Annual Survey

The National Association of Examinations Officers (NAEO) conduct a survey each year to ascertain the status of the exams officer community and issues which are causing concern and need to be addressed.

This annual survey is conducted during October each year, and results in action, not just reflection. As its founding principles state, 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

A pdf version of the 2022 Exams Officer Survey can be downloaded here

 

Exams Officer Survey 2022

The results of the 2022 Exams Officer Survey are listed below.

The 2022 exams officer survey was conducted between 1 October and 4 November 2022, with 1,489 exams officers participating – compared to 958 who completed the 2021 exams officer survey.

It should be noted that due to a lack of awareness of such a survey, new exams officers are less likely to participate, and therefore, the feedback is more representative of those established within the role.

The main outcomes of the 2022 survey are:

  • Over half of all exams officers undertake an additional role (51%)
  • 56% exams officers do not belong to a trade union
  • Almost 1 in 4 exams officers (24%) do not have access to an annual appraisal (a reduction from 29% in 2021)
  • An increasing number of exams officers (18% compared to 18.3% in 2021 and 8.3% in 2020) do not receive appropriate training and support to facilitate the effective delivery of examinations and assessments, and to ensure compliance with the published JCQ regulations
  • 1 in 10 exams officers are not line managed by a member of the senior leadership team – despite this being a JCQ requirement
  • Almost 1 in 3 exams officers are of the opinion that their line manager does not possess a good working knowledge of the examination system – despite this being a JCQ requirement
  • 23% of exams officers do not feel well supported or valued by their line manager/senior leadership team (an increase from 20% in 2021)
  • 43% of exams officers feel that their head of centre/senior leaders/line manager believe that they are only required/busy when exams are taking place (a reduction from 47% in 2021)
  • 36% of exams officers feel that there is not adequate contingency planning in place if they were absent during a critical period (e.g entry deadline, during an exam series, results day etc.)
  • 73% of exams officers believe that there is no succession planning in place/support for a new exams officer if they were to decide to leave their role (a reduction from 79% in 2021)
  • Over half of exams officers surveyed believe that the senior leader(s) with overall responsibility for examinations and assessments within their centre does not receive appropriate training and support to facilitate the effective delivery of examinations and assessments, and ensure compliance with the published JCQ regulations
  • 42% of exams officers believe that their head of centre/relevant member(s) of the senior leadership team do not read/refer to/familiarise themselves with the entire contents of the relevant JCQ publications (particularly the General Regulations for Approved Centres, Instructions for conducting examinations, Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments) – and increase from 34% in 2021
  • As in 2021 and 2020, exams officers felt that OCR provided the best level of information, support and guidance amongst the major awarding organisations
  • Over half of all centres experienced instances of malpractice during the summer 2022 exams series
  • The main issues faced by exams officers during the 2022 exams series were:
    • A lack of invigilators
    • Issues relating to results from awarding organisations (AQA in particular)
    • A lack of information from teaching staff to ensure that candidates received their results on time
    • A lack of support from heads of centres/senior leadership team
  • The main areas of concern for exams officers looking ahead to the summer 2023 exams series are:
    • A lack of invigilators
    • Managing an increase in the number of access arrangements/rooming of access arrangements
    • Lack of support from heads of centre, senior leadership team and/or their line manager
    • Concerns over awarding processes (in particular, AQA)
    • A lack of consistency in awarding body processes/systems
    • Missing key deadlines (including teaching staff not submitting information to deadlines)
    • Concerns over how to successfully administer BTECs
    • An increased workload

 

Questions and responses

 

  1. Are you a member of the National Association of Examinations Officers? (1,489 responses)

 

2022

2021

Yes

84.2%

80.6%

No

15.8%

19.4%

 
 
  1. Is your centre a member of The Exams Office? (1,489 responses)

 

2022

2021

Yes

97.6%

98.6%

No

2.4%

1.4%

 
 
  1. Which of the options below best describes your role in your centre? (1,489 responses)

 

2022

2021

Exams officer

89.6%

97.5%

Exams assistant or exams officer support role

4.9%

1.1%

Teacher with responsibility for exams

2.9%

1.4%

Other

2.6%

Option not offered

 

  1. For how long have you worked as an exams officer at your current centre? (1489 responses)

 

2022

2021

2020

1 month (newly appointed at the start of the current academic year)

