National Exams Officer Conferences


The Exams Office is the only organisation funding free-to-attend* National Exams Officer Conferences. These were previously provided by the Department for Education. 


The Exams Office conferences are the largest and most significant events relating to examination administration and management for exams officers during the academic year. Each conference is supported by the major awarding bodies, JCQ and a range of key exams-related stakeholders. 


The Exams Office National Conferences are the must-attend development events for exams office staff


View the video of our London 2017 National Conference by clicking the image below



Conference content is tailored specifically to meet the needs of exams officers and supporting our members in their everyday role. This includes national networking opportunities, high quality, experienced speakers, interactive workshops, the latest awarding body/JCQ information to prepare exams officers for the summer exam series and beyond, providing practical advice, hints and tips.


The conferences provide presentations and workshops. Delegates can choose the workshops they would like to attend. Refreshments and buffet lunch are provided.

During each conference a range of exams-related exhibitors are also in attendance.


Members of The Exams Office can attend a January conference and the Summer conference free of charge as part of their membership


*Attendance to our National Exams Officer Conferences is free for members of The Exams Office. Priority places will be given to members. Non-members can attend, if capacity allows, for £145 (+VAT)


2017/18 National Conferences


For the 2017/18 academic year, we are hosting 5 National Exams Officer Conferences. An additional summer conference is being held on 2 July in London. 


A range of exhibitors will be present at each conference - ranging from digital clock suppliers, to secure storage manufacturers and experts in access arrangements equipment.


As always, we will be staging a free to enter delegate prize draw at each conference...!


Please note that free places are limited to one per centre membership. Additional places can be acquired if capacity allows at £145 (+vat).


January conferences - Planning for the summer 2018 exam series


Members can book their place at one of the January Conferences from 6 November by logging in and clicking the 'Book Now' image below



Conference dates


  • 12 January 2018: Manchester 

(MacDonald Hotel,  London Road, Manchester, M1 2PG) 

  • 15 January 2018: Bristol 

(Holland House Hotel and Spa,  Redcliffe Hill, Bristol, BS1 6SQ)

  • 19 January 2018: Birmingham 

(National Exhibition Centre (NEC),  Concourse Suites 1 & 2, Concourse Hospitality Suites 21 & 22, Gallery Seminar Suites 1-3, Birmingham, B40 1NT) - For train/car/parking information click here

  • 22 January 2018: Leeds 

(The Met Hotel, King Street, Leeds, LS1 2HQ)

  • 29 January 2018: Central London 

(Grand Connaught Rooms61-65 Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5DA)


Conference agenda


Each conference will follow a similar format/agenda:

8.30 - Registration

9.30 - Welcome 

10.00 - Workshop 1

11.00 - Break (Tea/coffee included for all delegates)

11.30 - Workshop 2

12.30 - Lunch (Lunch included for all delegates - at some venues this will be a buffet due to delegate numbers)

1.20 - Workshop 3

2.20 - Break (Tea/coffee included for all delegates)

2.40 - Keynote speech from the JCQ (Nick Lait)

3.30 - Delegate prize draw

3.45 - Close




Delegates can select 3 workshops from the following:

  • Getting ready for the summer 2018 exams series (new exams officers) – Key tasks, good practice and hints and tips (The Exams Office)
  • Changes impacting on exams officers – what is GDPR and how will it impact upon exams officer? Exam Policies update, including a guide to ‘Complaints & Appeals Procedures’ and ‘Internal Appeals Procedures’ (The Exams Office)
  • A guide to stress-free preparation for BTECs – Top tips, hints and good practice (Pearson)
  • SIMS update on Exams and GDPR – current and future developments in the Exams area and how SIMS can help you with your GDPR obligations (Capita)
  • Exams Officer Hot Topics: Exploring themes ranging from the new requirements for centre assessed marks to why OCR don’t require treasury tags. (OCR)
  • The differences between Cambridge International and the JCQ (Cambridge Assessment International Education) – PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS WORKSHOP IS ONLY AVAILABLE AT THE BRISTOL, BIRMINGHAM AND LONDON CONFERENCES


Summer conference - Planning for the 2018/19 academic year


The booking window for the Summer Conference will be open in April 2018

  • 2 July 2018: Central London 

(Grand Connaught Rooms61-65 Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5DA)



Summer Conference - 2017


Our Summer 2017 Exams Officer Conference took place on 3 July with over 540 delegates in attendance. 


