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A brief is the set of instructions given by the Assessor to the Learner outlining the requirements and criteria for each piece of assessment evidence to be included in the Collection of Work/Portfolio.

The brief should be given to the Learner once the learning outcomes being assessed in that particular piece of assessment have been taught and practised and the Learner feels comfortable being assessed. Assessment should always be planned and managed but may happen informally.

For the assessment of programmes at Level 1 and Level 2 it may be appropriate to give the Learner the brief in a form other than written. However, it is important to note that the assessment brief(s) must be available in written form for the External Authenticator so s/he knows what instructions were given to the Learner that resulted in the work contained in the Collection of Work/Portfolio being produced.

Information in the brief may include:

What the Learner is required to produce for inclusion in the Collection of Work/Portfolio. Specific information relating to what will be produced by the Learner may have been included in the programme application for validation made by the Provider. Assessors should therefore ensure they are familiar with all information pertaining to the programme, including any statements around assessment, prior to assessing the Learner

At Level 1 assessment is conducted in a closely structured, familiar setting. Assessment activities at Level 1 are frequently succinct, brief, multi-sensorial tasks that reflect sequencing and straightforward operations. They are routine and take place in a familiar setting, with support. Typically Learners will have completed the task successfully many times before being assessed.
(FETAC Guide to Awards at Levels 1 and 2 and associated processes, Version 1 - July 2008, page 23)

At Level 2 the settings are still familiar, but are well structured. Candidates are expected to be able to apply knowledge, skill and competence at basic level in a limited range of contexts, with well supported direction. Tasks reflect an opportunity to demonstrate a grasp of the logic and literacies of the relevant discipline and context. They are short as opposed to succinct, and will be familiar.
(FETAC Guide to Awards at Levels 1 and 2 and associated processes, Version 1 - July 2008, page 23)

How this assessment should be carried out
sample reading materials, charts, drawings, photographs, written evidence, learning plans, diary entries and so on

Marked: how the assessment will be marked
i.e. all assessment criteria should be listed - what learning outcomes are being assessed in this piece of assessment

In writing a brief it is important to use language and terminology that will be understood by the Learners and that is appropriate to the level of the award standard. At Level 1 and Level 2 it may be appropriate for the Learner to receive the brief in a medium other than written. However the brief must be available in written form for the Authentication Process.