Awdurdod Cymwysterau Cwricwlwm ac Asesu Cymru – the Qualifications Curriculum and Assessment Authority for Wales for all external qualifications.
Formerly known as ‘special arrangements’. Pre-examination arrangements, such as the use of prompters or Braille papers, primarily based on history of need and provision, for which an application to an awarding body may be necessary.
Access Arrangements and Special Consideration: Regulations and Guidance Relating to Candidates who are Eligible for Adjustments in Examinations
Published by JCQ each September and distributed to centres in autumn. Describes inter-board policies regarding access arrangements and special considerations.
For use with GCE, VCE, GCSE, GNVQ, entry level certificates and key skills.
The process by which the regulatory authorities confirm that a qualification and associated specification conform to the relevant accreditation criteria.
Advanced extension award. Aimed at able candidates in year 13 and available in a limited range of academic subjects. Offers opportunities for candidates to demonstrate a greater depth of understanding than that required at GCE A level, using skills of critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis. Designed to enable differentiation between the most able candidates. Introduced in 2002.
Administrative exams officer. An exams officer who is not a member of the teaching staff at the centre.
The process whereby performances achieved on individual units are combined to give a grade for an award, qualification or certification. Also known as ‘certification’and ‘cashing-in’.
A four-character code that needs to be submitted by a centre to an awarding body to indicate that the marks for the separate elements of an assessment scheme should be combined to form a grade for an award, a qualification or certificate. Also known as ‘cash-in code’and ‘certification entry’.
(See Cash-in code and Certification entry.)
Additional learning support manager in a college or FE institution. A designated teacher responsible for the day-to-day operation of the centre’s special educational needs (SEN) policy. A candidate is counted to be in receipt of ALS where direct support is provided over and above that which is normally provided in a standard learning programme, helping to achieve the learning goal. (See Access arrangements and Special consideration.)
A file of amendments to an original entry file sent to the awarding body, to correct errors in candidate details or to change entry information. Sent by EDI.
The process available to centres or private candidates who remain dissatisfied after the outcome of an enquiry about results. The internal appeals process consists of two stages. Stage 1 is a review of the case by a senior member of the awarding body’s staff who has had no previous involvement with the case. Stage 2 involves the case being presented to the appeals panel convened by the awarding body. The external appeals process is available to centres or private candidates who remain dissatisfied after the outcome of a Stage 2 appeal to the awarding body.
A process by which a centre wishing to offer particular qualifications is confirmed as being able to maintain the required quality and consistency of assessment and comply with other expectations of the awarding body.
The Assessment and Qualifications Alliance. An awarding body.
AQA regional officers
Regionally based AQA teams who provide support and guidance through centre visits and exams officers’ network group meetings.
The process by which evidence of candidate attainment is evaluated against assessment criteria, including mark schemes, to provide the evidence for an award.
A member of staff of an awarding body who is responsible for the administration of one or more specifications. The first point of contact when enquiring about a specific subject qualification. Also known as a ‘subject officer’.
An individual responsible for the initial judgement of candidate performance against defined standards expressed as assessment criteria or mark schemes.
Access to scripts. A process whereby scripts can be seen by candidates and/or teaching staff, either as photocopies or originals, after they have been marked. Available via post-results service.
List of candidates sent to awarding bodies for written or objective test papers to record whether candidates took the examination or were absent. Awarding bodies provide attendance registers that show the entries received from the centre but these may need amending as a result of late changes. CMIS-produced attendance registers should reflect the up-to-date entries.
Confirmation that work has been produced solely by the candidate on whose behalf it is being submitted. Authentication is a mandatory requirement for coursework/portfolio submissions. An authentication form is provided by awarding bodies for declaring this and should accompany coursework sent to moderators.
The process by which an awarding body uses evidence from assessment to determine the award that each candidate's performance merits.
An organisation accredited by a regulatory authority to develop qualifications, set examinations and award certificates, subject to criteria laid down by the regulator.
Definitive examination data from awarding bodies, which centres need to process entries and results. Designed to be electronically imported into a centre’s administration software. Includes the specification codes, entry codes, timetables and fees. Basedata is series specific and needs to be refreshed for each new examination series.
