Policy on Interruptions to Examinations

Policy on Interruptions to Examinations

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Policy for dealing with Interruptions to Examinations*

  1. Where an examination running simultaneously in two or more venues is interrupted, the following policy applies only to the venue(s) affected by the interruption.
  2. Interruptions to clinical or practical examinations, e.g. oral examinations for language students, will be dealt with according to guidelines available from the relevant Schools.
  3. When an examination is interrupted due to an evacuation which lasts for 45 minutes or more, it will be terminated.
  4. When the termination occurs before 75% of the time allocated has passed it will be rescheduled within the original examinations cycle.
  5. When the termination occurs after 75% or more of the time allocated has passed it is the decision of the Chair of the relevant Board of Examiners, in consultation with appropriate colleagues and taking into account the nature of the paper, to assess the candidates on the basis of the work completed in the examination. Where this option is not available due to the requirements of an external accrediting body, a re-examination may have to be scheduled within the original examinations cycle.

It is the responsibility of the Chair of the Board of Examiners to communicate the decision to students via email within 48 hours of the terminated examination. Candidates are responsible for checking their Examination Timetable on Queen’s Online (http://www.qub.ac.uk/qol/) to confirm the date and the venue for a rescheduled examination.  Candidates are required to be available for rescheduled examinations.

*To facilitate the successful implementation of this Policy, Schools will be required to prepare and submit first and supplementary papers together, in respect of all examinations – failure to do so will make the Policy inoperable.

Senior Invigilator Protocol for dealing with Interruptions to Examinations

Unless otherwise stated, the procedural protocol for dealing with interruptions to examinations will be as set out below: 

  1. In the event of fire alarms being sounded during an examination, or other such emergency situation resulting in the interruption of the examination, candidates should be instructed to stop writing and the time noted.
  2. The Senior Invigilator will advise candidates that answer booklets, other examination materials and personal belongings should not be removed from the venue and that they remain under examination conditions during evacuation.
  3. Candidates should be informed of the location of the assembly point and requested to evacuate the venue.
  4. Invigilators should escort candidates to the assembly point and monitor them to ensure, as far as is practical, they are not engaging in any activity which would undermine the integrity of the examination. 
  5. If the examination is interrupted for less than 45 minutes, including the time required for exiting the hall, then candidates should be advised that the examination will resume and escorted back into the venue. An appropriate amount of time should be added to the end of the examination (including the time taken to exit, re-enter and settle students).
  6. If the examination is interrupted for 45 minutes or more, including the time required for exiting the hall, the examination will be terminated, and candidates advised that examination conditions no longer apply.
  7. The Senior Invigilator will advise candidates that they will be informed by their School by email within 48 hours of the interrupted examination of the arrangements for dealing with the consequences of the termination. Candidates should be informed that they may be required to attend a re-scheduled examination later in the examination period.
  8. All answer booklets and other examination materials should be collected by invigilators prior to re-admitting students to a venue to collect their personal items, in order to prevent any irregularity.