Choice of the overall framework

The assessment can take place

  • at the training centre or school = in a controlled environment
  • at an on-going building site = in a work place = on site

If the practical exam is in a work place, there can be an arrangement to plan time for an oral and written exam too. Candidates must be told that they will also be asked for theoretical knowledge and the organiser must provide theoretical teaching or written sources for learning.


 Skills can be assessed

  • by an exam, i.e. a task set up for this purpose which the candidate has to execute in a set amount of of time.
  • by day-to-day observation of practical activities occurring during a course or during a building site. The candidates show their skills without being in a situation especially created for assessment. Assessors carry out day-to-day observations of the candidate’s work progress and skills.

There should be a grid for and a documentation of the observations. Day-to-day observation has to consider not only skills but also competence and knowledge. During assessment by observation, assessors are observing skills and competence, and asking about knowledge and competence. So there is an oral assessment that covers the same topics as an exam would and there should be a written part to the assessment, according to the rules of our ECVET Earth building.


Continuous assessment throughout the training, rather than a final exam, is a possible option.

If a course is long enough to allow assessors to meet and exchange with their trainees on a regular basis, the exams can be separated into several parts, set up at different times during the course.

Continuous assessment

  • is usually done by the trainer;
  • is not the same as day-to-day observation (see above), it may be composed of day-to-day observation and exams;
  • can be combined with final exams;
  • is compulsory in some diplomas delivered by our partners that include clay plaster modules (e.g. OPRP, France: the final result of the candidate is made up of a combination of results from continuous assessment and a final exam in given proportions);
  • lowers the pressure on trainees and trainers;

If the trainer provides continuous assessment, a second assessor can provide observation at fixed times.

A guide to earth building training in Europe and beyond

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