Help shape the future of learning | NCFE | NCFE

What can we help you find?

Qualifications, policies and documents can be found on QualHub

Visit QualHub

Help shape the future of learning and assessment

Our Assessment Innovation Fund

Get funding to bring your assessment design ideas to life.

We’re dedicated to promoting and advancing learning – it’s our core purpose.

This purpose drives our commitment to deliver world-class educational services that enable learners to achieve their potential. We also believe that great innovation needs great collaborators. That’s why we launched our Assessment Innovation Fund in 2021.

Pilot projects from the first successful applications are now in progress, with exciting findings that we can't wait to share. Over the next 12 months, we’ll continue to invest in piloting new and innovative approaches to assessment. This includes testing out brand-new ideas and exploring the use of technology.

We want to support you in developing your ideas for better assessment that meets the needs of learners and educators today.

The next funding window opens in August 2022. We're offering up to £25,000 to fund pilots as part of our next phase. We want to hear from you if you think you can help develop new and innovative assessment solutions that meet the evolving needs of the education sector.

To keep informed about open dates of upcoming funding windows, please subscribe to our update emails using the form on this page. 

If you'd like to speak to someone about the Assessment Innovation Fund, please contact [email protected]rg.uk to arrange a call. 

What happens during the Assessment Innovation team call?

You’ll collaborate with an NCFE colleague around the idea for your pilot. They will: 

  • Support you with questions around the contracting process  
  • Help with developing a project plan   
  • Work with you to develop project milestones  
  • Give guidance on the reporting requirements for the project
  • Encourage accountability based on evidence and impact   
  • Ensure an evaluation process is in place.  

Ultimately, they’ll provide the support you need to effectively pilot your idea. 

What we’re looking for 

We want to hear from you if you think you can help transform assessment and provide solutions that: 

  • Deliver a transformational learning and assessment experience for all learners 
  • Consider meta and technical skills development to enable learners to develop agency 
  • Enable personalisation in assessment 
  • Develop an assessment system that is fair and inclusive by design and moves away from high stakes, stressful exams where appropriate to do so 
  • Provide balance and interplay of formative and summative assessment 
  • Implement technology to make assessment more readily available and fit for purpose 
  • Build a real-time picture of the impact of the learning     
  • Use data and technology in insightful and efficient ways to enable high quality teaching, learning and assessment 
  • Use data more effectively to improve the level of perceived value of assessment processes, as a means of enabling choice and informing every stage of the learning journey. 
Who can apply for funding? 

We’d love to hear from: 

  • Training providers   
  • Qualification developers  
  • Awarding organisations  
  • Quality assurers   
  • Ed tech organisations  
  • Colleges 
  • Other organisations interested in changing the future of assessment. 
What if your application is unsuccessful?

Don’t feel discouraged if you don’t succeed on your first application. We’re committing to support ideas that, with a bit of extra help from us, have the potential to go the distance. We’ll help you work through some of the extra detail needed and encourage you to make a second application for funding. 

Whatever stage your idea is at, if you think it’s something special, apply as part of our next funding round. 

More information 

Speak to a member of our team by emailing us at [email protected]. 

For answers to common questions about the Assessment Innovation Fund please read our FAQs document (.pdf).

Who we we’re working with…

Read about the successful applicants that are currently running pilot projects and testing ideas to change the future of assessment.

Read more

Stay up to date

Use this form to subscribe to email updates about upcoming funding windows