BioMedical Admissions Test. A university admissions test used as an additional means of assessing an applicant’s potential for studying medical and veterinary courses. It tests scientific aptitude and is administered by UCLES on behalf of Oxford, Cambridge, University College London, Bristol and the Royal Veterinary College. BMAT is taken in early November.
Broadsheet of results
A summary of all the candidates’results at a centre for an examination series, sent by post to arrive on a predetermined date. Can also be produced by CMIS.
The Business and Technology Education Council. A brand used mainly for vocational qualifications.
Candidate record form/sheet
The form that records the coursework for a candidate and that accompanies the coursework when it is sent to a moderator. The authentication form is also sent at the same time.
Candidate statement of entry
A printed statement for each individual candidate showing centre information, candidate number and/or UCI, name, gender, date of birth, subject entries and the session of the written papers for an examination series. Should be checked by the candidate.
Candidate statement of provisional results
A printed statement of results for each individual candidate sent to centres on a prepublished date.
Carried forward marks
Marks awarded for a component or unit in one examination series and carried forward to another series to be used for an award.
Most centre-assessed component/unit or externally assessed coursework/oral marks may be carried forward to a subsequent examination series following the subject award and within a 12-month period.
A code for cashing-in, ie. turning a set of individual results into an award, grade or certificate. Also known as ‘aggregation code’or ‘certification entry’.
The term used to describe the process by which candidates claim the results of units or modules, which aggregate to a recognised qualification (eg. AS level) but could also be used as units, which are part of a larger qualification (A level).
Cyd-Bwyllgor Addysg Cymru/Welsh Joint Education Committee.
An awarding body, regulated by ACCAC in Wales, QCA in England and CCEA in Northern Ireland.
All administration documents and examination papers issued by WJEC are available in English and Welsh.
The Northern Ireland Council for the Curriculum Examinations and Assessment. The regulatory authority for Northern Ireland for external qualifications offered to candidates up to the age of 19 in full-time education. Also conducts and moderates examinations and assessment. An awarding body.
School, college, establishment or institution approved and registered by an awarding body for the entry of candidates to its assessments and for the conduct of those assessments.
The five-digit number allocated to all approved centres by the National Centre Number register (NCN register). Forms the first five characters of a unique candidate identifier (UCI).
The official document issued by an awarding body to confirm the achievement of results in an examination series. A certificate is unique and remains the property of the body and is often protected by security features to guard against fraud.
The process whereby performances achieved on individual units or modules are combined to give a GCE, VCE, GCSE, GNVQ or Entry Level Certificate grade. Also known as ‘aggregation’and ‘cashing-in’.
Four-character code that signals to an awarding body that a candidate wishes to claim an award or certificate at the end of a modular or unitised assessment scheme.
An entry code that instructs an awarding body to aggregate units (modules) and award a grade and a certificate for a qualification.
Also known as ‘cash-in code’or ‘aggregation code’.
City & Guilds
The City and Guilds of London Institute, an awarding body offering vocational qualifications for workplace skills.
Computer literacy and information technology. An introductory-level course for those with little or no computer experience. Covers all the basics, such as using a computer, word processing, spreadsheets and CMIS.
Term used by some awarding bodies for a timetable for examinations after it has been adjusted for individual candidates who have more than one examination in a session.
(See Timetable clash.)
Computerised management information system. A centre’s computer system that is used to manage candidate information, entries and timetables, for example SIMS, Phoenix Gold.
Code of practice
Document issued by the regulatory authorities that determines the policy and procedures of an awarding body. The awarding bodies are regulated by its criteria.
An assessable part of a specification that is not certificated as a separate entity, for example a unit may comprise two separately assessed components such as a written paper and a practical.
Tasks undertaken by candidates according to the requirements of a prescribed component of a qualification specification. Normally marked by the candidate’s own teacher according to the awarding bodies’criteria. This work is then standardised within the centre and then standardised by the awarding bodies.
Coursework/Portfolio internal standardisation meeting
A meeting to ensure that teachers within a centre or group of centres apply the same standards in assessing their candidates’work.
If a coursework/portfolio internal standardisation meeting is arranged by an awarding body, attendance by at least one teacher from a centre may be a mandatory requirement.
A candidate may reject certification in order to retake individual externally-assessed units, which may improve the overall score for that qualification. Sometimes referred to as ‘declined award’.
