- Related policies and JCQ guidance
- Roles and responsibilities
- Qualifications offered
- Exam cycle:
- Monitoring and review
Ashbourne College is committed to ensuring that the exams management and administration process is run effectively, efficiently and in compliance with the published Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) regulations and the requirements of various awarding bodies and exam boards.
This policy is accessible to all those involved in the exam process, including students and parents/carers.
The aim of this policy is to ensure that:
- all aspects of Ashbourne’s exam process are documented, supporting the exams contingency plan and other relevant exams-related policies, procedures and plans.
- exam staff are well informed and supported.
- all College staff involved in the exams process clearly understand their roles and responsibilities and are trained for their various roles.
- all exams and assessments are conducted according to JCQ regulations and those of the awarding bodies, guidance and instructions, thus maintaining the integrity and security of the exam or assessment system at all times.
- exam candidates understand the exams process and what is expected of them.
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3. Related policies and JCQ guidance
3.1 Related policies
3.2 JCQ guidance
- A guide to the special consideration process (SC)
- Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments (AA)
- General Regulations for Approved Centres (GR)
- Instructions for Conducting Examinations (ICE)
- Instructions for conducting non-examination assessments (NEA) (and the instructions for conducting coursework)
- Suspected Malpractice – Policies and Procedures (SM)
- Post-result services (PRS)
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4. Roles and responsibilities
The head of centre is the individual who is accountable to the awarding bodies for ensuring that Ashbourne College is always compliant with the published JCQ regulations and awarding body requirements in order to ensure the security and integrity of the examinations and assessments.
The examinations officer (EO) is the person appointed by the head of centre to act on behalf of, and be the main point of contact for, the centre in matters relating to the general administration of awarding body examinations and assessments.
The head of centre may not appoint themselves as the examinations officer. A head of centre and an examinations officer are two distinct and separate roles.
4.1 Head of centre
The ‘head of centre’ is the most senior operational officer in the organisation. It is the responsibility of the head of centre to ensure that all staff comply with the instructions within this policy. The head of centre is required to:
- Understand the contents of, and refer to and direct relevant centre staff to, the annually updated JCQ publications. Ensure the centre has appropriate accommodation to support the size of the cohorts being examined including appropriate accommodation for candidates requiring access arrangements for exams and assessments.
- Take responsibility for confirming, on an annual basis, that they are aware of and adhering to the latest version of the JCQ’s regulations by responding to the head of centre’s declaration which is managed as part of the National Centre Number Register (NCNR) annual update.
- Understand that this responsibility cannot be delegated to a member of the senior leadership team or the examinations officer, and acknowledges that failure to respond to the NCNR annual update, and/or the head of centre’s declaration, will result in:
- the centre status being suspended.
- the centre not being able to submit examination entries.
- the centre not receiving or being able to access question papers.
- Retain a workforce of an appropriate size and competence, including sufficient managerial and other resources, to undertake the delivery of the qualification as required by an awarding body. This includes taking reasonable steps to ensure occupational competence where this is required for the assessment of specific qualifications.
- Ensure authorised staff are familiar with the latest instructions from relevant awarding bodies.
- Provide fully qualified teachers to mark non-examination assessments, and/or fully qualified assessors for the verification of centre-assessed components.
- Ensure that the examinations officer (EO) and the SENDCo receive appropriate training and support in order to facilitate the effective delivery of examinations and assessments within the centre, and ensure compliance with the published JCQ regulations.
- Appoint a SENDCo who will determine appropriate arrangements for candidates with learning difficulties and disabilities.
- Have in place a member of the senior leadership team who will provide support and guidance to the EO and ensure that the integrity and security of examinations and assessments is maintained throughout an examination series.
- Ensure centre staff undertake key tasks within the exams process and meet internal deadlines set by the EO.
- Have in place a contingency plan should the head of centre, or a member of the senior leadership team with oversight of examination administration, be absent.
- Deliver qualifications, as required by the awarding body, in accordance with relevant equality legislation. This includes but is not limited to ensuring that qualifications are made available to all candidates capable of undertaking them and seeking reasonable adjustments for disabled candidates.
- Enable candidates to receive sufficient and up to date laboratory experience, or relevant training where required by the subject concerned.
- Comply with local health and safety rules which are in place and that the centre is adequately covered for public liability claims.
- Take all reasonable steps to maintain the integrity of the examinations/assessments, including the security of all assessment materials, by ensuring:
- the location of the centre’s secure storage facility in a secure room solely assigned to examinations for the purpose of administering secure examination materials.
- appropriate arrangements are in place to ensure that confidential materials are only handed over to authorised members of centre staff.
- access to the secure room and secure storage facility is restricted to the authorised keyholders (ensuring only persons authorised by the head of centre and the exams officer are allowed access to the centre’s secure storage facility as one of the two to six key holders).
- the relevant awarding body is immediately informed if the security of question papers or confidential supporting instructions is put at risk.
- that arrangements are in place to check that the correct question paper packets are opened by authorised members of centre staff.
- Through taking an ethical approach and working proactively to avoid malpractice among students and staff, take all reasonable steps to prevent the occurrence of any malpractice/maladministration before, during the course of and after examinations have taken place.
- Ensure irregularities are investigated and inform the awarding bodies of any cases of alleged, suspected or actual incidents of malpractice or maladministration, involving a candidate or a member of staff, are reported to the awarding body immediately.
- Ensure risks to the exam process are assessed and appropriate risk management processes/contingency plans are in place (that allow the senior leadership team to act immediately in the event of an emergency or staff absence).
- Ensure the centre’s Equal Opportunities Policy demonstrating the centre’s compliance with relevant legislation is in place and details the processes followed in respect of identifying the need for, requesting and implementing access arrangements.
- Ensure a complaints and appeals procedure covering general complaints regarding the centre’s delivery or administration of a qualification is in place and drawn to the attention of candidates and their parents/carers.
- Ensure the centre has a Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy in place, including Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance, which satisfies current legislative requirements.
- Ensure the centre has a data protection policy in place that complies with General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018 regulations.
- Ensure the centre has documented processes in place relating to access arrangements and reasonable adjustments.
