Exam centres

Local institute exam centres

For many members, examinations are seen as the key function of the CII. Tens of thousands of CII and PFS members sit exams each year in order to demonstrate their professional expertise and achieve a CII qualification.

Local institutes play a key role in enabling members to progress through their qualifications by allowing them to sit papers in a venue near to where they work or live.

Local institutes are expected to provide a suitable exam centre for two sessions each year, April and October.

The exact structure of each exam week is dependent on the exam scheduling arrangements which will be communicated to local institutes several months prior to the exams themselves by the CII Customer Service (CS) exams team.

CII members can also sit certain papers at online exam centres that are situated throughout the country. These allow candidates to sit papers at more regular intervals and reduce the administrative burden of running a fully staffed exam centre. Information on your nearest online exam centre, can be located on the CII website www.cii.co.uk/qualifications/online-exam-centres

Exam sessions other than those in April and October are normally fully co-ordinated via the CII Customer Service (CS) exams team and require no input from the local institutes.

Sourcing a venue

If your institute is running an written exam centre you should have an exam co-ordinator (often the Education Secretary) to manage the exam centre, and be the key contact for the CII Customer Service (CS) exams team based in London.

This individual will have a number of responsibilities including the sourcing of a suitable venue.

An overview of a Education Secretary's typical responsibilities can be viewed here.

The selection of a suitable venue should be done in conjunction with the CII examination team who will advise you some set criteria, this will include:

Venue must be cost effective
Good transport links
Quiet
Suitable in size
Compliant with the disability discrimination requirements set out in the Equality Act 2010.

Many institutes use venues that already cater for examinations being run by other local organisations or institutions such as professional bodies or universities, as these will invariably be well suited to your requirements in terms of equipment and space.

Documents & timescales

Although exam sessions are held only twice a year, preparation for each session starts several months in advance to ensure the smooth running of all exam centres across the UK.

Please see the table below explaining some of the key communications that will be sent to your local institute in preparation for each session, when you’ll receive them and what you need to do with them.

Please click on each 'plus sign' to open item up.

Corresponding documentation can be downloaded below.

Approximate time

6-9 months before exams

CII communication includes

Requesting confirmation of co-coordinator details and venues options (for both April and October) to include predicted costs and room dimensions

Action Required

Return by date specified on forms

4-5 months ahead of October exams

CII communication includes

Requesting confirmation of co-ordinator details and venue options, if not already received

Action Required

Return by date specified on forms

Once approval for venue has been given by CII CS

CII communication includes

N/A

Action Required

Confirm booking with venue and send confirmation to CII CS, including confirmation that the venue complies with the Equality Act 2010.

2 months before exams

CII communication includes

  • Provisional entry figure analysis
  • Non-availability of co-ordinator form
  • Courier parcel collection form
  • Question paper/ stationery delivery form

Action Required

Return by date specified on forms

1 month before exams

CII communication includes

Regulations for examination co-ordinators and invigilators booklets Provisional entry figure session analysis

Action Required

Send to invigilators

10-14 days before exams

CII communication includes

Forms A, C, entry listings and entry figure analysis and remaining examination session paperwork from CII

Action Required

Parcel contents to be compared against enclosed checklist and any anomalies raised with CII CS

10-14 days before exams

CII communication includes

Question papers and exam stationery sent directly from CII printers

Action Required

Parcel contents to be compared against enclosed checklist, then sign and return list to CII CS

From 10 days before exams

CII communication includes

FELA e-mail (if applicable) detailing amendments to candidate entries

Action Required

Update Forms A, C and entry listings (if applicable)

5-7 days before exams

CII communication includes

Additional question papers and exam stationery sent (if applicable)

Action Required

Sort into relevant days packs (if applicable)

During and after exams

CII communication includes

Request for a full report following feedback/complaint from candidates

Action Required

Invigilator in attendance for session in question to provide a written response (CII have an SLA of 5 days in which to respond to the candidate)

Within 6 weeks after the exams

CII communication includes

N/A

Action Required

Supply all claims for venue and invigilation fees

For any queries with regards to these documents please contact the CII Customer Service (CS) exams team.

Invigilators

The role of an invigilator is to ensure that the exam centre operates effectively, efficiently and in a manner that allows CII members to sit their papers in as stress-free an environment as possible.

There are some basic rules to be implemented:

For sessions with up to 50 candidates you will need 2 invigilators ensure that the exam centre operates effectively, efficiently allowing CII members to sit their papers in as stress-free an environment as possible.
For each additional 30 candidates (or part) an additional invigilator should be present.
Where both male and female candidates are expected, it is requested that male and female invigilators are present.
Where there is only one candidate, one invigilator will suffice provided that another responsible person is within call. If the only candidate is male then a male invigilator will need to be present; if the only candidate is female then a female invigilator will need to be present.

New invigilators should be fully briefed by experienced invigilators and MUST be sent a copy of the ‘Regulations for examination co-ordinators and invigilators' booklet prior the exams so that they may learn the key procedures that they will need to implement during a session. The booklet is revised for each exam session.

Recruiting invigilators

If you are looking for new invigilators there are a number of ways you can do this:

Appealing to your members with an eflyer, or you could write a news article for your website asking for members to volunteer.
Why not ask council members to volunteer for at least one session - this way your council members are leading by example.
Contact local companies and CII corporate Chartered companies.
Liaise with your PFS regional committee (FS exams now account for the majority of candidates sitting exams).
Contact local universities and colleges - many educational establishments will have a list of independent invigilators who they use for their own exams.
By maintaining a database of trusted invigilators you can keep an up-to-date list as the next exam session will come round a lot quicker than you think!

For more advice on invigilation and recruiting of invigilators contact the CII Customer Service (CS) exams team

FAQ

Reasonable adjustments

The CII is committed to creating and maintaining conditions which give access to its education assessment provision regardless of age, disability, marriage/civil partnership, pregnancy/maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation or transgender to allow candidates to maximise their potential to the best of their abilities.

The CII acts at all times to ensure that no unfair barriers apply to those seeking to gain the qualifications it offers. The CII is committed to giving all candidates an equal opportunity of achieving its qualifications in line with current UK and EU directives.

The CII carries its equal opportunities policy through to cover all the exams it administers. Provisions are made for candidates who have different educational requirements or disabilities including, but not restricted to those who are dyslexic, blind, partially sighted or those with dexterity impediments.

Further details can be downloaded below.