Anonymous mark handling
1. The Policy on Marking specifies that work should be marked anonymously wherever possible, in order to provide reassurance that marking is fair. Similarly, decisions on progression and awards must be made anonymously.
2. Once marks have been awarded, it is of paramount importance to assign the right mark to the right student. This is facilitated by associating the marks with student names as well as registration numbers for subsequent processing.
3. Examination scripts must always be marked anonymously using the special answer books provided.
Once the marks have been transferred to the front of the answer books by the marker, they can be transferred to mark lists (with a back-up copy of the mark list kept until the examination procedures are complete).
At this stage the marks from different assessments can be combined within and across units to prepare lists where candidates are identified by name as well as by student number and checks can be performed (for example that marks for different options taken by candidates with the same surname have been correctly assigned).
These lists should go forward to Examination Boards with names suppressed and candidates identified only by rank order.
4. For other forms of assessment, suitable variants of these procedures should be adopted. Even when candidates' names are necessarily revealed in assessments such as presentations, the marks must be compiled into anonymous lists.
5. Procedures at Final Examination Boards will depend on the procedures adopted before that stage.
(a) Some disciplines engage in a process with their External Examiners by which the marks for individual assessments are developed by moderation and discussion, after which the subsequent decisions on progression or awards are regarded as algorithmic and anonymity at the Final Examination Board is unproblematic.
(b) Other disciplines and their External Examiners regard the marks for individual assessments more as givens but then engage in a process to determine what those marks should mean for decisions on progression or awards.
This process may involve a preliminary meeting of the internal examiners to recommend candidates for viva voce examination by the External Examiners, who then report on their findings to the Final Examination Board.
Where this is the practice, both the meeting of the internal examiners and the Final Examination Board must make their decisions from an anonymous mark list.
6. The Policy and Procedures on Mitigating Circumstances distinguish between a stage to determine whether a student has established sufficient grounds for mitigation and a subsequent stage to determine what mitigation should be applied to the outcomes of the student's assessments.
The first stage is carried out by the Mitigating Circumstances Panel, to which the student's identity will normally need to be disclosed. For the second stage, the Chair of the Mitigating Circumstances Panel reports anonymously on the Panel's view of the severity of the impairment suffered by the student and makes a recommendation on mitigation.
7. Examination Boards that determine progression must make their decisions from an anonymous mark list.
8. If relevant additional information regarding a candidate comes to light at any stage, it should be made available to the examiners even if that may compromise anonymity.
9. External Examiners should be made aware of these procedures.