In his recent blog post on the accreditation process, Phil Beach spoke about the role external subject experts play in the review of reformed general qualifications submitted by awarding organisations for accreditation. Following on from this it seemed a good time to talk a little about how Ofqual works with external experts in general, and how we aim to expand our list of approved experts.
Ofqual staff hold a great deal of knowledge regarding, among other things, assessment practices, standards, regulatory policy, and compliance. However, as a relatively small organisation, we do not have the necessary in-house subject expertise to address the full range of work that we do. This makes the role of external subject experts critical during activities such as reform accreditation, the development of subject-level conditions and guidance, and qualification scrutiny, which all require a high level of subject expertise.
If a subject expert wants to be considered for work with Ofqual, they must be on our approved list, which we publish on our website. We currently have over 500 approved experts on our list. All have demonstrated detailed knowledge and experience of education and assessment, and they come from a variety of backgrounds, including:
- experienced teachers
- senior examiners
- professionals from subject associations and communities
- professionals working in assessment theory or practice
Being on Ofqual’s list of approved experts is not a guarantee of work, and this is made clear when experts are accepted. However, the opportunity to be involved with crucial pieces of work such as the current reform of GCSEs and A and AS levels is not one to be passed up, and this sort of work is frequently seen by our experts as excellent continuing professional development.
Recruiting for first teaching 2017
As one of Ofqual’s Business and Projects managers, part of my role is to ensure that the organisation has sufficient external expertise in place to support its work. As we move forward into the final phase of the current reforms to general qualifications, we have been working to identify where there may be gaps in external expertise relating to subjects for first teaching in 2017, which are due to be submitted for accreditation in 2016.
Following on from this work, we are running a recruitment campaign to find individuals with expertise in the following subjects to join our list of external experts:
- AS and A level accounting
- GCSE and AS and A level ancient history
- AS and A level archaeology
- GCSE astronomy
- GCSE and AS and A level classical civilisation
- GCSE and AS and A level electronics
- GCSE engineering
- AS and A level environmental science
- GCSE and AS and A level film studies
- GCSE and AS and A level geology
- AS and A level law
- GCSE and AS and A level statistics
We are looking for experts with detailed knowledge and experience of education, subject and assessment to help us understand whether qualifications are assessing the right things at the right level. This work is vitally important to the current reform of GCSEs, AS levels and A levels, and presents a great opportunity for individuals to make a real contribution to the future of general qualifications.
We would not be able to do the work that we do without the help, knowledge and experience of external subject experts, so if you have expertise in any of the subjects listed above, and if you would like to get involved, you can find out how to apply to become an external advisor to Ofqual on our website.
Manager, Business and Projects