13 January 2011 (Thursday) - An Assessment

To work, where one of my trainees was to be formally assessed. As an assessor myself I enjoy assessing other trainees. I like visiting other hospitals. I feel I get a lot from the experience; I learn a lot, and (hopefully) at the end of my visit everyone is smiling after a successful assessment. (I failed one once, but that’s another story…). However when I have an assessor in to see one of my trainees I am worried sick. I hate it!
The point of the assessment was to examine the trainee’s pre registration portfolio and to see if he had met all the criteria. I’ve actually gone to the trouble to produce a website all about this pre registration portfolio. Ideally someone else would have done this already, but the formal advice we receive about this is minimal. The idea is that the advice should be minimal to encourage the trainees to be artistic and creative in compiling their portfolio. No two portfolios should be the same; each should show the individual compiler’s input.

Some assessors (like me, I hope) have taken this philosophy on board. Others (to be fair it is a small minority) come along with a fixed view of right and wrong; their way being right and everyone else’s being wrong. I have encountered such narrow minded assessors in the past, and had to fiercely argue my trainee’s worth.
In one such case I challenged the assessor to explain why she felt certain work was not up to the required standard. Her answer was “I don’t like it!”, snarled in a rather arrogant fashion. She eventually admitted defeat very gracelessly. Another assessor once criticised one of my student’s work for having both too much and too little health and safety input. And then went on to refuse to see any contradiction.
As part of the assessment process the assessor interviewed me, and asked if I had any difficulties in mentoring. I told her that I hated the variability between assessors. She laughed, and related her experiences. She’d had dealings with a chap who would only accept work from a student in a question-and-answer format. Essays, case studies, reflections were all worthless to him. I liked today’s assessor. She (like me I hope) knew what she was doing. My lad passed his assessment. That’s now nineteen trainees I’ve overseen to qualification.

Home to the ironing, ably supervised by the parrot. Over tea we watched Time Team; pausing occasionally to listen to next door having a shouting match. In the past we’ve had a very stormy relationship with next door. A few years ago I was to blame for all the world’s ills, and when he starts going off on a rant my heart sinks as I wonder what I am supposed to have done wrong this time. I must admit I’m waiting for the complaints about the noise the parrot makes. And to be honest I will listen to those complaints on the day that they get rid of their piano. But today I would seem to have escaped lightly. They were arguing about money I think.

And then in a fit of boredom I started messing about with my phone. Have you ever felt that everyone else seems to have a sexier phone than you? I certainly have. It’s not so much the phone that is sexier, as the things the phone can do. So I spent a little while browsing to see what apps I might download to liven up my phone. I got an astronomy package that is a load of old rubbish. I got a virtual zippo lighter (for no adequately explored reason). I got a new phone theme that crashed the phone’s software. I got a virtual piano that I can’t play. I decided against installing the virtual protractor and the McDonalds finder. If any of my loyal readers might suggest apps worth having (for a Nokia N8), I’m all ears…

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