Assessment Pass Rates - what do they tell us?

Assessment Pass Rates– what do they tell us?

Occasionally we are asked about City & Guilds assessment pass rates, sometimes before making a booking and often during a course – especially on day one of the 5 day Combined Chainsaw Maintenance & Crosscutting Course. These questions could easily be answered by saying they are high, good, very good or other such comment, this can be backed up by quoting a percentage of the last few months or whatever statistic is relevant.

But is it really that simple? Is a high pass rate always good and a low one always bad?

Assessment rates can easily be manipulated so might be meaningless anyway. Here are a few ways they might not tell the whole story:

·      Depends on the qualification

·      Include retakes?

·      Does the provider put everyone into an assessment?

·      Are some advised to withdraw or postpone an assessment?

·      What is the time frame?

·      Is the statistic audited by an independent body?

A better way to decide between different providers might be to speak directly to someone that has attended a course, or as many clients do, drop in to the training centre and observe a course taking place for a few hours and speak informally to the trainees.

When asked face to face during a course, I often answer this question by stating that no one who deserved to pass an assessment, failed. This more accurately reflects the fact that assessment success is a result of a combination of factors, one of which is the input that we provide during the training course, which of course we try to keep at a constantly high standard.

Other factors that can influence success are:

·      Natural aptitude/ability – that is the starting point of the trainees.

A provider with consistently disadvantaged students might add more value even with a lower than average pass rate.

·      How many assessments were taken in one day?

Breaking up assessments into smaller bite sized chunks can often lead to a higher success rate, with the downside to many that more time is required to compete.

·      Quality and duration of the consolidation period between formal training and assessment

·      Previous experience

This can be positive or negative

·      Preparation

·      Luck on the day of assessment


Assessment passes are important to us but less so than making you as safe and productive for a long career in the industry.