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Assessment Procedure - Assurance of Results

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Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) This Procedure details the process by which grade results are validated.

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Section 2 - Scope

(2) This Procedure applies to coursework subjects, in award and non-award credentialed programs, regardless of mode or location.

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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(3) Refer to the Assessment Policy.

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Section 4 - Procedures

(4) Each School has at least one Committee of Examiners as required by the Academic Progress Statute 2010.

Part A - Terms of Reference of the Committee of Examiners

(5) The role of each Committee of Examiners is to:

  1. ensure that the assessments have been set and conducted as defined and approved in the official subject database for each subject, and in accordance with University policies and procedures
  2. consider the consistency of the application of standards in relation to grading, through ensuring the application of the Assessment Procedure – Validation and Moderation, and
  3. ensure that results are accurate and complete before sending the results for certification and ratification.

Part B - Membership of the Committee of Examiners

(6) Membership of each Committee of Examiners is at the discretion of the School Examiner. It might include relevant Heads of Departments, Course and Subject Coordinators, Discipline Leaders and the School Director of Teaching and Learning.

Part C - Role of the Chief Examiner

(7) The Chief Examiner in each College convenes a Committee of Examiners in each School of the College as frequently as necessary to ensure timely certification and ratification of results. At a minimum this is twice each year.

(8) The Chief Examiner appoints a School Examiner to chair each Committee of Examiners.

(9) The Chief Examiner, after consultation with the School Examiner, may convene more than one Committee of Examiners in a School, so that each Department or discipline within the School might convene a Committee of Examiners.

(10) The Chief Examiner may convene a Committee of Examiners and appoint a chair of the Committee who is not School-based, in order to expedite consideration of results.

Part D - The Work of the Committee of Examiners

(11) To fulfil its Terms of Reference, the Committee of Examiners:

  1. considers subject validation and moderation reports from prior teaching periods
  2. considers the overall grades (as defined in the Assessment Schedule – Grades and Administrative Codes) for each subject and seeks assurance of standards, requesting further explanation in particular instances where:
    1. the percentage of N, F, KN and NS grades collectively is 20% or more or
    2. the percentage of W grades is 5% or more
  3. ensures that all compliant applications for Special Consideration have been actioned and SPA/SPE grades applied where applicable
  4. ensures that there are no missing results (i.e. results marked **)
  5. ensures that hurdle grades (SAHA/SAHE) have been applied where applicable
  6. considers the suitability of any mark or grade adjustments made in preparing the results and,
  7. confirms with staff responsible that Learning Access Plans have been followed.

(12) The Committee of Examiners refers incomplete subject results to the School Examiner for out-of-session review and approval.

(13) The Committee of Examiners has the discretion to withhold the results of a subject for further moderation or remarking, and subsequent review by the School Examiner for ratification out-of-session, if the results of a subject are:

  1. not in compliance with University policies and procedures, or
  2. inconsistent with the assessments as defined for the subject in official course information, or
  3. distributed in a way that appears inexplicably biased.

(14) Where the Committee of Examiners considers the results complete and fairly assessed it confirms the results as assured.

(15) Where the Committee of Examiners identifies results which it considers complete and fairly assessed, yet in which the distribution suggests the level of attainment of the subject intended learning outcomes would benefit from review, it:

  1. assures the results, and
  2. refers the subject to the committee in the School overseeing teaching and learning matters.

Part E - Record Keeping and Reporting

(16) The Committee of Examiners records its assurance of the carriage of subject validation and moderation and the results of each subject in a formal minute.

(17) The Committee of Examiners records its decision to withhold any results of subjects for further moderation or remarking and any recommendations to review subjects in the formal minutes of the meeting.

(18) The School Examiner confirms the minutes of each Committee of Examiners meeting and forwards them to the Chief Examiner and to Student Administration within one business day of the conclusion of each meeting of the Committee.

(19) The School Examiner refers out-of-session approvals to the Chief Examiner and to Student Administration immediately upon assurance.

Part F - Role of the School Examiner

(20) The primary role of the School Examiner is to chair the Committee of Examiners, and thereby ensure that the Committee undertakes the work specified in Part D to meet the due date for the ratification of student results. This includes:

  1. the formal assurance of results at the scheduled meeting(s) of the Committee
  2. assurance of any late submissions of results or result revisions, and
  3. any subsequent out-of-session assurance of results the Committee of Examiners has withheld or recommended to the School Examiner for revision.

(21) As Chair, the School Examiner is responsible for ensuring that:

  1. Committee agendas include lists of subjects for which results are being presented for assurance
  2. Committee minutes are complete and accurate, and include a list of decisions in relation to each subject presented for assurance, and
  3. a copy of both the agenda and minutes of each meeting is delivered to the Chief Examiner and Student Administration within one business day of the conclusion of each meeting of the Committee.

