Guidance

What is Assessment for Learning (AfL)?

Last Updated: 17th September 2020

Assessment for learning (AFL) is an approach to teaching and learning that creates feedback for the trainee which is then used to improve their performance. 

Key characteristics of Assessment for Learning in a clinical context

It is important that your training officer is aware of what your experience and skills set is, so that they can create opportunities for you to develop, learn and make progress. Using Assessment for Learning (AFL) should ‘close the gap’ between what you know and what you need to learn. With feedback, you should progress and gain confidence in what you are expected to learn and to the standard expected. Your training officer will know that every trainee will be starting at a different point and will have different learning needs, different skills and experiences. It is not necessary for all trainees to work from the same point at the same time. They should encourage you to keep working upwards but if you reach a point that is causing you problems, they should let you stop there and work through it.

Your training officer should:

  • Provide trainees with opportunities to apply the assessment criteria to examples of work produced to illustrate the standards required.
  • Provide guidance and support to trainees using oral or written feedback with next steps for achieving learning outcomes in a meaningful way.
  • Create opportunities for learners to undertake remedial action or consolidation activities.
  • Thoughtfully design learning experiences in a differentiated way.
  • Reflect and ask trainees to peer or self-assess meaningfully on what to do next, setting valid and measurable SMART targets and learning goals.