Conduct of assessment staff instruction
To provide staff-focused instructions that promote integrity, consistency and fairness in the conduct of assessment.
Who is involved in this process?
Applies to all formal, supervised examinations, including those managed centrally within the examination period specified in the academic calendar.
Although these instructions are formulated for centrally run examinations that are of at least two hours duration, these instructions should also be applied to shorter examinations conducted by schools and departments, as appropriate.
Certain offshore partner exams procedures will differ from onshore procedures listed within this instruction.
These instructions apply to examinations conducted at offshore campuses and partners except where otherwise specified in their contract with RMIT University.
1. Examination planning and preparation
1.1 Examination timetables
1.1.1 The Exams, Awards and Graduations office is responsible for establishing the examination timetable for each study period in consultation with academic colleges and schools.
1.1.2 Examination timetables will be made available to students via the Students webpage.
1.1.3 Following publication of the formal examination timetable amendments will only be considered where a change is unavoidable for significant reasons. In such cases the written approval of the Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor, Learning and Teaching of the college must be forwarded to the Academic Registrar who will consider the request.
Exams, Awards and Graduations office
Before formal exams
1.2 Examination papers
1.2.1 Schools are responsible for forwarding fully proofed and accurate examination papers and examination header and cover sheets to RMIT Print Services and the Exams, Awards and Graduations office by the required deadlines and in the required format.
1.2.2 Exams, awards and graduations office in conjunction with RMIT print services are responsible for the:
Exams, Awards and Graduations and RMIT Print Services
Before formal exams
Before formal exams
1.3 Examination venues and materials
1.3.1 The Exams, Awards and Graduations office is responsible for:
Exams, Awards and Graduations
Before formal exams
1.4 Appointment and training of examination supervisors
1.4.1 The Exams, Awards and Graduations office is responsible for the:
Exams, Awards and Graduations
Before formal exams
2. Responsibilities of examination supervisors at examination venues
2.1 Chief examination supervisors are responsible for:
2.1.1 Ensuring that the regulations and instructions governing the conduct of examinations are followed.
2.1.2 Reporting all student incident reports (e.g., illness during an exam, academic misconduct) to the student’s home school, and to the school that owns the examination where the incident took place (if this is not the student’s home school).
2.1.3 Management of the senior examination supervisors and examination supervisors appointed to the venue.
2.2 Senior examination supervisors are responsible for:
2.2.1 Assisting the chief examination supervisor in all matters relating to the responsible conduct of the examinations, including sorting and compiling examination papers for each session.
2.2.2 Recording the name and identification number of a student who attends to sit an examination but whose name is not on the attendance list.
2.3 Examination supervisors are responsible for:
2.3.1 The continuous supervision of students during an examination;
2.3.2 Verifying student identity and ensuring that the students attending for examinations are included on the list of attendees;
2.3.3 Recording student attendance and non-attendance on the attendance list;
2.3.4 Moving among the students at intervals, causing minimal disturbance and ensuring that at all times they have a clear view of the students they are supervising;
2.3.5 Reporting the details of any student who attends to sit an examination but whose name is not on the attendance list to the senior examination supervisor and advising the student that sitting the examination will not constitute enrolment or a result in the course if it is established that the student was not legitimately enrolled in the course;
2.3.6 Supervision of toilet areas;
2.3.7 Supervising student toilet breaks;
2.3.8 Recording the student details and time (on the top right hand corner of the script book or examination paper) where a student leaves the examination venue more than 45 minutes before the end of the examination;
2.3.9 Ensuring that students do not take examination papers from the venue as they leave;
2.3.10 Collection of all examination papers at the end of the examination in strict seat number order.
2.4 Leave of absence during the examination
2.4.1 Students will be permitted to leave the examination venue after the first 60 minutes from the published examination commencement time.
2.4.2 Students leaving the venue who wish to return will be accompanied by an examination supervisor continuously during their absence.
2.4.3 Examination supervisors will record abnormal absences (frequency or duration) on the Incident Report Form and hand that form to the senior examination supervisor.
2.5 Managing incidents of misconduct during an examination
2.5.1 Misconduct during an examination may constitute academic misconduct, and as such, will be dealt with in accordance with the Student Misconduct Regulation. Academic misconduct may be established even if it cannot be demonstrated that the student gained an advantage from the misconduct.
2.5.2 Misconduct of a student includes, but is not limited to:
- representing themselves as another student in an examination
- allowing themselves to be represented by any person in an examination
- having unauthorised material or items on desks or on their person in the examination venue
- using, or attempting to use, unauthorised material or items during the examination
- copying from the script of another student during the examination
- receiving help from another person during the examination
- giving help to another person during the examination
- acting dishonestly in any way, whether before, during or after the examination, so as to obtain, or assist another student to obtain, an unfair advantage in the examination
2.5.3 If the examination supervisor suspects a student of cheating, or acting dishonestly, they should contact the senior examination supervisor immediately.