Our 2018 Summer Conference will be taking place on 2 July 2018 at the Grand Connaught Rooms. The booking window will be open from April 2018.


Keynote speakers/Workshop sessions 


The following keynote speeches/workshop sessions were held at the Summer 2017 Exams Officer conference. Please click the links below to access the slides from each workshop.


The information below cannot be used/shared with a wider audience, or for commercial gain, without the prior permission of the author/organisation


Keynote speeches


Workshop sessions

Identifying the range of exams-related policies which centres should, or are required to, devise. Delegates will identify policies required for JCQ inspection purposes, and additional documentation/information which inspectors may ask to see during a centre inspection.

Presenters from The Exams Office will also provide hints, tips and good practice in relation to creating your centre policies.

Hints, tips and guidance on training your invigilation team with the main areas which you should cover with new and experienced invigilators.

A range of support materials will also be highlighted by staff from The Exams Office to assist you in training your invigilators during the 2017/18 academic year.

With the summer results season upon us, have you set SIMS up ready for your analysis? Product Manager Paul Featherstone will show you how to ensure SIMS is configured for accurate analysis this summer as well as share some top tips for analysis results across the SIMS suite of software.  Paul will also share the roadmap for the SIMS software for the next 5 years.

  • Training for Readers, Scribes, Invigilators and other adult helpers in exams (slides not available)

Caroline Read from Communicate-Ed will cover the regulations and procedures for the administration and invigilation of Access Arrangements as outlined in the JCQ booklets: ‘Instructions for Conducting Examinations’ (ICE) and ‘Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments’.

  • JCQ rationale for Access Arrangements
  • How the supporting adult’s role in the classroom differs from their role in exams
  • Readers, Scribes, Extra Time, Rest Breaks, use of a Word Processor, Bilingual Dictionary, Prompter, Practical Assistant


This session provides good practice, hints and tips for University Admissions Tests (UATs) which take place in November. UATs support selection and recruitment for higher education, helping universities to find students most suited to their courses and include subject specific tests for Oxford and Cambridge and medical courses for 8 universities. This session is delivered by Katherine McDiarmid who has extensive experience in conducting UATs and has been commended by inspectors for exemplar practice in her centre.

  • Preparing to administer BTEC in 2017/18

A session delivered by Pearson staff focussing upon good practice, hints and tips to help you administer BTECs during the 2017/18 academic year. This session will be particularly useful for new exams officers, or centres new to BTECs.

Are you ready for the Summer 2017 series post-results?  This session delivered by OCR will look at the planning and preparation required for a successful post-results period. It will include:

  • A practical checklist to help you manage your activities
  • An update on OCR processes
  • A summary of the main changes in the JCQ Post Results Services (June 2017 and November 2017) booklet   
  • A look at what the changes made by Ofqual to marking reviews and appeals will mean to you and your centre.  


Members can access links to the 2016/17 conference presentations below.



2016/17 National Conferences - presentations


Members can access the presentations delivered at our 2016/17 conferences by clicking the icon above.


You can also view videos of the JCQ, A2C and The Exams Office presentations via the icon above.



The Exams Office takes no responsibility for any outcomes in schools/colleges as a result of the information provided on our website or within our documentation. It is the responsibility of schools/colleges to apply this information as they deem necessary within their own centre. You should always contact/refer to the relevant awarding body for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding their qualifications.

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