The Role of the Invigilator (ICE 12)

Invigilators are essential in making sure that exams are a positive experience for our students. The invigilator is the person in the examination room responsible for conducting a particular examination session in the presence of the candidates and has a key role in upholding the integrity of the external examination/assessment process.

The role of the invigilator is to ensure that the examination is conducted according to the ICE booklet in order to:

  • ensure all candidates have an equal opportunity to demonstrate their abilities
  • ensure the security of the examination before, during and after the examination
  • prevent possible candidate malpractice
  • prevent possible administrative failures

Invigilators must know what is expected of them. Invigilators must be aware of the checklist for invigilators  

An invigilator must declare if they have invigilated previously and whether they have any current maladministration/malpractice sanctions applied to them.

Invigilators must:

  • be familiar with the JCQ’s ICE publication
  • give all their attention to conducting the examination properly
  • Invigilators must not carry out any other non-examination related tasks in the examination room. This also extends to reading the question paper
  • always be able to see each candidate in the examination room
  • be familiar with the 

and any specific instructions relating to the subject(s) being examined

  • inform the exams officer or head of centre if they are suspicious about the security of the examination papers

Invigilators should support in ensuring that:

  • the Instructions for Conducting Examinations document is available in the main examination hall/room(s) as a printed paper copy or an electronic copy which is accessible via a laptop or tablet;
  • at least one invigilator is present for each group of 30 candidates or fewer sitting timetabled written examinations;
  • at least one invigilator is present for each group of 20 candidates or fewer sitting timed practical exams.

Invigilators may be changed, as long as the number of invigilators present in the examination room does not fall below the required number.

When one invigilator is present, they must be able to get help easily, without leaving the examination room and without disturbing the candidates. An invigilator is only allowed a mobile phone in the examination room for this specific purpose.  The mobile phone must be kept on silent mode. This also applies where the invigilator is additionally acting as a practical assistant, a reader and/or a scribe.  Please ensure you have the exams office numbers to contact the team – details are included in the Invigilator Handbook and on the are on the exam cover sheet.  The exams team will advise the Lead/Sole invigilator of any alternative contact numbers as necessary.

Contingency (ICE 15)

The Exams Contingency Plan (available in E030) is compliant with JCQ regulations. It will allow members of the senior leadership team to act immediately in the event of an emergency or staff absence.

The awarding bodies will designate “contingency sessions” for examinations, summer 2024.  The designation of a ‘contingency sessions’ within the common examination timetable is in the event of national or local disruption to examinations. It is part of the awarding bodies’ standard contingency planning for examinations.

Centres must remind candidates that they must remain available until the designated contingency sessions should an awarding body need to invoke its contingency plan.