“We agree with your point about the importance of external invigilators. We recognise the key role they play in maintaining the integrity of the exam system, provided they are well-trained, knowledgeable and effective. That’s why we in Exam Team Development are trying to do our bit by training invigilators and exam officers, and through our partnership with the Examination Officers’ Association – which has representation with exam boards – helping to get the voice of invigilators heard in the exam delivery process. We try to get across that invigilators need training in how they apply the rules and handle candidates, not just in knowing what the rules are – see our booklet on behaviour management in exams When Shhh is Not Enough. In fact with the EOA and awarding body Industry Qualifications, we’re just launching some new invigilation qualifications which assess actual practice in the exam room, as well as knowledge of the rules.
We certainly believe that as exams move to May/June, exam centres need to find ways to keep their invigilators’ skills up-to-date. Hopefully centres will encourage the use of external invigilators for internal exams, to give candidates and invigilators practice for the “real thing”, and will look at developing senior invigilators as JCQ recommends. Hopefully, centres will make adequate budget allocations for invigilator training including getting qualifications, because if candidates are only going to get one chance at taking an exam, exams have to be as well-run as possible. The worry is that schools will cut back on exam officer jobs and invigilation budgets, and ask teachers to cover these responsibilities. Which takes us back to where you came in.”
Laura will be discussing the many responses she had to the article in her next blog,and we look forward to reading it. Watch this space.