5.6%

4.5%

3.9%

1 month-1 year (appointed during the previous academic year)

16.4%

6.9%

8.6%

1-2 years

12.1%

12.6%

14.4%

2-5 years

28.3%

30.7%

30.2%

5+ years

37.6%

45.3%

42.9%

 

  1. Which type of qualifications are delivered in your centre? (1,489 respondents/centres)

 

2022

2021

2020

GCSE

92.9% (1,383)

99.8%

99.9%

BTECs

68.2% (1,016)

74.3%

77.0%

GCE

59.6% (887)

64.7%

63.2%

Cambridge Nationals

55.0% (819)

55.3%

66.0%

Functional Skills

37.1% (552)

34.5%

36.3%

Other JCQ awarding body vocational & technical qualifications

27.1% (404)

27.6%

30.1%

Other non-JCQ awarding body vocational & technical qualifications

18.3% (273)

20.6%

32.9%

Other non-JCQ awarding body general qualifications

17.1% (254)

19.6%

Cambridge Technicals

Option not offered

29.3%

29.2%

 

  1. Which awarding body qualifications are delivered in your centre? (1,489 respondents/centres)

 

2022

2021

2020

AQA

92.5% (1,378)

98.9%

99.0%

Pearson

90.9% (1,353)

99.0%

99.3%

OCR

87.4% (1,302)

96.6%

97.0%

WJEC/Eduqas

80.7% (1,201)

88.3%

90.5%

Cambridge Assessment International Education

26.7% (397)

24.1%

15.6%

NCFE

26.3% (392)

24.5%

29.8%

ASDAN

17.9% (267)

20.1%

4.4%

The London Institute of Business & Finance (LIBF)

11.8% (176)

10.6%

5.4%

Other

10.1% (151)

15.1%

1.7%

City & Guilds

9.4% (140)

6%

8.4%

VTCT

6.2% (93)

5.2%

2.3%

 

  1. Detail your salary (full time equivalent) (1,205 responses)

 

2022

2021

2020

£14,999 or less

3.0%

2.8%

1.6%

£15,000 - £19,999

6.3%

7.4%

10.6%

£20,000 - £24,999

32.8%

37.6%

37.5%

£25,000 - £29,999

33.9%

32.8%

30.1%

£30,000 - £34,999

17.1%

14.1%

14.7%

£35,000+

6.9%

5.2%

5.5%

 

  1. Do you undertake any other role(s) within your centre in addition to that of exams officer? (1,489 responses)

 

2022

2021

2020

Yes

51.7%

57.5%

58.3%

No

48.3%

42.5%

41.7%

 

Of the 770 who answered ‘yes’ to this question, the following roles were the most frequently listed as being undertaken in addition to the exams officer role (please note that a significant number of exams officers deliver more than one additional role):

  • Data – 330
  • Admission – 57
  • Timetable – 48
  • Teacher – 42
  • Census – 28
  • Reception – 23
  • First Aid - 18

 

  1. What type of contract do you have for your current exams officer position? (1,489 responses)

 

2022

2021

2020

Full time

32.7%

26.6%

25.8%

Term Time (this includes additional days/weeks to manage results)

60.7%

73.4%

74.2%

Other (including part time/combined with another role etc.)

6.6%

Option not offered

Option not offered

 
 
  1. What notice period must you serve if you decide to leave the exams officer role in your centre? (1489 responses)

 

2022

2021

No notice period

1.3%

0.2%

Less than 1 month

3.0%

1.0%

1 month

65.9%

73.6%

2 months

12.5%

2 months or more - 25.2%

3 months

11.9%

Option not offered

Other

5.4%

Option not offered

 
 
  1. Are you a member of a trade union? (1489 responses)
  • I am not a member of a trade union - 56.5%
  • Unison - 17.3%
  • NEU - 13.7%
  • GMB - 5.0%
  • Other - 2.3%
  • IWGB - 1.9%
  • PCS - 1.4%
  • Voice - 1.0%
  • Unite the Union - 0.9%

 

  1. Which Management Information System (MIS) do you use in your centre? (1488 responses)

 

2022

ESS (SIMS, Unit-e)

51.9%

Bromcom

10.8%

Arbor

9.7%

iSAMS

8.7%

Other

8.1%

Advanced (Progresso, Facility, Cloudschool)

3.3%

Engage

1.9%

Schoolbase

1.5%

We do not use a MIS at our centre

1.3%

Pass

1.1%

Tribal

1.1%

RM Integris

1.0%

 
 
