Enquiries about Results and Appeals

If a centre believes their results are incorrect an appeal/enquiry can be made to the relevant Awarding Organisation. The following requirements have been agreed with these Awarding Organisations:

  • Each awarding organisation must publish its arrangements for the submission of enquiries about results and for appeals against the awarding organisation’s decisions. These arrangements must indicate that all summer enquiries must be received by 20 September and advise of a comparable schedule for any additional series that has been agreed with the regulators.
  • Each awarding organisation must publish agreed arrangements for dealing with enquiries about results and for appeals against their decisions.
  • The services available for enquiries about results must include a clerical check and post-results reviews of marking and moderation of internally assessed components. For level 3 qualifications where a candidate’s place in higher education is dependent upon the outcome, a post-results review of marking service must be available on a priority basis for individual candidates.
  • The enquiry about results procedure, which is carried out on internally assessed work, should be undertaken on the sample used at initial moderation.
  • Each awarding organisation must publish common administrative arrangements and deadlines. The awarding organisation must provide notification of the outcome of any enquiry concerning a subject grade within the following deadlines:
    1. a priority post-results review of marking, within 18 calendar days of receipt
    2. a clerical check, within 20 calendar days of receipt
    3. a post-results review of marking, within 30 calendar days of receipt
    4. a post-results review of moderation, within 40 calendar days of receipt. All reports relating to paid enquiries must also normally be provided within 40 calendar days.
  • Where an enquiry has been made, the original script cannot be returned until the enquiry is completed.
  • The awarding organisation must, wherever possible, ensure that a post-results review of marking or moderation is undertaken by someone other than the original examiner/moderator.
  • Each awarding organisation will make a charge for the result enquiry services. The awarding organisations will adopt common principles relating to the refund of fees in instances where candidates’ results are raised or lowered following an enquiry or subsequent appeal. In the case of a group enquiry, the awarding organisation will refund either the total fee or a proportion depending on the outcomes of the enquiry. Information about these principles and their application will be provided to all centres.
  • In cases where the outcome of an enquiry brings into question the accuracy of results for other candidates in the same examination, the awarding organisation must take whatever steps it considers appropriate to protect the interests of all candidates who may have been similarly affected.
  • In cases where a clerical check or post-results review of marking reveals inaccurate marking, subject grades or unit marks may be confirmed, raised or lowered. The awarding organisation must ensure that centres confirm to them that candidates whose work is to be clerically checked or the subject of a post-results review of marking have consented to their inclusion in the process. In the case of private candidates, the awarding organisation must ensure that the candidate is advised that their mark may be confirmed, raised or lowered and establish that the candidate consents to this. The awarding organisation must inform centres that before giving their consent, candidates should be advised that their grades may be confirmed, raised or lowered as a result of the initial enquiry or any subsequent appeal. Where the outcome of a post-results review of marking brings into question the accuracy of results for other candidates in the same examination, subject grades already awarded to candidates who were not part of the initial enquiry can only be confirmed or raised.
  • In cases where a post-results review of moderation reveals inaccurate moderation, subject grades already awarded can only be confirmed or raised. Marks for modules, units or components may be confirmed, raised or lowered, and these marks will be carried forward to any subsequent subject grade. It is not necessary to obtain candidates’ permission before a centre requests re-moderation.
  • The awarding organisation must not consider enquiries about results directly from internal candidates or their carers. Enquiries about results must be accepted directly from private candidates.
  • The awarding organisation must require centres offering its examinations to ensure that they have in place:
    1. a procedure for candidates or their carers to request access to the enquiry and appeals system
    2. a procedure for lodging enquiries about results in cases where the centre supports an enquiry lodged by a candidate or carer
    3. a formal, codified procedure for handling disputes when a candidate or carer disagrees with a decision by the centre not to support an enquiry.
  • Centres must be required to ensure that the procedures are published and made widely available and accessible to all candidates and their carers.
  • In deciding whether to support an enquiry or appeal, centres should take account of all relevant factors and afford candidates or their carers a reasonable opportunity to express their views.
  • Following receipt of the outcome of an enquiry, appellants must be allowed up to two calendar weeks in which to lodge an appeal. Appeals should focus on whether an awarding organisation:
    1. used procedures that were consistent with this code of practice
    2. applied its procedures properly and fairly in arriving at judgements.
  • Appeals must be heard by awarding organisation appeals panels including at least one independent member (who is not, and has not been, a member of the awarding organisation’s board or committees, or an employee or examiner at that awarding organisation, at any time during the previous five years). Each awarding organisation should advertise for and appoint independent members of appeals panels who match a specification agreed by the regulators. Each awarding organisation should use arrangements, endorsed by the regulators, to appoint (for terms up to four years) and train independent panellists to hear appeals. All appointments of independent panellists should be notified to the regulators.
  • Where appeals are lodged, awarding organisations must carry out a preliminary appeals process and then – unless the outcome leads the appellant to withdraw the application – conduct a formal appeals hearing and send a decision letter within 5 working days of the lodging of the original request, and a detailed report within 28 days.
  • When the relevant awarding organisation’s enquiries and appeals procedures have been exhausted, an appeal may be made to the Examination Procedures Review Service (EPRS), which has been set up to ensure that schools and colleges, and through them candidates and parents, are satisfied that the grades awarded are as fair and accurate as they can be.

Where a centre wishes to make an appeal to the EPRS they should contact:

Roger McCune
Head of Regulation