March 2007 marked the end of original government funding under the modernisation programme and the EOA were informed that they needed to demonstrate and develop a self-funding model as government investment was being cut back.

Launch of a professional qualifications suite – BTECS levels 2 to 4, backed by Edexcel in response to members (now classified as admin. staff with no mangement responsibilities under workforce remodelling - 2003) concerns over the poor status and image of the community where they felt their role was being undervalued, and underpaid. It was not surprising that any references to working conditions and pay sparked another myth about the EOA was actually a union. The EOA had turned to the ATL to represent its members at this level.

The centre based BTEC model provided the foundations of an online web based CPD programme which could be accessed by members all over the country, and the world. In agreement with government agencies, new exam officers would be fed through from the NAA induction programme into the EOA CPD programme and become stable members of this growing professional community, first reference in the EOA founders ‘wish list’.

The first major conferences that took place across the country  run by the EOA since 2002 where to address three things

  • There was little or no training and support for more experienced officers
  • There was no independent provision outside government & exam bodies
  • There was a demand from members to have their own conference which was a symbol of their community and focused on their needs and concerns

Such events were supported by senior representatives from government, teaching unions and exam bodies.