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Examination Paper Handling Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) This Procedure supports the Assessment Policy and Assessment Procedures. It defines the processes used to protect the security and integrity of the examination process by specifying:

  1. a standard for transporting Exam Papers, examination scripts and related documents between campuses, within a campus and off campus; and
  2. the process to be undertaken in the event that Exam Papers are lost, stolen or inadvertently destroyed.

(2) This policy applies to all University staff and the staff involved with an Examination at an External Exam Centre.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(3) For the purpose of this Procedure:

  1. Examination means a formally invigilated examination conducted in accordance with Sections 6 and 7 of Rule 3 - Coursework Awards - Student Assessment and Examinations .
  2. Exam Paper means any document used for the administration of an Examination and which contains Examination questions or student answers.
  3. Exam Supervisor means a person responsible for supervising an Examination in accordance with Section 7 of the Rules Relating to Awards - Rule 3 - Coursework Awards - Student Assessment and Examinations.
  4. External Exam Centre means any exam location that is not on a University campus.
  5. Marker means a University lecturer, tutor or other person employed, or approved by, the University to mark an Examination.
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Section 3 - Procedures

Collection of Exam Papers

(4) Where Examinations are conducted at the University's Lismore, Coffs Harbour or Gold Coast campuses, the Exam Papers must be collected in person by the Exam Supervisor from Student Administration Services at the relevant campus.

(5) Where Examinations are conducted at an External Exam Centre, Exam Papers must be sent by Student Administration Services to the Exam Supervisor. The package must be:

a. clearly addressed to the Exam Supervisor at the External Exam Centre and marked "Private and Confidential"; and

b. sent in accordance with clauses (16) to (18) of this Policy.

(6) If an Exam Paper needs to be delivered to an External Exam Centre and it is not possible to send the Exam Paper by mail in accordance with clause (5) in sufficient time, the Exam Paper can be emailed by Student Administration Services to the Exam Supervisor. After providing a copy to the student sitting the Examination, the Exam Supervisor must delete the email and any other downloaded copies of the Exam Paper.

(7) Student Administration Services will generate an Exam Delivery Log containing the number and location summary of all Exam Papers that are:

  1. collected from Student Administration Services at Lismore, Coffs Harbour or Gold Coast campus; or
  2. sent by email in accordance with clause (6); or
  3. dispatched by mail.

(8) Where Exam Papers are dispatched by mail, the Exam Delivery Log must identify where each package is sent and the date of dispatch.

Exam Paper Bar Codes

(9) On the day of the Examination, the Exam Supervisor will:

  1. apply a unique electronic bar code to each Exam Paper provided to a student setting out:
    1. the student's name and student number;
    2. the unit code; and
    3. the date and time of the Examination;
  2. complete the provided candidate attendance list for the students who attend the Examination (the Candidate Attendance List); and
  3. complete the provided absentee sheet for the students who do not attend the Examination (the Exam Absentee List).

(10) Where an Exam Paper has been emailed in accordance with clause (7), instead of applying a bar code, the Exam Supervisor will write on the Exam Paper:

  1. the student's name and student number; and
  2. the Exam Centre name and number.

Completed Exam Papers

(11) The Exam Supervisors must return all Exam Papers to Student Administration Services, whether or not they have been completed.

(12) Student Administration Services will scan and log all returned Exam Papers and check the number returned against the Exam Delivery Log to ensure that all are accounted for.

(13) Student Administration Services will retain all unused Exam Papers for a period of six weeks.

(14) Student Administration Services will notify the Unit Assessor when the completed Exam Papers are ready for collection. The Unit Assessor is responsible for ensuring that the completed Exam Papers are collected from Student Administration Services within two working days of receiving the notification.

(15) Where the Unit Assessor lives more than 120 kilometres from a University campus and is unable to collect the completed Exam Papers in person from Student Administration Services, the Unit Assessor will email Student Administration Services to notify them of alternative arrangements as follows:

  1. Collection by designated Markers. The Unit Assessor must specify the number of completed Exam Papers to be collected by each Marker.
  2. In special circumstances, delivery of the completed Exam Paper by Student Administration Services to the Unit Assessor or Marker as designated by the Unit Assessor in accordance with clauses (18) and (19).

