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Policy for Assessment

1.1  Assessment

Assessment is the process of gauging the progress of students’ learning. What is assessed in a course is determined by the stated objectives of the course, and may include knowledge, understandings, and skills. A variety of techniques may be used to obtain information about each student’s learning progress.

1.2  Purposes of assessment

Assessment may be conducted for the purposes of:

  • ascertaining students’ knowledge, understanding, or skill base at the commencement of a course as an aid to teaching;
  • obtaining feedback about the effectiveness of teaching;
  • providing feedback to students about their progress toward achieving the objectives in a course; and
  • certifying the extent to which a student has achieved the objectives of a course by the awarding of a grade.

This policy is concerned with the fourth of these purposes, though some assessment tasks may provide information suitable for several purposes.

1.3  Assessment tasks

Techniques which may be used to gauge the progress of students’ learning can include assessment tasks such as (but not exclusively) assignments, projects, tests (written, practical, and oral), formal examinations, journals, portfolios, and observation checklists.

1.4  Examinations

In this document, an examination refers to a specific assessment task, a formal written test taken in the designated examination periods set out in the University Calendar, under supervision, and conducted by the Vice-President (Administration).

1.5  Criterion referenced and norm referenced assessment

In criterion referenced assessment, also known as criterion based assessment, a set of specific criteria are described for each available grade in the course or assessment technique. Each student’s performance is compared to the criteria, which should also details specific levels of performance.

Criterion referenced assessment is concerned with the clear description of a student’s performance on carefully defined tasks. Assessment tasks are therefore designed to determine such performance.

In norm referenced assessment, students receive a final grade in terms of their relative standing within the total group of students. It is assumed that the grades within the group will conform fairly closely to a normal distribution (bell curve). This assumption is not always valid, and marks derived from assessment tasks may require statistical adjustment for combining and scaling to arrive at a composite mark, usually expressed as
a percentage.

1.6  Assessment Committee

The committee or committees established by a Faculty Education Committee to award grades to each student for each course for which the faculty is responsible.

The Chair of the Faculty Education Committee shall act as chair of the assessment committee. Its constituency and delegated responsibilities shall be determined by the Faculty Education Committee, with negotiated representation, as appropriate, from other Faculties for whom the Faculty provides service courses.

1.7  Dean or Head of Department

The Dean of Faculty (or Head of Department or section) in which the course is taught is responsible to the Faculty Education Committee for the conduct of the assessment in a course as specified in the approved Course Profile or Course Outline.

1.8  Course Coordinator

A course coordinator is the academic staff member designated by the Dean or Head of Department as being responsible for all aspects of the delivery of the course in a particular term which includes the specification of all required assessment tasks. Part of this responsibility, unless designated otherwise by the Dean or Head of Department, is to recommend to the assessment committee a grade for each student enrolled in the course.

1.9  Examiners and markers

Any person who is involved in the assessment of student work which contributes to the final grade for a course is an examiner, sometimes called a marker if employed specifically for that purpose. The course coordinator could be the sole examiner, or could merely collate reports submitted by examiners using appropriate moderation procedures.

1.10  Results

Results are used to show the outcome of the student’s attempt at required assessment tasks in a course of study. The result may be a grade based on academic achievement or an outcome determined on other grounds (eg. course withdrawal with or without academic penalty). Results used by CQU are:

10.1.1   Non-Passing Results
AF Absent Fail. The student has completed none or insufficient of the various assessment tasks and further submissions of work will not be accepted. This is a final outcome and for the purpose of calculation of progress counts as a fail.
DA Deferred Assessment. Assessment (other than a formal examination administered by the Vice-President Administration) given when a student, through illness or some other acceptable circumstances, has been prevented from taking one or more of the assessments, or has been disadvantaged during the assessment.
NS Not Sat. An interim result which can be assigned by examiners and Assessment Committees to courses where completion of a formal examination is a requirement specified in the course profile for the successful passing of a course, but the student has not sat the examination or applied for a Deferred Examination. 'Not Sats' will count as fails for progress purposes and will appear as Fails on a student’s official academic record, but they will be retained in the Student Records System as a result in the result tabulation for the course as a whole so the Faculties are better able to judge actual class performance in the course.
I Incomplete. Assigned if a student’s result in a course is satisfactory but incomplete. The result of Incomplete is appropriate where work such as a project or an assignment has not been completed at the time of an examiners’ meeting but can be completed within a specified time. If the work is completed within a specified time, the full range of grades is available. If the work is not completed, the result of AF will be awarded.
RO Result Outstanding. At the time of the Assessment Committee meeting, a recommended grade has not been received from the course coordinator. The Assessment Committee meeting subsequently should allocate a grade or another result such as AF.
DE Deferred Examination. A formal examination (administered by the Vice President Administration) given when a student through illness or some other acceptable circumstances, has been prevented from sitting for a formal examination held in the official examination period. Students who apply to sit a Deferred Examination will usually be granted only one opportunity to complete this examination.
DD Deferred Examination. A formal examination administered and conducted at a time determined by the Vice-President (Administration). This result can only be awarded by the Vice President (Administration) and applies in a situation whereby a student is unable to sit for a Deferred Examination (DE) due to ‘very’ exceptional/extenuating circumstances, for which documentary evidence is required.
No student will be permitted more than one attempt at a Deferred Deferred examination for a course.
SE Supplementary Examination. A result given where, having attempted the formal examination in a course, the student is required to complete further assessable work, which is also in the form of a formal examination. This result will only be awarded to a student whose total mark is greater than or equal to 40%, where it is considered that completion of such an examination (SE) is likely to result in the award of a Pass grade. This result may also be awarded where a student has previously been awarded the maximum allowed grades of PC or PT.
SA Supplementary Assessment. A result given where, having attempted the formal examination in a course, or all required assessment in courses which do not have a formal examination, the student is required to complete further assessable work, other than a formal examination.
W Withdrawn. A result given where a student has withdrawn from a course before the Census date for enrolments. (No academic penalty.)
WF Withdrawn Fail. A result given where a student has withdrawn from a course after the Census date for enrolments with academic penalty. (Result of WF only applies to course enrolments withdrawn prior to the commencement of a formal examination period).

