Policies and forms


Reference: TR328
Version: V6
Last updated: October 2019
Policy owner: Quality and Compliance Manager
Review period: October 2020

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This policy is to outline CIM’s approach to managing appeals of CIM members (Appellant) and Accredited Study Centres (Appellant).

An appellant may appeal against a decision made by CIM in the following instances:
• If individuals feel they have been disadvantaged due to the assessment and/or a procedural error
• Following an Enquiry About Results outcome
• Following the decision to apply a penalty due to malpractice in an examination/assessment
• Decisions made in respect of reasonable adjustment arrangements and special considerations
• An Accredited Study Centre (ASC) being given a sanction

The appeals timescales depend on the circumstances of the Appeal:


The appeals process consists of three stages; A fee is payable to CIM for each stage of an appeal. The fees contribute towards the administration costs. All fees will be refunded in full if the appellant is successful and the appeal is upheld.  A stage one review must take place before an appeal (stage two) can be submitted.

Stage one: Notice to Appeal - Preliminary review

Your application and payment will be acknowledged by the Secretary to the Appeals Panel (the secretary), and you will receive a response to your notice to appeal within 20 working days. In the unusual event that we are unable to complete the review in this time scale, you will be contacted to be advised of an expected timescale for resolution. Please refer to Appendix 1: Notice to Appeal form.

The preliminary review includes an evaluation of the relevant documents and processes, to determine if there are appropriate grounds for appeal, or evidence of a process or administrative failure. The possible outcomes of the preliminary review are as follows:

The reviewer has concluded that the appellant can demonstrate grounds for appeal and makes a recommendation that the original decision should be reconsidered


The reviewer has concluded that the appellant cannot demonstrate grounds for appeal. The appellant can decide whether or not to proceed with submitting an appeal (stage two).


The reviewer has concluded that the appeal is not valid as it falls within one of the following categories:

- Out of the time frame to submit
- Already being dealt with by another department eg an on-going complaint
- Has been submitted under the incorrect procedures
- Has already been appealed against
- Falls outside the grounds upon which an appeal may be made.

On receipt of the outcome of the preliminary review the appellant can decide whether or not to proceed with submitting an appeal (stage two).

The fee for the Stage one: Notice to Appeal – Preliminary review is £35.00

Stage two: Appeal

A stage two appeal is initiated through completion of the Appendix 2 form and submission of the appropriate fee.

A stage two appeal must be submitted within 10 days of the outcome CIM communication of stage one being sent.

Following the appellant’s submission of the completed Appendix 2 form in order to proceed to a stage two appeal, all of the relevant documentation will be collated and given to the Appeals Panel which is made up of a member of CIM staff who is independent to the decision being appealed against, the Chief Examiner, and an individual who is not an employee of CIM. All documentation will be reviewed including additional evidence that may not have been previously available, and a decision reached. This decision will be communicated to the appellant via the Secretary within 20 working days of the form submission.

Please refer to Appendix 2: Stage Two Appeals form. This form will be provided with the response to the Notice to appeal. The possible outcomes of a stage two appeal are as follows:

Uphold the appellant’s appeal and agree to implement the outcome they are seeking


Uphold the appellant’s appeal and implement an alternative outcome


Dismiss the appellant’s appeal.

The fee for the Stage two: Appeal is £75.00

Stage three: External review

A stage three appeal must be submitted within 10 days of the result of the stage two outcome communication being sent.

If the appellant does not agree with the decision made by the Appeals Panel and can evidence that there has been significant failure in due process in relation to stage two of the appeals procedure, they can request an external review of the process, which involves the case being re-examined by an Independent Adjudicator. Please refer to Appendix 3: Stage three form. This form will be provided with the response to the stage two outcome. The possible outcomes of a stage three external review are as follows:

Uphold the appellant’s appeal and agree to implement the outcome they are seeking


Uphold the appellant’s appeal and offer an alternative outcome


Offer a range of outcomes to the appellant


Dismiss the appellant’s appeal

The decision of the Independent Adjudicator will be final and binding on all parties.

