Assessor

Personal Statement By Robert Priestley July 2010My name is Robert Priestley, and I have over forty years experience in the gas industry, and I feel that by obtaining the A1 assessors award, I will be able help up and coming gas engineers.My job when a candidate comes to Camborne College is to prove that he is competent in working with gas, but at the moment I have only been assessing candidates who are trying to get there CCN1, which is a level 3 award, but before they can achieve this, they first must have their level 2 in plumbing, and it is only then, that they can go on to get further training by the college to obtain their Level 3 in gas.The CCN1 is the domestic core gas safety qualification for all new gas candidates who wish to install domestic gas pipe-work.

The CCN1 unit forms the basis for all other domestic gas units i.e. all gas appliances. It is not possible to proceed to get further domestic qualifications without holding this qualification, so once a candidate passes the CCN1, they can then proceed to go for their other domestic gas units i.e. CEN1 (Central Heating Boilers) CPA1 (Combustion Performance Analysis) CKR1 (Cookers) etc.Once a candidate is ready to take his CCN1, the tutor of the College, where they have been training, gets in touch with John Mabbett at Camborne College to book an acceptable time for all concerned, the maximum that can be assessed at one time is four. An application form is sent to the candidates, which has to be filled out with all their details, and then this form has then got to be sent back, with two passport photos, signed on the back, and a copy of their Level 2 certificate (We can always obtain a copy of this certificate from Students Records).

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We also send a copy of ???Scheme Rules for the Nationally Accredited Certification Scheme for Individual Gas Fitting Operatives??? This is a twelve page document, which contains details about how to obtain Certification by undergoing Assessment at an Assessment Centre approved by NICEIC Certification, within the scope of accreditation awarded by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). Included in this document, on page six, paragraph nine, we have the Complaints Procedure and on page seven, paragraph ten, we have the Appeals procedure. (A copy of this document is attached) 1Any sensitive issues that arise throughout the assessment can be discussed away from the assessment area, either in the training room or John Mabbetts office.If a candidate is not happy with any of my decisions, I would first try and explain why the decision has been made, by showing him the reference book from which I have made my decision (all these books are available to the candidates in the assessment area). If he is still not happy, I would then speak to John Mabbett (Lead Assessor), or my I.V.

to deal with the complaint and finally, if the candidate is still not happy, he can make a complaint to NICEIC certification. Complaints would be investigated, reported, resolved and the results of any investigation would be communicated in writing to the candidate. The complaint procedure is in place at each assessment centre and NICEIC certification and is made available to any individual on request.

The individual has the right of appeal against the decision reached by NICEIC certification.All this paper-work plus all their exam papers, are on awarding institution paperwork, and must be in a maintained and secure environment, the papers are always locked away in a filing cabinet, which is in John Mabbetts office, room B01B, in the Brunel building and this room is always locked when the office is empty.Up to now, with all the candidates I have assessed, no special arrangements have been needed to make sure the assessment process was fair. In my opinion, the only time I think we wouldneed to make any special arrangements, is if we found one of our candidates was dyslexic, we could get a reader to read all the questions on his theory and practical papers.When the candidates arrive on the day, they are first asked to sign in the visitor??™s book, and then to put on their safety shoes, which they were asked to bring with them.

We now take them into the assessment area, where we first ask them to sign their question papers, and thenGo onto explain to them the assessment process. We explain that they have four tasks to complete.Task 1: Chimney and Flues (90 minutes)(a) Chimney and Flue pipes(b) Balance flue space heaters.

(c) Balance flue multipoint.(d) Positive fanned flue boiler.(e) Gas Fire.Task 2: Relights / Faults on appliances / Controls description. (165 minutes)Task 3: Pipe Work/Meters (70 minutes)Task 4: Ventilation / Carbon Monoxide Detectors.

