Frequently Asked Questions
- What is your booking process?
Simply add your chosen exam to your basket and complete your order at the checkout. We will then send you a confirmation email, confirming your examination request. Then shortly after this we will contact you to complete the neccessary information for your exam registration. This may include:
- Additional personal details
- Passport Photo
- Selecting from optional modules
- Choice of examination dates
- Choice of examination location
Dependending on which exam you are taking.
Once you've received and returned our requests for further information regarding your specific assessment(s) we will then process your registration with the NPTC. Once we have successfully registered you with the NPTC we will allocate you an assessor who will contact you to arrange the date and location to undertake your assessment.
Should a candidate/group of candidates opt to be assessed at their own place of work, it is important that they ('the candidates' or 'group of candidates') are aware that they are responsible for the site and any animals/equipment and that it legal and complies with current safety legislation.
Additionally, we aim to give you all the necessary information on each specific assessment page. However, we appreciate it can all get a little confusing and should you feel this is the case, please don't hesitate to contact us, either by emailing email@example.com or telephoning 01934 86 22 88.
- Some of your assessments only provide the option to choose how many optional units I wish to take and not which specific modules?
To simplify the booking process, where an exam has a large amount of potential optional units we simply require that you choose how many you wish to be assessed on when booking and paying for your exam. Don't worry though, we will provide you with the neccessary information to select the units you wish to take shortly after you complete our checkout process.
If you are still at all concerned, please contact us and we'll make sure we provide you with the neccessary support.
- How do I cancel or reschedule my assessment?
Avalon Assessments Ltd have 2 cancellation policies, one is at the point of registration, the other is at the assessment stage.
Once payment for an assessment is completed Avalon Assessments Ltd will contact candidate/group of candidates for additional information before processing their registeration with the with NPTC. Once NPTC registration is completed it is then valid for 3 years. However, should a candidate/group of candidates wish to cancel their registration with the NPTC, they will have only 5 calendar days to do so, from the point of returning the final registration documents to Avalon Assessments Ltd, which will be provided to the candidate/group after booking an assessment online or over the phone. Cancellations after 5 calendar days may incur a administration charge up to the value of the assessment.
Once a candidate/group of candidates has been registered with the NPTC the assessment is then considered to be officially booked. Once a booking is considered to be officially booked, Avalon Assessments will then arrange a date with the candidate (or group in the case of group bookings) and their assesor. Should the candidate or group of candidates then wish to cancel the assessment, they will need to contact Avalon Assessments Ltd atleast 2 working days before the assessment is due to take place or the candidate/group will forfeit the assessment fee. Candidates will also forfeit the assessment fee should they not turn up to an assessment.
In addition, we will always do our best to accommodate the candidate/group being assessed and provided we are given atleast 2 working days notice we will do our best to reschedule bookings without the candidate/group incurring any additional cost or forfeiting their assessment fee.
In the event of cancelling, rescheduling or should you have any questions, please contact Avalon Assesments Ltd, either by phoning us on 01934 862288 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- What is your equal opportunities policy?
Avalon Assessments Ltd - Equal Opportunities Policy
1. Every step will be taken to ensure that individuals are treated equally and fairly
2. Reasonable steps will be taken to ensure people with disabilities have access to an award’s assessment procedure.
3. An award’s assessment procedure will be the same for all candidates.
4. Staff recruitment, selection, training and promotion are based solely on objective criteria.
- What is your Health and Safety policy?
Avalon Assessments Ltd - Health and Safety Policy
It is the policy of Avalon Assessments Ltd. to comply with the terms of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and subsequent legislation. It will provide and maintain a healthy and safe working environment. Avalon Assessments Ltd. health and safety objective is to minimise the number of occupational incident and illnesses and ultimately to achieve a safe working environment.
All employees will be provided with such information, training and supervision as is necessary to implement the policy and achieve the stated objective.
Avalon Assessments Ltd. recognises and accepts its duty to protect the health and safety of all visitors to the organisation, including contractors and temporary workers, as well as any members of the public who might be affected by its operations.
