K1: Assessment Boards

1.   Remit

  • Assessment Boards are established under the authority of the Board of Directors, and are accountable to the Board of Directors.
  • In exercising the authority delegated by the Board of Directors an Assessment Board shall act in accordance with all the relevant Policies and Regulations, and in accordance with any other general direction and guidance which has been issued on the authority of the Board of Directors.
  • Subject to the terms of paragraph 1.6 below, the Board of Directors shall delegate authority to Assessment Boards for the following principal functions:
    • to consider the performance of students in assessments and re-assessments, taking appropriate account of any special factors notified to the Board which are relevant to a consideration of the performance of individual students;
    • to take decisions on the progress of students who have not yet reached the award stage of their course, to decide whether the student shall be offered an opportunity for re-assessment and, where appropriate, to specify the terms of any re-assessment;
    • to take decisions on the awards, including the level and/or classification of the award, where applicable, to be made to students who have reached the award stage of their course;
    • to delay, where appropriate, the recommendation of an award until the facts relating to particular circumstances have been established;
    • to moderate the grades/marks of an individual or group of students or the entire class. A Board has discretion to adjust or alter the grades/marks of any or all students only if the Board concludes that the general grades/marks standard has been too harsh or too lenient and that some moderation is necessary. The views of the external examiners on these matters shall carry particular weight. Grades/marks are not final until approved by the Assessment Board;
    • to determine whether condonement of failure be allowed in elements of the assessment in accordance with D1g: Assessment and Recommendations of Boards of Examiners;
    • to determine whether a student be given the opportunity of a viva voce examination prior to a decision being recorded on the standard of his/her award;
    • to vary assessment procedures where there is valid reason;
    • to appoint, at its discretion, a subsidiary Assessment Committee which shall make its recommendation to the Assessment Board; the Assessment Board shall remain responsible to Academic Council for all decisions relating to student assessment.
  • An Assessment Board which wishes to take a decision which is not in accordance with ORMS Regulations and/or other general direction and guidance issued on the authority of the Board of Directors shall be required to obtain the permission of the Board of Directors for the appropriate provision(s) to be waived in the case concerned. No such waiver may be treated as a precedent. Fresh permission must be sought on any subsequent occasion.
  • A decision of an Assessment Board shall be valid only if it complies with the following conditions:
    • the decision falls within the limits of the delegated authority specified in paragraph 1.3 above; and either
      (a) the decision is in accordance with ORMS Regulations, and any other general direction and guidance which has been issued on the authority of the Board of Directors; or
      (b) insofar as the decision is not in accordance with ORMS Regulations, and/or other general direction and guidance issued on the authority of the Board of Directors, the Board of Directors has agreed that the relevant provision(s) may be waived.
  • Notwithstanding the delegation of authority specified in paragraph 1.3 above, the Board of Directors shall retain the right to require an Assessment Board to reconsider the performance of an individual student or to reconsider any other matter relating to the performance of students. Exceptionally, the Board of Directors may annul a decision of an Assessment Board and substitute its own decision, save that any decision to deprive a recipient of a certificate, diploma, or other academic distinction previously conferred by ORMS shall require confirmation by the Board of Directors.

2.   Composition

  • The composition of an Assessment Board shall be:

Core Members

  • Education Director
  • Commercial Director
  • Course/Programme Leader
  • Stage/Year Tutors
  • External examiners appointed by Board of Directors

In attendance

  • Head of Administration
  • Quality Manager
  • Courses Co-ordinator

The Board of Directors shall delegate to the appropriate Course/Programme Management Team the authority to invite non-core members to the Assessment Board as appropriate. The non-core members shall include academic staff not already included in the core membership who have contributed to the teaching and assessment of the course, or who act as personal tutors for students being assessed.

In addition

Only exceptionally will a nominee be permitted to attend an Assessment Board and only with the prior approval of the Chair of the Assessment Board.