  1. Are you given the opportunity to undertake an annual professional appraisal? (1489 responses)

 

2022

2021

2020

Yes

76.0%

71.0%

69.5%

No

24.0%

29.0%

30.5%

 
 
  1. Do you have any support in your role as exams officers within your centre (for example, exams assistant or similar administrative support)? (1489 responses)

 

2022

2021

2020

Yes (my centre is a college/FE)

18.7%

9.5%

6.7%

Yes (my centre is not a college/FE)

28.3%

23.3%

24.3%

No

53.0%

67.2%

69.0%

 
 
  1. Would you agree that you receive appropriate training and support to facilitate the effective delivery of examinations and assessments, and ensure compliance with the published JCQ regulations? (1489 responses)

 

2022

2021

2020

Yes

82.0%

86.2%

91.7%

No

18.0%

13.8%

8.3%

 
 
  1. Have you ever had a request to attend an external training event refused by your head of centre/relevant senior leader/line manager? (1489 responses)

 

2022

2021

Yes (due to financial constraints)

9.3%

9.1%

Yes (other reason(s))

3.4%

4.2%

No

87.3%

86.7%

 
 
  1. Is your line manager a member of the senior leadership team within your centre? (1489 responses)

 

2022

2021

2020

Yes

89.5%

89.1%

86.2%

No

10.1%

10.6%

13.3%

I do not have a line manager

0.4%

0.3%

0.5%

 
 
  1. Would you agree that your line manager has a good working knowledge of the examination system? (1489 responses)
  • Yes – 70.4%
  • No – 29.6%

 

  1. Do you feel well/actively supported and valued by your line manager/relevant senior leader in your centre? (For example: Are you consulted when decisions are made regarding the management, administration and conducting of examinations? Does your line manager help to define your role in the support and administration of access arrangements? Does your line manager manage the situation when parents/candidates lodge a complaint, for example if a candidate has been entered for the incorrect examination (an entry has been made for Foundation tier and not the Higher tier) (1489 responses)

 

2022

2021

2020

Well supported/valued

77.2%

79.8%

78.2%

Not well supported/valued

22.8%

20.2%

21.8%

 
 
  1. Do you think that your head of centre/senior leaders/line manager believe that the exams officer role is only required/busy when exams are taking place? (1410 responses)

 

2022

2021

Yes

42.9%

47.2%

No

57.1%

52.8%

 
 
  1. Is adequate contingency in place if you were absent during a critical period (e.g entry deadline, during an exam series, results day etc.)? (1489 responses)

 

2022

2021

Yes

64.1%

62.2%

No

35.9%

37.8%

 
 
  1. Is there any succession planning in place/support for a new exams officer if you were to decide to leave your role? (1489 responses)

 

2022

2021

Yes

27.1%

21.0%

No

72.9%

79.0%

 
 
  1. Would you agree that the relevant senior leader(s) with overall responsibility for examinations and assessments receives appropriate training and support to facilitate the effective delivery of examinations and assessments, and ensure compliance with the published JCQ regulations? (1489 responses)

 

2022

2021

2020

Yes

53.5%

52.2%

54.4%

No

46.5%

47.8%

45.6%

 
 
  1. Would you agree that your head of centre/relevant member(s) of the senior leadership team read/refer to/familiarise themselves with the entire contents of the relevant JCQ publications (particularly the General Regulations for Approved Centres, Instructions for conducting examinations, Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments)? (1489 responses)

 

2022

2021

2020

Agree

58.2%

66.4%

69.9%

Disagree

41.8%

33.6%

30.1%

 
 
  1. On a scale of 0-5 (5 being the highest), how would you rate the current level of information, support and guidance provided by the following awarding bodies?

