TQUK Exams System – Invigilator Guidance

Introduction

The following guidance relates specifically to exams invigilated in-person and should be used as reference when preparing to use Training Qualifications UK’s Verve Exams online testing system. 

If you have any queries or concerns about the information included in this document, you are encouraged to contact the Training Qualifications UK’s Assessment Team to request further clarification. The team can be contacted Monday to Friday from 08:30-17:00 via email at assessment@tquk.org or via telephone on 03333 583344.

Preparing for the Exam

Accessing Verve Exams and Undertaking Assessment

Please use these links to find step-by-step guidance for using the system:

Starting Times for Exams

Times are to be requested when the exam is booked. Online exams can be sat between 08:00 and 23:59. Any amendment to the date and time outside this window must be requested at least five working days in advance.

Short answer questions exams will take place prior to their associated multiple choice questions exams and both must be undertaken on the same day.

Invigilation Arrangements

It is expected that the Training Provider and the Invigilator will organise for their exam to be sat in a controlled environment. This means that the allocated environment:

  • is a clearly designated area which is quiet and will be undisturbed for the entirety of the assessment- meaning no persons outside of those directly involved with the assessment will be present or have access to this space during the assessment.
  • where multiple Apprentices are undertaking assessments, as permitted by the relevant assessment plan, prevents Apprentices from having access to or sight of other Apprentices work, intentionally or otherwise.
  • is sufficiently heated, with adequate lighting and ventilation.
  • is free from distraction including excess noise, enabling good quality audio recording to take place, as required.
  • is free from visual or physical access to supporting materials if not permitted by the Assessment Plan.
  • permits the assessment to take place safely without risk of harm or injury to those involved in the assessment.
  • is accommodating of any agreed reasonable adjustments or special consideration requirements.
  • provides ample space for the assessment activities to take place uninhibited.
  • provides the required equipment for the assessment to be conducted in line with the specific assessment plan.

The space, as described above, must meet these requirements throughout the entire duration of the exam.

It is expected that the room should be set up to allow for the clear sight of a clock by all Apprentices/Learners during the exam (accessibility arrangements should be made for Apprentices/Learners with specific requirements).

For online exams, the on-screen clock should be used to monitor the time. Where there are multiple Apprentices/Learners undertaking an exam it is the responsibility of the Training Provider/Recognised Centre to produce a suitable and appropriate seating plan that allows for the safe and appropriate delivery of the exam. If an exam is conducted in a space not deemed appropriate then the Invigilator should not allow the exam to start and let Training Qualifications UK know at the earliest opportunity.

A suitable invigilator will need to be identified and outlined to Training Qualifications UK when the exam is booked. The Invigilator must have no conflict of interest with the Apprentice. A Conflict of Interest is defined as:
“A situation in which a person is in a position to derive personal benefit from actions or decisions made in their official capacity”.

The name of the Invigilator must match the one provided during the booking stage and this must be reflected when completing the documents. 

Invigilation Arrangements for Candidates with Accessibility Requirements

The Training Provider/Recognised Centre must provide accessibility arrangements for Apprentices/Learners who will require additional assistance for arriving, setting up and departing from the exam venue prior to or during the exam in line with their own policies.

Special Consideration and Reasonable Adjustment

Any application for special consideration, based on a situation that was not made aware to Training Qualifications UK prior to the exam date, must be made within five working days of the completion of the exam. Applications for reasonable adjustment, including additional time requests, should be made directly to Training Qualifications UK a minimum of ten working days before the exam date.

Invigilation Arrangements for Candidates with Religious Coverings

Any Learners/Apprentices who wear religious coverings are encouraged to undertake their exams using paper-based or online methods with in-person invigilation. This is due to the fact that in order to verify the identity of the Learner/Apprentice, these coverings should be briefly removed in a private room, with consent, prior to beginning the exam. 

Checking the provided exam materials

The Invigilator will receive log-in details via email.

For online exams – on the day of the exam, the Apprentice/Learner will access Verve Exams using their Online Exam link email. They will be required to log into the system and should follow the on-screen guidance until they reach the Invigilator Login stage. At this stage, the Invigilator will need to access the exam by entering the log-in information. 

For paper-based exams – the Invigilator will receive an email titled ‘Paper-based Exams’. Please access this email prior to the booked time and date and click Access Files. This will allow the Invigilator to download the required documentation and print the material in preparation for the Apprentice/Learner’s exam.

Conditions for storing question paper and any other confidential material

It is expected that any materials stored prior to the exam will be held in a secure lockable location to reduce any opportunity for malpractice or collusion.

Assessment in Progress Sign

Please find an “Assessment in Progress Sign” in our Support Materials on Verve EPA. This must be printed off prior to the assessment and made clearly visible (for example, entry doors) to prevent interuptions during the undertaking of the exam.

