Who we are
The National Association of Examinations Officers (NAEO) is a professional membership body for examinations officers working in the United Kingdom.
The NAEO is led by its CIC directors on behalf of and in partnership with its members.
Timothy Fisher - Chair
Timothy Fisher is the Chair of the National Association of Examinations Officers and sits on the NAEO Management Group.
Tim’s professional background is in finance and banking, and he read undergraduate and postgraduate engineering degrees at Imperial College, London.
Tim is the Chief Executive Officer and Investment Manager of Stirling Education. He is responsible for ensuring that the schools and universities within the group continue to focus on and obtain the very best education outcomes.
Tim is a passionate supporter of girls education. Stirling Education has built and owns 7 girls schools across Iraq. In excess of 80 percent of the girl school graduates go onto read medicine, engineering, and law.
Annually, Stirling Education awards over six million US Dollars in bursaries and free school places to the children of Shaheed community - the martyred mothers and fathers who have given their lives fighting ISIS. In Halabja, Northern Iraq, Stirling Education has both a boys and girls college which delivers education free of charge to locals. This is in recognition of the sacrifice made by the community when over 5,000 residents died after former ruler, Saddam Hussein, gave the order to launch a gas attack on his own people.
Today, Stirling Education’s charitable sister arm delivers humanitarian aid to the communities who remain displaced from Syria and Mosul and who are reduced to living in refugee camps. This aid and support are in the form of free education and free dental services which are delivered from its university in Erbil.
Tim is also currently the Chairman of an English Football League Club.
Jugjit Chima - CIC Director and Chief Executive Officer
Jugjit Chima is the chief executive officer of the NAEO.
Jugjit is a qualified teacher and taught in two secondary schools over a ten-year period. During his time in teaching, he held the roles of head of history, head of year, exams manager and was a senior leadership team member.
Following a secondment to OCR, Jugjit was appointed as a regional manager for the National Assessment Agency exam support team, which was later transferred into the Department for Education as the Exam Delivery Support Unit.
Moving on from the civil service, Jugjit was the National Education Co-ordinator for the First World War Centenary Battlefields Tours Programme at the Institute of Education, UCL, and later, Head of International Projects and Resources at the University of Coventry.
In 2013, Jugjit founded The Exams Office. He leads on and delivers its training programme for senior leaders, exams officers and invigilators. His responsibilities also include maintaining and developing links with stakeholders and partners. This includes the Department for Education, Ofqual, the Joint Council for Qualifications and the major awarding organisations.
Nicholas Marr - CIC Director and Chief Operating Officer
Nicholas Marr is the Chief Operating Officer for the National Association of Examinations Officers and serves on its board of CIC directors, the NAEO Management Group.
Nicholas’ primary role is to ensure that the NAEO operates compliantly, effectively, and efficiently and serves the best interests of its members. His role ensures that he works across a range of activities.
Aside from the NAEO, Nicholas is co-owner and Head of Operations and Governance for The Exams Office, the largest exams officer support organisation in the UK.
Prior to working at The Exams Office, Nicholas worked in a number of senior roles across the civil service, initially within the education sector and latterly in workforce development and leadership development roles in the health sector.
Nicholas is a qualified primary teacher and, previous to joining the civil service, worked in a range of educational settings over a ten-year period.
Outside of work, Nicholas is a keen sportsman with a particular passion (if not a particular aptitude) for golf. He lives in rural Lancashire with his wife, two sons and his faithful dog, Hettie.
Brian Rogers - CIC Director and Management Group Member
Brian Rogers serves on the NAEO’s board of CIC directors, the NAEO Management Group.
Brian taught for many years, having been a senior teacher and exams officer. He has extensive experience in the inspection and quality assurance of examination centres.
Brian was formerly an Assistant Director (Communication) at the Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC) and a Joint Council for Qualifications Centre Inspector. He also worked for many years as an adviser, course developer and presenter for the Regional Training Agency and various government bodies, including the National Assessment Agency and the Exams Delivery Support Unit, and more recently for The Exams Office.
Brian continues his role as a consultant in examination management, invigilation, centre inspections and malpractice procedures. In his various roles, it has afforded him extensive experience in a range of training for new and experienced exams officers and invigilators.
Brian has also produced a range of training materials for both invigilators and exams officers.
Marcia Woods - CIC Director and Management Group Member
Marcia Woods serves on the NAEO’s board of CIC directors, the NAEO Management Group.
Marcia started her working life as a trainee court clerk at Epsom Magistrates’ Court before working as a civil servant in the Office of Fair Trading, demonstrating a love for rules and regulations from early in her career.
Marcia was lucky enough to be able to take a career break to spend time at home with her three children before working in schools.
Starting as a receptionist (with responsibility for taking parcels of completed exam papers to the Post Office), Marcia then moved on to become an exams officer in an 11-18 school and served as such for 14 years.
In recent years, Marcia has worked as an in-house invigilator trainer on behalf of The Exams Office and has enjoyed meeting exams officers and invigilators around the country from Exeter to Liverpool.
In 2019, Marcia took early retirement but has continued to work as an invigilator at her previous school as well as assisting with Duke of Edinburgh Award expeditions and volunteering with other school trips.
Marcia enjoys walking, knitting, singing with an a cappella choir, and garland dancing (like Morris dancing, but without the hankies). She has also been able to spend time with her two small grandsons.
Marcia is honoured to have been invited to serve the NAEO and support her fellow exams officers.
