The Exams Office, in conjunction with our training section, Exams Training and OCR, deliver two courses during each academic year which are designed specifically for new exams officers Actions for Autumn and Spring into Summer.


New Exams Officers are strongly encouraged to attend both courses.

These training events are suitable for new exams officers, exams assistants or those requiring a ‘refresher course’. The primary focus of this training is General Qualifications (GCSE/GCE), although the good practice, hints and tips apply to all qualifications.

These courses provide a step-by-guide to the key tasks which you will need to undertake in your new role from October to February (Actions for Autumn) and March to June (Spring into Summer).

All courses contain a range of table-based activities to aid understanding, share good practice and network with colleagues.

The experts who launched The Exams Office are responsible for course content and delivery. They have experience as exams officers, members of SLT, devising and delivering DfE exams policies and initiatives, leading government exams support field teams, and creating good practice exam guides which are followed by more than 3500 schools/colleges. The team also consists of awarding body personnel and will be available throughout the day to answer your questions.


All events start at 9.00am (registration from 8.30am) and finish by 4pm

Cost (2023/2024)

No. of delegates Discounted price Non-discounted price
1 £225 £275


  • Discounted prices apply to members of The Exams Office and OCR centres
  • Prices are exclusive of VAT

These training events are delivered in partnership by the following organisations



Actions for Autumn 2023

Dates and Venues


Spring into Summer 2024

Dates and Venues


Click here for amalgamated questions and answers across all 2022/2023 Actions for Autumn & Exam Changes events

Click here for amalgamated poll results across all 2022/2023 Actions for Autumn events

All events include refreshments & lunch

All events are staged at high quality venues

Actions for Autumn

Course content (illustrative only)

Planning for the new academic year

  • The Exam Cycle
  • The Exams Community
  • JCQ regulations & centre inspections
  • Secure exams storage
  • Qualification changes/update
  • Building your centre’s annual exams plan
  • Key deadlines & creating a ‘Key Dates Calendar’
  • Exams policies – producing/reviewing/updating policies required for JCQ inspection purposes
  • Working with your Heads of Department
  • JCQ inspections – access arrangements, controlled assessment/non-examination assessment, change of centre address/secure storage, maladministration/malpractice
  • Contingency planning

Access arrangements

  • Key tasks for the autumn term
  • Defining roles and responsibilities
  • How access arrangements impact upon your role
  • Meeting deadlines

Managing the exam entries process

  • Entry types
  • Estimated and final entries
  • Certification
  • Different type of qualifications/assessments – linear and unitised
  • Your role in gathering and sharing candidate/qualification information
  • Managing entries and avoiding late entry fees
  • Understanding entry codes and awarding body information
  • Common entry errors

Your invigilation team

  • The importance of creating an effective invigilation team
  • JCQ requirements
  • Training your invigilators
  • Access arrangements


Spring into Summer

Course content (illustrative only)

Getting ready for the summer exam series

The Exam Cycle

  • What is the ‘Exam Cycle’ and how/why to follow it

The Exams Community

  • Internal and external support for exams officers

Update – exams and qualifications changes (if applicable)

  • An explanation of exam and qualification changes impacting upon the exams officer


  • Actions following exam entries
  • Checking awarding body feedback following entries

Access arrangements

  • What are access arrangements and reasonable adjustments?
  • Centre and JCQ approved access arrangements
  • JCQ deadlines for applications
  • The role of the exams officer in managing access arrangements
  • Managing emergency access arrangements
  • Next steps upon returning to your centre

Assessments/Internal assessment

  • Different types of assessment
  • The process for managing internal assessments in your centre


  • Creating student and centre exam timetables
  • JCQ regulations
  • Centre supervision
  • Managing timetable variations


  • Ensuring adequate and appropriate rooming for exams within your centre

Seating plans

  • Creating effective seating plans

Storing confidential exam materials

  • JCQ requirements
  • Hints and tips on storing confidential exam materials

Exam briefings/guidance for candidates, staff and parents

  • Key information to relate to candidates, staff and parents to ensure an effective exam series

Preparing your invigilators

  • JCQ requirements
  • Areas to cover when training invigilators

The exam day

  • Preparing for the exam
  • At the beginning of the exam
  • During the exam
  • At the end of the exam
  • After the exam
  • Setting up the exam room
  • Candidate equipment
  • Contingency planning and risk assessment
  • Dealing with late arrivals
  • Dealing with very late arrivals
  • Dealing with malpractice
  • Dealing with emergencies
  • What is ‘special consideration’?

The JCQ centre inspection

  • Types of inspection
  • Areas inspected
  • Hints and tips on preparing for a JCQ centre inspection

Packing and dispatching scripts

  • A step-by-step guide on how to pack exam scripts
  • What is the Parcelforce ‘yellow label’ service?
  • A step-by-step guide to dispatching your exam scripts
  • Examples of good/poor packing labelling