Dr Bob Gomersall
Bob Gomersall founded Surpass Assessment (trading name of BTL Group Ltd.) in 1985 and is currently the Chair. He was educated at the universities of Durham and Bristol and worked as a theoretical physicist at the Max Planck Institute, Stuttgart. He has taught physics at Manchester Grammar School and Bradford Grammar School (where he was Head of Physics).
He is also Chair and founder of Advanced Digital Innovations (UK) Ltd and former chair (and founder) of the Virtual College Group (now a part of Netex Learning).
He was a longstanding board member of HF Holidays and is currently a national vice-president. Bob has a particular interest in innovation, and has formerly chaired the Leeds City Region Business Innovation and Growth Panel and was an ex-officio member of the Local Enterprise Partnership. He is married with four grown up children, all engineers.
e-Assessment Awards Lifetime Contribution Award 2017
Bob received the Lifetime Contribution award at the 2017 e-Assessment awards in recognition of his passion for education and technology, and his innovation approach to business.
Co-Chief Executive Officer
Sonya is a strong and dedicated leader at Surpass Assessment, driving business growth through her extensive experience and strategic vision. After directing operations for ten years, she rose to the position of Managing Director in 2017 and was appointed Co-CEO in 2023, focusing on expanding the Surpass presence in the UK and the rest of the world.
During her time at Surpass, Sonya has championed numerous initiatives, promoting continuous improvement, business growth, and company values. In addition to her leadership roles, she is dedicated to expanding Surpass’ portfolio of services, ensuring customers receive the support and flexibility they desire.
Sonya’s passion lies in empowering team members to experience variety, autonomy, challenges, and satisfaction in their work, with a view to making Surpass a fantastic place to work.
In 2019, Sonya’s leadership at Surpass was recognised when she won an international Stevie Award for Women in Business. As the only UK finalist in her category, this prestigious accolade highlights her accomplishments alongside select global business leaders.
Surpass was further acknowledged for its commitment to growth when it won a Queen’s Award for International Trade in 2020.
Ultimately, Surpass’ aim is to make sure that they have customers’ and candidates’ goals at the heart of everything they do, and Sonya strives to ensure that Surpass achieves that vision.
Silver Stevie Award for Women in Business 2019
Sonya was named as the only UK finalist for a Stevie Award for Women in Business, in the Female Executive 11-2,500 employees category. This award reflects Sonya’s fantastic leadership at Surpass, and the influence she’s had on the growth of the company. Watch Sonya accept the award at a ceremony in New York.
Co-Chief Executive Officer
Andy has been heavily involved in the design and implementation of assessment technology for over 20 years. Andy has a strong technology background in software engineering and architecture and is highly experienced in leading software development at large scale. Earlier in his career at Surpass, Andy received the IT Practitioner of the Year award from the UK’s Chartered Institute of IT for his leadership and implementation of the breakthrough assessment technology that later became known as the Surpass Platform. Surpass now powers some of the world’s largest and most prestigious assessment programs.
In 2017, Andy relocated with his family from the UK to establish the US office in Pennsylvania and service the North American assessment market. Over the past four years, Andy has been focused on the business growth of the US office in North America, which in 2020 was recognized with multiple American and international business awards including ‘Fastest Growing Tech Company of the year’ and ‘Most Innovative Tech Company of the Year’.
Andy currently serves on the ATP Board of Directors and represents members of European testing industry. Prior to this, Andy was a board member of the UK’s e-Assessment Association for three years and served on a number of committees providing guidance on the judicious use of technology in the assessment process. Andy has also delivered various presentations at ATP, ICE and the Certification Networking Group and is passionate about sharing experiences and good practices that may help organizations to provide students with the best possible assessment experiences and outcomes.
Chief Commercial Officer
Jim manages Surpass Assessment’s international business development and marketing functions, and works closely with technical departments to ensure that our products and services are strategically aligned with the growing Surpass Community.
Jim’s passion for creating better assessments started alongside his career in the education sector, when in 2005 he worked on e-learning design for some of the world’s most recognisable brands such as HSBC, UNESCO and Boots. As a Product Owner at Surpass, Jim was responsible for overseeing the design and development of a new SaaS version of the Surpass Platform, which is now used by the majority of Surpass customers to deliver over 3 million tests a year.
Jim has been with Surpass for over 12 years and is a regular speaker at assessment events with a particular focus on innovation and emerging technologies.
Chief Finance Officer
Peter joined Surpass following a varied career, from technology through senior finance roles in construction and engineering.
After gaining his PhD from Leeds University, he began his career at Filtronic as a Product Development Engineer before changing direction and joining KPMG’s Restructuring team.
He then moved into industry at WYG and Shepherd Group. He spent three years with McCarthy & Stone Plc, a national retirement housebuilder, before taking up CFO roles at private equity backed SMEs in Yorkshire.
Peter is a serving non-executive director at York Housing Association and holds FCA member status of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW).