Code of practice

The CIEA Code of Practice has been drawn up by experts in the field of assessment. It sets out the principles and behaviours expected of all members of the CIEA.

Code of Professional Assessment Practice (2019)

1. Aim

1.1. The overall aim of the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors ("The Institute" or "CIEA") is the improvement of educational assessment for the public's benefit by the promotion of high standards of educational assessment.

2. Introduction

2.1. CIEA is the leading independent professional body supporting the role of professionals involved in educational assessment in the United Kingdom - examiners, markers, moderators, teachers, lecturers, workplace assessors and others undertaking educational assessment roles.

2.2. This Code of Professional Assessment Practice (the "Code") sets out the standards of conduct, behaviour, competence and ethics[1] which all Members of the Institute are expected to exemplify. The Code reflects the expectation set out in ‘seven principles of public life’ (see Appendix 1).

2.3. When a person applies for membership of the Institute, he or she agrees that, if accepted for membership, he or she will be bound by the terms of this Code (as modified from time to time).

2.4. This Code is reviewed and re-issued to Members periodically. Amendments and updates are published on the Institute's website. If Members are in any doubt about any aspect of this Code they should consult the Institute.

2.5. The principles and responsibilities described in this Code do not take precedence over national law. Members should take its provisions as a minimum requirement and fulfil any other responsibilities set down in law or by nationally agreed standards. Any conflict should be reported to the Board of the Institute.

2.6. Reference to 'Member' in this Code encompasses members of the Institute in all categories - Fellows, Full Members and Associate Members. It also applies to those persons appointed as Affiliates, Companions or Students and all persons who are admitted to the Register of Chartered Educational Assessors ("Registrants").

3. General Principles

3.1. Membership of the Institute is granted to individuals who are believed, on the basis of the information they have submitted, to have such qualifications and professional experience as are specified from time to time by the Institute's Board of Trustees and who have undertaken to abide by this mandatory Code . Membership may be revoked if such information submitted is found to be inaccurate or false.

3.2. Those Members actively practising as assessors shall be eligible for admission to the Register of Chartered Educational Assessors ("the Register") subject to meeting the requirements for that designation stipulated by the Institute’s Board. Upon admission such persons may use the post nominals as stipulated by the Institute from time to time.

3.3. A Registration Authority appointed by the Board of Trustees is responsible for the criteria for admission to the Register together with deciding on acceptance or rejection of those applying for such status. The Registration Authority will also oversee disciplinary matters relating to persons admitted to the Register.

4. Responsibilities and expectations

4.1. As a Member

As a Member of the CIEA you will:

  1. Respect and promote the aims and objectives of the Institute.
  2. Ensure that all claims about your skills and experience or those of your organisation, colleagues or fellow Members are true and accurate.
  3. Keep up to date with developments in assessment practice.
  4. Comply with the Institute's requirements from time to time regarding continuing professional development.
  5. Encourage the development and maintenance of quality in educational assessment practices.
  6. Encourage the improvement of all educational assessment activities.
  7. Safeguard confidential information and not seek personal advantage from it.
  8. Be allowed to indicate, where relevant, that you belong to the appropriate membership category of the Institute.
  9. Be entitled to use letters (post-nominals) after your name to indicate membership of the Institute in certain categories: Registrant (post-nominals to be allocated), Associate Member (ACIEA), Full Member (MCIEA) and Fellow (FCIEA). The right to use these letters will only exist during an individual's membership of the Institute.

4.2. Students and Candidates being assessed

As a Member of the CIEA you will:

4.2.1. Ensure that educational assessment, testing, examining and associated activities such as standardisation, verification or moderating of marking, are always carried out with integrity, consistency and without bias.

4.2.2. Undertake assessment based on sound principles of educational measurement, supported, where appropriate, by academic research.

4.2.3. Disclose any personal interest which might be seen to influence assessment.

4.3. Concerns with assessment practice

4.3.1 If as a Member you encounter inappropriate behaviour or activity that threatens the integrity of an educational assessment outcome, published policies and procedures of the institution involved (school, college, awarding organisation, training provider etc.) or of statutory requirements, you should initially endeavour to raise your concerns with a senior member of staff at the institution concerned.

