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  • Writer's pictureLynn Armsby

My Dream Job

Today I am flying to Larnaca to examine in my role as an Examiner for the IDTA. I have been examining for around 25 years now but I still feel the sense of excitement and privilege to go into schools to assess students. This is a particular joy when I go back to schools where I have examined a few years ago and see the improvements they have made.


For those wishing to become examiners it can be a long struggle as the requirements are high ensuring that those that do make it are good representatives. So apart from the required technical achievements what skills and qualities are required of an Examiner? I believe that one of the most important should be integrity. The social dance system of awards we have at the IDTA allows examiners to be a little more subjective when assessing but dealing with grades and the examinations of professionals requires us to assess against a strict set of criteria. I am always mindful when assessing a professional candidate of the cost of the exam, the cost of training, the hours of study and the personal cost to the candidate should I be unable to pass them. I cannot though take this into account when deciding whether they are successful or unsuccessful. This has to be done with integrity, assessing knowledge and skill against the criteria. That is why the ability to write a report that reflects accurately what happened during the examination is vital. Doing this professionally takes a good standard of writing ability but also the strength of character to do what you believe is right. I feel sure that no examiner enjoys failing a candidate and it is only done when the present knowledge and ability of the candidate requires it. It still however challenges me and I am careful to spend a lot of time on the report so that the candidate can clearly see the rationale for the decision.


An examiner requires compassion when examining. When I was waiting outside for my final assessment to become an Examiner I have never been closer to turning on my heels and running away. If it is about fight or flight I was nearly flying. A viva examination takes a lot of courage, and nerves play a big part in a lot of the examinations I have seen. It is always important for an examiner to remember how difficult and courageous it is to do any examination and to be able to put a candidate at ease. The more people skills you have the better examiner you will be. Have some compassion for candidates and they will perform at their best.

In addition to integrity, compassion, character and strong written and people skills you also need to be patient, have bags of stamina, good concentration, the ability to drive and good administration skill.

This was my dream 25 years ago and is still the dream job I do today. If it is your dream too then keep working toward the goal as it is achievable and very satisfying.

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