The integrity of the assessment process relies on a number of different features within the SCPA scheme and these include, how and when assessors are selected, the process by which assessors review applications, and how interviews are conducted, through to critical feedback about an applicant’s performance both written and at the interview. Below is a quick overview of the process.
The assessment subcommittee
All SCPA Assessors are invited to join the SCPA assessment subcommittee for the duration of one assessment round, after their nominations are endorsed by the National Executive Committee (NEC). Assessors are recruited specifically for each round from a pool of senior practitioners and accredited environmental auditors and largely reflect the jurisdiction of applications. For example, if there a number of applications from Victoria, then senior practitioners and accredited environmental auditors from Victoria will be nominated to review those applications where possible. All assessors nominated to the Assessment Subcommittee are required to sign non-disclosure agreements.
From the assessment subcommittee assessors are divided into assessment panels consisting of three assessors. Each panel will review between 6 to 8 applications, with each application being reviewed by three assessors individually with feedback collected from each assessor. The Chief Assessor observes the discussions and recommendations made by the assessors when they meet as a panel to agree on final recommendations. The Chief Assessor is only present to monitor and ensure the assessment process is consistent across all assessment panels. The Chief Assessor represents the NEC during the assessment process. Recommendations for, or not for certification or for interview require a consensus from all three assessors. Where applications do not clearly meet all of the competencies but have the potential to do so with further investigation, then the assessment panel can recommend an interview. To be recommended for certification applicants must meet all of the required levels for each of the six competencies. An assessment rubric has been developed to assist assessors in determining applicant competency levels.
Applications who fail to meet the required level for one or more competencies, but are deemed by the panel as possibly being able to meet those requirements are invited for interview. The interview is face to face, and the applicant is provided with a case study. In previous rounds concerns the interview replicated the auditor interview process were raised, however, the approach is quite different. With auditor interviews the panel’s approach can be described as interrogative to determine technical competency. In the SCP Australia interviews, the approach is more consultative and supportive, whereby assessors try to encourage applicants to demonstrate their knowledge of each of the competencies. What we have found is that areas of weakness identified in the applicant’s written application were reflected at the interview stage. For example if the applicant was found at a lower level say for risk assessment, this limitation was also apparent at the interview stage.
Once the assessment panel review written applications and then interviews, they go on to make their recommendations which are reviewed by the National Executive Committee for final endorsement. Where the interview is inconclusive and a consensus on final recommendation cannot be reached between assessors, the Chief Assessor would contact the applicant’s referees to discuss the Assessment panel’s concerns and then report referee feedback to the assessment panel for their final deliberation.
SCP Australia Chief Assessor
Mr Ross McFarland (CP SAM 15003)
SCP Australia Deputy Chief Assessor
Mr Ivan Kwan (CP SAM 15006)
For further information about the assessment process please contact the SCP Australia Executive Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org