- Ensures the relevant awarding bodies are informed of any Conflict of Interest where:
- a member of centre staff is taking a qualification at the centre which includes internally assessed components/units (using the centre as a last resort where unable to find an alternative centre).
- a candidate is being taught and prepared for a qualification which includes internally assessed components/units by a member of centre staff with a personal connection to the candidate.
- Maintains records that confirm the measures taken/protocols in place to mitigate any potential risk to the integrity of the qualifications affected by the above, and where:
- a member of exams office staff have a personal connection to a candidate being entered for exams and assessments at the centre or at another centre.
- a member of centre staff is taking a qualification at the centre which does not include internally assessed components/units (using the centre as a last resort where unable to find an alternative centre).
- a member of centre staff is taking a qualification at another centre.
- Ensure other relevant centre staff where they may be involved in the receipt and dispatch of confidential exam materials are briefed on the requirements for maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of the exam materials.
- Ensure members of centre staff do not forward emails and letters from awarding body or JCQ personnel to third parties or upload such correspondence onto social media sites and applications without prior consent from these bodies.
- Ensure members of centre staff do not advise parents/candidates to contact awarding bodies/JCQ directly nor provide them with addresses/email addresses of awarding body examining/assessment or JCQ personnel.
4.2 Examinations officer
The examination officer is required to:
- Understand the contents of annually updated JCQ publications.
- Complete/submit the National Centre Number Register annual update (administered on behalf of the JCQ member awarding bodies by OCR) by the end of October each year.
- Be familiar with the contents of annually updated information from awarding bodies on administrative procedures, key tasks, key dates and deadlines.
- Ensure key tasks are undertaken and key dates and deadlines met.
- Recruit, train and deploy a team of internal/external invigilators. appoints lead invigilators, as required and keep a record of the content of training provided to invigilators for the required period.
- Work with the SENDCo to ensure invigilators supervising access arrangement candidates and those acting as a facilitator supporting access arrangement candidates fully understand the respective role and what is and what is not permissible in the exam room.
- Support the head of centre in ensuring that awarding bodies are informed of any Conflict of Interest declared by members of centre staff and in maintaining records that confirm the measures taken/protocols in place to mitigate any potential risk to the integrity of the qualifications affected before the published deadline for entries.
- Make sure that teachers who teach the subject being examined do not invigilate for that examination.
- Brief other relevant centre staff where they may be involved in the receipt and dispatch of confidential exam materials on the requirements for maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of the exam materials.
- Ensure teaching staff undertake key tasks, as detailed in this policy, within the exams process (exam cycle) and meet internal deadlines.
- Ensure teaching staff keep themselves updated with awarding body subject and teacher-specific information to confirm effective delivery of qualifications.
- Ensure teaching staff attend relevant awarding body training and update events.
- Make arrangements to receive, check and store question papers and examination material safely and securely at all times and for as long as required in accordance with the current JCQ publication instructions for conducting examinations.
- Make arrangements to receive and issue material received from the awarding bodies to staff and candidates, and notify them of any advice and instructions relevant to the examinations and assessments.
- Allow candidates access to relevant pre-release materials on, or as soon as possible after, the date specified by the awarding bodies.
- Obtain written approval from the relevant awarding body before permitting a third party to deliver any part of a qualification including assessments.
- Ensure required internal appeals procedures are in place and drawn to the attention of candidates and (where relevant) their parents/carers.
- Cooperate with the JCQ Centre Inspection Service, an awarding body or a regulatory authority when subject to an inspection, an investigation or an unannounced visit, and take all reasonable steps to comply with all requests for information or documentation made by an awarding body or regulatory authority as soon as is practical.
- Allow all venues used for examinations and assessments, paperwork and secure storage facilities to be open to inspection.
- Understand the JCQ Centre Inspector will identify themselves with a photo ID card and must be accompanied throughout their tour of the premises, including inspection of the centre’s secure storage facility.
4.3 Senior Leadership Team (SLT)
The Senior Leadership Team is required to:
- Be familiar with the contents, refer to and direct relevant centre staff to annually updated JCQ publications.
The SENDCo is required to:
- Understand the contents, refer to and direct relevant centre staff to annually updated JCQ publications.
- If the SENDCo is not also the qualified access arrangements assessor, the SENDCo will work with the person appointed, on all matters relating to assessing candidates and ensures the correct procedures are followed.
- Present when requested by a JCQ Centre Inspector, evidence of the assessor’s qualification.
4.5 Teaching staff
Teaching staff are required to:
- Undertake key tasks, as detailed in this policy, within the exams process and meet internal deadlines set by the EO and SEND and Access Arrangements Team.
- Keep updated with awarding body subject and teacher-specific information to confirm effective delivery of qualifications.
- Attend relevant awarding body training and update events.
Invigilators are required to:
- Attend training, updates, briefings and review sessions as required.
- Provide information as requested on their availability to invigilate.
4.7 Operations staff
Operations staff are required to:
- Support the EO in the receipt and dispatch of confidential exam materials and follow the requirements for maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of the exam materials.
4.8 Facilities Team
The Facilities Team is required to:
- Support the EO in relevant matters relating to exam rooms and resources.
5. Qualifications offered
Ashbourne College is an examination centre for A levels and GCSE.
The centre does not accept private candidates.
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6. The exam cycle
The exams management and administration process that needs to be undertaken for each exam series is often referred to as the exam cycle and relevant tasks required within this group into the following stages:
- Exam time
- Results and post-results
6.1 Planning: roles and responsibilities
6.1.1 Information sharing
Head of centre
- Direct relevant centre staff to JCQ publications including GR, ICE, AA, SM, NEA (and the instructions for conducting coursework) and SC.
- Signpost relevant centre staff to JCQ publications and awarding body documentation relating to the exams process that have been updated.
- Signpost relevant centre staff to JCQ information that should be provided to candidates.
- As the centre administrator, approve relevant access rights for centre staff to access awarding body secure extranet sites.
6.1.2 Information gathering
- Undertake an annual information gathering exercise in preparation for each new academic year to ensure data about all qualifications being delivered is up to date and correct.
- Collate all information gathered into one central point of reference.
