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Assessment Validation Policy

1. Purpose

The Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 (RTO Standards), clauses 1.8 - 1.11, emphasise the importance of assessment validation.

This policy aims to ensure Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) undertakes assessment validation that confirms:

  • assessments are valid and meet the training package or accredited course requirements
  • the principles of fairness, flexibility, validity and reliability are met
  • the evidence used to determine competence is valid, sufficient, authentic and current
  • assessors are aware of the outcomes being assessed
  • assessors reach accurate and consistent decisions that inform assessment outcomes
  • potential improvements to assessment practices are identified and acted upon.

This policy is to be read in conjunction with Assessment Validation Procedure.

2. Scope

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

This policy applies to:

  • all nationally recognised training products on the scope of registration, both qualifications and explicit units
  • administration staff and educators with responsibilities related to assessment validation.

3. Principles

Assessment validation is embedded in the CIT quality system to confirm that:

  • assessment practices meet the requirements of nationally accredited training products
  • assessment judgements are being applied consistently so that certification issued is accurate and credible.

Assessment validation must be undertaken across all stages of the assessment process: assessment design, the application of evidence-gathering tools and the assessment judgement.

CIT will maintain an assessment validation plan and an assessment validation schedule that reflects the validation cycle and nominates training products in accordance with the RTO Standards.

A mapping document, where assessment tools are mapped to the specific requirements of the unit of competency, is appropriate evidence that CIT has confirmed the validity of the assessment tools.

Validation of assessment will occur:

  • in the design process (pre-delivery validation)
  • after delivery (post-assessment validation):
    • as part of the published cycle of post-assessment validation
    • as part of continuous improvement actions arising from feedback from educators, students or other stakeholders.

3.1 Validity of the assessment system design process (pre-delivery validation)

All assessment resources for new and re-developed training products, whether purchased or designed internally, will be validated:

  • in the process of design
  • prior to first use
  • prior to finalisation of the Training and Assessment Strategy (TAS).

Refer: Learning Resources and Assessment Development Procedure

Amendment to Scope of Registration Procedure

Assessment validation at the design or purchase stage will verify if the assessment resources:

  • meet the requirements of the nationally recognised training product and any legislative, regulatory and licensing obligations
  • meet the principles of fairness, flexibility, validity and reliability
  • meet all the rules of evidence of validity, sufficiency, currency and authenticity
  • provide clear instructions for evidence gatherers and candidates
  • provide transparent and defensible information to CIT in relation to their competency decisions and awarding of nationally recognised qualifications and/or statements of attainment.

CIT will complete pre-delivery assessment validation for:

  • new TAS documents for the delivery of new courses, including additions to the scope of registration
  • new TAS documents where courses are transitioning to new qualifications and:
    • all non-equivalent units will need to be redeveloped and then validated
    • new courses including where courses are transitioning to new qualifications, and new units, while deemed equivalent, may have changes to assessment conditions
  • existing assessment tools modified through a course review or post-assessment validation process
  • new assessment tools developed internally
  • assessment resources acquired or purchased from a third party including from other TAFE institutes.

3.2 Validation of the application of assessments (post-assessment validation)

Ongoing monitoring of assessment tools will ensure they are valid and continue to be fit-for-purpose.

Post-assessment validation will:

  • consider the validity of both assessment practices and assessment judgements
  • identify future improvements to the assessment tool, process and outcomes to better and more effectively assess students, while still collecting the evidence intended.

The post-assessment validation is a quality process that evaluates if:

  • educators reached accurate and consistent decisions that resulted in nationally recognised training outcomes
  • the collection of valid, sufficient, authentic and current evidence meets the Rules of Evidence
  • competency decisions are valid, fair, flexible and reliable in accordance with the Principles of Assessment
  • assessment validation outcomes and actions are used to inform continuous improvement of assessment.

Post-assessment validation will consist of:

  • review of assessment tools to confirm they meet the Principles of Assessment – valid, reliable, flexible and fair
  • review of a sample of assessment judgements to confirm they meet the Rules of Evidence - valid, current, sufficient and authentic.

CIT will validate a random sample of student assessment evidence to ensure robust monitoring of the suite of assessments being validated. Systematic validation of assessment practices and judgements is to be undertaken by one or more persons who collectively have:

  • vocational competencies and current industry skills relevant to the assessment being validated
  • current knowledge and skills in vocational teaching and learning
  • the training and assessment credential specified in Item 2 or Item 5 of Schedule 1 of the RTO Standards.

Validation of assessment practices and judgements may be undertaken by persons involved in delivery and assessment of the training product being validated, provided they are not solely responsible for determining the outcomes of validation.

Validation may include engagement with industry.

