The History of Technical and Commercial Examinations –Chronology

This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series The History of commercial & Technical Examinations

To complement the history of technical and commercial examinations a comprehensive chronology is included to assist the reader. In addition at the end of the glossary are a few definitions of terms and expressions commonly used in examining and examinations.

Updated April 2016.


Important Dates in regard to the development of examinations. The detail.
 1750  Workers and Mutual Improvement Societies founded.
1754 Society of Arts Society (SoA) founded offering medals, prizes and money for useful inventions and outstanding, worthwhile achievements.
1833 Government makes grants available to church schools
1835  Edinburgh School of Arts – Awarded  ‘Attestations of Proficiency certificates. – this was adopted later by other bodies e.g. the Union of Institutions/Institutes. ‘Report from the Select Committee on Arts and Manufactures.’- Parliamentary Papers.
1836 University of London incorporated as an examining body .1838 Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE) established a prize scheme to recognise performance in examinations of relevance to farmers e.g. mathematics, mechanics, chemistry, zoology, botany and geology.
1839 Union of Lancashire and Cheshire Institutes (ULCI) formed – established examinations in 1847 – Union covered Caernarvonshire, Cheshire, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Isle of Man and Lancashire. Education Department (ED) established.
 1840 London University matriculation examinations introduced pass and honours awards – 69 students obtained passes and 7 obtained honours.
1841/2 Pharmaceutical Society of GB examinations started.
1844 Formation of the Ragged School Union.
1845 Royal College of Chemistry. Students leaving the College were awarded Certificates of Attendance or Testimonials.
1846 College of Preceptors founded and incorporated in 1849.
1847 ‘Examination the Province of the State, or the outlines of a Practical System for the extension of National Education.’ By James Booth. Parker. Lancashire and Cheshire Union of Mechanics’ Institutions founded. Midlands Union of Mechanics’ Institutions founded. Kent Union of Mechanics’ Institutions founded. College of Preceptors starts examinations – grades awarded: Licentiate, Associate and Fellows for teachers.
1848 Northern Union of Mechanics’ Institutions (NUMI) founded.
1850 Board of Trade examinations for Masters and Mates of Merchantman. College of Preceptors started piloting examinations for pupils and these examinations were firmly established by 1854. Devon and Cornwall Union of Mechanics’ Institutions founded. Oxford University Examination Statute. Oxford Honours Schools in Mathematics and Natural Sciences established
1851 Cambridge Tripos examinations in Moral and Natural Sciences established. Great Exhibition highlighted weaknesses in technical education.
1852 Department of Science and Art established created under the Board of Trade. Society of Arts (SoA) created a Union of Mechanics’ Institutions- see above the separate unions that existed prior to the SoA action.
1853 Department of Science and Art of the Board of Trade established – transferred to the Education Department – finally abolished when the Board of Education (BoE) created in 1899. Society of Arts (SoA) proposed system of examinations in the Union of Institutions comprising a scheme for examining and granting certificates to the class students of Institutes in Union with the Society. Indian Civil Service Examinations instigated. Leicestershire Union of Mechanics’ Institutions founded. College of Preceptors began to examine boys and girls in school subjects.
1854 College of Preceptors introduced full-scale examinations after trials in1850. Organisation of the Permanent Civil Service. C. 1713. Indian Civil Service examinations opened to competition. The Northcote and Trevelyan Report. SoA examinations inaugurated.
1855 First SoA examinations staged only one candidate -a chimney sweep William Medcraft – in 1856 42 candidates. The first shorthand certificates issued by the Phonetic Institute in Bath (Pitman) – Pitman Shorthand become the first ever subject taught by correspondence. Royal Military College Woolwich entrance examinations started.
1856 Society of Arts – examinations remodelled to include such subjects as mathematics, science, modern languages. On this occasion 42 candidates presented themselves.  Highland Society of Edinburgh introduced examinations leading to a diploma in scientific and practical agriculture.
1857 Department of Science and Art – established examinations in science in 1859. University of Oxford Delegacy of Local Examinations (UODLE) established – first examinations conducted in 1858 in 11 centres. The Bath and West of England S0ciety awarded prizes totalling 123 guineas to school pupils.  SoA extended examinations to provincial centres in 1857.n 1857 and 1866 total number of honours chemistry graduates – 11 from University College London and 14 from Owens College Manchester.
London University Examinations -science degrees with examinations open to all. London University requirement of a college certificate of attendance abandoned. University of London introduced external degrees. University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate established – first examinations held in December in Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Grantham, Liverpool, London and Norwich. Junior exams for<16 year olds and Senior exams for<18 year olds. Oxford University started its ‘Middle Class Examinations.’
1859 The Science and Art Department (DoSA) established to develop and introduced examinations for artizans. The SoA transfers science examinations over to the Science and Art Department. First examinations held in London, Edinburgh, Dublin and Manchester, DoSA examinations for teachers of science established in London, Edinburgh, Dublin and Manchester.
1860 Report of the Commissioners on Military Education. Cd. 2603. Army Certificates of Education introduced. Nine schools with 500 pupils participated in the recently introduced science examinations by the Dept. of Science and Arts and by 1870 799 schools participated with over 34,000 pupils. Between 1860 and 1868 the Science and Art Department stages an examination scheme and certification for science teachers – it ceased because of cost! Between 1860 and 1897 number of honour chemistry graduates totalled 859.
1862 Revised Code (Lowe) instituted ‘payment by results’ but also shunned practical work for ordinary elementary schools.
1864 Society of Arts (SoA) introduces shorthand examinations. Report from the Select Committee on Schools of Art. Women first admitted to Cambridge University.
1865 Cambridge Locals extended to women. Local Examinations introduced in Scotland -University and St Andrews offered these. Glasgow started examinations in 1877 and Aberdeen in 1880 however very few candidates
1867 Special examinations for science teacher certificate abolished. Cambridge Locals become available for females.