While the Members of Avalon Assessments Ltd. will do all that is within their powers to ensure the health and safety of its employees, it is recognised that health and safety at work is the responsibility of each and every individual associated with the organisation. It is the duty of each employee to take reasonable care of their own and other people’s welfare and to report to the secretary any situation which may pose a threat to the well being of any person.
All injuries, however small, sustained by an assessor or candidate, must be recorded and reported to the Secretary.
Avalon Assessments Ltd. Health and Safety policy will be monitored and updated, particularly when changes in the scale and nature of its operation occurs.
The Secretary (Marshall Clements) has overall responsibility for the administration of Avalon’s Health and Safety procedures. He must report to the board Chairman any dangerous occurrences or breaches of the Avalon Assessments Ltd Health and Safety procedures.
- Do you have a protection Policy for Children and Vulnerable Adults?
Avalon Assessments Ltd - Child and Vulnerable Adults Protection Policy
The Qualifications and Awards assessed through Avalon Assessments Ltd, may be accessed by candidates from 16 years of age. Avalon Assessments Ltd wishes to ensure that it complies both with the law and with good practice regarding child and vulnerable adult protection. Avalon Assessments Ltd will therefore be pursuing the following policies:
1. To require all personnel involved in duties for Avalon Assessments Ltd to implement and maintain appropriate Child Protection and Vulnerable Adult Policies.
2. To operate in accordance with and pursue the following key principles:-
2.1 the welfare of the child or adult is the paramount consideration
2.2 every child or adult has the right to protection from harm and abuse
2.3 ensure compliance with the Child Protection Act 1999 and successor legislation.
3. Avalon Assessments Ltd will monitor the implementation and operation of such policies, both for new and existing Assessors and provide such guidance as may be necessary.
4. Avalon Assessments Ltd. will include awareness of child and adult protection issues and responsibilities in the training and updating of all personnel who are in direct contact with the candidates.
5. Avalon Assessments Ltd. only uses Assessors on the Awarding Body approved lists. The Awarding body includes Child /Vulnerable Adult issues in its training and updating events and has included CRB vetting for all new assessors since 2006.
- Is there a procedure for Appeals or Complaints?
1. All complaints or appeals must be in writing and received by the Secretary, within 14 days of the assessment or incident.
2. The Secretary will acknowledge the complaint or appeal in writing and contact either the Chairman or Vice-Chairman of Avalon Assessments Limited to inform them that a complaint has been received.
3. In the case of an appeal against an assessment decision, the Secretary will contact the Assessor and/or the organiser of the assessment, informing them of the appeal and asking them for a report within 5 working days.
4. In the case of a complaint the Secretary will contact all involved persons informing them of the complaint and asking them to send him a report within 5 working days.
5. When in possession of the reports the Secretary will discus the issues with the Chairman and plan a way of amicably resolving the situation. If the above is not successful the Secretary will organise an appeal or complaint panel, consisting of the Chairman and no more than two committee members. If an appeal panel is formed then one member should be an Assessor. The Secretary will be in attendance to take notes etc. but will not be a panel member.
6. The panel should meet within 14 working days after the Secretary has contacted the appellant or complainant. The Secretary will notify the appellant or complainant of the time, date and venue and say they are free to have another person present.
7. Once the panel has sat and considered the appeal or complaint, its decision, if not given immediately, must be given in writing, within one week of the date that the panel sat. The panel’s decision is final.
- I don't live within Somerset, Wiltshire or Dorset, can I still book an assessment with Avalon Assessments Ltd?
If you are looking to make a booking for yourself or a group of candidates and you wish to be assessed outside Wiltshire, Somerset and Dorset then please contact us in the first instance and we will try our very best to accommodate you. Where it is not possible to accommodate your assessment requirements, we aim to advise you on where you can go to be assessed in your area.
Should you live outside or Somerset, Wiltshire or Dorset and wish to be assessed at one of our testing locations inside Somerset, Wiltshire or Dorset we will allocate you the nearest assessment centre.
- Should I check the NPTC Assessment schedule before booking my exam?
