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How are you gathering workplace evidence ?

Our apprentices and workplace assessors alike have little issue with implementing and performing the work required to complete any given unit standard that is in place within their training plan. The major issue arises when its time to put together evidence for assessment. 

From my experience, our apprentices both young and old, do not necessarily have the presentation skills to organise their evidence so that it is easily digestible for an assessor.  I have seen piles of  messy paperwork, oil stains, rips, no labels, no description, illegible hand writing together with photos of fridges without explanation. I dont believe I have personally witnessed any consistent approach on how evidence is both gathered and presented. It can be done in paper and printouts for sure, but we can utilize a free mechanism that is mobile and widely accessible. 

Whats the hack?

It's no big secret, Facebook groups. I have a few apprentices that I work with and since we have set up FB groups, we have seen first hand how easy it is to maintain regular photographic evidence and communicate on the spot. Setting up a private and hidden group has many benefits as an apprentice. There are alternatives of course, stick with your messy paper method or if your loaded with cash and have plenty of time on your hands, purchase a domain and create your own website portfolio. Obviously using FB is a preference due to the following: 

  1. Facebook is free. 
  2. It is a rapid mechanism to upload information.
  3. It is a safe way to store your information
  4. It can be accessed anywhere and anytime

How do I set this up?

Its very straight forward, log in to your (the) Facebook account, if you dont have one, set one up - your grandma can show you how. 

Firstly, head to our group page https://www.facebook.com/groups/RefrigerationNZ, then in the top right corner click on "create" and select group

Enter you name or initials followed by "Refrigeration portfolio". Ensure you select the group as "private" and "hidden", this will keep your information safe and not have to manage any unwanted membership requests.

Your group is here by created and you can then move on to customizing your group with a savvy cover photo, but before you get carried away, check your group settings. I suggest switching off members can invite others to the group and that only you (the admin) are capable of approving members. 

Now there is two ways you can go about setting up your evidence portfolio. You can either create photo albums using the title of the NZQA unit standard and its descriptive or you can go that little step further and create Facebook "units". I would recommend the photo albums as they are nice and easy and you can even add videos which if your ever thinking about working abroad, you can share your work history with a potential employer or even an accreditation authority. 

Units (Facebook) allow to separate and organize your unit standard into its various outcomes  and performance elements/criteria. To work with Facebook "units" on your phone can be a little tricky. 

If you wish to upload a file or document, Facebook also has this functionality, as with the photos; titles, descriptions and information!

When creating your unit standard albums, take the time to provide as much detail as possible, name each photo and tell the reader (assessor/verifier) whats going on, what did you do and how you achieved it. 

Now this bit is key, do not forget to label, what outcome and element the image is referring to. By doing this, your assessor can literally fly through the evidence. If not, they will have to connect the dots for him/herself which can be painful and very time consuming. More importantly, by ensuring this step is carried out, you are taking charge of the process and leading the way. 

Share your little portfolio with your workplace assessor or verifier, they can regularly review your material, offer advice on the fly but best of all, when it comes to assessment and getting a signature or stamp, its super easy for them to scan through each unit standard with little stress and wasted time.