All basedata information related to an exam period. For example all the basedata for January 2005 will have the code 0105 as an integral part. The default setting for the computerised administration system for the series must correspond to this code.
The Department for Education and Skills. The government department responsible for education and lifelong learning in England.
Disaster recovery planning
Although there is no strict definition of disaster, it can be viewed as any event that happens with or without warning, causing damage to property or disruption to the centre. The disaster plan is simply a tool to help you manage your business after the disaster. It should contain information you need and list things you can do to get your office back working to full capacity. It should be generic enough to cover all situations and simple enough to be easy to use and update.
The Examinations Appeals Board. An independent body set up
in 1999. The EAB is the final stage of the enquiries and appeals process, the earlier stages being carried out by the awarding bodies responsible for the assessment in question. An appeal to the EAB must be made in writing by the head of centre.
Enquiries about results. First stage of the enquiries and appeals process that allows for clerical checks, re-marks and re-moderations. Available via the post-results services governed by JCQ regulations.
European Computer Driving Licence. An internationally recognised benchmark qualification that demonstrates competence in computer skills.
An awarding body incorporating BTEC and London Examinations.
Electronic data interchange. The system used to transmit information to and from awarding bodies.
The company that provides the EDI service, for example Research Machines’Securenet.
Entry level certificate. Formerly known as the ‘Certificate of Achievement’. An award designed for those candidates who are not yet ready for GCSE and other NQF level qualifications. There are three stages of achievement, broadly in line with national curriculum levels 1-3.
A term used by some awarding bodies to mean the use of a unit result in aggregation. An encashed or aggregated unit score cannot be used towards another award at the same level but may contribute towards a higher-level award. For example an AS award’s encashed units contribute to an A level award.
A term used by some awarding bodies to mean an adjustment made to the terminal grade where a timetabled component was missed through acceptable absence in a terminal series and where the minimum requirements have been met.
An application for an enhanced award must be accompanied by appropriate medical evidence that the candidate was unfit to take the paper.
(See Special consideration.)
Enquiry about results
A process by which an awarding body may be asked to check one or more steps leading to an awarding decision.
Usually a four-character code used to make entries for examinations. May have additional characters to identify a particular option or type of assessment. May be numeric or alphanumeric.
Dates by which entries must be made for examination series. Later entries will be accepted, but only at an extra charge.
Electronic files containing exam entries to be sent by EDI. Produced using CMIS and sent by secure transfer system.
General information about entry for an examination series.
Process by which an awarding body checks the entry data submitted by centres for an examination series. A way of identifying and resolving errors by reporting any invalid entries back to centres.
Exams officer. The individual responsible for the day-to-day management of a centre’s examination cycle.
Examination Officers’ Association. The professional association for all personnel operating examinations in centres. The EOA works with awarding bodies and government agencies to communicate exams officers’ needs and views.
Early estimates of entries required by awarding bodies to help them plan ahead, for example in examiner recruitment and numbers of examination papers needed.
Grades that a centre suggests are the expected level of achievement for candidates in their subjects. Used as an aid by awarding bodies when dealing with problems when reviewing grades. Also known as ‘ forecast grades’.
The flow of interconnected examination processes, which begins with collating and gathering information from candidates and academic staff, matching this with data from awarding bodies, making and amending entries, candidates taking the relevant assessment components associated with their course, the awarding process, the issue of results, enquiries about results and appeals.
The period in which examinations are taken, usually January or June for GCE AS/A2 and June or November for GCSE.
The period – morning or afternoon – in which an examination takes place. Each session is usually of not more than three hours’ duration.
May refer to an actual office run by a team of exams staff or an individual.
Tasks set or defined by the awarding body, taken under specified conditions (which must include details of supervision and duration) and assessed by the awarding body.
Extra time candidates
Candidates who have been awarded extra time for examinations based on evidence of their specific learning difficulties.
Centres may award up to 25 per cent extra time without reference to the awarding bodies but must have the evidence to hand when visited by a JCQ inspector. Applications for more than 25 per cent extra time must be made in advance to the awarding bodies.
(See Access arrangements.)
Timetable for examinations issued by an awarding body after all amendments have been agreed.
(See Estimated grades.)