- Research awarding body guidance to identify administrative processes, key tasks, key dates and deadlines for all relevant qualifications.
- Produce an annual exams plan of key tasks and key dates to ensure all external deadlines can be effectively met.
- Inform key centre staff of internal deadlines.
- Collect information on internal exams to enable preparation for and conduct of internal assessments.
- Respond to requests from the EO for information.
- Meet the internal deadline for the return of information.
- Inform the EO of any changes to information in a timely manner minimising the risk of late or other penalty fees being incurred.
- Note the internal deadlines in the annual exams plan and meet these.
6.1.3 Access arrangements
Head of centre
- Ensure the SEND and Access Arrangements Team is fully supported in effectively implementing access arrangements and reasonable adjustments once approved.
- Ensure there is appropriate accommodation for candidates requiring access arrangements in the centre for all examinations and assessments.
- Ensure a written process is in place to not only check the qualification(s) of the appointed assessor(s) but that the correct procedures are followed as per the JCQ publication Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments.
- Gather evidence to support the need for access arrangements for a candidate.
- Liaise with teaching staff to gather evidence of normal way of working of an affected candidate.
- Gather signed Personal data consent, Privacy Notice (AAO) and Data Protection confirmation forms from candidates where required.
- Apply for approval through Access Arrangements Online (AAO) via the Centre Admin Portal (CAP), where required or through the awarding body where qualifications sit outside the scope of AAO.
- Keep a file for each candidate for JCQ inspection purposes containing all the required documentation. This includes following up with students to ensure that they scan in their mock assessments for each half-term.
- Provide and annually review a centre policy on the use of word processors in exams and assessments.
- Ensure that the Specialist Assessor for Access Arrangements (SAFAA) identifies the access arrangements requirements for candidates and confirms the arrangements.
- Ensure that the SAFAA updates the FileMaker database with all relevant information related to agreed access arrangements.
- Ensure that the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) updates teachers about the individual needs of each student with access arrangements and that each of these students are on the Safeguarding database.
- Ensure that the SEND and Access Arrangements Team employs good practice in relation to the Equality Act 2010.
- Ensure that the SAFAA and DSL liaise with the EO regarding exam time arrangements for access arrangement candidates.
- Ensure staff appointed to facilitate access arrangements for candidates are appropriately trained and understand the rules of the particular arrangement(s) and keep a record of the content of training provided to facilitators for the required period.
- Ensure that the SAFFA and DSL works with the EO to enable invigilators and those acting as a facilitator to fully understand the respective role and what is and what is not permissible in the exam room.
- Ensure that the criteria for candidates granted separate invigilation within the centre is clear, meets JCQ regulations and best meets the needs of individual candidates and remaining candidates in main exam rooms.
- Be proactive to inform the SEND and Access Arrangements Team of any students under their care whom they believe need access arrangements.
- Adapt their teaching practices where appropriate to support SEND students.
- Ensure that students taking mock assessments each half-term have the appropriate access arrangements when undertaking these examinations.
- Complete any necessary documentation requested in support of a student’s access arrangements.
6.1.4 Internal assessment and endorsements
Head of centre
- Provide fully qualified teachers to mark non-examination assessments.
- Ensure any irregularities relating to the production of work by candidates are investigated and dealt with internally if discovered prior to a candidate signing the authentication statement (where required) or reported to the awarding body if a candidate has signed the authentication statement.
Head of faculty
- Ensure that teaching staff, in accordance with awarding bodies’ instructions, return all subject-specific forms by the required date.
- Ensure arrangements are in place to coordinate and standardise all marking of centre-assessed components and ensure that candidates’ centre-assessed work is produced, authenticated and marked, or assessed and quality-assured in accordance with the awarding bodies’ instructions.
- Ensure teaching staff have the necessary and appropriate knowledge, understanding, skills, and training to set tasks, conduct task taking, and to assess, mark and authenticate candidates’ work.
- Ensure appropriate internal moderation, standardisation and verification processes are in place.
- Ensure teaching staff follow JCQ Instructions for conducting coursework and the specification provided by the awarding body.
- Ensure teaching staff delivering GCE & GCSE/IGCSE specifications (which include components of non-examination assessment) follow JCQ Instructions for conducting non-examination assessments and the specification provided by the awarding body.
- Ensure appropriate instructions for conducting internal assessment are followed.
- Ensure candidates are aware of JCQ and awarding body information for candidates on producing work that is internally assessed (coursework, non-examination assessments) prior to assessments taking place.
- Ensure candidates are informed of their centre assessed marks as a candidate may request a review of the centre’s marking before marks are submitted to the awarding body.
- Identify relevant key dates and administrative processes that need to be followed in relation to internal assessment.
- Inform teaching staff of relevant JCQ Information for candidates documents that are annually updated.
- Ensure an internal appeals procedure relating to internal assessment decisions is in place for a candidate to appeal against and request a review of the centre’s marking.
- Ensure a non-examination assessment policy is in place for GCE and GCSE qualifications which include components of non-examination assessment: Controlled Assessment Policy.
- Ensure, if contracting supply staff to act as invigilators, that such persons are competent and fully trained, understanding what is and what is not permissible in the exam hall and not simply accepting an assurance from a recruitment agency, that this is the case.
- In timed Art exams determine if additional invigilators need to be deployed in addition to the subject teacher to ensure the supervision of candidates is maintained at all times.
- Recruit additional invigilators where required to effectively cover all exam periods/series throughout the academic year.
- Collect information on new recruits to identify if they have invigilated previously and if any current maladministration/malpractice sanctions are applied to them.
- Provide training for new invigilators on the instructions for conducting exams and an annual update for the existing invigilation team so that they are aware of any changes in a new academic year before they are allocated to invigilate an exam.
- Ensure invigilators supervising access arrangement candidates understand their role (and the role of a facilitator who may be supporting a candidate) and the rules and regulations of the access arrangement(s).
- Ensure invigilators are briefed on the access arrangement candidates in their exam room and made aware of the access arrangement(s) awarded (ensuring these candidates are identified on the seating plan) and confirms invigilators understand what is and what is not permissible.
- Collect evaluation of training to inform future events.
