For the academic year 2015/16, and with effect from the June 2016 examination series onwards, all centres must have an examination contingency plan/examinations policy on file for inspection.

The examination contingency plan/examinations policy should cover all aspects of examination administration. It will allow senior leaders to have a robust contingency plan in place, minimising risk to examination administration and any adverse impact on students, should the examinations officer be absent at a critical stage of the examination cycle.

In order to reduce bureaucracy and burden for schools and colleges a particular format or template will not be specified. We believe that senior leaders within schools and colleges are best placed to determine their own examination contingency plan/examinations policy.

The Joint contingency plan for the examinations system in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, which can be downloaded from Ofqual’s website,( is a good starting point. It will provide a framework for senior leaders to build and shape a plan/policy in light of their local circumstances.