Adult Community Education Program Upfront Assessment of Need
Participants enrolled in an Adult Community Education (ACE) Program projects must undertake the Upfront Assessment of Need (ACE UAN) process.
There are three main elements of the ACE UAN to ensure a successful training outcome and transition to further learning or employment, these are:
- Suitability and support checklist - to be completed through a conversation or interview with participants, for instance, when participants enquire about the course or at time of enrolment.
- Basic Skills Indicator (BSI) – an online tool with questions to understand a participant’s basic reading and numeracy skill level. Participants must be supervised when completing the online questions. Both reading and numeracy components need to be completed, however, they do not need to be completed at the same time. The BSI must be completed at commencement and completion of training.
- Observation record of skill development – records improvements in foundation skills development throughout training and is used to report a pathway outcome for a participant. It recognises that in the shorter periods of training for ACE projects, the BSI may not identify improvements from one ASCF level to the next and allows improvements through training to be recognised.
First complete the suitability and support checklist with your participants and this will determine whether they have the appropriate English language skills to continue to the online reading and numeracy questions in the BSI.
The BSI does not assess English language capability and should not be used where an individual has difficulty understanding others or making themselves understood in English, either in written or oral communication.
Skills SA, with the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) provides free access to the Basic Skills Indicator online tool. To access the online tool, ACE providers must contact an ACE UAN mentor to assist with the requirements of the ACE UAN and provide training to use the BSI.
All literacy and numeracy assessments conducted using the BSI tool must be supervised and may not be provided to the individual to complete on their own.
A staff member from your training team is required to supervise the assessment. Ideally it would be the person conducting the enrolment process.
ACE UAN assessments can be undertaken either individually or in a group scenario. Providers are able to run group information sessions and then conduct the ACE UAN. The group method is more productive and cost effective.
To complete the ACE UAN in a group setting we recommend having no more than 10 participants.
The ACE UAN language, literacy and numeracy process can be supervised using Zoom, FaceTime or another online meeting platform.
The tutor or administrator can support the learner to understand the purpose of the BSI and how the online tool operates to ensure they are comfortable and in a safe place to answer the questions.
Learners should be encouraged to attempt every question, however, if the tutor or administrator can see that the participant is experiencing difficulty or increased anxiety as the questions progress, they can suggest that the learner takes a break or that the assessment does not continue.
The tutor or administrator can support the learner on how to navigate pages, how to respond and answer questions etc, but they should not give advice that helps the learner understand the stimulus text provided or to answer the question.
Skills SA recognises there are circumstances that may require some modification to the ACE UAN process in cases where there are connectivity issues or where additional support is required for vulnerable cohorts. Training providers that have a technology or systems barrier to using the BSI, in accordance with instructions of the ACE UAN process, should contact Skills SA. Training providers will be required to provide evidence to support the claimed barriers and provide detailed mapping of changes to the ACE UAN process to facilitate compliance monitoring by Skills SA. Any variation to the ACE UAN process must be approved by Skills SA in writing prior to implementation.
The ACE UAN process is required at the commencement and completion of all training.
The BSI reports are not portable between ACE providers from the hands of the individual. The ACE provider who conducted the ACE UAN must provide the receiving provider with a copy of all ACE UAN process records.
Skills SA has also established ACE UAN mentors to support providers implement this process. The mentors have been involved in the development of the ACE UAN model and will be able to assist with understanding the requirements of the ACE UAN and training in using the Basic Skills Indicator platform. All ACE Providers will be required to contact a mentor to access the online platform.
The ACE UAN Mentors are:
Zoe Gow: 0432 487 611 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Colly Lesker: 0431 644 963 or email@example.com
Paul Malloy: 0425 533 174 or firstname.lastname@example.org