Assessment guidelines

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Phillip Bryant, Senior Qualifications and Assessments Manger, ICA presents an overview of how ICA qualifications are assessed.


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.

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

Download Assessment Framework


Awarding Regulations and Guidelines

  1. The minimum pass mark for each piece of assessment is 40%, If a candidate fails to achieve this mark in any assessment, they will need to retake that element, answering a different assignment or examination.

  2. Candidates must achieve an overall average mark of 50% in order to pass the programme.

  3. The maximum number of attempts for any assessment is two. This does not include any re-assessment granted by the Assessment Board due to mitigating circumstances.

  4. Where a candidate has failed one or more assessment components, their mark for the re-assessment will be capped at 50 (or the minimum mark needed to pass the overall qualification).

  5. The Assessment Board shall have the power to determine whether a candidate is required to repeat one or more pieces of assessed work.

  6. Decisions as to which piece of assessed work needs to be retaken, where a choice exists, will be determined exclusively by the Assessment Board.

  7. Candidates granted the right to re-take an assessment must complete the re-take at the next available opportunity. The right to defer is not automatic.

  8. Where a candidate fails to pass the course after exhausting all re-take opportunities, they will be offered a Certificate of Attendance.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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. To be eligible for this the candidate must have achieved a mark of 40 or above in each of the elements of assessment.

  13. If the candidate is not eligible to be awarded a lower level of award the Board may award a certificate of attendance.

Assessment Boards

The meeting of an Assessment Board is an important occasion where the final marks and grades are confirmed and how ICA verifies that academic standards are appropriate in the relevant subject.

This document details the principles that govern how Assessment Boards must be ran.

Download ICA's Assessment Board policy


Mitigating Circumstances

What is mitigation?

Sometimes circumstances or events beyond their control may adversely affect a candidate’s ability to perform in an assessment to their full potential. In such cases mitigation may be applied.

This document outlines our policy and procedures on mitigating circumstance.

Download ICA's policy on mitigating circumstances

If a candidate wishes to claim mitigating circumstances, they must complete the Mitigating Circumstances form and send it to ICA at

Download ICA's Mitigating Circumstances form



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 ICA's policy of the use of External Examiners


Academic Malpractice

ICA regards all forms of academic malpractice as a serious matter.

ICA has issued guidelines on academic 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 ICA's policy on academic malpractice


Appeals Procedure

If you wish to make a formal appeal, you may do so in respect of the decisions of the Assessment Board and/or the feedback given on assessed work only 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.

[NB: if a candidate wishes to appeal on such grounds, they must give adequate reasons with supporting documentation as to why this information was not made available before the decision was 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 as to 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 Appeals policy.

Download ICA'S policy on appeals


Help and support

Alternatively contact us on: +44(0)121 362 7534 / (Course information)

or +44(0)121 362 7533 / (Enrolled learners)

or +44 (0) 121 362 7503 / (End Point Assessment)