Assessor Training

From time to time LDANZ offers a limited number of training places for suitably qualified applicants wishing to become registered learning disability assessors.

Assessor Training

with Woodcock-Johnson IV (Australasian Adaptation)

Required Credentials

  • An academic background containing relevant tertiary qualifications in psychometric assessment and personality theory at an advanced level.  

  • A fully trained New Zealand teacher qualification with classroom teaching experience or, as a minimum, has a tertiary qualification in education/teaching with practical knowledge of classroom teaching and practice.

  • Some theoretical and practical knowledge of students with a specific learning disability is highly desirable.

 

Training Programme

The training programme will be based on the WJ IV COG, ACH & OL test batteries as the main test instrument. Other relevant tests (both formal and informal) will also be included as part of the training.  

 

1. Familiarisation   

a) Resources: The trainee will hire from LDANZ the WJ IV Tests of Cognitive Abilities, WJ IV Tests of Oral Language, and WJ IV Tests of Achievement test kits, and purchase the following texts and resources.   

Required texts to purchase prior to training are:

An Introduction to Dyslexia for Parents and Professionals (Hultquist);

The New Zealand Dyslexia Handbook (Nicholson, Dymock);

Essentials of WJ IV Cognitive Abilities Assessment (Schrank, Decker, Garruto);

Essentials of WJ IV Tests of Achievement (Mather, Wendling); and,

WJ IV Clinical Use and Interpretation (Flanagan, Alfonso).  

Some journal articles and other readings will be supplied during the training.  

Additional Recommended Books:

Woodcock-Johnson IV Reports, Recommendations, and Strategies (Mather, Jaffe).

Essentials of Dyslexia Assessment and Intervention (Mather, Wendling); and, Overcoming Dyslexia (Shaywitz).  

[Nicholson & Dymock is available through NZCER; all other books are available through Amazon.]

b) Informal Test Administration: The trainee will carry out informal testing to familiarize themselves with administration procedures for all core tests but will not provide any specific results or interpretive report to the person tested or parent/caregiver. The trainee will review and reflect on the first administration procedures and then repeat the administration procedures with a second person. The trainee will have the WJ IV manuals (supplied with WJ IV kits), to refer to as a guide, together with the WJ IV reference books and other materials.

 

2. Data Analysis & Report Writing Assignments  

 

Assignment 1
  1. The trainer will send the trainee a set of raw test score data and background information on an anonymous subject.
  2. The trainee will enter the subject data into the WJ IV software. Then generate and print the Compuscore report options for the Score Report and the PR/SS Profile Report.
  3. Part 1: The trainee will then write an evaluation report, of up to two pages in length, based on the data generated in the Score Report and PR/SS Profile Report.  The trainee will refer especially to Essentials of WJ IV Tests of Achievement, Chapter 4 for this part of the assignment.  The trainee’s evaluation report is to include the following:
  • Identification of any significant discrepancies between the scores within the various clusters obtained. (Provide the relevant evidence to justify your answers).
  • Identification of actual strengths and weaknesses between clusters. (What was the basis for your answer?)
  • Identification of relative strengths and weaknesses between clusters. (How does this differ from the pattern of actual strengths and weaknesses?)
  • A statement to indicate whether or not the subject has a specific learning disability.  If so, what is it? (Provide the evidence to support your position?)
  • A Reference section at the end of the evaluation report to list supporting references. 

    The trainee will then post a hardcopy of the assignment (Part 1) to the trainer. The posting will include the evaluation report together with the two computer generated reports.
  • Part 2:  Based on the template(s) supplied and the relevant information in Essentials of WJ IV Tests of Achievement Chapter 8, the trainee is to write specified sections of an assessment report for the subject using the structure and guidelines supplied. Keep your report short, clear and succinct without omitting important relevant information. Use direct sentences and simple language; the sort of language that might be used with a parent (plus child?) during oral feedback. Check your report against Grice’s Maxims. The report is then to be emailed to the trainer together with Part 3 below.
  • Part 3: The trainee will write a reflective commentary on the thinking and rationale behind the conclusions drawn in the assessment report. Comment should also be made as to the suitability and comprehensiveness of the various tests used for the purpose of that particular assessment.  
Assignment 2

Once the first assignment has been evaluated and feedback given and received,

a second assignment, using a different set of data, will be set and will follow the

same set of steps as in (a) to (e) above.

