Application Solutions Team Lead – BTL
Alex is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Architect with over 23 years’ experience in IT, serving a wide variety of industry sectors – Healthcare, Retail, Transportation, Marketing, Energy, Utilities, and Construction. Having experienced the significant challenges in successfully delivering technology projects in bureaucratic and process-heavy contexts, Alex champions the use of Agile methods and tools to deliver business value, as the primary focus.
Ali Al Jassim
CEO – Ajman Driving Academy
Ali Al Jassim is CEO of Ajman Driving Academy (ADA) and holds a PhD in Business Management, Masters of Business Administration with Honors, and Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. He has 25 years of experience in leading roles delivering programs and projects.
Ali has held top positions in both the public and private sector. Presently, Ali is leading Ajman Driving Academy in the Emirate of Ajman, which will help Ajman to become one of the safest cities and a leading example of safe driving for the region and the world.
Under the leadership of Ali, Ajman Driving Academy has approximately 40 driving trainees per day. All facilities for theory training and online testing have been provided with excellence in services which helped Ajman to attract other local drivers from all over UAE. Ali is taking on a more ambitious aspiration with a target to provide services for up to 70 driving trainees along with school bus drivers, taxi drivers, and hotel drivers in the Emirate of Ajman.
Ali is playing a key role in the expansion of Ajman Driving Academy; he formed two verticals under the ADA umbrella– Cars Impounding (Confiscation) & Cars Auctioning in 2019 and is currently working to develop an office building to be ADA Headquarters. He is also strategically planning to expand the footprint of ADA to the MENA region and to other parts of the world.
Partnerships – ProctorExam
After contributing to the development of invigilation practice in the French higher education sector, Alice joined ProctorExam’s team in 2018 to pursue the Dutch company’s vision: developing a recording and streaming infrastructure for live identification and monitoring in the context of online assessments.
Passionated by the design of experiences and digital solutions that facilitate business problems, Alice works alongside technology providers, awarding bodies and regulators to bring more transparency in remote proctoring and promote multimodality in assessment delivery.
Chief Technology Officer | President (USA) – BTL
Andy has worked in the global assessment industry, building e-assessment software platforms for more than 17 years and was a board member of the e-Assessment Association for 3 years.
Technology in the industry has moved at a fast pace, and Andy has displayed a talent for innovation and understanding business processes of organisations within the assessment community. As our Chief Technology Officer, Andy has led a number of large-scale projects, as well as being responsible for defining and driving the overall product strategy for Surpass: The Assessment Platform.
In 2017 Andy was promoted to President of our new US office to lead our continued growth in North America whilst continuing to provide product direction for our assessment technologies.
Andy has a strong technology background in software engineering and architecture, as well as being qualified in Scrum (an Agile software development methodology), ITIL, and Prince2. Andy was also the winner of an award by the UK’s Chartered Institute of IT (British Computing Society) for his contribution to designing and implementing a breakthrough assessment technology system that later became Surpass.
Senior Solutions Architect – BTL
Andy joined the BTL development team 3 years ago before being invited to join the Solutions team.
He is currently working on projects including the enhancement of Surpass SecureClient for BYOD, and
advanced Item Authoring using the new Tasks platform, and is also the Solutions Architect for the
With a degree in software engineering and more than 20 years of experience working in the IT industry
across a number of sectors, with a primary focus on technology and data migrations, Andy is ideally placed
to discover and analyse customer needs for integration with the Surpass platform.
Technical Author and Trainer – BTL
Ashleigh is a member of the Product Communications and Training team, whose main responsibilities include writing documentation for the help resources and training internal staff and customers on the functionality of Surpass. She forms part of the training administration team, where she is developing the internal staff training offer at BTL to ensure expert knowledge of Surpass across the board. Ashleigh is also a PRT member for four scrum teams, in which she refines new features going into Surpass and provides solutions pre-development.
Ashleigh graduated from York St John University with a BA in English Literature and an MA in Creative Writing. She continued to work in education for 2 years before joining BTL, specifically in event management, as well as coaching students in employability skills. Ashleigh uses her skillset of training and written communication to her advantage in the Product Communications and Training team at BTL.
