May 10, 2023

What is the difference between Teaching and Assessing?

What is the difference between Teaching and Assessing?

When it comes to teaching and assessing, there are a surprising amount of areas where they overlap. However, when it comes to the difference between teaching and assessing, their foundations are very different. Let’s dive in!


Teaching is where you pass on your skills and knowledge to other people – this could be in a classroom, college, workplace, or another setting. It could be on the job or during specific lessons.

Either way, if you are teaching, then you are responsible for ensuring that learning is taking place. You’ll need to plan ahead to make sure that you are delivering your teaching in a suitable and logical format. This means being able to meet the specific needs of your pupils – sometimes adjusting your plans and taking individuals into account as well as the needs of the class as a whole.

You’ll also be involved with helping and advising learners, often in less formal settings.

The qualities you need to teach people include a thorough knowledge of the subject you are teaching, as well as the ability to pass on the skills and knowledge you have to other people. As teaching is a process which involves communication, you’ll need to have the right skill set to pass these on – there is a lot more to it than just standing in front of a class talking. Planning, preparation and a firm grounding in modern teaching techniques and methods are needed to ensure great teaching takes place.

In order to teach professionally in schools, colleges, the workplace and other learning settings, you are required to hold a teaching qualification. There is a common misconception that all teachers must hold a PGCE qualification, however, there are more affordable options, such as the Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training.


Like teaching, assessing can take place in a variety of environments and settings, but it differs in that it does not involve passing on skills and knowledge. Instead assessments are processes which aim to confirm whether or not a candidate can actually meet certain standards. In the past assessments were almost solely carried out by getting the candidates to take formal exams. However in today’s world there are many other methods to check a person’s skills and knowledge, many of which can lead to a much more accurate and appropriate judgement of their abilities.

If you are assessing you’ll need to be familiar not only with the subject are in which you are assessing, but also the formal standards which candidates are expected to meet. These could originate from an Awarding Body, a trade association or an employer. Once you are familiar with these you’ll then formulate and plan a suitable assessment, and this could involve using several different assessment methods such as observing somebody carrying out a task, asking them specific questions, getting them to give you an explanation, looking at work or projects they have already completed.

As with teaching, assessing involves communication, but in this case rather than passing on your knowledge and skills what you’ll be doing is eliciting from the candidate proof or evidence that they have met the required standards.

Assessors typically hold a qualification from the TAQA suite of qualifications. The most popular assessor qualification is the Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement, however, there are three assessor qualifications available, depending on where you are hoping to assess.

When Teaching and Assessing Overlap

Although they are different activities, there is some overlap between teaching and assessing. This is partly because when you are teaching, you will need to check that your candidates are keeping up with what you are teaching them – so you’ll plan some assessment activities into your lessons.

You’ll also find that both teaching and assessing involve planning and preparation, often with regard to the requirements of an organisation such as an awarding body, or an employer.

Teaching and assessing can also overlap when it comes to your training provider! At Carlton Training, we offer the very latest in Adult Teaching Courses and Assessor Courses. If you’re unsure on the best qualification for your career, give our friendly team a call and we’ll be happy to discuss all your options with you.

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