Education Consultant – Item Writing

  • Key stage 1 National Curriculum (English reading; English grammar, punctuation and spelling; and Mathematics)
  • Key stage 2 National Curriculum (English reading; English grammar, punctuation and spelling; Mathematics and Science)
  • Professional Skills Tests for Prospective Teachers (Literacy and Numeracy)

An Education Consultant is responsible for ensuring all duties and tasks associated with Item Writing contracts are undertaken within the conditions, timeframes and arrangements set by SQA. 

Their primary role is to support and work (as appropriate to the contract) with the SQA Assessment Manager to develop Item Writer specifications and contexts as required. They also may be required to work with teams of SQA Item Writers and Expert Reviewers to ensure consistent application of the contract requirements and to ensure the subject specific integrity of their teams’ decision-making in relation to content.

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

Outline of duties

  • Direct and undertake the development of Item Specifications for the specified subject in accordance with SQA guidelines.
  • Produce contexts for the specified subject, if required, in accordance with SQA guidelines.
  • Direct, support and undertake the production and Quality Assurance of Items for the specified subject in accordance with SQA policy and specification.
  • Attend Item Review meetings and support Reviewers during this process.
  • Quality Assure the development of Items by spot checking the work of Item Writers and Expert Reviewers.
  • If required, undertake the performance management activity of the team against Key Performance Measures.
  • Prepare a final writing report in accordance with SQA/customer specifications.
  • 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 with continuous improvement developments.

Selection Criteria

Successful candidates must:

  • have expertise in one  or more of the following areas:
    • Key stage 1 National Curriculum (English reading; English grammar, punctuation and spelling; and Mathematics).
    • Key stage 2 National Curriculum (English reading; English grammar, punctuation and spelling; Mathematics and Science).
  • Be able to demonstrate excellence in the development and review of items that meet the national standard.
  • Be able to communicate and engage professionally, confidently and effectively with other appointees and SQA staff both orally and in writing.
  • Be able to work professionally and co-operatively with appointees and SQA staff.
  • Be able to provide comprehensive feedback on item suitability to team members in a professional manner.
  • 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 Education Consultants

On completion of the duties outlined in the Education Consultant contract specification, the Education Consultant will be measured against the Key Performance Measures (KPMs) and informed of the outcome in relation to their performance. KPMs will fall into three areas: Item Development, Quality Assurance procedures, and generic measures.

Item Development

  • Develop item specifications and contexts that meet test developer framework and SQA requirements.
  • Support the Assessment Manager to ensure Items are reviewed by specified dates.
  • Ensure marking schemes are appropriate for each Item.

Quality Assurance procedures

  • Quality assure all materials produced as required – through sampling, review meetings and final sign off.
  • Complete all reports providing feedback on the trialling & review of items.

View Terms and Conditions