All summative assessment (and any formative assessment where the grade forms part of the final grade) will be explicitly based on written learning outcomes (LOs).  The LOs and also the grading criteria used by assessors will be made available to all candidates and Centres have that responsibility. LOs are either knowledge-based (and phrased in terms of ‘knowing’ or ‘understanding’) or competence-based (and phrased in terms of ‘ability’.)

MAEL will take all reasonable steps to ensure that, in relation to any of its qualifications:

* evidence generated by a learner as party of an assessment is solely produced by that learner (or includes evidence generated by that learner as a contribution to group work), and
* where an assessment is required to be completed under specified conditions, learners complete the assessment under those conditions (other than where any Reasonable Adjustments or Special Consideration require alternative conditions), and
* Centres follow the same stringent checks.

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Competence-based assessment tasks will be:

  • * Based in a real work environment and not on simulation (unless that is specified in the LO.)
  • * Observation-based.   Witness statements may be accepted if the witness is occupationally competent (i.e. both occupationally knowledgeable and also competent and qualified to carry out the task being assessed.  They should also either have a qualification in assessment of workplace practice, or have a professional work role which involves the evaluation of everyday practice of staff.
  • * Assessed by a person with occupational competence.
  • * Cover all competence-based LOs.

Knowledge-based assessment tasks will:

  • * Use a variety of measures
  • * Be assessed by a person with a higher qualification level than that being assessed
  • * Cover knowledge-based LOs on a sampling basis

Written feedback will be provided to candidates for any formative assessment task which does not meet the criteria, or if it is graded to give an indication of how future tasks could be improved.  No feedback is provided for summative assessments.

All assessment decisions will be subject to internal verification scrutiny (on a 10% basis with a minimum of 5 being checked.)  Internal quality assurance is recognised as the key to ensuring that the assessment of evidence for units is of a consistent and appropriate quality. Those carrying out internal quality assurance must be occupationally knowledgeable in the area they are assuring and be qualified to make quality assurance decisions.

MAEL reserves the right to seek additional external verification.   Centres must ensure candidates/adule learners are aware of the implications of verification processes.  This means, in particular, that any marks or grades awarded initially must, if released to the learner(s),



Addendum on Assessment Suitability

In designing an assessment for a qualification which is to be made available, or proposed to be made available, or which is being amended on an existing qualification, MAEL will first ensure that it has or obtains adequate resources to enable the assessment to be delivered effectively and efficiently.

In designing such an assessment, MAEL will in addition ensure that the assessment:

(a) is fit for purpose,

(b) can be delivered efficiently,

(c) allows Centres to develop cost effective arrangements for its delivery, using only the resources which would be reasonably expected to be required or which are provided by the awarding organisation,

(d) permits reasonable adjustments to be made, while minimising the need for them,

(e) allows each learner to generate evidence which can be authenticated,

(f) allows each specified level of attainment detailed in the specification to be reached by a learner who has attained the required level of knowledge, skills and understanding, and

(g) allows assessors to be able to differentiate accurately and consistently between a range of attainments by learners.

 MAEL will ensure that assessments for qualifications which it makes available use only appropriate language and/or stimulus materials.  This implies that assessments:

 (a) enable learners to demonstrate their level of attainment,

(b) require knowledge, skills and understanding which are required for the qualification,

(c) are clear and unambiguous (unless ambiguity forms part of the assessment), and

(d) are culturally sensitive and not likely to cause unnecessary offence to learners.

In considering whether language and/or stimulus materials for an assessment are appropriate, MAEL will take into account:

(a) the age of learners who may reasonably be expected to take the qualification,

(b) the level of the qualification,

(c) the objective of the qualification, and

(d) the knowledge, skills and understanding assessed for the qualification.

 MAEL will take all reasonable steps to ensure that no assessment for a qualification which it makes available contains language and/or stimulus material which could lead a group of learners who share a common attribute or circumstance to experience – because of that attribute or circumstance – an unreasonable disadvantage in the level of attainment that they are able to demonstrate in the assessment.  Assessments will conform in all respects to the principles enshrined in the Equal opportunity policy.


Addendum on Special Considerations

Reasonable adjustments to assessments may be made in particular circumstances.  These are adjustments made to an assessment for a qualification, to enable a disabled learner (or a learner with specific circumstances which might limit their ability to demonstrate their true competence,) to demonstrate his or her knowledge, skills and understanding to the levels of attainment required by the specification for that qualification.

Reasonable adjustments are made on a case-by-case basis.  All proposed adjustments by Centres must first be referred to MAEL for approval, which will not be unreasonably withheld.   The following adjustments have been approved in the past and may be taken as precedents:

  • * Dyslexia (or comparable language disorder) – identified by a written report from a qualified professional – additional time given for written assignments; use of a laptop allowed under examination conditions; partial relaxation of requirements for spelling and grammatical accuracy, provided the meaning is totally unambiguous.
  • * Reduced physical mobility – identified by, for example, wheelchair use – use of an assistant (who explicitly follows instructions) in assessments of physical activities and skills.
  • * English as a second language – confirmed by declaration – partial relaxation of requirements for spelling and grammatical accuracy, provided the meaning is totally unambiguous; use of a bilingual dictionary under examination conditions.

Special arrangements may be made to enable consideration for learners who have temporarily experienced:

  • * an illness or injury, or
  • * some other event outside of the learner’s control,

which has had, or is reasonably likely to have had, a material effect on that learner’s ability to take an assessment or to demonstrate his/her level of competence in an assessment.

Any learner who wishes to have special consideration must apply in writing to the relevant teaching Centre, describing the circumstances and explaining how they have been disadvantaged.   In many cases, deferral of the assessment for a specified time is an appropriate response and centres are delegated to take this decision.   If this is not appropriate, MAEL must be informed and decisions will be taken on a case-by-case basis.


Date of last revision: 01/10/13