Children, Young People & Families Manager standard – Training Provider Invigilation

For Training Providers who choose to invigilate a Children, Young People & Families Manager SJT remotely, it is important to know that there is no access to an online exam platform. The exam can be undertaken “on-screen” via video conferencing software (such as GoToMeeting or Zoom) where the scheduled Invigilator will send a password-protected Word document to the Apprentice. The Invigilator will remotely access the Apprentice’s computer to input the required password which will unlock the exam. 

Under no circumstances should the password be emailed or verbally given to the Apprentice. The Invigilator is responsible for protecting the integrity of the exam paper. 

The Invigilator must oversee the exam for the full duration (with a view of the Apprentice and their desktop screen) and will ensure that the Apprentice is under strict examination conditions. 

At the Beginning of the Exam

Keeping question paper and other exam materials secure

All material provided by Training Qualifications UK prior to the exam must be printed and secured in storage until one hour before the allotted exam time. If an exam is being taken via online delivery then the Training Provider/Recognised Centre must ensure that Apprentices/Learners will have access to the required equipment and materials.

Identifying candidates

All Apprentices/Learners must be identified from their photographic identification.
All Apprentices/Learners must complete and sign the Attendance Register. Where this is not possible it will be the responsibility of the Invigilator to complete the Attendance register. If an Apprentice/Learner is wearing religious clothing covering the face, they should be accompanied to a private room and asked to briefly remove any face coverings to allow for identification but only with the resolute consent of the individual.

Stationary, Materials and Other Equipment

Learners/Apprentices must not bring any material or items into the venue that may assist them during the exam. This includes writing and reading materials, notebooks, notepads and textbooks. Mobile phones/smart watches/electronic devices other than the computer used to undertake the exam must be switched off and stored in a location inaccessible by the Learner/Apprentice to minimise the risk of distraction and headphones must not be worn. A mobile phone may be checked for emergency purposes during the exam but this must be pre-arranged with both the Training Provider and yourself and specifications provided to Training Qualifications UK in writing. Water is permitted but must be stored in clear bottles with the labels removed, in a clear glass or in solid block-coloured sports bottles.

Starting the Exam

The Invigilator will clearly read aloud any exam instructions to the Apprentices/Learners prior to the commencement of the pre-defined allotted time. Relevant reading time which must be monitored by the Invigilator.

Short answer question exam instructions are provided via email and should be read as soon as possible before beginning the exam. The exam will begin as indicated by the allocated Training Qualifications UK Invigilator.

Remote Access and Screen Recording

In the case of short answer questions/extended answer exams being undertaken via GoToMeeting, it may be necessary for the allocated Training Qualifications UK/Training Provider Invigilator to request remote access to the Learner/Apprentice’s device in order to assist with any technological issues. It may also be necessary for the allocated Training Qualifications UK/Training Provider Invigilator to request permission to record the exam session in order to substantiate any potential malpractice or collusion concerns. Both requests will require the Learner/Apprentice’s verbal consent before continuing.

During the Exam

Supervising the candidates

It is expected that the Invigilator will have full sight of the Apprentices/Learners, and any exam papers or computer screens, throughout the exam and make every effort to ensure that there is no form of collusion or malpractice. Invigilators should not undertake other duties during the exam and only speak to Apprentices/Learners or other staff members in case of emergency.

Candidates who arrive late

Apprentices/Learners are expected to be present at the start of the exam. Latecomers may be admitted at the discretion of the Invigilator but will not be entitled to additional time at the end of the exam. Once an Apprentice/Learner has left the exam room no further latecomers will be permitted to undertake the exam under any circumstance.

Unforeseen Circumstances

Unforeseen circumstances can be defined as any emergency, unpredicted or unusual incident which requires the Learner/Apprentice to leave the examination room or divert their attention away from the exam. Should such an incident occur, the invigilator must make note of this within the Exam Attendance and Invigilation Report.

Emergencies

In the event of an emergency occurring during an exam, which is undertaken in a location external to the Learner/Apprentice’s home, the Training Provider’s policies on emergencies will supersede any rules or guidance determined in this Invigilation Protocol. If an incident interrupts or affects an exam, Training Qualifications UK should be informed as soon as possible to allow for further provision and potential special consideration. In the event of an emergency occurring in a Learner/Apprentice’s home, the above guidance regarding unforeseen circumstances should be followed.

Completing the Documentation for Written Exams

The Attendance Register should be completed by the Invigilator once all Apprentices/Learners have begun the exam. The Invigilator will fill in all areas of the register. The Apprentice/Learner fields should be completed prior to leaving the exam venue and it is at the discretion of the Invigilator as to when this is done. All fields on the exam sheet must be completed by the Apprentice/Learner only. Under no circumstance must any of the fields on the exam document be pre-filled by the Training Provider/Recognised Centre, Invigilator or other members of staff.

Where a short answer questions exam is undertaken using GoToMeeting, all information can be entered directly onto the PDF/MS Word versions of the provided material. In order to do this preference is for the computer being used to have an up-to-date version of Adobe Reader installed and the PDF versions should be opened using this software (see: Technical Guidance). This will allow for all fields to be completed, saved and returned via email to the Training Qualifications UK Assessment Team at assessment@tquk.org.

