Key information: boards

Sheffield Hallam University’s assessment boards are held at the end of each assessment period and ratify students’ assessment results.

Responsibilities of Departmental Assessment Boards
The responsibilities of the Departmental Assessment Boards are to:

  • ensure that assessment has been conducted in accordance with the definitive document and approved module descriptors
  • ratify the final moderated marks for each course
  • ratify individual student assessment profiles leading to progression, continuation and award
  • ensure that the assessment of students has been conducted in accordance with University regulations (and PSRB requirements where appropriate)
  • address quality assurance issues relating to assessment delivery and processing which require immediate attention, eg. scaling
  • identify quality assurance issues requiring review for referral to Departmental Boards, eg. modules with high referral rates.

Please see Departmental Assessment Board Policy    Departmental Assessment Board Procedures

Timing of the  Departmental Assessment Board process
Meetings of Departmental Assessment Boards take place according to the Standard Academic Undergraduate and Postgraduate Calendars. For courses delivered outside the Standard Calendars, Boards take place in order to ratify progression and award in a timely fashion following each assessment period.

Please see Departmental Assessment Board Schedules

Guidance for Board Chairs and members
Departmental Assessment Boards have the following members and roles:

  • Chair – Head of Department, or exceptionally nominee (as agreed by Faculty Pro-Vice Chancellor) Managing conduct and business of the Board in line with agreed procedures. Oversight of assessment across programmes Oversight of adherence to regulations and academic frameworks Oversight of External Examiner contribution
  • A Course Leader for every course Presentation of student result profiles and reporting of any issues with student profiles by exception Confirmation that assessment has been conducted in accordance with regulations, definitive document, module descriptors and academic frameworks including moderation
  • Module Leaders for all modules being considered at the DAB Reporting of any issues with assessment of modules (including scaling), by exception. (Otherwise assume module assessed in accordance with regulations, module descriptor and academic frameworks including moderation)
  • Assistant Registrar: Registry Services, or nominee Oversight of compliance with regulations and processing of assessment
  • Course External Examiners Oversight of adherence to regulations
  • Secretary – representative of the Chief Operating Officer Organisation and recording of decisions.

Guidance for external examiners
The appointment of external examiners is managed by staff in the Academic Quality and Standards Team and academic staff based in Faculties.  Information on external examiners appointment, management and closure of appointments can be found on the AQS intranet pages.

Information for external examiners is available on the  external examiner extranet pages


Following referral, the assessment task will be capped at the minimum module pass mark, i.e. 40% for levels 3-6 and 50% for level 7 modules. For all modules referral will be on a ‘task for task’ basis:

  • The referral should normally be in the same form and content as the initial assessment task and normally a new piece of work should be set, except for an individual project or dissertation. Where variation is necessary this should be clearly noted during internal and external moderation of assessment instruments.
  • Where the module is not passed, the student should take all assessment tasks that have a mark below the minimum pass mark.
  • Where reassessment is taken, the best mark is used to calculate the overall module result.
  • Where reassessment is not taken, a mark of zero will be recorded but the previous mark will be used to calculate the overall module result. Following referral the assessment task will be capped at the minimum module pass mark.


If an Extenuating Circumstances Panel agrees that a student’s circumstances (as reported via a Request to Repeat an Assessment Attempt – RRAA), are valid and acceptable, the student will be given a deferral in the assessment task that the student claimed to be affected when the student has not achieved the minimum module pass mark. 

Deferred assessment is always task for task and should normally be in the same form and content as the initial assessment task and normally a different assessment task would be set, except for dissertations or individual projects. Where variation is necessary this should be approved by the relevant Departmental Assessment Board. The also applies to deferral against a referred attempt.

A RRAA will only be considered at assessment task level not sub-task level (i.e. not against an individual experiment in a collection of smaller sub-tasks, but rather the whole set). Exceptional extension requests should be used (where appropriate) where a student is unable to take an assessment task due to a valid and acceptable reason.

A RRAA cannot be submitted for in-module retrieval; exceptional extension requests may be used where appropriate.

Continuing Reassessment

At the Reassessment Board, if the student has not had all the normal opportunities for first sit, referral and / or deferral because of extenuating circumstances accepted by the University or if the student has to rework some assessment due to academic misconduct, then they will been given ‘continued reassessment’ in the module. The module leader will then need to prepare an assessment task for these students.

Sub Task Reassessment

The reassessment of a task which consists of sub-tasks must be clearly articulated to students. Two methods of reassessment are possible, the over-riding principle being that students must be given an opportunity to demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes:

  • Sub-task for sub-task reassessment – this may not be a viable option for some sub-task assessments, such as weekly lab tests. A reassessment brief for each sub-task would need to be produced.
  • Task reassessment package – one reassessment package would need to be produced.