" Led by its CIC directors on behalf of and in partnership with its members "
What we do
On behalf of its members, the NAEO:
- Represents the views of, and issues faced by, the exams officer community
- Supports exams officers in their professional development and at centre level
- Influences educational decision-makers when devising policy which impacts upon the exams officer community
The NAEO’s objectives are to:
- Promote the advancement of the examinations officer community
- Provide professional development opportunities for its members
- Highlight good practice and professional excellence
- Provide representation at national level for its members and the wider examinations officer community
- Facilitate and encourage networking, peer-to-peer support and the development of communities of practice
- Provide advice and guidance for its members
" A professional membership body for examinations officers working in the United Kingdom "
Structure and governance
The NAEO is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company (CIC) Limited by Guarantee. The company is registered as Examinations Officers Services CIC (Company number 13441956).
A CIC is a special type of limited company which exists to benefit the community rather than private shareholders. Further information about CICs can be found here.
Further details about the governance groups that inform and oversee the NAEO’s activities can be found here.
" A not-for-profit Community Interest Company "
The work and subsequent recommendations set out in the Report of the Independent Commission for Examinations Malpractice (September 2019) highlighted the critical role examinations officers (EOs) have in reducing malpractice and upholding the rigour of the examinations administration system.
Section 11 of the Report, titled Examinations Officers: a critical role in a successful system, sets out eight recommendations which can be summarised as follows:
- The importance of effective line management and support for exams officers
- That training for exams officers should be subject to a standardised quality assurance system
- A non-mandatory professional qualification should be made available for exams officers
- Initial teacher training courses should include material on good practice in the conduct of examinations
- A retrospective report on the administration of each examination season should be produced
- JCQ regulations should be set out on an easily searchable interactive website, as well as being available in hard-copy booklets
- Exam centres should provide exams officers with annual appraisals, linked to suitable training opportunities (see point 2)
- Better contingency planning is needed across all exam centre
Having well over half of the exam centres in England as its members, and as a key contributor to the work carried out by the Commission, The Exams Office was uniquely and ideally placed to take a number of these recommendations forward.
" Critical role exams officers have "
The Exams Office was established in 2014 with a clear objective in mind – to provide practical support for exam centres. In practical terms, this work is led by the exams officer, so its support focussed primarily on helping them successfully carry out their roles within exam centres. More recently, the scope of the support provided by The Exams Office has expanded to encompass a wider range of roles within the exam centre setting, including heads of centres, senior leaders and invigilators. However, the objective has remained – to provide practical support for exam centres.
Feedback received by The Exams Office, backed up by the findings of the Commission, suggests that a key challenge faced by the exams sector is how the professional status and personal and professional learning and development needs of exams officers can be recognised and developed. Previously, other organisations had included this function within their remit, but as of now, this crucial role is not being taken forward by any single individual or group of individuals.
" Professional status and personal and professional development "
Other professional disciplines across the education sector and beyond have some form of representative organisation which champions their members status, needs and, perhaps more importantly, encourages and fosters a professional identity and sense of pride in the work its members carry out.
The Exams Office recognised that action was needed and that it was well-placed to lead on it. The establishment of the NAEO is the next step in that journey.
In March 2020, The Exams Office launched a consultation on the proposed formation of a professional body for exams officers – the National Association of Examinations Officers (NAEO).
Views were sought on a range of areas, including:
- Support for the establishment of such an organisation
- Scope and range of activities to be carried out
- Priorities and key stakeholders
- Likely pricing for membership
In addition to consulting with its members, The Exams Office sought the views of Ofqual, the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ), the Department for Education (DfE) and a number of the main awarding bodies (ABs). Following the two-month long consultation period, the recommendations and next steps are summarised as below.
A new organisation called the National Association of Examinations Officers (NAEO) should be formed
- The NAEO will be registered with the Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies and will operate as a not-for-profit company
- Consideration to be given to governance structures, staffing and resourcing
- Subject to ongoing consultation, it is proposed that the NAEO will formally launch in January 2021
The scope and member benefits of the NAEO should include:
- Representing exams officers amongst stakeholders at national level
- Promoting and making available learning and development opportunities for those engaged in the administration and conducting of examinations
- Collaborating with stakeholders to support good practice – for example, working with organisations which represent senior leaders/heads of centre to highlight their role and responsibilities
- Providing employment/legal advice and HR guidance for members
- Seeking to launch a subsidiary body which sets professional standards for exams officers
- Devising and making available an industry-standard exams officer accreditation to be attempted annually
- Hosting a summer conference focusing on good practice and the skills required to undertake the exams officer role and host an awards evening to celebrate achievement, dedication, long service etc. amongst the exams officer community
- Creating an effective and robust network structure amongst the exams officer community
- Endorsing/supporting training and resources offered by third parties
- Consult with industry experts about the most effective and suitable way(s) of providing employment/legal advice and HR guidance for member
- Consult with exams officers, JCQ, Ofqual, and the major ABs about launching a subsidiary body which focusses on setting professional standards for exams officers
- Consult with exams officers, JCQ, Ofqual, and the major ABs about launching a subsidiary body which quality-assures training and resources offered by third parties
Annual costs for membership of the NAEO should be set at between £50 and £60
- Work to be undertaken to establish the running costs for the NAEO, likely revenue generated by different volumes of membership and financial modelling around the likely shortfall in funding to be met by The Exams Office
Engagement, consultation, communication and messaging to continue whilst strategic and operational detail is finalised
- Engagement and consultation regarding the scope, aims and objectives of the NAEO to continue with the following key stakeholders:
- Organisations representing senior leaders (e.g. ASCL, NAHT etc.)
- Other representative organisations (e.g. AoC)
- Local authorities
- Organisations representing SENCOs
- Recruitment/employment agencies
- Cambridge Assessment International Education
- The Exams Office should continue to engage with and seek views from exams officers in member centres and beyond to define the scope, aims and objectives of the NAEO