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Assessment for HE Programmes


  1. To ensure that the academic standards of the college’s HE programmes are maintained in accordance with the Academic Infrastructure.

  2. To ensure that the college’s commitment to high quality learning opportunities is maintained.

  3. To conduct assessment procedures that are compliant with the requirements of the QAA and the college’s awarding body partners.

  4. An effective assessment programme motivates students and drives their learning. It determines their progression through their programmes and validates their success or failure in meeting programme outcomes.

  5. Diagnostic assessment aims to identify attributes or skills that the learner has.

  6. Formative assessment is designed to enable the learner to obtain feedback on his/her progress in meeting stated objectives and reviewing goals.

  7. Summative assessment provides the means whereby a clear statement of achievement or failure can be made in respect of a student’s performance in relation to stated objectives.


All Higher Education programmes.


General Principles

  1. All higher education programmes are expected to develop their own assessment strategy.

  2. Assessment practices must be constantly monitored for validity, equity and reliability.

  3. Assessment tasks and associated criteria must be effective in measuring student attainment of intended learning outcomes.

  4. Information and guidance on assessment must be clear, accurate and accessible to all staff, students and external examiners.

  5. The range and type of assessment used must be clearly aligned to intended learning outcomes.

  6. Assessment must be reliable through the consistent use of agreed marking and grading schemes and arrangements for moderation.

  7. There must be robust arrangements to monitor, evaluate and demonstrate the fairness of assessments.

  8. In conjunction with validating or awarding bodies, programmes much ensure students are provided with information and guidance on their responsibilities within the assessment process (including assessment regulations), especially with regard to academic misconduct or the use of unfair means.

Exam Boards

  1. Exam boards must be chaired by college staff who have experience of managing HE.

  2. Programme teams must keep accurate records of the procedures and decision of each exam board in their quality folders. To ensure confidentiality, the outcomes of exam board meetings are exempt from the college’s usual policy of sharing information (ie class representatives attending meetings relating to curriculum and/or uploading minutes/findings to the VLE). Refer to (3) below.

  3. Curriculum teams (excluding class representatives) will formally review and discuss academic assessments, quality assurance and final awarding grades in a confidential setting and in a timely manner.

Conduct of Assessment

  1. The purpose and requirements of assessment must be clearly communicated to students at various stages of their programme, beginning with pre-course advice and induction.

  2. Programmes must publish an assessment schedule with clear deadlines for the submission of assessed work and when such work will be returned. This must be planned with due regard to student workload.

  3. All assessment instruments administered to students must be presented clearly with assessment criteria in direct relation to specified learning outcomes.

  4. All assessment instruments must be internally moderated or verified in accordance with validating or awarding body requirements.

  5. Late submission without extenuating circumstances may be subject to penalties as per the procedure on late submission.

  6. Programmes must ensure that assessment supports student learning, especially with regard to formative assessment, which must play an integral part in teaching and learning.

  7. Programmes must ensure that students with disabilities are not disadvantages in the assessment process. This may involve the exploration and implementation of alternative methods of assessment.

  8. Programmes must ensure that students have adequate time to reflect on learning before being assessed.

Marking and Grading

  1. Programmes must publish and implement consistently, clear criteria for the marking and grading of assessments.

  2. Programmes must employ a rigorous system of internal moderation of marks.

  3. Programmes must ensure that assessment decisions are recorded and documented accurately and systematically.

  4. Programmes must ensure that the decisions of relevant examination boards are published as quickly as possible.

  5. Appeals against assessment decisions must be made in accordance with the college’s appeals procedure.


  1. Programmes must ensure that feedback is provided to students on assessed work in a way that promotes learning and facilitates improvement.

  2. Feedback to students must be given as soon as is possible for the assessment event in order to facilitate optimum learning.

Monitoring, Review and Dissemination

The HE Board of Study committee will review this procedure every two years or as necessary.

Issue No: 004
Document Change Note Ref: 1711
Date: 16.11.2015
Review Date: 15.11.2017
EIA Date: 16.11.2015