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1. Upcoming Deadlines and Key Dates
TEIs are reminded that marks 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'.
2nd October – Registrations close for TEI Forum; please send agenda items to Lucy Dallas.
2nd October - Deadline: TEIs to submit New Student Programme Registration data
9th October - TEI Forum Meeting
16th October (approx) - TEIs to receive Banner IDs of new students
24th October Common Awards Management Board
27th October - Deadline: TEIs to submit Board of Examiners Membership Lists
27th October - Deadline: TEIs to submit Module Registration Data for quality assurance checks
27th October - Deadline: TEIs to submit APL Credits and supporting documentation
Late October - TEIs asked to circulate invitation letters to students eligible to attend the Durham University Congregation ceremony in January 2024
3rd November - Deadline for TEIs to submit campus card photographs
24th November – Deadline for ASE submissions (Sections A and B).
2. TEI Forum
The next TEI Forum meeting is scheduled for October 9th and will now be held online. Please contact Lucy Dallas (Chair) directly with any agenda items. The Zoom link to join the meeting and agenda will be circulated shortly.
Each TEI Principal (or equivalent) is permitted to nominate up to four members of core staff to serve as members of the TEI Forum. Please contact us if you would like to update the members or staff who are currently serving on the TEI Forum. For more information, please see our website.
3. Partnership Renewal Process
We are delighted to confirm that the overarching contract between Durham University and the Archbishops’ Council has been extended from 2024 to 2027. This mean that the future of Common Awards has been secured through to 2027. We are now able to turn to the process of renewing contracts with individual TEIs. We will shortly be contacting TEIs with further details of the renewal process and will also be discussing this at the October TEI Forum.
4. Winter Congregation 2024
Students eligible for graduation (those who have successfully completed the BA, MA, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate) will be invited to attend the graduation ceremony at 10am on 4th January 2024, at Durham Cathedral. We will shortly be sending student invitation letters to TEI key contacts, and registration will be open from 18th October.
Members of staff in TEIs are also welcome to attend the Common Awards graduation ceremonies; the staff attendance registration form will be sent to TEIs in October.
Members of staff in TEIs who hold an undergraduate degree are eligible to participate in the academic procession for the Common Awards students. If you are interested in this, please indicate on the staff attendance registration form in October.
5. Common Awards Celebration Event
St John’s College, which incorporates Cranmer Hall, has very kindly offered to host a Celebration Event following the graduation ceremonies at Durham Cathedral. St John’s College, Durham University, is a 5-minute walk from the Cathedral where the ceremonies will be held.
The event will allow students to meet with representatives from the Common Awards Team and the Ministry Development Team, whilst also celebrating the graduating students from all TEIs.
There will be drinks and canapés for students and staff. Students and staff can register their attendance via the registration process.
6. 2022-23 Annual Self Evaluation meetings
As in previous years, we will schedule individual virtual meetings with TEIs in Epiphany Term to discuss and reflect on the information provided in Annual Self-Evaluation submissions. These meetings will be chaired by Common Awards University Liaison Officers (ULO) and will continue to focus on the response to From Lament to Action. Following the success of last year, colleagues from the Ministry Development Team will also attend these meetings where the TEI trains Church of England ministers, to provide a more co-ordinated response to ASE submissions. If you feel it is more appropriate for your TEI to have two separate meetings, then please let us know when we begin to arrange meetings. As agreed with TEIs last year, Section A returns will be shared with the Common Awards team, where permission has been provided; TEIs will be able to indicate their preferences for sharing Section A submission in the Section A template form.
The Common Awards Team will be in touch to organise a convenient time for these meetings following TEI submissions of ASEs.
The deadline for the submissions of Annual Self Evaluation forms is 24th November. You can find the most recent version of the forms on our Templates and Forms webpage. Please note that the form has been updated for 2022/23 reflections. TEIs are now asked to provide reflections on the impact of any partnership changes implemented in the previous academic year (e.g. 2021/22).
7. Staff Development: Core Skills
This programme provides participants with the opportunity to work through interactive online content in their own time, to discuss their learning with colleagues across the UK and with facilitators from Durham University’s Centre for Academic Development.
Successful completion of the Account of Professional Practice confers Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (now known as AdvanceHE) and the post-nominal letters AFHEA.
More information about the programme is available on our website.
Registration for the programme is now open.
Registration to attend the introductory session on 5th December closes on Wednesday 22nd November at 12 noon. Final registration for the programme closes on 12th January 2024.
8. Board of Examiners
Parchments and transcripts for students not eligible for Congregation (Graduation) following the 4th September Overarching Board of Examiners will be circulated to TEIs by the end of October. We will contact you to let you know when these have been circulated. Please contact the Team urgently if you need to advise us of an alternative address to send these to. Those eligible for Congregation (Graduation) will receive their award documentation ~8 weeks after the January ceremony.
The next Overarching Board of Examiners is due to be held on 1st December 2023.
Please note that the Team will be working to extremely tight timescales for this Board. We therefore wish to remind TEIs that it is absolutely paramount that TEIs submit completing student modules marks 48 hours after they have been considered at their TEI Board of Examiners. Please do send these earlier if you are to do so.
TEIs are asked to ensure that all appropriate checks on the data are undertaken before sharing the data with the Common Awards Team to reduce the number of queries. It is also important that a staff member with full knowledge of the students’ records is available at the TEI in the weeks following the board, to resolve any queries.
TEIs are reminded that Boards of Examiners must ensure that the following is submitted to Durham in line with the deadlines in published guidance and the Common Awards Calendar:
Further information on the documents TEIs must submit following their Board of Examiners is available here.
9. TEI Attendance – Durham Board of Examiners
TEIs are reminded that they are very welcome to send a representative from their TEI Board of Examiners (normally the Chair) to observe the meetings of the overarching Board. Up to three TEI BoE representatives may attend each board. This can be a good way for TEIs to discover more about how the overarching Board works, and to see how we handle decisions about their students.
The next meeting of the Board is due to be held online on 1st December from 9:30am – 12:30pm. Please contact the team if a representative from your TEI Board of Examiners wishes to attend this meeting.
10. Conversion of Marks
Ahead of the Board of Examiners, we would like to remind TEIs of the principles surrounding the conversion of marks.
Some assignments, like language tests, might produce quantitative scores. Those scores are not the marks for that assignment. In principle, they will always need to go through some process of conversion – where conversion involves making qualitative judgments about what is meant by different levels of achievement in a quantitatively scored test, and then translating those qualitative judgments into numerical marks in the normal way.
Further information on Converting Test Scores into Marks is available on our website.
11. Invoices and Census
As per the academic calendar, the Common Awards Census will be taken on December 1st.
TEIs are asked to confirm all registration details by December 1st (i.e. please ensure any programme registration changes are submitted by this date).
As you may remember we slightly altered the census process last year, and following positive feedback from TEIs will follow the same process this year. A reminder of the process will follow nearer the time, but to summarise you will be asked to send the Common Awards team the Moodle census snapshot report on 1st December, and we will check this against our Banner data.
Once the number in the snapshot is finalised, this will be used to calculate TEI validation fees. TEIs are reminded that they will be charged for any students who withdraw after the census date.
As per the Standard Validation Contract, there may be an increase in the validation and per capita student fees charged to TEIs in line with inflation. Details will be circulated to TEIs shortly.
12. Further Information
The full 2023/2024 academic calendar is available here.
The Common Awards Team