Academic Manual

Programme Boards of Examiners

Menu

8.1 Programme Boards of Examiners

8.1.1

Terms of Reference

1. There must be a Programme Board of Examiners responsible for every taught programme.
2. A Programme Board of Examiners may be responsible for one or more taught programmes, and/ or groups of modules. The structure of the Board must be approved by the relevant Faculty Board(s) of Examiners.
3. The Programme Board of Examiners will report to the Faculty Board of Examiners. In the case of Combined Studies or multidisciplinary programmes the Programme Board of Examiners should report to the Faculty Board of Examiners for the Faculty in which the programme is registered.
4. The Programme Board of Examiners will make recommendations to UCL Education Committee, which has the authority to confer UCL qualifications.
5. The Programme Board of Examiners may delegate authority to the Chair, or to a sub-group of itself, to implement decisions on its behalf.
6. The Programme Board of Examiners has the following responsibilities:
  a) To set, safeguard and monitor the academic standards of the programme.
  b) To ensure that assessment, marking and moderation processes are appropriate, rigorous and fair.
  c) To ensure equity of treatment for students. 
  d) To ensure that assessment has been conducted within UCL’s regulations and guidance.
  e) To confirm module marks and determine each student’s eligibility for progression, condonement, award and classification.
  f) To recommend students for the award of a qualification to UCL Education Committee.
  g) To agree actions in the event of failure including condoned failure and resit provisions.
  h) To implement, where required, the decisions of the Faculty/Departmental Extenuating Circumstances Panel(s). 
  i) To receive a report from each External Examiner on the appropriateness of the assessment process and on the extent to which the regulations governing the assessment of students have been rigorously and consistently applied. 
  j) To ensure that programme teams respond to issues raised by the External Examiner(s). 
  k) To highlight any issues for discussion at Faculty or institutional level.
  l) To consider any matter referred to it by the Faculty Board of Examiners or the Education Committee of UCL.

8.1.2

Constitution and Membership

1. Each Programme Board of Examiners must include:
   a) A Chair
   b) A Deputy Chair
   c) One Internal Examiner for each main subject area covered
   d) One External Examiner for each main subject area covered
   e) A Faculty Representative (as a non-voting observer)
   f) A named secretary (as a non-voting attendee)
2. Where the Chair of the Board considers it appropriate, an Internal or External Examiner may be appointed to examine across more than one subject area.
3. Other Faculties involved with the delivery and examination of a programme may be represented by an appropriate Faculty Representative.
4. The secretary to the Board should be responsible for coordinating all communications with Internal Examiners and External Examiners.

8.3.1

Quoracy

1. The minimum number of examiners permissible at a full meeting of a Programme Board of Examiners is either five members or one fifth of the membership, whichever is the higher number. This must include the Chair or Deputy Chair and at least one External Examiner for each main subject area covered.
2. Where authority is delegated to a sub group to consider resit or deferred students, the meeting must include the Chair or Deputy Chair and at least one External Examiner for each main subject area covered.

8.1.4

Candidate Anonymity

1. All marks, progression decisions and awards considered by a Programme or Faculty Board of Examiners must be considered on an anonymous basis.

8.1.5

Confidentiality

1. All Programme and Faculty Board members have the following responsibilities:
  a) To preserve absolutely the secrecy of unseen written examination papers at all stages until the papers have been completed by candidates in accordance with the instructions prescribed by UCL.
  b) To preserve confidentiality in respect of the proceedings of the Programme or Faculty Board of Examiners.
  c) To preserve confidentiality in respect of final awards until results have been formally published.
   d) To comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 in accordance with the instructions of Student & Registry Services and UCL’s Data Protection Policy.

8.1.6

Conflicts of Interest

1. Examiners, whether Internal, Assistant Internal or External, who have a personal or professional conflict of interest should not be appointed to a Programme Board of Examiners.
2. External Examiners who have any current teaching or other collaborative activity with the staff or students examined by a Programme Board of Examiners may not be appointed (see Chapter 6, Section 4: External Examining for further details).
3. If it is considered essential to appoint or continue to appoint an examiner declaring such an interest before or after the examination process has begun, the appointment must be referred to the Chair of UCL Education Committee, or their nominee, for approval.
4.  If an examiner declaring such an interest is approved for appointment, he or she must not take part in any assessment (or, in the case of a declaration after the examination process has begun, any further assessment) of the student(s) to whom the declaration refers and should not be present during any specific discussion of the student(s) in question at a Programme Board of Examiners meeting.
5.  Examiners should also declare any interest in the future research supervision of a student. Such an interest will not debar an examiner from the assessment of that student but should be declared when that student’s results are being discussed at the Programme Board of Examiners meeting.

8.1.7

Information for Boards of Examiners

1. Programme Boards of Examiners should have the following information:
  i) Results profiles for continuing and finalist students
  ii) The recommendations of the Faculty/Departmental Extenuating Circumstances Panel
  iii) The Scheme of Award for the degree
  iv) Information on absences from examinations (available from Assessment and Student Records)
  v) Examination scripts, according to normal practices
  vi) Chapter 4 of the UCL Academic Manual and any other relevant annexes or regulations.

8.1.8

Virtual Programme Boards of Examiners

1. A Virtual Programme Board of Examiners is an interim or final board meeting where External Examiners are required to be in attendance which is held simultaneously by electronic means. 
2. Permission from the Faculty Tutor is required to run a Virtual Programme Board of Examiners is required and the Chair of UCL Education Committee, or their nominee, should be informed before the meeting is organised.
3. Further guidance is available in 8.12: Virtual Boards of Examiners.