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6.2.1 Estimated entries
- Request estimated or early entry information from teachers in a timely manner to ensure awarding body external deadlines for submission can be met.
- Go through the exam entries from the previous exams cycle as well as looking at information relating to the current intake. From this, the EO will submit the required information to the awarding bodies.
- Provide entry information when requested by the EO to the internal deadline.
- Inform the EO immediately of any subsequent changes to entry information.
6.2.2 Final entries
- Request final entry information from teachers in a timely manner to ensure awarding body external deadlines for submission can be met.
- Inform teachers of subsequent deadlines for making changes to final entry information without charge.
- Confirm with teachers the final entry information that has been submitted to awarding bodies.
- Ensure as far as possible that entry processes minimise the risk of entries or registrations being missed reducing the potential for late or other penalty fees being charged by awarding bodies.
- Observe each awarding body’s terms and conditions for the entry and withdrawal of candidates for their examinations and assessments.
- Final entries collection and submission procedure: the EO will send out estimated entries to all of the teachers, who will check these and make amendments before returning the entries to the EO. The EO will then create draft Statements of Entry for each student who will then need to confirm that the entries are correct. In cases where the student does not agree, the EO will liaise with the relevant teacher to confirm that the entries are correct. Before sending the entries to the relevant examination board, the EO must check each entry with the Head of Administration and their line manager.
- Entry for examination will be administered by the College. However, students are ultimately responsible for ensuring that they have been entered for the correct examinations.
- Provide information requested by the EO to the internal deadline.
- Inform the EO immediately, or at the very least prior to the deadlines, of any subsequent changes to final entry information, which includes:
- changes to candidate personal details
- amendments to existing entries
- withdrawals of existing entries.
- Check final entry submission information provided by the EO and confirm that the information is correct.
6.2.3 Entry fees
- Entry fees are set by the Principal and fee-payers have to make payment for the examination fees prior to the first day of the academic year.
6.2.4 Late Entry
- Clear entry procedures are in place to ensure that no late entries are made. However, if an entry has been overlooked then the EO must inform their line manager immediately.
- Once final entries have been sent off, the EO will liaise with the Finance Team to ensure that those students who register late are invoiced appropriately.
- Ashbourne does not accept private candidates.
- Where a student has withdrawn from the College they may be permitted to sit their exams at Ashbourne under the status of private candidate. In such instances, the College will not take responsibility for marking, grading or authenticating any work, including coursework and practical components, undertaken by the student for submission to the awarding bodies. Therefore, the College will not be able to enter students as private candidates for subjects which require coursework and practical components.
6.2.5 Exam entries for subjects that a student is not receiving lessons for at the College
- When students check their draft Statement of Entry, there is an option which allows them to add additional entries for subjects in which they are not having any lessons at the College:
- The EO will have to agree each of these entries with their line manager.
- In some cases, the College will not be able to permit these entries.
6.2.7 Candidate final statements of entry
- Provide candidates with statements of entry.
- Ensure candidates check statements of entry and return any relevant confirmation required to the EO.
- Confirm entry information is correct or notify the EO of any discrepancies.
6.2.8 Candidate withdrawal from examinations
- Students who fail to meet internal deadlines for assessments, e.g. coursework, may be withdrawn from examinations.
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6.3 Pre-exams: roles and responsibilities
6.3.1 Access Arrangements
- Ensure appropriate arrangements, adjustments and adaptations are in place to facilitate access to exams/assessments for candidates where they are disabled within the meaning of the Equality Act (unless a temporary emergency arrangement is required at the time of an exam).
- Ensure a candidate is involved in any decisions about arrangements, adjustments and /or adaptations that may be put in place for them.
- Ensure exam information (JCQ information for candidates information, individual exam timetable etc.) is adapted where this may be required for a disabled candidate to access it.
- Allocate appropriately trained centre staff to facilitate access arrangements for candidates in exams and assessments (ensuring that the facilitator appointed meets JCQ requirements and fully understands the rule of the particular access arrangement).
- Where relevant, ensure the necessary and appropriate steps are undertaken to gather an appropriate picture of need and demonstrate normal way of working and that the candidate is assessed by the centre’s appointed assessor.
6.3.2 Briefing candidates
- Issue individual exam timetable information to candidates and inform candidates of any Contingency Day awarding bodies may identify in the event of national or significant local disruption to exams.
- Prior to exams, issue relevant JCQ information for candidates documents.
- Where relevant, issue relevant awarding body information to candidates.
- Issue centre exam information to candidates including information on:
- exam timetable clashes
- arriving late for an exam
- absence or illness during exams
- what equipment is/is not provided by the centre
- food and drink in exam rooms
- when and how results will be issued and the staff that will be available
- the post-results services and how the centre deals with requests from candidates
- when and how certificates will be issued
- access to Scripts, Reviews of Results and Appeals Procedures – within the results documentation emailed to students will be information and forms relating to post result EARs and appeals. Candidates should follow the information provided and note that, where a fee is applicable, this must be paid in full prior to any request being granted.
6.3.3 Dispatch of exam scripts
- Identify and confirm arrangements for the dispatch of candidate exam scripts with the DfE (STA) ‘yellow label service’ or the awarding body where qualifications sit outside the scope of the service.
6.3.4 Estimated grades (when necessary)
- Ensure that estimated grade information is provided to the EO by the internal deadline.
Heads of Faculty
- Ensure that estimated grade information provided by the teachers is accurate.
- Check all of the estimated grades with the Principal and their line manager to ensure accuracy and revert to teachers and Heads of Faculty where applicable to query entries.
- Submit estimated grade information to awarding bodies to meet the external deadline (where this may still be required by the awarding body).
- Keep a record to track what has been sent.
6.3.5 Internal assessment and endorsements
- Ensure procedures are in place for candidates to appeal internal assessment decisions and make requests for reviews of marking.
- Liaise with teaching staff to implement appropriate access arrangements for candidates undertaking internal assessments and practical endorsements.
- Submit marks, endorsement grades and samples to awarding bodies/moderators/monitors to meet the external deadline.
- Keep a record to track what has been sent.
- Log moderated samples returned to the centre.