The General Certificate of Education. This qualification is aimed at post-16 candidates but there are no age restrictions on entry. It is subdivided into two sections, each normally comprising three units and each commonly delivered in one year: the Advanced Subsidiary (AS) and the A2. The AS is a qualification in its own right. The full A level is an aggregation of the AS and A2 sections.
The General Certificate of Secondary Education. Examinations designed for key stage 4 candidates.
GCSE in applied subjects
Eight vocationally orientated subjects available since 2002. They are GCSE double awards (ie. twice the size of a single academic GCSE) and were introduced to replace part 1 GNVQ qualifications.
General National Vocational Qualification. Designed for candidates aged 14–16 and post-16 candidates, to provide a broad foundation for training, leading to employment and further and higher education. Being replaced by applied GCSEs and other qualifications.
Good practice is something that is better than the ‘norm’. The examples in this guide are taken from centres that have worked successfully to enhance the experience of their exams office staff and learners.
A point on a scale of performance used to record achievement within a qualification (for example, grade A* indicates the highest GCSE achievement on a scale running from A* to G).
Guided learning hours
The average amount of contact time that a centre would typically need to commit to ensure the achievement of a qualification. These are agreed by the awarding bodies in consultation with the regulator and are used, for example by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), in part to allocate funding.
History Aptitude Test. Oxford University admissions test for selection of candidates for all degree courses involving history. Taken in early November.
Head of centre
The head of centre is the most senior member of an education/ training organisation, usually the headteacher or principal of a school/college.
The head of centre is responsible for ensuring the integrity of the administration and conduct of awarding body examinations, though in practice this responsibility is delegated to the exams officer.
Head of subject
The usual point of contact between exams officers and a particular subject department/faculty. A member of that department/faculty may be in charge of a particular qualification type, such as GCE or GCSE.
Head of year
Head of year (pastoral managers, year coordinator, head of house) These managers (their title will vary from school to school depending on the way in which the school is structured) are responsible for the social welfare of the pupils within their year group or house. They will manage their team of form tutors who deal with pupil attendance and welfare.
Head of department/faculty. The usual point of contact for communications between exams officers and subject departments/ faculties, though there may be a nominated member of the department/faculty who is in charge of a particular qualification type (for example GCE, GCSE, GNVQ, VCE).
Information and communication technology.
Assessment carried out in a manner that is demonstrably independent of any individual who might have a vested interest in the outcome.
The process by which new staff are provided with training, made welcome in the centre, introduced to colleagues and helped to start their new job in a committed and productive frame of mind.
In Service Education and Training. The education and training activities engaged in by centre employees following their induction, and intended mainly or exclusively to improve their professional knowledge, skills, and attitudes.
Instructions for conducting examinations
Instructions drawn up by the JCQ in order to rationalise procedures for the conduct of examinations in examination centres. Reissued in September every year, the most up-to-date version should be in use.
Internal appeal process
A form of assessment that does not meet the definition of external assessment for a general or vocationally related qualification or the definition of independent assessment for an occupational qualification.
Process carried out by teachers in relation to internally-assessed work to ensure that all candidates are judged against the same standards, across different assessors and teaching groups. A mandatory requirement.
(See Coursework/Portfolio internal standardisation meeting.)
A privately maintained computer network that can be accessed only by authorised persons, especially members or employees of the organisation that owns it.
Person charged with ensuring that an external examination is conducted in accordance with the JCQ Instructions for conducting examinations. Teachers may no longer act as invigilators so external invigilators may be employed by the head of centre.
The Joint Council for Qualifications. Includes AQA, CCEA, Edexcel, OCR and WJEC.
A suite of six national qualifications: Application of Number, Communication, Information and Communication Technology, Working with Others, Improving Own Learning and Performance and Problem Solving at levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
The national curriculum is organised on the basis of five key stages. The key stages apply to pupils in the following age ranges: foundation stage: under-5s; stage 1: 5-7; stage 2: 7-11; stage 3: 11-14; and stage 4: 14-16.
LEA ICT support
LEAs provide a clear vision and strategy for ICT. The strategy is focused on an audit of need and is appropriately focused on raising attainment in ICT capability and in the use of ICT in the curriculum. The strategy is also linked with the use of ICT for management and administration.
