevant educators and compiling information for students on the context and purpose of the assessment and the assessment process, including pre-assessment information, through course materials distributed at the commencement of a course
    • ensuring all resources are available for assessment
  • ensuring all assessors meet the requirements of the nationally accredited training product and the Standards for RTOs 2015 (refer: Educator Currency and Competency Policy)
  • ensuring all assessment evidence is retained in accordance with other policies, legislation or regulations (refer: Records Management Policy)
  • participating in scheduled validation of assessment (refer: Assessment Validation Policy)
  • where a student disagrees with the assessment outcome, consulting the policy for conditions available for reassessment and determine whether to provide a reassessment of the outcome by another assessor (Refer: Academic Appeals Policy).

3.10.2 Head of Department Program Services

The Head of Department Program Services is responsible for:

  • reviewing all assessment prior to delivery of the first session to ensure all requirements of the nationally accredited training product, and other regulatory and licensing requirements are met
  • co-designing assessment strategies and assessment tools with Heads of Department and educators
  • providing advice to Heads of Departments and educators regarding high quality teaching and assessment practices.

3.10.3 Educators

Educators are responsible for:

  • planning, designing and developing assessments
  • participating in quality reviewing all assessment prior to delivery of the first session to ensure all requirements of the nationally accredited training product, and other regulatory and licensing requirements are met
  • conducting and reviewing assessment including:
    • that assessments reflect the requirements of the nationally accredited training products and industry
    • informing students, at or prior to the commencement of delivery, of the assessment approach and requirements for the nationally accredited training product
    • applying any reasonable adjustment strategies required to meet student needs and record this in the assessment tool
    • providing sufficient detail in the observation checklist (in the comments section) to support the competency judgement
    • reviewing written assessments for any evidence of cheating or plagiarism and managing any suspected academic misconduct
    • reviewing completed assessment evidence against assessment criteria in the Educator Guide to determine competency
    • determining competency, recording assessment outcomes and providing relevant feedback to the student
    • recording assessment results in the LMS
    • participating in assessment validation
    • declaring any conflict of assessment in the assessment process
    • entering all assessment results in a timely manner and entering the final result in the SMS.

4. Documentation

4.1 Related Legislation/Regulation

4.2 Related Policy and Procedures

4.3 Related Documents

  • CIT Course Validation Schedule
  • ASQA Guide to Assessment Tools
  • Interview Assessment Cover Sheet & Template
  • Observation Practical Assessment Cover Sheet & Template
  • Portfolio Assessment Cover Sheet & Template
  • Third Party Evidence Report Template
  • Written Assessment Cover Sheet and Template

5. Definitions

All terminology used in this policy is consistent with definitions in the CIT Definitions of Terms.

Assessment instrument

Documentation developed by an assessor to capture evidence of competence including questions, activities, observation checklists, templates and proformas.

Assessment tools

Combination of the assessment instruments with the instructions for students and assessors and will include context and conditions of assessment, tasks to be administered to the student, an outline of the evidence to be gathered and the evidence criteria used to judge the quality of performance.

Assessment authentication

The assessor is assured that the evidence presented for assessment is the student's own work. The authentication strategies may include:

  • Ensure that evidence gathered 'belongs' to the student being assessed and provides evidence of that person's skills and knowledge.
  • An assessment coversheet is completed by the student and attached to the actual assessment work to confirm the authenticity of their work. Where submission occurs via eLearn, the assessment coversheet is integrated as part of the submission process.
  • Where portions of the evidence submitted are gathered through independent study (e.g., assignments or projects) rather than through direct observation, use Turnitin (or other online systems) to review work submissions for plagiarism and identical content in other submissions.


The consistent application of knowledge and skills to the standard of performance required in the workplace. It embodies the ability to transfer and apply skills and knowledge to new situations and environments.

Conflict of Interest

In this Policy means an educator who has or has had a significant personal or other relationship with the student being assessed, which could improperly influence the assessment decision.

Industry Experts

Industry expert means an individual who has relevant specialised industry or subject matter expertise who is engaged by the RTO on the basis of that expertise. Industry experts must have relevant vocational competencies and have current industry skills directly relevant to the training and assessment being provided

Principles of natural justice and procedural fairness

Natural justice also called procedural fairness, applies to any decision (action or inaction) that can affect the rights, interests or expectations of an individual in a direct or immediate way. It requires that:

  • individuals are given an opportunity to be heard
  • decision makers act without bias or self-interest
  • decision makers base their decisions on evidence that is relevant to the facts in issue.

Qualified Educator

Educators who:

  • hold the required credentials specified in clause 1.14 and 1.15 of the Standards for RTOs 2015
  • have the relevant vocational competencies at least to the level being delivered and/or assessed
  • have current industry skills directly relevant to the training and assessment being provided
  • have current knowledge and skills in vocational training and learning that informs their training and assessment.


The quality review of the assessment process. Validation involves reviewing that the assessment tool/s produce/s valid, reliable, sufficient, current, and authentic evidence to enable reasonable judgements to be made as to whether the requirements of the training package or VET accredited courses are met.

6. Policy Contact Officer

Director, Education Services.

Contact CIT Student Services on (02) 6207 3188 or email for further information.

7. Procedures

This policy is implemented through the associated procedures. Authority to make changes to the procedures rests with the policy owner.