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  1. Covid-19 Update - No Detriment
  2. Upcoming Deadlines
  3. Overarching Board of Examiners
  4. Annual Conference for Theological Educators
  5. Campus Cards
  6. Consultations
  7. Assessment Criteria
  8. Academic Progress Policy
  9. Submission of Policies
  10. CIS Account Access
  11. Curriculum Development
  12. Further Information


Covid-19 Update

Reacting to the Covid-19 pandemic continues to be our priority and we will do everything we can to support TEIs and students. We hope our colleagues and students are keeping safe.

Please continue to check the FAQs, which outlines the advice and guidance from the Common Awards Team, as often as you are able.

On Friday 19th June, we circulated detailed information regarding the implementation of the ‘No Detriment’ policy for Common Awards and held an information session on Wednesday 24th June. The ‘No Detriment’ policy provides a safety net so that students can take assessments with the confidence that if their marks are worse than those they gained for work completed before the Covid-19 pandemic, it will not affect their degree classification.

Please keep the Common Awards Team, and the National Ministry Team, up to date with your delivery plans for 2020/21. Change in Delivery forms, to notify us of any changes, are available on the website. We are currently reviewing all the submissions we have received so far and will be in touch as soon as possible.

All communications, updates and changes regarding Covid-19 will be communicated on this FAQ section and through emails to TEI Key Contacts and Principals. The FAQs have also been updated to reflect the ‘No Detriment’ policy.   Please remember that the best way to contact the team is via the email address. We continue to work from home and do not have access to the office phones.  


Upcoming Deadlines

17th July - Deadline: CIS Account Holders to complete extension request

17th July - Deadline: TEIs to register their interest in developing a new MA programme

20th July - Deadline: T01 to submit marks from their Board of Examiners

21st July - Deadline: T10 to submit marks from their Board of Examiners

24th July - Deadline: T08 to submit marks from their Board of Examiners

27th July - Deadline: T09 and T12 to submit marks from their Board of Examiners 3rd August - Deadline: TEIs to submit policies

6th August - Deadline: T18 to submit marks from their Board of Examiners

17th August - Deadline: T02 to submit marks from their Board of Examiners

TEIs are reminded that marks (and additional information required to implement the ‘No Detriment’ policy) considered by the TEI Board of Examiners must be submitted within 48 hours of the meeting taking place. Further information is available in the section titled 'Overarching Board of Examiners'.

TEIs are also reminded to submit their programme documentation (programme regulations, module overview tables and curriculum mappings) for 2020/21 as soon as possible.


Overarching Board of Examiners

The first of the 2019/20 Durham University Overarching Board of Examiners meetings will take place on 8th September 2020. Any completing students recommended for award at the Summer TEI Boards of Examiners meetings will be considered for award and, where applicable, classification at the Overarching Board of Examiners.

TEIs are reminded that the following information is required to be sent to the University as normal following their Board of Examiners meeting:

  • Module marks for completing and continuing students (within 48 hours);  
  • Minutes of the Boards of Examiners; and
  • Indication of any SACs (and accompanying information from the SAC committee)

TEI Boards of Examiners, for modules taken in 2019/20, will also be required to provide the following (noting that some may be required prior to Exam Boards but ratified during the meeting):

  • Moodle Marksheets for all students;
  • Moodle report of the list of assessments and modules affected by Covid-19;
  • Moodle report of assessment weightings for all modules;
  • Moodle download of assessment and module marks for all modules;  
  • A brief overview of the process taken to identify affected assessments and/or modules (e.g. a cut-off date);
  • The records of any and all action taken by TEIs to mitigate for Covid-19.

At meetings of the Board of Examiners, TEIs will be required to explicitly confirm:  

  • any action taken by TEIs to mitigate for Covid-19, as already recorded by TEIs;
  • any involvement of the external examiner (where this has been possible);
  • the process undertaken to identify assessments affected by Covid-19 during 2019/20 academic year;
  • that all assessments affected by Covid-19 have been identified and indicated in Moodle;
  • that the assessment weightings and patterns are correct in Moodle;  
  • where any individual students may have been affected by Covid-19 but will not be captured in the information provided at assessment level.

Due to the added complexity involved in the preparation of 2019/20 student profiles for consideration by the Overarching BoE, we would be grateful for timely responses from TEI staff to any queries raised during the preparation period.


