Inspectors' exam update

How will I get my results?

We will email all results and information on next steps to candidates directly via the email they submitted when registering for the exam. We have also shared this information with Force Examination Officers.

Who has had their exam marked?

All sufficiently completed exams have been marked. We recognise that some candidates were able to complete their exam despite the adverse conditions. We are also aware that some candidates were able to partially complete their exam, and may have answered enough questions to make it possible to pass. We have therefore marked the exams of all candidates who completed their exam or partially completed their exam and answered enough questions to pass.

How was my exam marked?

There were several stages to the marking process. All exams have been marked by an occupational psychologist. We have reviewed any questions with unusual response statistics, along with any questions queried by candidates, before the marking process continued. A second marker checked the exam marking to ensure accuracy. A report was then produced for the debrief panel detailing the marking procedure, the delivery of the exam and any action taken. The debrief panel ratified the results in an extraordinary meeting and confirmed they were content for them to be prepared for release.

Who was on the debrief panel?

The debrief panel consists of members drawn from the NPPF Governance Board, the NPCC and Police Federation, alongside representatives from the College including our Information Governance and Legal Services teams.

What have the debrief panel determined?

The debrief panel have evaluated the administration and marking of the exam, and specifically considered the issues arising out of the suspension of the exam. They determined it is appropriate to ratify the results of those candidates who were able to submit a sufficiently completed exam. They have also confirmed the exam pass mark for the inspectors' exam.

What is the pass mark?

The pass mark for the exam has been set by the debrief panel at 65%, as for previous exams. The pass mark of 65% will apply across the entire exam attempts to ensure consistency.

What will happen next?

To reduce further impact on candidates as much as possible we have set out different scenarios based on what happened to you during your exam and your level of completion. Depending on your circumstances, you will find yourself in one of the following situations:

  • I completed or partially completed my exam and was successful
  • I wasn't able to or didn't start my exam
  • I completed my exam and was unsuccessful
  • I partially completed my exam, but did not answer enough questions to achieve a pass in the exam in the exam

When are the rescheduled exams?

We recognise the urgency of rescheduling the exam to avoid any loss of knowledge or further disruption. We are offering a number of dates to allow candidates options to fit the rescheduled exam around work and other commitments. We will be holding the first round of the rescheduled exam over the following dates

  • Friday, 30 October (support available between 8am and 8pm)
  • Saturday, 31 October (support available between 10am and 4pm)
  • Sunday, 1 November (support available between 10am and 4pm)
  • Monday, 2 November (support available between 8am and 8pm)

We would encourage all candidates to access the exam during the hours of support on the dates specified, although candidates will be able to access the exam outside of these times.

Colleagues who are unsuccessful in their exam on the above rescheduled dates, will have a further opportunity, where applicable to their circumstances, to sit their exam on Thursday 19 November between 8am and 8pm.

I wasn't able to or didn't start my exam, what happens next?

You will be able to sit the exam between 30 October and 2 November 2020. If you are unsuccessful in this attempt, you will also have the option to sit the examination again a second and final time on 19 November 2020.

I partially completed my exam but did not answer enough questions to achieve a pass in the exam, what happens next?

Any candidate who accessed the exam will be considered to have partially completed the exam, even if you only read the candidate declaration and were unable to see the exam questions. You will have another opportunity to sit the exam between 30 October and 2 November 2020. You can resume your exam from where you left it with your previous answers recorded and the time remaining you have available to you. We will assume this is what you want to do unless you tell us via your Force Examinations Officer that you want to restart your exam from the beginning. In these circumstances, we will withdraw your previous attempt and you will have to complete all 150 questions in your exam. You must tell us you want to do this via your Force Exams Officer by 5pm on Tuesday, 27 October 2020. Once we withdraw your attempt we cannot reinstate it if you change your mind so please make sure that you wish to do this before you advise us to withdraw your attempt. If you are unsuccessful in this attempt you will have the option to sit the exam again a second and final time on 19 November 2020.

I was able to complete my exam or partially complete my exam and was successful, what happens next?

Your pass in the exam will stand and you need take no further action. You are now eligible to enter Step Three of the NPPF. You will not be provided with a further opportunity to sit the exam. You will be able to access your feedback report from the Assessment Information Management System (AIMS) candidate portal at the conclusion of all rescheduled exams.

I was able to complete my exam and was unsuccessful, what happens next?

You will have one further opportunity to sit the exam between the 30 October and 2 November 2020.  You will sit the exam in its entirety, this means you will have to complete all 150 questions in the exam. As part of the resolution for the disruption experienced we are providing all candidates with an opportunity to complete the full exam twice only. If you are unsuccessful in this attempt you cannot resit your exam for a third time on 19 November 2020.

Can I have my paper remarked?

The marking process is very rigorous and lengthy to ensure that it is accurate. There is no provision for candidates to contest their result, or to request to have their exam paper remarked, once results have been released. Once the results have been released, these are final and the College of Policing will not remark papers.

How can I access my results and feedback?

We are not able to release results in the planned way through the AIMS candidate portal until all candidates have completed their exam attempts. This has meant the process has taken longer because we need to produce your results manually outside of AIMS. It is also why we have emailed you the result directly to the email address you provided when you registered for the exam.

