The role of the assessor in further education

Assessors use their professional expertise to support students looking to gain vocational qualifications (apprenticeships, NVQs etc). You can work as an assessor or verifier in all occupational areas where vocational qualifications exist.

What does an assessor do?

Assessors visit candidates in their place of work to see what they can do and whether their work meets national occupational standards for a particular skill. An assessor will first identify what a candidate knows and is able to do. From here you can then pinpoint the knowledge and skills the candidate needs to gain. Then they’ll produce an individual action plan and will monitor the candidate’s progress against the plan.

Assessors will usually work with a number of candidates at the same time.

Typical assessor activities include the following:

  • Plan and deliver vocational training programmes and workshops
  • Observe and assess candidates in their workplace
  • Examine candidates’ portfolios of evidence
  • Provide feedback and offer advice if the standards are not met
  • Sign off the award when all the requirements have been met
  • Keep records of candidates’ progress

What qualifications do you need to become an assessor?

As well as a level 3 qualification or above in your professional qualification, you might also be asked to demonstrate recent experience in the occupational area you want to assess.

You must also gain one or both of the following level 3 qualifications, these are the nationally recognised qualifications for an assessor and verifier:

  • Certificate in assessing candidates using a range of methods (A1)
  • Certificate in assessing candidates’ performance through observation (A2)

These courses typically take 6 - 12 months to complete and are offered by many FE colleges and private training organisations. Once you have these awards assessors can join the Institute of Assessors and Internal Verifiers.

You will then need to undertake regular CPD to stay up to date with developments in your sector and in assessment practice.

Assessor pay and conditions

This is a flexible role; some assessors combine the role with their existing job, some are self-employed and work on a freelance basis, others are part-time and some are full-time. However because you need to assess candidates in their workplace there may be some evening or weekend working and you will need to be willing to travel.

In a permanent full-time role the starting salary for an assessor would be between £16.000 - £22,000. With experience, this wage can go up to around £26,000. At senior levels, full-time assessors carrying out additional activities such as training or verifying can earn up to £35,000 a year.

In a part-time or freelance role job, you’re likely to earn £12 - £15 per hour.

No matter whether your part time, freelance or full time you should also get a travel allowance to cover the journeys you make between candidates.

Useful links for anybody thinking of becoming an assessor

The Institute of Assessors and Internal Verifiers (IAV) - the professional body for assessors

The National Skills Academy specialises in the role of industry assessors in the creative and cultural sector

For more on becoming a construction assessor visit the Association of Construction Assessors and Verifiers (ACAV)

You’ll find more on becoming an NVQ assessor from the TES Growing Ambitions career advice website

Organisations offering awards in assessing candidates

City & Guilds


Find an assessor role on TES Jobs

View all the assessor/verifier roles in further education

View all the jobs in colleges of further and tertiary education

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