Skip to main content

2019 Conference

View presentations from the Surpass Conference 2019 in Newcastle.

Note: Surpass Assessment is now the company name for BTL and BTL Surpass.

Keynote 1: Is it time for assessment 4.0? A look at the changing labour market and the fourth industrial revolution

Olly Newton, Director of policy and Research at The Edge Foundation delivered the keynote speech at the 2019 Surpass Conference. In his presentation, Olly highlights an increase in skills shortage vacancies and discusses the type of skills that employers today see as having the most value. Olly gives examples of educational institutions at the forefront of change, who are preparing young learners for 21st-century work through an emphasis on project-based work in real-world scenarios, before emphasising the effect that innovation in the assessment industry can have on the future of education.


Olly Newton
The Edge Foundation

Keynote 2: Is education preparing young people for the future?

Ben Whitaker from EduFuturists delivered the alternative keynote presentation at the 2019 Surpass Conference. Ben looked at education in England today and asked whether we are sufficiently preparing young learners for a career in the 21st century. In this passionate presentation, Ben highlights how despite increasing use of technology and innovation in the classroom, assessments are still conducted via the traditional exam hall, and how we need the regulators on board to digitise examinations from the start as opposed to current processes of digitising handwritten responses for marking.


Ben Whitaker
The Edufuturists

Community Experiences: Personalised assessments in Wales, with AlphaPlus

Gavin talks to the Surpass Community about the pioneering work of the Welsh Government and the success of the personalised assessments being undertaken with primary school children in Wales. In this presentation, Gavin gives an overview of the assessments and how this new way of testing has been received. We also learn how this type of assessment provides a learning journey, and how formative feedback gives learners and teachers constructive information on how to progress as opposed to a score.


Gavin Busuttil-Reynaud
AlphaPlus Consultancy

Community Experiences: Association of Corporate Treasurers and Dual-Camera Online Invigilation/Proctoring

Janet Legge from the Association of Corporate Treasurers updates the Surpass Community on her organisation’s introduction and ongoing use of BTL’s dual-camera online invigilation service.


Janet Legge
Association of Corporate Treasurers

Community Experiences: Nick Freeman from The London Institute of Banking and Finance

New Surpass Community members, The London Institute of Banking and Finance, spoke to the Surpass Community about their journey so far with Surpass, from recognising a need to move away from an in-house platform in order to keep pace with technological change, to delivering their first exams with Surpass, and what the future holds.

  • Globally, which school assessment models have been impacted the most during the pandemic?
    • Would it have been possible to have just made the switch to remote forms of high-stakes delivery in England?


Nick Freeman
London Institute of Banking & Finance

Community Experiences: Toni Brooks from NCFE

Long-standing Surpass Community members NCFE provide an introduction to their organisation, and how their customer service ethos makes them stand out from the crowd. Toni also discusses NCFE’s work to-date with BTL, and the recent move to Surpass 12 which was achieved within 3 months of launching the project thanks to a dedicated project team and support from BTL.


Toni Brooks

The Surpass selection process and journey so far with Cardiff University

The School of Biosciences at Cardiff University are new to the Surpass Community, and in this presentation, Laura Roach tells us of her journey from being tasked with selecting an e-assessment platform for the School, to the recent trial with students. Laura talks through the selection process, and the positive influence of being part of the Surpass Community.


Laura Roach
School of Biosciences at Cardiff University

Online Invigilation/Remote Proctoring insights with ProctorExam

Alice Niezborala speaks to the Surpass Community about the work of ProctorExam, their online invigilation technology, and collaboration with BTL. Alice also shares her insights into the future potential of online invigilation.


Alice Niezborata

Interview: AERE discusses approaches to test question type selection

Manny Straehle from AERE discusses assessment question type selection, from multiple-choice to subjective and performance-based assessment.

This video was first played as part of the 2019 Surpass Conference.

With over two decades of active involvement in the credentialing industry, Manny is one of about 20 assessors for the ANSI ISO/IEC 17024:2012 accreditation standards. He possesses immense proficiency as a consulting assessment and educational research expert and sits at the top of AERE as Founder and President.


Manny Straehle

Using Surpass for functional skills with City & Guilds

Granville Edwards discusses how City & Guilds are using the functionality available in Surpass for the delivery of the reformed functional skills qualifications. In his presentation, Granville gives examples of some of the question types in use and some of the changes they’ve implemented since the reform.


Granville Edwards
City & Guilds

On-Demand Testing and Online Invigilation/Proctoring Using Bespoke Integrations

Vanessa Appoh from telc gGmbH updates the Surpass Community on their TOP test delivered through Surpass, and the self-registration portal that has been developed in order to maintain existing registration and certification processes.


Vanessa Appoh
telc gGmbH

Challenges facing General Qualifications with AQA

In this presentation, Dave Mellor and Rachel Teale from AQA update the community on challenges faced by General Qualifications in the UK, and some of the reasons why in 2019, they are still largely paper-based. They discuss government policy, high test volumes, fear of technology and comparability of on-screen and paper tests, all of which contribute to barriers to on-screen testing in the sector. Dave and Rachel look to the future, suggesting it’s time to starting taking small steps towards delivering more on-screen.


Dave Mellor

Rachel Teale

Innovation Insights: An Introduction to PregnancyVue with NCFE CACHE

Janet King from NCFE CACHE talks about their PregancyVue product, which uses virtual reality to help learners understand child development from conception to birth. Janet discusses how this innovative use of technology has increased engagement with a subject that is increasingly difficult to teach and created a more interactive teaching programme. Janet also highlights the importance of introducing technology in a way that everyone can connect with, support by more traditional methods of learning, to give young learners the opportunities they deserve.


Janet King

Innovation in the vocational space with The Skills and Education Group

Paul Eeles discusses innovation in the vocational space, and how the pace of change is being felt much more quickly, suggesting that the further down an organisation innovation can be pushed, the better we are at it. Paul presents a case study of the MOT assessors’ qualification, which after being moved on-screen to meet the needs of the regulator, faced challenges due to assumptions that had been made about the technical capabilities of learners. Paul highlights the disparity between qualification such as this, and the choices given to young learners who are often given no choice but to handwrite despite it not being their usual way of working.


Paul Eeles
Skills and Education Group

Want to find out more about the topics discussed?

Contact the Surpass team

Get conference updates

Join our mailing list to get updates on Surpass products, services, and future conferences.