1.11  Grades

The term grade is a subset of the term result and reflects a judgement of academic achievement by a student enrolled in a course. No grade for a course can be awarded to a student who is not correctly enrolled in that course. Grades used by Central Queensland University may be criterion referenced or norm referenced. They are listed below. If grades are criterion referenced, the grades are determined by the extent to which the criteria have been met. If grades are norm referenced, and adjusted composite marks are used, the following ranges apply:
HD High Distinction. Used in lieu of a composite mark normally in the range of 85-100.
D Distinction. Used in lieu of a composite mark normally in the range of 75-84.
C Credit. Used in lieu of a composite mark normally in the range of 65-74.
P Pass. Used in lieu of a composite mark normally in the range of 50-64.
PC Pass Conceded. Used in lieu of a composite mark normally in the range 40-49 and deemed to satisfy prerequisites.
PT Pass Terminating. Used in lieu of a composite mark normally in the range 40-49. A PT is not deemed to satisfy prerequisites.
PN Pass Non-grade. Used to indicate a pass in a course for which a full range of grades is not available. That is, the only possible outcomes are pass or fail.
F Fail. Definitely used for composite marks below 40. May be used for composite marks in the range 40-49.
SP Supplementary Pass. Used in lieu of a composite mark normally in the range of 50 –64. Is the ‘only’ passing grade that can be awarded following the successful completion of a SA or SE.

Note: The maximum percentage of combined courses graded as PC or PT, which will be accepted as contributing towards the requirements of an award, is 10 per cent. A Faculty Education Committee may further restrict this rule, or more closely define its application for an award under its control.

Faculty of Business and Law - Postgraduate Rules

A. Rules for Exemptions

To be eligible for an exemption from any course in a postgraduate Business program, a student must have received a “Pass” or above in a course of equivalent content, level and rated hours from an approved program at postgraduate level. The course previously completed must be related to the business or management discipline area. Documentary evidence of courses and grades must be submitted before consideration can be given for any exemptions. All exemptions must be approved by the Dean.

The maximum number of exemptions available towards any postgraduate Business program is 50 per cent of the number of courses comprising the program. Notwithstanding this, in any Master’s program the number of exemptions available where the previous courses have been credited to a completed postgraduate award is limited to a maximum of one-third of the courses contained in the CQU program.

In all Masters’ programs, successful completion of either the Professional Year Program of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia or the CPA program of the Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants makes a student eligible for a block exemption of four electives.

In all Graduate Diploma programs, successful completion of the Professional Year or CPA Programs will make a student eligible for a block exemption of up to 50 per cent of the number of courses in the program. It should be noted that, in some programs, there will not be this number of electives available in the program and exemptions will be limited to the number of electives included in the particular program.

In the Graduate Certificate in Management program, only one exemption will be available.

B. Rules for Substitutions

Substitutions are offered so students do not need to duplicate course knowledge; they do not reduce the number of courses needed to complete the program.

Where a student has completed a course equivalent in content to a core course in any postgraduate Business program (which may be a major course area in a Bachelor’s degree program) but has not claimed or been granted an exemption from that course, an alternative course may be selected from the Table of Postgraduate courses, provided prerequisites have been met. If required, students must submit documentary evidence of courses completed and grades obtained to permit determination of possible course substitutions. The substitution and its replacement course must be approved by the Dean.

C. PC and PT Grades

The award of PC and/or PT grades is confined to undergraduate programs of study within the Faculty of Business & Law. Students with a mark in the range of 44-49 per cent may be considered for the award of PC or PT. PC and PT grades are awarded at the discretion of the Dean. These grades are generally not awarded in Level 1 courses.

The award of PC or PT is restricted to a maximum of 10 per cent of a program or fraction of a program required to be completed for the granting of a
CQU award.

D. Exit Awards

Under normal circumstances, a student shall receive only the award for the program in which they are currently enrolled, and for which they have satisfied graduation requirements.