The fee for Stage three: External review is £200.00

For appendix 1, download as PDF

Booking assessments

Reference: TR333
Version: V6
Last updated: September 2019
Policy owner: Director of Customer Experience and Operations
Review period: September 2020

Download as a PDF


This policy is intended as a guide for CIM students; however, it can be used by any organisation booking assessments on students’ behalf. CIM takes responsibility for communicating this Booking Assessment Policy to all relevant stakeholders.

Preparing for a Booking

As the studying member, it is your responsibility before making any bookings to ensure that:-

  • You are a current member at both the time of booking and the CIM submission deadline/exam date (see ‘Important Dates for Students’ on MyCIM). Results will not be issued to any studying member with a debt owing on their account.
  • You are enrolled with a CIM Accredited Study Centre (ASC).
  • You have checked with your ASC prior to booking that the assignments/exams that you are booking are to be submitted/sat at that assessment session, and ensure that you have the right case study/assignment brief for that session.
  • Inform your ASC of and apply for any adjustment you may require for your examination (see Reasonable Adjustments Policy on MyCIM).

Method of Booking

It is the studying member’s responsibility to ensure that they have made, or arranged via their ASC where appropriate a booking(s) for the correct assignment/exam for the relevant assessment session. When booking via a third party (ASC), by doing so you automatically accept these terms and conditions.

Studying members should book assessments during the Assessment Booking Window (please see ‘Important Dates for Students’ on MyCIM) by one of the following methods:-


  • Online – using their registered login details for their MyCIM account.
  • Phone – please call the Studying Membership Team on +44 (0)1628 427 120.
  • Paper – hard copies of the Assessment Booking Form should be submitted before the published closing date via email to or by post to Customer Experience, CIM, Moor Hall, Cookham, Berkshire, SL6 9QH, UK. Proof of postage will not be deemed as sufficient evidence in the case of a dispute.

Third Parties:

  • ASC – where applicable your study centre may make the booking on your behalf.

Please note, bookings will not be confirmed until cleared payment has been received in full.

Confirmation of Bookings

Bookings made through all methods, as detailed in Method of Booking, will be confirmed via email within ten working days of CIM receiving the booking request.

Whilst CIM are committed to providing an accurate and timely service, it is the studying member’s responsibility to check the accuracy of the booking made and notify CIM of any errors/omissions within seven days of receipt of the email confirming the booking.

When booking an exam, CIM will endeavour to allocate students an established CIM exam centre within 1.5 hours of reasonable travel from their address/requested location. This is usually your ASC/university, but may be another CIM centre or an independent exam centre. If no exam centre is available within this distance, CIM will endeavour to arrange a bespoke exam centre for a fee of £35 plus any local fees payable directly to the exam centre. More information can be found in the Examination Guidance for Candidates. CIM cannot guarantee placement at a bespoke exam centre.

A Final Booking Confirmation email will be sent, with confirmed exam centre details where appropriate, approximately four weeks before the exam date. These details should be checked carefully. This is with the exception of online exam bookings or bookings made during the Late Booking Period, which will be confirmed once via email at the time of booking.

Cancellations and Deferrals

Cancellations of any assessment(s) are allowed, if you cancel within 14 days of the assessment booking confirmation, fees can be refunded or money will be left in credit on your account for future use.

Once booked, if you do wish to defer your booking(s) to a later session, please refer to the Guidance on Deferrals on MyCIM.

Late Bookings

It is strongly recommended that you book as early as possible (especially for those taking examinations) to guarantee a place at your preferred exam venue.

There is an opportunity after the Assessment Booking Window, during the Paid Deferral and Late Booking Period (please see ‘Important Dates for Students’) to make a booking, but please note that this will have an associated late booking fee per assessment in addition to the standard assessment fees. CIM reserves the right to not accept late bookings and cannot guarantee placement at your preferred exam venue. Bespoke exam venue booking requests cannot be made within the Late Booking Period, these must be made by the published Assessment Booking deadline.

Consequences of Not Booking

Requests for assessment bookings after the published Assessment Booking Window and Late Booking Period will not be processed. Any assessments submitted to CIM without a booking first being made will not be marked. Assignments and exam scripts will be returned unmarked to your ASC. Subsequent assessments may be subject to a different case study/assignment brief.