Senior Statistician – AlphaPlus
Before joining AlphaPlus in February 2018, Ben worked in research at the largest UK awarding organisation, AQA, for several years. There, his work focused on marking reliability, differential item functioning, and other measures of assessment quality. At AlphaPlus, he leads on the quantitative elements of numerous projects, including the delivery of new computer adaptive tests in Wales as part of the National Reading and Numeracy Tests project. In addition to analysis using item response theory models (to facilitate the tests’ adaptivity), this involves a substantial role in quality assuring and testing the Surpass setup used to deliver these assessments.
Ben Whitaker – Alternative Keynote
Director – EduFuturists
Ben is a certified Google Trainer, Google Innovator and former Assistant Principal, who has led training around the UK and beyond. He is a passionate speaker who engages and inspires all those he works with. He has a background in leading sixth form, senior leadership and school governance. Ben’s teaching speciality is 11-18 Religious Education and Philosophy. Ben is currently Chief Education Officer at Project Digital, in Lancashire, where he is based.
Chairman – BTL
In March 2017, Dr. Bob Gomersall’s contributions to the field of educational assessment were recognised by the community when he was awarded the Lifetime Contribution Award at the first International e-Assessment Awards.
Bob founded BTL in 1985 after recognising the difference a judicious use of technology could make to the way we learn and assess knowledge. Prior to this, he was educated at the universities of Durham and Bristol, and he worked as a theoretical physicist at the Max Planck Institute, Stuttgart. He has taught physics at Manchester Grammar School and Bradford Grammar School, where he was Head of Physics.
He is also Chairman and founder of the Virtual College Group plc and the Advanced Digital Institute. Bob has a particular interest in innovation and formerly chaired the Leeds City Region Business Innovation and Growth Panel.
Manager, Product and Systems Management – National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME)
Brian works in Test Development, managing the products and systems in the Professional Services division of NBME. He has been with NBME for six years in various project management, business analytics, and training roles, and is a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) and Certified Scrum Master (CSM). He is currently serving in the Product Owner role for the implementation of Surpass, in order to replace several NBME legacy systems.
Dan Fitzpatrick – Alternative Keynote
Director – EduFuturists
Dan is a certified Google Trainer with an M.A. from Durham University. Over the last few years he has led training on cloud technology in education and various educational topics, around the UK. His teaching speciality is 11-18 Religious Studies, Philosophy and Geography. He has a background in organisational leadership, media, stand up comedy and school governance. He is currently working at a school in the north east of England, where he is based.
Head of Solutions – BTL
Dave has consulted some of the largest testing organisations in the world, including City & Guilds, Royal Colleges, NBME, and Prometric, and is responsible for ensuring that client needs are always fully understood to allow the delivery of the best possible solutions.
A passion for using logic and mathematical algorithms drives forward improvements to the assessment technology available to the Surpass Community and inspires innovation in key areas for the future of on-screen assessment, such as Computer Adaptive Testing, Linear-On-The-Fly-Testing, and Automated Item Generation.
Working closely with the Surpass Community and potential clients, he is also responsible for overseeing technical implementations for our largest projects by managing staff operating in both the UK and US, ensuring that high-quality solutions are designed to best meet client requirements, integrating with current systems, and delivering minimal disruption.
Dave Dixon joined the assessment technology sector in 2005 and holds a BSc (Hons) Joint Honours Mathematics and Computer Science degree from the University of Nottingham in the UK.
His professional qualifications include: ITIL V2 Foundation; ITIL V2-V3 Foundation Bridge; ITIL Certificate in Operational Support and Analysis; ITIL Certificate in Planning, Protection and Optimization; TOGAF 9 Certified; Scrum Practitioner and Scrum Product Owner.
Director of Assessment and Curriculum – AQA
Dave Mellor is Director of Assessment and Curriculum at AQA and has worked in various roles at AQA over the last 19 years. These include Programme Manager for the introduction of on-screen assessments in AQA and leading on the assessment and curriculum aspects of the recently reformed GCSEs, AS and A-levels. He is also a director of OxfordAQA which is the joint venture between AQA and Oxford University Press which provides GCSEs and A-levels to international schools.
