On top of the long hours and demands of the working world and having to worry about passing your qualifying exams, your trainee years are also filled with the added stress of constant assessments along the way. But there’s no need for the various assessments to be a cause for concern, – with enough preparation, it’s very easy to do well at them.
Assessments are, in essence, the measure of your competence in performing pre-determined tasks, and act as the yardstick against which SAICA measures progress through practical experience. Trainees are only able to enter the profession once they have proven they are capable in these skills, so should you fail to do so, development areas will be identified and you will be counselled to help you reach competency.
There are currently three assessment processes that you will be measured against as a trainee: the Professional Skills Review, the Technical Skills Review and the Assessment Needs Analysis (ANA).
1. The Professional Skills Review is based on the ability to demonstrate the required professional skills in terms of the SAICA training programme and needs to be completed and reviewed on an ongoing basis – with a minimum requirement that it is updated at least once every two months.
2. The Technical Skills Review determines the technical skills that trainees have been exposed to in a particular assignment, audit, time period or training course and needs to be completed at least once every two month period.
3. While the Professional and Technical Skills Reviews need to be completed and signed off by both trainee and reviewer, the Assessment Needs Analysis (ANA) is completed by only the trainee’s evaluator to measure the current levels of competence in both professional and technical skills. It needs to be completed at the end of each successive six-month period.
Within each of these assessments, there is a rating of the level of competence, as well as level of complexity:
· Rating Level 1 is not capable;
· Rating Level 2 is capable with frequent supervision;
· Level 3 is capable with limited supervision;
· Level 4 is capable without supervision.
In terms of complexity, there is basic and advanced. The ANA serves to track the rating level of the trainee and determine whether development is necessary.
It’s assumed that a trainee automatically requires development if their demonstrated cumulative competence to date is not yet at Level 4, but this is not true. Development is, in fact, only required under two circumstances – demonstrating a lower level of competence despite exposure to opportunities, and being unlikely to gain exposure to a task that would enable the trainee to demonstrate a Level 4 competency in the time left on their training contract.
Development is remedial, so if required, specific action will be identified for you to take to meet the necessary level of competence. It is important to remember, if you need development, that the plan is worked out with your individual considerations in mind, and that if you follow the plan, you will more than likely achieve the required level of competence.
Don’t allow requiring development to knock your confidence. Remember that it’s nothing more than a small setback on your journey up the career ladder – so take it as an opportunity to learn a lesson and make you more determined to reach your goals.
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