Swansea University

13. Invigilation


A Chief Invigilator shall be appointed for each venue and shall have overall responsibility for the venue. All Assistant Invigilators are answerable to the Chief Invigilator.


The Chief Invigilator shall be responsible for delegating the respective tasks including allocating the areas of the venue to be observed and looked after.


The Chief Invigilator (or delegate) shall be responsible for reading out the appropriate announcements at the start of the examination.


Assistant Invigilators shall be available to assist the Chief Invigilator in the task of setting up each venue. As this requires great care and attention, it is essential that all Invigilators be punctual and be in the venue not less than THIRTY minutes before the start of an examination.

Before the start of an Examination

The Examinations Office shall supply the Chief Invigilator and the College Examinations Officer with a list of candidates who are sitting examinations elsewhere (i.e. those for whom specific provisions have been made).


The Chief Invigilator shall collect examination papers, seating plans and other material from the Examinations Office not less than thirty minutes before the examination is due to start. For examinations held off Campus (e.g. the Sports Hall) the examination papers shall be taken there directly by a representative of the Examinations Office.


Examination papers shall be distributed in accordance with the seating arrangements supplied for each examination room. Invigilators must ensure that each desk allocated has on it answer books, attendance slips, labels, treasury tags and the appropriate question papers with any other material in accordance with the rubric. Special care must be taken to ensure that the instructions on the rubric are adhered to regarding the use of calculators, access to dictionaries etc.


Candidates shall be admitted a few minutes early so that they can be in their places by the time scheduled for the start of the examination provided that the room is completely ready.   As this may vary considerably depending upon the number of candidates, the Chief Invigilator will determine when the students can be admitted.


When candidates are seated, they shall be told to check that they are sitting at the appropriate desk and have the correct question paper.  They shall be told to read all of the instructions on the cover of the examination book, to complete all of the sections, and to also read the instructions on the question paper.

They shall be warned of the consequences of using any unfair practice and reminded that it is an offence to take to their desks any unauthorized books, notes and papers, as is communication (by talking or by other means) with other candidates.  They shall also be reminded not to remove pages from examination answer books for making rough notes and given instructions on how to proceed to, and the location of, the muster point in the event of a fire alarm sounding.

Starting the Examination

Candidates shall be allowed to settle down and to complete their attendance slips and answer book covers. The examination shall then be started formally by means of an announcement such as "You may now start writing".

During the Examination

Attendance slips shall be collected systematically in one operation, in groups corresponding to each module/examination paper. As each attendance slip is collected the Invigilator should check the candidate’s name against the candidate's ID Card and that the correct module code, date and venue have been entered correctly onto the slip.

The slips shall then be checked against the official candidates’ list provided for the examination, and a note made of those who were present and absent.  Any candidate who attends an examination but whose name does not appear on the attendance sheet should be checked with the Examinations Office immediately.


It is a Senate requirement that the member of staff responsible for a particular examination question paper, or a deputy, must be available by telephone during the duration of the examination to address any queries from candidates. Staff are required to have with them a hard copy of the examination question paper and any other relevant material for the examination in question. In exceptional circumstances, staff may be required to attend the examination venue. Should the member of staff be unable to attend the venue there must be a deputy in place to attend in their absence. The University Examinations Office must be provided with a list of members of staff responsible for each examination paper and their contact telephone numbers in advance of the examination period. Any special requirements for the examination must be included in the rubric of the examination question paper.


For each paper being sat in an examination room, the title and number of candidates shall be entered on the invigilation form provided.  The number of candidates present for each examination must be verified by checking the number of attendance slips against the names of those marked present on the register.


No candidate shall be permitted to enter the room after the examination has been in progress for thirty minutes and no candidate may leave the room until the examination has been in progress for forty-five minutes.


Students are not allowed to leave the examination hall within the last fifteen minutes of the examination.

Action in various contingencies

Preferably in the presence of a witness, the Chief Invigilator shall quietly inform any candidate suspected of engaging in any unfair practice or of assisting other candidates, that the circumstances will be reported to the Director of Academic Integrity and the University Examinations Officer.  A Student Warning Note will then be issued by the Chief Invigilator.  Candidates so warned will be allowed to continue that and subsequent examinations without prejudice to any decision which may subsequently be taken. The Chief Invigilator shall, where appropriate, retain all evidence relating to the suspected unfair practice.


If, in the opinion of an Invigilator, a candidate is causing a disturbance or has been observed acting in breach of a regulation, e.g. talking to or communicating with another in an examination, he/she shall be warned. If the candidate continues to be disruptive or continues to act in breach of the regulations, he/she shall be required to leave the venue and shall be issued with a Student Warning Note. The candidate shall not be readmitted for that examination and the incident will be reported to the Director of Academic Integrity.


Any suspected unfair practice or disruptive behaviour must be reported on the appropriate Examination Report Form.


If a disruption (for example a continuous sounding alarm bell) should occur after the start of the examination, the Chief Invigilator must instruct candidates to leave the examination room in an orderly manner leaving their examination papers and scripts on their desks and to refrain from discussing the examination paper with other candidates.  Candidates should assemble at the delegated muster point to await further instructions.  All possible steps should also be taken by the Chief Invigilator to preserve the security of the room. (An Instruction Sheet is available on the Chief Invigilator’s desk is every  exam room giving details of the assembly point).


During each portion of the examination, the Invigilator shall have power to exclude from the examination room all persons save the officers of the University and the candidates under examination and shall prevent any communication on the part of the candidates either among themselves or with any other person.

At the end of the Examination

At the end of the appropriate period, candidates shall be formally asked to stop writing.  They shall be informed by the Chief Invigilator to ensure that:

  • Their names appear on each answer book used and that the top left-hand corners of books are sealed down to ensure anonymity;
  • All answer books used, together with any other materials, should be securely fastened together with the treasury tags provided;
  • All answer books are left on desks;
  • They must remain seated in silence until all examination scripts have been collected and the Chief Invigilator announces that they may leave the examination venue.


As soon as the room is cleared, only the Invigilators and, if required, the Director of Academic Integrity, or a representative of the Examinations Office, shall be allowed in the room.


The examination scripts in each group shall be counted and the number of scripts checked against the number of candidates previously entered on the invigilation form. The Chief Invigilator must only sign the invigilation form when all scripts have been accounted for.

Collection of Scripts

Examiners (or their College representatives) may collect scripts for marking from the examination room.  Each collector must provide proof of identity and sign the invigilation form for the scripts collected.  Postgraduate students acting on behalf of members of academic staff are not allowed to collect completed examination scripts.

Examination answer scripts not collected by Examiners or their College representatives

All uncollected scripts (with unused question papers), together with: 

  • all attendance slips
  • all lists of candidates
  • the invigilation forms

must be returned to the Examinations Office.