Prior to joining AQA, Dave was head of Geology at a sixth form college where he helped design, create and introduce on-screen formative assessments to support his students’ learning. Whilst teaching he also held various senior examining roles which is how he became interested in assessment.
Technical Product Specialist – BTL
Eloise joined BTL as a Technical Author in early 2017 after graduating from the University of Sunderland with a BA (Hons) in Fashion Journalism. She spent two years in our Product Communications and Training team curating and maintaining Surpass documentation and help resources. Eloise regularly delivered training to internal staff, as well as delivering training and providing support to Surpass customers throughout the UK and internationally.
Eloise found she thoroughly enjoyed interacting with our customers, helping them fit their processes into Surpass. In April Eloise took her problem-solving abilities to the Solutions team and joined as a Technical Product Specialist. She spends her time working with and supporting our customers in the migration process from our legacy software to Surpass.
Account Manager – BTL
Emma is currently the Account Manager for a number of Surpass customers in both the UK and Europe. She also manages the Surpass 11 to Surpass 12 migration project.
Before joining BTL, Emma worked extensively in software for the healthcare industry, managing software implementations in both primary and secondary care settings for more than 10 years. Having graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA (hons) in Business Management, Emma is also certified in ITIL v3, is a PRINCE2 practitioner and holds the APM Project Management Qualification (PMQ). She is fluent in both English and German.
Senior Business Development Manager – BTL
As Senior Business Development Manager, Emma helps prospective partners to understand how BTL’s Surpass software can meet their requirements, and how it can support them in enhancing their existing processes.
Emma joined BTL in 2011 after graduating with a First-Class Honours degree in English Literature from the University of Huddersfield. Emma was previously responsible for leading BTL’s Documentation and Training Team, overseeing the production of all supporting materials produced by BTL. In this role, Emma also worked closely with BTL partners to design and deliver training and workshop programmes tailored to meet each organisation’s specific needs. This background in product training provides Emma with an excellent understanding of the challenges and requirements of moving to a new assessment system, which she now applies to supporting new Surpass clients and partners through the procurement process.
Director – AlphaPlus Consultancy
Gavin is an educational assessment specialist with a background in engineering, which is brought to bear on technology-based assessment projects. Gavin joined AlphaPlus in 2006 and is now the Director of General Consulting. He has a successful track record working in the UK and internationally on product development and consultancy projects for education ministries, awarding organisations and professional bodies. He brings to the team strong project management skills developed on contracts for both public and private sector customers. He further profits from his experience as an engineering process manager. In this role he extracted business value from major IT investments through process redesign, system integration, innovation and training.
Gavin is a Board Member and Executive Committee Member of the eAssessment Association (www.e-assessment.com). He has presented his work at eAssessment conferences including; The eAssessment Question, eAssessment in Practice and the eVocational conference.
Product Communications & Training Manager – BTL
Georgie is committed to ensuring all users of Surpass know how the system works. She is an experienced trainer who has worked with many organisations to help them understand and use Surpass and SecureMarker.
As the manager of the Product Communications and Training team, Georgie is constantly looking at ways to improve the help and support available to users. She’s particularly excited about the new help site her team are creating and the positive impact it will have on all users of the system.
Georgie gained a BA in English Literature from Durham University before moving to the University of Nottingham to complete a PGCE in Secondary English. She continued to study for a MA Education part time with the University of Nottingham while working as an English teacher in secondary schools in both Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire. Since moving to BTL, Georgie has found her wider experience of the education industry invaluable.
Business Systems Support Manager – City & Guilds
Granville Edwards is the Business Systems Support Manager at City & Guilds where he has worked for over 15 years. During his time he has helped oversee City & Guilds move from paper based assessments to onscreen assessments in both an operational and product owner capacity. City & Guilds consistently deliver over 1m successful tests per year through the Surpass platform known as e-volve to City & Guilds customers. He now heads up a team of internal business systems support specialists who help keep business critical systems operational and relevant including e-volve.
