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Professional Discussion

Professional Discussion is a structured conversation between the Assessor [►The Assessor's Role ] and candidate, where the candidate is an active participant rather than simply responding to questions.

Some centres have indicated that Professional Discussion is most useful practical and productive at SCQF level 6 (Level 3) and SCQF level 8 (Level 4). There is nothing in the Assessment Strategy to preclude its use at lower levels. However the success of this approach depends to a great extent on the independence and communication skills of the candidate and the familiarity of the assessor with this approach. Therefore it may work better at the higher levels. 

As with other forms of assessment, planning and preparation are key to a successful Professional Discussion – time spent at this stage will pay dividends later on.

If the candidate feels at ease, has been involved in the planning stage, and is well prepared for the discussion, then there is every chance the Professional Discussion will capture the evidence required.

There are times when a Professional Discussion stands on its own as a form of evidence.

There are other times when an Observation develops into a Professional Discussion  – which is entirely acceptable.

During a Professional Discussion:

Always ensure you give the candidate feedback and agree the next steps – especially if a further Professional Discussion is necessary.

Many centres use digital audio and video recorders to record the Professional Discussion.

If digital recorders are used, creating an Audit Trail [►Referencing ] may require an additional pro-forma to relate the audio or video footage to the points where the areas discussed meet specific PIs and/or K. This allows IVs and EVs to access the recording at appropriate points so that Internal and External Verification does not become an onerous task.

Where a candidate submits Work Product [►Work Product ] without annotation, Professional Discussion can be used to contextualise this evidence.