The Namibia Training Authority, through its Assessment & Certification Division is responsible for the coordination of the National Assessment and Certification Processes for the Vocational Education and Training (VET) System by engaging industry experts.
This mandate is inclusive of both the Competency-Based Assessment (CBA) and the National Trade Testing & Certification (NTTC) System on Training Standards & Schemes, of which Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is mutually inclusive.
Amongst others, these functions include: o Development of policies, procedures and supportive guidelines for the national assessment processes and ensuring adherence; o Liaising and establishing partnership and networking mechanisms with the industry, professional bodies, relevant stakeholders, etc; o Establishment of the National Assessment Panels for the design and quality assurance of assessment tools and instruments; o Provision of guidance on national assessment processes and requirements to the Vocational Training Providers (private & public), Assessment Centres, assessors, moderators, designers, trainees, candidates to be assessed, facilitators etc.; o Determination and inspection of assessment venues, appointment of assessors and moderators, provision for logistics, etc.; o Planning, organizing, overseeing, monitoring and evaluation of the national assessment processes; o Seeking guidance or approval, providing feedback or update on all aspects with regard to national assessment to/from the NTA Management, Board, Industry Skills Committees, Standard Assessment & Certification Council, Namibia Qualifications Authority, etc.; o Issuing of Statements of Achievement and/or certificates based on credits accumulation within different occupational areas and levels of the National Qualifications Framework NQF; o Compiling, updating, managing and maintaining National Records of Learning for the NQF.
The Namibia Training Authority is responsible for the National Assessment for the purposes of national certification, credit accumulation, credit transfer, RPL and other reasons for various occupational areas within the NQF.
Amongst others, the following are the key requirements of the CBET Assessment: o Unit Standards listed on the National Register of Qualifications (NRQ) are the benchmarks for assessment. These are industry-determined specifications of performance that set out the skills, knowledge and attitudes required to operate effectively in a specific industry or occupation. o Assessment for the purposes of national certification must be undertaken at the registered assessment centres by registered assessors and moderated by registered moderators. o Assessment decisions are based on quality evidence presented by the candidate and/or collected by the assessor. o Outcomes are judged as “Competent” or “Not-Yet-Competent” and discourages the terms such as fail by considering what a candidate already knows and can do; o Assessment processes must comply with the principles of validity, reliability, fairness and flexibility, consistency, transparency, authenticity, currency, manageability, sufficiency, appropriateness, openness, systematic approach; o There are multiple assessment pathways that lead to national recognition; o Assessment could lead to national certification, credit transfer or articulation within the national Qualifications Framework (NQF) or could be done for other reasons such as recognition, diagnostic, placement etc; o Internal/external moderation/verification processes should be part of the quality assurance processes for credibility of the assessment processes; o There are variety of methods based on appropriateness used for the CBA;
National Assessment Panels (NAPs)
Assessment is managed through industry/occupation specific panels that are comprised of skilled experts in the various occupational areas. These panels include representatives from industry and are responsible for the development of national assessment tools and instruments.
Membership requirements are as follows: o Up-to-date knowledge of the relevant industry and its practices; o Knowledge of the unit occupational standards, standards, qualification requirements, curriculum modules, trainee characteristics etc; o Knowledge of Competency Based Education and Training (CBET) and CBA Systems; o Sound understanding of CBET policies, procedures, principles and regulations, Vocational Education and Training Act; the Vocational Education & Training Policy; and related legislatives; o Expertise knowledge and skills on assessment/test item development techniques and strategies; o Training and certification in supportive dimensions e.g. as assessor and/or moderator and/or designer and or verifier.
The NAPs are responsible for the development, quality assurance, moderation, verification, review and maintenance of national assessment tools and instruments, including Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) by avoiding conflict of interest at all times and strictly adhering to the Principles of Assessment.
The NTA has developed a range of national assessment tools and instruments (materials) for a wide array of occupational areas for both the CBA and NTTC.
These materials can only be administered by the assessment centres and assessors and or moderators who have been registered by the NTA.
The following fees are payable for CBA (inclusive of psychometric, cognitive and effective abilities): Individual enrolment at full qualification at each level (1-5) N$900,00 Individual enrolment for a single unit standard N$160,00 Individual enrolment for a cluster of unit standards N$375,00 Group enrolment for full qualification at each level (1-5) N$450,00 Enrolment 0f 10 or more candidates by a registered TP. N$450,00
The following fees are payable for TAS (NTTC): Group enrolment for full qualification at level 3 N$490,00 Enrolment of 10 or more candidates by a registered TP N$490,00 Group enrolment per theoretical subject N$60,00 Trade Testing (Private Candidates) at level 3 N$250,00
CBA is the process of collecting evidence and making judgments by the assessor on whether competence has been achieved or not. This confirms that an individual can perform to the standard and quality criteria expected in the workplace. The judgment in CBA is made in terms of “Competent” or “Not-Yet-Competent”.
What is the advantage of CBA?
CBA is aimed at creating a highly skilled workforce based on the needs of the industry and the workforce for greater productivity, improved customer satisfaction, credibility and competitiveness.
What is meant by the term “Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)”?
The term RPL refers to a broad spectrum of processes, all aimed at reaching a judgment of an individual’s personal particulars, current competencies, work and life experience, formal and/or non-formal learning assessed against transparent criteria for a variety of purposes.
Where does one get hold of an application form?
The application forms could be downloaded from the NTA Website or obtained from the Assessment & Certification Division.
What is meant by the term “articulation”?
This is all about linkages between qualifications. It describes how progression (vertically or horizontally) from one qualification to another can occur and shows the relationships between qualifications or courses.
What is meant by the term “credit transfer”?
Credit transfer is the process through which institutions recognise and grant credits (as determined by the NQF) to learners for previously assessed and certified learning. It will ensure that learners are not required to repeat learning and will also make it quicker to achieve a qualification through advanced placement.
What are the registration requirements for the candidates for CBA?
Competence (100% readiness) during internal assessment processes in terms of knowledge, skills and attitudes against the units of competence to be assessed.
What are the registration criteria for assessors, moderators and assessment designers?
To qualify for registration as an assessor, moderator or assessment designer within the VET system, an individual must:
o Be acquainted with the VET Act and related legislatives including Occupational Health, Safety & Environmental Standards. o Be regarded as a subject matter expert. It is required that an assessor/moderator/designer must have a qualification in the subject matter field of at least one level higher than the level on which the assessment would be conducted. o Have a minimum of four years working experience within the relevant industry. o Have successfully completed the prescribed assessor, moderator or assessment designer training programme through an organisation registered with the NQA, SAQA or an equivalent quality assurance body. o Sign and undertake to adhere to the assessor/moderator/ or assessment designer code of conduct as relevant. o Apply on the prescribed form to the NTA for registration on the National Register for VET Assessors, moderators or assessment designers. o Annually undertake initiatives to ensure that their subject-matter expertise remains current.
It is a prerequisite for an assessor to be qualified in assessor training program, a moderator to be qualified in assessor and moderator training program and assessment designer in assessor, moderator and designer training program from an accredited or registered institution.