FE Examination Contingency Policy


Policy Review

This policy will be reviewed in full annually   

The policy was last reviewed and agreed by Terry Patterson, Quality Manager on 9th Sept 2022.

It is due for review in August 2023.

Aim of Policy

The aim of the policy is to provide clear guidance to support all staff to respond effectively to exam disruption.

The examination contingency policy seeks to ensure that practices and procedures:

  1. meet awarding body requirements
  2. are applied consistently across all course/subject teams


  1. If the Academy has to close, or a learner misses an exam due to an emergency, the Academy will in the first instance liaise with the appropriate awarding body and inform all learners, parents and carers what has been agreed regarding:
  • The location of alternative venues
  • Opportunities for the learner to sit any missed exams

The Academy will review

  1. Its contingency plan well in advance of each exam series.
  2. Ensure that copies of question papers are received and stored under secure conditions.

In the event of disruption, the Academy will:

  • Contact the relevant awarding organization and follow its instructions.
  • Take advice, or follow instructions, from relevant local or national agencies in deciding whether the Academy is able to open.
  • Identify whether the exam can be sat at an alternative venue, in agreement with the relevant awarding body.
  • Identify procedures to take examinations online if this is possible, with agreement of the relevant awarding body
  • Where accommodation is limited, prioritize students whose progression will be severely delayed if they do not take their exams when planned.
  • Communicate with parents, careers and students regarding any changes to the exam timetable.
  • Advise students, where appropriate, to sit exams in the next available series.

After the exam the Academy will

  • Consider whether students may be eligible for special consideration.
  • Ensure that scripts are stored under secure conditions.
  • Return scripts to awarding organisations in line with their instructions. The Academy will never make alternative arrangements for the transportation of completed exam scripts, unless told to do so by the awarding organisation.

When a student misses an exam or is disadvantaged by the disruption

The Academy will ask the awarding organisation about applying special considerations if we feel that the performance of all or some of our students has been negatively affected by the disruption. The decision about what special consideration is, or is not appropriate, is for awarding organisations to make. Their decisions might be different, for different qualifications and for different subjects.

This policy should be read in conjunction with the following Policies:

Assessment Policy

Managing Crisis Guide

  • All learners’ work is retained until after certification and a successful EQA visit.
  • Stored records are kept in accordance with the Academy’s Data Protection Policy and are kept for three years.
  • Once the learners’ work has been released by the EQA, it is returned to learners. Arrangements for the collection of work is given to learners at the end of the course, this includes timescales for destroying uncollected work.

Externally set examinations

The Academy follows guidelines from JCQ and Awarding Bodies when planning and conducting externally set examinations. 

In the case of unforeseen disruption to examinations in the first instance exams officers liaise directly with the relevant awarding body/bodies.

For further details:

Examination Contingency Plan

Appendix 1

Reasonable Adjustments

This document must be read in conjunction with the Joint Council for Qualifications and the Awarding Body Guidelines.

To enable all learners to have equal access to assessments, the Academy will seek particular advice from the awarding body issuing the qualification, where competence standards apply.  For qualifications which are internally assessed reasonable adjustments will be made in line with the awarding body’s policies.

Adaptations may be considered for the purposes of facilitating access, as long as they do not impact on any competence standards being tested.

It is important to note that not all of the adjustments will be reasonable, permissible or practical in particular situations. The learner may not need, nor be allowed the same adjustment for all assessments.

Learners should be fully involved in any decisions about adjustments/adaptations. This will ensure that individual needs can be met, whilst still bearing in mind the specified assessment criteria for a particular qualification.

As the needs and circumstances of each learner are different, the Academy will consider any request for a reasonable adjustment on a case by case basis.

Requests for reasonable adjustments for external assessments in a vocational qualification will be made to the relevant bod at least six weeks before the date of the series in which the assessment is to be taken.

In all circumstances, the Academy will follow guidelines submitted by the awarding body following the Joint Council for Qualifications – Adjustments for candidates with disabilities and learning difficulties and Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments.



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