Keynote: Professor Robert Klassen
Professor and Chair, University of York
Incoming Professor of Education, University of Oxford
Robert Klassen is Professor and Chair at the University of York, and incoming Professor of Education at the University of Oxford (2023). His research connects the areas of motivation, technology, and teacher recruitment, selection, and development. He is a Chartered Psychologist in the UK and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and the American Psychological Association.
Keynote: Professor Becky Allen
Chief Analyst and co-founder, Teacher Tapp
Professor of Education, University of Brighton
Becky Allen is Chief Analyst and a co-founder of Teacher Tapp, the largest teacher survey and professional development tool in the UK. She is also a Professor of Education at the University of Brighton. Until 2018, she was Professor of Education at UCL Institute of Education and over her academic career she has written extensively on school accountability, admissions, assessment, expenditure and teacher careers. An economist by training and former secondary school teacher, she is an expert in the analysis of large datasets. Between 2014 and 2017, she was the founding Director of Education Datalab, a non-profit research organisation that has developed a reputation for making complex, quantitative analysis accessible for those involved with running schools. In 2018, she chaired a government working group to review how data is used in schools. Her book on teacher careers called ‘The Teacher Gap’ was published in 2018 and her new book ‘The Next Big Thing in School Improvement’ was published in 2021.
Keynote: Rachel R. Watkins Schoenig
CEO, Cornerstone Strategies
Rachel R. Watkins Schoenig, J.D., is the CEO of Cornerstone Strategies, a boutique firm dedicated to ensuring a foundation of trust for the assessment industry. Specialising in exam security, privacy, and executive-level services, the firm supports testing programmes across the globe. Rachel brings a wealth of experience in international high-stakes testing. In the past decade, she created industry alliances to develop proctor training videos, led development of new data forensics, redesigned the security framework for an international multi-product testing company, developed an industry-leading programme to deter impersonation testing, and designed innovative applications for use on personal devices.
Rachel has served as a keynote speaker and featured speaker at conferences in the U.S. and Europe. She recently taught the first-ever graduate level course on exam security at the University of Iowa with Dr. Deborah Harris and served as a guest lecturer on ‘Professional Codes and Ethics in Testing and Proctoring’ for the University of Wollongong in Dubai. She is the recipient of the President’s Award from the National College Testing Association for her contributions to the industry. She currently co-chairs the committee developing Online Proctoring Standards sponsored by the National College Testing Association and Association of Test Publishers. Her publications include co-authoring the ATP-NCTA Proctoring Best Practices, a chapter in The Handbook on Test Security, CAS Standards for Testing Offices, and the ATP Workforce Credentialing Survey Report and Framework.
Rachel is admitted to practise law in several jurisdictions. Prior to founding Cornerstone, Rachel was the past Head of Test Security for ACT, Inc. where she leveraged her legal, international, and testing experience to improve exam security. Before joining ACT, she led the legal department for Bandag, Incorporated, a publicly traded company engaged in international franchising and manufacturing, where she provided advice concerning mergers and acquisitions, compliance, litigation, and intellectual property matters, and later served as a corporate officer of Bridgestone-Bandag, LLC. She earned her J.D. summa cum laude from Drake University Law School. Rachel is passionate about the assessment industry and the positive impact we can have on individual lives and communities.
Keynote: Dan Fitzpatrick
AI Educator, Founder of Thirdbox Ltd.
The author of the acclaimed book, The AI Classroom: The Ultimate Guide to Artificial Intelligence in Education, Dan imparts invaluable insights and strategies for harnessing AI in education. His work in the industry earned him the esteemed accolade of Tech Champion Award at the Digital Industry Dynamite Awards.
Dan is a prominent contributor in the media on all things AI and education, having recently been featured in Time Magazine and on CNN, Good Morning Britain, BBC Radio 4 and ITV News.
His former roles include serving as Director for Digital Strategy at Education Partnership North East, and as a senior leader at a secondary school. Presently, he assumes the role of founder of The AI Educator and Director at Thirdbox.org
With an impressive educational background, Dan holds an M.A. from Durham University, a PGCE from UCL, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Design Thinking & Innovation from MIT. This robust foundation in academia has endowed him with the knowledge and skills to thrive in the ever-evolving world of AI and education.
In 2023 alone, Dan has trained approximately 15,000 educators worldwide, guiding them in the integration of AI into education. Additionally, he has partnered with hundreds of small business leaders and marketing professionals, such as those from Welsh Water and Cleanspec, to enhance their practices using artificial intelligence.
