NCTJ exam procedures strengthened

The NCTJ has tightened its examinations procedures following a complaint from a former Student Council representative who sat the same exam twice.

The complaint prompted a detailed internal investigation which identified four candidates who sat the same exam twice at different examination centres during the last academic year.

As is common practice with many awarding bodies, exam papers are re-used at different centres during the academic year. This is to accommodate students on more than 70 accredited courses at 40 universities, further education colleges and private providers.

An administrative error occurred as a result of trying to accommodate re-sit requests from students who were no longer on accredited courses. Immediate action was taken and students are no longer permitted to re-sit exams at other centres and must wait for the two national dates in May and November. The NCTJ’s principal examiner has allowed the results of the four exams to stand.

The NCTJ’s head of qualifications, Lyn Jones, said:

“The NCTJ strives to deliver fair and transparent qualifications and our examinations team is dedicated to achieving the highest standards of quality assurance and customer service. We are sorry that students will have fewer opportunities to re-sit exams after they complete their courses but we must ensure the integrity of the qualification and the rigour of the assessments.

“Today we have met with Ofqual, the exams regulator, to discuss the error and the action we have taken. We will be having further discussions, including meetings with our chief examiners and exam centres, to ensure we deliver the highest possible standards.”

In 2008-9 the NCTJ ran 17,889 examinations.