He was heavily involved in the original City & Guilds launch of Functional Skills assessments on the Surpass platform and again now in the newly reformed Functional Skills launch with all its nuances and technology challenges.
Account Manager – BTL
Helen joined BTL in 2018 and was responsible for the successful implementation of BTL’s Online Invigilation service. She is also the Account Manager for a number of UK based Surpass customers.
Prior to joining BTL, Helen worked in the healthcare sector in various roles, predominantly as a Project Manager specialising in leading cross-functional teams in the full lifecycle, design and delivery of major business change projects, including ERP, CRM and HR systems. In parallel, she delivered software projects for NHS Digital and the Australian Navy.
Having graduated from Leeds Beckett University with a BA (Hons) in Counselling and Psychology in Community Settings, Helen worked as an Assistant Psychologist, supporting service users across Primary and Secondary Care Mental Health, did voluntary work as a Samaritan, and worked as an Employment Coordinator for Mencap, supporting job-seeking clients with learning difficulties.
Technical Author and Trainer – BTL
Holly joined the Product Communications and Training team in 2018 as an Assistant Technical Author, and became a Technical Author and Trainer in April 2019. In this role, she delivers training to internal staff, as well as delivering training in Surpass to customers throughout the country.
Holly is responsible for the Learning Portal, and is currently working to update and improve the entire video series.
Prior to joining BTL, Holly gained a BA in English Literature from Leeds Metropolitan University before moving to New York City to complete an internship in journalism.
Assessment Technology Portfolio Director – Prometric
Ibi is an assessment, psychometric and research expert with 10 years of test development experience working with licensure and certification organisations.
As Prometric’s Assessment Technology Portfolio Director, Ibi oversees Surpass implementation projects and feature developments to create high-performance content for Prometric client partners. She champions the use of best-practice methodologies in the creation of technology-based assessment tools for reliable, secure, and legally-defensible tests that are truly reflective of the work conducted in practice. Ibi is passionate about the blending of emerging technology and advancements in assessment to create greater value. She holds a Master’s degree in Industrial and Organisational Psychology from the University of Baltimore.
Solutions Architect – BTL
Ira is an Amazon Web Services Certified Solutions Architect with an illustrious software development history encompassing, Education, Life Sciences, Healthcare, Aviation, Financial and Security Service Industries.
Ira is skilled in architecture, systems development and new product development & design.
Lead Technical Author and Trainer – BTL
Jack is a senior member of the Product Communications and Training team, whose main responsibilities include training our customers how to use Surpass and SecureMarker, updating them about any new features, and using extensive knowledge of BTL’s products and customers to help refine future features and enhancements.
Jack manages his team’s UI, API, and external documentation output. Before joining BTL, Jack graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Language and Literature, with a year of his studies spent at the Université de Liège, Belgium, as part of the Erasmus+ programme.
Senior Subject Specialist – NCFE CACHE
Janet is a Senior Subject Specialist at CACHE with a focus on childcare qualifications. She plays a crucial role in developing qualifications to ensure they are market leaders. Her previous work involved management in Further and Higher Education across the care provision, and within social services and education.
Account Manager – BTL
As an Account Manager, Jen is responsible for managing the relationships of several BTL customers. From contract discussions to helping customers with the change process, she works with all departments to ensure customers are taking full advantage of everything Surpass has to offer.
Jen also manages the Flash to HTML transformation programme of Surpass, making sure it is a meaningful e-assessment solution that is forward thinking and takes advantage of advancements in technology. This includes the continued Flash support project, conversion of the core screens within Surpass, and guiding customers through the process of converting their tests to HTML.
Before joining BTL in 2017, Jen worked as a project manager at the international law firm Eversheds Sutherland. During her time there, she worked on several client-facing implementation projects involving the development of case management systems and commoditising legal processes.
Director – AlphaPlus Consultancy
John is a director of AlphaPlus Consultancy Ltd and an experienced leader of projects in education, particularly in the areas of standards, qualifications and assessment, and educational technology. He is an experienced business manager with a track record of business growth in UK education and technology businesses. He has specialised in providing world-class services for standards, qualifications and assessment agencies in the UK and overseas through the three companies he has helped to found and build over the last 15 years: BTL Group Ltd, The Virtual College plc and his current business, AlphaPlus.
