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Why isn’t the June 2020 examination session going ahead?

As many countries have introduced strong guidance or regulation against social gathering, it is now highly unlikely that we would be able to hold examinations in the usual way this summer. Even if the Institute considered it possible to do this, venues will not be available and it is likely that people, such as invigilators and assessors, who help run our exams would not be able to work in the usual way.

Why wasn’t the decision announced before the exam deadline passed?

You are part of the UK, Republic of Ireland and Associated Territories division of the Chartered Governance Institute, but we are also part of a wider Institute with other international Divisions. While it became clear in the week commencing 16 March that there would likely be an announcement of stronger guidance in the UK about social distancing, we had to co-ordinate our decision with other parts of the Institute. This has unfortunately set the timing of the announcement back a few days and we are sorry if this has caused further uncertainty.

Why can’t some students sit exams, in places where it’s still possible?

Mainly, because it is impossible to tell just now which parts of the world will and will not be able to sit examinations in June. It is now going to be very difficult to book venues and hold the bookings in any territory. We also have to consider what proportion of students would ultimately be able to take an examination in June, and whether it is feasible or fair to all to allow a relatively small number to sit.

What will happen to my fee for the June exams?

If we have processed your examination entry, this will be transferred to the November examination session and in due course your examination entries for June will be changed to show as November 2020 entries. If you have submitted an examination entry for June but have not heard from us yet, we will be processing this in the next few days and will transfer the entry to November in due course.

Can I claim for refund of my June examination fees?

You can, and please email us directly if you want to be refunded. Please bear in mind that we are dealing with a high number of enquiries and it may take longer than usual to process your request. Please consider before you make this request, that it is probably better for you to keep an examination entry in place. Many tuition partners will continue with their classes, and it might be good for you to maintain the focus of a future exam entry. It will also help immensely in our planning for November to know how many entries we already have.

I cannot sit in November, or I cannot sit at the same venue: will I be charged for making changes to my examination entry?

No, please just contact us about this in due course, and before any deadline we put in place for entry to the next exam session, and we will make changes without charge for any students who had a June entry.

It will help us if you delay making any such request for a few weeks, as we will still need to transfer you to a November entry before making further changes. We will let you know when the entries have been transferred to November.

Have you thought about making alternative arrangements for assessment?

We will be looking at all possibilities for alternative arrangements from this point on. For the June session though, there is simply not enough time to put any alternative arrangements in place.

Options we will consider, in case the problems extend beyond the next session, include delivering the assessment in alternative ways and offering extra assessment opportunities. One option which teaching organisations such as schools and universities have, is awarding an estimated grade on the basis of earlier summative assessments and other engagement on the course. As we are not a teaching organisation, we do not have the records of student achievement which allow us to consider this option.

Can the Institute organise an extra exam session?

This is possible but is not something we can say with any certainty at this point in time. The two main problems in organising an extra session are: (1) We cannot predict exactly when it will be possible to host examinations; and (2) If it does become possible to host examinations, there would likely be increased demand for venues and we would not necessarily be able to secure exam centres. However, setting exams outside the usual June/November cycle will be one of the options we consider if it becomes clearer when we are able to resume.

What will happen with the November exams?

At the current time we assume that we are able to hold examinations in the usual way in November, and will start considering how we can plan for increased demand at that session. We would also relax rules, where possible, allowing you to sit for more modules than usual and for Qualifying Programme students to sit a mix of Part One and Part Two exams. For students on the Foundation Programme and IFA programmes, it would be more difficult to make these types of arrangements, but we will try to be as flexible as we can.

What will happen if the current problems extend to November?

We have more time to plan for November and we will be able to consider a range of options from this point on. Be assured that we will be working on contingency planning in case we cannot hold exams in the usual way (see above – ‘alternative arrangements for assessment’).

Will this affect the date on which I can complete the Qualifying Programme?

The fact that we cannot set examinations in June will undoubtedly cause delay for some of you, and particularly if you were hoping to complete the programme in June, we do understand that this will be very disappointing. We hope that in time the alternative measures we may be able to take will help many of you to regain the ground which has been lost.

Does this decision affect the Institute’s university partner courses?

The university partners assess students directly, rather than preparing them for our examinations. Universities are of course affected too, but we have worked with them to provide guidance and check that their students are fully informed of changes taking place.

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