(35 Minutes)The candidates are told that all the tasks have an allocated time, but are told not to worry about this, as John and I will monitor this. They are also told that the CCN1 is an open book exam, which means that if they are not sure of any answers on their question paper, or cannot answer one of our verbal questions, they are allowed to refer to their gas manuals or any one of the reference books we have in the assessment area.We let them know that they have three attempts to get the correct answer, but even if they are proven not yet competent (NYC) in one of there tasks, they don??™t have to retake the whole exam again, only the task they are not competent in.Lastly, we ask the candidates if they have understood everything we have told them and if there are any questions they want to ask.Before John introduces me to the candidates, I make sure that I have filled out the ???Planning for Assessment??? document, one for each candidate. The candidate reads the document, which informs him of the following,Type of assessment (a) Observation (b) PortfolioAward Level.Unit Planned to be assessed.Planned assessment methods (a) to (i) inclusive.

Date / Time and location of assessment.Other people to be consulted i.e.

Supervisor or Manager.Contacted by i.e. state who has agreed to contact them.Other comments/special arrangements requirements agreed.

When we sign the document, this means that we both have agreed to the date plan. (A copy of this document is attached) 2When I am assessing a candidate, I use all of the following methods,ObservationAsking questionsSettings tasksTest papersSimulationsChecking the candidates question and answer paperUsing witness statementsChecking certificatesAll of my decisions and all of the paper-work I fill out throughout the assessment are checked by John, and it is only when he his completely satisfied, the papers are countersigned by him.To check my candidate??™s progress throughout his assessment, I use the NICEIC Assessor Checklist (Performance Criteria) and the ???Trainers Model Answers??? document.The candidates are now led to their respective bays, they are told what their tasks are for that bay and also what questions that need to be answered on their question and answer paper. The candidate works on his own in the bay, and as each task is carried out, I mark it off with a tick on the NICEIC assessor checklist (Performance Criteria) also on the checklist there are set oral questions to be asked, and these can be asked at anytime whilst doing his work in his bay, but if he cannot answer these questions, he is allowed to refer to his gas manual, and is allowed three attempts to get the correct answer, this is shown on the ???Performance Criteria Form??? as x2 or x3.Let me give you an example, I take a candidate to the ???Relights Bay??? he is told that he has been called to this house on a suspected gas leak, the customer has got a gas cooker, sink water heater and central heating boiler, he has got to test the installation, and if there is a gas leak, he has got to trace it, repair it and then retest the installation, afterwards he has got to reinstate all the gas appliances, which means he has got to check all the burners, to make sure there is ???Complete Combustion???, test all the safety devices on the appliances, to make sure that they are all working correctly, and finally note any faults that he finds on the appliances.

There are many questions that have to be answered on this paper i.e. gas pressures, calculations, fault finding etc and when the candidate thinks he has answered all of the questions on his paper, I take his paper back to my desk, and check it against the ???Trainers Model Answers ??? document.

This document shows all the answers which the candidate should have on his paper, so if he hasn??™t answered a question correctly, or missed a fault on one of his appliances or hasn??™t given me a correct calculation, it can easily be picked up. I can now mark his paper and return it to him and inform him which questions he has got wrong. Once the candidate has completed his task and has answered the oral questions on the NICEIC assessor checklist, we can move the candidate onto his next task.At the end of the day, we get all the candidates together, and we go over how each of them have done, explaining their strengths and weaknesses. We remind them which of the tasks they have left to do, and make arrangements to book a day for them to come back to complete their CCN1.If one of the candidates has been proven to be NYC in one of his tasks, we can allow him to return and retake this task, we advise him to get some retraining, and this can be arranged by John, by getting in touch with the candidates course tutor.

When the candidate returns, the only change in the procedure is that he is now only allowed two attempts to get any questions right, and to ensure that all candidates have a fair assessment, we take them on a different route. For example, we have two ???Relights Bays??? route A and route B, each bay have the same gas appliances, but the appliances have different faults, so obviously, if the candidate was in route A on his first attempt, when he returns, he would be put into route B.We can ask the candidates course tutor to make a witness testimony, to confirm there work practises (which must meet NICEIC standards) so they are ready to be assessed, and can obtain there Level 3 in gas.The procedure for the CCN1 assessment is very thorough, and can take the candidates up to two days to complete, but once they have been proven competent, they are then ready to proceed to take their domestic gas units, using this same procedure.———————–3