LEA remodelling adviser
In every LEA there is a remodelling adviser who coordinates remodelling training for schools and who is the key contact for schools seeking guidance on any element of the agenda.
Qualifications accredited by QCA are assigned recognised levels from 1–8 based on the levels of the national qualifications framework (NQF) (i.e. an A level is accredited at level 3 on the NQF). All qualifications assigned the same level are broadly comparable with each other (see www.qca.org.uk/493.html for more information).
A member of the senior leadership team who acts as liaison between it and the exams officer in the smooth running of the exams office.
An examination in which all examination components are taken in one examination series.
Law National Admissions Test. A uniform test to be taken by all candidates applying to do law at eight English universities. Designed to provide an assessment of a candidate’s potential for law degree courses. Taken in early November. Participating universities: Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Durham, East Anglia, Nottingham, Oxford and University College London.
Learning and Skills Council. Responsible for funding and planning education and training for over-16-year-olds in England.
The infringement by candidates, administrators or teachers of the regulations governing the conduct of external examinations. Must be reported to an awarding body and may lead to a candidate being disqualified from one or more examinations or to a centre being deregistered.
This means getting your manager to intervene further up the centre’s organisational structure, or across it, to enable you to perform better.
Management information systems. MIS is a formalised computer information system that can integrate data from various sources to provide the information necessary for decision-making at management level.
The process by which internal assessment is monitored by an awarding body to ensure that it is reliable, fair and consistent with required standards. Usually done by sampling a centre’s coursework/portfolios across the range of candidates and teaching staff. May lead to an adjustment to a centre’s coursework/portfolio marks.
A self-contained unit of teaching in a modular specification that is assessed and reported to candidates.
A database of module results achieved by candidates over a number of previous examination series.
A GCE, VCE, GCSE, key skills or GNVQ scheme of assessment in which the components may be taken over more than one examination series (as opposed to a linear examination).
Code that identifies part of a specification entry.
The National Assessment Agency. Tasked with developing and delivering high-quality national curriculum tests and supervising the delivery and modernisation of general examinations.
NAA field support officers
Regionally based teams that provide on-the-spot support and advice to exams officers and centres.
National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers. Union representing teachers and headteachers throughout the UK.
National Agreement on Raising Standards and Tackling Workload
Targets a progressive reduction in teachers’ overall hours by removing administrative and clerical tasks, like those of the exams office, from their routine. Signed by the Government, employers and school workforce unions.
National occupational standards
Standards of occupational competence developed by a standards-setting body and approved by the regulatory authorities.
The National College of School Leadership. Provides career-long learning and development opportunities for England’s existing and aspiring school leaders.
Notices to centres
Issued by JCQ to inform centres of key information regarding dates and procedures common to all the awarding bodies. Issued in September. These may also be issued by awarding bodies.
National Qualifications Framework. The framework for qualifications available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Designed to organise and ensure the quality of general, vocational and occupational qualifications. From September 2004, a nine-level framework including entry level.
National Vocational Qualification. Qualifications that reflect the skills, knowledge and understanding an individual possesses in relation to a specific area of work.
Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations. An awarding body.
The Office for Standards in Education. Headed by the Office of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools in England.
These occur when candidates, who for some reason have not been entered, sit the examination and their papers appear in the examiners' envelopes for marking.
Formerly the Annual School Census (ASC). The DfES’s largest and most complex data collection exercise. The PLASC differs from the ASC in that the information is provided as an individual candidate record, including the candidate’s name, unique pupil number (UPN), key stage and examination results. Introduced in January 2002 and a statutory requirement under section 537A of the Education Act 1996.
It provides essential information to the DfES regarding national policy implementation and the monitoring of standards.
A portfolio is a collection of internally assessed work that a candidate completes. A unit portfolio refers to the work required to satisfy the assessment requirements for an individual unit. A full portfolio includes all the internally assessed work required to complete the qualification.
(See Coursework and Internal standardisation.)
Services provided by awarding bodies following JCQ requirements for enquiring about results (clerical checks, re-marks and re-moderations), access to scripts, etc.
Procedures and Rules (Entry, Aggregation and Certification)
A JCQ publication that sets out the rules and principal administrative requirements for GCE, VCE and GNVQ qualifications introduced from September 2000. The most up-to-date version must be used.
