Job Openings >> ESOL Item Writer/Reviewer
ESOL Item Writer/Reviewer
Title:ESOL Item Writer/Reviewer
Location:International - United Kingdom

ESOL Item Writers/Reviewers

PSI Services, a global leader in workforce management solutions and delivery of testing programs, are working in partnership with Scottish Qualifications Authority, Scotland’s national accreditation and awarding body, to develop new Secure English Language Test content and are recruiting item writers/reviewers to support the construction of test material at all 6 levels of the CEFR from Autumn 2020 through to 2022.

An item writer is responsible for creating items or tasks and appropriate supporting answer keys under the direction of the SQA Assessment Development Team which must be undertaken within the conditions, timeframes and arrangements set by PSI and SQA. The primary role is to work with SQA Assessment Development Team and other Item Writers and/or Item Reviewers as appropriate, to ensure the successful implementation and delivery of the project. This work can be undertaken remotely and in your own time. Access to a secure personal device, reliable internet connection and private personal e-mail address are essential.

Successful applicants will be required to attend a one day paid training event and this will be delivered remotely via video-conferencing.

Payment – Competitive fees for activity

Outline of Duties

  • Produce new items/tasks/texts/answer keys for the Skills for English tests in accordance with item writer guidance from the SQA assessment development team. New items/tasks/texts and answer keys must be of a suitable standard in terms of validity, reliability, accuracy, content, CEFR level, spelling and grammar.
  • Identify sources and copyright requirements for submission along with items/tasks/texts and answer keys by specified deadlines.
  • Ensure that new items/tasks/texts are free of bias and stereotyping on the basis of factors such as race, religion, disability, sex, social background, sexual orientation and age.
  • Engage with Item Reviewers and the SQA Assessment Development Team in relation to editing/amendments when required.
  • Support SQA and PSI with continuous improvement developments.

Essential criteria

Successful applicants must:

  • Have demonstrable experience of item writing/reviewing/materials development, preferably for high-stakes ESOL examinations.
  • Have several years’ experience of teaching adults (ESOL or English for Academic Purposes) OR demonstrable experience of working with an ESOL Exam Board/Awarding Organization.
  • Have a recognised TESOL certification; e.g. certificate or diploma level, the Cambridge CELTA or DELTA.
  • Have a working knowledge of the CEFR.
  • Be able to communicate and engage professionally, confidently and effectively with a variety of stakeholders.
  • Be able to demonstrate good forward planning and time management skills and adhere to strict deadlines.
  • Have excellent proofreading skills and strong attention to detail.
  • Be competent in using IT packages such as Word, Excel and email and data sharing via secure Sharepoint.

Desirable criteria

  • A minimum of 5 years’ experience of teaching adults (ESOL or English for Academic Purposes).
  • Master’s degree in relevant field.
  • Experience of preparing candidates for Secure English Language Tests (e.g. IELTS).

Other requirements

Successful applicants must:

  • Have a secure personal device, which is compliant with our minimum specifications (as detailed in the contract), a reliable internet connection and a private personal e-mail address
  • Be responsible for the security and confidentiality of any assessment material that they engage with.
Security Clearance

Due to the nature of the tests, successful applicants will be required to undertake necessary security checks. These will be conducted on the applicants at no cost to them.
This role requires candidates to hold a current UK, EU or Commonwealth passport with Indefinite Leave to Remain (or equivalent) with a minimum of 1 year validity left on the passport. 

The successful candidates will also have to be able to evidence a minimum of 5 years continuous residence in the UK or have maintained a UK base for the last 5 years in order to comply with security clearance requirements.

How to apply

If you are interested in this opportunity, please apply online through our company website by clicking the 'Apply Now' button. 

If you have any questions on the role or would like further information, please contact the SELT Project Team on


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