New contracts for AQA associates

Published: Monday 4 Sep 2023

AQA, England's biggest exam board for A-levels and GCSEs, is writing to its associates about updated terms and conditions.

Associates, who number more than 33,000 serving and retired teachers, are contracted to complete a range of tasks and activities for AQA including writing assessment materials, and marking and moderating students' work. AQA contracts associates throughout the year with the vast majority undertaking examining services during the summer months. They are contracted to but are not employed by AQA.

Although our current associate arrangements have been effective for many years, after a Government review and consultation in recent years on the status of individuals performing work, AQA has taken the opportunity to review, assess and update the status of all associate roles in the context of an evolving legal landscape and best practice.

AQA has taken legal advice and carried out an extensive internal review to assess each role to establish the appropriate contract status for associates. Going forwards, some roles will attract worker status, with worker contracts taking effect in January 2024. There will be interim arrangements from next month to the end of the year.

For the vast majority of associates, those who mark and examine for AQA, the changes are minimal and many won't see any updates at all to their terms and conditions.

AQA is committed to ensuring that its associates are paid in a fair and consistent manner – which is why it is currently reviewing its existing fee structure following completion of the contract status review. AQA looks forward to completing this review and communicating any changes to fees directly to the relevant individuals.

Mark Bedlow, AQA's Chief Operating Officer, said:

"Marking exams, writing assessment materials and checking non-exam assessment are all vitally important roles that our associates carry out, and we really value their contribution. Delivering results to students would be impossible without them, and they help young people progress to the next stage of their lives.

"In light of recent developments, we are taking this opportunity to update our terms and conditions for our associates. We will be letting associates know the status of any roles they undertake with AQA in the coming months."

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