Appeals Procedure for 2019-20

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Information on the appeals procedure for the academic year 2019-20

The Exceptional Academic Regulations allow for Departmental Boards of Examiners to issue provisional results to students. In some cases, students may be issued with a mix of provisional and confirmed results.

Students can only submit an appeal against assessment when they have a complete set of confirmed results.

If you have questions or concerns about a provisional result, your first step is to contact your Department’s Examinations Officer or your personal tutor. They should be able to explain the process that was followed, and what will happen in order for your provisional result to be confirmed. 

If you think there has been an administrative error with the marking process – our Appeals Guidance explains that concerns can often be resolved without the need for a formal Stage Two appeal - ask your department to check that the correct marks have been recorded on the student record system.

In Summer 2020

  • Undergraduate students - should receive results between 29 June 2020 and 17 July 2020
  • Postgraduate students - should receive results between 29 June 2020 and 7 August 2020

Deadline for submitting an appeal against an assessment

Once all results have been confirmed students will have 21 days from that date to submit an appeal against an assessment, using the Stage Two Appeal 2019-20 form.

If you are waiting for information from your Department or for an appointment with the SU Advice Service, the Appeals and Complaints Team may extend the 21-day deadline – please contact appeals (@gold.ac.uk) after you receive your confirmed results to ask about extra time to submit an appeal.
 
We can allow an extension even if you are waiting to book an appointment with the SU Advice Service.

The Appeals and Complaints team normally let you know if your appeal is valid and in time within 5 working days – but this may be delayed if we need guidance about your circumstances or grounds of appeal.

A Stage Two appeal is normally forwarded to a Chair of the Board of Examiners for comment – under the EAR your appeal may also need to be considered by a School Board and it may take longer than normal to obtain a decision on your appeal.

The Appeals and Complaints team aim to give a decision on an appeal within 4 to 6 weeks of receipt – or sooner if there is urgency - but decisions may be delayed due to the emergency situation.

Grounds for appeal remain the same but will operate slightly differently because of EAR changes.

The performance was adversely impacted by extenuating circumstances which they could not disclose to the examiners within 7-days of the assessments affected 

The College amended its Extenuating Circumstances Policy in March 2020 and removed the requirement for students to provide independent evidence in support of their application.  Prior to March, the College’s existing policy applied and independent evidence was needed to support any EC application submitted.

Where evidence may be required as part of your appeal submission we know that it may be difficult to obtain this within the usual timeframe.

The online Stage Two Appeal 2019-20 form has been updated so that students are not required to upload EC evidence at the time of submitting an appeal. Instead, you will be asked to include on the Stage Two Appeal 2019-20 form:

  • the date of the assessment(s) you are appealing about
  • what the extenuating circumstances were, and
  • whether you contacted your department about those circumstances at the time, and if not the reasons that you were unable to do so

The Appeals and Complaints Team will contact you to ask for any further information or evidence to support your appeal. 

Different requirements apply depending on whether an assessment date was before or after 16 March 2020. To check these please see the changes introduced in the EAR.

We are asking students for assessment dates so we can clarify what evidence is required. If an assessment took place before 16 March 2020 – the rules on supporting evidence are the same as previous years. See Extenuating Circumstances and Evidence.

If an assessment took place after 16 March 2020 – students need to tell us if they submitted an ECs application or explain why they did not – and the Appeals and Complaints Team will then be in touch for further information or supporting evidence. If you do not hear back within 5 working days of submitting your appeal.
Please contact appeals (@gold.ac.uk).

Administrative error or procedural irregularity in the way in which an examination or assessment was conducted

In response to the emergency situation, the College needed to make changes to the format of some assessments where those were due to take place in person (for example, an unseen written examination). Any necessary changes were approved in line with the College’s quality assurance processes to ensure that the amended format still enabled the learning outcomes to be met. Departments communicated assessment format changes to students.

Students with RASAs were also advised to contact the Disability Office to ensure that the reasonable adjustments already in place remained appropriate for completion of assessments where the format had been changed.

Changes to assessment formats therefore will not be treated as an error or procedural irregularity.

There is demonstrable evidence of prejudice or of bias on the part of one or more of the examiners such that the validity of the examination is called into question

An appeal on this ground will need to show that an examiner’s judgement may have been affected by inappropriate considerations, such as personal animosity. You would need to have adequate evidence that an examiner was able to identify you and that the marking may have been affected by prejudice or bias. This generally goes beyond an issue of harsh feedback or comments.

The marking process and decision-making involves academic judgment. You may disagree with the decision made by examiners but on its own this does not give a basis for an appeal against assessment. An examiner may disagree with your viewpoint, argument or interpretation of evidence – this is a matter of academic judgement and not bias or prejudice.

Complaint issues

You may feel that a number of issues have affected your performance in your assessments (not within the grounds of appeal above) including harsh feedback or comments made during supervision.

The Appeals and Complaints team will try to arrange for these to be investigated as part of the Stage Two appeal so that you get a quicker response and do not need to submit a separate Stage Two complaint. Remember that complaints should normally be raised within 3 months of the events you are complaining about – so it may not be possible to investigate anything that happened more than 3 months ago.

(Please note: not all complaint issues can be dealt with this way – if a complaint is complex or not directly linked to the issues in the appeal, the Appeals and Complaints team may arrange for an investigation under the Complaints Procedure - and will contact you to explain what happens next).