Annual Conference for Theological Educators

Our Annual Conference for Theological Educators took place from the 6th to the 8th of July, but it was very different from previous years. We were, for obvious reasons, meeting online, and we were also joined by students for the main sessions. As a result, those sessions saw considerably more than 100 people gathering on Zoom, and the words spoken by hosts and presenters were accompanied by very lively exchanges in the chat window.

The conference as a whole focused on ’Theological Reflection’, and we had rich input from Pete Ward, Helen Collins, John Swinton and Michael Jagessar. If you missed any of the sessions, or simply want to refresh your memory, you will find a range of materials on the Common Awards Hub on Moodle, under the ’Staff’ menu. There are the preparatory videos and texts circulated before the main sessions; there are some additional materials to read and watch from some of our speakers; and there are detailed notes on each session. Initial feedback on the conference has been very positive, and we are looking for ways in which we might learn from this experience when we return to more typical in-person conferences in future years.


Campus Cards

In April, TEIs were informed that the Campus Card production for late entrants to Common Awards Programmes (scheduled for May 2020) would not take place as planned. This was due to the increased workload for the CIS team at the University in supporting academic departments to transition to online teaching in response to Covid-19.

Unfortunately, the production process for the academic year 2020/21 has also been affected by Covid-19. We have been advised that the University’s current position is that campus cards will not be automatically printed for students and will only be processed if a card is required by a student for an academic purpose. This is because the printing of the campus cards is undertaken on campus and is not currently deemed essential in the current circumstances. Based on the information we have been provided it is highly unlikely that campus cards will be printed for Common Awards students in the coming months. We will advise TEIs if the position changes.



A new consultation has been published on the Common Awards website.

Consultation: Student Records Calendar 2020/21

In consultation with the National Ministry Team, the Common Awards Team have undertaken a review of each student records process and are proposing a number of changes to the order in which information is collected from the academic year 2020/21. For some processes, this would mean quite a significant change to the deadline. TEIs are invited to provide feedback on the proposed changes.

This consultation will close on 30th July 2020.


Assessment Criteria

As a reminder, TEIs should have received the revised Assessment Criteria documentation for use from the start of the next academic year (2020/21). These have been developed by the Continuing Implementation Group with consultation with TEIs, and the development received the support of the Management Board in February. These have now been formally approved by the Chair of the Common Awards Management Board and will be uploaded to the Common Awards website.

Please continue to use existing criteria until the completion of marking processes for this academic year (2019/20). Ken Farrimond will be producing appropriate Moodle templates ready for the autumn term.


Academic Progress Policy

Following a consultation process and feedback from TEI staff, the Academic Progress Policy has been updated.

The updated Academic Progress Policy will be implemented from 2020/2021.

The new guidance and templates are now available on the Common Awards website.


Submission of Policies

TEIs are asked to submit any Common Awards policies, which may be amended over the summer, in anticipation of the new academic year, by 3rd August. Changes to Policies relating to matters such as Admissions, APL, Complaints and Appeals, Placements etc. require approval by the Chair of the Management Board. Please contact the Common Awards team if you are unsure if a policy needs consideration by the Chair of the Management Board.


CIS Account Access

TEI Key Contacts should have received an email regarding Durham CIS accounts that are due to expire soon. Action is required in order to extend accounts for 20/21.

TEI staff need to extend their Durham email account via an online submission form.

TEI staff are able to use the online submission form with immediate effect. Please do this as soon as possible. The deadline for extending accounts is the 17th July. If this process is not followed, accounts will be suspended on 1st September 2020.

If you have any questions about the process, please contact in the first instance. Please note that if colleagues have forgotten their CIS password, the Common Awards team is unable to generate a new one; colleagues will be required to contact the CIS team on the IT helpdesk on: 0191 334 1515.


Curriculum Development

TEIs are reminded to submit their programme documentation for 2020/21 as soon as possible. These documents (programme regulations, module overview tables and curriculum mapping) should reflect any changes that have been made and approved by the TEI, in line with the assessment parameters and learning hours guidance. These documents will be published on the Common Awards website once reviewed.


Further Information

Please remember to check the Covid-19 FAQs as frequently as possible. The information provided in these FAQs is updated regularly.

With thanks,

Mike, Frances, Eve, Alyson, Emma, Deborah, Rhianne and Adam