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Read our latest news bulletin

See in Microsoft Sway

  1. Covid-19
  2. Upcoming Deadlines
  3. Winter Congregation
  4. Board of Examiners 
  5. Conversion of Marks 
  6. New Student Registration
  7. Student Records Update
  8. TEI Forum and Election of Chair
  9. Common Awards Webinar
  10. Census 2021/22
  11. Staff Development Opportunity: Core Skills
  12. Further Information 


1. Covid-19

The Common Awards Team continue to work from home. TEIs are reminded to implement the Academic Safety Net policy at their upcoming Boards of Examiners, where required. Detailed guidance on the policy can be found here. Please contact the Team if you have any questions.       

2. Upcoming Deadlines

TEIs are reminded that marks (and additional information required to implement the Academic Safety Net 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'.  

  • 17th September – TEI Forum Chair Nominations close (noon) and Elections open  
  • 20th September – Common Awards Student Records training session (2-4:30pm) 
  • 24th September - Common Awards Webinar: Being Black, Queer and Christian 
  • 24th September – Registrations close for TEI Forum  
  •  4th October - Deadline: TEIs to submit New Student Programme Registration data 
  •  5th October - TEI Forum Meeting
  • 18th October (approx) - TEIs to receive Banner IDs of new students
  • 28th October - Common Awards Management Board
  • 29th October - Deadline: TEIs to submit Board of Examiners Membership Lists
  • Late October - TEIs asked to circulate invitation letters to students eligible to attend the Durham University Congregation ceremony in January 2022 

3. Winter Congregation

The 2022 Congregation Ceremony and deferred 2021 Congregation Ceremony for Common Awards Students are scheduled for 6th January 2022. This date is subject to change if there are further developments in the Covid-19 situation, and we will keep TEIs informed. 

In September, TEIs will be asked to confirm a list of students eligible to attend the ceremony (those who have successfully completed the BA, MA, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate). 


Students eligible for the 2022 graduation will be invited to attend the graduation ceremony at 10am on 6th January 2022, at Durham Cathedral.  

Students eligible for the deferred 2021 graduation will be invited to attend a graduation ceremony at 12pm on 6th January 2022, at Durham Cathedral. 

We will send further information regarding student registration in October 2021. Please note that TEIs will need to send the registration information to students who are eligible for Winter 2022 graduation (current students), and also to those who have already graduated and would have been eligible in Winter 2021. 

TEI Staff 

Members of staff in TEIs are also welcome to attend the Common Awards graduation ceremonies; the registration link will be sent to TEIs in October. 

Academic Procession 

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 let the Common Awards team know as soon as possible. 


4. Board of Examiners

The first Overarching Board of Examiners meeting for 2020/21 was held on 2nd September 2021, where nearly 350 students were considered for an award. We are now in the process of generating passlists and will share these with TEIs by 16th September 2021. TEIs are reminded to not share the passlists directly with students. Parchments and transcripts for students not eligible for Congregation (Graduation) will be produced within ~8 weeks. Those eligible for Congregation (Graduation) will receive their award documentation ~8 weeks after the ceremony.  

The next Overarching Board of Examiners is due to be held on 2nd December 2021.  

Please note that the team will be working to extremely tight timescales for this Board. Eight TEIs are holding their Board in the week beginning 1st November, and we are expecting a much larger number of students at this Board than usual owing to Covid-related extensions. This means the team will have only ~3 weeks to process these Exam Boards.  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. 

TEI’s 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:    

  • confirmed module marks for completing students registered on Common Awards programmes (see our guidance on submitting module marks) within 48 hours;     
  • Moodle marksheets for students recommended to the Overarching Board of Examiners within 48 hours;    
  • any ‘Group Mitigation Flags’ in line with the Academic Safety Net Policy 2020/21 within 48 hours;   
  • minutes of TEI Boards of Examiners within 2 weeks of the date of the meeting;     
  • outcomes of the scrutiny of SACs applications (see our guidance on SACs on the website for more information);     
  • approved APL credits (if not already submitted);     
  • assessment irregularity reports (if not already submitted).   

Further information on the documents TEIs must submit following their Board of Examiners is available here.   

5. Conversion of Marks

Ahead of the Board of Examiners, 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.  

6. New Student Programme Registrations

TEIs are to submit New Student Programme Registration data by the 4th October.  

Detailed guidance on this process is available on the Common Awards website here

7. Student Records Update/ Training

TEIs are reminded that Dr. Ken Farrimond recently performed an update on the Common Awards Marks Processing System. Important information relating to this update was sent to TEI key contacts on 3rd September. Please ensure that this email was sent to all staff involved in student records processes.  

The Common Awards Team and National Ministry Team will be holding a joint Student Records training session on 20th September 14:00-16:30. This will cover all student records processes for 2021/22. Please register using this form:  

8. TEI Forum and Election of Chair

The next TEI Forum meeting is scheduled for October 5th from 12pm-4pm and will be held virtually via Zoom. Registrations to attend should be made through contacting the Common Awards team:  

Registrations will close on Friday 24th September. Joining instructions for the virtual meeting will be distributed shortly after registrations close. Members are asked to send any correspondence regarding agenda items to the Chair, Canon Dr Steve Summers at, as soon as possible. Thank you.   

This meeting will be the last meeting that Canon Dr Steve Summers will act as TEI Forum Chairperson, having served a 3-year term. The Common Awards team would like to extend a huge thanks to Canon Dr Steve Summers for his role in shaping the forum, particularly over the last 18 months as we’ve navigated meeting virtually, and for creating a collaborative space for members to share good practice, discuss important matters and enhance the Common Awards Scheme.  

The Common Awards team will be facilitating a formal election to appoint a new Chair ahead of the next TEI Forum meeting. We would therefore like to invite forum members who are interested in becoming Chair to complete the  nomination form (sent to TEI Forum Members in the email dated Monday 06/09/2021) by 12pm (noon) 17th September 2021. Please return completed forms to the Common Awards team ( The election will be launched later that same day – more information on this to follow.   

The proposed timeline for the election process is as follows:  

17.09.21 (Noon): Candidates nominate themselves by this date and time  

17.09.21 (afternoon): Candidate information is published on Durham’s Common Awards website and the election opens  

01.10.21 (Noon): The election closes  

01.10.21 (afternoon): Common Awards team announces the results of the election  

05.10.21: Elected Chair introduces themselves at TEI Forum 

9. Common Awards Webinar

The September webinar in the Common Awards Webinar series will take place 24 September, 1-2pm, via zoom, on the theme: 'Being Black, Queer and Christian’. The journalist, Rosie Dawson, will be joined by the Revd Jarel Robinson-Brown to discuss his latest book, Black, Gay, British, Christian, Queer: Church and the Famine of Grace. It is aimed at Common Awards students and staff but open to others with an interest in the subject area.  

Places are still available. Please contact Dr. Eve Parker directly to register your attendance: 

You can find the recordings of previous CA webinars here

10. Common Awards Census 2021/22

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 (ie. please ensure any programme registration changes are submitted by this date).  

At this point, the Common Awards Team takes a snapshot of TEIs’ student records data in Banner; this is 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, the University intends to increase the validation and per capita student fees in line with inflation. We will confirm with TEIs the rate of inflation once the figure has been released.  

11. 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 3rd December closes on Friday 26 November at 12 noon. Final registration for the programme closes on 14th January 2022.

12. Further Information

The full 2021/2022 academic calendar is available here.  

With thanks, 

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