Due to the results being created manually, we are unable to provide you with detailed feedback directly. However, we have provided your Force Exams Officer with more information about your examination performance. This includes the number of questions you completed in the exam and your percentage score so you can make an informed decision about whether to resume your exam from where you left it or whether you should restart your exam from the beginning. We acknowledge this will result in additional work for your Force Examination Officers who will be prioritising support to candidates who have not been successful. We are grateful for your patience as they undertake this work.

When all candidates have completed their exam attempts, we will let all candidates know that they can access their results and feedback report from the AIMS candidate portal. To access your results and feedback report, you will need your AIMS login details and your candidate number.

What information will you provide me with so I can make an informed choice about whether to resume or restart my exam attempt?

We have provided your Force Exams Officer with more detailed information about your examination status. This includes the number of questions you completed in the exam and your percentage score so you can make an informed decision about whether to resume your exam from where you left it or whether you should restart your exam from the beginning. We can advise how much time you have remaining in your current exam attempt if you email your candidate number to NPPF.Enquiries@college.pnn.police.uk

When will you release results for the rescheduled exams?

We anticipate that we will release results for the first rescheduled exam opportunity, the week commencing 9 November 2020. We anticipate that we will release results for the second rescheduled exam opportunity, the week commencing 30 November 2020.

How will you ensure I do not experience issues again?

We have been conducting a full review with our exam platform supplier, PSI, to ensure we understand the exact problems they have experienced and fully assure ourselves that candidates will not experience these issues again in future online exams. PSI have taken action to further increase the platform server capacity and are undertaking a schedule of additional testing on the platform to ensure the you will not experience these issues again when you access it.

Will the same questions be used in the exam resit?

Our priority is to ensure fairness to officers and the integrity of the exam. All exams will continue to draw from the same bank of questions.

I submitted a query about a question in the examination paper. What was the outcome of this?

The College's Selection and Assessment and/or Legal Services team reviewed any questions queried by a candidate in order to identify if they were suitable for inclusion in the marking of the examination. We found that all questions in the exam were legally accurate, answerable from the 2020 syllabus and suitable for inclusion in the examination.

Can I submit an appeal now I know my result?

We understand that the incidents caused significant distress and worry to candidates and have offered candidates a way forward to allow another attempt at the exam. On this basis, we will not be accepting individual appeals from candidates in relation to the incidents that occurred on Tuesday, 13 October 2020.

How will you make sure the integrity of the exam remains? 

We expect all officers to act with integrity and in line with the principles and standards of behaviour as set out within the Code of Ethics and to not try to gain an unfair advantage in the exam by any means. The design of the exams and mechanisms that we have introduced into the delivery of the exam mean that attempts to cheat are likely to be ineffective. Any candidate who is suspected of cheating or disclosing the content of the exam in any way will be investigated and could have their exam results nullified and/or be banned from entering the exam in future. Candidates suspected of cheating will also be referred to their force's Professional Standards Unit. 

My Blackstone's subscription has expired. What do I do?

The College of Policing has worked closely with Blackstone's and we are grateful to them for agreeing to extend subscriptions for any officers that were affected by the disruption caused to last week's Inspectors' examination. Blackstone's will send out extension tokens directly to the subscriber's registered e-mail address by the end of this week. Should you have any issues, or if you haven't received the tokens by 23 October please check your junk or spam folder, and then contact onlinepersonalsubs@oup.com

Will I get extra time if I carry on with my exam to allow for the buffering/connectivity issues I explained?

We cannot add extra time to a candidates' exam who has partially completed their exam as the platform does not allow us to alter the settings of an exam which is in progress. We also have no way of knowing how much time an individual candidate has lost due to buffering or connectivity issues. Therefore, we have offered candidates a chance to resume their exam from where they were and/or a chance to attempt the exam again from the beginning.

The time on the exam still counted down even though it could not be accessed

The timer should have paused for candidates during the buffering. However, if you do not think this was the case, we would recommend that you choose to start your exam again from the beginning to ensure you receive the full time allocated to you for the exam. We cannot add extra time to candidates' current attempts as the exam platform does not allow us to alter the settings of an exam which is in progress.

My pass in the Inspectors' exam was due to expire this year. Is my previous pass in the NPPF Inspectors' exam still valid even though I took the exam?

The College and the NPPF Governance Board appreciate the challenges that forces have faced this year in regards to their promotion processes. All candidates who sat the 2015 Inspectors' NPPF Step Two Legal Exam had their validity period extended until 31 December 2020. We advised that if a candidate holding a pass in the 2015 Inspectors' NPPF Step Two Legal Exam took the 2020 Inspectors' exam they would forfeit this validity extension at the time of taking the exam and would not be eligible to take part in a Step Three process until they had received their results and were successful in the 2020 Inspectors' exam. We would like to reassure you that we will take this into account when exploring what action to take next and ensure that candidates are not unfairly penalised.

What impact does this have on the number of exam attempts allowed for Fast Track and Direct Entry officers?

All attempts at the exam in this period, including restarts and resits will count as one attempt.


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