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A Common Approach to Assessment

Employability results from a combination of factors which enable people to progress toward and into employment, to stay in employment and to move on in the workplace. There is a growing awareness of the importance of the contributions of a wide range of services to help enhance employability. In particular, people with multiple and complex needs can benefit from different kinds of support to address the multifaceted barriers to employment they might have. To be effective, easy access to these services is required. In many areas across Scotland, 'pipeline' approaches have been developed which provide pathways for clients to take them from being unemployed and not job ready to work. Such an approach ensures that the services are joined up and there is seamless progression for the client.

The effectiveness of such an approach depends on how successfully clients' needs and the right service for them are identified through a process of assessment. This process may involve the following.

  • Identifying the starting point and distance travelled for the client.
  • Developing an awareness of the client's individual strengths and needs.
  • Isolating relevant and sustainable employability objectives.
  • Identifying additional support needs to tackle any barriers identified.
  • Establishing goals and strategies as part of a client action plan.
  • Matching resources to individual needs.

It is clear that without effective assessment the basic purpose of employability intervention cannot be achieved. Assessment is also essential to ensuring that an employability pipeline works effectively.

Within employability partnerships, assessment processes can be enhanced by a shared approach through the implementation of a Common Assessment Framework. Such a framework ensures partners have a common basis for assessment and work to the same principles.

The  Common Assessment Training Implementation Plan  in this section, is designed to assist you to implement a training course that can contribute to the development of a common assessment framework in your area. It must be recognised that delivering training is only one aspect of developing a common assessment framework. In any locality, partners must also be committed to working to the same principles to taking the practical steps that will be required to implement a framework.

Templates for training sessions are included in this section. These allow your to put together a course of 7 sessions designed to allow participants to consider:

  • the context for common assessment including employability policy, the labour market and approaches to employability;
  • the business case for common assessment;
  • factors affecting the quality of assessment processes;
  • the needs led model of assessment, which provides an exemplar approach;
  • the assessment processes used by employability partners;
  • how common assessment can be developed locally.

These training materials were launched at the 'A Common Approach to Assessment: meeting the employability needs of our clients' event in September 2009. Video links of Universal Comedy sketches delivered on the day are attached below for you to view. Theses sketches outline what both a poor, and good, customer experience may look like!