Independent Review of the Validation of the Foundation Skills Assessment Tool

The Foundation Skills Assessment Tool (FSAT) is an interactive, online tool designed to identify and measure an individual’s foundation skill levels, primarily in a vocational education and training context. The tool assists trainers and educators to identify any English language, literacy, numeracy and employability skills gaps in learners’ skills and knowledge that need to be addressed and to provide targeted assistance. In order to finalise FSAT and make it available more broadly, it requires validation through users completing the online assessments, to ensure the validity and reliability of the assessments. To date, a substantial proportion of the FSAT online-assessed Australian Core Skills Framework core skill questions (numeracy, reading, learning and listening) across all five ACSF skill levels have not had the level of use required for psychometric validation. The department is therefore seeking advice on how best to address this validation issue so that all aspects of FSAT can be validated. Recognising that there have been a range of significant developments in the VET sector since development of FSAT commenced in 2013, the department is also seeking advice on: (a) whether FSAT is still a relevant and useful assessment tool in this changed environment, including whether FSAT meets the Customer’s and user needs, and (b) if changes are required, what those changes need to be.

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