Employer involvement in qualifications delivery and assessment: research brief

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Pye Tait
Department for Education
Date of publication
1 April 2014
Education and Skills, Children and Young People
Social welfare
Material type

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This research briefing reports a study undertaken to identify good practice in employer involvement in qualifications delivery and assessment. 20 case studies from a range of vocational qualifications were used to demonstrate a variety of practice. From the 20 case studies it has been possible to identify a number of pertinent factors:

  • Work experience/placements are the most common feature of these case studies; 10 of the case studies recommend work experience and a further 10 stipulate it is a requirement of the qualification.
  • Employers providing work experience/placements are also likely to get involved in other delivery-enriching activities, examples include coaching and mentoring of learners or providing links for learners to customers/clients.
  • Several examples – such as for the Level 2 Diploma in Professional Cookery or the NCTJ Level 3 Diploma in Journalism - illustrate employers’ involvement in assessment activities, such as setting or marking assessments and second marking of synoptic tests.
  • Seven of the case studies refer to employers’ assessing learners’ practice in the workplace, and 11 mention observations and witness testimony as other examples of employer activity in assessment.
  • It is noted that design, delivery and assessment are rarely mutually exclusive activities and, as such, it is not always possible for them to be cleanly segregated from one another.
  • Prevalent too, are many examples of employer engagement (short of direct involvement in the delivery and assessment of a qualification) – such as hosting visits by learners/providers as in the Level 2 Diploma in Aviation Operations on the Ground, or providing premises and facilities as in the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Music Technology.

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