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By Gail Tagarro AE 

When I did the accreditation exam way back in 2008 – the first cohort – one of the things that stood out for me was the help from the invigilators and how they did their best to make us, the candidates, feel comfortable in what was a decidedly uncomfortable situation. I mean, who loves doing exams? I personally don’t dislike them, and I’d choose an exam over going to the dentist anytime! However, there’s no doubt it’s a stressful time for most people.

So, when the call was put out asking for volunteer invigilators, it seemed to be a good opportunity to give back to my colleagues and the profession. It’s just one day every two years or so, and you need no special qualification. I like being able to make the candidates feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible. We are well prepared in advance for our role, so we can address any little glitch that might arise with the platform, although of course we have expert onsite tech assistance throughout. As a general invigilator, there’s not an awful lot we need to do: check in the candidates, explain the procedures, get everyone settled into the room, call out the timings in an otherwise silent room during the exam, collect any working papers at the end … and smile ☺

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve now invigilated for the accreditation exam, but it’s been a few years now. I recommend it as a way for AEs to give back to our profession, and of catching up with colleagues we may not see often. If you need an incentive, volunteering as an invigilator counts towards our professional development when it comes time to renew our accreditation. Hope to see you there in August!

Accreditation Board note: All invigilators receive a small honorarium in thanks for giving up their time.
If any AE (accredited editor) or DE (distinguished editor) would like to invigilate at a venue or remotely, please contact Linda at