Guide to reading into changes for 2017/18 from the JCQ

Each year the centre exams office community are informed of changes that have been made to the two key publications which impact on most centres, the Yellow JCQ ICW booklet and the Terracotta Access Arrangements booklet. These are usually reviewed by centres through a PDF version of these publication which then picks out various changes using different colours, to emphasis different kinds of information.


The most common convention used in these publications is use of yellow to highlight major changes with other boxes, marked in orange, yellow and grey providing, advice and help ot highlighting other important information across arrange of activity. This approach works very well using this type of electronic access but on printing, which is often necessary for distribution across a centre, may prove less helpful as it is very difficult to differentiate what is an important change, and what is just advice and help.


JCQ Access Arrangements Changes 2017/18 | 104 pages with 169 changes on 57 pages

JCQ Access Arrangements Changes 2016/17 | 110 pages with 151 changes on 63 pages

JCQ Access Arrangements Changes 2015/16 | 110 pages with 124 changes on 74 pages

JCQ Access Arrangements Changes 2014/15 | 110 pages with 100 changes on 60 pages


What is very important to remember is that these publications are vital for the secure delivery of examinations across the country and therefore clarity is very important to avoid any misunderstandings by centres who may fall foul of these guidelines if they are not adhered to.


“4.2.11 Failure to comply with the regulations contained in this document have the potential to constitute malpractice which may impact on the candidate’s result(s)”. (p.18 AAs)


As this statement is marked in red on the Adjustments for candidates with disabilities and learning difficulties Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments booklet, there appears to be no doubt about the consequences to a centre should they get things wrong. It is therefore so important to not just focus on the recent changes listed in these documents or accept any suggestion that there are only a few changes and to only pick up on those.


As the table above suggests ‘changes’ are necessary and cannot be avoided, but what can be avoided is falling into the trap of focusing on recent changes and not putting all those changes in context., from last year’s publications and beyond. Within this year’s publication the number of pages may have gone down but the number of potential changes have gone up, with words and phrases added to existing sections which may have been added as changes from last year.


If you do have to print material off for reference bear in mind that some changes marked in yellow may be lost the 94 orange boxes listed in this publication (eg, p 2, 7, 19, 20, 28, and p92) and also you need be careful not to miss off the various important references in blue and red type, and pay special attention to the various grey boxes which all contain important changes and/or information.


The Instructions for Conducting Examinations (ICE) booklet is often known as the bible on exams delivery for most centres involved in general and vocational qualifications delivery. Here again, change has been unavoidable over the years.


JCQ ICE booklet 2017/18 | 69 pages long with 75 changes to text on 38 pages

JCQ ICE booklet 2016/17 | 62 pages long with 64 changes to text on 35 pages

JCQ ICE booklet 2015/16 | 75 pages long with 62 changes to text on 34 pages

JCQ ICE booklet 2014/15 | 75 pages long with 34 changes to text on 25 pages


While the page count has gone up, so has the number of changes. The advice to readers is the same as above with everyone being advised to take care over considering all recent changes in context and take added care over information and range of information, advice and help being distributed across a range of coloured boxes and coloured text. To help out Exams Team Development have produced a free guide on key changes to help centres avoid unnecessary expenditure - FREE Invigilation resource from our partner ETD. 


In the next article, the iEOA will be looking more closely at what these publications are saying, such as the advice given on p.40 of the ICE booklet – “Advice: A five-minute warning to candidates, although not encouraged, is permitted”, and picking up on your observations and expertise via ieoa.office@examofficers.org.uk