Principal Assessor

A Principal Assessor is responsible for ensuring all duties and tasks associated with external assessment activities are undertaken within the conditions, timescales and arrangements set by SQA. 

The prime role is to lead, support and work (as appropriate to subject and level) with teams of SQA appointees to ensure consistent application of standards and to ensure the subject specific integrity of their teams’ decision-making in relation to the external assessment arrangements of courses.

These activities will be under the direction of staff from the SQAs Qualification Development and Operations business directorates as appropriate. There may be a requirement to undertake duties during weekends and holiday periods in own time.

Outline of duties

  • Lead, direct and support the setting of external assessment items for a specified course in accordance with SQA policy and specifications
  • Participate in the process of vetting and finalising external assessment in accordance with SQA policy and specifications
  • Carry out marking programme and post-examination quality assurance procedures in accordance with SQA instructions*
  • Provide leadership and support to the examination team
  • Undertake marking of unmarked scripts or scripts requiring to be remarked
  • Prepare an annual External Assessment Report in accordance with SQA specifications
  • Ensure all activities are concluded within agreed time frames and that resources are used effectively and efficiently to achieve best value
  • Support SQA with continuous improvement developments eg e-enablement, ensuring that appointees both understand and embrace change
  • Undertake the performance management activity of the examination team
  • Additionally, Principal Assessors may be asked to undertake the following activities. These activities will attract additional payment.
    • prepare performance reports for centres
    • undertake bespoke in-service training
    • participate in workshops/seminars/networking events
    • contribute to Understanding Standards activities

Selection Criteria

Essential characteristics

Successful candidates must:

  • Have experience in other key appointee roles eg examiner, setter, vetter, demonstrating competence in assessing to the national standard within their subject and level(s)
  • Demonstrate competence in assessing to the national standard within the  subject and level(s) linked to the appointment
  • Currently be delivering the course (or a closely-related course) in an SQA-approved centre or in an Institution of Further/Higher Education
  • Be able to engage positively with all members of their Examining teams, providing leadership and support as required
  • Be able to provide accurate feedback on performance to examining team members in a supportive and professional manner
  • Be able to communicate confidently, effectively and professionally with examining teams, stakeholders and SQA staff both orally and in writing
  • Be able to work co-operatively and professionally with other appointees eg markers, external verifiers and SQA staff
  • Have a home computer or laptop with broadband internet connection and a private e-mail address

 

Key Performance Measures for Principal Assessors

Each year, on completion of the duties outlined in the Principal Assessor contract specification, the Principal Assessor will be measured against the following key performance measures and informed of the outcome in relation to their performance in that year.

  • Complete all pre examination procedures, as per events calendar
  • Quality Assure all materials for pre examination procedures in accordance with SQA policy and instructions
  • Complete all post examination procedures, as per events calendar
  • Quality Assure all materials for post examination procedures in accordance with SQA policy and instructions
  • Complete all reports providing feedback on exam performance for SQA within agreed timescale
  • Positive engagement with all members of the examination teams through leadership and management of people
  • Positive engagement with all member of SQA staff
  • Satisfactorily fulfil the KPMs of the Marker role
  • Satisfactorily fulfil the KPMs of the Examiner role