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Learning and Teaching Handbook

6.3.1 Responsibilities of boards of examiners

Boards of examiners

1. Boards of examiners are responsible, on behalf of and to Senate, for:

a. the form, content and approval of all examination papers
b. receiving and confirming the marks for any and all modules under its jurisdiction;
c. where the programmes under the board’s authority include modules under the jurisdiction of another board of examiners, receiving the confirmed marks for these modules;
d. considering and determining, in accordance with the relevant University core regulations and programme regulations, the progression, award and classification of all students registered on the programme(s) for which the board is responsible;
e. taking into account in its decisions on student progression, award and classification any claims of serious adverse circumstances submitted by students under consideration by the board of examiners;
f. considering and determining the outcome of concession requests in respect of those concessions set out in Section 2.4.5 of the Learning and Teaching Handbook as being the responsibility of the board of examiners, for those students registered on the programme(s) for which the board is responsible;
g. considering reports on any irregularities in assessment processes, relating to either potential academic malpractice or the conduct of the assessment process;
h. considering any reports from plagiarism panels established in relation to modules or programmes that are the responsibility of the board of examiners;
i. where a subject board of examiners is considering the marks for students whose progression, award and classification will subsequently be considered by another board of examiners (for example a faculty-level board of examiners, or a cross-department taught postgraduate programme), appointing one member (fully briefed) to be the department’s representative to the other board of examiners;
j. providing to Student Registry a timely and complete report on each meeting of the board of examiners where module marks and/or student progression/award/classification are considered;

2. Boards of examiners operating at faculty level (for example Natural Sciences, Combined Honours) are unlikely to be required to carry out the duties set out in 1a., 1f. or 1h. above. Any specific queries about the interpretation of the responsibilities set out in paragraph 1 above should be referred to the chair and/or secretary of the relevant FEC in the first instance, who may consult with the chair of QSSC or the Head of the Academic Support Office before responding to such requests.

Chairs of boards of examiners

3. The chair of a board of examiners shall be responsible for:

a. ensuring that the membership of the board, including the name(s) of the external examiner(s), is notified in writing to Student Registry prior to the start of the examination period each year;
b. convening such meetings of the board of examiners as may be required in connection with the general arrangements to be made for the examination of students or for the assessment of results;
c. ensuring that all necessary arrangements are made for sending examination papers to Student Registry;
d. for a subject board of examiners considering the marks for students whose progression, award and classification will subsequently be considered by another board of examiners (for example a faculty-level board of examiners, or a cross-department taught postgraduate programme), ensuring that its representative(s) to the other board of examiners is fully briefed on each student (particularly where there may be any question of considering a student's position in the light of mitigating circumstances or other special factor);
e. ensuring that the relevant information is sent to external examiners / moderators, as outlined in the University's Code of Practice on External Examining/Moderating;
f. agreeing with external examiners the principles for the selection of scripts to be sent to him/her;
g. ensuring that the required reports, as set out in Section 6.3.8 of the Learning and Teaching Handbook, from the board to Student Registry are made in a timely way;

4. The role of chair shall not normally be taken by the programme director(s) for the programme(s) under consideration by the board.

Secretaries of boards of examiners

5. The secretary to the board of examiners shall be responsible for supporting the chair in:

a. convening meetings of the board of examiners (including ensuring that the board of examiners membership is accurate, and that all members have been appointed in accordance with Sections 6.3.2 and 6.3.3 of the Learning and Teaching Handbook), and the scrutiny sub-committee of the board of examiners, and ensuring that all members of the board of examiners and scrutiny sub-committee are made aware of key dates in relation to meetings (e.g. deadlines for the return of marks);
b. ensuring that all examination papers are approved by the Board of Examiners, in accordance with the requirements of Section 6.3.5 of the Learning and Teaching Handbook, and that all necessary arrangements are made for sending examination papers to Student Registry. c. liaising with the external examiner(s);
d. ensuring that the confirmed marks and decisions of boards of examiners are communicated to Student Registry in the correct format, with the relevant signatures, and within the required time limit;
e. informing the external examiner(s) of the action taken by the board of examiners in response to the comments of the external examiner(s) on draft examination papers;
f. preparing the report from the scrutiny sub-committee to the boards of examiners, for consideration for approval by the chair of the board of examiners;
g. drafting the minutes of the board of examiners meeting for consideration for approval by the chair of the board of examiners, and ensuring that these are submitted together with the appropriate report form and relevant signatures to Student Registry.

6. The post of Secretary to a Board of Examiners may be held be a member of academic staff or a member of support staff of Grade 7 or above.