(22) If it is necessary to make a decision out-of-session to meet the due date for the ratification of student results, the Chair:

  1. consults with the Director of Teaching and Learning (or another senior staff member in the School if the Director of Teaching and Learning is the Chair) and the relevant Subject Coordinator, to determine that the results are a complete and fair assessment of the attainment by individual students of the intended learning outcomes set for each subject 
  2. recommends any results that require further validation, moderation or remarking to the Chief Examiner, and
  3. minutes and reports the following to the School Examiner (if necessary), the Chief Examiner, and Student Administration within one business day of the out-of-session decision by the Chair:
    1. any decisions on assurance of withheld subject results
    2.  any late submissions of subject results, and
    3. any revisions to subject results.

Part G - Role of the Subject Coordinator

(23) For each subject, the nominated Subject Coordinator is responsible for the following tasks:

  1. submitting validation and moderation reports for subjects
  2. preparing files with marks and grades for each student enrolled in a subject
  3. submitting accurate results of all subjects taught during the standard teaching period to Student Administration for entry in the the Student Information System within 10 business days of the final assessment for that subject, or by the official deadline for results for that teaching period, whichever is the sooner
  4. submitting the results of all subjects taught outside the standard teaching periods to Student Administration for entry into the Student Information System within 10 business days after the final assessment submission date for the subject
  5. ensuring exceptions to the above timeline have the required pre-approval of the School Examiner and are supported by a clear communication to affected students if there is a delay to the official publication of their results. Examples of exceptions include subjects scheduled late in the examination timetable or those subjects impacted by placements
  6. submitting the grade sheet for the subject to the School for archiving.

(24) The Subject Coordinator is responsible for:

  1. attending the Committee of Examiners meetings as required, and
  2. presenting the evidence necessary for the Committee of Examiners to complete Part D (10) of this procedure.

Part H - Role of Student Services and Administration

(25) Student Services and Administration is responsible for:

  1. providing results files to be completed and submitted by Subject Coordinators
  2. providing result reports and any other information necessary to support the Committee of Examiners to carry out its functions in a timely manner, and
  3. managing the release of results after they have been assured by the Committee of Examiners or School Examiner.

Part I - Official Schedule

(26) Student Services and Administration provides a schedule for each Examination Period listing tasks and key dates and when they must be completed to ensure that results are ratified and formally published to students on or before the last date for release of results.

Part J - Indicative Timeline for Assurance of Results

(27)  

Process Timeline
Student Services and Administration provide a schedule for each examination period, listing tasks and key dates By the end of November for the following year and further timely reminders throughout the cycle
Subject Coordinators send results files to designated officer for upload to the Student Information System Within 10 business days from the final assessment due date for that subject or the official deadline for results for that teaching period, whichever is sooner
Results reports and Committee of Examiners meeting agenda prepared and distributed to the Committee of Examiners members Within one business day of the receipt of results from the Subject Coordinator
Committee of Examiners meeting completes assurance of results At least two business days before certification of Results in the Student Information System
Committee of Examiners meeting minutes delivered to Chief Examiner and Student Administration At least one business day before certification of results in the Student Information System
Student Information System certification of results Within three working days of a request from a School Examiner
Student Information System ratification of results At least two business days from the Official Publication of Results date

Part K - Annual Reporting

(28) The Chief Examiner reports the Committee of Examiners activities annually, using an approved template, to Education Committee, including a summary of changes to student results and any additional actions determined by the Committee of Examiners. 

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Section 5 - Definitions

(29) For the purpose of this Procedure:

  1. Assurance of Results: a process by which a student’s grades for a subject are accepted by the Committee of Examiners as representing a complete and fair assessment of the attainment by the student of the intended learning outcomes set for the subject.
  2. Certification of results: a process by which a student’s grades for a progression period are submitted to the Student Information System but are not yet published to students.
  3. Chief Examiner: the Pro Vice-Chancellor of each College. The Pro Vice-Chancellor may delegate this role to an Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor and must record the delegation in writing.
  4. Examination Periods: the La Trobe University examination periods set out in the University Calendar.
  5. Examiner: may include Course and Subject Coordinators and the School Director of Teaching and Learning.
  6. Grades Report: a report that is produced for each subject that lists submitted grades and marks for subjects to be ratified by the Committee of Examiners.
  7. Learning Access Plan: formalised record of a change to assessment process to enable a student with a disability or long-term medical condition to demonstrate their learning to the best of their ability.
  8. Ratification of results: the final process by which a student’s grades are released from the Student Information System and are published officially to students by way of inclusion of each result on their academic transcript.
  9. School Examiner: typically, Head of School. An alternate may be appointed, from the senior academic staff members of the School with the approval of the Chief Examiner. 
  10. Subject Coordinator: an academic member of staff with the responsibility to manage a subject on behalf of the School.