2.5.4 The senior examination supervisor will:
- permit the student to complete the examination
- confiscate any unauthorised material or items
- note the incident in the Examination Incident Report Form, and
- inform the student at the completion of the examination that the misconduct will be reported
2.5.5 If a student is interfering in any way with the proper conduct of the examination, the examination supervisor will contact the senior examination supervisor immediately. The senior examination supervisor will escalate the matter to the chief examination supervisor.
2.5.6 The chief examination supervisor has the power to suspend the candidate from the examination due to disruption, and summarily dismiss them from the examination venue. Where this takes place a detailed report of the incident will be made by the chief examination supervisor on the Examination Incident Report Form. Where a student becomes violent the chief examination supervisor must seek assistance from the designated security officers.
2.5.7 All Examination Incident Report Forms are to be handed to the chief examination supervisor by the end of the respective examination session, or sooner where the matter is urgent.
2.6 Illness during an examination
If a student becomes ill during an examination, the examination supervisor will:
2.6.1 Advise the senior examination supervisor who will, if necessary, take the candidate to the first aid officer;
2.6.2 Record the student’s details and the nature of the problem on the Examination Incident Report Form, including the time the student left the examination venue;
2.6.3 Advise the student to lodge an application for special consideration in accordance with University policy within two working days of the examination.
2.7 Emergency procedure during an examination
2.7.1 Emergency evacuation procedure
This section provides guidance where an emergency situation arises (such as bomb threat, fire etc.), and a decision is made to evacuate the examination venue for the safety of students and staff.
a) The examination supervisor or safety warden is responsible for the safe evacuation of students during an emergency evacuation situation.
b) Where an emergency evacuation is necessary the examination supervisor or safety warden will instruct students to:
- stop writing and prepare to evacuate ;
- place examination papers inside their script books and leave them on the desk;
- collect their belongings (i.e., bags from under desks and identity cards, but not the examination papers or examination script book/s);
- evacuate the building via the nearest exit (using stairs instead of lifts) and proceed directly to the identified assembly area; and
- consider themselves still to be subject to examination conditions until such time as they are formally dismissed by the chief examination supervisor, despite the evacuation
c) The examination supervisor must consult with the chief examination supervisor to determine whether the examination should resume at the end of the emergency situation or whether it is to be abandoned.
d) In making the determination as to whether to resume or abandon the examination the chief examination supervisor should consider the following issues:
- the length of the outage (in relation to the total duration of the exam and the time expired before the evacuation) ;
- the nature of the situation (i.e., is it likely to have caused significant distress or fear to students and have had a significant impact on their performance at resumption of the examination); and
- the capacity of the venue to resume the exam in relation to subsequent examination bookings on that day
e) Where the decision is made to resume the examination the chief examination supervisor is to determine whether the examination will resume for the full period lost during the time of evacuation or for a shorter period.
f) A detailed report of the nature and duration of the emergency and evacuation will be prepared by the chief examiner for reference by schools in assessing the examination papers.
2.8 Lost Property
2.8.1 All lost property should be handed in to the senior examination supervisor of the examination venue.
2.8.2 The senior examination supervisor will note the course code of the examination, the room number and the date and time that the item was left.
2.8.3 The chief examination supervisor will assume responsibility for delivery of the items to the appropriate University lost property repository.
3. Responsibilities of examiners
3.1 The examiner (normally the course coordinator) will:
3.1.1 Either be available to attend the examination, or be available by telephone for the duration of the examination in order to answer questions of clarification regarding the examination paper. (Where there are multiple venues for the same examination, examiners will either arrange for other examiners to be in attendance, or be available by telephone for the duration of the examination.)
3.1.2 Assist the examination supervisor to check the legitimacy of materials permitted in the examination, e.g., the type of calculator or books that can be used.
3.1.3 Advise the Dean/Head of School of their inability to be available and request the Dean/Head of School to advise the Exams, Awards and Graduations office of another examiner who will be available or contactable by phone during that period.
3.1.4 Make arrangements for the prompt collection of completed examination scripts once they have been delivered to the college by the Exams, Awards and Graduations office.
3.1.5 Adhere to the timelines set in relation to timely submission of examination papers and timetable drafts.
3.1.6 Submit only one examination paper per course code.
3.1.7 Provide either
(i) written instructions to the supervisor(s) of any complex correction or alteration to an examination paper or
(ii) sufficient copies of any addendum, printed on coloured paper, so that each student can be issued with a copy.
3.2 Retention of examination script books
a) Marked examination script books will be retained by the school for a minimum period of six months following posting of the final result for the course.
b) After this period examination script books are to be disposed of via a confidential disposal process managed by the RMIT Archivist.
4. Arrangements for students studying a course externally within Australia
4.1 Students studying a course externally can choose to:
4.1.1 Travel to a designated University venue where the internal examination is scheduled; or
4.1.2 Apply to the Exams, Awards and Graduations office to make external supervision arrangements. In these cases students must undertake their examination on the same date and local time as the published schedule for internal students at the designated examination venue.
5. Arrangements for students studying at an offshore RMIT campus
5.1 These instructions apply to examinations conducted at offshore campuses and partners except where otherwise specified in their contract with RMIT University.[Next: Supporting documents and information ]