- Ensure teaching staff are aware of the requirements in terms of retention and subsequent disposal of candidates’ work.
- Support the SEND and Access Arrangements Team in implementing appropriate access arrangements for candidates undertaking internal assessments and practical endorsements.
- Assess and authenticate candidates’ work.
- Assess endorsed components.
- Ensure candidates are informed of centre assessed marks prior to marks being submitted to awarding bodies.
- Ensure marks are provided for internally assessed components and grades for endorsements of qualifications to the EO by the internal deadline.
- Ensure samples of work are provided for moderation and sample recordings for monitoring to the EO to the internal deadline.
- Authenticate their work as required by the awarding body.
- Provide an invigilator handbook to invigilators, train new invigilators on appointment and update experienced invigilators on any regulation changes, including those facilitating access arrangements.
- Deploy invigilators effectively to exam rooms throughout an exam series. This includes the provision of a roving invigilator where a candidate and invigilator (acting as a practical assistant, reader or scribe) are accommodated on a 1:1 basis to enter the room at regular intervals in order to observe the conducting of the exam, ensuring all relevant rules are being adhered to and supporting the practical assistant/reader and/or scribe in maintaining the integrity of the exam).
- Allocate invigilators to exam rooms (or where supervising candidates due to a timetable clash) according to the required ratios.
- Liaise with the SEND and Access Arrangements Team regarding the facilitation and invigilation of access arrangement candidates.
- Ensure that the DSL and the SAFAA liaise with the EO regarding facilitation and invigilation of access arrangement candidates.
- Provide information as requested on their availability to invigilate throughout an exam series.
6.3.7 JCQ Centre Inspections
- Will accompany the inspector throughout a visit or organise for another appropriate senior member of staff to do so.
- When requested, will provide documentary evidence regarding access arrangement candidates and address any questions the inspector may raise.
- Ensure that information is readily available for inspection at the venue where the candidate is taking the exam(s).
6.3.8 Seating and identifying candidates in exam rooms
- Ensure that students will wear their lanyards with identity badges as verification of their identity.
- Ensure invigilators are aware of the expectation that students must wear lanyards with identity badges.
- Provide seating plans for exam rooms according to JCQ and awarding body requirements.
- Follow the procedure for verifying candidate identity provided by the EO.
- Refer to the seating plan to organise candidates in exam rooms as instructed by the EO.
6.3.9 Security of exam materials
220.127.116.11 Hardcopy materials
- Confirm appropriate arrangements are in place to ensure that confidential materials are only handed over to those authorised by the head of centre.
- Ensure only persons authorised by the head of centre and the exams officer are allowed access to the centre’s secure storage facility as one of the two to six key holders.
- Have a process in place to demonstrate the receipt, secure movement and secure storage of confidential exam materials within the centre.
- Ensure a log is kept at the initial point of delivery recording confidential materials received and signed for by authorised staff within the centre and that appropriate arrangements are in place for confidential materials to be immediately transferred to the secure storage facility until they can be removed from the dispatch packaging and checked in the secure room before being returned to the secure storage facility in timetable order.
- Ensure the secure storage facility contains only current and live confidential material (ensuring that past examination question papers, internal tests and mock examinations are not kept in the centre’s secure storage facility).
- Ensure that examination stationery, e.g. answer booklets and formula booklets are stored in the secure room (attempting to store this material in the secure storage facility, when sufficient space allows).
- Follow the process to log confidential materials delivered to/received by the centre to the point materials are issued to authorised staff for transferral to the secure storage facility.
- Adhere to the process to record the secure movement of confidential materials taken from or returned to secure storage throughout the time the material is confidential.
18.104.22.168 Secure materials received electronically
Head of centre
- Review, in consultation with the IT and Facilities Manager, the secure account management for handling electronically delivered examination materials, prior to each examination series. This is to ensure that:
- email accounts used for secure material access belong to an authorised named individual or group
- authorised members accessing secure material are aware of their personal responsibility for maintaining security
- all authorised email accounts used for accessing secure materials are regularly audited, with unused or unneeded accounts promptly removed
- passwords protecting access to secure materials are strong and regularly changed.
- Ensure the integrity and security of any examination material received electronically. This includes:
- not sharing or forwarding any secure materials to unauthorised staff
- maintaining a secure password for accessing materials
- accessing and downloading secure materials only for the use of candidates entered for the examination
- for printing purposes, only storing materials locally then deleting them including from the deleted items folder/bin
- deleting emails containing links to or associated with secure materials, once downloaded
- accessing and printing materials in a secure environment accessed only by authorised staff
- destroying any unneeded hard copies once printing has been completed
- sealing printed secure materials within a non-transparent envelope on which the exam details are clearly marked; the envelope must be stored security as per all other hardcopy secure materials
- reporting any deviation from these instructions to the awarding body using JCQ Form M2
- reporting any concerns of a potential breach of securing to the awarding body immediately.
6.3.10 Timetabling and rooming
- Produce a master centre exam timetable for each exam series.
- Identify and resolve candidate exam timetable clashes according to the regulations (only applying overnight supervision arrangements as a last resort, once all other options have been exhausted and according to the centre’s policy).
- Ensure that the College follows the overnight supervision arrangements.
- Identify exam rooms and specialist equipment requirements.
- Allocate invigilators to exam rooms (or where supervising candidates due to an exam timetable clash) according to required ratios.
- Liaise with site staff to ensure exam rooms are set up according to JCQ and awarding body requirements.
- Liaise with the DSL and SAFAA regarding rooming of access arrangement candidates.
- Liaise with other relevant centre staff to ensure appropriate arrangements, adjustments and adaptations are in place to facilitate access for disabled candidates to exams.
- Ensure that the DSL and SAFAA Liaises with the EO regarding rooming of access arrangement candidates.
- Liaise with the EO to ensure exam rooms are set up according to JCQ and awarding body requirements.
6.3.11 Transferred candidate arrangements
- Liaise with the host or entering centre, as required.
- Process requests for Transferred Candidate arrangements through CAP (Centre Admin Portal) to the awarding body deadline (or through the awarding body where a qualification may sit outside the scope of CAP).