If a student is unable to complete the full program of study for which they are currently enrolled, they may apply to exit from their current program with an exit award, if an approved exit award exists in relation to the program in which the student has been enrolled. In such cases, students must cancel their enrolment in their current program and apply in writing to graduate with the exit award in question. Approval of the exit award is required from the Dean.

Faculty of Informatics and Communication

PC and PT Grades

The award of PC and/or PT grades is confined to undergraduate courses of study within the Faculty of Informatics and Communication. A grade of PC or PT will not be counted towards graduation from a post graduate program. PC and PT grades are awarded at the discretion of the Dean. These grades are not generally awarded in Level 1 courses. The award of PC and PT is restricted to a maximum of 10 per cent of a program or fraction of a program required to be completed for the granting of a CQU award.

2.0  Procedures

2.1  Course Profiles and Outlines

Each Faculty Education Committee shall establish procedures for the approval of assessment tasks and their relative weightings for each course (except for non-graded and pass/fail courses which must be referred by the Education Committee to the Education Committee of Academic Board according to the procedures for approval of new courses and changes to courses), subject to the availability of resources as advised by the Dean or Head of School. This information, together with any relevant detail regarding the assessment such as assignment due dates, project topics, or assessment criteria, shall be included on the Course Profile or Course Outline which shall be provided to each student (or mailed to distance students) enrolled in the course no later than the second week of term. Where assessment is subject to negotiation with students, this should be clearly stated on the Course Profile or Course Outline, and the outcomes of such negotiation completed in writing (both Course Coordinator and student retaining a copy) by the third week of term.

2.1.1  These assessment tasks and relative weightings, once distributed or negotiated, cannot subsequently be altered without the express approval of the Dean or Head of School, and the agreement of all the affected students enrolled in the course.

2.1.2  However, notwithstanding the above, the Course Coordinator, with approval of the Dean or Head of School, may set further assessment tasks for a particular student or group of students in order to resolve any doubt about the students’ performance in the course.

2.2  Examinations

To the extent possible, the University will endeavour to schedule examinations in the periods designated as examination periods in the approved Calendar of Principal Dates. However, on occasion, it may be necessary to schedule examinations outside these designated periods.

2.2.1  The Dean or Head of School shall advise the Vice-President (Administration) by the due date, of all courses which shall be assessed by formal examination, the nominated Course Coordinator for each course, and the resourcing arrangements.

2.2.2  Course Coordinators, unless otherwise designated by the Dean or Head of School, shall be responsible for drafting examination papers according to the current guidelines for the preparation and printing of examination papers, providing required details on the examination instruction sheet, and verifying the appropriateness and accuracy of the examination papers using procedures agreed to with the Dean or Head of School.

2.2.3  The Dean or Head of School shall provide the Vice-President (Administration) by the due date, all examination papers prepared by Course Coordinators.

2.2.4  The Dean or Head of School should ensure that all worked examination scripts are collected from the Vice-President (Administration) within an appropriate timeframe which allows for the marking and onforwarding of results to students.

2.2.5  The Vice-President (Administration) shall advise students and Course Coordinators of the time and location of examinations by the due date as set out in the Academic Calendar.

2.2.6  The Dean or Head of School shall ensure that, for each examination, a person conversant with the course is available to answer questions that may arise during the examination, including perusal time.

2.2.7  The Dean or Head of School shall ensure that worked examination papers are retained in a readily accessible location for a period of twelve months after the notification of results in case they are required for review.

2.3  Other Assessment Tasks

Assessment tasks used during term are to be completed by each student by the due date as stated in the Course Profile or Course Outline (for distance students, this may be the post-marked date).

Feedback from such assessments should be provided to each student, with adequate time for the student to respond to this feedback before completing the next assessment task. In a twelve week term, two weeks would be a minimum period.

2.4  Determining Results

2.4.1  Each assessment committee shall meet at least once after each term in which students are enrolled, at a date determined by the Chair of the Faculty Education Committee but prior to the due date for submission of results to the Vice-President (Administration).

2.4.2  Each Course Coordinator shall, using the moderated judgements of students’ work submitted by examiners, submit a recommended result for each student enrolled in the course through the Dean or Head of School to the Vice-President (Administration). The Dean or Head of School, at his/her discretion, may require further moderation and/or marking of assessment work by a second examiner. Results submitted shall conform to the format required by the Vice-President (Administration) for data processing/submission at the time. The submitted results shall be considered at the scheduled meeting of the assessment committee. If no grade can be determined at the time of the assessment committee meeting, an alternative result shall be recommended pending determination of the grade. For criterion referenced assessment in courses which have more than one assessment task, the final grade shall be a weighted 'average' of performance against the criteria for each assessment task, unless otherwise stated in the Course Profile or Outline. For norm referenced assessment, consideration should be given to the following when determining grades:

  1. Regression to the mean. If a course includes three or more assessment tasks, the standard deviation of the distribution of composite marks tends to decrease. That is, a student who scores well on one assessment task may not score as well on another, moving the student’s final mark closer to the mean. This tendency can be compensated for statistically, for instance, by using z-scores, if there are sufficient students enrolled in the course for such adjustments.
  2. The fallacy that a 50 per cent score is independent of the assessment tasks. A composite mark of 50 per cent has no absolute value, and is dependent on the assessment tasks used to obtain the marks. The types of assessment tasks and the nature of the marking scheme may mean that the composite mark for a 'Pass' level is above or below 50 per cent. However, composite marks can be adjusted or scaled to force the distribution to conform to the 50 per cent pass mark guidelines outlined above.

