Guidance

Apply to become an external advisor to Ofqual

Find out about how we use external experts, how we oversee them and apply to become one.

How to apply

Before you apply, make sure you can meet the eligibility criteria below. You should also read the External Expert Standard Terms and Conditions (PDF, 381KB, 17 pages)

Interested in becoming an external expert for Ofqual?

Apply to become an external expert

Eligibility criteria

We look for certain types of experience, qualities and characteristics in our external experts. The tables below show some of the qualities we’re looking for, but they aren’t all essential.

When you apply we will ask you to describe how you meet each of the criteria. If you can’t provide evidence for one or more of the indicators this won’t always count against you. We’re looking for professionals with a range of skills.

Qualifications and professional standing

We’re looking for you to have:

  • a first degree in the relevant subject area or a degree in a suitably related area (we want you to tell us why you believe it is relevant)
  • further qualifications (both academic and professional)
  • evidence of regular and recent, continuing professional development in your area of expertise, including:
    • further qualifications
    • formal study
    • membership of professional bodies, subject associations or equivalent
    • published articles, papers or other works
    • secondments

Knowledge and experience

We’re looking for evidence of:

  • your knowledge and understanding of curriculum, assessment and pedagogy
  • an understanding of how issues specific to your subject fit into the wider context of qualification structure and design
  • a strong grounding in your field
  • an understanding of issues relevant to the subject and how they fit into the wider curriculum
  • understanding of:
    • assessment theory concepts, techniques and procedures
    • the concepts of validity, comparability and reliability
  • the ability to relate assessment theory to practice
  • wider relevant educational knowledge and experience (we want you to tell us why you believe it is relevant)
  • experience gained in the last 3 years in:
    • teaching at secondary level (in a relevant subject for at least five years, to a minimum of key stage 4)
    • assessment
    • any other area you think is relevant
    • senior roles in your field
  • your wider roles and responsibilities in addition to your main role (we want you to tell us why you believe it is relevant)

Analytical and judgement skills

Objectivity

You need to show us that you have the ability to:

  • demonstrate objectivity when reviewing proposals
  • put aside personal preference when you consider if our rules are being met

Analytical skills

You need to be able to:

  • demonstrate analytical skills when reviewing materials
  • look at the individual aspects of a qualification
  • identify interdependencies and linkages

A logical, balanced and reasoned approach

You need the ability to:

  • deal with and scrutinise a lot of information and papers in a systematic manner
  • relate the interpretation and application of rules to the product itself

Judgement

You need to provide evidence of:

  • a practical approach to reaching conclusions and findings
  • the ability to identify examples and evidence to support each finding, judgement or conclusion

Communication skills

Conveying issues concisely and clearly

You have to be able to:

  • provide written or verbal advice that we can use to inform our decisions
  • input constructively to meetings

Able to critically challenge

You need to show your ability to work with others remotely and face-to-face so that you can reach considered and agreed recommendations.

Other requirements

For some of the assignments you:

  • need to be able to travel and sometimes stay at a location overnight
  • may be asked to work some evenings and weekends

You need access to your own IT equipment and the internet, and you need to have the skills to be able to use them.

How we will evaluate your application

We will look at your application and judge how it meets our requirements for:

  • qualifications and professional standing
  • knowledge and experience
  • analytical and judgement skills
  • communication skills

We will score each of these requirements on a scale of 0 to 5.

To be considered you need to score at least a 3 for each of these requirements and be able to meet the other requirements listed above.

Score Reason
0 Failed to provide evidence
1 Provided limited evidence for some but not all of the criteria
2 Provided limited evidence for all criteria
3 Provided good evidence for all criteria
4 Provided good evidence for all criteria end exceeded them in some areas
5 Provided good evidence for all criteria and exceeded them in most areas

How we use external experts

To help us understand whether qualifications are assessing the right things at the right level we need to have a deep understanding of subject and assessment methods.

We use experts such as:

  • experienced teachers
  • senior examiners
  • academics
  • professionals from subject associations and communities
  • professionals working in assessment theory or practice

They have detailed knowledge and experience of education and assessment and of how qualifications and subjects are taught and assessed.

Our experts take active roles in projects within their field of experience. For example:

  • experienced biology teachers may work with us to review a biology GCSE syllabus and provide their expert opinions on whether that qualification is fit for purpose and meets our regulations
  • a group of professionals with assessment experience might work with us to review a group of qualifications and provide their expert opinions on whether the assessment strategies are valid and reliable

Current experts

You can download the List of Ofqual's external experts (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 55.4KB) to see who is currently advising us and what their area of expertise is.

We also appoint independent experts to 2 committees of the Ofqual Board to advise us. These are the standards advisory group and the vocational advisory group.