Principal Assessor – DGSA

A Principal Assessor is responsible for ensuring all duties and tasks associated with externally set/assessed Dangerous Goods Safety Adviser (DGSA) assessments are undertaken within the conditions, timeframes and arrangements set by SQA. 

Their primary role is to lead, support and work with teams of SQA appointees, including interaction with different groups to ensure consistent application of national standards and to ensure the subject specific integrity of their teams’ decision-making in relation to the externally set/assessed DGSA assessment arrangements.

These activities will be under the direction of staff from SQA’s Contract Operations business directorate as appropriate. There may be a requirement to undertake duties during weekends and holiday periods.

Outline of duties – Principal Assessor DGSA

  • Lead, manage and appraise a team of examiners/markers and invigilators.
  • Create and apply quality control systems to ensure consistency of decision making by examiners/markers (standardisation).
  • Lead and direct on the development of DGSA examination question papers for the specified subject in accordance with SQA guidelines, managing a team of examiners as necessary.
  • Lead, direct, support and undertake the production and quality assurance of externally set/assessed DGSA examination question papers for the specified subject, in accordance with SQA policy and specifications.
  • Lead, direct, support and undertake the production and quality assurance of detailed marking instructions.
  • Oversee the development of examination question papers, and advise the Contract Manager where additional examination questions and papers are required. Review and sign off all examination papers before publication.
  • Chair/oversee DGSA/SQA meetings to include borderline marking and review of newly created examination question papers.
  • Finalise each DGSA examination paper in accordance with SQA policy and specifications.
  • Lead, direct and support the marking programme.
  • Lead, direct and support post-examination quality assurance procedures in accordance with SQAs instructions.
  • Review and ratify borderline meeting decisions.
  • Undertake the performance management activity of the team against Key Performance Measures.
  • Undertake the role of a Marker/Examiner when required.
  • Prepare external examination report(s) in accordance with SQA specifications as required.
  • Lead all activities to ensure they are concluded within agreed time frames and that resources are used effectively and efficiently to achieve best value.
  • Support SQA and contribute to the appeals/complaints process.
  • Advise SQA on any legislative changes, which may impact on banked examination papers.
  • Gather and collate intelligence on exam venues, advising SQA on suitability as required.
  • Support SQA with continuous improvement developments.
  • Principal Assessors may be asked to undertake additional activities. These activities will attract additional payment and could include the following:
    • undertake bespoke in-service training
    • attend industry meetings as required
    • participate in workshops/seminars/networking events
    • assist in the development, updating and maintenance work associated with the DGSA syllabus.

Selection criteria

Successful candidates must:

  • be a practicing Dangerous Goods Safety Adviser or equivalent, and be able to demonstrate excellence in assessing candidates to a national standard
  • not be a practicing Dangerous Goods Safety Adviser training instructor for the duration of their appointment
  • be able to demonstrate experience and knowledge in the Carriage of Dangerous Goods industry within the last 5 years, and a high level of expertise in training and assessment
  • have knowledge of national and international regulations and agreements concerning the Carriage of Dangerous Goods
  • have a sound knowledge and experience of all DGSA subjects
  • be able to engage professionally and co-operatively with all members of their team(s), providing leadership and support as required
  • be able to provide accurate feedback on performance to team members in a supportive and professional manner
  • be able to communicate professionally, confidently and effectively; work professionally and co-operatively, with stakeholders, other appointees and SQA staff
  • be able to demonstrate good forward planning and time management skills and adhere to deadlines
  • have a home computer or laptop with broadband internet connection and a private e-mail address.

Key Performance Measures for Principal Assessors

On completion of the duties outlined in the Principal Assessor contract specification, the Principal Assessor will be measured against the Key Performance Measures and informed of the outcome in relation to their performance. Key Performance Measures will fall into four areas: Question and Course assessment production, Quality assurance procedures, Appeals and Generic measures.

Question/Item and Course assessment production

  • Ensure the production and checking of DGSA questions and question papers by specified dates.
  • Support Examiners to produce question papers that are fit for purpose and are in accordance with SQA policy and instructions and includes marking instructions.

Quality assurance procedures

  • Complete all post-examination procedures by specified dates.
  • Quality assure all materials for post-examination procedures in accordance with SQA policy and instructions.
  • Complete all reports providing feedback on examination performance for SQA within specified dates.

    Results Service

  • Process results service documentation in accordance with policy and instructions by specified dates.

Generic measures

  • Demonstrate behaviours outlined in the Terms and Conditions of Appointment which support SQA’s values.
  • Report on team members’ Key Performance Measures for all tasks by specified dates.