Responding to COVID-19: insight, support and guidance

Online exams

Online invigilation (flexible location)

To accommodate our growing student network, we have partnered with remote invigilation service ProctorU to conduct our exams online.

Students take their exams in CIPFA Assessment but are monitored by ProctorU through their webcams and microphones.




Frequently asked questions


Is my computer compatible with CIPFA's examining software?


To ensure that your computer is compatible with our software, please take the following precautions:

Step 1: Check that your internet provider supports ProctorU

TalkTalk and Virgin Media

customers will find that they are blocked from fully accessing ProctorU.


To lift these restrictions, simply contact your internet provider and ask them to whitelist or remove scam protection from the URLs detailed in this article:

Step 2: Enable screen recordings

Apple increased security features with the release of OS X Catalina. To avoid technical issues during your exam session, MacOS X Catalina users must enable screen recordings.

Watch ProctorU's step-by-step tutorial on how to enable screen recordings in MacOS Catalina, below:


Step 3: Download Google Chrome

Our examining platform CIPFA Assessment (Calibrand) will only work in the latest version of Google Chrome.

Step 4: Take the CIPFA invigilated systems test


To troubleshoot your device, we will provide free invigilated tests to all students sitting their exams this June. These have been designed to replicate exam conditions and should only last ten minutes:

  1. Set up your computer in your venue and test your computer’s equipment here. This should alert you to any major issues with your device.
  2. Have your photo ID ready and log in to CIPFA Assessment (Calibrand) using your student number as your username.
  3. Go to LIVE exams and click the owl icon next to your exam. Press Schedule and select a suitable start time.
  4. Once you’ve reached your start time, ProctorU will walk you through their security steps. A technician will be on hand should you encounter any difficulties.

Is my computer compatible with CIPFA's examining websites?


CIPFA's examining sites work exclusively with Google Chrome.

To see if your computer is compatible with our examining sites, please visit CIPFA Assessment and ProctorU's testing pages.




What is the CIPFA invigilated systems test?


The CIPFA invigilated system test is a free online test designed to simulate exam conditions.

This is a ten minute test given in advance of your exam to ensure that your computer is compatible with our examining technology.

It is strongly advised that you take the 'CIPFA Invigilated System Test' - even if the student have sat the exams with ProctorU previously. Students who fail to take the technical test will put themselves at risk of having technical issues on examination day and they will NOT be granted deferrals or special considerations in such cases.

The test will be added to your CIPFA Assessment account on Wednesday 4 November.


Should you encounter easily fixed issues during the first test, a second test will be added to your account on Wednesday 18 November.

What should I do if my CIPFA invigilated systems test doesn't work?


If you are unable to complete our systems tests, you can change the modality to local invigilation. 

Please contact studentsupport@cipfa.org for further information.


Who will invigilate my exam?


Online exams are supervised by remote invigilation service ProctorU. Students take their exams in CIPFA Assessment but are monitored by ProctorU through their webcams and microphones.




When is my exam?


Once you have booked your exam you will need to schedule a start time in CIPFA Assessment.

Your start time should be scheduled at least 72 hours before the day of your exam.

When can I start my exam?

Morning exams
These exams can be started at any time between 09:00 & 11:00
Afternoon exams  These exams can be started at any time between 13:00 & 15:00
The Strategic Case Study  This exam can be started at any time between 09:30 & 13:00

How to schedule an exam

  1. Log in to CIPFA Assessment using your student number as your username.
  2. Enter LIVE Exams and select the owl icon next to your exam. Your exam will be listed under My Sessions.
  3. Press Schedule and select a suitable start time. Your exam has now been scheduled.

Further resources

How long is my exam?

What can I take into the exam room?


The following items are permitted in the exam room:

  • Photo ID.
  • A PC or laptop (electronic devices should have a working webcam and microphone).
  • A pen, pencil and rubber.
  • A scientific calculator (that does not connect to the internet).
  • Four sheets (eight sides) of blank paper.
  • A mirror.
  • A drink (a water bottle with no labels or a clear glass of water is recommended).
  • Smartphones – smartphones are allowed in the exam room but must be turned off and out of hands reach.
  • Monitors and screens that are not attached to the exam – these must be switched off.

The following items are NOT permitted in the exam room:                                                                              

  • Smart watches.
  • Monitors and screens that are not attached to the exam are allowed in the room, but must be switched off and out of arms reach.
  • Unauthorised materials. Books, dictionaries, notepads, magazines, post it notes must be removed from the exam space. Please note that this does not pertain to SCS Advance Material or the four sheets (eight sides) of blank paper that all students are entitled to.
  • Unauthorised web pages, web extensions or software. Candidates are also prohibited from using any unauthorised web extensions or software during their exam.

Are toilet breaks permitted during the exam?


Yes, but you will need to inform your invigilator via the chat box that you require a toilet break. Once you’ve returned, you will be asked to provide a 360° view of your workspace. The timer will not be stopped during this time.


Who should I contact if there is an issue during my exam?


Should you encounter any technical difficulties please telephone +44 (0) 207 543 5600.

Our lines are open from Monday - Friday, 08:00 - 18:00 (UK time) during exams week.

If there is a major disturbance during your exam (e.g. a fire alarm), you may leave the exam space. If possible, please notify your invigilator before exiting. Once the disruption is over you should contact the invigilator to restart the exam.

If there is a minor disturbance (e.g. a ringing doorbell), please try to ignore this and continue with your exam. In the unlikely event that you are unable to return to the exam, please contact us at studentsupport@cipfa.org

Can I apply for a deferral?


Students looking to cancel their exams will need to formally apply for a deferral. We will only consider deferrals that meet one of the following criteria:

  • Medical
  • Bereavement
  • Local emergency.
To apply for a deferral, please click here.