This is a very common problem when you’re looking to become an assessor and want to complete the Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement (CAVA). Unlike the level 3 teaching qualification, the Level 3 Award in Education and Training, with CAVA, you need to work with real learners who are working towards real, accredited qualifications. Simulation isn’t allowed. It can feel like a chicken and egg situation: you often need an assessing qualification to get an assessing job but you need assessing work to get the full assessing qualification. 
There are three units included in CAVA: one of them you don’t need learners for because it’s the knowledge unit. The other two are practical units for which you do need learners. 
 
There are some ways around this. These are ways that we at SKL Training deal with this situation. Not all providers will work in the same way so do check if you plan to study with a different provider: 
 
1. If you work somewhere where other staff are assessing learners you may be able to borrow learners from them.  
The learners you work with for your qualification don’t have to be your learners: we just need to see you working with learners. We need to do a minimum of two observations to see you assessing and we tell you in explicit detail what we will be looking for, so many people find it straightforward to create a situation in which they can achieve all of the outcomes of the observations by just having two. Other people need more observations as they don’t hit everything the first time. This is absolutely fine. We will also need some paperwork from you, which is usually readily available if you are assessing your own learners or borrowing some because it’s paperwork you need when you’re working with learners (for example, an assessment they had completed). 
 
2. Volunteer at your local college or private training provider.  
Many places are delighted to have trainee assessors volunteering with them. You don’t have to put a huge number of hours in: you only need enough to firstly get to know your learners (because this will make the observations run much more smoothly), understand what you’re assessing and the paperwork and then enough time for a minimum of two observations
 
3. If you live near to Birmingham or Worcester we can provide learners for you.  
This would be for an additional cost and you’d be likely to assess an employability qualification. We would make sure that you understood everything needed and provide all learners and paperwork. 
 
4. Start your qualification now and start applying for assessing roles.  
Generally, the rule is as long as you’re working towards an assessing qualification, you’re in a good position to apply for an assessing position. Most organisations who know about assessing understand that you need learners to complete the final two units. It’s the knowledge unit you need to be able to assess in the workplace confidently and competently and we can do that without you having learners. We would simply finish the qualification with you when you have found learners with whom to work.  
 
For more information about the Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement and how this can work for you, contact Amanda! 
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