Beacon Award Assessment

The Assessment of the AoC Beacon Awards applications will be the responsibility of specialist assessors co-ordinated by the AoC Beacon Awards Director. Normally two assessors will be assigned to new awards, one of whom may represent the sponsor. Established awards can be assessed by one Beacon Assessor or a Beacon Assessor with a trainee assessor. A Beacon Assessor (appointed by the Director) acts as the Lead Assessor for each award.

AoC Beacon Assessors

AoC Beacon Assessors are selected from a register of assessors, which is held by the AoC Beacon Awards office. All assessors on the register are given training and all new assessors are mentored in their first year. Winning colleges are invited to nominate someone from their winning team to be trained as an AoC Beacon Assessor to ensure that the register always has individuals with the most up-to-date sector knowledge involved with the Awards. Applications will also be considered from those with suitable experience of further education. If you would like to apply, please contact the AoC Charitable Trust Director on

The process has three stages – shortlisting, visiting and final decisions:


Assessment leading to shortlisting will have regard to the general requirements detailed in the 2017-18 Beacon Awards Prospectus together with the stipulations governing the specification of each award. The outcomes of this stage are lists of applicants who best match these criteria. These lists are verified by the Chief Assessor.

Stage 2

Assessment by visiting involves matching the ‘evidence on the ground’ at the shortlisted colleges with their applications. In particular, the assessors will be interested in the impact of the project on the experience of students, particularly any outcomes for learning including achievements in terms of skills and/or qualifications gained. Assessors will also wish to explore how the project is managed including its impact on equality and diversity, methods of evaluation, quality assurance, the future development of the initiative and its dissemination to other colleges. The assessors would expect to have discussions with staff, students and other relevant parties in the course of the site visit.

Assessors, prior to a visit, may contact the college to request additional information. The outcomes of this stage are the judgements and recommendations for awards. Sponsors may, with training and the agreement of the AoC Beacon Awards Director, undertake Stages 1 and 2 of the assessment process in respect of their own Award(s), in conjunction with an AoC Beacon Award Assessor. Sponsors who do not undergo training may accompany the Beacon Assessor as a sponsor observer.

Stage 3

The Chief Assessor will present the assessors’ reports and recommendations to the AoC Beacon Awards Steering Group which will select the award winners. All AoC Beacon Awards are awarded or withheld at the sole and absolute discretion of the AoC Beacon Awards Steering Group and those acting on its behalf. No explanation will be given following the making or withholding of an award. The Handbook for the Assessment of AoC Beacon Awards is available online for both colleges and assessors at

The Chief Assesor's Annual Report for the 2015-16 Beacon Awards is presented in the 'Applications Feedback 2015-16' section of the website. The 2016-17 report will be uploaded in spring 2017.