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 independent scrutiny of both general and vocational qualifications, 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 we make this 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 and the continuing improvement of vocational qualifications is not one to be passed up, and this sort of work is frequently seen by our experts as excellent CPD.
Recruiting for projects in 2016/17
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. Looking forward to work due to take place in the 2016/17 financial year, we have identified several areas where we currently have gaps in our external expertise.
In terms of general qualifications, we will be reviewing reformed qualifications in a number of GCSE, AS and A level modern foreign languages. The languages involved are:
- Modern Greek
- Modern Hebrew
In the vocational space, we are looking to increase our available expertise in the following areas:
- Animal care
- Children’s care
- Business management (at levels 6 and 7)
- First aid
- Paediatric first aid
For all of these areas, we are looking for experts who not only have sufficient proven expertise in the subject, but who can also demonstrate an appropriate level of knowledge and experience of assessment theory and practice. This will help us to understand whether qualifications are assessing the right things at the right level.
In order to fill the gaps identified, we are running a recruitment campaign to find individuals with appropriate expertise to join our list of external experts.
This work is vitally important to developing and maintaining qualification standards, 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 – Regulatory and Corporate Services