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Education Quality and Policy Office


Expectations of Faculty Board examinations data retention policies

Faculty Boards should draw up and communicate to students and Boards of Examiners an examinations data and script retention policy which follows the guidelines set out in the General Board guidance documents. The policy should state:

  • the data to be retained;
  • where students can apply to receive a copy of it;
  • the retention period (for each type of data).

Thought should also be given to the script retention policy, especially in cases where examiners' marks are made on the scripts.

The Education Committee strongly advises that examination data is stored at an agreed Faculty or Departmental location to allow data retrieval to be efficient.


Archiving assessed work

It can be useful to retain a sample of exam assessments in order to:

  • review the course standards,
  • inform students of the standard required for a certain level of achievement,
  • inform examiners of standards.

However, script retention should be considered in the light of the Faculty Board's examinations data retention policy. Anonymised scripts (i.e. with all indications of the identity of the candidate removed) are not subject to the provisions of the GDPR 2018.

Coursework and dissertations from past students may be retained in departmental libraries, provided the consent of the student authors have been obtained. To protect intellectual property rights departmental rules should be established so that such work cannot be taken out of the library or copied.

Example: a faculty exam archiving system

Sample scripts for each paper, as well as dissertations, portfolios and original compositions are kept, currently for a five year period. Examples of anonymised scripts from each class and for each paper are selected by the Chairman of Examiners at the end of the examining process. The archive is used for training new examiners. Examiners are not allowed to take archived scripts out of this building, or copy them, to ensure that they cannot be passed on to others.

Examples of the best dissertations are also kept in the faculty library as a guide for students. Students whose dissertations are chosen sign a declaration giving permission for their work to be made available. Dissertations may not be copied or removed from the faculty library.

Students are also informed about standards from the faculty's policy on classing criteria, and supervisors and Directors of Studies are also advised to look at this.