 

Assignment 3

Using the Subject Data Report, observational data, and background information provided, write a comprehensive Cognitive and Educational Assessment report using the template provided. Email the assessment report to the trainer, together with the required attachments.

 

3. Training Workshop

  1. An individual (1:1) five (5) day training workshop will be arranged at a location and time agreed to by trainer and trainee.  

  2. Typically, two clients may be assessed over the 5-day period. There will be a mix of observation & administration of tests by both trainee and trainer. Over the five days, the trainee will have observed one client administration and will have administered a complete set of testing to at least one client equivalent. The trainee will have feedback from the trainer on his/her administration.  

  3. Test interpretation with trainee: The trainee is to produce an outline of a report, including recommendations, for each client with rationale for conclusions drawn and recommendations made.  

  4. Psychological Society’s Code of Ethics: relationship to LD assessors’ scope of practice. Assessor-client relationships; data gathering and use; interview dynamics; workflow procedures.  

  5. Following the workshop, an assessment report for each client is to be written by the trainee, using the notes and any drafts made at the workshop, and emailed to the trainer who will provide written feedback. Further discussion on the reports, and any other assessment matters, may be continued by phone and/or email. In addition, further face-to-face training may be arranged if required.

  6. After successful completion of the above, the trainer will recommend that the Registrar grant the trainee Provisional Registration with LDANZ.  The trainee may then buy their own WJ IV kit from NZCER.

 

4. Probationary Period

  1. Supervised Practice: The probationary Period will consist of supervised practice over a period of 12 months (minimum) to 24 months (maximum), with progress reviewed at, or before, 18 months. There will be a minimum of six (6) and a maximum of nine (9) assessments per year made by the Trainee during this period. Each assessment will be emailed to the trainer/supervisor for feedback and mentoring advice (by email and/or phone). The final draft of the assessment must be approved by the trainer/supervisor before the assessment report is sent to the client. Each first draft of the report sent to the trainer/supervisor will include, as a separate document, a self-reflection on the analysis and interpretation of the data in the report.   During the probationary period, Provisional Assessors will submit the LDANZ Assessors’ PD Record form each year, providing information about professional development activities carried out extra to the normal training programme.

  2. Full Registration: The Trainer shall recommend to the Professional Committee that the trainee be considered for full registration. Two (2) of the Trainee’s recent reports are to be submitted to the Professional Committee (with client names and any identifying client information removed). Full Registration is granted by the Professional Committee on successful completion of the probationary period and the concurrent granting of NZCER’s Level C (Education) test user classification.

 

Notes

  1. The trainer is available for consultation by phone, e-mail, or in person during the whole of the training period.

  2. The training of an assessor is a contractual arrangement between the trainer and the trainee.  

  3. Approval for training of any candidate is given by the LDANZ Professional Committee, as is the granting of full registration.  

  4. To participate in any training (and be granted professional registration), the candidate needs to be a financial member of LDANZ.

  5. The Professional Committee will consider, and take into account, any equivalent prior learning of the candidate/trainee.     

  6. All LDANZ Registered Assessors will be required to have completed the above training (or its equivalent) before full registration is granted.  

  7. The clients during the training week are normally the trainer’s clients for which an assessment fee is charged.

  8. The training fee (for the training period) is $1,500: $750 is due before beginning part 1 (Familiarisation), and the remaining $750 before beginning part 3 (Training Workshop). The fee is paid directly to the trainer.