John has a BSc and MEng in Electrical Engineering from the University of Bath. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors. He is also Chairman of The Beckfoot Trust – a multi academy trust in West Yorkshire.
Chief Executive Officer – BTL
Keith has overseen the growth of BTL since his arrival in 2000, successfully building a strong, talented workforce and forging strategic partnerships with high profile global service providers such as City & Guilds and Prometric.
Under Keith’s leadership, BTL has grown to be one of the most respected technology providers to the assessment sector. In this time, BTL has expanded from 20 to more than 170 employees, with a turnover of £12 million and assessments delivered in more than 144 countries via Surpass: The Assessment Platform. As a result of Keith’s commitment, BTL is now a globally trusted provider of secure and reliable software solutions for large scale, high-stakes testing.
Education Technology Manager – School of Biosciences, Cardiff University
Laura has been a member of staff with Cardiff University for over 10 years and a technologist with the School of Biosciences, Cardiff University for the last two years. She has been tasked with the procurement and implementation of Surpass within the School, which has over 1400 undergraduate students. Laura is currently training staff to use Surpass ready for the new academic year.
Having graduated with a degree in English Studies, when she is not being a technologist Laura is a book reviewer and blogger.
Business Development Manager – BTL
As Business Development Manager, Lizzie helps organisations that are looking for a new assessment platform to understand how the Surpass solution can meet their requirements and enhance their existing processes.
Lizzie joined BTL in 2015 after completing her Masters degree at Leeds Beckett University, and was part of BTL’s Documentation and Training Team until 2017. In this role, Lizzie took responsibility for coordinating and delivering training to the Surpass community, providing her with excellent Surpass product knowledge and a good understanding of client requirements when moving to Surpass. Lizzie went on to join the Business Development team as a Bid Manager, co-ordinating bids and proposals and working with BTL teams to deliver timely responses to prospective Surpass partners. Managing bids provided Lizzie with detailed knowledge of what organisations look for with a new assessment system, which Lizzie uses to support potential Surpass users through the process of selecting and implementing a new solution.
e-Assessment Manager and Content Developer – Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University
Martha has been the e-Assessment Manager at Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University since 2015. In that time, she transitioned the traditional pen and paper exams for the distance global MBA programme to e-assessment. She now also develops content for the new online MBA programme. With 27 years’ experience in teaching, learning and assessment, she has worked in several countries worldwide. She is currently studying for an MSc in Digital Education with specialism in e-assessment to support her work at Heriot-Watt University. She is particularly interested in the theme of global digital divides and bringing online assessment to those who previously could not access it. She is the Sponsorship Secretary of the e-Assessment Association and in 2017, in the first year of the e-Assessment Association Awards, Martha won in the Export category for Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University and was highly commended in the Best Institution category.
Head of Transformation Projects – The London Institute of Banking & Finance
After many years in the IT Department, at the beginning of 2019 Nick helped establish the Business Transformation Office at The London Institute of Banking & Finance. A small team of business analysts, project managers and developers, the BTO is tasked with leading the delivery of projects that are key to achieving the strategic plan. These include the development of products or services and the deployment of new systems, process improvements and new operating models.
Nick was part of the team that selected Surpass to replace an in-house question bank management system, and is leading the project to use Surpass to improve the processes and user experience across LIBF’s broad range of assessment models.
Olly Newton – Keynote
Director of Policy and Research – The Edge Foundation
Olly Newton spent 12 years in the Department for Education working on policies including 14-19 diplomas, raising the participation age and most recently as Head of Apprenticeship Strategy. Olly then joined the Edge Foundation as Director of Policy and Research, where he oversees a programme of primary research, and is lead author on all of the charity’s reports and runs the Edge Future Learning delivery programme for schools and colleges. In his spare time, Olly volunteers with the Scout Association and helps run a community theatre in Sheffield.