1868 Whitworth Scholarships/Exhibitions. These were awarded after examinations including written papers in chemistry, mathematics, mechanics and physics. In addition there were practical tests fitting, filing, turning and pattern-making. Whitworth directed that eight should be awarded to Owens’ (Manchester) and three each to Cambridge, Oxford and London universities, one to Dublin, Durham, Edinburgh and Glasgow and others to University College London and Kings College London.1869 RASE examinations introduced for 18 to 25 year olds in Science and Principals of Agriculture.
 1869 Cambridge established its Higher Examinations for Women aged over 18 also University of London started such examinations.
1870 Women admitted to Oxford Local Examinations. UCL opens classes for women. Mason College Birmingham founded by Josiah Mason. Examination entries at Queen University Ireland 302. There were 1,871 classes with 48,905 students in mathematics/physical sciences/engineering and 343 classes with 8,960 students in the biological sciences and geology. Number of students in science 13, technology 6.
1872 SoA introduces shorthand examinations. Higher Grade Schools established by many School Boards.
1873 Society of Arts – established technological subject examinations that were subsequently transferred to The City and Guilds of London Institute in 1879. In 1879 there were 151 successful candidates and by 1908 the number had risen to 13,058. Oxford and Cambridge Schools Examinations Board established often called the Joint Board. SoA offers examinations in Carriage Building. SoA offers examinations in Cotton and Silk Manufacture. Between 1873/77 only 218 candidates for SoA technological examinations.
1874 Girton College examinations for women in the natural Tripos. Yorkshire School of Science opened – introduced courses in dyeing in 1879. leather, agriculture, a teachers training department and organic chemistry in 1891,metalliferous mining in 1898 and electrical engineering in 1899,
1875 DSA started examinations in agriculture. University College Sheffield founded.
1876 Shorthand examinations introduced by SoA. SoA Commercial Certificate awarded for passes in three subjects. University College Bristol founded.
1878 City and Guilds of London Institute (CGLI) – founded by sixteen Livery Companies and the Corporation of London and incorporated in 1880. Maria Grey Training College for women founded. London University examinations available to women for the first time. SoA ceased to hold examinations in manufacture in cotton, paper, steel, carriage building, calico-bleaching, dyeing and printing, alkali manufacture and blow pipe analysis – CGLI took over technology examinations.
1879 The SoA transfers the technological examinations over to CGLI and retains the Commercial examinations. City and Guilds held first examinations. First classes at the Finsbury Technical College. Finsbury Technical College and CGLI Art School established. Royal Institute of Chemistry start examinations. Exams held by CGLI in 1879 included: Cotton manufacture, Steel manufacture, Gas manufacture, Silk Manufacture and dyeing, Paper manufacture, Glass manufacture, Telegraphy, Photography, Pottery and p0rcelain and Alkali manufacture. Number of candidates 7.
1880 City and Guilds incorporated. Philip Magnus appointed as first Director and Secretary of CGLI. CGLI offers examinations in Tinplate and Zinc Work in conjunction with plumbing -subjects later separated for exam purposes. CGLI offered 24 subjects with 816 candidates increased to 49 subjects with 6,607 candidates in 1890.  First sandwich course established in either Glasgow University or the Royal Technical College, Glasgow. Examination entries at Queen University Ireland totalled 748. Victoria University admits women to degree examinations. Between 1880 and 1900 the total number of science honours graduates in England and Wales was 530.
1881 London Chamber of Commerce (LCC) founded. CGLI offers examinations in Woodworking, Metalworking and Mechanical Engineering. First examinations in Framework Knitting (Hand and Machine) held at Technical School Leicester. University College Liverpool founded. Women admitted to all honours degrees at Cambridge.
1882 Union of Institutions dissolved (See history on this website).CGLI offers examinations in Carpentry and Joinery. CGLI offers examinations in plumbing. 1883 Lower Certificate Examination established.
1884 Samuelson Report: Royal Commission on Technical Education. Henry Armstrong introduced a 3 year diploma course in chemical engineering at the Central Institution London. Examination entries at Royal University Ireland 2,364 with 1,458 passes. Oxford admits women to honours degrees in Mathematics, Science and Modern History.
1886 Institution of Municipal Engineers start examinations. CGLI offers examinations in Bricklaying and Masonry – later offered separately.
1887 CGLI hold first international examinations. The London Chamber of Commerce start examinations. First CGLI examinations held overseas in New South Wales Australia.
1888 Oxford Local Examinations Board introduces shorthand examinations. School Leaving Certificate instigated. London University requirements for matriculation were in the following subjects: Latin, One Language e.g. French, German etc. English Language with Geography and History, Mathematics, Mechanics and Hydrostatics and one of the following science subjects Chemistry, Heat and Light, Magnetism and Electricity. In 1889/1890 Botany was introduced. 6,000 candidates for CGLI examinations.
1889 The Welsh Intermediate Education Act. First Treasury grant to University Colleges (£15,000).
1890 London Chamber of Commerce (LCC) began examinations. Examination entries at the Royal University Ireland 2,658 with 1,783 passes. Number of students in science 138 and 30 in technology.
1891 Typing examinations introduced by SoA. Regent Street Polytechnic founded courses and examinations offered included; bricklaying, electrical work, plumbing, printing and watch making. Education provided free. CGLI offered Examinations in Bookbinding.
1892 First CGLI examinations staged at Woolwich Polytechnic. ordinary Science Examinations grant for most rudimentary science results abolished.
1893 ‘Technical Education: Its Progress and Prospects.’  P Magnus. JoSA. School leaving age raised to 11. All degrees and offices open to women at University of Wales.
1894 Bryce Report. Reported in 1885 and stressed the pivotal role of examinations. GLI offers examinations in Cabinet Making. Women admitted to degrees at Durham University.
1895 Union of Educational Institution (UEI) that had started examinations 1896. Covered the Midland region comprising Cornwell, Devon, Hampshire, Huntingdon and Staffordshire. University of Durham establishes a Certificate for Secondary Teachers.
1896 The Central Welsh Board (CWB) founded and this became the Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC) in 1948. UEI started examinations. CGLI offers examinations in Plasterers’ Work. CGLI offers examinations in Painters’ and Decorators’. University of Oxford instigates a course on education and awarded a Diploma in Education. Diploma in the Science and Practice of Dairying established. Highland Society of Edinburgh along with Royal Agricultural Society of England developed National Diploma examinations.
1897 Institution of Civil Engineers Entrance Examinations started. CGLI offers examinations in Bookbinding. First Apprenticeship and Skilled Employment Committee established.
1899 Board of Education (BoE) created.  School leaving age raised to 12. Cockerton Judgement – limited powers of School Boards.


