About The National Network of Assessment Centres
NNAC was formed in April 2004 from Assessment Centres which had been members of the National Federation of Access Centres (NFAC) and independent centres, many of whom were managed by ex-NFAC Assessors and Assessment Centre Managers.
In 1983 several Further and Higher Educational Institutions were offering support and guidance to students with disabilities and their staff in the use of information technology in order to access the curriculum.
It was decided to establish a national network that could share their experiences and provide a more cohesive service.
Hereward College became the Administrative Centre and in 1986 the National Federation of Access Centres (NFAC) was established.
The growth of NFAC
The membership steadily grew with a spread of centres across England, Scotland and Wales. Initially a grant from the UK government provided a pool of equipment which enabled the professional teams to offer assessments as well as training on many different aspects of assistive technology.
Since then this original equipment has become obsolete. All centres now have to provide and fund their own equipment and research into assistive technology along with a burgeoning number of other study strategies. Many of the original teams have continued to offer assessments and training programmes. Their expertise is being sought to expand the service with workshops and guidance for new members interested in becoming involved in the work of NFAC.
Cultural and legislative changes have resulted in integration of all learners into mainstream education. An increasing number of students with disabilities are entering Further (FE) and Higher (HE) Education. The NFAC had been at the forefront of facilitating access to learning opportunities of students with disabilities.
NFAC members had long been recognised as the main providers of specialist assessments to help establish a student’s entitlement to specialist funding in Further and Higher Education. In addition some centres undertook assessments for Employment Services and other interested parties.
Each assessment or training session is about giving an individual the chance to experience the latest and most appropriate study techniques and aids specific to his or her needs. It is a chance for all to experiment with various types of technology knowing the advice will be professional and unbiased. On-going support and training is available and liaison with those working with the student on a daily basis is offered.
NNAC will maintain a high standard of continual professional development for all staff involved in the work of Assessment Centres. Innovative solutions and strategies are frequently being presented and NNAC keeps abreast of these ideas.
The Chair of NNAC and other Exec members are involved with relevant sector and stakeholder meetings to represent the view of its membership.
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