Yes. Although we do everything we can to ensure our information is up to date and accurately reflects the content of the NPTC assessment schedule, the NPTC provides a greater level of detail regarding the assessment activities of each exam unit and also provides the most up-to-date information available.
- How old do I need to be to underatake an assessment?
You must be a minimum of 16 years old or over.
- When is a chainsaw refresher course required?
When is a chainsaw refresher training required?
Health & Safety Executive (HSE) states: every 5 years for frequent users, every 2-3 years of occasional users.
See leaflet AFAG 805 on HSE Website.
Can I still use my blue book?
No, the use of blue books for Chainsaw registration and certification ended on 1st October 2005. If you still have a blue book and did not send it in bofore this date then you will have to re-take the assessments,
Is a Certificate of Competence for Chainsaws a legal requirement?
It is not a legal requirement, but HSE states that chainsaw operators should have recieved adequate training and be competent in using a chainsaw for that type of work. Reger to the HSE leaflet 'Chainsaws at work' on the HSE website.
- How do I obtain replacement copies of my NPTC Certificates?
A written request must be made to NPTC with payment of £37 per replacement certificate produced, this will include an ID card (if appropriate) if requested at the same time with a new passport sized photo. If you only require an ID card payment of £10 should be sent.
The following information must be supplied:
Date of birth
Current Address wih Postcode
Old Address if moved since original certificate was issued
What certificate and/or ID card is requested
Passport sized Photograph with postcode on reverse
- Global Online Assessment (GOLA) - Frequently asked questions
Below are some frequently asked questions from Assessment Centre Conference
1. What do you do if you have to assess the candidate in a barn without power?
The assessment is not actually done ‘on-line’ but is downloaded in advance, so if there is no power the laptop can be run off the battery.
2. If the assessment is not actually done ‘on-line’ do they still get their result immediately?
Yes, the candidate will get their provisional result immediately. The results are then uploaded to City & Guilds via the internet to be verified.
3. Training providers are assuming they will be able to do the assessment themselves – is this correct?
Yes, anyone is able to host an assessment but it must still be organised through the NPTC Assessment Centre, with an independent invigilator appointed by the assessment centre.
4. If training providers can carry out the assessment does this mean that they will all become NPTC Assessment Centres?
5. Does there have to be an invigilator present during the assessment or can the candidate do it at home?
There must be an invigilator present at all times during the assessment.
6. Who is able to invigilate the assessment – does it have to be an assessor?
Anyone can act as the invigilator provided it is not the person that carried out the training. Any invigilator must have been appointed by the NPTC Assessment Centre to conduct that particular assessment.
7. How much does it cost to use the Global Online Assessment (GOLA) testing system and where can the software be downloaded from?
There is no charge for using the Global Online Assessment (GOLA) system, provided the candidate has registered with NPTC for the PA1 assessment. It can be downloaded from the City & Guild website.
8. How much does it cost to download the Global Online Assessment (GOLA) tests?
The tests are free to download.
9. How many tests can be downloaded onto one laptop?
As many tests as the computer has the capacity to hold.
10. If an NPTC Assessment Centre that does not have facilities to run the Global Online Assessment (GOLA) assessments themselves is borrowing the GOLA facilities from another centre do you still use your own assessment centre number or do the candidates become registered under the centre providing the GOLA facilities?
The candidates will still be registered under the centre number of the Assessment Centre they first registered with.
11. What if the candidates are early or late for their allotted time to take the assessment?
Assessments can be started any time from one hour before the allotted time to four hours afterwards. After this period the downloaded assessments will expire and not be available. A new assessment will then have to be downloaded with no penalty for the candidate.
12. What happens if something goes wrong with the programme or the system crashes or there is a power cut?
If the power is only off for a short period (two minutes) the test will automatically re-start in the same place once power is reinstated. If the power is off for any longer or the system crashes there are procedures in place to apply for a special exemption to void the test.
13. Who pays to re-register a candidate if they need to re-sit the assessment?
If the reason for ending/failing the assessment was due to a technical fault of the software then NPTC will pay; if it is the fault of the assessment centre or invigilator the assessment centre will pay; if it is the fault of the candidate the candidate will pay.
