NATA is committed to providing the best-qualified people and resources to our accreditation assessment teams. As a fundamental element to this commitment, NATA provides Technical Assessor Development Program (ADP) training sessions for all our external technical assessors. In addition, we provide training resource material in the form of a folder of information called the Assessor Resource Kit (ARK). This training of our technical assessment team members is also a requirement of NATA's MRA partners and NATA's governing document ISO/IEC 17011.
Since March 1999, it has been NATA policy that it is mandatory for all new technical assessors to attend an ADP training session as soon as possible after their appointment as an assessor. The following is intended to clarify NATA's expectations of its existing and newly appointed technical assessors in relation to this policy.
New technical assessors are immediately sent an ARK for information and review. As ADP sessions are scheduled in geographic regions, new local Assessors are sent invitations to attend together with a personalised registration form. There is a 2 year period within which they should attend an ADP session. This time period is allowed to accommodate difficulties an assessor may have in getting to a suitably local or time-convenient ADP session.
Sometimes an assessor is invited to participate in an assessment before they have an opportunity to attend an ADP session. Experienced NATA lead assessors will accompany new assessors on their first assessment visit and usually an experienced technical assessor will be part of the assessment team as well. In these circumstances, new assessors should carefully review the ARK prior to the assessment visit. The accompanying lead assessor will allow time for a brief one-on-one guidance tuition session prior to the visit. However, this is not a substitute for attending an ADP session.
NATA's Sector Managers regularly review the list of assessors in their program/field who have not yet attended an ADP training session. A decision is made as to whether they should remain on the list of assessors. Information including provision of ADP sessions by NATA in the locality, apologies received and other mitigating factors such as date of joining the list, individual NATA staff contact and assessment involvement, etc is considered as part of this review process.
Existing technical assessors who were appointed prior to March 1999 and who had participated in at least 3 assessment visits by March 1999 were previously granted Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). They are not required to attend an ADP session. However, it is still recommended for them to do so, to ensure their knowledge base is complete and also because their input as an experienced assessor is highly valued at these training sessions. All existing technical assessors were sent a copy of the relevant ARK. Download the updated document here.
Overseas-based technical assessors are sent a copy of the relevant ARK and required to study this for themselves. They may also have the opportunity for one-on-one guidance tuition with a NATA lead assessor prior to an assessment visit.