We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Welcome to Durham University's Common Awards website


Boards of Examiners Update

(23 March 2015)

As many TEIs are starting to prepare for their Summer Board of Examiners meetings, we would like to provide a brief update on developments in this area. 

What type of information, advice, and guidance is available to TEIs? 

You will be aware that the TEI Handbook provides information about Boards of Examiners, including: 

  • The two-tier exam board structure
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Membership of TEI Boards of Examiners
  • ULO attendance at TEI Boards of Examiners meetings
  • A template agenda for TEI Boards of Examiners meetings

Additionally, we are in the process of developing materials to supplement the existing guidance. We intend to publish these documents by late-March / early-April:

  • An updated schedule of dates, including the deadlines for the return of student data and the minutes from TEI Board of Examiners meetings (see below for information about submission deadlines)
  • Guidance on how to consider students with Serious Adverse Circumstances (also referred to by some institutions as Mitigating / Extenuating Circumstances)
  • Training materials for Chairs of Boards of Examiners
  • A decision-making flow-chart to support Boards of Examiners

If you have any urgent questions that are not answered by the documents that are available presently, please contact the Common Awards Team:

What data will we need to send to Durham?

As you will be aware, TEI Boards of Examiners confirm marks and progression; Durham University’s overarching Board of Examiners confirms award and classification. 

This means that, after its Summer Board of Examiners meeting, your TEI will need to send Durham data for students who are ready for award or classification


Within 48 hours of the TEI’s Summer Board of Examiners

For each student who is ready for award or classification: one confirmed mark for each of the modules the student has undertaken on their programme.

Within 2 weeks of the TEI’s Summer Board of Examiners

The full minutes of the Board of Examiners meeting

We do not (yet) need to receive any data for students who are continuing on their programmes (e.g. progressing from Level 4 to Level 5 of the DipHE); we will be requesting the confirmed module marks for these students in November/December. 

Also, we do not (yet) need to receive any module marks for students who are progressing from one programme (e.g. the Common Awards CertHE) to another programme (e.g. the Common Awards DipHE) within the same TEI; confirmed module marks for these students will also be taken in November/December (we will also be requesting information on programme changes as part of the ‘change of registration’ process).

How should we send our data to Durham?

Since the University agreed to Ministry Division’s request for us to use CAVLE as the main mechanism for transferring student records data, we have been in discussion with Ministry Division to determine how this might work for Boards of Examiners processes.

Having reviewed the current status of developments with CAVLE, and considered feedback from TEIs, we have both agreed that it would be in the best interests of TEIs if we do not use CAVLE for the Summer Boards of Examiners processes. 

As with the student records creation process earlier this academic year, we have developed an alternative process that will help TEIs to submit student data for the Summer Boards of Examiners. We will be sending a spreadsheet to all TEIs shortly. TEIs will be asked to complete the spreadsheet with the required data (as specified above) and return it to the Common Awards Team securely (for example, as a password protected document).

We understand that CAVLE is being enhanced to support the Boards of Examiners processes in the future. 

When should we send our data to Durham?

We will require the confirmed module marks for completing students (as specified above) within 48 hours of the TEI’s Board of Examiners meeting.

We will require the full set of minutes within two weeks (14 days) of the TEI’s Board of Examiners meeting.

All data and minutes should be sent to the Common Awards Team:

How will Durham keep us up-to-date?

As is our current practice, any important information will be published as an announcement on our website; all members of staff in TEIs are advised to sign-up to the announcements RSS feed.

Information will also be circulated to the TEI’s key contacts. The key contacts are responsible for ensuring that information is communicated to the relevant people in the TEI.

As the Boards of Examiners process must operate to tight timescales, we will be setting up a mailing list specifically for matters relating to Boards of Examiners. The mailing list will include: the TEI’s key contacts; the Chair of the TEI’s Board of Examiners; the Secretary of the TEI’s Board of Examiners. We hope that this approach will help the relevant members of staff to receive information more quickly. We will be in touch with your TEI shortly to confirm the contact details for these members of staff. 

Common Awards Contacts


Telephone: 0191 33 43180 / 0191 33 43139