The Exams Office liaise with JCQ in terms of disseminating correct advice and guidance to centres.
This page is dedicated to providing JCQ guidance on a range of issues relating to the conducting of exams and the application of access arrangements and reasonable adjustments.
If you need to contact JCQ regarding any examination administration related queries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, and not email@example.com.
Please contact JCQ by email only to ensure that both parties have a written record of the response
For the definitive guide to JCQ rules and regulations, please visit the JCQ website. In particular, Heads of Centre, SLT, SENCOs and exams office staff must make themselves familiar with some/all of the following publications:
Members - To request a summary of the changes to the ICE, General Regulations, and Access Arrangements/Reasonable Adjustments booklets for 2016/17 please email contact@TheExamsOffice.org
The Exams Office works with the JCQ and the leading awarding bodies to produce a termly newsletter:
Notice to Centres Post-Results Services and Appeals
Issued in August 2016 - a supplementary document to the publication 'Post-Results Services – Information and guidance to centres for examinations taken in June 2016 and November 2016' following Ofqual's announcement of a series of changes to reviews of marking and appeals.
JCQ publications checklist
The Exams Office have produced a template which lists most of the main JCQ publications - please note that this is not an exhaustive list.
However, this template does contain links to current publications which are annually updated. For publications that are not annually updated, staff may need to ensure they are aware of and using the latest version. This template/spreadsheet can be sorted or filtered to suit the needs of the user.
General Regulations for Approved Centres - 2016/17
JCQ have published their General Regulations for Approved Centres for the 2016/17 academic year.
Heads of centre, SLT and examination officers must be familair with the contents of this document. The Exams Office have produced a summary of the changes to this year's regulations.
Exam Day Checklist
The Exams Office, in conjunction with JCQ, have produced an 'Exam Day Checklist' template. This document has been produced in 'word' to enable exams officers to make amends, if required, and to add this to their 'Exam Policy/Contingency Plan'.
This checklist provides hints and tips on:
- Preparing for the exam
- What to do after the exam
- Preparing for exams on the following day
- Contingency planning - 'What to do in the event of...'
Download the 'Exam Day Checklist' template to help you administer and manage exams in your centre from the November 2016 exam series.
The JCQ and its awarding body members AQA, CCEA, OCR, Pearson and WJEC have recently reviewed the twice yearly despatches of JCQ documentation to centres.
In light of this review the following changes are to be made with effect from Spring 2016:
- The JCQ Spring Despatch, which has traditionally been despatched to centres in early June, will cease.
- The documents which originally comprised the JCQ Spring Despatch will be sent to centres in September as part of the JCQ Autumn Despatch.
- The JCQ publication Instructions for conducting examinations will cease to be issued in hard copy format. The document will be available to download from the JCQ website - http://www.jcq.org.uk/exams-office/ice---instructions-for-conducting-examinations or the JCQ Autumn memory stick
For more details please see Changes to JCQ Despatches - Spring 2016 onwards.
Centres must contact the relevant awarding body - not JCQ - regarding any special consideration applications/enquiries.
JCQ have published guidance relating to special consideration which can be found on their website.
Results/Post-Results - support for candidates
Senior members of centre staff must be accessible to candidates immediately after the publication of results so that results may be discussed and decisions made on the submission of enquiries. Candidates must be informed of the periods during which centre staff will be available so that they may plan accordingly. For more details, see JCQ's Post-Results Services booklet.
Enquiries about Results (EARs) - Obtaining candidate permission
Candidates cannot sign EARs consent forms prior to the publication of results.
Centres must not ask candidates to sign consent forms in respect of potential EAR requests prior to the publication of examination results in August. This is not acceptable practice since a decision as to a review of marking should be taken after the publication of results. The candidate receives his/her results and following a discussion with the centre wishes to pursue a review of marking. The candidate at this stage gives his/her consent to a review of marking.
This information will be included in the JCQ Post-Results Services publication next summer, June 2017 examination series.
Exams policies/procedures required for JCQ inspection purposes
Click on the links below for details of the six polices required for JCQ inspection purposes:
For details of policies which are required for prospective examination centres (for example; a written child protection policy, and a written data protection policy), and other written policies/procedures which should also be in place in all centres, please consult JCQ's General Regulations for Approved Centres booklet.
'Non-examination assessments' have replaced controlled assessments and coursework for reformed GCSE and GCE qualifications.
Teachers and exams officers will need to be aware of when reformed qualifications are being introduced in each subject in order to meet the requirements of 'non-examination assessments'.
With regard to a centre policy on 'non-examination assessments', schools/colleges will have to produce a policy for the 2016/17 academic year.