2.4.3  The Vice-President (Administration) shall prepare, for the use of assessment committees, schedules showing proposed results for each student.

2.4.4  The assessment committee shall determine a result for each enrolled student in every course offered by the Faculty during the term. In cases of obvious apparent anomaly, the assessment committee may request the withholding of grades in a course pending a review of the assessment or proposed grades by the Dean or Head of School. Final moderation in all courses is the responsibility of the assessment committee, which may request that further assessment be conducted to resolve any doubt or ambiguity.

2.4.5  Students who have been prevented from sitting a formal exam through illness or some other circumstances acceptable to the assessment committee, may apply for a deferred examination [through the Vice-President (Administration) or deferred assessment through the Course Coordinator], within the prescribed timelines.

2.4.6  The Chair of the assessment committee shall advise the Vice-President (Administration) of the student results in each course as determined by the assessment committee by the due date stated in the Academic Calendar.

2.4.7  The Vice-President (Administration) shall advise all students of their result in each course, as determined by the assessment committee. Students who receive a result advice of an I, DA, DE, or SA will be advised to contact the Course Coordinator (or Dean or Head of School) within one week of receiving the result notification to arrange for resolution of the grade. Students who do not do this may be awarded a failing grade.

2.4.8  Interim non-grade results (I, DA, DD, DE, SE, NS, RO, or SA) awarded pending determination of a grade are to be finalised by the assessment committee (or delegated authority) as soon as practicable after the notification of results. The assessment committee (or delegated authority) shall review all interim results six weeks after the notification of results to resolve outstanding grades where possible. No interim result should remain unresolved after one year, except by specific resolution of the assessment committee.

2.4.9  The Chair of the assessment committee shall advise the Vice-President (Administration) of any changes of result subsequent to the assessment committee meeting, using the prescribed procedure of the time.

2.4.10  The Vice-President (Administration) shall issue the student with a revised statement of results.


  1. A result of “Incomplete” may be assigned if a student’s work in a course has been satisfactory, but incomplete. Before such a result is assigned, there should be evidence of illness, personal circumstances justifying compassionate consideration, or unavoidable circumstances that prevented the project or assignment being completed on time.
  2. Such a result is appropriate where work, such as a project or an assignment, has not been completed at the time for results, but can be completed within a stated time with the expectation that, on completion, a pass result may be awarded. The student must be notified by the Faculty concerned of the extension of time which has been granted.
  3. Where the assessment of a course involves a formal examination that has not been passed, such a result is not appropriate and may not be awarded.
  4. A student holding a result of “Incomplete” is not allowed to re-enrol in that course. On successful completion of the outstanding work, the result of “Incomplete” should be changed to an assessed result.

Publication of Results

Students’ results will be published on the WWW. In addition, students will be mailed an individual academic record (result ‘advice’ slip) after each term’s examination period. Results will not be released over the telephone, and students should not ring the University seeking such information.

Result advice slips will be forwarded to students in the weeks following publication.

Degrees with Honours or Distinction

It has been CQU’s practice to award outstanding graduates of Bachelor’s degrees, a degree with Distinction in all Faculties except the James Goldston Faculty of Engineering & Physical Systems, where degrees may be conferred with Honours.

The criteria for the eligibility for these awards may be obtained from the chairperson of the Faculty Education Committee responsible for running the program or the
program advisor.


Review of Results and Grades

1. Preamble

Students may apply for a review of results or grades for courses within both undergraduate and postgraduate programs. This policy and procedures does not relate to Honours theses, research dissertations, and courses which are set up as a Special Topic. If a student wishes to appeal the grade awarded in these instances, the appeal will be directed immediately to the University Appeals Committee.

The function of teaching in Central Queensland University is to facilitate learning and development of skills for lifelong learning. In this spirit, educators shall develop their courses to ensure students are very clear as to the objectives of a course, the assessment requirements of the course, and the criteria by which such items of assessment will be graded.

All these details shall be outlined clearly in a Course Profile issued to students by the end of the first week of term, and for distance education students, in the first mail package. While some courses encourage students to negotiate the actual assessment, this negotiation shall be finalised within the first two weeks of term. Where negotiation is not encouraged, there shall be no changes to the assessment information stated in the Course Profile, without the written agreement of all students in the course, the Course Coordinator and all staff involved in the delivery of the course across the range of locations and modes of delivery.

If a Course Coordinator subsequently awards Supplementary Assessment to a particular student or group of students, that Supplementary Assessment shall be agreed by the Course Coordinator and the Head of School or nominee.

The teaching and learning activities, assessment, and assessment criteria shall all be consistent in their support of stated course objectives. Heads of Schools are responsible to ensure there is a quality assurance mechanism in place to monitor this consistency within the Course Profile.