Head of Assessment – NEBOSH
Paul is the Head of Assessment at NEBOSH, responsible for assessment creation and quality assurance for all NEBOSH health, safety and environmental qualifications, worldwide. Prior to joining NEBOSH 11 years ago, Paul worked as a Health, Safety and Environment Engineer within both the civil engineering and educational sectors, after almost 25 years of working within the deep coal mining industry. On leaving the coal mining industry, Paul successfully continued with his NEBOSH studies in Occupational Safety and Health, graduating from Warwick University. Paul is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.
Chief Executive – Skills and Education Group
Paul is passionate about the Further Education and Skills Sector and has over 30 years’ experience in the post-16 skills sector, including seven years as a lecturer and 13 years managing work-based learning with colleges and independent providers. Prior to becoming Chief Executive of the Skills and Education Group, Paul worked at the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) as Director of Sector Reforms and 14 to 19. Paul is also currently the Chair of the Federation of Awarding Bodies (FAB).
Paul holds a Degree in Business Management, jointly from The University of Central England and The Birmingham College of Food, a Post Graduate Diploma in Training Management from the University of Wolverhampton and a Masters in Personnel and Development from the University of Plymouth.
Assessment Design Manager – AQA
Rachel Teale has worked in various roles at AQA for 19 years. She is currently an Assessment Design Manager, responsible for assessments in English Language and Modern Foreign Languages. She works with subject experts to design assessments that are fair and reliable and support students in their educational journey, drawing on the latest research and best practice in assessment to achieve this. She has had a keen interest in e-assessment since being involved in the piloting of ContentProducer software at AQA back in 2010. Prior to joining AQA Rachel taught French and Spanish in a comprehensive school in the north of England.
Head of Design & UX – BTL
Richard has been with BTL since 2005 when he joined as a multimedia designer. His career then progressed to being responsible for all marketing output for BTL. During this time, he showcased exceptional understanding and talent for user experience design. Richard realised that with a little thought, users’ needs could be addressed alongside the technical requirements of the system. Now, Richard leads a large team of focus led designers dedicated to ensuring that Surpass is both aesthetically designed and user friendly. His passion for user experience has led to an increased awareness throughout the organisation, bridging an important gap between user experience and technical requirements.
Test Delivery Services Manager – BTL
Sam joined the BTL Test Delivery Services team in 2016. Prior to this, Sam worked for one of the principal suppliers for the TDS team, Pitman Training, and managed the franchise network in hosting external exams, bringing with her a wealth of knowledge including providing high quality testing facilities and invigilators, and ensuring standards are consistent throughout. This aided Sam in improving the quality of all our test centre offering and managing exam day delivery for Surpass customers.
More recently, Sam has transitioned to managing the Online Invigilation service provided by BTL to lead continued improvement and growth.
Solutions Architect – BTL
Shubham joined BTL as a Technical Architect two years ago, before joining the Solutions team.
She is currently working on projects including capability for online marking of scanned scripts, advanced customised assessment services which integrate with Surpass, and Item Authoring enhancements.
Shubham has a degree in software engineering and has more than 10 years of experience working in the IT industry across a number of domains. She has worked with large enterprises to help with their complex integrations with disparate systems and their migrations using Cloud offerings (primarily Azure) and is ideally placed to discover, analyse, consult and recommend with customers when it comes to integration with the Surpass platform.
Chief Operations Officer | Managing Director (UK) – BTL
After more than 10 years of overseeing BTL’s Operations, Sonya’s professional yet friendly attitude towards staff, combined with her extensive knowledge of all aspects of BTL made her the perfect fit for stepping up to the Managing Director role for the UK office in 2017.
She continues her role as the Chief Operations Officer where she works with her teams who are involved in the whole lifecycle of a customer’s journey: from the initiation of a project, through to the delivery and support of the continuous service. She is also accountable for BTL’s Test Centre Network.
Sonya recognises the importance of process across the entire organisation to enable the continued successful operation of consistent and robust assessment delivery. She instigated and championed the internal project established to achieve ISO:9001 and ISO:27001 accreditation. As Managing Director she continues to support various projects across the business to lead the UK teams and drive continued improvement, growth and promotion of the company values.
Prior to joining BTL in 2003, Sonya worked for Accenture, the international project management consultancy company. She is certified in ITIL and achieved the PRINCE2 practitioner qualification.
