National Association of Examinations Officers (NAEO)
Following several months of preparation, we are now in a position to provide you with further details regarding the National Association of Examinations Officers (NAEO). The NAEO will now formally launch in Summer 2021.
Firstly, we apologise for the delay. The current public health challenges have held up the process of registering the NAEO as a Community Interest Company (CIC) and we still have to overcome a range of operational issues – some as seemingly straightforward as opening the appropriate business banking account!
Further information will be available in the coming months ahead of the launch in summer 2021, but, in the meantime, we would like to provide additional details of the breadth of support which will be offered by the NAEO.
The delays experienced in recent months have been frustrating, but they have given us time to finalise the structure of the NEAO and the support which will be offered to its members. The areas below are what we hope to offer during the first 18 to 24 months after launch, with additional provision planned for beyond these timescales.
Something we are very pleased to share with you is a preview of the NAEO website. The site is still under development and much more will be added to it as launch approaches, but it does provide a good sense of things to come.
During the first year, and possibly beyond, the NAEO will be fully supported and funded by The Exams Office – hence the need for the involvement of The Exams Office staff within the day-to-day running of the NAEO.
The support from The Exams Office will allow the NAEO to offer free membership for the 2021/22 academic year to exams officers whose centre is also a member of The Exams Office. This will be reviewed on an annual basis, and we will look to offer free academic year membership for as long as it is financially and operationally possible to do so.
The NAEO will be a not-for-profit Community Interest Company (CIC) Limited by Guarantee. A CIC is a special type of limited company which exists to benefit the community rather than private shareholders. Further information about CICs can be found here.
The NAEO will be led by its directors and its members. The directorship will include staff from The Exams Office and members of the wider exams officer community. Over the coming years, we will look to increasingly involve serving exams officers and representatives from a wider group of stakeholders to inform decision making and to support the day-to-day running of the NAEO.
The NAEO’s primary objective will be to raise the profile and status of exams officers within the education sector.
We have already made the DfE, Ofqual and JCQ aware of the launch of the NAEO, and that it will send representatives to attend relevant meetings to represent the views of the exams officer community. The NAEO will ensure that stakeholders are able to share accurate and up-to-date information with its members.
An annual survey will be conducted to highlight areas of strength within the system and those in need of improvement. The NAEO will focus on supporting continuous improvement and will work tirelessly until change is achieved.
The NAEO will exist to support and advise members in areas such as:
- Employment rights/legal advice – access for its members to general advice via articles and information contained within the organisation’s website, and support from legal experts in the event of issues at centre level
- Articles/videos – detailing good practice and developing key skills required in the role, and to promote personal and professional development
- Mindfulness and well-being – a dedicated section on techniques, advice and guidance on improving mindfulness and mental health
- Job descriptions – up-to-date job description templates for exams officers and invigilators
- Interview support – good practice, advice and techniques for centres wanting to appoint an exams officer and for those wanting to be appointed to the role
- Vacancies section – giving its members access to opportunities for career growth and progression
- Members rewards programme – including a monthly member prize draw.
- An online forum – to allow members to network and acquire advice and support (to be launched during 2021/22)
- Member benefits from other organisations – including offers and discounts
Another key objective for the NAEO will be to promote the professional development of its members and to deliver professional standards which will serve as a set of practices, ethics, and behaviours to which all exams officers will adhere. Such standards will help to achieve our aim of raising the profile and status of the profession.
The NAEO will support The Exams Office in the launch of their Exams Officer Digital Accreditation (EODA). This qualification will be recognised and accredited by the NAEO with hard copies of certificates disseminated to exams officer members who successfully complete the EODA.
The NAEO will assume responsibility for the National Exams Officer Summer Conference from The Exams Office from summer 2022. Although it will be supported – financially and with staff resource – by The Exams Office, the NAEO will use this annual event to promote professional development and celebrate and recognise achievement across its membership.
We know that the NAEO will make a positive contribution in supporting its members and the wider exams officer community, and therefore, we would like to launch the NAEO and accept memberships as soon as possible. However, for the reasons stated above, the formal launch will be in summer 2021.
In the meantime, we will continue to work through the process of registering the NAEO as a Community Interest Company and appoint its directors to help launch and carry the NAEO through the challenging initial months after its launch.
We will also continue to develop the website and provide further updates regarding member support details about how to join and a range of other information over the coming months.
Thank you for your ongoing patience. We very much look forward to establishing an organisation which exams officers will be proud to be part of and which will benefit the exams officer community for many years to come.