The Exams Office have produced a 'non-examination assessments' policy template for the 2016/17 academic year. Please visit the 'Exam Policies - Word Templates' section of our website to download this, and other, exam policy templates.
JCQ have produced guidance on 'non-examination assessments' which details the requirements, including those for inspection purposes.
Criteria for a Specialist Assessor
JCQ have issued criteria for Specialist Assessors. There is now a requirement for a specialist assessor to have a post-graduate qualification in individual specialist assessment at or equivalent to Level 7.
Where a specialist assessor has successfully completed a qualification in individual specialist assessment which is lower than Level 7, for example a Level 5 Certificate, he/she may continue to assess students within their centre for this academic year. A specialist assessor with a postgraduate qualification in Special Educational Needs, such as an MA in Supporting Students with Special Educational Needs, who has additionally undertaken training in individual assessment may also continue to assess students within their centre for this academic year. However, the specialist assessor must progress to and successfully complete a postgraduate qualification in individual specialist assessment at or equivalent to Level 7 by no later than 31 August 2017.
Please visit this JCQ page for details, or download the document below.
Release of Results - June 2017 & June 2018
JCQ have finalised the dates for Release of Results in June 2017 and June 2018. Please visit this JCQ page for details, or download the document below.
Examination Contingency Plan/Examination Policy - required from June 2016
Please note that there has been a requirement from the June 2016 examination series for centres to have an examination contingency plan/examinations policy on file for inspection purposes.
For further information, please see the JCQ notice.
Secure storage - enhanced notes to support section 1.3 of the 'ICE' booklet to provide additional information regarding storing confidential exam material
To read the enhanced JCQ information on conditions for storing confidential exam material, download the current JCQ document.
Modern Foreign Language listening examinations
To view the JCQ instructions for conducting MFL Listening exams, download the current JCQ document.
The Exams Office will endeavour to provide guidance on areas where members have asked for greater clarity. This is devised after consulting, and adhering to, the relevant JCQ publications.
However, it is the responsibility of the Head of Centre. Senior Leaders, SENCOs, Specialist Assessors and Exams Office staff to ensure that they are familiar with all relevant JCQ documentation.
This document provides a reminder of key tasks to be undertaken each exam day and pointers on how to deal with unplanned events (‘what to do in the event of’) that may arise on a daily basis.
This document provides information on who decides whether separate invigilation and rooming is required, and the circumstances in which this may be offered to candidates.
This document provides clarification over the roles and responsibilities when managing Access Arrangements. JCQ documentation clearly states that the SENCo must lead on Access Arrangements.
This document provides guidance for the secure storage of written question papers and any other confidential material distributed to centres in advance of the examinations.
Download our 'Secure storage checklist' to ensure that your centre is compliant with JCQ regulations.
This document provides guidance on the use of a computer reader, Voice Recognition Technology and word processors with the spelling and grammar check enabled during examinations. This clarifies the evidence required when candidates utilise these as an access arrangement.
This document provides guidance on how to deal with candidate malpractice. There is a dual-focus to avoiding candidate malpractice within this document - 'Prevention' and 'Action' - with hints/tips on how to avoid malpractice, as well as dealing with it when it does occur.
Key JCQ documents
Head teachers, Senior Leadership Teams, SENCos and exams officers should familiarise themselves with all relevant JCQ documentation.
Below is a list of key documents - all of which are contained on the JCQ website:
These regulations reflect a whole centre approach to access arrangements. It is therefore the responsibility of the head of centre, members of the senior leadership team, the SENCo/specialist assessor(s) and where relevant the SEN Governor to familiarise themselves with the entire contents of this document.
The SENCo, fully supported by teaching staff and members of the senior leadership team, must lead on the access arrangements process within his/her centre. Teaching staff and members of the senior leadership team must support the SENCo in determining and implementing appropriate access arrangements.
The SENCo must work with teaching staff, support staff (such as Learning Support Assistants and Teaching Assistants) and exams office personnel to ensure that approved access arrangements are put in place for internal school tests, mock examinations and examinations. Ideally, the SENCo will also be the in-house specialist assessor and will thus assess candidates, process applications on-line and hold the evidence for inspection purposes for GCSE and/or GCE qualifications
Special consideration is a post-examination adjustment to a candidate’s mark or grade to reflect temporary illness, temporary injury or other indisposition at the time of the assessment, which has had, or is reasonably likely to have had, a material effect on a candidate’s ability to take an assessment or demonstrate his or her normal level of attainment in an assessment.