Important Dates in regard to the development of examinations.     The detail.  
1900 Board of Education (BoE) established –replacing the Education Department and the Department of Science and Art. CGLI offered examinations in Building Quantities. London Board of Education recognised higher elementary education. University of Birmingham Examinations Board founded.
 1901  CGLI Technological examinations held in 380 centres with 34,246 candidates and there were 904 candidates in manual training examinations for teachers. In session 1901/02 only 3,000 students studying technology in Britain in universities and colleges.
1902 Balfour Education Act. Provided for the creation of a system of state secondary school. Little attention on examination system preferred to maintain the status quo with the universities playing a central role. University of London Extension/Examining Board founded.
1903 Board of Education creates three branches for: Elementary Education, Secondary Education and Technological and HE in Science and Art. Northern Universities Joint Matriculation Board (JMB) founded comprising the Universities of Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield. University of London Junior School Certificated introduced. WEA founded.
1904 ‘Regulations for Evening Schools, Technical Institutions and School of Art and Art Classes.’ Cd.2172. BoE. Secondary Regulations introduced a subject-based curriculum.
1905 Army Leaving Certificate introduced. University of London Higher School Leaving Certificate introduced. 12 Polytechnics in various parts of London. Junior Technical Schools (JTSs) started.
1907 ‘Regulations for Technical Schools, Schools of Art and other Schools and classes for FE.’ Cd 3555. BoE. JMB Examinations Board founded.
1908 Society of Arts received its royal charter. National System of School Certificate examinations established. BoE and the Secondary Schools Examination Council founded. In 1908-1909 session 1,500 candidates entered the three levels of the London University School Examinations along with 6.700 candidates who entered the London University Matriculation Examinations.
 1910 Number of science honours graduates in England and Wales was 800 and 431 in technology.
1911 ‘Report of the Consultative on Examinations in Secondary Schools.’ Cd. 6004. Dyke Ackland Report. BoE. East Midland Educational Union (EMEU) founded. Covering Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland. ‘Science Examinations and Grouped Course Certificates.’ Circ 776. (20th June) BoE. ‘Examinations in Secondary Schools.’ Cd 6004. BoE. Coal Mines Act advocated higher qualifications for mining engineers. Board of Education discontinued the old lower grade ‘Science and Art’ examinations Circular 776 – advanced grades ceased in 1918 – this stimulated the development of Regional examining boards e.g. UCLI, UEI, EMEU and NCTEC (f 1921). (See biography on this website). Only 2,550 candidates entered the BoE Higher Examinations with only 985 passes. University of Bristol School Examinations Council founded.
1912 2,558 candidates took the Higher Examinations in Science and 9,182 the Lower Examinations in Science. Institute of Mechanical Engineers introduced entrance examinations.
1913 Institute of Mechanical Engineers introduced examinations. Institution of Electrical Engineers introduced examinations. Board of Education (ED) Regulations for new category of Junior Technical Schools (JTS). Junior Technical Schools began in London.
1914 ‘Examinations in Secondary Schools.’ Circ 849. BoE. Concept of grouped subject to be passed in the first examinations rather than in single subjects. 23,119 candidates took CGLI examinations in 73 different subjects in 467 centres.
1915 ‘The Examination of Secondary Schools.’ Circ 933. BoE.
1916 Institute of Brewing proposed introducing examinations postponed until 1920.
1917 ‘Scheme for the Better Organisation of Examinations in Secondary Schools.’ Circ. 1002. BoE. ‘Examination of Secondary Schools.’ Circ 996. BoE. Secondary School Examinations Council (SSEC) established (SSEC) to oversee School Certificate examinations. Training scheme for disabled ex-servicemen.
1918 ‘Examinations in Science and Technology.’ Circ 1026. BoE. National standards for examinations established School Certificate and Higher School Certificate created. Eight approved School and Higher School Certificate Examination were those of Cambridge Local Examination Syndicate, Oxford Delegacy for Local Examinations, Oxford and Cambridge Schools Examination Board, University of London, Northern Universities Joint Matriculation Board, University of Durham, University of Bristol and the Central Welsh Board.1919 28,000 pupils entered for one or more school certificate examinations in England and Wales. 1919 between 1919 and 1950 the number of candidates who entered 1st examinations in England and Wales increased from 28,000 to 99,900. ‘Locals’ and later the School Cert operated a system of grouped subjects but in 1951 the GCE ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels reverted back to single subject entry. Government insisted that CGLI cease examining at lower levels – which then became the responsibility of teacher dominated regional examining bodies – not liked by employers – eventually overturned in 1933 following the Concordat agreement.
1920 Joint Committees (JCs) in National Schemes established to oversee curriculum and examinations in vocational subjects resulted in Ordinary and Higher Certificates and Diplomas administrated by joint committee – finally dissolved in 1987 following the introduction of TEC/BEC/DATEC awards .Northern Counties Technical Examinations Council replaced the Northern Union of Mechanics Institutes. Between 1920 and 1950 the number of candidates who entered for the Higher School Certificate went from 3,200 to 34,400.
1921 National Certificate (Nat Cert) scheme introduced see following years the subjects that were introduced (This scheme was for 5 years of part-time study). The driving force behind this development was  H. S. Hele-Shaw) National Certificates in Mechanical Engineering and Chemistry started. In fact between 1921 and 1951 15 National Certificates were introduced in engineering, mining, commerce, textiles, chemistry, physics and metallurgy. Pitman Commercial Examination Department established at the Phonetic Institute.
1922 Nat Cert in Electrical Engineering introduced. Royal Aeronautical Society introduce examinations. In 1922/23 session there were 9,200 students awarded 1st degrees and 1,600 higher degrees. 1,017 candidates from 46 schools and colleges sat for ONC Mechanical Engineering with 521 passes.
1923 ‘Differentiation of the Curriculum for Boys and Girls in Secondary Schools’ Consultative Committee BoE HMSO. Ordinary awards granted 663 and 168 higher awards.
1924 Northern Counties Technical Examinations Council (NCTEC) was reconstituted. Covering Cumberland, Durham, Northumberland, Westmoreland and Redcar (North Riding of Yorkshire).
1926 Nat Cert in Naval Architecture introduced. Institution of Gas Engineers introduced examinations. Closure of Finsbury Technical College.
1928 Board of Education Committee (Atholl Report). ‘Examinations for part-time students.’ BoE.
1929 Nat Cert in Building introduced.
1931 The School Certificate Examination. BoE/SSEC.
1934 Nat Cert in Textiles introduced.
1935/36 National Certificate in Commerce introduced. In 1939 the Association of British Chambers of Commerce took over the function of the professional institute of the examinations. Institute of Marine Engineers introduced examinations (1935).
1936 ‘Secondary School Examinations.’ Circ 1448. BoE.
1937 International Institute Examination Enquiry. ‘A Conspectus of Examinations in GB and NI. P.’ Hartog and G. Roberts. ‘The Investigators’ School Certificate Report.’ A very detailed analysis of the examinations. BoE.
1938 Report of the Consultative Committee on Secondary Education, with Special Reference to Grammar Schools and Technical High Schools. Spens Report. BoE.
1939 Nat Cert in Commerce introduced. 3,999 ONCs and 1,331 HNCs awarded.
1941 Nat Cert in Production Engineering introduced. Women admitted to the basic training courses held at Government Training Centres (GTCs).

