Subject matter specialists for Ofqual

Subject matter specialists provide invaluable advice to Ofqual as we carry out our role in regulating qualifications. Find out how to apply to be one.

Applies to England

The role

Subject matter specialists provide advice to Ofqual to support our work on qualifications and assessments across England. These may include GCSEs, A levels, T Levels, apprenticeships, functional skills and vocational qualifications.

Subject matter specialists are independent contractors who provide invaluable advice to Ofqual as we carry out our role in regulating qualifications. Subject matter specialists are commissioned for individual assignments as and when Ofqual requires.

The work

As a subject matter specialist for Ofqual, you may be contracted to support the review of qualifications and assessments relevant to your subject or occupational areas. You will use communication and analytical judgement skills in:

  • reviewing and reporting on the content of qualifications and the quality of their assessments
  • providing specialist opinions to evaluate the validity of qualifications and assessments
  • working on large scale projects where qualifications are being developed
  • contributing to research projects
  • attending and contributing to panel meetings to discuss a qualification review
  • completing a written report within an agreed time frame

Pay and travel

If you are commissioned for a piece of work, you will be paid for the assignment. Pay is typically based on a daily standard rate, which will be confirmed by the manager contracting each assignment.

The rate will be communicated with you prior to any work you are contracted to undertake.

The majority of commissions do not require any travel, as most projects are remote and desk based. If Ofqual requires you to travel to a location you will be contacted by the commissioning manager to arrange this, and any expenses will be discussed.

Who can be a subject matter specialist

Ofqual is looking for people from a range of backgrounds. Subject matter specialists may have experience working with the qualifications we regulate, or in areas where we might regulate qualifications in the future. This may include experience with academic, vocational and technical subjects or occupational areas, apprenticeships, or you may have industry experience.

You will need to select and provide evidence for at least one subject or occupational area, and you may have experience in specific qualification types or levels.

Examples of experiences you may have in subject or occupational areas are:

  • teaching GCSE biology
  • delivering the Youth Support Worker end-point assessment
  • marking maths A level exam papers
  • lecturing the Healthcare Science T Level
  • professional experience in law
  • industry experience as a construction site manager

The qualifications that we regulate are published on Ofqual’s qualification register.

The types of experience we look for are:

  • assessment experience – you may have experience in designing or developing assessments, verifying marking or researching assessment policy and practice, or quality assurance of assessments
  • industry, occupational or professional experience – you may have gained extensive experience in your industry, or you may have subject specific knowledge and skills
  • teaching, lecturing or training experience – you may have experience in developing classroom materials, training other staff or a strong knowledge of specifications

What you gain

Subject matter specialists from assessment, industry, and teaching backgrounds provide advice to support Ofqual in ensuring that the qualifications and assessments that we regulate give a reliable indication of the skills, knowledge and understanding that a student or apprentice has demonstrated.

As a subject matter specialist you can:

  • help shape and improve the quality of regulated qualifications and assessments
  • support your continuous professional development
  • be involved in crucial pieces of work that will benefit students and apprentices
  • gain an insight into how qualifications are regulated
  • be a representative for your subject or industry

Application process

How we evaluate your application

Ofqual will review the evidence you provide about your skills and experience for each subject or occupational area in your application.

In the application you will need to detail:

  • experience in your subjects or occupational areas and, if applicable, examples of your experience working with specific qualification types and levels
  • your assessment, teaching or industry experience
  • your skills, achievements and responsibilities

We may request further information about your skills and experience to help us complete our evaluation of your application.

Right to work checks and reference checks are completed during the evaluation process.

You must accept the terms and conditions of the service in order for your application to be processed.

After the evaluation

Your application will be accepted or rejected. You may be approved for all, or some of the subject or occupational areas you select on your application, depending on the evidence you have provided.

If accepted as a subject matter specialist, you may be commissioned to carry out specific projects and assignments aligned with the subjects or occupational areas that you have been approved for.

It is important to note that commissions are not guaranteed during the contractual period.

Apply to be a subject matter specialist

Use this service to apply to be a subject matter specialist to provide advice to Ofqual in the regulation of qualifications and assessments in England.

Ofqual is looking for people from different backgrounds to apply to become subject matter specialists, such as:

  • an assessor, examiner, or moderator
  • an industry professional with extensive skills and experience
  • a teacher, lecturer, trainer, practitioner, or an academic

Before you start

You will be asked to provide the following:

  • personal details
  • qualifications (including scanned copies of certificates)
  • work history (including employment dates)
  • subjects or occupational areas
  • evidence of experience
  • potential conflicts of interest
  • identity and verification documents

You can save your application part of the way through and come back to it at any time by signing in to your account.

By starting your application, you are accepting the privacy statement and terms and conditions of the service.

You will need to sign in or create an account with GOV.UK One Login. The details you provide in your subject matter specialists application will not be shared with the GOV.UK One Login team.

We recommend that you use a personal email address and phone number to sign up for GOV.UK One Login, rather than a work email address and phone number.

Start your application

Manage your application

Sign in via your GOV.UK One Login account to continue your application.

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Current specialists

To see who is currently advising us, download our current List of Ofqual subject matter specialists (ODS, 6.62 KB)

Updates to this page

Published 28 February 2023
Last updated 4 July 2024 + show all updates
  1. Updated the file of subject matter specialists.

  2. Updated the file attachment of subject matter specialists.

  3. Updated the file attachment of subject matter specialists.

  4. Updated the file of Ofqual subject matter specialists.

  5. Updated the list of subject matter specialists.

  6. Updated the list of subject matter specialists as for 27 October 2023.

  7. Added advice for users that they should sign up for a GOV.UK One Login account using their personal email address, rather than a work email address.

  8. List of subject matter specialists updated as of 14 April 2023.

  9. First published.

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