Mission: At Cambridge Assessment, our purpose is to help learners demonstrate and fulfil their potential.
Our bursary winners started their first term at the University of Cambridge last week. In his latest blog, Simon Lebus looks back at some stand-out winners and congratulates the record number of high-achieving recipients this year, the final cohort he awarded as our Group Chief Executive.
We are an international exams group designing and delivering assessments to over 8 million learners in over 170 countries. We are committed to ensuring that all our assessments are fair, have sound ethical underpinning, and operate according to the highest technical standards.
Established over 150 years ago, Cambridge Assessment operates and manages the University's three exam boards and carries out leading-edge academic and operational research on assessment in education. We are a not-for-profit organisation.
We own and manage OCR, Cambridge International Examinations and Cambridge English Language Assessment, and carry out leading-edge and operational research on assessment in education. We are the oldest exams group still in existence and the only one attached to a university.
We also offer:
We employ over 2,500 people; over 1,500 of whom are in our head office in Cambridge; 350 in our Midlands based offices and others based in regional offices both in the UK and internationally. As well as being highly qualified, a high proportion of our people are from the teaching profession and have the practical experience to understand the demands placed on the people delivering our qualifications.
Our mission is to provide excellence in education. We believe that educational integrity should be at the heart of all assessment and that tests and qualifications are only of value if they inform the learning process and reflect the true status of an individual's knowledge and understanding.
We are committed to ensuring all learners access the benefits of their education through a fair and accurate assessment of their skills, knowledge and understanding.
A philosophy of fairness and integrity runs through everything we do, and we are committed to the delivery of our goals through the way we work together, both in teams and as individuals.
Our values are:
The Cambridge Approach sets out the principles forming the key reference points for the design, administration and evaluation of our assessments. It is intended both to reflect the best practice in assessment that we seek to follow as an organisation and to be a practical guide for those involved in the development of new assessments.
It demonstrates international best practice and enables us to lead the assessment debate through the progressive use of the concept of validity. It provides an overarching structure for individual qualifications but is not designed to relate to every aspect. The Cambridge Approach covers the full lifecycle of an assessment and will be regularly updated with the latest developments.
Cambridge Assessment was established as the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES) by the University of Cambridge in 1858. We were set up to administer local examinations for students who were not members of the University of Cambridge, with the aim of raising standards in education. We also inspected schools. Today, we develop and deliver examinations and tests in 170 countries.
There have been many changes to the education system over the years but the ethos that sparked the creation of our organisation still drives our work today; we continue to strive for the on-going improvement to assessment systems and methodologies used around the world to ensure learners access the benefits of their education.
We think we’re great people to work with, but then maybe we’re biased! What we are certain about though is that if you join us you’ll be surrounded by talented people with diverse backgrounds and skills, working together in a friendly and supportive way.
We have ambitious plans to become the leading world authority on assessment. It matters to us that people rise to bigger challenges and reach their potential, so as your ambitions and interests grow there will be opportunities to move around the business and gain new skills.
We’ll expect you to take responsibilities for fulfilling your own potential, and we will provide you with the training and development opportunities to manage this.
We’re proud of our 150 years heritage and the expertise that it has given us, as well as our global reputation for quality. Our qualifications are recognised by universities, governments, ministries, educational institutions and employers around the world.
Did you know that we are not only based in Cambridge? We also have a site in Coventry, as well as a number of other smaller offices around the UK and overseas. We’re continuing to invest in new facilities and infrastructure across the Group so that our people can enjoy bright and airy offices equipped with up-to-date technology.
In 2018 Cambridge Assessment will be moving to a new home The Triangle, this new international headquarters will bring together all Cambridge Assessment’s Cambridge-based staff, currently based in 11 different offices across the city, under one roof. The site is on what was previously Cambridge University Press’s Edinburgh Building on Shaftesbury Road Cambridge, to the South-East of Cambridge city centre.
I have been working at Cambridge Assessment full-time (More than 5 years)
My line manager is excellent. She has encouraged my growth and confidence, as well as being flexible when the needs of my (young) family required.
Alongside this, Cambridge Assessment has a real commitment to developing their staff. Whether that is through learning and development, wellbeing initiatives or of particular importance in my roll, access to relevant equipment and software.
Collaboration is one of our values - and you see this in action all the time as people work hard together across the different parts of our business.
I feel secure and supported at Cambridge Assessment.
There are times when I think we could do things quicker.
As well as having offices in Coventry, and overseas we currently have many offices in central Cambridge which, whilst it has its advantages, is not always ideal. We are, however, due to move to a brand new Cambridge headquarters soon (Q1 2018).
It currently takes me about 45 minutes to travel to the office. It would be great to have a shorter commute.
Advice to Management
My advice largely is to keep doing what you are doing!
I applied online. The process took 6 weeks. I interviewed at Cambridge Assessment (Cambridge, East of England, England).
Friendly staff and a very thorough application and interview process initially, but following notification that I was unsuccessful at interview there was no further feedback (or even contact) - even though it was requested.