(16) When collecting completed Exam Papers from Student Administration Services, the Unit Assessor or Marker must present staff identification and sign for the number of Exam Papers collected.

(17) Packages containing completed Exam Papers may be transported in person by an Exam Supervisor, Unit Assessor or Marker:

  1. within a University campus; or
  2. between University campuses; or
  3. between a University campus and a staff member's residence,
but only for marking purposes and only where travel does not involves the loss of continuous and personal supervision of the package (e.g. where luggage is checked in or left in an unattended vehicle).

Delivery of Exam Papers

(18) Packages containing Exam Papers must be:

  1. labelled "Private and Confidential". They must not be labelled as containing 'examination material';
  2. sent using a mail service that allows for tracking and monitoring; and
  3. where possible, sent to a street address rather than a Post Office Box.

(19) Where Exam Papers are sent by Student Administration Services, the package must be clearly addressed to the relevant Exam Supervisor, Unit Assessor or Marker. Student Administration Services must advise the recipient of the impending delivery and the recipient must advise Student Administration Services of the successful delivery. Where delivery is not confirmed as expected, Student Administration Services must take steps to locate the package including:

  1. contacting the recipient to determine whether or not the package has been delivered; and
  2. track the package with the mail service used.
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Section 4 - Missing Exam Papers

(20) Unit Assessors must reconcile the attendance list and the Exam Absentee List against the Exam Papers and the relevant grade sheets and determine if any Exam Papers are missing.

(21) Unit Assessors must contact Student Administration Services immediately if they believe Exam Papers are missing.

(22) If any Exam Papers are believed to be missing, Student Administration Services will reconcile the Candidate Attendance Lists and Exam Absentee Lists to identify which Exam Papers are unaccounted for.

Communication protocol

(23) When Exam Papers are lost, destroyed or suspected stolen, the following staff must be notified:

  1. Unit Assessor;
  2. Course Coordinator;
  3. Head of School;
  4. Manager, Examinations, Progression and Timetables;
  5. Vice President (Operations);
  6. Director, Student Administration Services;
  7. Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic); and
  8. in the case of Exam Papers that are stolen or suspected of being stolen on a University campus, Security.

Course of Action

(24) The relevant Unit Assessor, after consultation as necessary with the staff referred to in clause (23) will either:

  1. where the Unit Assessor determines that final grades in the unit can be determined without the results from the missing Exam Paper, recommend final grades for the unit in accordance with Section 13 of the Rules relating to Awards - Rule 3 - Coursework Awards - Student Assessment and Examinations without including the results from the Examination; or
  2. recommend to the Course Coordinator that all students be provided with an opportunity to:
    1. re-sit the Examination; or
    2. submit an alternative item of assessment.

(25) The Unit Assessor must consider the following matters in making the recommendation under clause (24):

  1. How many students are affected?
  2. Is an entire cohort or part of a cohort of students affected?
  3. What percentage of the overall assessment does the exam component of the unit represent?
  4. What other items of assessment have already been completed?
  5. Does the examination cover aspects of the unit that have not been previously covered in other summative assessment?
  6. Does the Unit Assessor feel that there has been sufficient rigour in the assessment process to determine a final grade without an examination?

(26) The following principles shall apply to the Unit Assessor's decision under clause (24):

  1. The option decided upon should be applied equally to all students in a cohort (even if only a part of the cohort is affected by the missing Exam Papers).
  2. Students should not be unreasonably disrupted or disadvantaged.
  3. The unit will still be assessed with appropriate rigour.

(27) The affected students should be notified in writing of the decision by the Unit Assessor as soon as practicable.


(28) Student Administration Services are responsible for:

  1. securely distributing all Exam Papers to all exam centre locations prior to the commencement of the relevant Examinations; and
  2. receipting and logging all completed Exam Papers from all exam centre locations.

(29) Exam Supervisors, Unit Assessors and Markers are responsible for:

  1. the management of Exam Papers in accordance with this Procedure, once the Exam Papers have been delivered to, and received by, them;
  2. ensuring the security of Exam Papers transported to and from their respective place of residence for marking; and
  3. ensuring that the Exam Papers are not released to students generally as sample questions or for any other means in the same or subsequent Sessions.