Delivering Excellence Through Assessment

Delivering Excellence Through Assessment. Knowledge plays a fundamental role in competence and we believe that checking knowledge is the starting point for quality care.

In essence the principle behind is to facilitate evidence of knowledge and competence.

Firstly, someone cannot be competent without the knowledge to support it, because competence is knowledge put into practice. So making sure someone has the knowledge in the first place is the starting point, once you have established they have the knowledge required, you are some way towards evidencing competence. Competence is the application of knowledge so you have to add an observation of practice – it is the only way to really evidence competence, it is the only way to check that the knowledge is applied in the day to day role.

However, what happens when you can’t do a formal observation, like safeguarding or fire safety, hopefully neither of them happen that often, so you can’t observe. But you can discuss in supervision along the lines of “how would you deal with…”, “what would you do in this situation?”, “give me an example of…”, so that you can gather evidence that the person could put their knowledge into practice when in that situation, but you must evidence that they have the knowledge in the first place.

Lastly, traditional training courses suffer with the same issue. If someone attends a course you still need to evidence competence because otherwise why would you bother investing the time, effort and resources? Therefore, doing assessments after someone attends a course supports you to evidence what they learned from the course, what they retained and therefore what they have available to apply in their day to day role. Support that with an observation and now you have a quality piece of evidence that says: they attended a course, we measured its effectiveness, measured what the person learned and checked that they are applying what they learned = ie the transfer of learning. The transfer of learning is actually what it is all about, because if they don’t learn, they can’t apply and the application of knowledge is what affects the quality of service delivered and the outcomes of the people being supported.

Take that one stage further and complete an assessment before someone attends training and then you can work out if they need the training, or of if there is some other way the learning needs could be fulfilled. Furthermore, it enables you to send people on formal training with a purpose, you need to learn A, B and C and we will discuss A, B and C when you get back from the course. I guarantee they will pay more attention when they are there, which will contribute to their competence, confidence and their capabilities...

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