Level 4 assessments must meet the following criteria:
- Assessments should test competence according to the relevant NOS wherever possible
- Clear marking criteria/model answers should be developed for each assessment
- Assessor observed practical assessments must have an observation checklist which records the learner's planning and performance and the assessor's decision and comments.
- Where MCQ papers are used to test theoretical knowledge, they should include a minimum of 30 questions and MUST also include short/long answer questions that test comprehension, application and analysis at Level 4
- Learners should be given reasonable time to prepare for an assessment if this is taking place at the end of a course
- Candidates should be assessed individually
- The minimum pass mark across all written/theoretical assessments MUST be 70%
- All procedures and relevant paperwork for assessments should be included in the Learner pack; this should include a copy of the practical observation checklist, where required, and the appeals process.
- Assessments should require learners to demonstrate:
- knowledge of the underlying concepts and principles associated with the area(s) of study, and an ability to evaluate and interpret these within the context of that area of study
- an ability to present, evaluate and interpret qualitative and quantitative data, in order to develop lines of argument and make sound judgements in accordance with basic theories and concepts of their subject(s) of study.
Training providers must demonstrate that the learner has had supervised engagement and interaction with the target population group.
For example, through:
- observation of the patient group, or a placement in a clinical setting, or placement in a specialist community programme. This must be signed-off by a clinician or course tutor
- shadowing of a qualified instructor in the specialist area
- working with a real patient in completion of the assessed case-study (e.g. a one-to-one meeting between the candidate and a patient to enable the candidate to collect all relevant information required to design a tailored, safe and effective exercise programme for the patient.
N.B. it is not expected that the candidate will instruct the patient through an exercise programme for assessment purposes).
Level 4 courses MUST contain the following assessments as a minimum:
- Theory exam – for example a Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) paper that also includes short/long answer questions or a written essay.
- Case study – this can be based on real clinical cases (i.e. a set case study patient) or by directly engaging with real patients (i.e. a patient undergoing cardiac rehabilitation)*
- An assessor observed practical assessment for Falls, Stroke, Back Pain and Long Term Neurological Conditions Level 4 courses
*With patient consent
Where case study assessments require candidates to work with a real patient, Training Providers need to ensure a patient consent form is used to fully inform patients of how personal information collected will be used by the candidate in the completion of their case study.
For a person's consent to be valid, the person must be:
- capable of taking that particular decision ('competent')
- acting voluntarily (not under pressure or duress)
- provided with enough information to enable them to make the decision
These aspects need to be carefully considered when selecting patients for case study assessments (e.g. particularly where the patient has a medical condition that could impact on their ability to make 'competent' decisions).