14. What if the candidate wants to go to the loo during the assessment
There are standard examination procedures to cover this event, involving being escorted to the toilet, etc. However, there is no facility to pause an assessment once it has started, so this will count as time out of the allocated examination time.
15. If you have a number of computers can they all be linked together so that candidates can be assessed at the same time or does it still have to be assessed individually?
Yes, all of the computers can be networked together so that all candidates can be assessed at the same time.
16. If assessing out in the field what is the minimum number of laptops required?
The minimum number of laptops required to assess one candidate is one.
17. What are the specification requirements of the laptop in order to run GOLA?
Any fairly new computer will be able to run the GOLA software (Windows XP, Millennium…). Information on the specification is available online at www.city-and-guilds.co.uk/gola. Click on Information Sheets and download ‘A centre’s guide to technical requirements for global on-line assessment.
18. Who provides the laptops?
It is the responsibility of the Assessment Centre to ensure that computers or laptops are available.
19. How much does it costs to hire computer facilities to run the GOLA assessments?
This will vary from region to region and centre to centre. Some Ag & Hort Colleges have given guide quotes which range between £5 and £25 per head for an assessment centre to hire the College computer suite with technician backup. We are also looking at Learn Direct centres. However, most assessment centres will be better placed to use their own local contacts to negotiate better rates.
20. Where can I go to look at the GOLA system and see some examples of how it works?
The City & Guild website
21. Why can’t the candidate be given a paper version of the assessment to fill in, rather than do it on the computer?
In order for the question bank to remain secure and not in the public domain a paper version is not available. However, for those with special needs that require it, there will be set periods in the year when a written test is available, but this will be more expensive as the papers will have to be especially written.
22. What if the candidate has special needs, such as a visual impairment?
There is provision in place to accommodate any specific requirements of the candidate.
23. Does the candidate get the chance to have a practice/trial run before starting the real assessment?
Yes, at the start of every test the candidate has the opportunity to go through the 10 minute tutorial. These tutorials can be accessed at any time from the City & Guilds website, www.city-and-guilds.co.uk/gola
24. Does the practise test contain similar questions as those that will be in the actual test?
No, the tutorial is made up of nonsense type questions designed to teach the candidate how to use the GOLA system.
25. What if the candidate does not understand the question and needs it re-phrasing?
The questions have been very carefully tried and tested to remove ambiguities or difficulties in interpretation. However, this is an official examination and invigilators have clear rules in how they can help candidates, but interpretation of the question is not one of them.
26. How secure are the tests once they have been downloaded?
Very secure. Everything is downloaded in an encrypted format. It is also completely randomised so not only will the questions be different in each assessment also the order of the potential answers will be different.
27. How secure is the candidate information after the candidates have been registered?
No personal information about candidates is exchanged between computers
28. How can you guarantee that the person sitting the test is the same person that has been registered?
The invigilator will confirm this in exactly the same way that assessors do now when conducting practical / oral assessments.
29. Can the candidate access any other programmes or the internet during an assessment?
No. Once the candidate has started an assessment the system automatically blocks access to any other programmes, including the internet.
30. What will the pass mark for the assessment be?
The candidate will have to pass each section of the assessment with a pass mark of 70% being applied to each section.
31. If the candidate fails one section will they still be able to pass the assessment?
No. In order to pass the assessment the candidate will have to have to pass each section.
32. If the candidate is declared competent can they go on to take an application unit that same afternoon?
Yes. Just as with the current method of assessment, the candidate can go on to take an application unit even though they only have a provisional result. The certificate of competence will not be issued until the results from both PA1 and the application unit have been achieved and verified.
33. How do you know which questions or sections the candidate has failed in or done well in?
After an assessment has been completed the provisional result is sent immediately to the invigilators computer. They also receive a score report, which is a bar chart detailing how the candidate scored in each section.
34. If the candidate fails how long do they have to wait until sitting a re-take?
In theory a re-test can be taken straight away, provided that one has been downloaded beforehand. In practice, City & Guilds recommends a seven day period before re-sitting.