2022 Programme

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Due to rail disruption in the UK on Wednesday 5 October, the Surpass Conference will now begin at 12pm on Thursday 6 October. 

All timings are subject to change.

Day 1 – Thursday 6 October

9am onwards

Everyone welcome

The hands-on room will be open to all delegates from 9am.

Drop in to chat to the Surpass team or see new Surpass features.

You can also try out Surpass Learning (our brand new e-Learning platform) for yourself! Explore the course catalogue and learn more about the areas that most interest you.

Or  you can simply use our break-out room as a quiet place to work and enjoy a coffee, until the conference starts.

12pm

Registration

12.30pm

Lunch

1.15pm

Opening welcome session

Keynote

1.20pm

Keynote: Jamie Andrew OBE

Mountains of adversity: Overcoming challenges in a disrupted landscape

Mountaineer Jamie is the first quadruple amputee in the world to climb Kilimanjaro and complete a marathon. After losing his limbs following five days in a mountain-summit storm in 1999, he learned to walk again and overcame adversity to take up skiing, triathlons and more mountains.

In his session he will talk about how you can learn valuable lessons to overcome challenges and successfully manage change.

Key points to help you achieve your goals will include:

  • How to find the positive in every situation when facing challenges
  • The importance of not facing problems alone – allowing others to help you
  • How to dream big but start with small goals and work up

Key messages from the session:

  • Throw yourself into achieving your goals – believe that you can achieve them!
  • It is the journey that counts
  • It doesn’t matter if you fail some of your goals because you can learn from that experience and try again

Plenary session

2pm

Celebrating 15 years of the Surpass Community

Andy McAnulla – President, BTL Surpass 

Sonya Whitworth – Managing Director, BTL

Sonya Whitworth and Andy McAnulla will reflect on some of the challenges we have overcome in the last 15 years, and milestones we have reached together in that time, before looking to the future and what lies ahead for BTL and the Surpass Community.

Plenary session

2.15pm

Surpass Community-led innovations

Phil Cowen – Business Change Manager, OCR 

Martin Mewis – e-Submission Delivery Manager, WJEC 

Janet Legge – Director, ACT

Learn about a range of recent features from the Surpass Community members who led them, and the benefits that came from collaborating together throughout the design process.

2.55pm

Networking and coffee

General stream

3.25pm

Assessment for Learning & Candidate Feedback

Ben Rockcliffe – Deputy Director for Assessment, Alphaplus

Graeme Clark – Head of Digital Assessment Services, SQA

Ian Brumfitt – Chief Operating Officer, BTL

In this session, discover how Surpass Community members AlphaPlus, and SQA use Surpass to deliver assessments to candidates that focus on continuous learning and feedback.

Specialist stream

3.25pm

New features in Surpass, including Customisable Question Types (CQTs)

Nicola Bennett – Application Support Specialist, City & Guilds

Mudassar Iqbal –  Product Owner, BTL

Hannah Rowe – Assessment Manager, AlphaPlus

A regular programme of development updates is at the heart of open-platform Surpass. Hear why BTL created certain features for some customers, the problems this solved and how the new functionality is used.

Don’t miss this opportunity to see BTL’s suite of Customisable Question Types (CQTs). Hear from Nicola Bennett, Application Support Specialist at City & Guilds, as she talks about how they have helped her organisation.

There will also be an opportunity to get some ‘hands on’ experience of the CQTs currently available, so you can leave full of ideas for how you might make use of this unique framework for your future exam series!

Plenary session

4.20pm

Closing plenary panel: The direction of the assessment industry

Colin Hughes – CEO, AQA

Elizabeth Flahie – Director of Assessment and Operations at Michigan Language Assessment

Patrick Craven – Director of Policy, Strategic Partnerships and Stakeholder Engagement, City & Guilds

Celebrating the collaboration that is the heart of the Surpass Community, hear from respected industry leaders across a range of sectors (GQs, Vocational, Professional and Language Testing) on the current challenges they face.

Discover how their respective sectors are expected to evolve, primarily from an onscreen testing perspective, over the next five years and put your questions to the panel.

5.20pm

Closing remarks

7.30pm

Networking and dinner

Meet representatives from Surpass teams and network with other delegates and industry experts from around the world, at our evening event.

Enjoy a relaxed evening including karaoke, cocktail making and buffet dinner, at Revolucion de Cuba (Albert Dock, 22 Edward Pavilion, Liverpool).

Before the evening event, you could also enjoy a fascinating hour-long walking tour of Liverpool. Explore the city’s story, and discover its grand architecture and stunning historic Waterfront. The tour begins at 6.30pm from the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza, and ends at your evening venue within Royal Albert Dock. You can pre-book the tour so you don’t miss out, or ask at the Conference registration desk when you arrive.

