National Quality Council published an interesting set of resources designed to support Assessors by presenting guidelines and put light into some key areas.
A number of mechanisms, or potential mechanisms, for enhancing quality assurance, quality control and quality review within the Australian VET sector have been addressed with a pedagogic approach throughout these publications.
I would like to refer to the Validation and Moderation processes this time. The two terms validation and moderation have been used interchangeably in the VET sector; and whilst each are based on similar processes, there are a number of distinctive features. These have been outlined in the table below.
Bring judgements and standards
Prior to the finalisation of
Assessment Tools; and Candidate Evidence (including assessor judgements) (desirable only)
Assessment tools; and
Candidate Evidence, including
Type of Approaches
Assessor Partnerships Consensus Meetings
External (validators or panels)
External (moderators or panels)
Recommendations for future improvements
Recommendations for future
Adjustments to assessor
judgements (if required
From a Quality Management perspective, the Validation has been defined as a Quality Review process while the Moderation is been identified as a Quality Control process.
What that means?
Validation: Quality Review. Validation is a quality review process. It involves checking that the assessment tool produced valid, reliable, sufficient, current and authentic evidence to enable reasonable judgements to be made as to whether the requirements of the relevant aspects of the Training Package or accredited course had been met. It includes reviewing and making recommendations for future improvements to the assessment tool, process and/or outcomes.
Moderation: Quality Control. Moderation is the process of bringing assessment judgements and standards into alignment. It is a process that ensures the same standards are applied to all assessment results within the same Unit(s) of Competency. It is an active process in the sense that adjustments to assessor judgements are made to overcome differences in the difficulty of the tool and/or the severity of judgements.
In Summary, the major distinguishing features between validation and moderation are that:
- Validation is concerned with quality review whilst moderation is concerned with quality control;
- The primary purpose of moderation is to help achieve comparability of standards across organisations whilst validation is primarily concerned with continuous improvement of assessment practices and outcomes;
- Whilst validation and moderation can both focus on assessment tools, moderation requires access to judged (or scored) candidate evidence. The latter is only desirable for validation;
- Both consensus and external approaches to validation and moderation are possible. Moderation can also be based upon statistical procedures whilst validation can include less formal arrangements such as assessor partnerships; and
- The outcomes of validation are in terms of recommendations for future improvement to the assessment tools and/or processes; whereas moderation may also include making adjustments to assessor judgements to bring standards into alignment, where determined necessary.