‘Curriculum and Examinations in Secondary Schools. Norwood Report.’ Endorsed the tripartite system following recommendation of the Spens Report 1938.  BoE. Nat Cert in Civil Engineering introduced.

1944 Ordinary awards granted 4,070 and 1,405 Higher Awards .

1945 Higher Technological Education. Percy Report. MoE. Nat Cert in Applied Physics introduced. Nat Cert in Metallurgy introduced. Advisory Committee on Education (Scotland) recommended a comprehensive system for all secondary pupils 12-16 with a common core curriculum and leaving examination.
1946 ‘Youths’ opportunities, FE in County Colleges.’ MoE pamphlet No.3. Central Youth Employment Executive established (CYEE).
1947 Northern Advisory Council for FE established. School leaving age raised to 15. Nat Cert in Applied Chemistry introduced. Institution of Mining introduce examinations.
1948 ‘Examinations in Secondary Schools.’ Circ 168.  (23rd April) MoE/SSEC. ‘Education and Training Act’. 7,997 ONCs and 4,509 HNCs awarded. Welsh Joint Education Committee founded.
1949 CGLI Memorandum on the Origin, Development and Work of the Institute. CGLI. Scheme for Scottish Leaving Certificate accepted. ‘Examinations in Secondary Schools.’ Circ 205. MoE. The Year Book of Technical Education and Careers in Industry, H. C. Dent (Ed.), Black.
1950 ‘Professional Bodies Requirements in Terms of the GCE.’ Circ 227. MoE. UGC Policy Statement on Applied Science. UGC. In 1950/51 session there were 17,300 awarded 1st degrees and 2,400 higher degrees.
1951 The School Certificate and Higher School Certificate replaced by GCE ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels. These were offered by: University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES). Joint Matriculation Board (JMB). University of London School Examinations Board (LSEB). Northern Ireland Schools Examination Council – not based in a university. University of Oxford Delegacy Examinations (ODLE). Oxford and Cambridge Schools Examination Board (OCSEB). Southern Universities Joint Board for Schools Examinations (SUJBSE). Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC).Joint Standing Committee to advice on technical and commercial GCEs. Nat Cert in Chemical Engineering introduced. National Diploma in Agricultural Engineering established. National Retail Distribution Certificate introduced.
1952 Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC) assumed examinations to its other functions. Nat Cert in Mining introduced. ‘Examinations in Secondary School’ Circ 256 MoE (Sept).
1953 Associated Examining Board (AEB) established by CGLI. Nearly 800 centres in Britain and Northern Ireland for RSA examinations. CGLI offered a single 3-year stand alone craft courses in Heating and Ventilating Engineering practice.
1954 ‘Technical and Commercial Subjects in the GCE.’ JMB. Southern University Joint Board for School Examinations founded.
1955 Council of Technical Examining Bodies established. National Council of Technological Awards established- Diplomas in Technology Dip Tech) and College of Technologists scheme followed. ‘Examinations in Secondary Schools.’ Circ 289. MoE.  Liberal Education in a Technical Age, NIAE.
1956 ‘Technical Education.’ Cmd. 9703. MoE. Diploma in Technology (Dip Tech) instigated – enrolled 965 students for 37 courses in 1957. 31.835 candidates for ONC (16,176 passed) and 12,568 candidates for HNC (8,176 passed). External Examinations for Secondary Schools. College of Preceptors. March.
 1957 49 Dip Tech programmes accredited.  Recent Developments Affecting the Pattern of Craft, Technical and Technological Training. BEAMA Education Conference report and papers.
1958 ‘Awards at Universities and other Institutions of FE.’ Circ.339. MoE. Beloe Committee appointed to look at other than GCE Examinations CSE introduced in 1965. Carr Committee. The Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Rules for the Examination and the Submission of Theses. July. The Royal Institute of Chemistry. Regulations for Admission to Membership. June. 62 colleges in which degree study could be undertaken existed along with 13 technical colleges affiliated to universities which could award those university degrees – examples were the London University External Degrees. 18,000 National Certificates and 10,000 Higher National Certificates awarded.
1959 15 to 18. Crowther Report. MoE. ‘Report on the Wastage of Students from P-T Technical and Commercial Courses.’ MoE/ NACEIC. ‘National Council for Technological Awards List 10.’ NCTA. National Council for Technological Awards Second Report. First examinations for the Mechanical Engineers Craft Course. Up to about 1959 CGLI structured its qualifications as a continuous 4-5 year syllabus divided into two parts – first part a 2-3 year part-time course leading to an ‘Intermediate’ Certificate which was followed by a 2 year part-time course leading to a ‘Final’ Certificate. In some cases a further 2 years would gain a ‘Full Technological Certificate.
1960 ‘Secondary School Examinations Other than the GCE.’ MoE/SSEC. Beloe Report. Around 1960 Voluntary Industrial Training Councils established. Teacher training courses extended to 3 years. ONC Business Studies introduced.
1961 National Council for Diplomas in Art and Design (NCDAD) established. ONC/OND/HNC in Business Studies introduced.  Institution of Scottish Examination Board created. Scottish Council for Commercial Education established. ‘Better Opportunities in Technical Education.’ Cmnd 1254. MoE. Secondary School Examinations other than the GCE. College of Preceptors. Scottish Council for Commercial Education (SCCE) founded. ‘Examinations  than the GCE.’ College of Preceptors. ‘Secondary School Certificate Regulations and Syllabuses.’ Union of Educational Institutions and in same year the equivalent document from the Union of Lancashire and Cheshire Institutes. G1 courses in Engineering started. CGLI General Regulations. CGLI and Heating and Ventilation Engineering Regulations and Syllabus for 1961. RSA Ordinary (Single Subject), Examinations for Part-Time Students
1962 Scottish Association for National Certificates and Diplomas (SANCAD) established to oversee National schemes for Scotland. Curriculum Study Group established in the MoE. Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE) introduced. ‘Professional Bodies Requirements in Terms of GCE.’ Circ 5/62. MoE.  ‘Awards for First Degree and Comparable Courses. The University and Other Awards Regulations.’ Circ 9/62. MoE. Yorkshire Council for FE YCFE) assumed examinations to its other functions except for the Redcar region. Curriculum Study Group established with the MoE. Higher Grade Qualifications (Scotland) introduced. HND in Business Studies started – initial enrolment 380 candidates. In the session 1962-63 1,400 first degrees of University of London were awarded to students in FE colleges of whom 1,100 were in Science and Technology. HND Business Studies introduced with 380 enrolments. G* and G2 courses started in Textiles.