Steven Hope – Alternative Keynote
Director – EduFuturists
Steven is a certified Google Trainer and the current head of Independent Learning at Leeds City College, which covers the Technology Enhanced Learning strand, LRC structure as well as all independent learning across the college. Steven brings his passion for learning and the impact technology can have to everything he does. Steven’s teaching background is sport from pre 16 to HE. He has experience in leading and influence culture from all levels and in school governance too.
Senior Technical Architect – BTL
Tom joined BTL in 2002, after graduating from the University of Cambridge with an MEng in Electrical and Information Sciences. During this time, he has amassed a significant knowledge and understanding of the assessment industry and built close relationships with global testing organisations such as City & Guilds and Prometric. This has helped him to become the cornerstone of Surpass: The Assessment Platform’s cutting-edge development.
As a Technical Architect, Tom works closely with both the Solutions and Development teams to meet the needs and desires of the Surpass Community. Tom pursues the regular addition of new Technology Enhanced Item Types to create more engaging and life-like simulation style questions alongside the more common multiple choice and essay items. Tom is a keen researcher into innovative technologies and is the driving force behind BTL’s adoption of streamlined, AI-based applications of algorithmic computer marking and Item Response Theory (IRT).
Recently, Tom has been pivotal in implementing Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT) and Linear-on-the-Fly Testing (LOFT) methods directly into Surpass.
Tom is a classic example of how BTL employs the best in the field, and ensures that team members have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the assessment sector. This helps to ensure that solutions are technically and logically fit for purpose.
Lead Technical Author and Trainer – BTL
Since joining BTL, Tom has been passionate about helping customers understand how to use Surpass to the best of their abilities. He is an accomplished writer and experienced trainer who has helped many organisations in creating the best digital testing content possible.
For the last 10 months, Tom has been working on developing the new documentation platform that will be revealed at this year’s Surpass Conference. This has included running usability sessions with staff to understand their needs and wants as well as their pain points, prototyping designs and frameworks, and formalising a new house style for the Product Communications and Training team that is based on well-established technical writing and instructional design principles. He is currently managing the team to create a brand-new documentation suite for the platform’s launch in 2020.
Prior to joining BTL, Tom studied for a PhD at the University of Sheffield on an AHRC scholarship. This involved extensive independent research, the writing of a complex 100,000 word thesis, teaching 3 groups of undergraduates, and mentoring younger postgraduates. The skills he learnt over his 4 years of doctoral study have been invaluable to his ability to communicate technical information efficiently and effectively both in person and on the page.
Online Assessment & E-Marking Manager – NCFE
Toni is an education professional having worked in the vocational sector for over 14 years. Dedicating her time within the quality assurance department at NCFE, a national Awarding Body based in Newcastle upon Tyne, she has worked with e-platforms and specifically BTL for over 10 years. More recently she was promoted as the Online Assessment & e-Marking Manager allowing her to dedicate her time to exploring and innovating with e-platforms.
Head of Digital Development – telc gGmbH
Vanessa Appoh is Head of Digital Development at telc gGmbH, Germany. As an expert for e-learning and language technology, and speaker of five foreign languages, her mission is to combine those two worlds into engaging and effective language learning and assessment products. Vanessa has worked with reputable educational institutions across Europe and Asia, developing digital learning tools that are tailored to the needs of the customers’ target group. When not learning languages, Vanessa enjoys endurance sports, badminton, and playing the Cajón.
Solutions Architect – BTL
Will has been at BTL for more than three years, starting as an Assistant Technical Author. After gaining experience in client-facing training sessions and implementation projects, as well as gaining expert knowledge of Surpass: The Assessment Platform, he now works as part of the Solutions team. In this role, he works closely on the Personalised Assessments project for the Welsh Government, to bring adaptive numeracy and literacy assessments on-screen. He also provides solutions support for the continual improvement of Surpass, and regularly engages with clients to gather requirements and help to integrate Surpass with their current business processes.
Prior to joining BTL, Will gained a degree in English and American Studies from the University of Birmingham and was a Teaching Assistant at the University of Wyoming.