A responsible adult who may sit beside the candidate in order to keep his or her attention on the task in hand.
(See Access arrangements and Special consideration.)
Timetable issued by an awarding body to inform centres and candidates of likely examination dates. Usually issued at least 12 months in advance of the series and designed to enable centres to plan and comment on any problems that may arise from it.
The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. Established in 1997 to provide an integrated quality assurance service for UK higher education.
Qualification Accreditation Number –the qualification approval number issued by the relevant regulatory authority (QCA, ACCAC, CCEA).
The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. A non-departmental public body, sponsored by DfES. Maintains and develops the national curriculum and associated assessments, tests and examinations, and accredits and maintains qualifications in colleges and at work.
A certificate of achievement or competence specifying the awarding body, qualification type and title.
A group of qualifications with broadly similar purposes, for example vocational qualifications, academic qualifications.
A group of qualifications with distinctive structural characteristics, for example GCE, GCSE, GNVQ, VCE.
A responsible adult who reads the questions to the candidate.
(See Access arrangements and Special consideration.)
A process by which a centre wishing to offer particular qualifications is recorded as having committed itself to maintain the required quality of consistency of assessment and comply with other expectations of the awarding body.
An organisation that works with others to maintain and develop criteria for awarding bodies and their qualifications and defines an accreditation process for awarding bodies to follow.
(See QCA, ACCAC and CCEA.)
Service 2 EAR during which a candidate’s script is clerically checked and then re-marked by a senior examiner. Marks may stay the same, go up or go down.
Service 3 EAR during which a centre’s coursework submission is re-moderated. Re-moderated marks may stay the same, go up or go down. Candidates’subject grades may only be confirmed or raised but a lowered mark may be taken forward for future certification.
Electronic files that contain examination results, sent by awarding bodies to centres to enable results to be imported into CMIS for processing and analysis.
The Royal Society of Arts. Its separate examination board (RSA EB, established 1987) merged with other examination boards to form OCR in 1997.
Scheme of assessment
The set of examination components –including terminal examinations and coursework –through which candidates’achievement in relation to a particular qualification are determined.
The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework. Equivalent to the NQF in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
A person who writes down what the candidate dictates when the candidate is unable to write. Permission is required from an awarding body in advance, though it can be given at short notice for unexpected occurrences. Also known as an ‘amanuensis’.
(See Access arrangements and Special consideration.)
A group of examinations in the same range, for example GCE, GCSE, with a common closing date for entries. The series is defined with a series year, code and name. Also known as an ‘examination series’.
A period in a day in which an examination may take place, ie. am or pm. Each session is usually of not more than three hours’duration.
Special educational needs candidates. Candidates who have a record of specific learning difficulties and whose learning is assisted by a special educational needs department. Such candidates may need access arrangements and/or special consideration.
Special educational needs coordinator. A designated teacher responsible for the day-to-day operation of the school’s special educational needs (SEN) policy. SENCOs manage the learning provision of pupils and candidates with SEN, or those who need the assistance of a special educational needs department. (See Access arrangements and Special consideration.)
Members of the senior leadership team.
The length of time for which a unit or qualification is accredited. Unless informed to the contrary, current specifications have indefinite shelf lives but a specification may be phased out in the future and notice will be given of the final series when examinations for that subject will be set.
Senior leadership team. The head of the centre and their team. An exams officer may be a member of this team but, if not, will usually be managed by it.
Senior management team. The head of the centre and their team.
An exams officer may be a member of this team but, if not, may be managed by it.
Consideration given to candidates who have experienced difficulties close to or during examinations. Applications for special consideration must be made to the relevant awarding body within seven days of the last paper in a subject being taken.
The complete description – including optional and mandatory aspects – of the content, assessment arrangements and performance requirements for a qualification. A subject specification forms the basis of a course leading to an award or certificate. Formerly known as a ‘syllabus’.
A four-digit code that identifies a specification.
Scottish Qualifications Authority. The national body in Scotland responsible for the development, accreditation, assessment and certification of qualifications other than degrees. Formed 1 April 1997.
Assessment arrangements that test candidates’understanding of the connections between the different elements of a subject.
An investigation and report on the consistency of standards of awards across awarding bodies or over time in a particular subject or sector.