- Where relevant (for an internal candidate) inform the candidate of the arrangements that have been made for their transferred candidate arrangements.
6.3.12 Internal exams (half term 4)
- Prepare for the conduct of internal exams under external conditions.
- Provide a centre exam timetable of subjects and rooms.
- Provide seating plans for exam rooms.
- Request internal exam papers from teaching staff.
- Arrange invigilation.
- Liaise with teaching staff to make appropriate arrangements for access arrangement candidates.
- Provide exam papers and materials to the EO.
- Support the EO by making appropriate arrangements for access arrangement candidates.
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6.4 Exam time: roles and responsibilities
6.4.1 Access Arrangements
- Provide cover sheets for access arrangement candidates’ scripts where required for particular arrangements.
- Have a process in place to deal with emergency access arrangements as they arise at the time of exam.
- Apply for approval through AAO where required or through the awarding body where qualifications sit outside the scope of AAO.
- Ensure that the DSL and SAFAA work closely with the Exams Officer to support those students with access arrangements, especially ones who require significant support.
6.4.2 Candidate absence and late arrival
- The EO and invigilators must follow the candidate late arrival and absence procedure.
6.4.3 Conducting exams
Head of centre
- Ensure venues used for conducting exams meet the requirements of JCQ and awarding bodies.
- Ensure exams are conducted according to JCQ and awarding body instructions.
- Use an exam day checklist to ensure comprehensive preparation for each exam session including dealing with unplanned events and associated follow-up.
6.4.4 Dispatch of exam scripts
- Dispatch scripts as instructed by JCQ and awarding bodies.
- Keep appropriate records to track dispatch.
6.4.5 Exam papers and materials
- Organise exam question papers and associated confidential resources in date order in the secure storage facility.
- Attach erratum notices received to relevant exam question paper packets.
- Collate attendance registers and examiner details in date order.
- Regularly check mail or email inbox for updates from awarding bodies.
- In order to avoid breaches of security, ensure the correct question paper packets are opened by ensuring another member of centre staff in addition to the person removing the papers from secure storage checks the day, date, time, subject, unit/component and tier of entry, if appropriate, immediately before a question paper packet is opened.
- Ensure this additional/second check is recorded.
- Where allowed by the awarding body, only release exam papers and materials to teaching departments for teaching and learning purposes after the published finishing time of the exam, or until any timetable clash candidates have completed the exam.
6.4.6 Exam rooms
- Ensure that internal tests, mock exams, revision or coaching sessions are not conducted in a room ‘designated’ as an exam room.
- Ensure that when a room is ‘designated’ as an exam room it is not used for any purpose other than conducting external exams.
- Ensure only approved centre staff (who have not taught the subject being examined) are present in exam rooms to perform permitted tasks.
- Ensure the centre’s policy relating to food and drink that may be allowed in exam rooms is clearly communicated to candidates. The policy is as follows: Ashbourne permits students to bring water into the examination hall. However, the bottle must be clear with no labels.Food is not permitted in the examination hall unless otherwise agreed with the EO because of medical reasons, and if so must be within a transparent container without packaging or labels.
- Ensure the centre’s policy on candidates leaving the exam room temporarily is clearly communicated to candidates. The policy is as follows: Students who leave the examination room temporarily (for example due to ill health or in order to use the lavatories) must be accompanied by a member of staff. Candidates cannot leave the examination room until instructed to do so by the examinations officer/invigilator.
- Ensure exam rooms are set up and conducted as required by the regulations.
- Provide invigilators with appropriate resources to effectively conduct exams.
- Brief invigilators on exams to be conducted on a session by session basis (including the arrangements in place for any transferred candidates and access arrangement candidates).
- Ensure sole invigilators have an appropriate means of summoning assistance (if this is a mobile phone, instructs the invigilator that this must be on silent mode).
- Ensure invigilators understand they must be vigilant and remain aware of incidents or emerging situations, looking out for malpractice or candidates who may be in distress, recording any incidents or issues on the exam room incident log.
- Ensure invigilators understand how to deal with candidates who may need to leave the exam room temporarily and how this should be recorded on the exam room incident log.
- Provide authorised exam materials which candidates are not expected to provide themselves.
- Ensure invigilators are aware of arrangements in place for a candidate with a disability who may need assistance if an exam room is evacuated.
- Ensure invigilators and candidates are aware of the emergency evacuation procedure, which requires the following action in an emergency such as a fire alarm or bomb alert:
- Stop the candidates from writing
- Collect the attendance register (in order to ensure all candidates are present) and evacuate the examination room in silence in order to make sure there is no discussion about the examination
- Make a note of the time of the interruption and how long it lasted
- Allow the candidates the full working time set for the examination
- Make a full report of the incident and the action taken to be given to the EO and submitted to the relevant awarding body
- Invigilators should familiarise themselves with the Evacuation Contingency plan, held in the Examination Office and available upon request from the EO.
- The evacuation procedure for the main Exam Room can be found laminated on the wall by the entrance to the hall.
- Conduct exams in every exam room according to JCQ Instructions for conducting examinations and/or awarding body requirements and as instructed by the centre in training/update and briefing sessions.
- Ensure exam rooms are set up as requested by the EO.
- Ensure that centre maintenance work does not disturb exam candidates in exam rooms.
- Ensure fire alarm testing does not take place during exam sessions.
- Are required to follow the instructions given to them in exam rooms by authorised centre staff and invigilators.
- Are required to remain in the exam room for the full duration of the exam.
Head of centre
- Ensure any cases of alleged, suspected or actual incidents of malpractice or maladministration before, during or after examinations/assessments (by centre staff, candidates, invigilators) are investigated and reported to the awarding body as required.
Senior Leadership Team
- Ensure support is provided for the EO and invigilators when dealing with disruptive candidates in exam rooms.
- Ensure that internal disciplinary procedures relating to candidate behaviour are initiated, when appropriate.
- Provide an exam room incident log in all exam rooms for recording any incidents or irregularities.
- Action any required follow-up and reports to awarding bodies as soon as practically possible after the exam has taken place.
