The People Present (ICE 17)

Senior members of centre staff approved by the head of centre, who have not taught the subject being examined, may be present at the start of the examination(s).

  • identify and settle candidates and instil discipline
  • check that the candidates have been issued with the correct question papers for the day, date, time, subject, unit/component and tier of entry if appropriate
  • check that the candidates have the necessary equipment and materials, i.e. calculators, preliminary material, anthologies or set texts where permitted
  • start the examination

Only those senior members of centre staff authorised by the head of centre to specifically perform the above tasks may be present in the examination room.

They must not:

  • provide advice and guidance on the examination
  • comment on the question paper or give advice on which sections of the paper and which questions should be attempted—instructions-for-conducting-examinations/notice-to-centres—the-people-present/ provides further guidance and clarity on the role of centre staff in the examination room, other than exam officers and invigilators.

Only candidates sitting the examination/assessment must be present in the examination room while an examination is taking place.

  • Centre staff who are called upon to enter the examination room during the examination because a candidate has identified a possible problem which the invigilator is unable to resolve, such as a suspected error on the question paper, do not need prior authorisation from the head of centre
  • If they leave the examination room they may only take the question paper with them if they need to check a possible problem with the relevant awarding body
  • If the awarding body has not issued an erratum, then the instruction to candidates must be to answer the question as printed

Centre staff must not provide advice to candidates without the permission of the awarding body

Starting The Exam (ICE 19)

Candidates are under formal examination conditions from the moment they enter the room in which they will be taking their examination(s) until the point at which they are permitted to leave.

Candidates must not talk to, attempt to communicate with or disturb other candidates once they have entered the examination room.  Candidates must not open the question paper until the examination begins.

Before candidates can start the examination, the invigilator must always:

  • make sure that candidates are seated according to the seating plan
  • tell the candidates that they must now follow the regulations of the examination
  • ask candidates to check that they have been given the correct question paper for the day, date, time, subject, unit/component and tier of entry, if appropriate
  • tell the candidates to read the instructions on the front of the question paper
  • check that candidates have all the materials they need for the examination
  • tell the candidates about any erratum notices
  • instruct candidates about emergency procedures

Telford College will provide the invigilator with a copy of the invigilator’s announcement for the start of exams.  Recordings are also available to use if preferred.

Candidates must:

  • hand in their mobile phone/watch if they have not already done so. This is their final chance. Failure to do so may lead to disqualification
  • write clearly and in black ink
  • write their name, surname, (except for CCEA examinations), centre number, candidate number and unit or component code or paper details on their answer booklet(s) and on any additional answer sheet(s) used
  • fill in any other details as necessary
  • do all work, including rough work, on examination stationery unless otherwise stated
  • write answers in the designated sections of the answer booklet
  • neatly cross through any rough work but not make it totally illegible, as it will be forwarded to the examiner
  • do any rough work for multiple-choice papers in the question booklet

As candidates complete the details on their answer booklet, invigilators should move around the exam room ensuring that this is being done.

Candidates must not use:

  • correcting pens, fluid or tape
  • erasable pens
  • highlighter pens in answers (although they may use them to highlight questions, words or phrases within the question paper or question/answer booklet.  Candidates may also use a highlighter pen to highlight extracts in any resource material provided)
  • gel pens in answers
  • blotting paper

The invigilator may:

  • read the question paper rubric (the instructions on the front of the question paper) to the candidates

The invigilator must:

  • announce clearly to the candidates when they may complete the details on their answer booklet
  • announce clearly to the candidates when they may begin to write their answers. The examination will formally start at this point
  • specify the time allowed for the paper(s)
  • remind candidates that they are not allowed to communicate in any way with, ask for help from or give help to another candidate while they are in the examination room
  • only answer questions from candidates about the instructions on the front of the question paper

The invigilator must not:

  • direct candidates to particular questions or particular sections of the question paper
  • make any comment where a candidate believes that there is an error or omission on the question paper. The invigilator must however, refer the matter immediately to the exams officer. The exams officer will then verify the error or omission with the relevant subject teacher before reporting the matter to the awarding body
  • give any information to candidates about possible mistakes in the question paper, unless there is an erratum notice or permission has been given by the awarding body
  • comment on the content of the question paper
  • read a word or words printed on the question paper to a candidate, other than the instructions on the front cover
  • re-phrase a question for a candidate
  • explain any subject-specific or technical terms to a candidate
  • offer any advice or comment on the work of a candidate
  • give any indication of the time elapsed or remaining unless the candidate has been awarded a prompter. This also extends to where a question paper consists of distinct sections. (A five minute warning to candidates may only be given at the end of the examination.)

The invigilator must not undertake any of the above as they constitute malpractice.

Starting Times for Examinations (ICE 6)

For the qualifications covered by JCQ’s Instructions for conducting examinations, the awarding bodies’ published starting time for all morning examinations is 9.00am and 1.30pm for all afternoon examinations.  These are known as the morning and afternoon sessions.

Candidates must always be allowed the full amount of time specified for the examination, as per the awarding body’s published timetable

The JCQ awarding bodies allow centres in the UK to start examinations up to 30 minutes earlier than, or later than, the published starting time for the session, without the need to complete any paperwork. Prior permission from an awarding body is not required.

Telford College makes a slight variation to these published start times.  For general qualifications the College’s starting time is 09:30 for all morning examinations and 13:30 for all afternoon examinations.  

Where this policy is followed, to avoid any possible breach of security, late arriving candidates or early departing candidates must be supervised as if the awarding body’s published starting time had been in place.

To maintain the security of the examination, all candidates sitting general qualifications examinations must start:

  • question papers scheduled for a morning session no earlier than 8.30am and no later than 9.30am
  • question papers scheduled for an afternoon session no earlier than 1.00pm and no later than 2.00pm

Candidates who take an examination earlier than the awarding body’s published starting time must be kept under centre supervision (which the centre must arrange) until one hour after the published starting time for that examination. Centres must ensure that question papers used by those candidates are kept in the centre’s secure storage facility until one hour after the awarding body’s published starting time for that examination.

Candidates who take an examination later than the awarding body’s published starting time must be kept under centre supervision (which the centre must arrange) from 30 minutes after the published starting time for that examination until they begin it.

For examinations that last less than one hour, candidates must be supervised and question papers must be kept in the centre’s secure storage facility until the published finishing time of the examination. Telford College provides an exams cover sheet for each exam which clearly states the exam start time and duration of the exam.  If any candidate is entitled to extra time, this will also be included on the cover sheet.