From education to employment

John McNamara reflects on FAB 2023: ‘Awarding and Assessment in a New Era’

John McNamara

On 30 November and 1 December, over 400 delegates convened in Leicester for FAB’s annual flagship conference for experts in awarding and assessment.

Commenting on the successful event, interim CEO John McNamara said:

“FAB were delighted to welcome a record-number of delegates to our largest ever annual conference, coming together to share our knowledge and innovations. My congratulations to all award winners and nominees who were recognised in our celebration of professional excellence at this year’ awards ceremony.

In our brand-new interactive zone, delegates were able to trial immersive technology and explore the possibilities for enhancing the accessibility, accuracy and efficiency of assessment. As we look to the future of awarding and assessment, these emerging trends will play a key role in our industry’s adaptability and resilience, which FAB stand ready to support”.

FAB (The Federation of Awarding Bodies) has announced the appointment of Kion Ahadi as its new Chief Executive Officer!

On Day One, the appointment of Kion Ahadi from 5 February as the new CEO was announced.

Kion has a wealth of experience at executive level working in professional bodies and sectors skills councils, such as The Law Society (TLS), ScreenSkills and the Chartered Management Institute. Kion’s previous roles have included driving commercial growth, strategy development, policy and successfully leading high performing teams.

Check out the meeting Kion video here.

Winners of the world class FAB 2023 Awards

The FAB Awards on the 30 November recognised the contributions made by awarding organisations and their employees to education and skills in the UK over the past year.

Now in its 8th year, the FAB 2023 Awards dinner, sponsored by Advanced Secure Technologies, was held at the end of the first day of the FAB Conference.

The Awards were independently judged by Sander Kristel, Interim CEO at UCAS , Piers Collins, Co-Founder at hundo, David Smith, Chief Executive at Global Futures and Foresight, Anna Morrison CBE, Director of Amazing Apprenticeships, Dr Annabel Keirnan, Pro Vice Chancellor Academic at Staffordshire University, Neehal Bajwa, VP Liberation & Equality at NUS and Anne Bailey, Chief Executive at Form the Future.

This year’s winners are:

  • AO/Employer relationship of the year, sponsored by Ecctis – AIM Qualifications and Assessment Group and Home Group
  • AO/provider relationship of the year, sponsored by Inspera – Gateway Qualifications and Calderdale College
  • Apprentice of the year, sponsored by Eintech – Christopher Ademola – NCFE
  • Learner of the Year, sponsored by Peridot – Emma McNaught – AIM Qualifications and Assessment Group
  • Awarding Organisation of The Year for Delivering Real Impact on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, sponsored by PSI Services – The Institute of the Motor Industry
  • Innovation of the year, sponsored by Advanced Secure Technologies- Safety Training Awards
  • Social Responsibility Initiative of The Year, sponsored by Reed Assessment – Active IQ
  • Individual of The Year, sponsored by Gordon Associates – Carol Snape – Gateway Qualifications 
  • Qualification of the year, sponsored by Coelrind –Gateway Qualifications: Living and Working in the UK Qualification
  • End Point Assessment Organisation of the Year, sponsored by TestReach – Highfield Qualifications
  • Awarding Organisation of the Year, sponsored by Creatio – English Speaking Board International Ltd

The future is bright for international awarding and assessment!

The success of international education and skills was a key theme of the conference, as awarding organisations look to enter new markets and develop existing provision. FAB were joined by the UK Government’s  International Education Champion Sir Steve Smith to discuss changes and opportunities in overseas delivery.

Tim Bennett-Hart (CEO, RSL Awards), FAB non-executive director and Lead Member for FAB’s International group announced that following discussions with Ofqual, the definition of ‘sufficient demand’ for a qualification in England to remain on the Ofqual Register of regulated Qualifications has been established as a minimum of one learner. This will be a useful clarification and offer greater certainty to those Awarding Organisations delivering regulated qualifications internationally.

FAB are also pleased to announce the launch of the Q-UK International Register. Q-UK a comprehensive database of qualifications and other innovative educational products and essential services that are available for export such as educational resources design, research and consultancy for vocational and technical education. FAB will continue to work with the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) to promote high quality UK qualifications available to an international audience via Q-UK.

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