PAPAA Overview

The PAPAA enables professionals to meet the requirements set by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) to assess candidates for Access Arrangements

Workshop taking place with whiteboard

The 2016/17 Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) regulations clarified that an access arrangements assessor must have successfully completed a post-graduate course at or equivalent to Level 7, including at least 100 hours relating to individual specialist assessment. The PAPAA is an online course leading to an accreditation that meets the JCQ criteria for Access Arrangements Assessors.

The Postgraduate Award of Proficiency in Assessment for Access Arrangements (PAPAA) is at the equivalent of Level 7 on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF). The course will take approximately 115-120 hours to complete, depending on previous knowledge and experience and includes assignments plus further reading and practice.

The course is split into 2 units:

Administering and interpreting a range of standardised tests

  • An introduction to the principles of educational testing
  • The administration of standardised tests suitable for use in assessments for access arrangements
  • Featured tests include:
    • Access Reading Test
    • Adult Reading Test
    • Automated Working Memory Assessment 2
    • British Picture Vocabulary Scale 3
    • Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing 2
    • Detailed Assessment of Speed of Handwriting
    • Diagnostic Reading Analysis 2
    • Gray Oral Reading Tests 5
    • Symbol Digit Modalities Test
    • Test of Memory and Learning 2
    • Test of Word Reading Efficiency 2
    • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test IIuk T
    • Wide Range Achievement Test 4
    • Wide Range Achievement Test 5
    • Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning 2
    • Wide Range Intelligence Test
    • York Assessment of Reading Comprehension

Understanding the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) regulations ‘Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments’, and applying them within your centre.

  • Rationale for access arrangements
  • Types of access arrangement
  • Arrangements appropriate for candidates with:
    • Dyslexia and other learning difficulties
    • Physical difficulties
    • Sensory impairments
    • English as an additional language
    • Other difficulties
  • Compiling/recording appropriate evidence
  • Training staff involved in access arrangements within the centre
  • Screening large groups
  • Assessing individuals
  • Applying for arrangements through Access Arrangements Online (AAO)
  • Using assistive technology in exams
  • Roles, responsibilities and systems within the centre
  • The Equality Act and its influence on examinations
  • Ethical issues, data protection and confidentiality

The PAPAA course was written and developed by Caroline Read ( and Sarah Beard ( & Both are experienced dyslexia practitioners who have worked in the field of assessment and access arrangements for many years.

Working together they have been able to use their individual expertise to design a course which is both practical and underpinned by sound academic principles. Successful completion of the award allows qualified teachers to become Assessors for Access Arrangements in as little as three months.

Before they can start the assignments, PAPAA students are required to view a number of video lectures which explain the principles of psychometric testing, the JCQ regulations and associated content necessary to meet the criteria for an Access Arrangements Assessor.

(Students who opt for Blended Learning delivery will access some of these presentations face to face).

Assignments consist of a mix of practical tasks, online questionnaires, essays and data analysis.

Download an application form

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