Dan Fitzpatrick’s unwavering commitment to the advancement of AI in education and his passion for fostering innovation in the field render him a highly sought-after expert, strategist, and thought leader. Dan’s extensive knowledge and hands-on experience continue to inspire educators, professionals, and organisations worldwide as they grapple with the challenges and prospects presented by the AI revolution.
Head of Product Management, Surpass Assessment
Sophie heads up the Product Management Department. This department encompasses the functions that supports our customers in enhancing the Surpass Platform to meet their needs, as well as managing and communicating the Surpass Platform roadmap (and related applications) and organising technical resources and release schedules.
Sophie joined Surpass Assessment in 2004 as a Multimedia Designer, producing content created via Surpass’ in-house software, before certifying as a Professional Trainer and subsequently became the Training Manager for the Surpass Platform for several years. In 2013, Sophie became a Product Owner, responsible for several product lines within the Surpass Platform before moving into the Head of Product Management role in 2021.
Chief Executive Officer, The National Association of Examinations Officers and founder of The Exams Office
Jugjit Chima is the chief executive officer of the The National Association of Examinations Officers (NAEO) and founder of The Exams Office.
Jugjit is a qualified teacher and taught in two secondary schools over a ten-year period. During his time in teaching, he held the roles of head of history, head of year, exams manager and was a member of the senior leadership team.
Following a secondment to OCR, Jugjit was appointed as a regional manager for the National Assessment Agency exam support team, which was later transferred into the Department for Education as the Exam Delivery Support Unit.
Moving on from the civil service, Jugjit was the National Education Co-ordinator for the First World War Centenary Battlefields Tours Programme at the Institute of Education, UCL, and later, Head of International Projects and Resources at the University of Coventry.
In 2013, Jugjit founded The Exams Office. He leads on and delivers its training programme for senior leaders, exams officers and invigilators. His responsibilities also include maintaining and developing links with stakeholders and partners. This includes the Department for Education, Ofqual, the Joint Council for Qualifications and the major awarding organisations.
Chief Commercial Officer, Surpass Assessment
Jim manages Surpass Assessment’s international business development and marketing functions, and works closely with technical departments to ensure that our products and services are strategically aligned with the growing Surpass Community.
Jim’s passion for creating better assessments started alongside his career in the education sector, when in 2005 he worked on e-learning design for some of the world’s most recognisable brands such as HSBC, UNESCO and Boots. As a Product Owner at Surpass, Jim was responsible for overseeing the design and development of a new SaaS version of the Surpass Platform, which is now used by the majority of Surpass customers to deliver over 3 million tests a year.
Jim has been with Surpass for over 12 years and is a regular speaker at assessment events with a particular focus on innovation and emerging technologies.
Head of Test Delivery Services, Surpass Assessment
Ceri heads up Surpass Test Delivery Services, a role which includes the management of our Test Centre Network team and our Online Invigilation/Proctoring services team. Ceri has a well-established history in the assessment sector, having worked with AAT and Pitman Training.
Whilst at AAT, Ceri developed and managed the Student Recruitment Team during her ten years with the company. At Pitman Training her role included setting up and running the day-to-day management of a professional test centre in the UK, which involved administering ICAEW, RCPCH and AAT high-stakes exams.
Ceri joined Surpass in 2018, and her knowledge from both the candidate and invigilation sides has proven invaluable in running Surpass’ established Test Delivery Services.
Co-Chief Executive Officer, Surpass Assessment
Andy has been heavily involved in the design and implementation of assessment technology for over 20 years. Andy has a strong technology background in software engineering and architecture and is highly experienced in leading software development at large scale. Earlier in his career at Surpass, Andy received the IT Practitioner of the Year award from the UK’s Chartered Institute of IT for his leadership and implementation of the breakthrough assessment technology that later became known as the Surpass Platform. Surpass now powers some of the world’s largest and most prestigious assessment programs.
In 2017, Andy relocated with his family from the UK to establish the US office in Pennsylvania and service the North American assessment market. Over the past four years, Andy has been focused on the business growth of the US office in North America, which in 2020 was recognized with multiple American and international business awards including ‘Fastest Growing Tech Company of the year’ and ‘Most Innovative Tech Company of the Year’.
Andy currently serves on the ATP Board of Directors and represents members of European testing industry. Prior to this, Andy was a board member of the UK’s e-Assessment Association for three years and served on a number of committees providing guidance on the judicious use of technology in the assessment process. Andy has also delivered various presentations at ATP, ICE and the Certification Networking Group and is passionate about sharing experiences and good practices that may help organizations to provide students with the best possible assessment experiences and outcomes.