Day 2 – Friday 7 October

9am

Opening welcome session

Plenary session

9.05am

Services for the Surpass Community

Lana Pitcher – Senior Examinations Officer, The Bar Standards Board

Paul Edelblut – Vantage AI

This session is an opportunity to hear from Surpass Community members. Discover how they use Surpass supporting services to assist in the creation and delivery of their assessments.

Including information on online proctoring, Test Centre Network, test development and test conversion/publishing, learn how BTL services can assist you with item authoring, scheduling, and delivery.

Also in this session, Paul Edelblut from Vantage AI, will be demonstrating live just how easy and effective it can be to start automatically marking long-form item responses with their groundbreaking integrated technology.

10.30am

Networking and coffee

Plenary session

11am

Stories from the Surpass Community

Ben Newby – Chief Digital Officer, WJEC
Lynne Frederickson – Project Manager, MLA
Robbie Furter – PAEA

A favourite of the Surpass Community year after year – hear from a trio of Surpass Community organisations as they share their successes and challenges from the past twelve months. This session covers topics ranging from the challenges of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) delivery to how to break the bonds between paper and on-screen assessments.

General stream

12 noon

Delivering accessible tests in Surpass

Gavin Evans – Co-Founder and Director of Operations, Digital Accessibility Centre Ltd (DAC)

Emma Hall – Head of Business Development, BTL

Adam Norris – Accessibility Developer, BTL

Mike Taylor – Senior Accessibility Analyst, DAC

In this session, hear from Surpass’s dedicated accessibility development team members as they provide an update on our recent accessibility improvements. You’ll also hear some good practice guidance, plus information about future plans in this area.

Hands-on stream

12 noon

Collaborate as a team while working remotely in Surpass

Ashleigh Whittle – Head of Supporting Services, BTL

Amanda Dainis – CEO and Lead Psychometrician, Dainis & Company, Inc.

Learn how Surpass can manage the creation of your content remotely, through the use of Tasks functionality.

Specialist stream

12 noon

Innovations for the next technological leaps in testing

David Sime – Riiot Digital

Paul Edelblut – Vantage AI

Join special guests from Riiot Digital in a session that is sure to pique the interest of even the most sceptical technophobe, and is absolutely unmissable for anybody excited to get hands on with technology for testing and recording results.

Featuring an introduction to tactile testing technology used to replicate high-risk environments, and affordable alternatives for schools and other groups, see how Riiot is changing the way people think about measuring physical skills like welding and surgery.

Then, when you’ve seen the demonstration, try it for yourself in one of Riiot’s specially created demonstration units.

12.40pm

Lunch

General stream

1.30pm

NBME five years on – The evolution of Surpass Item Authoring and Banking

Jamie Saldutti – VP of Application Development, NBME

NBME is a non-profit assessment organisation centred on the assessment of US medical doctors. In this session, NBME’s VP of IT Application Development, Jamie Saldutti will share NBME’s journey to transition their subject matter experts and test development staff to Surpass for web-based item authoring, review, and banking.

NBME will explain why they selected Surpass, what they’ve learned through the implementation, and what remains to complete their transition to Surpass.

Hands-on stream

1.30pm

Delivering accessible exams: the test-taker perspective

Gavin Evans – Digital Accessibility Centre Ltd (DAC)

Emma Hall – Head of Business Development, BTL

Adam Norris – Accessibility Developer, BTL

Mike Taylor – Senior Accessibility Analyst, DAC

This hands-on session is designed to raise awareness of the barriers that test takers can face. Explore the many ways that assistive technology and good design can help to overcome them.

Specialist stream

1.30pm

VR with Riiot Digital

Riiot Digital team 

Riiot Digital present your opportunity to try the future of simulation-based testing for yourself in their bespoke welding simulator. Specially designed to mimic and record performance in hazardous environments without exposing the candidate to danger, this tactile technology can be put to use in any number of situations including welding, surgery and more. This is the perfect way to round off your Surpass Conference and start looking ahead to the future!

General stream

2.20pm

New development feedback sessions: Test Creation designs

Gareth HopkinsAssessment Solutions Specialist, BTL

Scott Flockton – Senior Solutions Architect , BTL

Ian Higgins – UX Design Team Lead, BTL

These feedback sessions are your chance to see mockups for the revamped Test Creation screens in Surpass. Have your say, and give your feedback on what you like or think could be improved upon.

Hands-on stream

2.20pm

Supporting content developers in Surpass

Ashleigh Whittle – Head of Supporting Services, BTL

Meranda Lokey  – COO, Dainis and Company, Inc.

In this session, learn more about using Tasks in Surpass to track item or exam development and how this can help you to streamline processes.

3pm

Closing remarks

3.10pm

Coffee to go