This is a short testimonial about the Department for International Development - Overseas Pensions Department's experience on remote assessment due to Covid-19. 

What worked well during the remote review?

I felt more comfortable with the less rigid constrictions of presenting in a room with the assessor, whereby I was presenting in a relaxed area of my choice. I was still able to read the assessor's body language and could clearly understand the questions and points asked, which allowed me to give an informative reply. There were only three of us in the conversation, but I could see the other two attendees clearly without having to turn to listen to them. Mostly the experience was good, one of the main attributes of the Teams remote collaboration is the reduction on travel.

What didn’t and could be improved?

There were a few intermittent issues with connections, which gave the need for some repetition of questions and clarification on some points. I felt apprehensive about presenting the prepared documents, the pace of presentation, covering all points, etc, however the assessor’s professionalism, in this case, helped keep the experience on point. Where the assessor is not so experienced the experience can be less agreeable, it may be good for new people to buddy up so as to pick up knowledge going forward. There is an issue where a personal touch of a face to face meeting would be preferable and I would like there still to be an option for personal meetings.

Overall verdict re using remote reviews – did it work for you?

I have now been using remote collaboration working every working day since the assessment and have found that the more I use it the easier I am with the application of use. There are no room restrictions, travel worries, I can access the meeting/workshop as soon as the prompt appears on my screen and don’t have to dash off to some hidden room in the building. The only issue in some rare cases is when the home internet connection is lost, it can take time to get back into the meeting.