A Study of Learner and Centre views on the use of Electronic Assessment in Vocational, Professional and Technical Qualifications 2017/18

Between September 2017 and February 2018, The Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA Regulation) and the Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) carried out a piece of research into learner and centre experiences of the use of e-assessment in vocational, professional and technical qualifications. This work augments previous studies looking at learner experiences for general qualifications, and wider work based on centre readiness for using e-assessment in qualifications. The work was based on a sample of Pearson, City and Guilds and SQA vocational, professional and technical qualifications from the occupational areas of hairdressing, plumbing and business. The findings included responses to an online survey from 158 learners and centre practitioner or manager views gained during visits to a sample of ten centres.

Findings from the study show that 90 percent of learners express a preference for using e-assessment, expressing positive emotional responses when using e-assessment. Learners also cited low levels of test anxiety and included potential benefits to using e-assessment in their feedback. Centres chose to use up to 100 percent e-assessment in the qualifications sampled, and recorded benefits and preferences in using e-assessment over pen-and-paper methods.

A Study of Learner and Centre views on the use of Electronic Assessment in Vocational, Professional and Technical Qualifications 2017/18

eAssessment Review Report 2016/17

eAssessment Review Report 2016/17

During 2016, CCEA Regulation and Qualifications Wales undertook a review of e-assessment used in GCE qualifications. The review analysed the development and delivery of qualification assessment through the use of e-assessment and pen and paper assessment and learners’ experiences of these assessments. The research will inform the development of regulatory guidance on the use of e-assessment in qualifications.

The three main findings are:

  • e-assessment is associated with a more positive emotional experience for candidates and lower indicators of generalized test anxiety. Enhanced cognitive and organisational functioning, communication, efficiency and productivity for the candidate along with reduced physical strain, are potential benefits of using e-assessment. Candidate preference for e-assessment is strong, where it is used;
  • on-screen assessment allows candidates to interact with items and contexts in ways that are not possible on paper. The use of in-built simulations and other varieties of assessment materials may be beneficial and engaging with regard to the testing of objectives, allowing candidates to demonstrate wider skills; and
  • on-screen assessment can provide greater opportunities for reliability than the paper-based system. There are potentially fewer barriers to assessment with the e-assessment systems which have many built-in features to support accessibility.

Download the eAssessment Review Report 2016/17

For further information contact David Crosbie on

Centre readiness for use of eAssessment

3-country e-Assessment live webinar

On 20th April 2016, the e-Assessment Research & Development (eA R&D) Forum hosted a unique, 3-country e-Assessment live webinar for teaching practitioners in the UK. The eA R&D Forum membership comprises regulators from Scotland (SQA), Wales (Qualifications Wales) and Northern Ireland (CCEA) as well as UK Awarding Bodies/Organisations that deliver qualifications in the UK.

This 25 minute live webinar featured:

  • examples of innovative practices illustrated by video case studies;
  • discussions on the research results for centre readiness for e-assessment and;
  • opportunities for guests to share their experiences on e-assessment.

The webinar was attended by teachers, lecturers and e-assessment developers from the three countries. During the webinar delegates responded to a number of live polls to express their views on issues around the use of e-assessment in their unique context.

Click on the video below to experience the event again.

CCEA Accreditation, SQA (Scottish Qualifications Authority), Welsh Government (2014)

This report on Centre Readiness for e-Assessment across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, aims to investigate common issues for further discussion and consideration. The scope of this work was to look at the readiness of schools and colleges to undertake e-assessment opportunities for accredited qualifications for 14-19 year olds. The range of assessment methods included e-testing and e-portfolio. The report discusses: the e-assessment environment, including government policy and strategy; assessment conditions; desk research into the range and type of qualifications in use; and a review of the demand for e-assessment.

A primary research report on capacity in schools from Northern Ireland and Wales is also included in the appendix of this report. The conclusion of the paper calls for a co-ordinated effort from the variety of agencies, to further promote and encourage the development of e-assessment. Outcomes from this research will be used to inform regulatory advice and guidance for innovation within qualifications development.

Centre Readiness to use E-Assessment  1.2 MB - uploaded 12-01-2015

Use of e-Assessment in Controlled Assessment

Report by CCEA Accreditation, Welsh Government, AQA, CCEA and WJEC (2012)

The principal aim of this research was to understand the issues around using e Assessment (eA) in Controlled Assessment (CA) in the United Kingdom. We have used Action Based Research (ABR) methodology to identify any potential benefits to this assessment method with regard to lessening the perceived assessment burden for centres and learners in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Findings show a more advanced state of readiness for AOs, and keenness to use eA and recommend its use to practitioners than found in the QCDA study in 2009. Availability of ICT resources is less of an issue and AOs are starting to realise cost benefits for the development and delivery of the assessment. It has been noted that many of the benefits are for the learner, but also for assessment of applied knowledge and skills that might not normally be available through traditional assessment methods.

For further information contact Roger Trigg at or on 07825146635.


Use of e-Assessment in Controlled Assessment
300.81 KB - uploaded 21-01-2014