Invigilators must supervise the candidates throughout the whole time the examination is in progress, always giving their complete attention to this duty.

Invigilation Good Practice

(Where more than one invigilator in the examination room) Invigilators should be placed at the front, back and sides of the room if possible.

Invigilators must be vigilant and remain aware of incidents or emerging situations, looking out for malpractice or candidates who, for example, may be feeling unwell or require a toilet break

These incidents must be recorded on an incident log

Invigilators are required to move around the assessment area quietly and at frequent intervals.

The incident log is used by the Exams Officer or invigilator(s) to record any irregularities that may happen in the exam room at the point of occurrence.

Irregularities are unplanned incidents that could impact on the integrity and security of the examination, breach the rules and regulations or affect the conditions that enable candidates to achieve their potential. Examples include: candidate late/very late arrival; suspected malpractice (candidate, centre staff); emergency evacuation; candidate illness/distress/need to leave the exam room; disturbance inside/outside the exam room; unauthorised persons entering the exam room etc.

After the exam, incidents recorded on this log will inform required follow-up actions or reports to awarding bodies. This log will be affixed to signed copies of the seating plan, attendance register(s) and exam room checklist.

Invigilators must pay close attention to the completion of the attendance register as it is key in:

  • identifying candidates present in the examination room
  • identifying candidates who are absent so they be contacted as to their whereabouts
  • ensuring that a check can be made as the scripts are collected

The attendance register must be completed before the end of the examination – ideally once candidates are seated and have started the examination.

The invigilator must:

  • be briefed by the exams officer on arrangements for transferred candidates (where relevant)
  • accurately complete the attendance register during the examination, in line with the awarding body’s instructions, clearly indicating those candidates who are either present, absent or transferred
  • write on the attendance register the details of candidates who took the examination but are not shown on the register
  • cross through the numbers and names of candidates who have been officially withdrawn from a paper or a subject but who are still shown on the register.

At Telford College, candidates who arrive late may be allowed to enter the exam room and should be allowed the full time for the examination.  Candidates must be warned that their work may not be accepted for marking by the awarding body. The exams officer will advise the invigilator of the appropriate action to take.

A candidate will be considered very late if they arrive:

  • more than one hour after the awarding body’s 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
  • after the awarding body’s published finishing time for an examination that lasts less than one hour  

When a candidate arrives very late, invigilators must note:

  • the reason the candidate arrived late, including any details of special arrangements made for the candidate to reach the centre (although these details may already be noted by the exams officer)
  • the actual starting and finishing times of the examination
  • the time the candidate started the examination
  • the time the candidate finished the examination

The exams officer must warn the candidate that the awarding body may not accept their script.

Dealing With Irregularities

A candidate may leave the room temporarily i.e. for a toilet break or if they are feeling unwell but they must remain supervised.  The candidate can be accompanied by an invigilator as long as the correct ratio to candidates is maintained (1:30 written; 1:20 practical, on-screen).  Otherwise, the allocated runner (if applicable) or the Exams Office must be contacted.

Any incidents of a candidate temporarily leaving the room must be recorded in the incident log.

If a candidate leaves the room unsupervised and before the end of the exam, it is very unlikely that they will be allowed to return to complete their examination.  The invigilator should seek assistance and advice from the Exams Office.

No candidate is allowed to leave unsupervised until one hour after the published start time of the exam.  Invigilators will be advised prior to the exam start of the exact time at which candidates can leave the room.

All invigilators must make themselves fully aware of the emergency evacuation procedure. In brief, the lead invigilator should:

  • Stop the candidates from writing
  • Collect the attendance register
  • Evacuate the examination room
  • Instruct candidates to leave all question papers and scripts in the examination room
  • Candidates should leave the room in silence
  • Make sure that the candidates are supervised
  • If the all clear has been formally given the invigilator should instruct candidates to return to the exam room in silence
  • Candidates should be seated at the same desk
  • Allow candidates time to settle down
  • Announce clearly to the candidates when they may begin to write
  • Specify the remaining time allowed for the paper(s)
  • Record the time the exams(s) resumed and amend the displayed finishing time(s)
  • 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 of the action taken

In the event of

  • A major fire in the vicinity
  • Local risk of air pollution, such as a smoke plume or gas cloud
  • An intruder on the site with the potential to pose a risk
  • An incident or civil disturbance in the local community which poses a risk
  • Any other external or internal incident which has the potential to pose a threat to the safety of staff and candidates.

Invigilators must follow the Exams Lockdown procedure which have been devised after consulting ProtectUK guidance a copy of the policy is available in the exams office (E030) and on the college website.  Invigilators must make themselves fully aware of the procedure.

Where a candidate is being disruptive, the invigilator must warn the candidate that they may be removed from the examination room.  The candidate must also be warned that the awarding body will be informed and may decide to penalise them which could include disqualification.