NFER is a world leader in the measurement of learning. Our assessments are trusted for their high quality and are used by policymakers to support national accountability and system improvement, by teachers in the classroom and by researchers undertaking programme evaluations.

The global focus on learning outcomes, particularly through the Sustainable Development Goals, means that assessment and assessment systems are crucial to delivering and monitoring progress towards an excellent education for all. Our assessment experts include experienced teachers, psychometricians, and specialists in child development, early years, language and literacy including reading, mathematics and numeracy, and science. We develop assessments for monitoring, diagnosis and comparative analysis underpinned by rigorous trialling and psychometrics in both paper and electronic formats.

Our multidisciplinary team is able to offer a wide range of services, including the design and delivery of large scale assessment systems, item (question) writing, trialling, marking analysis and reporting. NFER leads and manages instrument piloting for many new assessment instruments, providing clients with reliable evidence to inform refinements to the instruments or delivery processes, or and to support the live release of the assessments.

We are also able to provide support to our partners and clients in a range of other areas:

  • running International Large Scale Assessments (ILSAs) such as PISA, TIMSS and PIRLS and utilising the data
  • curricula mapping and working closely with the teaching community to identify and address their needs for evidence and insight into the effective use of assessment in practice
  • assessment research, using psychometric methods to examine the measurement properties of assessments
  • undertaking independent evaluations of new assessment systems, ensuring they meet the purposes for which they were designed
  • the design and development of assessment products for use in schools.