- Ensure that behaviour is managed in the examination hall. In case of misbehaviour, the examination officer must ensure the following takes place:
- The first step is for the invigilator to approach the student and quietly inform them of the exam regulations, school expectations regarding behaviour and remind the student of the repercussions of disturbing the examination, which can include disqualification.
- If misbehaviour persists, invigilators should contact the EO who will speak to the student in question and remind them again of the above.
- If misbehaviour still persists a member of the senior leadership must be informed and a decision made, either by or in consultation with the Head of Centre, as to whether the candidate should be removed from the examination so as to maintain the security and integrity of the examination. All incidents should be logged and reported to the relevant exam board where necessary. The head of centre has the authority to remove a candidate from the examination room, but should only do so if the candidate would disrupt others by remaining in the room.
- All misbehaviour in the examination hall will be followed up with a meeting with a member of the senior leadership team.
- Record any incidents or irregularities on the exam room incident log (for example, late/very late arrival, candidate or centre staff suspected malpractice, candidate illness or needing to leave the exam room temporarily, disruption or disturbance in the exam room, emergency evacuation).
6.4.8 Special consideration
- Process appropriate requests for special consideration to awarding bodies.
- Gather evidence which may need to be provided by other staff in centre or candidates.
- Submit requests to awarding bodies to the external deadline.
- Provide appropriate evidence to support special consideration applications, where required.
6.4.9 Unauthorised items
- Are informed of the arrangements through training.
22.214.171.124 Internal exams (half-term 4 exams)
- Briefs invigilators on conducting internal exams.
- Returns candidate scripts to teaching staff for marking.
- Conduct internal exams as briefed by the EO.
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6.5 Results and post-results: roles and responsibilities
6.5.1 Internal assessment
- Ensure they keep candidates’ work, whether part of the moderation sample or not, secure and for the required period stated by JCQ and awarding bodies.
- Ensure work is returned to candidates or disposed of according to the requirements.
6.5.2 Managing results day(s)
- Work with senior leaders to ensure procedures for managing the main summer results day(s) are in place.
- Identify centre staff who will be involved in the main summer results day(s) and their role.
- Work with the their line manager to ensure that senior members of staff are accessible to candidates after the publication of results so that results may be discussed and decisions made on the submission of any requests for post-results services and ensure candidates are informed of the periods during which centre staff will be available so that they may plan accordingly.
6.5.3 Accessing results
- Inform candidates in advance of when and how results will be released to them for each exam series.
- Access results from awarding bodies under restricted release of results, where this is provided by the awarding body.
- Resolve any missing or incomplete results with awarding bodies.
- Issue statements of results to candidates after the appointed time on the day when the results are issued.
- Provide summaries of results for relevant centre staff on the date when results are issued.
- Ensure results are kept entirely confidential and restricted to key members of staff until the official dates and times of release of results.
- Understand that it is not permitted to withhold provisional results from candidates under any circumstances.
6.5.4 Post-results services
- Ensure an internal appeals procedure is available where candidates disagree with any centre decision not to support a clerical re-check, a review of marking, a review of moderation or an appeal.
- Work with their line manager to ensure that senior members of centre staff are available immediately after the publication of results.
- Understand that if the centre has concerns about one of its component/subject cohorts, then requests for reviews of marking should be submitted for all candidates believed to be affected (candidate consent is required as marks and subject grades may be lowered, confirmed or raised).
- Provide information to candidates and staff on the services provided by awarding bodies and the fees charged.
- Publish internal deadlines for requesting the services to ensure the external deadlines can be effectively met.
- Provide a process to record requests for services and to collect candidate informed consent (after the publication of results) and fees where relevant.
- Submit requests to awarding bodies to meet the external deadline for the particular service.
- Track requests to conclusion and inform candidates and relevant centre staff of outcomes.
- Update centre results information, where applicable.
- Identify students whose grades suggest that a remark is required.
- Meet internal deadlines to request post-results services and inform the EO.
- Meet internal deadlines to request the services.
- Provide informed consent and fees, where relevant.
- Inform candidates when the certificates are available.
- Keep the certificates locked in a secure location.
- Retain all unclaimed certificates under secure conditions for a minimum of 12 months, after which they will be destroyed in a confidential manner. A record of certificates that have been destroyed will be retained for four years from their date of destruction.
- Candidates may arrange for certificates to be collected on their behalf by providing the EO with written or email permission/authorisation. authorised persons must provide ID evidence on collection of certificates.
6.5.6 Exams review: roles and responsibilities
- Provide the senior leadership team with an overview of the exam year, highlighting what went well and what could be developed/improved in terms of exams management and administrative processes within the stages of the exam cycle.
- Collect and evaluate feedback from staff, candidates and invigilators to inform an exam review.
6.5.7 Retention of records: roles and responsibilities
- Keep records as required by JCQ and awarding bodies for the required period.
- Keep records as required by the centre’s records management policy.
- Provide an exams archiving policy that identifies information held, retention period and method of disposal.
7. Monitoring and review
This policy is reviewed annually to ensure that exams and assessments are conducted to current JCQ (and awarding body) regulations, instructions and guidance, and also accurately reflect the working practices of the College.
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Appendix A: Key staff for exams and assessments
Head of centre: Mike Kirby (Principal)
Examinations officer (EO): Lee Kirby
Senior line manager to EO: Mike Kirby
SENDCo: Lee Kirby
Specialist Assessor for Access Arrangements (SAFAA): Simone Shaw
Designated Safeguarding Lead: Frances Burns
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Appendix B: Candidate late arrival and absence procedure
1. Candidates who do not arrive at the examination hall for the beginning of the examination
The College will follow this procedure:
- The Examination Officer will ensure that the candidate is contacted first by telephone and then by email.
- If the candidate has been contacted, the College will then follow the procedures as outlined in this policy.
- If the candidate cannot be contacted, the College will contact other related key contacts by telephone and then by email.
- Once the first hour of the examination has passed, the candidate will be marked as absent and the candidate will be sent an email to confirm this.
2. Candidates who arrive late
- Candidates who are running late for their exam should call the College as soon as possible to advise why they are late and their expected time of arrival. This message will be relayed to the Examination Officer by the Operations Team as quickly as possible.
