Information for exam invigilators

We employ a team of external invigilators to oversee University closed exams.

Work is seasonal and concentrated during the exam periods in January, May, June and August, although ad hoc sessions may arise throughout the year.

The position of invigilator is one of significant responsibility. Invigilators are expected to be fully conversant with University exam procedures, have excellent attention to detail and have a high standard of written and spoken English. 

Policy and guidelines

Invigilation policy (PDF , 427kb)

A further handbook outlining best practice and guidelines for invigilators has been produced by the Exams Office. Electronic copies will be provided to Senior Invigilators each time the document is updated and hard copies provided along with exam paperwork. To request a copy email

Related links

Assistant Invigilators

We are now recruiting for Assistant Invigilators. If you are interested in working with us, please email Your email should include a copy of your CV and a brief statement of interest which explains why you are applying for this role.

Senior/Room Invigilators

Vacancies may be advertised here as and when they arise, alternatively, existing Assistant Invigilators who have significant experience and have performed exceptionally may be invited to apply for these roles.

There is no automatic progression from Assistant Invigilator to Room/Senior Invigilator regardless of how long you have worked as an Assistant Invigilator.

If you are invited to apply to be a Senior or Room Invigilator you should consider how you can evidence your suitability. While having worked as an Assistant Invigilator is excellent preparation for being a Senior or Room Invigilator, it alone is not sufficient to demonstrate that you would be capable of a more senior role. We would also expect you to provide evidence of your ability to manage complex situations and hold a position of authority. Please see the "Duties and roles" tab for further information on the role. 

PhD students

Periodically we invite applications from PhD students to be Assistant Invigilators. Your departmental administrator will advise you when we are accepting such applications. 

All students are restricted to working a total of 20 hours per week according to regulations 2.3[f] and 6.2[f]. This maximum is subject to any restrictions imposed by your sponsor or funding body and the approval of your supervisor. 

If you undertake any other work (whether elsewhere in the University or externally) you must ensure that invigilation does not take you over 20 hours.

Please remember that the Exams Office will not be aware of other work you may be undertaking, so it is your responsibility to ensure you adhere to these guidelines.

If, when the invigilation schedule is released, you have been allocated too many hours then please advise the Exams Office as soon as possible. Failure to do so within a reasonable amount of time will result in your suspension as an invigilator. 

Further information on working for students with a Student Visa

Eligibility to Work

In accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 we have a legal responsibility to check that all employees are entitled to work in the UK.

We are required to see original documents evidencing your right to work in the UK before any employment is undertaken.

This would usually be a passport, and, for non-UK/EU citizens, a visa.

If you cannot provide these documents, or have any queries, email It is your responsibility to advise us of any relevant changes to your circumstances or immigration status, and to provide us with updated documents if any expire.

All invigilators are employed on a casual basis and as such we do not expect you to commit to a set amount of hours. Due to the complexity of the timetable, and the amount of last-minute changes that can occur, we cannot guarantee that a set amount of hours of work will be offered to any invigilator, nor that all invigilators will be allocated equal amounts of shifts. 

The number of exams taking place will determine how many invigilators we contact - we do not guarantee that all invigilators will be offered work in all exam periods. Before each exam period we request for you to update your availability on Dashboard, this is used to construct the invigilation timetable. Stating that you are available does not guarantee that you will be offered work in that session.  

Once the invigilation timetable has been published we expect invigilators to commit to attending all of the shifts they have been allocated, except in the case of illness or emergency. Failure to attend a shift may result in your suspension as an invigilator.

Please note that the invigilation schedules change frequently throughout exam periods. Updated timetables will be sent by email and therefore you must be able to access email frequently in order to check for any changes or additional information. It is your responsibility to ensure you are always working from the latest version of the timetable. 

If the exam you are invigilating finishes early you may be permitted to leave at the discretion of the Senior Invigilator or the Exams Office. If you do so, you must only claim for the actual hours you worked. If you wish to work for the full amount of hours you were originally scheduled for, please contact the Exams Office who will advise you if another exam is taking place in a different venue where you can complete your shift.  If you were originally scheduled as a Senior or Room Invigilator you can claim at that rate for the whole amount of hours worked, even if you complete the shift as an assistant in another venue. 


