Learner Appeals Policy

Control of the document: SLT


This policy is issued, controlled, and may only be modified by the designated policy group member after proposed amendments have been presented to the Quality Improvement Group


The latest version of the policy will be maintained by the Adult Community Learning Service (ACL) and updates sent to all Managers.  It is important that the latest version of the policy is used at all times.

Policy Aims & Intention


The Learner Appeals Policy enhances the Examination Policy by providing consistent practice and service delivery service wide.


Responsibility Group:       SLT, ELT, Exams Leads and Exams Officers


Last Review Date:           August 2023


New Review Date:            September 2024


Audience:                        All Strategic, Curriculum and Operational Managers, academic staff, support staff, volunteers, learners and other service users








Learner Appeals Procedure



Appeals against Outcomes of Assessments with Awarding Bodies


We are committed to helping candidates succeed with their learning. This procedure sets out what you should do if you are dissatisfied with the way your work has been assessed or with your final grade/marks.


If your work has been marked internally/assessed by Adult Community Learning staff, you should use the Appeals Procedure for Internally Marked Assessments (see below).


If your work has been externally marked, you will need to appeal to the examination or awarding body.   The Appeals Procedure for External Assessments tells you how to do this.



Appeals Procedure for Internally Marked and Verified Assessments


This procedure covers appeals against the outcome of an internal assessment prior to external verification, where our staff have assessed your work to Awarding Body standards.


A learner may make an appeal on the grounds of:


  1. Inadequate justification of the assessment outcome
  2. Evidence of an inconsistency of standards
  3. Evidence of stated assessment criteria have not been applied
  4. Submission deadlines
  5. Application of assessment criteria not previously stated



All appeals must refer to at least one of the above to be considered for reassessment.





Appeal process


The stages of the appeals process are set out below.  If you do not receive satisfaction at stage 1, you should proceed to step 2, and so on. NCFE/CACHE appeals should be progresses via the NCFE/Cache appeals process under the heading on page 4.


Stage 1

If you disagree with an assessment outcome, you should first discuss it with your tutor/assessor within 10 working days of receiving the assessment outcome.


Stage 2

If you still disagree with the assessment outcome, you should notify your tutor/assessor that you are appealing, complete the appeal form, together with appropriate evidence, and send it to the Curriculum Lead, either via your tutor/assessor or via the ACL Centre reception.  If you would like help in completing the appeal form, please speak to a member of ACL curriculum staff who will be happy to help.


Stage 3

The Curriculum Lead will ask the relevant internal quality assurance member of staff (IQA)/Internal verifier to re-assess the evidence submitted and confirm or change the original assessment outcome, recording their decision on the form.  The result of the decision will be shared with the Curriculum Lead and the Exams Officer. You should be notified of the result within 10 working days of submitting the form.


Stage 4

If you still disagree with the decision, you should ask for the form to be forwarded to the Curriculum Manager who will convene a panel to meet within a further 10 working days.  The panel will consist of:


  • Curriculum Manager
  • Vice Principal for Quality and Compliance
  • Curriculum Lead
  • Internal Verifier/Internal Quality Assurance staff (or appropriate alternative member of staff if Curriculum Lead and IV/IQA are the same person).


Both you and the tutor/assessor may supply any relevant evidence.


The Panel will consider all the evidence and make a decision to uphold or to reject the appeal.


The External Quality Assurance/External Verifier will be informed when an appeal has been received, and of the decision made.





If the candidate wishes to appeal against the decision of the appeals panel, he/she has the right to appeal to the Awarding Body via the External Verifier/EQA, (with

associated fee) stating the reasons for the appeal.  The Awarding Body makes the final decision.






Stages of an appeal


There are two stages of an appeal, which we make available; these are:


1.Review of appeal – Stage 1


The first stage of appeal is a desk-based procedure that is completed by NCFE staff who are independent and were not involved in the original process or procedure. The appointed member of staff or committee of staff, under normal circumstances, will not be a Subject Matter Expert. However, they will be experienced on all applicable processes, procedures and policies.


