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2005 News Releases




Accreditation of Assessors

Date : 20 / 08 / 2005
Author : Michael Owen - VK3KI

Two weeks ago WIA President, Michael Owen, VK3KI announced that the WIA was going ahead to accredit assessors, with the assurance of the ACMA that certificates of proficiency would be issued on the basis of certification by WIA accredited assessors.

He also made it clear that there were many matters of detail still to be decided.

Over the last couple of weeks a great deal of work has gone into defining the system as it will operate, arranging the courses and attendances at the courses and generally addressing those matters of detail.

The WIA has now received quite a number of applications to attend the assessor training courses, in Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

With those already almost qualified with existing current qualifications, and with those attending the training courses, it is expected that there will be some dozen or so Nominated Assessors and some 60 or so WIA Assessors, covering the country from southern Tasmania to the Queensland tablelands, from Perth to Darwin to Alice Springs, and all the major cities.

Michael has asked people who are still to put in an application to attend one of the courses to make sure it is in the mail to the WIA office by Sunday evening, 20 August. It is now critical that the WIA has every application in the couple of days after that.

Michael also announced that the two basic documents describing the system have now been finalised. The first describes the general principles and the qualification and accreditation procedure and is called "WIA Exam Service Assessment Process in Amateur Radio". It really replaces the more generic document that has been relied on to date called "Assessment of Competency in Amateur Radio" March 2005.

The other, which parallels the existing WIA Exam Service Instructions, is called the "WIA Exam Service Assessment Instructions".

Both are on the WIA website.

In the VK1WIA broadcast on 20 August the President also said:

"Let me answer some of the questions that I have been asked.

One is whether someone registered, as an Invigilator is automatically a WIA Assessor.

No, unless you are qualified by existing current qualifications and are qualified on that basis by the WIA�s Registered Training Organisation, RTO or you attend a course conducted by the WIA�s RTO, you will not be accredited and registered by the WIA as an assessor.

What can the Assessor do that an Invigilator cannot do?

The WIA Assessor can conduct the practical assessment of a candidate and can mark on the spot a candidates written paper, for Foundation, Standard or Advanced or Regulations for Standard/Advanced, and the Assessor can advise the candidate his or her result immediately, providing guidance where necessary.

But some of you may say that the WIA Assessor will have too much power and that he/she could easily abuse the system.

We know that it is imperative that the methods we adopt ensure that what we do has credibility, that is there can be no suspicion of improper practices or different levels of competency being allowed to develop in different places.

We are establishing a system of Foundation Packs to enable each relevant document to be tracked. We will continue to use the examination material requests for specific candidates that we presently use for the other examinations. Each WIA Assessor and his/her assessments will be audited annually, and each WIA Assessor will have to apply for re-registration every three years."

Michael also said that the WIA wanted as many qualified and accredited assessors as possible but knew that could not happen immediately.

"That is why the teams from the clubs working with the Assessors in arranging Foundation licence courses, and examination "events", and helping conduct the examinations is so important. That is what the Invigilator can do," he said.

"That is why, for these first assessor-training courses, we have sought to ensure that all candidates are supported by their clubs.

Once again, the WIA recognises the essential role of the clubs in making this new world of amateur radio a reality."


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