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What are Coaches and Mentors?

Coaches and Mentors are drawn from within a company where learning is taking place, unlike the training provider, who is often an outside organisation. Because they work within the organisation, Coaches and Mentors are the ideal guides to help learners put their training into practice during everyday work. Coaching is about an inexperienced person learning from an expert performer. This can take place through shadowing, organised learning sessions and a mix of both. Coaching can be quite short term in that the necessary skills needed to perform a task are passed on to the learner and the learner is then capable of doing the tasks. Mentoring is about helping learners (also called protégées) recognise and understand their personal needs, values, problems, alternatives and goals in their work context. It places an emphasis on the part the learner plays in the organisation as a whole and is more long-sighted than coaching’s narrow focus on training competence in a set of skills.

What is a Facilitator?

Facilitator is a new term that covers the roles that used to be called trainer, educator, teacher, and so on. Why the change in term? It reflects the modern view of learning, that to learn something is not a passive process where the learners absorb knowledge that is ‘thrown’ at them by an expert, but rather where the learner actively gains understanding by planned learning experiences that a trainer of educator helps them through. The current view of training is that it is more important for the trainer to be an expert at assisting others to learn for themselves the required knowledge, than for the trainer to be a knowledge expert in the field they are training. Facilitators offer planed and organised learning experiences whereas Coaches and Mentors are merely assisting to implement such learning in a work or practical context, often in an unplanned and spontaneous way.

What types of Moderators are there?

There are two types of moderators:
  • The internal moderator who will moderate the quality of assessments completed within the training organisation.
  • The external moderator will be sent to accredited training organisations at regular intervals to conduct a quality audit, which will include the moderation of the internal assessment process of the organisation.

What is the role of a Moderator?

  • Sample a minimum percentage of each assessor’s documents to ensure that there is sufficiency of evidence in accordance with the requirements of each unit standard
  • Check that the documents have been completed in accordance with QC requirements
  • Interview assessors to confirm how assessments were conducted
  • Interview learners and ask questions to confirm competency
  • Review assessors’ administrative systems (filing and tracking)
  • Document all findings
  • Complete and submit all paperwork in line with QC requirements if the learner is competent
  • Set up a further moderation appointment if the learner/s are not yet competent
  • Set up a meeting with the assessors and person responsible for assessment within the organisation to provide feedback on the moderation visit
  • Send a written report to the organisation after each moderation visit
  • Review the moderation process and the document changes based on identified strengths and weaknesses
Moderators are not allowed to moderate their own assessments, if they are performing the role of the assessor as well.

What is a Moderator?

A Moderator is everything that an assessor is plus more. Moderators monitor the quality of the assessment process, the competence of the assessors and the competence of the learners at training sites in the sector covered by their QC. They must ensure that assessment is a fair, valid and reliable measurement of the learners’ competence. Without moderators, there is no third party outside of the assessment process to determine its effectiveness. It would be to easy for assessors to wander from the quality procedures required of them (intentionally or not), if moderators weren’t there to help, advise and intervene when this happened. Moderators operate as a ‘check and balance’ system for the assessors

What is the role of an Assessor?

Assessment has changed to an activity in which the learner actively participates. The role of the assessor is to be supportive and guide the learner to achieve competence and access further learning. The role of the assessor is to:
  • Inform the learner about the requirements of the qualification, skills programme or unit standard
  • Support and guide the learner during the assessment process
  • Help the learner plan for the assessment and reach an agreement about how the evidence of their abilities is going to be collected and presented (this is a real signed agreement)
  • Inform the learner about the timing of the assessment
  • Conduct the assessment and provide feedback to the learner

What is an Assessor?

An Assessor has the role in the NQF of being responsible for measuring whether a learner has achieved the outcomes required by the unit standard, skills programme, Learnership or qualification that they are seeking credit for. Assessors are the fingers on the arm of quality assurance. They make sure that quality training and education is taking place.