All Assessors, Assessment Specialists, and Anchors must reach and maintain their “reliability.” In this case, being “reliable” means that these people are able to use the scales accurately and consistently. Each person not only needs to be consistent with herself/himself (when assessing different child care programs), but they all have to be consistent with each other, too. That’s why Assessment Specialists and Anchors do “reliability checks” on a regular basis for Assessors and for each other.

In a typical reliability check, an Assessor and an Assessment Specialist both observe the same child care program or classroom. They fill out their assessment forms without talking to each other. When both are done, then they compare documentation and scoring and make sure that application of the scale is consistent with scales training.

If someone does not pass their reliability checks, they are provided supportive re-training and must work to become reliable again. All this work means that child care professionals and educators can be very sure that their program is being evaluated accurately and fairly.