Senior Regulation Manager, SQA Accreditation
Louise McKay is the Senior Regulation Manager at SQA Accreditation, the vocational qualification regulator in Scotland. She oversees the Regulation team, responsible for the development and delivery of the audit engagement of Awarding Bodies and approved providers, to assure robustness and quality in the delivery and assessment of SQA accredited qualifications. Her role is contributing to and ensuring regulatory strategy, frameworks and Scottish Government expectations are complied with.
Before Louise’s ten years at SQA Accreditation, she worked in the Litigation and Compliance team at a multinational law firm, undertaking intellectual property and brand protection compliance and enforcement actions. Prior to this, she undertook a Corporate and Governance compliance role with a large global biomedical corporation, across the Europe, Middle East and Asia regions. Louise graduated from Strathclyde University Law School, LLB and Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice.
Danette Waller McKinley, PhD.
Director of Diversity, Fairness, and Inclusion Research, National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE)
Danette Waller McKinley, PhD. is Director of Diversity, Fairness, and Inclusion Research for the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE). She is the staff lead for NCBE’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and coordinates, directs, and monitors the NCBE research agenda. Dr McKinley has conducted research on the licensure and certification of health professionals for more than 30 years, and she was responsible for developing and implementing a research agenda that supports the missions, advocacy efforts, innovation endeavors, and thought leadership activities of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates and its Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research. Dr McKinley received her BA from Williams College, her MA in educational research methodology from the University of Pittsburgh, and her PhD in educational psychology from Temple University.
Chief Strategy and Partnership Officer, Surpass Assessment
As the Chief Strategy and Partnership Officer at Surpass Assessment, Paul’s focus is on widening the discussion, including how technology and assessment can help people advance their careers and education without leaving people behind. Paul is on the Board and is Vice-Chair of the e-Assessment Association, is a member of the ATP Innovations in Testing Security Committee and served as the E-ATP Conference Chair in 2021.
Paul has worked in the assessment industry for over 20 years, from roles delivering education and curriculum reform projects across the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, to transformational roles at Awarding Bodies and Regulators in the UK.
Prior to joining Surpass Assessment in January 2023, Paul spent over seven years at the British Council and was responsible for leading their transition from a predominantly pen-and-paper exams business to one led by technology-enabled assessment.
Examinations Developer / Datblygwr Arholiadau, EAL
Joshua Nicholson specialises in Examination Development at EAL, working closely with Product Specialists, Product Coordinators, the Exams Delivery Team and Subject Matter Experts to design, develop and maintain EAL’s examinations and the systems and processes used to create them.
He provides training, monitoring and support across departments for all examination instruments to maintain quality, regulatory compliance and drive continuous improvement.
Joshua has worked for EAL for eight years and is experienced in all stages of the assessment cycle and methodology. He has comprehensive knowledge of the systems, software and processes they use to maintain and deliver tests.
He enjoys collaborating with colleagues at EAL to explore new and innovative ways of thing about developing exams, always trying to find new approaches to how they interact with EAL’s on-screen assessments and to understand the best way that individuals can interact with their exams. He is proud that their end products benefit the progression of many people in their education and future careers.
Assessment Manager, AlphaPlus
Hannah Rowe was a teacher for 12 years before moving into the assessment field. Formerly of AQA – working in Assessment Design, Hannah is now an Assessment Manager at AlphaPlus. Her work includes leading on national scale assessments, in the design and development stages. Hannah’s role has also included transitioning professional assessments to online, objective assessments. She also contributes to the work of the AlphaPlus research team. Hannah’s key area of interest is accessibility and inclusion in assessment, which she is currently researching in her Masters at the University of Cambridge.
Senior Qualifications Manager, Qualifications Wales
Dean Seabrook leads the ‘Modernising Assessment’ project at Qualifications Wales, which explores how assessments taken within qualifications in the future can achieve an optimal balance between manageability, engagement, validity and reliability, supported by the effective use of digital technologies. He has previously worked on the reform of national qualifications in digital technology, and construction and the built environment.
Chiropractic Specialist, NBCE (National Board of Chiropractic Examiners)
Dr Nicole Solecki graduated from Arizona State University in 1996 with her Bachelor of Arts degrees in Communication and Business Marketing. She received her Doctor of Chiropractic degree, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Biology, from Logan University in 2001. She and her husband (also a chiropractor) began their private practice career in 2001 in Greeley, CO. Dr Solecki practiced as a family practitioner for ten years before taking time off to stay home with her two boys in 2010. She began consulting for the NBCE in 2018 and became a full-time employee in 2020.
