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Frequently asked questions: External assessment invigilators

Invigilators observe and report on the administration of external assessment sessions at venues throughout Queensland. The invigilator’s role is independent; they do not supervise students or assist venues with the administration of assessments.

The purpose of the invigilator role is to maintain public confidence in the Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) system.

For a detailed description of the role and its responsibilities, see:

Invigilators must not disrupt the assessment process or students in any way. This means:

  • arriving at the venue at the appointed start time and observing the pre-assessment administrative processes
  • observing the assessment session discreetly, i.e. position yourself in a location that will not disturb the work of supervisors or students
  • not interfering with the administration of the assessment
  • not talking to supervisors/students
  • keeping mobile phones on silent at all times.

Invigilators record and provide their observations of the administration of the assessments via an invigilator report. These reports assist with ensuring that the administration of the QCE is of the highest standard and consistent across all Queensland schools.

Invigilators will be required to observe and report on their observations only during their appointed session times. Morning sessions begin at 8:15 am and afternoon sessions at 11:45 am, with a minimum session duration of 3 hours and a maximum of 4.5 hours. Invigilators who work both morning and afternoon sessions must take a 30-minute lunch break between sessions. Invigilators are not permitted to use mobile phones or eat in the assessment rooms.

If appointed, you will be required to undertake and complete online invigilator training. This training is self-paced and will be accessible in the QCAA Portal. Training should take no more than one hour. You will be paid for one hour only on completion of the training. You will also be provided with a Handbook for invigilators, which contains important information that will assist you to complete your role and duties.

Each assessment venue has its own workplace health and safety policies and procedures. As an invigilator, you will be responsible for contacting each assessment venue before the assessment period to confirm workplace health and safety requirements, such as signing in and out, and wearing a visitor badge while on site. You may be required to complete an induction at the venue when you first arrive.

Invigilators are required to observe how the assessment venue administers the assessments. The layout of assessment rooms is different at each venue. Some common scenarios are outlined below.

  • In large schools with large student cohorts, assessments may be run in a large hall or across several classrooms. Large schools may require more than one invigilator for some sessions, e.g. English.
  • In small to medium-sized schools, more than one subject may be assessed concurrently during a session. Invigilators are required (where practical) to observe these subjects being assessed in the same session.
  • If some students require special access arrangements (extra time, separate room, rest breaks, alternative format materials), invigilators will need to observe these arrangements (where practical).
  • Invigilators may be required to observe several assessment rooms, which could require walking up stairs and/or between buildings.

You will receive a checklist to complete during each external assessment session you invigilate. You will need to print a checklist to take with you for each session. The checklist will help you record your observations on the QCAA’s requirements and enable you to complete and submit your online invigilator report at the end of each assessment day.

The invigilator report is a record of the conduct of an assessment according to the QCAA’s requirements. It is one of the processes the QCAA uses to ensure the integrity of external assessment. The invigilator must complete an online report for each session attended, using the information recorded from their invigilator checklist, at the end of each assessment day.

Holding a valid blue card is a mandatory legal requirement set out by the Queensland Government for anyone who works or volunteers with children: the blue card is Queensland’s Working with Children Check.

As you will be paid to observe school students undertaking assessments over a period of up to four weeks, by law, you are required to obtain a paid blue card through Blue Card Services to fulfil the invigilator role.

Blue Card Services administers the blue card system. For more information about blue card requirements and how to apply, please visit Blue Card Services. The ‘No Card, No Start’ law means you must have a valid blue card before you start work.

The blue card is valid for three years.

The QCAA will not reimburse applicants for the cost of their paid blue card. You will need to pay for your blue card and consider this cost before pursuing your blue card application. We cannot guarantee that everyone who applies to be an invigilator will receive paid sessions.

No. You are required to have a paid blue card when undertaking paid work involving children and young people. A volunteer blue card can be changed to a paid blue card by contacting Blue Card Services and paying the required fee.

We cannot guarantee that everyone who applies will be sent an offer of appointment as an invigilator. Appointments are made taking into consideration several factors, such as:

  • suitability of the applicant — including validation of paid blue card/exemption card/QCT registration and positive reference checks
  • QCAA requirements — availability over the assessment period, location, number of invigilators required, assessment venue needs (student numbers).

Suitable applicants will receive an offer of appointment from the QCAA once all recruitment checks have been satisfactorily completed. Applicants who receive an offer of appointment will be added to a pool of invigilators who may be offered paid sessions.

No. Teachers who are currently registered with the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) do not need a blue card. However, teachers will need to provide their current QCT registration details in the application. These details will be checked during the recruitment process. If appointed, you will need to take proof of your registration when you attend the schools you work at. You can contact the QCT if you do not have proof of registration.

How do I apply?

Applications open 10 June 2024 and will close 8 July 2024. Please submit your application as early as possible to allow time for portal assistance from QCAA Client Services if required.

