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Initial and diagnostic assessment: effective approaches for adult and community learning

Principal focus of the project

The project focused on a multi-stage process, improving the quality and consistency of commissioned providers’ initial and diagnostic assessments. All teaching and support staff from the two community partners were involved in the project, with their management teams working with the council to coordinate and validate project activities. Providers participated in self-assessment and peer review of their current practice, carried out research with learners about the impact assessment had on them, and conducted six focus groups with different young people and adult learners.

Areas of learning
What is this about and what were the main findings?

Staff significantly improved their own knowledge and understanding of initial and diagnostic assessment and where it fits into the continuum of assessment for learning. Providers developed their own professional exchange within and outside this project. Practitioners developed their practice when measured against the Professional Standards.

Number of participants who worked with the project
Name(s) of authors

South Tyneside Council

Name of associate programmes



A case study exploring a project that commissioned community-based partners to provide education and training to a local authority's Business, Employment and Skills service, evaluate their initial approaches to identify weaknesses, and then develop processes tailored to individual needs.