Sarah is delighted to have achieved her CEA goal

by Sarah Dalrymple

In November 2017, I flew down to London Heathrow from Edinburgh Airport, hired a car and made the drive to the University of Hertfordshire to spend two intensive days with the CIEA group. I had completed all the pre-course work required and had prepared myself for an exciting learning curve.

I run a Training Centre in Scotland and really wanted to do something that extended by knowledge and understanding of Educational Assessing, while giving me the opportunity to develop my skills and enhance the delivery of assessments.

The two days at the University of Hertfordshire, in November 2017, were incredibly interesting and the people who attended the course were from diverse educational backgrounds, all with their own stories and reasons for attending the course. It was inspirational hearing about their experiences and their own reasons for being Chartered and over the two days, we were encouraged to work as teams, reflect on our own experiences, carry out role play sessions and describe how we would deal with various situations in the Educational Sector while applying various techniques and principles we had learnt about.

Being in Scotland, there were obvious differences in various terminology, assessment methods and techniques, but the principles of assessment were all grounded in the desire to offer assessment excellence and consistency.

We had an initial task to complete before the end of December which was supported by a call in Webinar where we were able to discuss our topics and go through the requirements of the next assignment. Using technology and enabling the group to call in to the session from all our locations, was a really convenient way to engage with the group again and discuss our ideas. It gave us the support and contact with our tutor and group which we needed at this stage to make sure our assignment topic was appropriate for the Chartership qualification.

Using technology and enabling the group to call in to the session from all our locations, was a really convenient way to engage with the group again and discuss our ideas.

The second assignment was expected to be completed by September 2018, this was our Chartership assignment which required each of us to carry out the activities of a Chartered Educational Assessor, describe our activities, apply and evaluate the impact of our support and guidance to a Centre, and then reflect on the success of our support to the Centre and their team.

In my role as External Verifier (EQA) for the Scottish Qualifications Authority, I managed to use what I had learnt as an EV, to start my assignment. There are a lot of similarities between being a Chartered Educational Assessor and being an External Verifier. The main difference however, which I found to be really interesting, (but also a huge responsibility) is the guidance and support we offer as a CEA, to the Centre.

Essential to the CEA role is the plan developed to encourage the Centre and their team, to work through the identified areas of development and improvement in assessment. The understanding of what needs to be applied and then identifying a plan of action, which is achievable by the Centre, is critical to the success of the support offered by the CEA. As a CEA, you need to have enhanced Educational Assessor knowledge and competence, this can only be achieved through ongoing experience, professional development, interest in Education and a real desire to improve and develop Educational Assessment.

Over the years as an Assessor and Internal Quality Assurer, I have enjoyed gaining experience in what I love doing and improving my delivery of assessment and internal quality assurance. Becoming an EV (External Quality Assurer) was a really big jump from my previous roles, but it did offer me the opportunity to push myself to increase my expertise and understanding of assessment.

The opportunity to become a Chartered Educational Assessor was something I just could not miss out on. Everything I do is related to Educational Assessment and Quality Assurance. I feel that having completed my CEA course, and being awarded my Chartership, gives me the competence and knowledge to offer vital support and guidance to other centres so that we are all able to work towards improved systems within education.

I dreamt about becoming Chartered and am absolutely delighted to have achieved this massive goal. Thank you to the hugely supportive team at the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors, Newman Burdett, Ali McCree and Marianne Talbot.

I feel that having completed my CEA course, and being awarded my Chartership, gives me the competence and knowledge to offer vital support and guidance to other centres so that we are all able to work towards improved systems within education.