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Terms of Reference (DVC Approved) - Board of Examiners

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Section 1 - Overview

Establishment of Board of Examiners

(1) School Board of Examiners are established by the relevant Faculty Education Committee, under the authority and approval of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, and with delegated authority to discharge the functions outlined in this Terms of Reference.

(2) These Terms of Reference prescribe the following:

  1. Membership of Board of Examiners, and members method and term of appointment;
  2. Functions of Board of Examiners; and
  3. Other matters associated with Boards and their operation.

(3) The Terms of Reference for School Board of Examiners provides an overarching framework for the operation of Boards in accordance with the University’s Assessment Policy and clarifies the position of Board of Examiners within the context of the University’s academic governance structure.


(4) In accordance with the University's Assessment Policy a School Board of Examiners is responsible for:

  1. Reviewing and approving final marks for all units in each teaching period;
  2. Authorising the Chair to approve late changes to results after the Board of Examiners’ meeting and prior to the release of final results; and
  3. Identifying units in which the assessment outcomes are unsatisfactory and referring these to the Head of School.
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Section 2 - Committee membership

(5) The core members of the Committee are as follows:

  1. Head of the relevant School (or nominee), as Committee Chair;
  2. Chair of the relevant School Education Committee or equivalent Committee (if not already nominated as Committee Chair by the Head of School;
  3. School Course Manager (or nominee);
  4. Course/Discipline Convenors (or their nominees); and 
  5. First Year Advisor (or nominee)

Co-opted members

(6) At the discretion of the Chair, Unit Coordinator or any other member of staff involved in the assessment of learning outcomes for the units of study to be considered, may be co-opted to provide information and advice as required.

(7) The Board may co-opt an Academic Manager, or any other member of staff from time to time for a specified period and purpose, or where specialist expertise is required.

Gender representative objectives

(8) Gender representation shall accord with the University's Gender Representation on Decision Making and Advisory Committees Policy.

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Section 3 - Functions of the Board

(9) To satisfy its objectives, the School Board of Examiners will uphold its responsibilities in accordance with the University's Assessment Policy by fulfilling the following functions:

  1. reviewing and ratifying final marks, interim/final grades, and grade distributions for all unit results associated with a School's unit offerings for the relevant teaching period. This includes:
    1. confirming that UNE marking standards and rubrics have been consistently applied to assessment items, and where that might not have been the case and anomalies may have occurred (for example, in large units with multiple markers) that moderation of marks has been conducted across unit results as appropriate;
    2. ensuring that anomalies in unit pass, fail and unsatisfactory rates are brought to the attention of the Head of School and addressed, and the anomalies and outcomes recorded in the minutes of the Board;
    3. reviewing mark or grade modifications that may have occurred in preparing unit results, ensuring any modifications are evidence based and pedagogically appropriate – and these in the minutes of the Board;
    4. ensuring all late changes to results or applications for Supplementary/Special Assessment and/or Special Consideration have been actioned and grades have been amended and applied accordingly;
    5. identifying units in which the assessment outcomes are unsatisfactory, referring these onto the Head of School for further discussion with the relevant Unit Coordinator and Course Coordinator and recording the outcomes of these discussions; and
    6. identifying units in which the assessment outcomes are exceptional, for commendation by the Head of School.
  2. confirming a declaration from Unit Coordinators that where students have requested adjustments/modifications to assessment items in accordance with the Study Access Plan (developed in conjunction with staff from the Student Accessibility and Wellbeing Office) that the student received the appropriate support confirmed in the SAP.
  3. considering distribution of marks for students within a particular unit who are studying via arrangements with a third-party education provider;
  4. monitoring the quality of assessments, assessment tools and strategies across the teaching period, which may include:
    1. discussing trends in student behaviour around particular assessment items and types (noting for example, any correlation between these and any perceived lack of student engagement, or any increased instances of student academic misconduct/plagiarism in particular areas);
    2. considering the nature, appropriateness and conduct of identified forms of assessment being used within the School;
    3. discussing and where appropriate, recommending to the Faculty Education Committee further investigation of proposals for new assessment tools and strategies to support student learning and engagement;
    4. making any recommendations relating to the academic quality of assessments and/or assessment tools to the relevant school teaching and learning or education committee; and
    5.  identifying any systemic quality issues to the relevant school teaching and learning or education committee.
  5. providing the outcomes of Board of Examiners meetings to the Faculty Education Committee for noting.

(10) The Chair of Board of Examiners is authorised by the meeting, to:

  1. validate any late changes to results of special assessment applications; and
  2. endorse any amendments to grades and marks on behalf of the Board to the Head of School for approval.

(11) After approval of results for each teaching period, a change to an approved result can only be made under the authority of the relevant Head of School.

(12) The School Board of Examiners has discretion to withhold results for a unit of study for further discussion with the Head of School, if:

  1. the assessment of student learning outcomes has not been undertaken in accordance with the University's policies and procedures; or
  2. the results are distributed in a way that suggests that issues exist affecting the unit’s assessment overall.
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Section 4 - Authorities

(13) This Board is established under the authority of the DVC to perform the approval, advice and monitoring functions set out in these Terms of Reference and all matters ancillary to those functions.

(14) The Board is authorised to establish ad hoc working parties to provide advice or support its actions, or to seek data and information from the University as required.

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Section 5 -  Conduct of board business


(15) The Chair of the Board of Examiners will ensure that records of results have been approved by the relevant Head of School, and that these along with a copy of the confirmed minutes of the Committee meeting are recorded in TRIM, and provided to the School Education Committee, Faculty Education Committee and the Executive Dean for noting.

(16) A copy of the minutes of each Board of Examiners will also be provided to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, for information when requested.


(17) The Board will meet on dates and at times decided by each Chair, and in accordance with requirements for the release of academic results by the University. Special meetings may be called by the Chair as the need arises (e.g. in the case of international students, whose circumstances may affect the release of their marks in a timely manner).

(18) Board members are expected to use technology to attend to urgent matters. [Members are expected to be available on short notice, however, should be given as much notice as is practicable in the circumstances of matters arising.]

Business papers

(19) Unless the Chair directs otherwise, business papers and explanatory documents accompanying them, will be distributed to Board members and any official attendees as required and with as much notice as is practicable in the circumstances. Any additional documents may be tabled at short notice with prior approval by the Chair.


(20) Draft minutes of the Board of Examiners meeting will normally be circulated to members for comment promptly after the meeting. With any necessary changes, the minutes will then be circulated for approval by the Board.

(21) For clarification, the draft minutes are not required to be circulated prior to the confirmation of results.

Disclosure of information

(22) Disclosure of business papers, minutes and other information received by the Board should be made via the Chair or the Secretary.

Use of technology

(23) The Board will use technology including telephone, video-conferencing, telepresence, email and internet as arranged by the Chair and/or Secretary, to distribute meeting papers and otherwise to its business.

Self-review and policy application

(24) Once every twelve-month period, the Board of Examiners shall devote at least one part of one meeting to the review of:

  1. this Terms of Reference document, to ensure it remains fit-for purpose;
  2. the processes adopted to implement the functions of the Board; and
  3. the Board’s application of the University’s policies, practices and procedures over the preceding twelve months, with a view to providing feedback or recommendations for amendment to the relevant policy administrator.

(25) The outcome of the Board’s self-review is to be provided to the relevant Faculty Education Committee.

Secretary to Committee

(26) The Head of School will provide a Secretary and administrative support to the Board of Examiners.

(27) The Secretary is responsible for ensuring all Board agendas, minutes and reports are recorded in the University's corporate record keeping system (TRIM) in accordance with the University's Records Management Rule.