No item of assessment shall be of a nature which surprises students, in that the course should be structured and resourced to provide practice in the development of skills and critical thinking related to the course content.

All assessment shall be fully transparent, and the lecturer shall be able to fully explain the requirements of assessment before the fact, and the application of such criteria in the marking of the assessment items, after the fact.

This policy statement details processes for ensuring adequate feedback on each item of assessment, an Informal Review process to which all students are entitled if further information is needed, followed by a Formal Faculty Review of Grade if deemed appropriate, and a final avenue for complaint to the Office of the Student Ombudsman.

2. Definition of Terms

Course Profile is a document prepared by the Course Coordinator, in consultation with the Head of School, which provides details of the course, including the names and contact information of the Course Coordinator and any other relevant staff involved in the delivery of the course, objectives of the course, required textbooks, suggested reference materials, details of the mode of delivery and any student study resources, the structure of assessment, details of the assessment items and due dates for submission, assessment criteria, and a study schedule, among other information.

Assessment Items is used to describe any work, whether a written or oral presentation, a performance or dossier which documents activities required to be performed and which form the basis of the assessment for the purpose of determining a grade in the course.

Course Coordinator – for the purposes of this policy and procedures, it is assumed that the course coordinator has responsibility, under the approval of the Head of School or Dean, for preparation of the Course Profile, the setting of assessment, monitoring of all marking in the course, recommendation of grades to the Dean, and the monitoring of all feedback on assessment items or grades. It is recognised that Faculties may distribute responsibility among a group of staff, however, in those instances, the Faculty Dean shall be responsible for ensuring there is a documentation of such delegated responsibilities.

Evaluation Criteria describe the basis for marking an assessment item.

Faculty Campus Coordinator is a person at a campus other than the one where the Dean normally is located, who is so designated by the Dean. The Faculty Campus Coordinator is the person on that campus to whom all communications from the Dean and Associate Deans related to the conduct of the operations of the Faculty at that campus, will be directed. The Faculty Campus Coordinator is the first point of reference for students at that campus.

Staff Member for the purposes of this document, describes all persons that a student, in any mode of study and at any location, in their dealings with the University in the enrolment process or in the delivery of courses, might reasonably assume to be an employee of Central Queensland University. It is deemed that all persons, whether Central Queensland University employees or employees of related institutions, who are charged with responsibility for administration or teaching on behalf of Central Queensland University, are equivalent to staff members for the purpose of this document.

Faculty Sub-Dean is a person at a campus other than the one where the Dean is normally located, who is so designated by the Vice-Chancellor. The role is similar to that of the Faculty Campus Coordinator.

3. Assessment Advice, Feedback and Informal Review

    3.1   Information included in Course Profile
    3.1.1   The Course Profile shall set out clearly and concisely, the course details for enrolment purposes, contact details for relevant staff, objectives of the course, textbook, software and other requirements, assessment information including details of any course assessment items, assessment criteria, and an outline of the study schedule for the term.
    3.1.2   Assessment items shall clearly be linked to the learning objectives of a course. This applies equally to assessment of information literacy skills, teamwork and other generic skills which are integrated in the discipline content of a course and to the technical skills and competencies relating to the discipline.
    3.1.3   For each assessment item, there shall be included in the Course Profile a listing of Evaluation Criteria to guide the student in preparation of the assessment item.
    3.1.4   In the development of Evaluation Criteria, it shall be noted that failure to meet particular requirements of the assessment, such as a failure to reference correctly, will mean that the student may not be given full credit for that aspect of the assessment. However, additional penalties shall not be imposed for failure to meet the same specified requirement.

    3.2   Student Feedback

    1. 3.2.1  Students shall be given definitive, constructive feedback on their performance on the assessment item, for any assessment item which is formative rather than summative assessment.
    2. 3.2.2  This feedback shall be consistent with the evaluation criteria.
    3. 3.2.3  An assessment feedback sheet or another identified mode of feedback may be used for this purpose. The function of this Assessment Feedback Sheet or alternative mechanism is:
    4. (i)   to link the assessment feedback to the Evaluation Criteria advised to students in the Course Profile,
    5. (ii)   to explain clearly what criteria the student needed to have met,
    6. (iii)  to explain the extent to which they have done so or failed to do so, and
    7. (iv)   to record the mark/grade for the assessment item.