This is a guide to which candidates will be eligible for special consideration, mark allowances for present but disadvantaged candidates, absent candidates with acceptable reasons and a range of other issues, including the processing of Special Consideration applications
These documents contains information on the arrangements for GCE AS candidates transferring between specifications or awarding bodies midway through a GCE A-level course (having completed and certificated a GCE AS award). GCE AS candidates who move to another centre or who, for other reasons, have to change their programme of study part way through a GCE A-level course may be eligible to transfer a GCE AS award between specifications and/or awarding bodies. The specifications must have the same subject titles, under arrangements agreed between the regulators and the Joint Council for Qualifications.
Please note that for some GCE A-level subjects summer 2016 will be the final opportunity for candidates to transfer an AS award from one awarding body to another (see pages 10-16 of the 2015/16 publication)
This document sets out the principal administrative requirements for legacy GCE (General Certificate of Education) unitised qualifications including GCE in applied subjects. It does not apply to the administrative requirements for new GCE AS linear qualifications, GCSE, Entry Level Certificates, Functional Skills qualifications, Principal Learning units and Project qualifications.
This document contains regulations which have been established to ensure that the integrity and security of the examination/assessment system is maintained at all times and is not brought into disrepute. Centres must conduct examinations and assessments in accordance with these regulations and, where relevant, those contained in other JCQ publications
All centres will be required to confirm, on an annual basis, that they are both aware of and adhering to the latest version of the regulations as set out in this document.
They should be read, and referred to, by:
- the head of a school, the principal of a college, the chief officer of an institution or the chief executive of a company registered with an awarding body as an examination/assessment centre;
- members of the senior leadership team;
- the examinations officer or quality assurance co-ordinator appointed by the head of centre.
JCQ has written these instructions for the setting, supervision, authentication, marking, internal standardisation and external moderation of coursework in examination centres. These instructions are for use in legacy GCE unitised AS and A-level specifications. They also apply to ELC specifications and Project qualifications. These instructions are additional to any guidelines or regulations an individual awarding body may issue. If there is conflict between the awarding body’s guidelines or regulations and these instructions, the awarding body’s guidelines and subject-specific instructions shall prevail.
This document will assist centres in ensuring that their controlled assessment policies are fit for purpose. It provides subject teachers, examination officers and heads of centre with a single, definitive source of generic guidance and instructions for all GCSE subjects. Subject teachers must refer to specifications or subject-specific documentation for subject-specific requirements. Controlled assessment in Functional Skills and Principal Learning is not covered by this document. Centres should refer to the relevant specifications and subject-specific guidance published by the awarding body.
Please note that the primary audience for this document is heads of centre, senior leaders and subject leaders. This is a change for the 2015/16 academic year.
This booklet sets out the processes for appealing against decisions made by the JCQ awarding bodies in relation to GCSE, GCE, AEA, FSMQ, ELC, Essential Skills (Wales), Functional Skills, Principal Learning and Project qualifications. If the qualification you are concerned about is not one of these, then please refer to the individual awarding body’s documentation.
As appeals are only accepted from the Head of Centre, or Private Candidate, it is imperative that Heads of Centre, and members of SLT, make themselves familiar with the content of this document.
Please note that Awarding bodies accept appeals in relation to three areas of their work. These are:
- Appeals against results – when a centre is still dissatisfied with an examination result or results following the enquiries about results process.
- Appeals against malpractice decisions – following a decision to apply a penalty because of malpractice in an examination/assessment.
- Appeals against decisions made in respect of access arrangements and special consideration.
In addition, some other administrative decisions, such as in cases of missing scripts, may be subject to review by awarding body officers. Please see the JCQ Appeals booklet for further information.
These are the key dates for the main examination series of GCSE, GCE, Principal Learning and Project qualifications which are common to all of the JCQ awarding bodies. These include dates for access arrangements, entries, submission of internally assessed marks, receipt of results and final dates for post-result services. Centre staff with teaching and administrative responsibilities will need to be aware of these dates.
This booklet contains three sections relating to Post-Results Services for June 2016 and November 2016 examinations. Section one provides an overview of the post-results services process, section two refers to Enquiries about Results (clerical checks, review of marking and review of moderation) and Appeals, and section three refers to Access to Scripts.
It is important that relevant members of SLT, as well as exams office staff, are familiar with the contents of this booklet.
These documents contain information on the release of General Qualification results for Summer 2017 and 2018
The Exams Office takes no responsibility for any outcomes in schools/colleges as a result of the information provided on our website or within our documentation. It is the responsibility of schools/colleges to apply this information as they deem necessary within their own centre. You should always contact/refer to the relevant awarding body for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding their qualifications.