Test Design Assistant Project Manager

Department for Education
14 Mar 2018
15 Mar 2018
Job Type
Contract Type

The postholder will be responsible for supporting the design and desktop publishing of test items and test papers. This will include quality assurance, proofing and project co-ordination.

The postholder will report to the Test Design Manager.

The Agency:

The STA is the part of the DfE responsible for the development and delivery of statutory assessment for pupils up to the age of 14 and the Professional Skills Tests for prospective teachers. The STA has three main functions: to develop high quality and rigorous tests in line with Ministerial policy; to operationally deliver the assessment (including printing, distribution, marking and data capture as appropriate); and to support schools and other stakeholders to deliver the assessments.

The work of the STA is regulated by Ofqual, the independent assessment regulator that reports directly to Parliament, and is managed through the regular DfE governance arrangements with the exception of the STA function in relation to setting and maintaining test standards on the statutory tests which needs to be demonstrably independent from Ministers.

The Team:

The Test Design Support team is responsible for supporting the development of statutory tests, and supporting guidance and communications material. Working closely with the test development, test administration and communications teams, the test design support team manages the production of questions, mark scheme entries, guidance materials and booklets; preparing them for both print and online use. Materials are managed through a robust quality assurance and proofing process to ensure they are error free.

The Post:

The post holder will be responsible for supporting the design of key stage 1 and key stage 2 test materials, including test booklets, mark schemes and supporting guidance. This will include the co-ordination of projects, distribution of work to team and the quality assurance and proofing of developed materials. Ideally, the post holder will have a background in design or publishing, and experience of using relevant software and tools.

Examples of the materials produced can be found here:

Main Responsibilities:

The test design assistant project manager will:

  • Support the design and desktop publishing of question items into a common format for pre-testing and produce pre-test papers

  • Ensure accurate production of materials, and provide suitable feedback to test development project teams and the test design manger.

  • Play a key role in project planning, development and maintenance of project documentation, risk and issues management and reporting for the design team

  • Manage day-to-day interdependencies with other STA teams including test development, print and distribution and communications

  • Monitor progress and resource on project milestones and ensuring that deliverables are met

  • Apply appropriate project management techniques to ensure that all projects are delivered to time, cost and quality

  • Design and desktop publish final test papers following test construction

  • Other functions related to test development as designated by the Test Design Manager

Specialist Skills: a background in design, desktop publishing or quality assurance, preferably relating to materials aimed at school-aged pupils. Experience of using Adobe Creative software for the design of print materials would be an advantage.


We'll assess you against these competencies during the selection process:
  • Managing a quality service
  • Changing and improving
  • Delivering at pace
  • Collaborating and partnering
  • Specialist Skills - see job description

Civil Service Competency Framework



Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass basic security checks.

Nationality statement

Candidates will be subject to UK immigration requirements as well as Civil Service nationality rules.

If you're applying for a role requiring security clearance please be aware that foreign or dual nationality is not an automatic bar. However certain posts may have restrictions which could affect those who do not have sole British nationality or who have personal connections with certain countries outside the UK.

Selection process details

Please provide a CV detailing previous roles you have held which are relevant to this role.

An initial sift based on competency 1 "Managing a Quality Service" and "Specialist Skills" may be held if a large number of applications are received.
If your application progresses to a full sift, all competences will then be considered.

After submission of your application you will be invited to complete a Verbal Reasoning & Numerical Reasoning. You must be successful at each stage to progress to the next test. Please complete the online tests as soon as possible (within 24-48 hours is recommended), the closing date for the tests is Midnight on 29/03/18. If you fail to complete the online test before the deadline your application will be withdrawn.

Guidance for each test will be available when you are invited to take the test.

The tests are administered online and accessed via the CS Jobs website.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.


Candidates in their probationary period are eligible to apply for vacancies within this department.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity. There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.