SQA co-hosts international symposium on vocational assessment

05 November 2015

SQA, AlphaPlus Consultancy Ltd. and the Association for Educational Assessment-Europe hosted a one-day symposium on Wednesday 4 November, focusing on the impact of vocational assessment.

Part of the wider Association of Educational Assessment (AEA) Europe Conference which is being held in Glasgow from 4 – 7 November, the symposium has attracted influential speakers from the UK and Europe to address a number of key issues regarding the assessment of vocational qualifications.

AEA symposium speakers

Topics discussed included; what are the quality issues that are essential for vocational assessments to address; to what extent is vocational assessment different from other forms of assessment and how can consensus be built across Europe to ensure research regarding vocational assessment is ongoing and inclusive.

Dr Gill Stewart, Director of Qualifications Development at SQA, said: “We are thrilled to have co-hosted this symposium as part of this year’s AEA Europe conference. This session has given delegates the opportunity to expand and delve deeper into the conference theme of ‘Assessment and Social Justice’. Our discussions elaborated on this and explored the contribution of quality of vocational assessment to social justice issues. Delegates have heard first-hand from some of the leading academics in the field and have been able to network and engage with other researchers and practitioners. It has been a valuable addition to the conference programme and provided a great opportunity for delegates to learn from on another, sharing experiences and best-practice from across Europe.”

Jo-Anne Baird, Director of the Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment and committee member of AEA-Europe, said: “We are delighted to have worked with SQA and AlphaPlus to extend the reach of the conference programme. We have heard from a diverse range of speakers who brought a vast range of experiences to bear on this important topic. The session provided delegates the opportunity to consider and debate these issues.”

Andrew Boyle, Director of Quantitative Research at AlphaPlus, said: “Today’s symposium has provided great insight into some of the key challenges facing vocational assessment and how collaborating together, we can find ways of addressing them.”

Lorna Unwin, Professor Emerita of Vocational EducationSpeakers on the day included Lorna Unwin, Professor Emerita of Vocational Education, UCL; Ewart Keep, Professor of Education, Training and Skills at the University of Oxford; Hubert Ertl, Associate professor of Higher Education at the University of Oxford; Andrew Boyle, Director of Quantitative Research at AlphaPlus; James Morgan, Head of Policy, Assessment, Statistics and Standards at SQA; and Jeremy Benson, Executive Director for Vocational Qualifications at Ofqual.

The symposium was sponsored by SQA and AlphaPlus. Follow @sqanews on Twitter and look out for updates using #aeaglasgow.