An organisation –usually a national training organisation –recognised by the regulatory authorities as responsible for formulating standards of competence for an employment sector and keeping them under review.
A member of staff of an awarding body who is responsible for the administration of one or more specifications. The first point of contact when enquiring about a specific subject qualification. Also known as an ‘assessment leader’.
A process by which one or more successors are identified for key posts and career moves and/or development activities are planned for these successors. Successors may be fairly ready to do the job (short-term successors) or seen as having longer-term potential (long-term successors).
Centre staff who are not teachers.
A form of assessment that tests candidates’understanding of the connections between the different elements of a subject. Advanced level award specifications include a mandatory synoptic assessment.
Teaching exams officer
An exams officer who is a member of the teaching staff at the centre.
An examination component taken by a candidate on completion of a course that is set and marked externally.
Teaching exams officer. An exams officer who is a member of the teaching staff at the centre.
A level of entry at GCSE that offers a restricted range of grades. Adjacent tiers for a given specification have overlapping grades. Where a specification has tiers there are normally two, one that assesses grades A* to D (higher tier) and one that assesses grades C to G (foundation).
In mathematics there are three tiers: higher tier (grades A* to C), intermediate tier (grades B to E) and foundation tier (grades D to G).
A self-management programme that targets results rather than just being busy. Embraces the ability to plan, delegate, organise, direct and control.
Term used to describe timetabling two or more examinations in different subjects in the same session. Can often be resolved without reference to the awarding body but an application may be required.
(See JCQ Instructions for conducting examinations.)
The field of study or occupational area associated with a qualification.
A transcript is a copy of a candidate’s script made after the examination has taken place and without the participation of the candidate. Used where a candidate’s handwriting is illegible or so difficult to read that it would be beneficial for an examiner to refer to a transcript of the candidate’s work for clarification.
Thinking skills assessment. A test developed by UCLES as a means of providing additional information on which to base admission decisions. Used for the first time by 23 Cambridge colleges during 2003/4 admissions round.
University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate. A department of the University of Cambridge. The UCLES group comprises three business units, each with a distinct product range and group of customers: Cambridge ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages), CIE (Cambridge International Examinations) and OCR.
Unique candidate identifier. Unique number allocated to a candidate by a centre that must be supplied when entering for units or certification. A 13-character identifier which can be generated by the CMIS and usually consists of the centre number, a year reference number, the candidate number and an alphabetical check digit, for example 251380019999G.
UCIs are essential for processing candidates’entries if they have transferred from another centre where they have already taken examinations.
Uniform mark scale. A scale that converts raw modular examination marks into a common (uniform) scale to use in the modular or unitised assessment system. An inter-board agreed scale.
Union for support staff working in schools, sixth form and further education colleges.
The smallest part of a qualification for which results can be issued. A unit may comprise separately assessed components.
Usually a four-character code identifying a unit entry. Also known as ‘entry code’or ‘module code’.
A specification that is in separately assessed self-contained units that may be taken over several examination series –the same as a modular examination.
Unique pupil number. A unique 13-character identifier allocated to each candidate in England on first entry to school. Introduced to maintained schools in 1999/2000 to facilitate the tracking of candidates’progress through the school system.
A UPN consists of a check letter, the LEA code, the DfES number of the school, the academic year when the UPN is allocated and a serial number allocated by the school, for example Q855 6012 9999. Generated by CMIS.
Note: this is not the same as a UCI number.
A measure of the progress that schools and colleges help individual candidates make between different stages of education, for example between key stage 3 and key stage 4.
Vocational Certificate of Education. Vocational 3- or 6-unit A levels (equivalent to GCE AS and A2) or 12-unit A levels (equivalent to two GCEs), designed for post-16 candidates to provide a foundation for training leading to employment or further and higher education. These will be revised with an AS/A2 structure for first teaching in September 2005 and will be renamed GCEs in applied subjects.
The Workforce Agreement Monitoring Group. A unique partnership of ten organisations representing employers, the Government and school workforce unions as Signatories of the National Agreement signed on 15 January 2003.
The contribution that an examination component or other defined part of a scheme of assessment makes to the overall assessment.
Welsh Joint Education Committee/Cyd-Bwyllgor Addysg Cymru. An awarding body, regulated by ACCAC in Wales, QCA in England and CCEA in Northern Ireland.