Dr Solecki is currently a Chiropractic Specialist within the NBCE Testing Department. She writes and reviews items for test administration, works as a content specialist, and is actively assisting in the implementation of Surpass.
Vice-President, Precertification Education, CPA Canada (Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada)
Andy Thomas, MBA, CPA, CGMA, CPA (Illinois), is the Vice-President, Precertification Education at CPA Canada. Andy leads a team of 64 dedicated professionals that develop the education and examinations programs in Canada that lead to the CPA designation. He is also involved with the New Certification Program project at CPA Canada which involves the implementation of the Competency Map 2.0 as well as the redesign and redevelopment of the Professional Education programs at CPA Canada.
Andy has been with CPA Canada and one of its legacy bodies for over 15 years and has been involved with the professional examinations for over 30 years. Andy also oversees a variety of innovative projects at CPA Canada including remote proctoring, automated essay scoring and generative AI projects.
Senior Vice President of Assessment Operations, NBME (National Board of Medical Examiners)
Dr Ye Tong is the Senior Vice President of Assessment Operations at the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) where she oversees content and test development, psychometric and data analysis and operations management. A nationally recognized measurement expert, Dr Tong has produced numerous presentations and publications in the areas of assessment best practices, equity in assessment, balanced assessment system, assessment policy as well as technical psychometrics theory and practices. Dr Tong is a Past President for the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME), a founding Board of Director for Women in Measurement, and a founding Advisory Board member for Center for Measurement Justice. Dr Tong serves on the Technical Advisory Committee for a number of states, school districts and assessment companies. She also serves on the Editorial Boards for Journal of Educational Measurement and Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice.
Education Manager, CCEA Regulation
Roger Trigg is an Education Manager at CCEA Regulation, the qualifications regulator for Northern Ireland. Among other duties, Roger has responsibility for monitoring and exploring the uses of e-assessment and AI as pertains to Northern Ireland. He has carried out research and completed reports on the use of e-assessment on behalf of both the Department of Education (NI) and the Department for the Economy (NI).
Roger has been a member of the four-country regulatory group, e-Assessment Research and Development Forum, for nine years. Prior to his work in CCEA Regulation, Roger was a subject officer for CCEA Awarding Organisation for seven years. His portfolio of subject responsibilities included Moving Image Arts which was the first A-Level to be assessed via live onscreen examination.
Head of Supporting Services, Surpass Assessment
Ashleigh heads up the Supporting Services department. This department is customer-focused, offering additional services to clients so they can make the best use of the Surpass platform. The supporting services include the Training service, the Test Conversion service, the Test Publishing service and the Managed service. The team can service training requests across our developing suite of products, plus individual processes such as Item Banking or Test Building using LOFT. This year has seen the team expand their Surpass Certificate Program, as well as the roll-out of a new Learning Management system.
Ashleigh graduated from York St John University with a BA in English Literature and an MA in Creative Writing. She continued to work in Higher Education administration for two years before joining Surpass Assessment, specifically in event management, coaching students in employability skills and creating graduate opportunities with employers across Yorkshire. Ashleigh has worked at Surpass Assessment for 5 years in a few different roles, first starting as a Technical Author. Ashleigh and the team are TAP and COLF certified, and Ashleigh has also achieved the APM Fundamentals in Project Management.
Co-Chief Executive Officer, Surpass Assessment
Sonya is a strong and dedicated leader at Surpass Assessment, driving business growth through her extensive experience and strategic vision. After directing operations for ten years, she rose to the position of Managing Director in 2017 and was appointed Co-CEO in 2023, focusing on expanding the Surpass presence in the UK and the rest of the world.
During her time at Surpass, Sonya has championed numerous initiatives, promoting continuous improvement, business growth, and company values. In addition to her leadership roles, she is dedicated to expanding Surpass’ portfolio of services, ensuring customers receive the support and flexibility they desire.
Sonya’s passion lies in empowering team members to experience variety, autonomy, challenges, and satisfaction in their work, with a view to making Surpass a fantastic place to work.
In 2019, Sonya’s leadership at Surpass was recognised when she won an international Stevie Award for Women in Business. As the only UK finalist in her category, this prestigious accolade highlights her accomplishments alongside select global business leaders.
Surpass was further acknowledged for its commitment to growth when it won a Queen’s Award for International Trade in 2020.
Ultimately, Surpass’ aim is to make sure that they have customers’ and candidates’ goals at the heart of everything they do, and Sonya strives to ensure that Surpass achieves that vision.