    3.3   Informal Review Process

    1. 3.3.1   In addition to this Assessment Feedback Sheet or alternative mechanism, a student has the right to approach the relevant Course Coordinator or other member of the lecturing team, as delegated by the Course Coordinator, regarding their mark or result for the assessment item, feedback on the examination, or the grade for the course, in order to clarify any issues relating to the assessment item or the mark/grade awarded. On a campus where the Course Coordinator is not located, the initial contact must be made to the Faculty Campus Coordinator or Sub-Dean, who will clarify the appropriate procedure in each course, for the initial informal review.
    2. 3.3.2   Contact for the purpose of an informal review may be made in person or by telephone or e-mail. It is at this stage that any oversight, omission of marking, or arithmetic discrepancies in the marking can be corrected.
    3. 3.3.3   It is expected that the creation and use of the feedback sheet or alternative mechanism will explain more fully the student’s performance, and reduce the need for further queries regarding the grade.
    4. 3.3.4   Students are encouraged to seek immediate feedback on assessment. A request for an informal review of any assessment item shall normally be received within 14 days of the assessment item being returned to the student, or within 14 days of there being a reasonable assumption that the student will have received the assessment item. However it is recognised that on occasion, a student will be reticent to question the application of assessment criteria during a term, for fear of retribution. Hence, a student may choose to wait until all assessment has been marked and graded before making a request for informal feedback on any assessment item in the course.
    5. 3.3.5   A request for an informal review of an examination shall normally be received within 21 days of notification of grades for the term, or within 14 days of there being a reasonable assumption that the student will have received notification of results by mail.
    6. 3.3.6   If a student does not become aware of the grade awarded for a course because of University sanctions being applied to the results, the student will be deemed to have received the results 21 days after notification of grades for the term.
    7. 3.3.7   In other instances where a student can demonstrate, through isolation or remoteness from reliable mailing services, that 21 days is not a reasonable time for responding to the need for action by the student, a time shall be determined by the Faculty Dean or nominee.
    8. 3.3.8   It is normally expected that the Faculty will advise the student of the outcome of their application for an informal review of grade within 14 days of receipt of the application.

    3.4   Principles Underlying the Informal Review
    3.4.1   A student is entitled to one informal review with the Course Coordinator or relevant academic staff member for each assessment item, and for the course in total.
    3.4.2   Unless there has been a computational error in calculating the result there will be no reduction in the mark/grade awarded to a student following this informal review.
    3.4.3   Students should be advised that, in combining the outcomes from various assessment items, some method must be applied to this combination. It may be that it is not appropriate to simply add results to determine a total. Where this is the case, the same method of combination must be applied to all students, and this method must be made available to students as part of the informal review process.

4. Formal Faculty Review of Grade

    4.1  Should the student have further queries with the grade awarded for a course after the informal process has been followed, they may seek a Formal Faculty Review of Grade, through the relevant Faculty offering the course. This must be sought as soon as possible following the completion of the informal review, and in any case, within 6 weeks of the notification of the grade for that course.
    4.2   Students at non-Rockhampton campuses should consult with their Faculty Campus Coordinator (or Sub-Dean, as appropriate) before submitting a formal review of grade. The approval of the Faculty Campus Coordinator (or Sub-Dean) is required before an application for a formal review of grade may be submitted. In particular, a student will need to demonstrate and state in writing that the informal review process has been pursued prior to requesting a formal review.
    4.3   A student is entitled to one formal review of grade for each course.
    4.4   It is normally expected that the Faculty will advise the student of the outcome of their application for a formal review of grade within 14 days of receipt of the application.
    4.5  Students are encouraged to seek advice and assistance from the Student Association during the review of grade process.
    4.6  Grounds for Formal Faculty Review of Grade
    4.6.1   The grounds upon which the student may proceed with such a formal review may include:
    (i)   feedback from informal review is unclear or not easily understood, or is inconsistent with earlier advice.
    (ii)   documented difficulties as a result of a breakdown in relevant University systems, experienced in enrolment, delivery of study support materials, management and teaching of the course resulting in inequitable treatment or misinformed advice to students regarding the completion of the assessment.
    (iii)   such other grounds as the student believes relevant.
    4.6.2   Normally proximity of the student’s grade to another level of grade will not, of itself, constitute a ground for review. A ground of review based on the student’s belief that the result is not commensurate with their effort is not, by itself, an acceptable ground for review.
    4.6.3   If the application for review of grade is for a course or part of a course which constitutes a fieldwork, practicum or performance where the student’s performance at the time is assessed by a group of examiners, then the only grounds on which a review of grade may be requested are:
    (i)   that extenuating circumstances, such as an undiagnosed illness, existed at the time of assessment, but was not identified until later;
    (ii)   that the approved procedures laid down in the course outline or fieldwork/practicum/ performance handbook for the assessment of the fieldwork/practicum/ performance were not followed, or
    (iii)   the student did not receive written feedback from the examiner(s) during the activity, or an opportunity and time to act on this feedback.
    4.7   Review Process
    4.7.1   When the Faculty receives the student’s written application for a Formal Faculty Review of Grade, the Dean’s nominee will review the application, and may:
    (i)   decline to proceed further and advise the student in writing for the reasons for the decision.
    (ii)   decide to proceed with the Formal Faculty Review of Grade process.
    4.7.2   Depending on the circumstances, a student may request, or the Faculty may choose in addition, to include either or both of the following processes as part of the Formal Faculty Review of Grade:
    (i)  A review of any or all of the items of assessment by an independent marker chosen by the Dean’s nominee in consultation with the Head of School, and /or
    (ii)   A Faculty Hearing may be requested only for the consideration of process issues or problems.
    4.7.3   If the grounds for review relates to a group of students who appear to have suffered the same system breakdown as identified in a specific case, and it is determined that the group has been disadvantaged by the system breakdown, then every effort shall be made to identify all those students and ensure that the group of student grades is reviewed. The Faculty Dean or nominee is responsible for ensuring this process is completed.

