Alternative assessment methods are becoming increasingly common in higher education with the aim of increasing the potential learning of students. This paper presents an application of an alternative assessment method: peer assessment of oral presentations for postgraduate students within a statistics department. Even though the assessment of peers is a valuable workplace skill, such an activity is rarely an integrated part of university education. With a new emphasis in universities on the development of generic skills, it is appropriate to explore means of assessment that are valued in the marketplace. The aim of the peer assessment intervention reported here was to increase the critical thinking skills of students and enable them to develop their ability as independent decision makers. The advantages and disadvantages of the intervention and peer assessment in general are discussed and suggestions are made for possible improvements.