Latest exam updates

Booking exams at Private Visits

All visits are now called Private Visits, rather than special visits or visits, and the same rules around booking dates apply for everyone. You can book a practical Private Visit up to 28 days before your chosen start date, even it falls within a main exam session.

A practical Private Visit takes place at an approved venue organised by an applicant (the Visit Organiser) on a date (or dates) of their choice. To hold practical exams at a Private Visit there must be at least three hours of examining time. This can include bookings made by the Visit Organiser and any Permitted Applicants.

Music Theory Private Visits take place at an approved venue organised by an applicant (the Visit Organiser). This venue must be an educational institution, a music service or an educational department at a prison/hospital. All Music Theory exams take place on set dates in our main exam sessions and must be booked during the main session booking period.

Visit Organisers book and run Private Visits. The Visit Organiser is responsible for going online to book and create their Private Visit and for sharing their Venue Code with any Permitted Applicants. Applicants cannot book exams at a Private Visit without the permission of the Visit Organiser. The Visit Organiser can ‘remove’ Permitted Applicant status at any time should they wish to. Visit Organisers are also responsible for finalising the timetable and for sharing this information with their candidates and any Permitted Applicants.

Permitted Applicants are applicants who have received permission from a Visit Organiser to book their candidates at a Private Visit.

Venue Codes allow us to identify Private Visits on our system. Once we’ve approved a Private Visit venue and it appears on our system, it will be given a unique identification code. The Visit Organiser will need to share this code with any Permitted Applicants, who will then need to enter the code when they book their candidates at the Private Visit. Once the Permitted Applicant has entered the Venue Code, they will remain a Permitted Applicant at the Private Visit for any future bookings.

We will not share Venue Codes with anyone, as only the Visit Organiser can decide who to allow as a Permitted Applicant at their Private Visit. The Visit Organiser can log in and view their Permitted Applicants at any time and can remove Permitted Applicant status if they wish to.

As a Visit Organiser you may need to request approval for your Private Visit venue before you can make a booking. This can take up to eight working days. We’re introducing this process to ensure that all exam venues meet our standards and those of our UK regulators. You only need to request approval for your venue once. Once approved, this will apply for all your future Private Visit bookings at that venue.

If you held a visit during 2019 you will not need to request approval for your venue, as long as it has not changed. Your venue will be pre-approved in our system. To ensure we link you, as the Visit Organiser, to your pre-approved venue please enter your old Applicant Number on the registration form when you create your new online account.

If you are a new Visit Organiser, have a new venue or have not booked a visit in 2019 you will need to apply for venue approval before you book a Private Visit.

The standard exam day is 8 hours 5 minutes long, which includes 6 hours 30 minutes of examining as well as time allocated for examiner breaks. When you book a Private Visit you can specify for your exam day(s) to start at 9.00am or 9.30am. For any special requests, please contact us before the 28-day deadline. No further changes are allowed after the 28-day deadline, including late bookings.

Visit Organisers and any Permitted Applicants can book candidates at a practical Private Visit up to 28 days before the Private Visit start date. At this point we will confirm the visit if it meets our requirements.

The Visit Organiser can log in and rearrange their Private Visit timetable once we have ‘confirmed’ the Private Visit booking. We will email the Visit Organiser and any Permitted Applicants at the point of confirmation to let them know that they can log in to view their exam times.

At this point, the Visit Organiser can log in and view all the candidates at their Private Visit, including those booked by Permitted Applicants. They can then use the online timetabling tool to rearrange their exam day(s) if they wish. It is the responsibility of the Visit Organiser to contact their candidates and any Permitted Applicants to let them know about the revised exam times. The Visit Organiser can make changes to the timetable up to 48 hours before the start date.

If space is available, Visit Organisers and Permitted Applicants can add candidates as late bookings once the Private Visit has been confirmed (28 days before the visit start date). You can book candidates into available space up to 48 hours (two full days) before the visit start date. You can only add candidates as late bookings if space is available within your confirmed visit dates and times. We finalise visits as full days or half days and we cannot add further days or extend a half day to a full day once the visit has been confirmed. For example, if you have five hours of exams on one day you can only add late bookings that fit in the remaining time on that day; or if you have exams in a morning only, you can only add late bookings that fit in any time available at the end of the morning session – you would not be able to change a morning session into a full day.

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