Yes. In your application, you will be required to disclose details of any conflicts of interest. Potential conflicts of interest include family relationships to staff and/or students (in any year level) at assessment venues, or any other work you may undertake at assessment venues.

You may not be able to work at any venue where you have a conflict of interest but may be able to work at other venues.

Yes. Everyone needs to apply again each year, regardless of whether they were employed the previous year. Operational requirements may change from year to year, and as this work involves students and young people, we need to conduct checks each year to ensure the QCAA meets its child safety obligations.

Invigilators need a mobile phone, a personal email address, access to a computer, a black-and-white printer and the internet.

You must provide two referees in your application. They may be work referees (e.g. previous/current employer or supervisor, colleague) or personal referees (e.g. a friend), but they must not be related to you.

Please ensure that you contact your referees before listing them in your application. We require their name, accurate email address and phone number.

Offers of appointment will be made to applicants deemed suitable based on satisfactory reference checks and blue card/QCT requirements being met. Offers of appointment should go out in late August.

Applicants who are offered an appointment will be added to the pool of invigilators that may be offered sessions. Sessions are assigned based on many factors, including:

  • suitability of the applicant — including availability over the assessment period, location, distance nominated and conflicts of interest
  • operational requirements — venue location and requirements and the number of sessions available at each locality.

Invigilators that are not offered sessions in the first instance will remain in our pool as reserve invigilators and will still be considered for sessions that may become available during the assessment period.

Unsuccessful applicants will be notified by email. An unsuccessful application will not prevent you from applying for future invigilator positions or for any other QCAA positions.

If you are a reserve invigilator, it is because we are unable to offer you any sessions initially. However, you will still be considered for sessions that may become available during the assessment period. For example, you may receive a call if an invigilator becomes unavailable to complete a session at a venue that is within your nominated travel distance.

Invigilators will be paid a piece rate for each session they invigilate. Payment will be made after verification of attendance and receipt of invigilator reports has been confirmed.

Invigilators are paid an hourly rate for training and a session rate for each session they invigilate at a venue. The hourly rate for this year’s operation is $43.40. Session rates are outlined in the table below.

Each session includes a time allowance of 90 minutes for observation undertaken before and after the assessment and for submission of an online report.

Assessment length Total time paid (session time, including 90-minute allowance) Session rate
1 hour 30 minutes 3 hours $130.20
2 hours 3 hours 30 minutes $151.90
2 hours 30 minutes 4 hours $173.60
3 hours 4 hours 30 minutes $195.30
Training Time paidRate
Online module 1 hour only$ 43.40

Payment/s will be made after verification of attendance and receipt of invigilator reports has been confirmed. Payments are taxable and are paid directly into your bank account as per details provided.

No. The QCAA does not pay for travel to and from assessment venues or for any parking fees incurred at assessment venues.

What are the employment conditions?

External assessments will be administered from 21 October to 12 November 2024, excluding weekends. Invigilators must be contactable by mobile phone during the assessment period and regularly check their emails for updates.

In your application, you will be asked to nominate which weekdays you are available, choosing morning sessions (beginning at 8:15 am) and/or afternoon sessions (beginning at 11:45 am).

The length of a session varies from 3 to 4.5 hours, which includes 90 minutes allowance for pre- and post-assessment observations, and for submitting an online report.

If you are appointed sessions, you will be sent an email advising you have sessions on offer. All start and finish times will be specified. You will be required to accept or decline individual sessions. Throughout the assessment period you may be notified if more sessions have been assigned to you as they become available.

If your availability changes prior to or during the operation, you will be able to amend your availability status at any time.

Invigilators will work only for the hours specified in their schedules, even if the assessment processes have yet to be finalised. If you work a morning and afternoon session on the same day, you must take a minimum 30-minute unpaid meal break, e.g. 11:15 am – 11:45 am.

Invigilators should wear school-appropriate, smart casual clothing with enclosed footwear (a workplace health and safety requirement).

Select shoes that are quiet, to minimise noise in assessment rooms, and comfortable, as you will be on your feet and may be required to walk to a number of assessment rooms in different buildings and may include  stairs.

Please do not wear strong fragrances as these can cause allergic reactions in others.

You will need to bring your lunch and a drink bottle if you are invigilating for the full day. Lunch and drinks are not provided by the venue.

Paperwork required:

  • photographic identification
  • your blue card, exemption card or proof of QCT registration
  • printed invigilator checklist.

Bring your mobile phone, switched to silent, as you must be contactable during the assessment period.

Each assessment venue has its own policies and procedures. As an invigilator, you will be responsible for following workplace health and safety directions as required.

We ask all invigilators to make contact with each venue prior to their first session at that venue. The EA coordinator will provide advice on venue requirements prior to, or on the day of, your attendance at the venue.

The QCAA understands circumstances can change. As soon as possible, contact the QCAA by email at externalassessment@qcaa.qld.edu.au or on 1300 239 227 for assistance.

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