Assessors and Lead Assessors – Quality of Higher Education Courses


24th June 2022

About the OfS

We are the independent regulator of higher education in England. Our primary aim is to ensure that English higher education is delivering positive outcomes for students – past, present, and future.

We have recently announced changes to our regulation of quality in English higher education providers, following comprehensive consultation. Our revised requirements set out our minimum requirements for quality. They will allow us to intervene where higher education courses fall below our expectations and help us to ensure that all students, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, have meaningful choices of high-quality courses and are effectively supported to succeed.

We are now initiating a programme of work in 2022-23, through which we will identify individual universities and colleges that may not be meeting our minimum requirements, and we are seeking academic experts to work with us on this.

The role

We are now recruiting to a panel of academic expert assessors, initially for a period of 12 months, to help us to deliver this new programme of work. This is an exciting opportunity to play an integral role in driving up the quality of higher education across the sector and to safeguard the reputation of English higher education.

For each investigation of a university or college, we will select assessors from the panel, based on their specific skills, experience and expertise, their availability and the nature of the issue(s) to be investigated.

Our expert academic assessors will work in small teams, led by a lead assessor and we are seeking both assessors and lead assessors in this recruitment round. You will use your expert academic judgement to assess whether, for example, a particular course provides educational challenge and is effectively delivered. This might include considering whether the balance of learning activities is appropriate, or whether students are sufficiently independent in their learning. Or we might ask you to judge whether students on a particular course are assessed effectively, in a way that provides stretch and rigour consistent with the level of the course.

We are particularly, but not only, interested in hearing from applicants who have academic expertise in subject areas relating to business and management.

We are looking for experienced academics who are willing and able to challenge established norms where these are not delivering a high quality academic experience for students. We are not seeking expertise in the design and operation of quality assurance processes. We are seeking academics who are able to reach and explain robust and defensible academic judgements, focusing on the learning, teaching and assessment provided for students, rather than the processes that the provider follows to deliver those things. We will want you to focus on academic rather than administrative matters.

Assessors will be able to contribute to designing the scope of an investigation, identifying questions and themes for exploration through meetings with staff and students, and by scrutiny of course documents and other written material. They will also have excellent drafting skills, with the ability to describe complex evidence, the judgements they have reached about that evidence, and the reasons for their conclusions.

About you

You will be an academic expert, with experience in designing and delivering learning, teaching and assessment in higher education.  You may be an expert within your academic discipline, or you may have experience across disciplines, and in one or more institutions. Either way, you will be able to use your expertise, both subject specific expertise and broader pedagogical expertise, to reach academic judgements about the quality of higher education in a range of different contexts. You may be at the beginning of your academic career or have more extensive experience.

You will be employed by a higher education provider as academic staff, or have recently been employed as such. We are particularly interested in applications from those from a university or college with the strongest performance in providing a high quality student experience which enables positive student outcomes.

Where your subject specific expertise relates to an area in which doctoral-level qualifications are the norm for academic staff, we will expect you to be qualified to doctoral level. Where your expertise is in a subject area in which there is a greater variation in the qualifications of academic staff, we will expect you to have expertise that is equivalent to doctoral-level qualification if you do not hold a qualification itself.

Lead assessors will have the ability to provide strong leadership of an investigation team, drawing appropriately on the skills and experience of the assessors in the team, resulting in the team reaching robust and well-reasoned academic judgements.


Assessors and lead assessors will be paid a flat fee for each investigation, calculated by reference to a day rate of £480 for lead assessors and £430 for assessors. The anticipated time commitment for each investigation in 2022-23 is 9 to 11 days, with additional days for lead assessors to finalise the investigation report. However, the time commitment may vary for each investigation and will be set out by the OfS in advance.

Lead assessors may also be remunerated for additional activities, such as quality assurance and moderation of investigation reports, by reference to the same applicable rate.


Remote working with some business travel

Ref: R0000350

Working with us

The OfS regulates the higher education sector on behalf of all students. We value diversity and the wealth of perspectives, experience and ideas that it brings to our work, and we strive to embed equality of opportunity in everything we do.

We recruit based on fair and open competition and welcome applications from candidates regardless of age, disability, race and ethnicity, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation and socio-economic background.

Application process

To apply please click here 

You will be asked to upload a CV and answer some online questions setting out how you meet the experience, knowledge and skills requirements of the role(s) for which you are applying (assessor and/or lead assessor).

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to participate in an assessment centre in late July 2022.

If you are not appointed, we may want to retain your application for consideration in future recruitment rounds when, for example, our business needs may require different academic expertise. We will contact relevant applicants about this.