Item Writer/Expert Reviewer Professional Skills Test

SQA is recruiting specialists with expertise in developing Items for prospective teachers to join our pool of Appointees for ad hoc contracts.

The Professional skills tests (skills tests) for prospective teachers assess the core skills that teachers need to fulfil their professional role in schools, rather than the subject knowledge needed for teaching. This is to ensure all teachers are competent in numeracy and literacy, regardless of their specialism.

All current and prospective trainee teachers must pass the skills tests in numeracy and literacy before they can be recommended for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

The skills tests: 

  • are in addition to the GCSE grade C equivalence entry requirement
  • are set in the context of the professional role of a teacher
  • assess the use of real data and information which teachers are likely to encounter
  • are computerised

The role involves working as part of a team co-ordinated by an Education Consultant and Quality Consultant, as well as other Item Writers to carry out peer reviews.

If successful, you would be included on our database of Appointees. Where your skills match our requirements for a contract, we would ask whether you were interested / available for the work packages to be completed.

Selection criteria

Successful candidates must have expertise in the development of items for PST (Literacy or Numeracy), as well as one or more of the following areas:

  • Be able to communicate and engage professionally, confidently and effectively with 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. Please note that we use a software package for the secure exchange of items and supporting documentation, which requires Microsoft Windows to operate.

There may be a requirement to undertake duties during weekends and holiday periods.

A more detailed Outline of Duties can be found

If you wish to discuss this opportunity, or require further information, please email us at