How do I write a professional assessment?

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A well-done assessment conforms to our C.A.R.E. Criteria™:

  • Clear — it must be clearly written and understandable
  • Applicable — it must be generally useful for this type of submission
  • Relevant — it must be relevant to the client's specific submission. If the comments are not relevant to the client's submission, the assessment has limited value.
  • Executable — it must contain advice on what to do next and possibly how to do it. That is, the client should be able to act on the advice in a meaningful way.

We monitor client evaluations of assessments and will examine the causes for any low evaluation scores. If a low score is justified, that is, one or more of the main C.A.R.E. criteria were not fulfilled, then we may choose to do one or more of the following:

  • Adversely impact the expert's score, thus affecting their ability to get further work.
  • The expert may not be paid and the client may be due a refund.
  • Another assessment will be done by another expert at no additional cost to the client.

If we judge the evaluation score to be unreasonable, one of the following actions may be taken:

  • the expert will be paid and the client will be so informed.
  • The client's score will be adversely affected, affecting their ability to get future assessments.
  • Other action may be taken with respect to the client.

A "good" assessment is usually one that assesses the submission positively. If it makes any suggestions at all, they are only minor improvements in the submission. A "bad" assessment is one that says the submission needs critical changes. This may include starting over again. It is something that you don't look forward to, but sometimes it is the best thing to do. You can take comfort in the fact that everyone goes through this stage in trying something new.

The following shows a number of submissions and examples of professional assessments.

Submission Type: Tag line
Submission: Fast focused feedback through better business decisions

Assessment# Assessment Comment Professional Assessment?

The term "focused feedback" is not a phrase most people would understand. Also, it is unclear what you mean by "better business decisions". The use of alliteration seems "too cute" and reduces the impact of the tag line. It is not clear what it is trying to say, or sell.  

Yes. It suggests that you change the phrase "focused feedback" and asks you to show how it relates to "better business decisions". Thus, it is clear, useful, and actionable.
 2 I have no idea of what type of service or product you are offering. There also seems to be too many adjectives. This makes the tag line too long. Yes. It says that your tag line does not convey a clear message and you need to make the tag line shorter.
 3 I don't think it works. No. It is not useful nor does it offer any actionable advice.
4 It is clear and effective. It should appeal to a business audience. Yes. It is actionable since it says that you are ready to go to market with this tag line. Note that even though it disagrees with the other assessments, it is clear, useful (no further changes are needed), and applicable (this is the tag line you should use). This assessment may be an argument for getting more than one assessment.



Submission Type: Business idea
The Fair Trade movement has been growing in popularity in last 10 years due to greater awareness of how little money Third World farmers make. Commodities like coffee, corn, and certain fruits have proven to be good exports. Greater appreciation for these different cultures has also been noticed. Also, many hundreds of thousands of people have emigrated to Canada over the past 20 years.

At the same time, women have grown bored with mass produced jewelry and have shown a new interest in custom pieces. Over the past 5 years, sales of gold and silver jewelry have dropped at commercial gift and jewelry shops in Canada, according to Retail Magazine.

My idea is to import both handmade jewelry and custom-made (by special order) handmade pieces to Canada and to market them at Consulates, tourist bureaus, travel agencies, the multitude of small boutiques and through street vendors, and during community, cultural. and craft shows.

Assessment# Assessment Comment Professional Assessment?
 1 This is a nice idea, but I don't see how you could make enough money at it to make a go of it. Jewelry is a buyer's market so you'd have to sell a ton of these things to make a living. How would you know just how much each vendor got for one of your pieces? This is one question that occurred to me. And you'd also have to compensate the sellers. Perhaps setting up a non-profit to promote this idea could work. Yes. It is clear and offers useful and applicable advice.
 2 I applaud your interest in fair trade. However, the margins from the business model you are talking about are very slim. For example, while jewelery is sold in the outlets you mentioned, you have not talked about how you would get into those distribution channels. The cost of most jewelry at retail is not in the materials themselves, but in the distribution and sales to the various channels. While I am prepared to believe that there is a decline in the purchase of gold and silver, that does not imply that there is an increase in purchases of other types of jewelry. Lastly, discretionary spending for things like jewelry decreases during troubled times. Yes. The advisor has told the author that he/she needs a distribution model to support their assertions about the market. Also, by implication, more information is needed about competitive pressures like the economy and other jewelry manufacturers. 
 3 With so many forms of jewelry and the difficult economic times, I don't see this idea working. No. It does not offer any direction or useful advice. For example, the advisor could have suggested the author explore niche markets.


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