6. Faculty Hearing

    6.1   In certain academic situations, if there are contentious issues surrounding the review of grade, the Dean or Dean’s nominee may determine, or the student may request, that a Faculty Hearing is held, to further resolve or investigate these issues.
    6.2   Faculty Hearing Process
    6.2.1  A student must make application, in writing, for a Faculty Hearing within 14 days of receipt of the outcome of the Formal Faculty Review of Grade. This application must clearly state the grounds on which the decision in relation to the Formal Faculty Review of Grade was unacceptable to the student. The student shall at this time provide all relevant documentation in relation to their application for a Faculty Hearing.
    6.2.2   On receipt of an application for a Faculty Hearing, the Faculty Dean must decide if the student has sufficient grounds to warrant a Faculty Hearing. If it is decided to convene a Faculty Hearing, the Dean (or nominee) shall act as Chair. No new grounds may be presented at the Faculty Hearing.
    6.2.3   If the Faculty determines that there is to be a Faculty Hearing, the student will be notified at least two (2) working days before the Hearing of the date of the Hearing. The Faculty must convene a Hearing within 14 days of receipt of an application.
    6.3   Student assistance with presentation before a Faculty Hearing
    6.3.1   A student may present a case in person to the Faculty Hearing and may be assisted by an enrolled student or staff member of the university or a representative of the Student Association. The student and the faculty representative will have the opportunity to question each other. None of these persons has any voting right. Their purpose in attending the hearing is to ensure that information relating to the matter is presented in full, and fairly from all points of view.
    6.3.2   Faculty Hearing panel members may question all parties to the hearing. The Faculty Hearing may be conducted in person, by videoconference or by teleconference.
    6.4   Faculty Hearing Panel
    6.4.1   The personnel involved in a Faculty Hearing Panel shall consist of:
    (i)   the Dean or Dean’s nominee as Chair
    (ii)   Dean ex officio
    (iii)   one other member of the Faculty Assessment Committee, provided that member is also a member of the staff of the Faculty
    (iv)   a Student Association representative.
    6.4.2  The Dean or Dean’s nominee may request input to the considerations of the Panel from staff of the Faculty including:
    (i)   the Course Coordinator and/or the Head of School, and
    (ii)   the Faculty Campus Coordinator/ Sub-Dean if relevant
    (iii)   or from relevant Divisions.
    6.4.3   The Faculty Hearing Panel may:
    (i)   Confirm the original grade for the course.
    (ii)   Refer the matter to an independent marker for assessment.
    (iii)   Direct that the original marker re-evaluate the assessment item/s in accordance with the specified criteria.
    (iv)   Substitute another grade for the course.
    (v)   Make such other recommendations as the panel deems fair and equitable in the circumstances.
    6.4.4   The Faculty Hearing Panel shall make a determination and communicate that determination to the student in writing within 3 working days of the Hearing. The decision will also be communicated to the Course Coordinator of the course involved in the review.
    6.4.5   The Faculty shall keep a record of the outcomes of all Faculty Hearings, which can be made available to the Ombudsman if required.

7. Complaint to Office of the Student Ombudsman concerning Review of Grade Applications

    7.1   Students may approach the Office of the Student Ombudsman:
    (i)   if the Faculty refuses to grant the student a Formal Review of Grade; or
    (ii)   if the student remains dissatisfied with the processes of the Formal Review of Grade conducted within the Faculty.
    The student shall advise the Student Ombudsman in writing of the nature of the complaint in respect of the review of grade. This application should normally be received within 9 weeks of notification of grades for the term. In relation to a complaint to the Ombudsman which requires the need to view examination papers or written assignments, these complaints shall only be received after the finalisation of the Formal Faculty Review of Grade.
    7.2   Powers of the Student Ombudsman in Relation to Review of Grades
    7.2.1   The Student Ombudsman’s Office may determine there are insufficient grounds for further investigation into the complaint, and determine not to proceed with the investigation of the student’s complaint. The Student Ombudsman’s Office shall provide the student with reasons in writing for that decision, within 7 days of receiving the appeal.
    7.2.2   The Student Ombudsman’s Office may determine that there is sufficient evidence to initiate an investigation into the review of grade. In addition to interviewing the student, either in person, by videoconference or by telephone, the Student Ombudsman’s Office will arrange meetings with any relevant staff member who, in the opinion of the Student Ombudsman’s Office, may be able to assist in understanding the circumstances relating to a course, its teaching delivery or assessment, or the enrolment in the course and the delivery of study support materials.
    7.2.3   If the determination relates to further action as a result of a Review of Grade, the Student Ombudsman shall make determination as to the appropriate processes. The Student Ombudsman shall consult with an academic discipline expert, normally from within the University, and the Faculty Dean (or nominee) responsible for the course, to determine a redress if the Student Ombudsman determines there are grounds for the student’s grade to be reconsidered.
    7.3   Determinations of the Student Ombudsman
    7.3.1   The Student Ombudsman’s Office shall make whatever further enquiries may be necessary, and subsequently report and make recommendations to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor or Vice-President & Registrar, and the Dean of the relevant Faculty.
    7.3.2   The decision of the Student Ombudsman’s Office will be relayed to the Faculty and to the student by the Student Ombudsman. This will normally occur within 21 days of the student lodging the complaint.
    7.3.3   It is the responsibility of the Faculty to implement any recommendation of the Student Ombudsman’s Office.
    7.3.4   The determinations of the Student Ombudsman will be the final stage of any particular review of grade within the University.
    7.3.5   The Office of the Student Ombudsman may separately follow up any recommended changes to Faculty policies and procedures.
    7.3.6   In certain situations the decision of the Student Ombudsman may be referred to the University Appeals Committee for a determination by the Chair of the Appeals Committee.
    7.4   Reporting by the Student Ombudsman
    The Student Ombudsman will provide a brief summary report of issues raised and recommendations for changes to Faculty policies and procedures to Academic Board at least twice each year. The report shall be statistical, and not contain any reference to named individuals (either students or staff).