1963 Technical Education MoE. The Scottish Certificate of Education Examination Board established. ‘Certificate and  Senior Certificate Examinations.’ Report by examiners. College of Preceptors. ‘Regulations for the ACP and LCP Examinations from 1963 onwards.’ College of Preceptors. ‘Secondary School Certificate Regulations and Syllabuses.’ East Midland Educational Union and in same year the equivalent document from the Northern Countries Technical Examinations Council. ‘JMB. What it is and what it does’ Petch. J. A. JMB. Certificate in Office Studies (COS) introduced. 12.000 students registered for University of London external degrees – 8,500 full-time. G course started in Mining. CGLI offered courses for operatives in session 1963-1964. New ONCs established 2 years designated as O1,O2. London Chamber of Commerce (Incorporated) Regulation, Syllabuses and Time Tables of Examinations. The Nuffield Foundation Science Teaching Project. Report. October. 8,000 Dip Tech awarded.
1964 National Examinations Board in Supervisory Studies established- later called NEBS Management. Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA) established and receives charter – abolished in 1992.Schools Council for Curriculum and Examinations (SCCE) established followed recommendations by the Lockwood Report. MoE replaced by the DES. University of Durham School Examination Board dissolved. HND in Business Studies introduced. Industrial Training Act enacted – established a Central Training Council and 29 Industrial Training Boards (ITBs). ‘Schools Curricula and Examinations’. MoE. There were 113 craft and 110 technician qualifications being offered by CGLI. G courses in Science, Shorthand and Construction started. Approximately 120 professional bodies offered examinations in such subjects as science, technology, commerce etc.
1965 Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE) introduced following the Beloe Report – ceased in 1987. A number of Regional examining boards were established namely: Associated Lancashire Schools Board. East Anglian Examinations Board. East Midlands Regional Examination Board. Metropolitan regional Examination Board. Middlesex Regional Examination Board. Northern Regional Examination Board. North West Regional Examination Board. South East (Regional) Examinations Board. Southern Regional Exams Board. West Midlands Regional Examination Board. West Yorkshire and Lindsey Regional Examinations Board. Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Examinations Board. Later the Yorkshire Boards merged to create the Yorkshire Regional Examinations Board and the Metropolitan and Middlesex Boards merged to create the London Regional Examinations Board. CSEs replaced by CGSEs in 1986/87. First CNAA honours degrees in Business Studies introduced. Multiple choice examinations began to be introduced in 16+ examinations. National Diploma in Design (NDD) replaced by the Diploma in Art and Design (Dip. AD). Number of colleges offering Dip. Ad stood at 40.
 1966 Agreement between CGLI and the six REBs concluded. The six BEBs were Union of Education Institutes, Welsh Joint Education Committee, East Midlands Educational Union, Yorkshire Council for FE, Union of Lancashire and Cheshire Institutes and Northern Counties Technical Examinations Council). G courses started in Printing.
1968 CGLI set up a Skills Testing Service as a result of the Industrial Training Act that provided practical tests for training outside the traditional FE system. Dainton Report – Enquiry into the Flow of Candidates in Science and Technology. DES/Council for Scientific Policy. HMSO. London- advocated a broader ‘A’ level qualification to attract more people into science. ONC in Public Admin introduced first certificates awarded in 1970.
1969 Haslegrave Report of Technician Courses and Examinations – (Ad Memo 21/69). Examinations Techniques Development Unit (ETDU) established at CGLI. Higher Certificate in Office Studies introduced.
1971 The London Chamber of Commerce changed its name to the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Examinations Board.
1972 School leaving age raised to 16. TOPs introduced.
1973 The Technician Education Council (TEC) created. Schools Council attempted to introduce N (Normal) and F (Further) level examinations – failed. ‘Examination Structure’ Schools Council. WP 46. ‘Preparation for Degree Courses’ Schools Council WP 47. Government established TEC and required CGLI to abandon its very successful technician examinations.
1974 The MSC established. The Business Education Council (BEC) created. Assessment of Performance Unit established by DES to promote the development of methods of assessing and monitoring the achievement of pupils. ‘Vocational Courses in Art and Design’ (Gann Report) DES HMSO. CGLI developed Foundation courses.
1976 ULCI merged with NWRAC. ‘School Examinations and their Function.’ UCLES publication.
1978 1978 Youth Opportunities Programme (YOP) introduced – two main approaches work experience and work preparation. ‘School Examinations’. (Waddell Report).
1979 Ferryside agreement which regulated relations between CGLI and the REBs and the RACs which were not REBs. Mansell Report ‘A Basis for Choice’ published. School Examinations (Waddell Report) recommended a single examination at 16 to replace GCE ‘O’ levels and the CSE – the GCSE introduced in 1986. LEA Arrangement for the School Curriculum-LEAs had to publish curriculum policies. ‘Proposals for the Certificate of Extended Education (CEE)’ Cmnd 7755 (Keohane Report) DES. 13% of school leavers achieved 2 GCE ‘A’ levels.
1980 ’16-19′ (Macfarlane Report) DES/LEAs. DATEC established (The Art and Design element of TEC and BEC).
1981 Northern Advisory Council for FE (NACFE)merged with the Northern Counties Technical Examinations Council to become the Northern Council for FE (NCFE). ‘A Basis for Choice (ABC) in Action’ A report by CGLI/BTEC/RSA/FEU on pilots of ABC 1979-1981 FEU London. ‘A New Training Initiative: A Programme for Action’. Cmnd 8455. DoE.
1982 Cockcroft Report into mathematics. ‘New Technical Education Initiative (TVEI)’ Press Release DES. ‘TVEI’ announced – MSC. ‘Mapping and Reviewing the Pattern of 16-19 Education’ Schools Pamphlet No. 20. School Council replaced by Examinations Council and School Curriculum Council,
1983 Certificate of Pre-Vocational Education (CPVE) introduced. Technical and Vocational Education Initiative (TVEI) pilots introduced  (Sept.) – a further 12 in Sept 1985 aimed eventually to establish 103 in 98 education authorities. YTS introduced. ’16-18s in Scotland: An Action Plan.’ SED. Edinburgh. ’17+ A New Qualification’ DES HMSO.
1984 BTEC created by the merger of TEC and BEC. Secondary Examinations Council (SEC) and School Curriculum Development Committee (SCDC) replaced by the Schools Council. ‘TVEI Review’ MSC. ‘The NVQ Criteria and Related Guidance’ NCVQ London. Scottish Certificate of Education for 14-16 year olds introduced. University of London Entrance and Schools Examinations Council and School Examinations Department renamed University of London School Examinations Board.
1985 Pitman Examinations Institute sold to Longman Group. ‘CPVE in Action’ FEU London. ‘Academic Validation in Public Sector HE’ (Lindop Report) DES HMSO. ‘TVEI Review’ MSC. ‘Progressing to College: A 14-16 Core’. FEU. New examination announced for 17 year olds (CPVE). Participation post-16 lower than in 2009 -participation in vocational and academic routes was: 18% for academic qualifications and 3% for vocational qualifications by 2001 these figures became 40% for ‘A’ levels and only 18% for vocational qualifications. However by 2009 the figures were still 40% for ‘A’ levels but vocational awards increased to 28% (10% increase since 2001).
