SBRI ‘Crowd sourcing question items for post primary examinations and assessment’

Each summer CCEA, Northern Ireland’s leading awarding body, marks over half a million GCE and GCSE examination scripts across a range of subjects (see

CCEA offers a diverse range of qualifications, including GCSEs, GCE A and AS levels, Entry Level Qualifications and Vocational Qualifications. Questions for testing and examinations are developed by teachers, either in their own school or as part of assessment teams commissioned by CCEA. Whilst this is a long established and effective way of working, CCEA is now seeking to expand the offer of valid and reliable question banks to teachers and schools/colleges, whilst maintaining standards and reducing the cost of the service.

Technology provides an opportunity to develop questions in a ‘crowd-sourced’ manner. This would increase available question items for examinations and assessment, potentially increase the quality of questioning in schools and reduce cost. Such a tool would be expected to have wide/global market interest, particularly in subjects that are common across National Curricula.

CCEA has secured £150,000 funding from the Government’s Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) Fund to commission this project. SBRI enables public sector bodies to connect with technology organisations to stimulate the development of innovative solutions to specific public sector challenges and needs.

SBRI supports projects through the stages of feasibility and prototyping that are often hard to fund commercially in the open market and offers an excellent opportunity for businesses, especially early stage companies, to develop and demonstrate technology, supported by an intelligent lead customer.

Phase I of the project is intended to show the technical feasibility and commercial viability of the proposed concept and will be undertaken by the end of November 2018. If this is successful, a further phase may be commissioned to develop and evaluate prototypes or demonstrators from the more promising technologies identified in Phase I. This will be commissioned for completion by end of March 2019.

An information session about this project will be held at the Radisson Hotel, Belfast on the 4th September 2018 (11am). To register:

Tender documentation is available on
Submissions are due the 17th September and interviews for shortlisted organisations will be held in Belfast the week commencing the 24th September.