Exam system contingency plan: England, Wales and Northern Ireland

This joint contingency plan is in place to deal with any major disruption that may affect exam candidates.

Applies to England, Northern Ireland and Wales



The joint contingency plan is designed to ensure a consistent and effective response to any major disruption to the examination system in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Examples of disruptions could include severe weather, widespread illness, travel disruption or system failures.

Published 13 February 2015
Last updated 18 January 2023 + show all updates
  1. Updated 'General contingency guidance' to include 'Handling strike action in schools from the Department for Education in England'. Updated 'Widespread national disruption to the taking of examinations or assessments' section to notify that the Department for Education has updated its guidance on handling strike action in schools.

  2. Removing information related to pandemic disruption for 2021 to 2022, adding links to newly published guidance and updating existing links.

  3. Links in the document updated to point at the latest resources and information.

  4. Updated guidance document republished with updated links.

  5. Updated guidance document; included a link to the Joint Council for Qualifications' joint contingency plan.

  6. Updated the attached guidance document.

  7. Updated attached guide.

  8. First published.