Meet the BTL Surpass Senior Management Team

Andy McAnulla

Andy McAnulla – President (BTL Surpass Inc.) | CTO (BTL Group Ltd.)

“I am passionate about finding ways use technology judiciously to improve the assessment process and provide test publishers and candidates with the best possible experience.”

With a strong background in software engineering and architecture, Andy has a proven track record for successfully delivering large scale technology projects, and works closely with our clients across the world, including more recently our North American Surpass partners, such as Prometric and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME).

He remains heavily involved in the design and implementation of assessment technology, and is responsible for the overall development strategy of Surpass – The Assessment Platform, leading over 190 engineers in over 20 Agile development teams working on over $10 million annual continuous investment and advancement of the software.

Andy started his journey with BTL Group Ltd. in 2000, immediately displaying talent for technology and enthusiasm for improving the way students are tested. It is this continued passion for improvement that has seen the presence of BTL Surpass Inc. grow significantly under Andy’s leadership, and his contributions to Surpass have been a compelling factor in the assessment platform winning various awards – most recently taking the ATP 2017 innovation judges award as the product most likely to succeed.

Andy’s dedication to the industry have led to him being elected to the board of the e-Assessment Association for a maximum term of 3 years, and earned him the “Technology Industry Award” from the UK’s Chartered Institute of IT (the British Computing Society) for his contribution in designing and implementing the breakthrough assessment technology system which became Surpass and now underpins some of the largest summative testing programs in the world as a common platform.

Jim Crawford

Jim Crawford – Vice President – Global Business Development

“At the core of BTL is the belief that true innovation comes from working closely in partnership with our clients – bringing together both educational and technological experts to define the best possible solutions. It’s how Surpass was originally designed and it’s how it continues to thrive today.”

In his role as Vice President – Global Business Development, Jim has been a major contributor to the strategic business development structure and the establishment of BTL Surpass Inc. in the United States, primarily overseeing a growing trans-Atlantic bid management team.

In addition to managing the day-to-day actions of the Business Development Team, Jim works closely with the technical departments in BTL, driven by the Surpass Community’s desire for innovation and the integration of new emerging technologies directly into Surpass: The Assessment Platform. He is also a regular speaker at assessment events with a focus on an international audience. 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 recognizable brands, such as HSBC, UNESCO and Boots.

In 2010 he joined BTL’s Content Production team, before moving into the Service Design Team. As a Product Owner, he was responsible for overseeing the design and development of the new SAAS version of Surpass.

Following the release of Surpass as a SAAS product, Jim’s journey through BTL and involvement with the various stages of service involved with Surpass made him a perfect first point of contact for new prospects, filling a pivotal role in coordinating a variety of teams within BTL, ensuring the product meets the vision of the growing Surpass Community.

Dave Dixon

Dave Dixon – Vice President – Technology

“I’m committed to delivering the simplest possible solution to any given problem. Why make something more complicated than it needs to be?!”

Dave has consulted some of the largest testing organizations in the world, including City & Guilds, Royal Colleges, NBME and Prometric. He was responsible for ensuring that client needs are always fully understood to allow the delivery of the best possible solutions. His technical knowledge and vast experience in the assessment technology industry also make him instrumental to the development of new innovation within Surpass: The Assessment Platform.


A passion for using logic and mathematic algorithms drive forward improvements to the assessment technology available to the Surpass Community, and inspire innovation in key areas for the future of on-screen assessment, such as improved tools for your psychometricians, Computer Adaptive Testing, Linear-On-The-Fly-Testing and Automated Item Generation.


Working closely with the Surpass Community and potential clients, he is also responsible for overseeing technical implementations for our largest projects by managing staff operating in both the UK and US, ensuring that high-quality solutions are designed to best meet client requirements, integrating with current systems and delivering minimal disruption.


Dave Dixon joined the assessment technology sector in 2005 and holds a BSc (Hons) Joint Honors Mathematics and Computer Science degree from the University of Nottingham in the UK. His professional qualifications include: ITIL V2 Foundation; ITIL V2-V3 Foundation Bridge; ITIL Certificate in Operational Support and Analysis; ITIL Certificate in Planning, Protection and Optimization; TOGAF 9 Certified; Scrum Practitioner and Scrum Product Owner.

Gary Barnes

Gary Barnes – VP Service Operations

“At BTL Surpass, our focus is always on the customer’s requirements. We take this approach throughout the product development cycle, and my role is to carry this through into the production environment and to ensure customers get the help, support, and level of service they need and expect from us.”

As well as a thorough understanding of the technology behind Surpass and the needs of its users, Gary is passionate about ensuring the assessment experience is flawless at all levels, from the item author right through to each candidate.

His charismatic personality and ability to understand and adapt to new cultures and testing situations have made him a recognized and favoured member of the team among the Surpass Community, providing on-site technical support and training on site visits across Brazil, India, Malaysia and Europe.

Gary’s professional qualifications include a BCS Specialist Certificate in Service Level Management, a BCS Specialist Certificate in Service Desk and Incident Management, and an ITIL Certificate in Release, Control & Validation. He also holds a PRINCE2 Practitioner Certificate in Project Management.

Since becoming a Service Desk Advisor in 2007, Gary has continually surpassed expectations in each progressive role. He was selected to build and lead the Operations team serving the North American market following a successful project to streamline deployment team processes, which has significantly improved the efficiency of the Surpass update deployment process and minimized disruption to users during essential updates and maintenance.