1986 ‘Review of vocational qualifications and the establishment of the National Council for Vocational Qualifications NCVQ).’ H G De Ville ISBN 0 112705901.  Introduced a competency-based, outcome-measured national infrastructure -had profound effects on education and training providers. NCVQ merged with SCAA to form QCA in 1997. JTS and Restart for adults began. GCSE introduced. YTS extended to 2 years. ‘The European Schools and the European Baccalaureate.’ DES.
1986/87 ‘O’ levels and CSEs replaced by GCSEs – first awarded in 1988. Staying on rate for post-16 year olds in England was approximately 46%. ‘Changes in Scottish NAFE Examinations’. Publication 1a/48 CNAA.
1987 Advanced Supplementary (AS) levels introduced. Open College founded. The National Qualifications Framework.’ NCQV. London. The NCVQ Framework created. (March) NCVQ .’Progression from CPVE’ FEU London. ‘Current developments in School Curriculum and Examinations’. SCUE. SCDC. SEC. CNAA. ‘Work Experience in TVEI: Student Views and Reaction’. NFER.
1988 ‘Advancing A-levels.’ Higginson Report. DES. HMSO. London. GCSEs first awarded. The Management Charter Initiative (MCI) launched. National Curriculum (NC) started. National Curriculum Council (NCC) and the School Examination and Assessment Council (SEAC) replaced  School Curriculum Development Committee (SCDC) and Secondary Examinations Council (SEC). AQA established AEB+SEG+NEAB.NWRAC/ULCI became CENTRA (the FE Centre for the Regional Association of LEAs). NVQS and SVQs introduced. Career Development Loans (CDLs) introduced. Education Reform Act-introduced National Curriculum and testing regimes. ‘The National Certificate: A Guide to Assessment’ SCOTVEC. ‘Introducing a National System of Credit Accumulation’ NCVQ London. MSC becomes The Training Agency (TA). ‘NVCQ and its Implementation’. NCVQ Bulletin No 1. ‘Planning the FE Curricula’. FEU. ISBN 1-85338-080-6. national Curriculum Council consultation on science and mathematics.
1989 Training in Britain. TA/DE. ‘Generic Units and Common Learning Outcomes’ (June) NCVQ. ‘Vocational Qualifications: Criteria and Procedures’ NCVQ. International Curriculum and Assessment Agency for Examinations (ICAAE) founded focussed on business and ICT awards.
1990 CGLI purchase Pitman Examinations Institute (PEI). Training Credits introduced. British Baccalaureate published IPPR – went nowhere! Government lifts restriction on schools offering BTEC courses. Core skills first proposed for GCE ‘A’ levels – failed. ‘Core Skills 16-19’ National Curriculum Council (NCC).Howie Committee appointed to review extension of the Scottish Highers qualifications e.g. S5 and S6. S. O. Edinburgh. ‘Common Learning Outcomes: Core Skills in A/AS levels and NVQs’. G Jessop. NCVQ. YTS renamed Youth Training (YT).
1991 The CPVE replaced by the Diploma of Vocational Education (DVE). Youth Training replaced by Modern Apprenticeships and then phased out in 2002. SATs piloted in primary schools. ‘A Survey of the International Baccalaureate’. DES. ‘Access and opportunity’ Cmnd 1530. SED. Edinburgh. HMSO. ‘Beyond GCSE’.  Royal Society. London. Ordinary and Advanced Diplomas (Consultation Document) published. DES. London. ‘General Scottish Vocational Qualification’ A consultation paper SCOTVEC. ‘Ordinary and Advanced Diplomas’ Consultation Document DES. ‘A Framework for Growth’. APVIC. National Records of Achievements (NRAs) launched.
1992 ‘Upper Secondary Education in Scotland’ (Howie Report) SOED Edinburgh HMSO. ‘Beyond GCSE’ Royal Society. The national Business and Technical Examination Board (NABTEB) established. Government asks NCVQ to develop GNVQs. SVQs introduced in Scotland.
1993 GNVQs launched nationally initially piloted. School Curriculum and Assessment Authority (SCAA) replaced National Curriculum Council and School Examinations and Assessment Council. Dearing Report ‘The National Curriculum and its Assessment.’ Modern Apprenticeships announced – began in 1994 in 14 occupational sectors later extended to cover over 50 sectors. ‘Towards a Unified Curriculum’. APVIC. ‘Post Compulsory Education: A National Certificate and Diploma Framework – A Discussion Paper. FEU. Rainbow in Discussing Credit)
1994 CENTRA assumed responsibility for North West LEAs. GNVQ in FE Sector in England.’ National Survey Report by FEFC. ‘Higher Still’ announced a new unified system in Scotland to embrace all 16+ provision except SVQs and other work-based qualifications, SO. Edinburgh. Modern Apprenticeships introduced. CGLI proposals for a Technological Baccalaureate – came to nothing reintroduced in 2013. ‘Identifying and Measuring Knowledge in Vocational Awards’. CGLI Research report 63. ‘GNVQs in Schools and Colleges in Northern Ireland’. DENI. A* introduced in GCSEs. Foundation GNVQs introduced. The FEFC ceased allocating funds according to mode of course e.g. f-t and p-t but determined to fund the nature of the qualification sought. Northern Ireland Examinations Council became the Northern Ireland School Examinations and Assessment Council replaced by the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment  (CAAE).
1995 DfEE created. Review of 100 NVQs and SVQS.’ Beaumont Report. DfEE. ‘Assessment Review.’ Capey Report. NCVQ. London. University of Oxford Delegacy of Local Examinations abolished. ‘An Interim Report on the Wales FE Credit Framework.’ Fforwm Wales Modularisation and Credit Based development Project. Fforwm. Cardiff. ‘GNVQ Quality Framework.’ NCVQ/BTEC/CGLI/RSA. NCVQ. London. ‘Education and Training- Implementing a Unified System of Learning’. Pring and Brockington etal). ‘Learning for the Future Project’ Post-Compulsory Qualifications – options for Change. (Spours and Young). ‘Tackling the Mathematics Problem’. London Mathematical Society. Institute of Mathematics and its Application. Royal Statistical Society. ‘Employers Use of the NVQ System’. IES Report 233. University of Sussex. GNVQs piloted. ‘Towards a Single Qualifications System.’ NEAB. ’14-19 Strategy for the Future: The Road to Equality.’ NUT. MAs available for young people. 354,000 NVQS/SVQs awarded and 84,000 GNVQs (Session 1995/96). Other vocational awards numbered 423,000 in session 1995/96. Percentage of females taking NVQs/SVQs approx. 53%, GNNQs/GSVQs approx. 53% and other vocational awards approx. 51%.
1996 ‘Review of Qualifications for 16-19 Year Olds.’ Dearing Report. SCAA, Edexcel created following the merger of BTEC with the London Examinations Board – BTEC + ULEAC. ‘Review of 100 NVQs and SVQs’ (Beaumont Report) NCVQ/SCOTVEC. ‘Review of GNVQ Assessment’ (Capey Report). Modern Apprenticeships introduced. Dearing Report Review of Vocational Qualifications for 16-19 year olds.’ ‘The Welsh Baccalaureate’ Institute of Welsh Affairs. (Jenkins and David). GNVQ offered as a more work-based alternative to the so-called academic qualifications of GCSE and ‘A’ levels. ‘Proposals on 14-19 Education.’ NAHT. 459,000 NVQs/SVQs awarded and 93,000 GNVQs (Session 1996/97. Other vocational awards numbered 439,000 in session 1996/97. CGLI entered agreements with NEAB and WJEC to simplify the admin and verification processes of IT systems in their centres. Training Credits extended to all in England, Scotland and Wales.