  1. Independent Appeals Committee – Stage 2


The Independent Appeals Committee will consist of, as a minimum, 1 independent NCFE member of staff who was not involved in the original process or stage 1 of the appeal, and an independent person2 who will be appointed by us.






Appeals Procedure for Externally Marked and/or Verified Assessments


In accordance with the Code of Practice for the conduct of external qualifications produced by the QCA (Qualifications and Curriculum Authority), each Awarding Body has an appeals procedure.  The Exams Officer can tell you the appeals procedure of a particular Examination or Awarding Body.

An appeal can be generated by the candidate concerned – with or without the support of ACL – or by a member of staff of the Adult Community Learning Service. The Joint Council for Qualifications has a well-documented appeals procedure and this includes re-mark services, photocopies and original script services.


Enquiries about Results (EARs):


Any learner who wants to query a mark/grade awarded by an Awarding Body upon issue of results should follow the following procedure:


Learner contacts Exams Officer within 5 working days of receiving notification of their outcome.

At this stage, the Exams Officer will determine the relevant Awarding Body’s procedure and deadline for appeal.[1]

The Exam Officer will liaise with the tutor and Curriculum Lead and advise on the options available to query the mark/grade and the costs involved.

Learners will be reminded that EARs can result in marks/grades being raised, confirmed or lowered.

The tutor/CC will review the learner’s marks/grades in consultation with the breakdown of marks, grade boundaries and learner’s predicted grades, and suggest an appropriate action:


  1. Candidate appeal with the support of ACL:

The request and details of Enquiry, together with the learner’s consent form, should be made to the Exams Officer before the published deadline for EARs.

The cost will be met by the learner and held by ACL or paid to the Awarding Body, and will be refunded if the EAR is successful (results in an increase in mark/grade) and the Awarding Body refunds or does not make a charge.

Under exceptional circumstances, ACL may consider meeting the costs. This decision will be made by the Curriculum Manager/Vice Principal/Principal after consultation with the Curriculum Lead.


  1. Candidate appeal without the support of ACL:


  1. If ACL does not support the EAR, the learner may still proceed with the EAR. All costs incurred will be met by the learner and paid to ACL before the EAR is made by the Exams Officer. If the enquiry is successful (results in an increase in mark/grade) then ACL will refund the money to the learner.


  1. If ACL does not support the EAR outcome, the learner may appeal against this decision. The appeal should be made, in writing, to the Examinations Officer, at least 5 working days before the published deadline for EARs. The appeal should state, in detail, the reason/s for the appeal. This appeal should be signed and dated by the learner and include a daytime contact telephone number.

The information contained within the appeal will be reviewed by the Exams Lead and a member of the Senior Leadership Team.

The outcome of the appeal will be communicated to the learner and Exams Officer by telephone and 1st Class letter post within 24 hours of receipt.  The decision will be final.


  1. Appeal made by Centre:


  • This may be generated by the tutor and requires the formal approval of the Curriculum Manager
  • Adult Community Learning will pay for all costs (on one occasion).


Administration of an Appeal:


The Exams Officer is responsible for:


  • Obtaining the necessary paperwork and costings.
  • Collating the information and processing the appeal with the Awarding Body.
  • Updating the parties concerned of the outcome of the appeal.
  • Holding records of the appeal for 5 years.
  • Communication between candidate and ACL at all stages.







Name ________________________________________________________


Centre _______________________________________________________


Course _______________________________________________________


Assessor’s / Tutor’s Name ________________________________________


Date of Assessment _____________________________________________


Contact details ­­­­­­­­­­­__________________________________________________


I wish to make an appeal against the following criteria (please tick appropriate option)


  1. Inadequate justification of the assessment outcome      ☐
  2. Evidence of an inconsistency of standards      ☐
  3. Evidence of stated assessment criteria have not been applied ☐
  4. Submission deadlines      ☐
  5. Application of assessment criteria not previously stated      ☐




Date:                                               Signature:

To be sent to: Curriculum Lead



If you require this document in any other format, please email jaimie.huckfield@essex.gov.uk stating the document name in full and the format you need.

[1] BCS – A notice of appeal must be submitted to BCS within 20 working days of the assessment