 

2022 numerical

0

1

2

3

4

5

No. of centres

1

AQA

115

249

289

319

332

163

1467

2

Cambridge (CAIE)

6

48

101

173

162

66

556

3

City & Guilds

6

22

47

78

49

23

225

4

NCFE

13

30

78

143

136

87

487

5

OCR

0

23

83

259

642

395

1402

6

Pearson

7

35

128

385

634

274

1463

7

WJEC/Eduqas

8

41

155

400

486

230

1320

 

 

 2022 rank/percentage

0

1

2

3

4

5

1

 OCR

0

1.6

5.9

18.5

45.8

28.2

2

 Pearson

0.5

2.4

8.8

26.3

43.3

18.7

3

 WJEC/Eduqas

0.6

3.1

11.7

30.3

36.8

17.4

4

 NCFE

2.7

6.2

16.0

29.4

27.9

17.9

5

 Cambridge (CAIE)

1.1

8.7

18.2

31.1

29.1

11.2

6

 AQA

7.8

17.0

19.7

21.8

22.6

11.1

7

 City & Guilds

2.7

9.8

20.1

34.7

21.8

10.2

 

 

 

 2021 rank/percentage

0

1

2

3

4

5

1

 OCR

0.2

0.1

1.5

11.4

43.8

43.0

2

 AQA

0.6

2.3

5.0

22.9

43.7

26.1

3

 Pearson

0.6

1.9

7.0

20.9

45.0

24.5

4

 WJEC/Eduqas

0.4

4.7

10.9

30.7

35.3

18.5

5

 Cambridge (CAIE)

2.0

7.7

12.3

32.0

29.3

16.7

6

 NCFE

3.8

7.9

14.7

28.6

29.0

16.0

7

 City & Guilds

11.8

10.3

27.9

23.5

17.6

8.9

 

 

 

2020 rank/percentage

Poor

Satisfactory

Good

Excellent

1

 OCR

0.5

9.5

45.1

44.9

2

 AQA

1.2

10.6

54.4

33.8

3

 Pearson

5.0

21.4

47.9

25.7

4

 WJEC/Eduqas

5.7

29.9

46.8

17.6

5

 NCFE

13.6

31.5

36.0

18.9

6

 City & Guilds

17.0

46.7

25.6

10.7

 

  1. Did you experience any instances of malpractice in your centre during the summer 2022 exam series? (1481 responses)

Yes

54%

No

46%

 

 

For those who answered ‘Yes’ the types of malpractice were:

Candidate

71.7%

Centre staff

17.3%

Invigilator

11%

 

 

 
 
  1. Did you experience any issues/have any areas of concerns in the build up to, during, and after the summer 2022 exam series? Select all options which apply. (1489 respondents/centres)

Lack of invigilators

57.5%

Results day(s) issues with AQA qualifications/examinations

42.2%

Results day(s) issues with Pearson qualifications/examinations

18.5%

No areas of concern

16.2%

Lack of information/documentation from teaching staff

15.2%

Lack of support from head of centre/senior leadership

14.6%

Results day(s) issues with OCR qualifications/examinations

10.7%

Other issues

7.7%

Invigilators being unaware of JCQ/awarding body regulations

7.0%

Results day(s) issues with WJEC/Eduqas qualifications/examinations

5.5%

Results day(s) issues with other awarding body qualifications/examinations

2.8%

 

2021 survey – 55.3% of centres indicated an expectation that they would experience a shortage of invigilators during the summer 2022 exams series

 

  1. What do you envisage as being your main challenge(s) in managing, administering, and conducting examinations and assessments across all awarding bodies during the 2022/2023 academic year and the main exam series? (938 responses)

The following eight areas were identified as the most significant (in order of number of comments received):

  • A lack of invigilators
  • Managing an increase in the number of access arrangements/rooming of access arrangements
  • Lack of support from heads of centre, senior leadership team and/or their line manager
  • Concerns over awarding processes (in particular, AQA)
  • A lack of consistency in awarding body processes/systems
  • Missing key deadlines (including teaching staff not submitting information to deadlines)
  • Concerns over how to successfully administer BTECs
  • An increased workload

 

  1. Which of the following areas do you believe the NAEO should explore as possible focus areas? (Place in order of importance, 1 = most important, 8 = least important etc.). 2021 rank in brackets.

Answer Choice

Total Score

Overall Rank

1

National pay scale for exams officers

9498

1 (1)

2

Greater recognition for the exams officer role within the wider education sector and amongst policy makers

8455

2 (2)

3

The creation of a set of professional standards for exams officers

7389

3 (3)

4

Reduce workload

6328

4 (7)

5

Standard nationwide job description/contract

5955

5 (6)

6

Increase professional development opportunities

5838

6 (4)

7

The creation of an annual qualification/accreditation which can be used as part of annual appraisal/performance review

5360

7 (5)

8

Removal of ‘Term time only (plus X weeks)’ contracts

4781

8 (8)