1997 Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) created following the merger of NCVQ and SCAA a massively powerful quango. Oxford, Cambridge and RSA (OCR) established. AQA created from merger of AEB and NEAB – CGLI involved with GNVQ programmes but remained independent for all other qualifications. QAA for HE founded replaced HEQC. National Traineeships introduced to replace Youth Training eventually became Modern Apprenticeships (MAs). ‘Introducing the National Advanced Diploma’. SCAA/NCVQ. ‘Key Principles for Curriculum and Qualifications Reform from 14’. AoC, ATL, GSA, HMC. NAHT, NUT, PAT, SHA, SHMIS, NASUWT. NATHFE. ‘Towards an Overarching Certificate: Qualifying for Success’. DfEE. ‘The Key Skills of Students Entering HE’. DfEE. GNVVs introduced. 22,853 applicants to HE possessed level 3 GNVQ (93.6% offered places).
1998 ‘The Learning Age’ Cm 3790. DfEE. College of Preceptors becomes the College of Teachers. OCR established MEG+OCEAC+RSA Examinations Board. New Deal for Young People (NDYP) introduced. New Deal for Long-Term Unemployed (NDLTU, ND 25+) introduced. New Deal replaces YTS. National Literacy Strategy (NLS) introduced. Union Learning Fund created. Institute of Health Care and Development (IHCD) acquired by Edexcel. CGLI award their millionth NVQ. CGLI awarded 48% of all NVQs – but NVQs only accounted for 32% of all CGLI business. NCFE offered over 70 qualifications. New Code of Practice for GNVQs proposed. FEDA, AoC, Edexcel, Fforwn and NOCN agreed to introduce a qualification framework based on units and credits to assist the curriculum of lifelong learning.
1999 Moser Report ‘Improving literacy and numeracy; a fresh start.’ Review of the national Curriculum QCA/DfEE. National Numeracy Strategy (NNS) introduced. ‘Improving the Value of NVQs and Other Vocational Qualifications (OVQs). FEDA/QCA. (Sept). ‘Education and Training Development Agenda: Towards 2000. DfEE. Joint Council for General Qualifications established comprised AQA, Edexcel, OCR along with CCEA and WJEC covered a range of qualifications GCSE, ‘A’ level, GNVQ, Certificate of Achievement, Key Skills and Advanced Extension Awards.
2000 Federation of Awarding Bodies founded comprising CGLI, Edexcel, OCR and LCCIEB. CENTRA along with AOSEC, EMFEC and Learning South West to form the Awarding Body Consortium (ABC). University for Industry (UfI) became operational. Adult Basic Skills Strategy Unit (ABSSU) founded. Level 2 apprenticeships introduced. ‘Guide to the Basic Skills Initiative’. FEFC. Advanced Subsidiary levels replaced Advanced Supplementary levels. Review and reform of GNVQs. Vocational ‘A’ levels introduced replaced Advanced GNVQs. Advanced Subsidiary (AS) levels introduced. Between 2000 and 2009 the number of 16-18 year-olds working for level 3 Apprenticeship qualifications decreased by 50% from 60,000 to 30,000. From September three compulsory units were introduced at the Intermediate and Foundation of GNVQ. Revised versions of Part 1 GNVQs introduced (September). The British Association of Open Learning (BAOL) launched BAOLO Direct an online directory of more than 780 products, 500 services and 750 courses.
2001 Prototypes for Foundation Degrees launched. ConneXions service established – advice and information for teenagers. ‘AS’ level programme ‘Use of Mathematics’ introduced – extended from Autumn 2002. CGLI introduced higher level qualifications (i.e. level 4 and 5) – piloted from 2001.
2002 Institute of Leadership and Management created – NEBS Management +ISM. Vocational GCSEs proposed – introduced in September replacing Foundation/Intermediate and Part1 GNVQs. Advanced Subsidiary examinations (AS) introduced. Foundation degrees launched nationally. GNVQs phased out and replaced by so-called vocational GCSEs and ‘A’ levels. Jobcentre Plus launched. Technical Certificates introduced in FMAs and AMAs – to provide the underpinning knowledge and understanding required for the relevant NVQ level. ITOs replaced by the Sector Skills Councils (SSCs). Green Paper ’14-19 Extending Opportunities, raising standards’ published – main focus on qualifications. Review of first year of Curriculum 2000 published LSDA.
2003/4 Technical Certificates introduced to enhance the theoretical content for apprenticeships. Edexcel taken over by Pearson and became a profit making organisation. ‘Making Mathematics Count’. HMSO.  ‘Review and Development of Graduate Apprenticeships’. UVAC.
2004 Mike Tomlinson Report ’14-19 Curriculum and Qualifications.’ -recommendations rejected by government. National Proficiency Tests Council (NPTC) became part of CGLI. Apprenticeship frameworks rebranded.
2005+ A recent series of reviews and reports e.g. Foster, Leitch along with a number of government initiatives have brought about the development of vocational diplomas, revised apprenticeships and an apparent commitment to skills improvement and vocational education. Hospitality Awarding Body (HAB) ( Hospitality and Catering) became part of CGLI. ’14-19 Education and Skills’. Cm 6476. DfEE.
2006 Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification introduced also known as the Welsh Baccalaureate (WB). 2006/07 Leitch Review of Skills – led to the establishment of Commission for Employment and Skills CES). CGLI with AQA start to develop Specialised Diplomas for piloting in 2008.
2007 School leaving age to be raised to 18 possibly in 2013 (Cmnd 7065). DCSF created replaced by the Department for Education (DfE/DFE). Functional skills introduced as a 3 year trial. ‘The UK’s Science and Mathematics Teaching Workforce’. A State of the Nation Report. Royal Society. ISBN 9780-85403-663-9.
2008 A set of interesting statistics. In 2006/07 – 763,000 vocational qualifications were awarded. In 2005/06 – 619,160, 2004/05- 532,478 and for 2003/04 the figure was 441.957. These were consistently below the targets set by the government and the 2006/07 percentage increase showed a deceleration on previous years. Testing and Assessment/ Report by House of Commons Children, Schools and Families Committee. Diplomas launched.  CGLI Centre for Skills Development founded. ‘Draft Apprenticeship Bill’ Cm 7452. ‘The Diploma: a guide to employers’ DCSF. National Apprenticeship Service announced. ‘Science and Mathematics Education’. State of the Nation Report – Royal Society- ISBN 978-0-85403-826-8.
2009  Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act.’ Created a statutory framework for apprenticeships. 11+ in Northern Ireland abolished. There were over 180 apprenticeships frameworks in place. OECD. PISA Report.
2010 Diplomas abolished. QCDA abolished. 17,000 Foundation Degree programmes run in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. ‘National evaluation of diplomas: first year of delivery.’ 25/3. DfE. Research. Good practice in involving employers in work-related education and training.’ Ofsted.
2011  ‘Vocational qualifications: long term effect on the labour market.’ 24/6. BIS. Research. ‘Outcome for first cohort of diploma leavers.’ 27/10. DfE. Research. ‘Intermediate and low level vocational qualifications: economic returns.’ 28/9. BIS. Research.
2012  ‘Apprenticeships for Young People.’ Ofsted.
2013  ‘Tech Bacc for 16-19’. BIS 16/12/2013. ‘Vocational Qualifications for 14-19 olds’. BIS. 16/12/2013. 3 levels for apprenticeships introduced – Intermediate, Advanced and Higher – Intermediate = 5 GCSES/2 , Advanced ‘A’ levels , Higher NVQ4/Foundation degree