  • It shall be the responsibility of the Education Director to appoint the Chair, the other internal core members and the Secretary of each Assessment Board in accordance with the composition of the Board as set out in paragraph 2.1 of this Regulation. The appointments shall be made annually.
  • An Officer in Attendance, appointed by the Quality Manager, shall normally be present at all Assessment Board meetings. The Secretary of the Assessment Board, where not him/herself present as a member of the Board, shall also be in attendance.
  • Normally all duly appointed external examiners should be present at meetings of the Assessment Board. External examiners may attend the Assessment Board remotely by, for example, telephone conferencing or video-conferencing.
  • However, for resit Assessment Boards:
    • the attendance of all external examiner(s) shall not be mandatory;
    • normally, at least one external examiner shall be present, and the details of the external examiner attending shall be agreed at the previous diet of Assessment Boards.
    • External examiners may attend the Resit Boards remotely by, for example, telephone conferencing or video-conferencing.
  • An external examiner may elect to be involved in all stages of a course should he/she so wish.
  • The quorum for a meeting of an Assessment Board shall be not less than half of its core membership and must include at least one external examiner and Assessment Boards convened to consider Academic Appeals (Award and Progression)(refer to D6: Academic Appeals Procedures for Candidates).
  1. Meetings
    • Meetings of Assessment Boards shall be convened at times appropriate to the programme of assessment, and in accordance with any ORMS timetable which may be prescribed.
    • Except where there is no business for consideration, an Assessment Board shall normally meet at least twice in each academic session, to correspond with the requirement that ORMS shall normally offer two summative assessment opportunities, and normally not more than two, in respect of each assessment within each module in each academic session. Additional meetings shall be held where necessary either as a consequence of different patterns of assessment or because of urgent business.
    • The dates of meetings of Assessment Boards shall be determined as far as possible in advance following consultation between the Chair, the external examiner(s) and the Quality Manager and shall be notified in writing to all members by the Secretary of the Board. Wherever possible, dates should be agreed at least three months in advance but, where urgent business so requires, the Chair in consultation with the external examiner(s) and the Qulaity Manager may call a special meeting.
    • At meetings of Assessment Boards, formal voting shall not normally be used as a means of reaching decisions. Every effort shall be made to resolve disagreements, and to reach unanimous conclusions. If, despite this effort, disagreement between internal members of the Board cannot be resolved, the view of the external examiner(s) shall prevail, unless either:
      • notwithstanding the view expressed by the external examiner(s), the majority of the Board members present remain unprepared to accept the view of the external examiner(s); or
      • there is a disagreement among the external examiners which it has not been possible to resolve.
        In the event of 3.4.1 or 3.4.2 above, the Assessment Board is required to refer the matter to Board of Directors for decision.
    • Any person attending an Assessment Board shall be required, at the commencement of a meeting, to declare any personal interest, involvement or relationship with any of the students to be considered at that meeting. Provision for such declaration shall be a standard item on Assessment Board agendas and shall be minuted.

4.   Powers of the External Examiners

  • The determination of awards shall be subject to the written consent of the attending external examiner(s) (refer also to paragraph 2.6 of this Regulation).
  • Where an external examiner(s) identifies a particular concern as a matter of principle, the external examiner’s decision either shall be accepted as final by the Assessment Board or, exceptionally, shall be referred to the Board of Directors; any unresolved disagreement between external examiners shall, similarly, be referred to the Board of Directors

5.   Student Membership

  • No student shall be a member of an Assessment Board or attend an examiners’ meeting except as a candidate for assessment.
  • Coincidental registration as a student on another course, whether at ORMS or other institution, shall not disqualify a suitably qualified person from fulfilling the role of examiner.

6.   Records and Conduct of Meetings

  • The Chair shall ensure that a detailed and accurate minute of the proceedings of each Assessment Board is recorded. The minute shall be approved by the Chair normally within four weeks of the meeting. The Secretary of the Assessment Board shall notify Assessment Board members, including external examiners, that the minute, as approved by the Chair, is available on request.
  • The minutes of an Assessment Board shall be considered for approval by the subsequent Assessment Board.
  • The Chair and Officer in Attendance shall ensure that the procedures and requirements of this Regulation are followed. The conduct of all meetings of an Assessment Board shall be in accordance with the Standing Orders of Academic Council.

7.   Assessment Boards – Procedures

  • All stages of a course shall be considered by an Assessment Board.
  • The formal meeting of the Board may be preceded by a meeting of a subsidiary Assessment Committee (as specified in paragraph 1.3.9). The remit of such a Committee shall be to permit initial discussion of the pattern of results with the intention of allowing the formal Board to ratify straightforward recommendations and to concentrate on exceptional cases.
  • Records of student attendance shall be available to the Assessment Board.
  • Recommendations shall normally be presented to the Assessment Board on standard spreadsheet reports.
  • The Officer in Attendance shall ensure that the ORMS results listing is signed by both the Chair of the Assessment Board and by the attending external examiner(s).
  • Assessment Boards shall use the standard agenda as specified in L1: ORMS’ Committee Handbook.