- All candidates who arrive late should report directly to reception of the building where the examination is to take place.
JCQ regulations state that: “A candidate who arrives after the start of the examination may be allowed to enter the examination room and sit the examination. This is entirely at the discretion of the centre.
A candidate who arrives after the start of the examination should be allowed the full time for the examination, depending on the centre’s organisational arrangements and provided that adequate supervision arrangements are in place.”
- At Ashbourne, we will normally allow late candidates into the exam room to sit the examination. The candidate will be given the full time allowed for the exam, however the candidate will be warned that the exam board may not accept their work. The late candidate’s new start and finish times will be written clearly by an invigilator on the white board at the front of the exam room.
- The Examination Officer will ensure that invigilation supervision is in place for the duration of the candidate’s exam.
3. Very late candidates
- JCQ regulations state that a candidate will be considered very late if they arrive more than one hour after the published starting time for an examination which lasts one hour or more, i.e. after 10.00am for a morning examination or after 2.30pm for an afternoon examination (JCQ Published Start Times are 9am and 1.30pm).
- For examinations that last less than one hour, a candidate will be considered very late if they arrive after the awarding body’s published finishing time for the examination.
- Where the College has been informed that a candidate is going to arrive “very late” for an exam, the parent/carer will be advised by the Examination Officer as quickly as possible to keep the candidate under supervision at all times until the candidate has been handed over to a member of centre staff.
- Parents/Carers will also be instructed to:
- Immediately take away any internet-enabled devices (e.g. mobile phone, tablet, smart watch, laptop, PC etc.)
- If possible, personally drive or escort the candidate from home to school, using a private vehicle or taxi and avoiding public transport.
- Ensure that the candidate is fully supervised as early as possible and preferably from the published starting time of the exam, until the candidate is handed over to a member of staff at the school reception.
- The parent/carer should make a written note of what time the candidate is supervised from.
- Both the candidate and the parent/carer who has supervised them will be asked to send an email confirming that the above measures have been put in place. The parent/carer and the candidate will also be asked to provide details of the time the candidate was supervised from and by whom, and the reason for the candidate’s late arrival.
- It may not be able to fully apply the above procedure where a candidate arrives at school by taxi.
- The Examination Officer will consider each case on an individual basis to determine whether the security of the examination has been compromised and will make a decision as to whether the candidate may sit the examination. This decision must be made in consultation with a member of the senior leadership team.
4. After the exam
- In compliance with JCQ regulations, the centre will send the script to the awarding body in the normal way.
- In addition, the Examination Officer must complete Form JCQ/VLA – report on a candidate admitted very late to the examination room, within seven days of the examination having taken place. The following information will be provided:
- The reason the candidate arrived late, including details of any special arrangements made for the candidate to reach the centre.
- The scheduled starting and finishing times of the examination.
- The time the candidate started the examination.
- The time the candidate finished the examination.
- The awarding body will consider each case individually in light of statements from the parent/carer, the candidate and the centre. Candidates and their parents/carers should be warned that the awarding body may not accept their work.
- JCQ regulations state that: “When deciding whether to accept any of the work done by a candidate who arrives very late, the awarding body will pay particular attention to how far it can be sure that the security of the examination has been maintained. Given that candidates may have left the examination room one hour after the awarding body’s published starting time, the awarding body is unlikely to be able to accept the work of very late candidates unless they have been adequately supervised.”
Where a candidate persistently arrives late for an exam, the Examination Officer will liaise with their line manager who will speak to the candidate and to the parents/carers to determine the reasons and to follow up accordingly.
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Appendix C: Overnight supervision arrangements
1. Overnight supervision arrangements
Overnight supervision arrangements will only be applied as a last resort once all other options have been exhausted.
Candidates timetabled for three or more examinations on the same day with a total duration of more than five and a half hours for GCSE or A-Level examinations, inclusive of approved extra time allowances and/or rest breaks may, at the centre’s discretion, be allowed to take one of these examinations the next morning (including weekends). Candidates will not be allowed to sit one of these examinations on an earlier day than that scheduled on the timetable.
The supervision of a candidate on journeys to and from the centre and overnight may be undertaken by the candidate’s parent/carer or centre staff. The centre must determine a method of supervision which ensures the candidates well-being.
The overnight supervision arrangements will ensure that the candidate does not have advance warning of the content of the examination which has been deferred to the following morning. This means that the candidate must not meet or communicate with anyone who may have knowledge of the content. This includes any form of electronic communication/storage device, e.g. telephone (both landline and mobile), email, Internet and social media. It even extends to television and radio, which could report key details of the day’s examinations.
Head of Centre
- Must be satisfied that the arrangements maintain the integrity and security of the examination.
- Must inform the relevant awarding body immediately of any known or suspected contravention of the arrangements for overnight supervision of a candidate.
- Accepts full responsibility for the security of the examination throughout.
- After an agreement has been made with the candidate and supervisor, the head of centre must complete a timetable variation and confidentiality declaration for overnight supervision form.
- Must appoint an invigilator or member of centre staff to supervise the candidate at all times while s/he is on the premises taking examinations.
- Must inform the parties involved that any infringement of the conditions governing overnight supervision arrangements may lead to the awarding body being unable to accept the script and/or the application of sanctions/penalties, as detailed in the JCQ publication Suspected Malpractice in Examinations and Assessments: Policies and Procedures.
- Must keep all forms available in the centre for inspection until the deadline for reviews of marking has passed or until any appeal, malpractice or other results enquiry has been completed, whichever is later. Forms may be stored electronically or in hard copy paper format and must not be sent to an awarding body unless specifically requested.
- Must ensure that the candidate is under centre supervision from 30 minutes after the awarding body’s published starting time for the delayed examination.
- Must ensure there is no contact with other candidates.
Parents/staff covering overnight supervision
- Must ensure that the candidate has no contact with anyone who may have knowledge of the content of the examination. This includes any form of electronic communication/storage device, e.g. telephone (both landline and mobile), email, Internet and social media. It even extends to television and radio, which could report key details of the day’s examinations.
- Must sign a declaration agreeing to supervise the candidate at all times and prevent contact via any means listed above
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