Council for the Curriculum, Examinations & Assessment

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Council for the Curriculum, Examinations & Assessment
Ccea logo.png
Abbreviation CCEA
Formation 1 April 1994[1]
Purpose Examination board
Headquarters Belfast, UK
Region served
Northern Ireland, England and Wales

The Council for the Curriculum, Examinations & Assessment (CCEA) is an examination board in Northern Ireland. As well as setting examinations the CCEA advises the Government on what should be taught in Northern Ireland's schools, and monitors the standard of qualifications and examinations in Northern Ireland. Current staff levels are approximately 370 with 200 external regular/casual examiners.

CCEA was established on 1 April 1994[2] as a state body and is based in Belfast. It replaced the Northern Ireland Schools Examination and Assessment Council and the Northern Ireland Schools Examination Council.

Awarding Qualifications[edit]

CCEA offers a wide range of qualifications, such as GCSEs, including the new GCSE Double Award specifications in vocational subjects, GCE A and AS levels, Entry Level Qualifications, Keyskills, Essential Skills, and Graded Objectives in Modern Languages. Due to educational reforms of the Conservative Party under Prime Minister David Cameron CCEA (among other British examination boards i.e. Edexcel, AQA, OCR and WJEC) continuously redevelops syllabi for GCSEs and GCE A Levels.[3][4]

Principal Products and Services[edit]

CCEA’s principal products and services are to meet the requirements outlined in the Education (NI) Order.[5] CCEA’s duties and functions are therefore to:

  • Keep under constant review all aspects of the curriculum, examinations and assessment for grant aided schools and colleges of further education and to undertake statutory consultation on proposals relating to legislation;
  • Advise the Department of Education (NI) or The Minister for Education[6] on matters concerning curriculum, assessments, examinations and external qualifications and to accredit and approve qualifications;
  • Conduct and moderate examinations and assessments, keeping standards in line with the rest of the UK;
  • Publish and disseminate information relating to the curriculum, assessment and examinations;
  • Develop and produce teaching support materials for use in schools and other educational Centres;
  • Carry out research and development into curriculums, examinations, assessments, new media and software/hardware environments.[7]


  • AAT Assessment Administration Team
  • BA Business Assurance
  • CAR Curriculum Assessment & Reporting
  • CES Centre & Examiner Support
  • EAA Exams & Assessment Admin.
  • ERC Entries, Results & Certification
  • ICT Information Communications Technology
- approx 3 Other 11 developers 4 testers 4 infrastructure
developing internal and external software tools for teachers/schools related to examinations e.g. marks processing
Technologies used are Java/Eclipse/SVN/Maven/IceFaces/JIRA/Zephyr for JIRA/AS400 backend/MS Sharepoint
  • IM Irish Medium - 3 staff
  • MM Multimedia - approx 20 staff
Software Technologies used are Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Acrobat Pro X),Dreamweaver,Flash,Director,Premiere
  • PSE People Services & Equality - approx 13 staff
  • Financial - approx 17 staff
  • QOS Qualifications Operations Support
  • QPP Qualifications Paper Production
  • QTS Qualifications Technical Support
  • R&S Research and Statistics


In general conversation CCEA is commonly called 'See-ah' since the introduction of the current logo.

The exam board has also come under fire because of allegations related to poor working conditions (e.g. staff needed being obliged to work during weekends). The consequence were strikes by CCEA's labour union.[8]

Incorporated Examination Boards[edit]

  • Northern Ireland School Examinations and Assessment Council (NISEAC)
  • Northern Ireland School Examinations Council (NISEC)


External links[edit]