December Assessor e-News – New GM Learning Solutions, key 2022 dates, assessment best practice and more

benstevens eNews, News

Tēnā koutou, 

Let me introduce myself. My name is Sue Roberts and I have just taken up the role of GM Learning Solutions at Connexis. 

My background is very much in the vocational education sector and I have held senior leadership positions at both Careerforce and, most recently, BCITO. You can find out more about me below.

I know it’s been a hard year for you all, especially those of you based in Auckland and Hamilton. While Covid was disrupting work, not to mention daily life, throughout 2021, your jobs as assessors and moderators got busier. We have seen unprecedented growth in Connexis trainee numbers. While that is exciting, we recognise that does put pressure on all of you. 

I’d like to thank you for the work you put in this year. You play an invaluable role in infrastructure industry training and are doing work that is vital to filling skills gaps and ensuring our industries can thrive. 

I’m looking forward to settling in and getting to know you all. The system for assessing infrastructure units is different from what I am used to and it will be great to understand the benefits of the Connexis approach. 

With the reforms to vocational education that will continue to roll out in 2022, I can see some real scope for improvement to our services. I’m excited to see how we can use the passion and enthusiasm of all of our people to bring real benefits to our employers and learners. 

Before I sign off, I would like to thank Paul Mitchell for the great work he did in the GM Learning Solutions role after Mike’s departure to Waihanga Ara Rau. He understands Connexis from all angles, having worked in senior leadership positions across the business, and provided a safe pair of hands until my appointment was made. 

Have a wonderful holiday season. See you next year. 

Ngā mihi nui,

Sue Roberts
GM Learning Solutions

Are you available to assess in Q1 2022?

We have launched a new tool so you can indicate now whether you are interested in assessing for us next year.  

It’s available on our website so click here and let us know your availability for Q1. We’ll then let our Customer Service Account Managers know.

We will review how the process is going throughout Q1 to see if this could be a permanent tool we use. 

New Learning Solutions GM appointed; QA Manager recruitment progresses 

The recruitment process for a Quality Assurance Manager continues and we were happy to welcome Sue Roberts to our team as a senior leader and Learning Solutions GM on 29 November. 

Connexis, along with our team of assessors and moderators, are sure to benefit from Sue’s strong industry experience and fresh perspective.   

Connexis Director Kaarin Gaukrodger says: “We’re delighted to have Sue join the Connexis whānau. She understands our industries, their needs and the challenges they face, and brings with her a new energy and an enthusiasm to share the breadth of her experience with our team.” 

Sue says she is most looking forward to supporting those around her to succeed and is excited to be a key part of the transformation of the vocational education system. 

Having recently returned from an around the world sail with her husband and dog, she says her time out “provided her with new skills in analysing acceptable risk and a high level of resilience in working through the unexpected”. 

Sue brings with her over 20 years’ experience within the vocational education sector, including the invaluable strategic and operational leadership skills gained through her roles as GM of the Canterbury College of Natural Medicine and GM Marketing and Learning Solutions at Careerforce. 

Most recently, in her senior leadership role at BCITO, Sue saw first-hand the impacts of Covid-19 and the resulting border closure on the building and construction industry, challenges faced too by the infrastructure sector. 

Should you have any questions for Sue please contact  

Complying with requests for moderation 

This is just a reminder of the importance of sending in assessments for moderation when asked. Moderation is an important step in ensuring trainees are assessed consistently and in line with best practice.

Assessors who have been called for moderation are required to send in their moderations or run the risk of deregistration and the removal of their RCC accreditation if applicable.  

What to do when dealing with evidence gaps – Tips and tricks with Phil Macquarie

We have enlisted the help of Phil Macquarie, a very experienced assessor, moderator, and trainer to offer some advice and tips around supporting our learners when faced with evidence gaps.

Many of you may have had the chance to meet and work with Phil through the assessor training courses he runs throughout the North Island.

Phil has over 22 years of experience and has been involved in the Electricity Supply Industry as well as various different ITOs and Standard Setting Bodies through assessment, moderation, and resource development.

Please take a moment to read through Phil’s advice as you may pick up something new to use in assessment going forward.

Generally, our assessment decisions are reasonably straight forward as the learner has either achieved the required outcomes or not. The difficulty comes when we find evidence gaps and need to find ways to fill them.  

I find that in most situations an incorrect answer is due to the learner not understanding what is being asked. In clarifying this however, there is a fine line to walk. While we must support learners to achieve, we do not want to lead them in their learning. 

So I have two points for us to consider: 

1. As an assessor, when I find my learner has not provided sufficient evidence for me to make a decision, I must go back to the learner and let them know what they need to do to bridge that gap. Where this is an incorrect written response, I find the easiest way is to simply give them a call and discuss what I am looking for. We could also do this in writing, but we must make it very clear what we are expecting without giving them the answer. 

2. When we do allow for new evidence or make corrections, we must also be able to articulate the change to our moderator as he/she will most likely pick up on this and will need to understand what happened. This is simply achieved by writing notes to the moderator on the front page of the assessment document. Comments can also be added throughout the assessment itself. 

Please consider your support role as an assessor. Don’t just mark questions incorrect and return a workbook to the learner. Let the learner know what to do, make notes, encourage them, and keep their motivation up. Follow up with a phone call if you can.  

Put yourself in their shoes and think: “What would you like to hear?” 
Finally keep your moderator in the loop by making meaningful notes to them where required.  

Keep up the good work and strive for those improvements that don’t take a lot of effort, but can have significant pay offs. 

Have a happy and safe Christmas break and I hope to see many of you next year. 

Phil Macquarie,
Senior Consultant, SafeT Factors, and Connexis Assessor.

Looking to 2022

Assessor forum dates will be set at the beginning of 2022. This will be communicated via email and loaded onto the Connexis website.  

Assessor training (4098) course dates for 2022: 

Auckland: Feb 9 & 10, Surrey Hotel, AND June 1 & 2, Surrey Hotel 

Wellington  – March 9 & 10, Brentwood  

Hamilton  – March 23 & 24, Novotel 

Christchurch  – March 15 & 16, Garden Hotel  

Dunedin  – May 10 & 11, Dunedin Leisure Lodge 

Christmas closedown period

The QA team and greater Connexis office will be taking a break from December 22 to January 10.

We will be unavailable during this time, however you can send in your queries via email to and we will address them in the new year. 

Key dates for invoice processing 

Please send your invoices in by 9am on December 13 to ensure they are processed before the Christmas closedown. All invoices in by then will be paid on December 20. Invoices received after this time will be paid on January 20 2022.