the e-Assessment Association

NCFE launches £1 million Innovation Fund

NCFE launches £1 million Innovation Fund

Educational charity and leader in vocational and technical learning, NCFE, launches a new £1 million fund to develop new and future-focused approaches to assessment in education. The Assessment Innovation Fund (AIF) will be a catalyst for large-scale change by providing evidence-based, alternative assessment solutions to deliver a transformational learning and assessment experience. 

The fund is now open for applications from any organisation with an interesting idea about what the future of assessment might look like for the various stages of the learner journey. In each application window, there will be an expert panel of six members selected from the AIF board (comprising academic and regulated awarding and assessment organisations, EdTech organisations, corporates, Jisc, colleges, providers and NCFE representatives), who will provide the governance for pilots taken forward. Initial funding will be for a 12-month programme of activity and organisations can apply for up to £100,000 to be allocated per pilot. 

NCFE’s ambition is to create innovative, robust and reliable assessment solutions, within an intelligent education ecosystem that help to build trust, confidence, and value at every level of the system. These assessment approaches will be inherently fair, and will provide an appropriate level of ‘recognisable value’ to all stakeholders who have invested in learning. 

Janine Oliver, Head of Assessment Innovation at NCFE said: 

“At the heart of NCFE’s vision to promote and advance learning is the deep desire to help every individual achieve their full potential throughout their lifetime, whatever the starting point and however ambitious the goals.  

As the pace of change in the world is ever-increasing, particularly due to disruptive new technologies, major societal trends, and not to mention the ongoing global pandemic, the needs of the labour market will continue to rapidly evolve. This will require most people to continuously develop themselves to overcome challenges and seize opportunities, demonstrating their skills along the way. 

 An integral part of enabling this development is through looking at the future of assessment and identifying the key ingredients required to create a system that is truly transformational for learners in technical and vocational education. 

Through this fund, we hope to enable and empower organisations to think big –  to explore, innovate and importantly evidence how we can continue to evolve the way we assess in the future, learning lessons from the seismic global changes over the last 2 years.” 

If you’d like to know more about the Assessment Innovation Fund and how to submit your idea, please visit  

Phase 1 application round closes on 1 October 2021.

Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

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