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Examination invigilators are an integral part of the exams team in every school and college. The role of the examination invigilator is to ensure that examinations are conducted according to the current JCQ instructions for conducting examinations.

The invigilator is the person in the examination room responsible for conducting a particular examination session in the presence of the candidates. Invigilators have a key role in upholding the integrity of the external examination/assessment process.

What’s involved

The JCQ details the invigilator’s role as:

  • ensuring all candidates have an equal opportunity to demonstrate their abilities
  • ensuring the security of the examination before, during and after the examination
  • preventing possible candidate malpractice
  • preventing possible administrative failures
  • liaising with the examination officer and senior invigilator

JCQ regulations also state that invigilators must:

  • be familiar with JCQ’s ‘Instructions for Conducting Examinations’, the ‘Warning to Candidates’, Information for Candidates’ and ‘Mobile Phone’ posters, and any specific instructions relating to the subjects being examined
  • give all their attention to conducting the examination properly
  • be able to observe each candidate in the examination room at all times
  • inform the head of centre if they are suspicious of the security of the examination papers

Invigilators must not carry out any other task (for example, reading a book or marking) in the examination room.

Skills and experience you will need

  • good communication skills
  • good IT and administrative skills
  • good organisational skills
  • able to work as a member of a team
  • an ability to adhere to rules and regulations
  • to think clearly and make correct decisions in the event of an emergency in the exam room

Entry requirements

The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) sets out in their ‘Instructions for Conducting Examinations’ booklet the requirement that ‘a training session must be held for any new invigilators’. Therefore, schools and colleges decide what qualifications (if any) and experience applicants need to have, so it is important to check locally. Some may employ people based on their experience and potential alone.

Training and development

The Exams Office offer a wide range of online invigilator training resources (including presentation templates) for members, and in-house invigilator training from £195 – each training session takes approximately half a day and includes training for both new and experienced invigilators.

The Exams Office also deliver free training for new invigilators across the country.

From September 2018, The Exams Office in partnership with UNISON will be delivering an e-module assessment for invigilators. This will ensure that not only have invigilators acquired training, but their understanding/competence can be measured with an online assessment.

Useful links

Have a look at the examinations invigilation role profile under the administrative & management job family to find out more about the role.