Software firm to inject £10m into its products and services

Saltaire-based assessment technology services business, BTL, says it is investing £10m in jobs and growth this year.

The company, which provides onscreen assessment platform, Surpass, will spend the money on its products and services to further support its rapid growth both in the UK and overseas markets.

By providing the tools and expertise needed to move offline paper-based exams into an onscreen (online or offline) environment, BTL has allowed many organisations to continue delivering tests throughout the pandemic.

Online invigilated tests in particular rose 6,500% at BTL in 2020/21.

The business says the pandemic’s impact on in-person events has led to a surge of interest in online options for high-stakes test delivery.

With BTL already delivering over five million tests a year across 144 countries, the company says it has been “uniquely positioned” to help facilitate this uptake in onscreen testing.

The £10m will be invested in the firm’s Surpass product and related services, with plans to continue this level of spending on growth next year.

This investment comes entirely from company revenue generated in the financial year 2020/21.

Along with supporting the British education sector and working with clients such as the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), City and Guilds and OCR, BTL is also succeeding internationally, particularly with its expansion in North America.

Latest developments include a new candidate test booking system for the BTL Test Centre Network and Online Invigilation service, and significant ongoing enhancement of the Surpass platform to meet the needs of its growing international community.

A family-founded company, BTL has expanded with 90% growth in staff over the last five years, currently employing around 170 staff in the UK and US.

Jim Crawford, business development director at BTL, said: “We are proud that our technology is used worldwide and has had a positive role to play in the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This significant investment will enable us to continue to be the fastest growing community in the assessment industry.”