Terminology and jargon abounds in assessments, examinations and testing below I provide some basic definitions which \I hope will help the reader.

Assessment:  The process of observing learning; collecting, describing, recording, scoring and interpreting information about the learner’s. Formal methods of assessment include: Tests/examinations which can be practical and/or academic, written/oral, seen/unseen, essay/objective tests, multiple choice/open-ended, timed/untimed etc.

Tests/examinations on modules of syllabuses

Coursework, continuous assessment, graded assessment throughout the programme.

Assessment, examination, test: Three terms referring to devices or procedures for getting information about the competence, knowledge, skills or other characteristics of the person being assessed, tested or examined. The three terms are often interchangeably, but there are some distinct differences between them. Assessment is the broadest of the three whilst examination is the narrowest.

Assessment Approaches: Two main forms namely Criterion-referenced (learner who has attained a certain standard) and Norm-referenced (allowing a certain quota to pass the test/assessment).

Competence — the possession and development of sufficient skills, knowledge, appropriate attributes and experience for successful performance of life roles. FEU.

Competency Test: A test to see if the learner has attained the minimum standards of skills and knowledge. Can be understood as a capacity or capability in the learner or as an element of an occupational role.

Correlation: A statistic that indicates how strongly two measures e.g. test scores tend to vary together.

Course Work: Consists of assignments such as essays, paintings, projects, reports etc finished by the learner during the programme,

Credential Inflation: Ever-increasing numbers of learners who are drifting into further and higher education in order to acquire extra qualifications, which are devalued as more people acquire them.

Criterion Referencing: Making test scores/assessments meaningful without indicating the learner taking the test/assessment position in the group. On a criterion-referenced test/assessment, each individual learner’s score is compared with a fixed standard, rather than with the performance of the other learners taking the test/assessment.

Evaluation: Both qualitative and quantitative descriptions of how the learner is progressing in order to attain the project goals.

Formative Assessment: Assessment occurring during the process of a unit, module or programme. Formative assessment is done before instruction begins and/or while it is taking place.

Grade Inflation: Grade inflation is said to occur when the pass marks appear to increase every year BUT standards do not (they can either remain the same or decline). It is a very controversial issue in Britain.

Norm-Referencing: Making test scores meaningful by providing information about the performance of one or more groups of test takers (called the ‘norm groups’) A norm-referenced scores score indicates the test taker’s relative position in the norm group.

Objective Scoring: Scoring system in which an answer/response will receive the same score, no matter who does the scoring. No judgement is needed in the scoring rule.

Objective Test: A test designed for which the scoring procedure is completely specified enabling agreement among different assessors/examiners. A correct-answer test.

Performance-Based Assessment: A test of the ability to apply knowledge/competence in a real-life or work-based situation.

Qualification Inflation: The level of qualification required for employment increases with time e.g. where once 2 GCE ‘A’ levels was sufficient to gain employment it then becomes a first degree.  

Reliability: Measure of consistency for an assessment process or instrument. If reliable should give similar results over time with similar learner populations and contexts.

Rubric: A set of rules for scoring the answers/responses in test/assessments.

Self-Assessment: The learner uses an assessment list or rubric to assess their own work.

Standards: Agreed values used to measure the quality of the student performance, instructional techniques, curriculum etc.

Subjective Scoring: Any scoring system that requires judgement by the examiner/scorer

Summative Assessment: Evaluation at the end of the unit/module of instruction or an activity or plan to determine the learner skills, knowledge, competence or the effectiveness of the activity/task.

Validity: The test/assessment/examination accurately measures the desired/agreed goals. 

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