Becoming a vocational assessor has always been challenging, but with the proper guidance, you can become one in just a few months! You only need two things to become a qualified assessor; competence in the occupation you want to assess and a recognised assessor qualification. Ray Cochrane can help you achieve your assessor qualification if you have the right background.

What does an assessor do?

A vocational or National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) is a work-based certificate where the learners’ competency gets assessed through work-related tasks. These vocations can be in anything from:

  • Construction
  • Business
  • Sales
  • Catering
  • Hairdressing
  • Beauty and Aesthetic services

A vocational assessor evaluates the learners as they complete these tasks. They are qualified to assess based on their experience in that relevant field. Our blog will focus on becoming a beauty and aesthetic vocational assessor, but the same steps apply to other NVQ fields.

As an assessor, you can either work in a training centre or school and stick to teaching the same courses on schedule; this is an excellent option for those who would like to be a salaried employee. Alternatively, you can work as a freelance assessor brought in by external organisations. Working as a freelance assessor is suitable for those who want to travel across the country and pick up jobs when they want rather than working on a schedule.

How to become an NVQ assessor UK?

So, now that you know what an assessor does, you’ll want to know how to become one. Below, we have created a simple four-step plan for achieving this goal.

Step 1: Have relevant knowledge and experience

Step 2: Complete a Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement (CAVA)

Step 3: Choose a great training centre with experienced assessors

Step 4: Gain first-hand experience assessing relevant vocational courses

Step 1: Have relevant knowledge and experience

To become an assessor, you must have relevant experience and qualifications for the vocation you want to assess. As a beauty and aesthetic academy, we offer specialised training for those looking to become a beauty and aesthetics assessor.

How much experience do you need to become an assessor?

There is no fixed time frame of experience you must have to become an assessor. Still, we recommend those interested have at least three to five years of experience, especially if you want to assess within the beauty or aesthetics industry. Three years of experience is usually enough time to work on various clients, completing a range of treatments to build up your competence before you can assess someone else.

Aside from having a working background, we recommend assessors have a relevant NVQ Level 3 and even Level 4 qualification. In addition, you should have an NVQ Level 3 Beauty therapy diplomato work within a beauty academy or training centre. However, we’d recommend having more advanced certificates to cement your expertise and enable you to assess more qualifications.

Besides having the right experience and qualifications, you must have particular skill sets to be an assessor. To be a good assessor, you need to be:

  • patient
  • fair
  • understanding
  • organised
  • confident

You can move on to the next step if you match the skill set, experience and qualifications outlined above.

Step 2: Complete a Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement (CAVA)

CAVA course was previously known as the A1 Assessor course. Before CAVA, the A1 Assessor course was the only certification that allowed you to become a vocational assessor. However, there are now various options, but the Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement is the best and most straightforward on the market.

TheLevel 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievementis the only qualification we recommend to those wanting to become a vocational assessor. This is because it’s the only option that allows you to assess within the workplace and a learning environment (school or college), enabling those with the certificate to work wherever they want. It is most suitable for assessors working in beauty, hairdressing, construction, hospitality and care homes.

What are the responsibilities of an assessor?

An assessor’s responsibilities vary depending on the vocation they are assessing and the organisation for which they work, but they may include:

  • Conducting assessments according to established protocols and standards
  • Giving students feedback and advice
  • Participating in meetings
  • Training and workshop planning and delivery
  • Inquiring about how students would handle unusual situations
  • Awards are signed off on once all requirements have been met
  • Keeping track of their students’ advancement

What will you learn in the Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement course?

To successfully complete the CAVA course, you must complete three mandatory units with a total of 15 credits points:

  • Understanding the principles and practices of assessment –three credits
  • Assess Occupational competence in the work environment –six credits
  • Assess vocational skills, knowledge and understanding –six credits

At Ray Cochrane, we deliver our Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement course through blended learning (online and in-person) to ensure all learners can fit it around their schedule. First, learners complete all 84 guided learning hours online, covering all their theoretical learning. Then they have three days of practical training where trainees shadow qualified assessors in leading and assessing live classes with real students.

As a part-time training course, learners can complete it over one to three months, depending on their dedication and the amount of free time they have to spend studying.

The assessment for the qualification is through a portfolio of evidence outlining the activities they completed to prove they are competent:

  • direct observation
  • professional discussion
  • witness testimony
  • supporting documents

Once the qualified assessor and trainee-assessor have proved that the trainee-assessor is capable, they will receive their certificate, allowing them to work as a vocational assessor.

Step 3: Choose a great training centre with experienced assessors

Here at Ray Cochrane, we believe that you need to learn from great assessors to be a great assessor yourself. Therefore the best beauty and aesthetic assessors teach our Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement.

All our vocational assessors who teach our NVQ courses have over ten years of experience in their relevant beauty/aesthetic fields. In addition, many of the tutors at Ray Cochrane are entrepreneurs, which gives them a deeper understanding of the ins and outs of being a beautician, aesthetician or nail technician. The experience of owning their own business will help them assess and train their students to get them employed.

Aside from being experienced, our qualified assessors who deliver our CAVA course are passionate about helping others learn. So, beyond learning the primary curriculum, they will share unique, in-depth knowledge they have gained working as an assessor for many years. This includes tips and tricks for marking assignments, assessing treatments and communicating clearly with students.

Learning from assessors with relevant experience and skills that you will need to work as a vocational assessor is the only way to be industry ready.

Step 4: Gain first-hand experience assessing relevant vocational courses

Gaining first-hand experience is the most crucial step after completing the CAVA qualification. It also ties in strongly with choosing the right training centre. Unfortunately, many establishments offer vocational assessor training courses without practical training!

Yes, we’ve had students come to us after being told by other training centres that they would need to find their own work experience. This is very unfair and misleading for students paying a lot of money for a qualification that includes theory and practical learning. In addition, learners can only complete their Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement if they prove their competency assessing in a classroom and workplace.

Aside from just gaining first-hand experience, learners should gain relevant experience. Unfortunately, many CAVA training centres will take aspiring assessors regardless of the industry they want to work in without being able to offer appropriate practical training. For example, if you want to become a beauty assessor, why would you go and get experience assessing on a construction site? How you’d assess beauty treatments isn’t suitable for evaluating someone working on-site. Especially if you only have experience working in the beauty industry, you wouldn’t even know the correct standards for another sector.

We stress that if you want to work as a beauty/aesthetic assessor, you find an experienced beauty training centre to study with, as they will ensure that you are ready to start working once qualified. The same would apply to whatever vocational industry you desire to go and assess within.

Find out more about completing the Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement course

Regardless of what vocational industry you want to become anassessor in, we hope this step-by-step guide was helpful to you.

If you want to be a beauty or aesthetic vocational assessor, don’t hesitate to contact us at Ray Cochrane Beauty Aesthetic Academy. We have been around for over 50 years and have produced some of the UK’s best beauty therapists, aestheticians and assessors.

We offer no-obligation course consultations to those interested in learning more about their courses but still determining if they want to sign up. This means you will not be pressured to enrol in any of our courses during the consultation. Instead, you can use it to ask questions directly to our experienced course consultants.

Call us at 0203 856 8886 or email, where our expert consultants will aim to respond as soon as possible. Alternatively, you can use the live chat function that is available during office hours. Our office is open Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, and we look forward to hearing from you!