    1.  Council has established an Appeals Committee to hear and determine appeals from students of the University on academic matters. It is Council’s intention that the Appeals Committee of the Academic Board will be the final appeal body for students in the University on these matters, with no further right of appeal from the Appeals Committee’s decisions to the Council.
    2.  Functions - The Appeals Committee may hear and determine appeals from students on the following matters:

    1. an application to the Faculty Education Committee for a Review of Grade(s) which is unsuccessful;
    2. a Faculty Education Committee determination that a student’s enrolment shall be conditional;
    3. exclusion on the grounds of failing to meet the requirements for progression as specified in the relevant award rules; and
    4. suspension, exclusion, or expulsion for cheating, plagiarising or attempting to circumvent assessment requirements.


    1.  Appeals from students will be heard by the Appeals Committee of the Academic Board comprised of:

    1. the President of the Academic Board (or nominee) as chair, with right of casting vote, as an ex officio member;
    2. the Vice-President (Administration) (or nominee) as member and Secretary as an ex officio member;
    3. two academic staff representatives selected by the chair from a panel of members nominated by the Faculties and nominated members shall serve for two years; and
    4. a Student Association Board of Directors nominee.

    Academic staff members who have sat as members of a Faculty Exclusions Committee shall be ineligible to sit as members of the Appeals Committee convened to hear an appeal from the same student.
    2.  A quorum of the Committee shall be four, two of whom shall be representatives from the Faculties.
    3.  Students who wish to appeal against a determination of an unsuccessful application for a Review of Grade, conditional enrolment, suspension, expulsion or exclusion must lodge a written case of appeal with the Vice-President (Administration) within 7 days of the receipt of official notification of Review of Grade, conditional enrolment, exclusion, suspension or expulsion.
    4.  The Vice-President (Administration) shall forward the written case of appeal to the chair of the Appeals Committee of the Academic Board.
    5.  The chair of the Appeals Committee, after consultation as appropriate with the relevant chair of the Faculty Education Committee, may determine that the appeal not proceed to a hearing for any one of the following reasons:
    1. no reasonable grounds are stated for the appeal;
    2. no new or different grounds are stated for the appeal from those given in response to the request to show cause, which were already considered by the Faculty concerned;
    3. the student has not ensured the student was in a position to receive all notifications from the University, as late or non-receipt of official letters will not be accepted as grounds for appeal if changes of address have not been notified and received by the University; or
    4. the appeal is lodged outside the time stipulated in the rules for appeal as laid down in the Handbook.

    6.  Students whose appeals do not proceed to hearing will be entitled to a refund of any appeal charges paid.
    7.  If it is agreed the appeal should proceed, the chair of the Appeals Committee shall inform the Vice-President (Administration).
    8.  The Vice-President (Administration) will convene the Appeals Committee of the Academic Board within 10 days of the appeal having been lodged and in any case, not later than the final day of Orientation Week.
    9.  Copies of the papers of appeal, in which the student must clearly state the grounds for the appeal, will be sent to committee members and the academic staff member or program coordinator from the Faculty concerned who will be invited to present to the committee in writing or in person the reasons for the action taken by the Faculty affecting the student.
    10.  The student may present a case in person to the committee and may be assisted by an enrolled student or staff member of the University or Student Association. The student and the Faculty representative will have the opportunity to question each other. Committee members may question both parties to the hearing.
    11.  The parties to the hearing shall retire to allow the committee to reach a decision. The Chair may cast a casting vote to arrive at a decision.
    12.  The Vice-President (Administration) shall advise the student of the outcome of the appeal within three working days of the Appeals Committee having made its decision. Copies of the letter to the student will be forwarded to the lecturer concerned and to the Chair of the Faculty Education Committee.
    13.  The prescribed charge for appeals to the Appeals Committee of Academic Board is $50. The amount will be refunded if the appeal is upheld.

Central Queensland University Handbook
This handbook was correct as at: 07-June-2001

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