4.3.2 If for whatever reason you feel unable to raise such issues with staff at the institution concerned, you should in the first instance report this to the relevant awarding organisation or regulatory body by following the prescribed  ‘whistleblowing’ procedures. In the UK, the regulatory authorities for qualifications have whistleblowing policies, as do all awarding organisations. A copy of the JCQ publication ‘Public Interest Disclosure Act (Whistleblowing) Guidance in relation to suspected malpractice in examinations and assessments’ is attached as Appendix 2.

4.3.3 If for whatever reason it is not possible to follow the procedures of the institution concerned, or the relevant Regulatory Authority or awarding organisation, you should immediately seek guidance from the CIEA Director at the Institute’s address   . All such contacts will be held in the strictest confidence.

4.3.4 If, in the conduct of your duties as a Chartered Educational Assessor on behalf of the Institute in an assessment setting, you encounter inappropriate behaviour or activity that is in breach of this Code, published policies and procedures of the organisation involved or of statutory requirements which you feel unable to raise with staff at the institution, you should immediately notify the CIEA Director at the Institute’s address.

4.3.5 Having notified the CIEA Director, you will be requested to supply in writing full details of your concerns. The CIEA Director and/or Board of Trustees will be responsible for raising such concerns with the organisation involved either directly or indirectly (i.e. via a Regulatory Authority, Statutory Body etc.).

4.3.6 The CIEA Director will inform the Chartered Educational Assessor who raised the concerns of the outcome of the complaint.

4.4 Institute and other colleagues

As a Member of the CIEA you will:

4.4.1. Always conform to the national and relevant international legislation and regulations in order to assure a valid, robust and reliable educational assessment system.

4.4.2. Seek to avoid conflicts of interest with key stakeholders and must make prior voluntary and full disclosure to all parties concerned of all matters that might give rise to such conflict.

4.4.3. Not imply in any statement that you are speaking on behalf of the Institute unless you have the written authority of the Board of Trustees or of some duly delegated individual or Institute committee.

4.4.4. Always treat colleagues with dignity and respect.

4.4.5. Avoid placing other Members or non-Members in a position in which you might unwittingly breach any part of this Code. This includes implementing inappropriate or inadequate processes, procedures and relationships.

4.4.6. Safeguard the reputation of the Institute and avoid acting in a way that could bring the Institute, your organisation or colleagues into disrepute.

4.4.7. Exhaust all available internal CIEA remedies for dealing with matters perceived as improper, before resorting to public disclosure.

4.4.8. Notify in writing to the CIEA Director at the Institute's address where you wish to make a complaint about a breach of the Code by another Member of the Institute.

5. Infringements of the Code

5.1. All alleged infringements of this Code are to be referred to CIEA Director. An initial review will be made of the allegations and the complaint may be referred, if appropriate, to Board of Trustees and/or the Disciplinary Committee or Registration Authority.

5.2. Membership may be revoked, or other disciplinary action taken, if, on investigation of a complaint, it is found that in the opinion of the Board of Trustees of the Institute any Member's conduct or work is in breach of this Code.

5.3. Membership of the Institute may be withdrawn if a member is deemed guilty of unprofessional conduct.

5.4. No Member will be subject to disciplinary sanctions under this Code without an opportunity of a hearing convened in accordance with the Institute's Disciplinary Code.

5.5. Members must make available the necessary information as and when requested by the Institute or its Board of Trustees or its Disciplinary Committee (or a person appropriately authorised by any of these bodies) in the course of an enquiry. Disciplinary action may be taken if a Member does not comply with a request for information within 28 days of receipt of a letter from the Institute.

5.6. If a Member who is subject to a complaint resigns his/her Membership of the Institute whilst the case is unresolved, and then applies for re-admission, he or she will be required to co-operate in the completion of any outstanding disciplinary process.

5.7. Membership of the Institute may be withdrawn on immediate notice to the Member concerned by the Institute or its Board of Trustees or the (or the CIEA Director or some other person appropriately authorised by any of these bodies), pending any investigation and/or disciplinary proceedings.

5.8. For further information, please refer to the Institute's Disciplinary Code, which can be viewed on CIEA's website and obtained upon written request.