Malpractice

If there is any suspicion of malpractice or collusion and an investigation is deemed necessary this will occur in line with Training Qualifications UK’s Malpractice and Maladministration Policy.

If this protocol and guidance is not adhered to, and malpractice is believed to have occurred, this will result in the Learner/Apprentice’s exam receiving a ‘void’ grade. If the Learner/Apprentice believes the malpractice verdict to be false or the situation differs to that which has been presented during invigilation, Training Qualifications UK’s Appeals process should be followed.

Leaving the exam room

Toilet breaks and pre-agreed medical breaks are permitted where necessary but will not stop the allotted exam time. Apprentices/Learners must be escorted, by a member of staff other than the Invigilator if there is more than one Apprentice/Learner, to ensure safe exam practice.
The Apprentice’s/Learner’s exam paper must stay in the exam room during any departure from the exam venue where there are multiple candidates. If the exam has only one candidate then the paper should be taken along.

Voided Exams

Please be aware that in the circumstance of a ‘void’ test outcome, this will not be classed as an attempt, unlike that of a ‘fail’ grade, which is classed as an attempt.
Some possible instances for a void outcome would be where the following detail differ from those provided when the assessment preferences are submitted:

  • Exam date
  • Apprentice details
  • Invigilator details

This list is not exhaustive and is subject to review by the Training Qualifications Assessment Team.

At the End of the Exam

Finishing the Exam

All required printed materials must be sealed in an A4 envelope after completion of the exam. Before returning materials to Training Qualifications UK please ensure the following have been included:

  • Exam Attendance Register and Invigilation Report
  • Answer Sheets
  • Submission Checklists (Regulated Exams Only)
  • Exam Papers

These materials must also be uploaded onto the Verve Exams system. Once the exam is completed, please return to the original email used to access the exam materials, click Upload Completed Files and attach all downloaded documentation before returning the paper copies, via recorded delivery, to:

Assessment Team, Training Qualifications UK, Dunham House, 2nd Floor, Cross St, Sale, M33 7HH, UK

For Online exams, the Invigilator is responsible for returning a completed EPA Exam Attendance Register and Invigilator Report once the exam is submitted. This must be returned to TQUK via email to Assessment@tquk.org.

If there are any remaining exam papers or exam documents they must be destroyed in a secure manner or returned to Training Qualifications UK. None of the exam materials must be photographed, copied, or distributed under any circumstance unless directly requested by Training Qualifications UK. If any of the below occur during the exam please clearly report on the Attendance Register and Invigilation Report:

  • An unusual event/incident occurred, before, during or after the exam had taken place.
  • The exam wasn’t carried out in accordance with Training Qualifications UK exam arrangements.
  • Apprentices/Learners attended the exam late.
  • Apprentices/Learners failed to attend the exam.
  • Apprentice/Learner ID was not provided and validated.

Please note: all required exam documentation must be returned to Training Qualifications UK immediately after the exam completion, and no later than one working day later.

Digital Signing of Documentation

We have adapted all of our assessment and exam documents to be fully accessible in digital format. We understand that during this time it may not always be easy to print, complete and return physical paperwork. We have therefore allowed for the completion and signing of all materials to be undertaken using the readily available Adobe Reader software programme.

This can be downloaded directly from the Internet and must be installed on computers in order for this process to be allowed to take place. All PDF’s should be opened using this software only, completed on-screen, saved and returned to assessment@tquk.org at the conclusion of the assessment.

Scanning of Exam Papers

Where digital format assessment is unable to take place we have taken the measure to allow for materials to be scanned, saved and returned to assessment@tquk.org. These documents should be saved in PDF format and emailed back to TQUK following the conclusion of the assessment.

Children, Young People & Families Manager standard – Training Provider Invigilation

For Training Providers who choose to invigilate a Children, Young People & Families Manager SJT remotely, it is important to know that there is no access to an online exam platform. 

Once the exam has been completed, the Invigilator must instruct the Apprentice to sign, date and save the document (in a suitable place that they can easily access). The Apprentice will need to send this Word document to the Invigilator via email and the Invigilator must oversee the file being fully closed on their computer ensuring that do not have further access to it. The Invigilator must then return the exam paper and the Invigilation Report back to Training Qualifications UK. 

Please note: all required exam documentation must be returned to Training Qualifications UK immediately after the exam completion, and no later than one working day later.

Question Applicability during the COVID-19 pandemic

During this period of social distancing and societal lockdown there have been a number of measures that have been implemented by the Government to ensure that we all stay safe and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. All Learners/Apprentices should answer any questions as they would if we were in a normal situation. Answers should not be chosen based on temporary changes to rules or guidelines introduced as a result of COVID-19. Training Qualifications UK will frequently monitor its approach and make adjustments if and where necessary as we move forward, but for now please answer questions as if it’s ‘business as usual’.

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