CIT uses a risk analysis approach that considers the complexity of the qualification, and the risks associated with each unit of competency, to determine the actual number of units of competency that will be validated. If the analysis highlights the presence of multiple risk factors that may compromise the quality of the assessment, or validation indicates that assessment processes are not valid, then more units should be validated. Priorities for post-assessment validation will consider the relative risks of all the training products on CIT's scope of registration, including risks identified by ASQA.

When validating a whole qualification or a skill set the assessment practices and judgements of a minimum of at least two units of competency must be validated. The two units selected must be representative of the qualification or skill set.

When validating stand-alone units of competency, samples of assessment judgements for the full unit must be validated.

Post-assessment validation will occur for each training product at least once every five years.

3.3 Roles and Responsibilities

3.3.1 Senior Education Leader

The Senior Education Leader is responsible for:

  • leading the development and implementation of pre-delivery assessment validation and post-assessment validation
  • reporting outcomes of validations to Academic Council
  • developing and implementing a schedule of post-assessment validation
  • using a risk-based approach to identifying the sample units for post-assessment validation.

3.3.2 Head of Department Education Quality

The Head of Department Education Quality is responsible for:

  • quality assuring post-assessment validations
  • ensuring the maintenance of records of post-assessment validation
  • assigning pre-delivery validation to an appropriate person or team
  • monitoring outcomes of pre-delivery and post-assessment validation processes
  • developing and maintaining CIT validation templates
  • providing support to teaching departments for post-assessment validation.

3.3.3 Head of Department Program Services

The Head of Department Program Services is responsible for:

  • planning pre-delivery validation in consultation with the Heads of Department
  • assigning team members to undertake pre-delivery validation
  • developing and maintaining a schedule of activities for pre-delivery validation
  • planning in consultation with the relevant Head of Department, and as part of any quality review pre-delivery validation activity for new training products
  • liaising with the relevant Head of Department to facilitate any required changes to the assessment and curriculum tools
  • providing support for pre-delivery validation
  • ensuring comprehensive records are maintained of pre-delivery validation using the Pre-Delivery Assessment Validation Form.

3.3.4 Head of Department

The Head of Department is responsible for:

  • working in consultation with Head of Department Program Services for pre-delivery validation
  • assigning an appropriate person or team to write and conduct pre-delivery validation
  • coordinating post-assessment validation to ensure the validation plan is achieved
  • assigning post-assessment validation lead validators
  • actioning and documenting changes to assessment and curriculum tools arising from any validation activities
  • monitoring the outcomes of validation at the course and unit levels and reporting these to the Head of Department Education Quality, as required.

3.3.5 Lead Validator

The Lead Validator is responsible for:

  • scheduling and conducting post-assessment validation activities
  • compiling documentation for the validation meeting
  • inviting stakeholders to validation meetings
  • providing course, unit information and student assessment instruction to stakeholders one week prior to the scheduled validation meeting (student details and responses to the assessments are only provided during the scheduled face-to-face post-assessment validation meeting)
  • ensuring student personal details remain private
  • reviewing units of competency and assessments as part of validation
  • actively participating in validation activities (preparation, meetings, follow up)
  • recording and documenting validation outcomes and completing validation reports
  • providing validation reports to the Head of Department Education Quality.

4. Documentation

4.1 Related Legislation/Regulation

4.2 Related Policy and Procedures

4.3 Related Documents

5. Definitions

All terminology used in this policy is consistent with definitions in the CIT Definition of Terms. Specific definitions relevant to this policy are:

Lead Validator

The person charged with the responsibility to co-ordinate and lead validation activities. The lead validator cannot be the educator directly involved in the delivery or assessment being validated.

Pre-delivery validation

Conducting a review of an assessment tool before the tool is used and to ensure tools are fit for purpose and meet the requirements of:

  • the Training Product
  • the Principles of Assessment
  • the Rules of Evidence
  • legislative, regulatory and licensing obligations.

Post-assessment validation

A review of the assessment tools and process after they have been used to assess candidates. This process includes student responses and evidence to be deemed satisfactory.

Training Product

An AQF qualification, skill set, unit of competency, short course and module. on the Institute's scope of registration. This includes all qualifications but also all explicit units of competency.


Validation is a quality review process that confirms the assessment system can consistently produce valid assessment judgements. Validation involves confirming that assessment tools have produced valid, reliable, sufficient, current and authentic evidence-evidence that allows CIT to make reasonable judgements about whether training product requirements have been met.

Valid assessment judgement

A valid assessment judgement is one that confirms a student holds all the knowledge and skills described in a training product.

6. Policy Contact Officer

Executive Director, Education Futures and Students.

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.