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The General Board, on the recommendation of the M.D. and M.Chir. Committees, have approved regulations to govern the consideration of complaints about the conduct of the examinations for the degrees of Doctor of Medicine and Master of Surgery (Statutes and Ordinances, pp. 460 and 463) as follows:
1. The M.D. Committee or the M.Chir. Committee, as the case may be, shall consider any representations made by or on behalf of a candidate which constitute a complaint about the conduct of the examination in that candidate's case for the degree of Doctor of Medicine or Master of Surgery, respectively, provided that such representations shall not be considered unless they are received by the Assessor to the Regius Professor of Medicine or the Secretary of the M.Chir Committee, respectively, not later than six months after the date on which the result of the examination was communicated by the Assessor or the Secretary to the candidate. In exceptional circumstances the Committee concerned may allow an extension of this deadline of up to three months.
2. If after considering any representations made by or on behalf of a candidate under Regulation 1 the Committee concerned are satisfied that the examination of that candidate was properly conducted and that the complaint is unjustified, the Committee shall so inform the candidate. If they are not so satisfied, they shall have power to reconsider their earlier decision or to refer the representations to a Review Committee constituted in accordance with Regulation 4. The Committee shall inform the candidate of their decision not more than three months following receipt of the representations.
3. The Committee concerned shall refer to a Review Committee constituted in accordance with Regulation 4 any representations which may be made by or on behalf of a candidate after he or she has been informed of a decision taken by the Committee under Regulation 2 above, provided that such representations shall not be considered unless they are received by the Assessor or the Secretary, respectively, within six months of the date on which the decision taken under Regulation 2 was communicated by the Assessor or the Secretary to the candidate. In exceptional circumstances the Review Committee may allow an extension of this deadline of up to three months.
4. A Review Committee appointed under these regulations shall consist of
|(a)||the Vice-Chancellor, or a duly appointed deputy, as Chairman;|
|(b)||two persons appointed by the General Board from the panel of members maintained by the Board under Regulation 6 of the regulations for the review of the results of examinations for postgraduate qualifications.1|
In selecting members of the panel for appointment as members of the Review Committee, the General Board shall exclude any person who has been involved in the particular case at an earlier stage. A person appointed a member of a Review Committee shall serve until the conclusion of the particular case for which he or she was appointed.
5. A person appointed by the Academic Secretary, shall act as Secretary to the Review Committee.
6. For the purpose of these regulations the term 'complainant' shall mean the student making a complaint, or on whose behalf a complaint is made.
7. The Secretary to the Review Committee shall notify the complainant of the persons appointed to be members of the Review Committee. The complainant shall be entitled to object for good cause to any member so appointed. The Vice-Chancellor shall rule on any such objection, and his or her decision shall be final. If the Vice-Chancellor allows such an objection, another person shall be appointed to replace the person who was the subject of the objection.
8. The Review Committee shall consider any representations referred to them under Regulation 2 or Regulation 3 which in the judgement of the Review Committee constitute a complaint on one or more of the following grounds:
|(a)||that there existed material circumstances relating directly to the examination of which the Examiners were not aware;|
|(b)||that procedural irregularities occurred in the conduct of the examination, which were of such a nature as to cause reasonable doubt as to whether the Examiners would have reached the same conclusion had the irregularities not occurred;|
|(c)||that there is demonstrable evidence of prejudice, bias, or inadequate assessment in the examination process.|
If the Review Committee are of the view that a complaint does not fall within any of the grounds specified above, they shall dismiss the complaint and shall inform the complainant and the M.D. Committee or the M.Chir. Committee, as the case may be, accordingly.
9. When a representation is to be considered by a Review Committee the complainant shall furnish a full statement of the complaint and of the grounds on which the complaint is based, which shall be submitted to the Review Committee not later than a date to be determined by them. The Review Committee shall appoint a day and time for a hearing at which the complainant shall be entitled to be present and to be accompanied by an adviser or a representative who may speak on his or her behalf.
10. Any statement of a complaint received by the Review Committee under Regulation 9 shall be made available to each of the following:
|(a)||the M.D. Committee or the M.Chir. Committee, as the case may be;|
|(b)||the Examiners concerned;|
|(c)||any other person or body specified by the Review Committee.|
Each of these parties shall be given an opportunity to submit a written statement to the Review Committee in response to the complaint. Such a statement may include the reports of the Examiners or extracts from those reports. The Review Committee shall have power to seek statements from other persons or bodies, as they think fit.
11. Any statement submitted to the Review Committee under Regulation 10 shall be made available to the complainant and to the other parties specified in that regulation, each of whom shall be afforded an opportunity to comment on it.
12. A Review Committee shall consider any complaint or any representations referred to them under Regulation 2 or Regulation 3 and shall have power to dismiss the complaint or, if they consider it justified:
|(a)||to require the M.D. Committee or the M.Chir. Committee, as the case may be, to reconsider their earlier decisions on the particular case;|
|(b)||to require the Examiners to re-consider the candidate's submitted work;|
|(c)||to require the Examiners to hold a further oral examination;|
|(d)||to permit the candidate to submit a revised dissertation or thesis, or additional published work, to be examined by the same Examiners;|
|(e)||to require the M.D. Committee or the M.Chir. Committee, as the case may be, to appoint one or more additional Examiners to make an independent report or reports on the work submitted by the candidate;|
|(f)||to require the M.D. Committee or the M.Chir. Committee, as the case may be, to appoint new Examiners to replace the Examiners previously appointed, and to permit the candidate|
|either||(i)||to be re-examined by the new Examiners,|
|or||(ii)||to submit a revised dissertation, thesis, or additional published work, to be examined by the new Examiners;|
13. The Secretary to the Review Committee shall send written notification of the Committee's decision and the reasons for it to the complainant and to the other parties specified in Regulation 10.
14. The decision of a Review Committee on any particular case shall be final.
15. These regulations shall apply to all examinations held on or after 1 October 2003. For the purpose of this regulation an examination shall be deemed to be held on the day on which the candidate's dissertation, thesis, or other submitted work is received by the Assessor or the Secretary.
1 p. 423.
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Cambridge University Reporter, 16 July 2003
Copyright © 2011 The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge.