Assessment guidelines

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Assessment Framework

ICA has an Assessment Framework that sets out the principles, practices and conducts of assessment, and outlines the processes we go through when making assessment decisions.

Download Assessment Framework

This document illustrates the ICA assessment framework and should be read in conjunction with the ICA policies outlined below. 

Download Assessment Handbook (Advanced Certificate & Diploma)

Download Assessment Handbook (Postgraduate Diploma) 


Awarding Regulations and Guidelines

  1. The minimum pass mark for each piece of assessment is 40%, however, the candidate must achieve an overall pass mark of 50% in order to pass the programme.
  2. The maximum number of re- takes for any assessment is two. This does not include any re-assessment granted by the Assessment Board due to mitigating circumstances
  3. Where a candidate has failed one or more assessment components they can only receive the minimum pass level mark on re-assessment
  4. Decisions as to which piece of assessed work needs to be retaken, where a choice exists, will be determined exclusively by the Assessment Board
  5. Where a candidate fails to pass the course after exhausting all re-take opportunities they will be offered a Certificate of Attendance as per point 9.
  6. Where mitigating circumstances have been accepted by the Assessment Board for a candidate who has failed an assessment component or the overall assessment, amendments to the awarding classification can be made by the Assessment Board but the mark awarded will remain the same. The candidate will be recorded as having passed with mitigating grounds
  7. Where a candidate has achieved a passing mark in an assessment they may not repeat that assessment with the objective of trying to increase the mark for that piece of work
  8. The Assessment Board shall have the power to determine whether a candidate is required to repeat one or more pieces of assessed work
  9. Where a candidate’s final mark is borderline i.e. 49, 59, 69, the Assessment Board will review the candidate’s assessment with a view to increasing the overall grade. In the case of diploma candidates, two out of the three marks must fall in the upper bracket and the candidate must have demonstrated through their assessments that they have performed in the higher grade banding. For Advanced Certificate students at least one mark must be in a higher bracket with good evidence to demonstrate they have performed in the higher grade banding.
  10. In the event of failure by a candidate the Assessment Board shall have the power to recommend that the candidate be awarded a lower level of award. For example, a candidate that fails the diploma programme may be recommended for a pass at Advanced Certificate provided the fail mark in the diploma falls within accepted boundaries:
         i. If a grade is no more than 10 below the diploma pass rate of 50%
        ii. If the average mark is below 40 then the Board may award a certificate of attendance
  11. Candidates granted the right to re-take an assessment must attend the re-take at the next available sitting. The right to defer is not automatic


Assessment Boards

Reaching decision

Download Assessment Boards Guidance


Mitigating Circumstances

What is mitigation?

Sometimes circumstances or events beyond your control may adversely affect your ability to perform in an assessment to your full potential or to complete an assignment by the stated deadline. In such cases mitigation may be applied.

This document outlines our policy and procedures on mitigating or extenuating circumstance. 

Download Mitigating Circumstances Document 

Download Mitigating Circumstances Form 

Completed Mitigating Circumstances forms should be emailed to ICA at


External Examiners

External Examiners play a vital role in the maintenance of academic standards and in ensuring rigorous but fair assessment of candidates. This guidance will provide generic information on the role of External Examiners at ICA and outlines the activities in which External Examiners are likely to be involved.

Download External Examiners Guidance


Academic and Professional Malpractice

ICA regards plagiarism and other forms of academic malpractice (such as collusion and fabrication or falsification of results) as serious academic offences. ICA also expects all members to sign up to, and operate in accordance with, the ICA Code of Conduct and maintain professional standards.  

ICA has issued guidelines on academic and professional malpractice to help clarify for you what will be considered as constituting these offences and to indicate the nature of the penalties that may be imposed where they occur.

This document also contains information on penalties applied for late submission and excessive word count. 

Download Academic and Professional Malpractice Document


Appeals Procedure

The ICA welcomes feedback about the assessment process. If you wish to submit feedback you may do so by telephone or email.

If you wish to formally appeal you may do so against the marks awarded and/or the feedback given on assessed work on the following grounds:

A. that there exists or existed circumstances affecting your performance of which, for good reason, the Assessment Board may not have been made aware when the decision was taken and which might have had a material effect on the decision [Note: if a candidate wishes to appeal on such grounds, they must give adequate reasons with supporting documentation why this information was not made available prior to the decision being made.

B. that there had been a material administrative error or procedural irregularity in the assessment process or in putting into effect the regulations for the programme of study of such a nature as to cause significant doubt whether the decision might have been different if the error or irregularity had not occurred

C. that there is evidence of prejudice or bias or lack of proper assessment on the part of one or more of the examiners

An appeal which questions the academic or professional judgement of those charged with the responsibility for assessing a candidate’s academic performance or professional competence will not be permitted.

Should you wish to make an appeal it is important that you read the full ICA Appeal Guidelines.

Download Appeal Guidelines


Complaints Policy

ICA is committed to providing a quality service and achieving the highest standards of conduct and has adopted these commitments as specific values. One of the ways in which we can continue to improve our service is by listening and responding to the views of our customers.

This document outlines our approach to complaints concerning assessment.

Download Complaints Procedure


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