Assessment Services Ltd's customers gave their feedback regarding their recent remote assessments due to Covid-19. 

What worked well?

The self-assessment tool was very useful, it helped to focus our preparation and collation of evidence - and the telephone interview/discussion process was very well facilitated and streamlined.

The Zoom call we set up, worked really well. It allowed us to talk through each area and for you to ask questions and probe for more detail which helped increase our score in the end too! Again I think preparation for this was key, you had done a lot of work your end so when it came to the meeting, we were able to look through the initial results together and answer the questions you had sent us in advance.

I felt more comfortable with the less rigid constrictions of presenting in a room with the assessor, whereby I was presenting in a relaxed area of my choice. I was still able to read the assessor's body language and could clearly understand the questions and points asked, which allowed me to give an informative reply. There were only three of us in the conversation, but I could see the other two attendees clearly without having to turn to listen to them. Mostly the experience was good, one of the main attribute of the Teams remote collaboration is the reduction on travel.

What could have been improved?

I think it would have helped if we had completed the Self-assessment tool, and evidence input a week prior to the assessment day, but the assessor was extremely well versed in identifying any gaps in the evidence and capturing this as part of the interview process. 

There were a few intermittent issues with connections, which gave the need for some repetition of questions and clarification on some points. I felt apprehensive about presenting the prepared documents, the pace of presentation, covering all points etc, however the assessor’s professionalism, in this case, helped keep the experience on point. Where the assessor is not so experienced the experience could be less agreeable, it may be good for new people to buddy up so as to pick up knowledge going forward. There is an issue where a personal touch of a face to face meeting would be preferable and I would like there still to be an option for personal meetings.


Overall verdict?

Yes, it worked extremely well, and it was a pleasure to deal with Neil, our assessor (Fenland District Council)

Given the circumstances, we were initially unsure if we should wait until we could get you in (face to face) but I am so glad we push forward with doing it remotely. It has allowed us to push forward and know which areas need more focus.

The remote session was excellent and has been a driver for other training/presentations within DFID Group Operations. We now use the applications for remote collaboration with both internal and external partners.

I have now been using remote collaboration working every working day since the assessment and have found that the more I use it the easier I am with the application of use. There are no room restrictions, travel worries, I can access the meeting/workshop as soon as the prompt appears on my screen and don’t have to dash off to some hidden room in the building. The only issue in some rare cases is when the home internet connection is lost, it can take time getting back into the meeting.