Examinations and assessment guidelines

Examination board guidelines and assessment procedures (UG and PG) spring-autumn 2023

Examination board guidelines and assessment procedures have been reviewed and updated for the operation of examination boards and publishing of assessment results, during spring and autumn 2023. Previous versions of these guidelines should be disregarded.

Regulation A10: Authorities in Exceptional Circumstances

The Senate has approved Regulation A10: Authorities in Exceptional Circumstances and delegated to the Senate Committee for Interim Business and Effectiveness (SCIBE) responsibility to bring into effect the arrangements and conditions set out in the Regulation, and to determine the duration for which they should be applied.  Regulation A10 provides a regulatory framework for the University to manage exceptional circumstances, and the SCIBE has approved the application of Regulation A10 in 2022/23, under its delegated authority from the Senate, to manage the impact of transitioning out of the COVID-19 pandemic and of industrial action.

Guidance for students

Guidance for students has been developed which provides answers to key questions and guidance on, for example, completion, examinations and how decisions are made after Exam Boards.

Guidance for examination boards

Please refer to the ‘Key points to highlight’ document for a summary of recent changes and introductions. All examination board guidelines and assessment procedures (UG and PGT) are listed below.

Document  Number Document Title
A Key Points to Highlight
B Policy on Mitigating the Impact of Industrial Action on Assessment, Progression and Award

Academic Decision-Making 2022/23: Summary of Approach (for Staff)

Guidance for implementing this is within Document D below


Academic Decision-Making 2022/23: Guidelines for Boards of Examiners in Maintaining Academic Standards (for Staff)

This is guidance for implementing Document C


Undergraduate and Postgraduate Assessment Procedures


Decisions and Decision Codes


Policy on the Discretionary Award of Credits


Heriot-Watt University Assessment and Progression System (HAPS)


Guidelines on Complying with SCQF



Policy for Undergraduate Degree-Classification Borderline Cases

Policy for Postgraduate Taught Degree-Classification Borderline Cases


Managing Online Assessment due to VLE Access Holds and IT Services Access Holds


Policy on Mitigating Circumstances in Relation to Assessment


Policy on Withholding Awards due to Outstanding Debts: Implementation Procedures


Appeals Against Examiner’s Recommendations of Award


Managing Suspended Examination Boards




Briefings Chairs of Examination Boards; Deans' Representatives

Board of Examiners – Remote Meeting Guidance



Guidelines for Deans, Associate Deans and Representatives 

Deans' Report Proforma


Examination Paper Format Guidelines

Key information

Amanda Lyness

Helen Crosby-Knox