If an exam you were due to invigilate is cancelled we will let you know as soon as possible. If this is during a Common Assessment Period we will endeavour to offer you a shift of similar length in another exam. If no other exams are taking place, and your shift is cancelled on the day it was due to take place we will still pay you for the scheduled hours. If an alternative shift is offered but you do not wish to undertake it, or if the exam is cancelled with a day's notice (or more) you will not be paid for the cancelled shift.

If the cancelled exam is departmental it is unlikely that an alternative shift will be available. We advise departments that they should endeavour to give 24 hours notice of a cancellation, and if less than this is provided then the shift should still be paid. However this is at the discretion of the hiring manager. If you are offered work in a departmental exam and wish to discuss the department's cancellation policy with the hiring manager before undertaking the shift please do so. The name and contact details of the hiring manager will be provided to you when the shift is being arranged. 

Senior/Room Invigilators

All exams are supervised by either a Room Invigilator (responsible for a single student taking an exam in an individual room) or a Senior Invigilator (responsible for exams of 2-300 students and leading the team of Assistant Invigilators). These are complex roles which carry significant responsibility. The Senior/Room Invigilator takes ultimate responsibility for the exam session, including ensuring that University regulations are adhered to at all times, managing the team of Assistant Invigilators and providing a written record of any incidents or occurrences affecting the exam. Where cases of suspected academic misconduct arise, Senior/Room Invigilator's reports will be presented to the Academic Misconduct hearing, and in some cases the Senior/Room Invigilator may be asked to attend an interview with the Academic Misconduct Panel to discuss the reported event. 

Rates of pay: £18.67 per hour (Room Invigilator); £29.04 per hour (Senior Invigilator)

Assistant Invigilators

Main duties of an Assistant Invigilator (all undertaken under the supervision of the Senior Invigilator)

  • Establish familiarity with the University’s exam regulations and procedures and, as part of a team, ensure these are observed at all times (referring any queries or suspected breaches to the Senior Invigilator)
  • Set up the venue prior to the start of the exam
  • Conduct identity checks
  • Accompany candidates to the toilet
  • Assist with candidates who arrive late
  • Assist with candidates who become ill during an exam session
  • Assist in the resolution of students’ queries regarding errors or misunderstandings in exam question papers
  • Assist in the implementation of any additional arrangements in place to support candidates with exam adjustments due to disabilities or other conditions
  • Be vigilant and report any incident of suspected academic misconduct immediately to the Senior Invigilator
  • Collect answer scripts at the end of each exam
  • Ensure the security of all exam materials 
  • Be aware of the requirements of the evacuation procedure and apply it if necessary
  • Any additional duties required by the Exams Office or the Senior Invigilator to ensure the smooth running of the exams  

Rate of pay: £12.00 per hour

Skills required

  • Ability to work effectively in a busy and pressured environment
  • A high degree of attention to detail
  • Ability to adhere to strict procedural and operational protocols
  • Ability to handle sensitive and confidential information to the highest standards of security 
  • Ability to work with discretion, tact and diplomacy 
  • A good standard of written and spoken English, with the ability to communicate information helpfully and accurately
  • Excellent teamwork
  • Proactive and able to work with minimal supervision and guidance
  • Good IT skills, with the ability to use standard IT packages such as Microsoft Office

Physical elements of the role

Please note that invigilation roles may require invigilators to use tiered venues with stairs, to stand/walk around for a number of hours, to walk between venues spanning the campus, and to carry light/medium weights (eg boxes of exam papers or stationery). If this raises any issues for you, or you have any queries about these aspects of the role, please contact us to discuss this further. 

Evacuation procedures

You should ensure you are familiar with the University's emergency evacuation procedures. These are usually listed on an information sheet on the wall near the main door of the room. Please ensure that you know which exits are to be used in case of emergency, and the location of the assembly point for the building. 


