Definition of assessment

Assessment means the process of collecting evidence and making judgements on whether competency has been achieved, to confirm that an individual can perform to the standard required in the workplace, as specified in a training package or VET accredited course. [1]

The key points of the definition of assessment are:

  • It is a process
  • Collecting evidence
  • Making judgements
  • Based on competency
  • Based on specified criteria.


[1] Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015, Glossary

Who is the candidate?

The term ‘candidate’ is used through the TAE units relating to assessment.

A candidate is a person being assessed?

Types of assessment

The two broad types of assessment are:

  • Norm-referenced assessment
  • Criterion-referenced assessment.

Norm-referenced assessment

Norm-referenced assessment provides a result that is based on how an individual performs compared to the group. This process is competitive and may include ranking individuals. University entrance ratings based on senior secondary school assessment results is an example of norm-referenced assessment.

Criterion-referenced assessment

Criterion-referenced assessment provides a result that is based on how an individual performs against a fixed or predetermined criteria. Competency-based assessment is an example of criterion-referenced assessment. Unlike norm-reference assessment, competency-based assessment does not compare individuals’ assessments.

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