Q&As concerning the SLA

 

Question

Answer

What is the BSS Examiner SLA?

The BSS Examiner SLA is an agreement between examiners, the Examiner Bodies and the BSS Office about the working relationship and setting out the levels of service examiners can expect from the BSS Office and the standards and behaviours which examiners individually will be encouraged to adopt.

Why is this important to me?

The SLA lays out a fresh working relationship between examiners and the BSS Office based upon 'mutual respect', whereby a commitment to encouragement and support from the BSS Office is mirrored by BSS Examiners reviewing their activities continuously, and making any necessary improvements to their performance.

Where did the SLA come from?

The SLA is the product of close co-operation between the Examiner Bodies (ABSE, YDSA, IMarEST and IIMS) and the BSS Office.  It follows a model introduced for MOT inspectors that sets out the basis of the working relationship between testers and VOSA.

What is covered in the SLA?

The SLA covers examination documentation, quality assurance measures, customer service standards, web-based communication and the online re-registration, material ordering and examination recording.  It also provides a way to incorporate comments on how the document can be improved.

What doesn't it cover?

Because the primary objective of the SLA is to address those areas where BSS Examiners and the BSS Office have common responsibilities and objectives, it doesn't for example, include any aspect of the Code of Conduct or any associated disciplinary procedures.

What qualities does the SLA have?

Simple - it doesn't seek to cover every level of interaction between examiners and the BSS Office, only those that are relevant to the common objectives.

Balanced - the agreements are, in general, equally balanced by matching BSS Office agreed service standards with corresponding expectations from examiners.

Supportable - the agreements have broad support of all examiners, examiner groups as well as the BSS Advisory Committee.

Measurable - the agreements support the common objectives, they include measures of success that will help the BSS Advisory Committee review and improve the SLA.

What benefits does the SLA bring?

It helps deliver consistent examinations through a unity of purpose and direction and by working jointly to achieve them.

It recognises the importance of examiners in ensuring compliant boats.

It helps focus efforts to reduce BSS costs to examiners through efficiencies and by seeking to limit the extent of examiner and BSS Office responsibilities to those published.

It heralds a new era of examiner support and involvement that will lead to measurable improvements in examiner consistency and enhanced levels of public confidence in examiners and the BSS in general.

It enshrines a mutually beneficial and respectful relationship between the BSS Office. The agreed aim is to motivate examiners and BSS Office staff to achieve the common objectives.

How does the SLA affect the Code of Conduct?

The existence of the SLA allows the name and language of the Code of Conduct, and the associated investigation procedure, to change to reflect the fresh working relationship.

The new code for examiners will be known as the Conditions of Registration.  It will be a shorter document, supported by detailed guidance and all will be posted on the BSS Examiner website.