In case of emergency, please contact the University's Security Services on +44(0)1904 32 3333. This includes if you require an ambulance or other emergency service - please do not dial 999 yourself. Security Services will do so on your behalf, as they will have additional information they can provide to the emergency services (eg the best route for an ambulance to access certain parts of campus) that we would not expect you to know. 

For non-emergencies, Security Services can be contacted on +44(0)1904 32 4444.

First aid

Do not attempt to perform first aid yourself. All University Receptionists are trained in first aid - please contact the nearest Reception Desk on (01904 32) followed by the four digit number below: 

  • Alcuin: 3300
  • Central Hall: 2471
  • Chemistry: 2529
  • Derwent: 3500
  • Physics: 2280
  • Campus East: 5100

What to do in the case of fire

If you discover a fire

  • Raise the fire alarm and activate fire bells at nearest break glass point
  • Telephone Security Services on +44(0)1904 32 3333 telling them the location of fire

When you hear the alarm

  • Immediately leave the building and tell others to do likewise
  • Close doors behind you
  • Use the nearest and quickest safe route to outside, there are at least two
  • When outside, go to place of assembly and stay there until the Fire Service has completed an evacuation check of the building
  • If you know of anyone still to be inside tell the Fire Service


  • Continuous: leave at once
  • Intermittent: prepare to leave

Use of fire fighting equipment

  • Do not take risks

Check emergency exit routes and locations of alarms: it could save your life.

Information and claim forms can be accessed via payroll

Central Exams: These are centrally organised and part of the Common Assessment Periods. When filling in the form, enter the name of the Exams Team Leader in the "Hiring Manager" section. Enter as the email address, and "Invigilators" as the department.

Departmental Exams: If you undertake any invigilation for a departmental exam, please check with the department what details you should enter - do not enter the Exams Office's details. 

If you are unsure whether the work you are doing is for a departmental or a central exam please check with the Exams Office.

Select "Timesheet" as the option when completing the form. Fill in all sections when completing the timesheet, including providing a description of the work (eg "Exams Invigilation in D/L/002") and selecting the appropriate rate of pay. 

Invigilators are not eligible for reimbursement of any expenses incurred (eg car parking, public transport costs or subsistence expenses). 

Payments are made monthly and in arrears. Please note that it can take 1-3 months for claims to be processed and payment to be received. 

It is your responsibility to submit your claim forms, and reminders will not be sent. Please make all claims within 1 month of undertaking the work. Failure to do so may mean we do not offer you further work in the future.

Car parking

The University does not pay for Invigilator car parking. If you are parking on campus you must either park in a pay and display car park and pay at the parking machine or pay for daily parking permits at the Information Centre.

All exams held in departments must be subject the the same guidelines and procedures as central exams. Departmental staff who have completed invigilation training may invigilate these exams. Upon request the Exams Office can provide invigilation training for departmental staff - please contact to discuss this. All arrangements for such training (eg booking a venue, inviting staff) must be made by the department. 

If you would like the Exams Office to engage external invigilators for you please complete the request form giving at least two weeks notice. Please ensure you email to confirm a request has been madeIf your exam is within a Common Assessment Period unfortunately we will not be able to arrange this for you as our invigilators will already be working. 

Once external invigilators have been engaged their contact details will be provided to the hiring manager in the requesting department. Further arrangements (eg changes, any information required prior to the exam, details regarding pay claims) should be communicated directly between the hiring manager and the invigilators - the Exams Office will have no further involvement once the initial engagement has been confirmed. Invigilation for these exams must be paid for departmentally. 


As above, you may be contacted at various points throughout the year with offers of departmental work. Please let the Exams Office know if you are not interested in this and so do not wish for your contact details to be shared within the University. Under no circumstances will your contact details ever be shared outside the University. 

If you are given work by a department please submit your claim form directly to them to be paid. If you are unsure whether the work you are doing is for a departmental or a central exam please check with the Exams Office.

Related links