Other related CIM policies and documents

Other related CIM policies and documents can be found on MyCIM.

  • Customer Service Policy
  • Reasonable Adjustments Policy
  • Special Consideration Policy
  • Guidance on Deferrals
  • Examination Guidance for Candidates
  • Student Assignment Submission Guidelines

Policy Owner: Director of Customer Experience and Operations
Review period:  September 2020


Certification procedure


Reference: TR334
Version: V8
Last updated: September 2018
Policy owner: Operations Manager
Review period: September 2019

Download as a PDF

Certificate design and approval

CIM’s Awarding Body ensures that all certificates issued comply with CIM brand guidelines and all regulatory requirements as defined by the regulatory bodies, and are signed by the Chief Examiner and CIM’s Chief Executive.

Certificate content

The Awarding Body is responsible for issuing certificates to all candidates who have successfully completed CIM or CAM qualifications and awards according to published timescales. Certificates are printed and issued within eight weeks of the results being published.

Qualification and award certificates: the following requirements are clearly and distinctly expressed on the front of each qualification or award certificate: 

  • The full name of Awarding Organisation – CIM (The Chartered Institute of Marketing)
  • The full name of the candidate as registered by CIM (including CIM membership number)
  • A statement that indicates the candidate has fulfilled the assessment requirement of the CIM Exam Board
  • The Qualification Number
  • The level of attainment gained by the candidate if applicable (levels of attainment relevant, eg Merit, Distinction)
  • The level of the qualification or award if applicable
  • The date (day/month/year) CIM confirms the candidate’s attainment by issue of a certificate
  • Regulatory logos in line with logo requirements for qualification certificates and award certificates for regulated qualifications only, eg Ofqual, CCEA, SQA or Qualifications Wales
  • Supporting signatures: the Chief Executive and Chief Examiner signatures appear on all qualification and award certificates

Process and issuing of certificates

Issuing certificates

Certificates are issued for successful achievement of a qualification or award.

Process for issuing certificates

Before certificates are issued, the following steps are taken:

  • The eligibility of the studying member to receive the certificate is checked against results to ensure the accurate qualification/award level/grade, and Exam Board ratification has been recorded.
  • All certificates which are issued clearly display the title of the qualification or award as it appears on the Register of Regulated Qualifications, maintained by Ofqual.
  • The studying member’s full name as it appears on CIM's database at the time of the qualification or award will be used. If at a later date the studying member wishes a different name or parts of a name to be used, a replacement certificate may be issued (please see Process for re-issuing certificates below).
  • Each certificate is unique, holding the studying member’s CIM membership number and issue number.
  • Certificates are sent to the studying member using the latest address given on the CIM database at the time of issue.

The Awarding Body will revoke any certificate if the result on the certificate is false because of malpractice, maladministration, or is revealed to be inaccurate as a consequence of an appeals process.

Process for re-issuing certificates

Replacement certificates: all requests for certificate replacements should be made to the CIM Customer Experience team by phoning +44 (0)1628 427120 or emailing You may be asked to complete an application form if the original certificate has been lost, destroyed or is required for visa or employment purposes. There is no guarantee that a replacement certificate for a qualification or an award will be issued if it was provided over ten years ago.

In the case of an original certificate being returned to the Awarding Body after the replacement certificate has been issued, the original certificate will be destroyed.

Replacement certificates in the case of name change: there is a requirement to provide evidence of identity as part of the application process. CIM has to be satisfied that it has received adequate proof of identity before sending out certificates.

Fees for this service and the time scales are available on the Certificate Request Form.

When requesting a replacement, you will not be required to return the original certificate.

All replacement certificates will have a new certificate serial number and the word 'Replacement' overprinted on the certificate, in accordance with regulatory requirements. The date of sending of the certificate is recorded on CIM’s database.

The Awarding Body will not issue new original certificates except in two circumstances that are stated in law; gender reassignment or for participants of witness protection programmes. The Awarding Body will always contact its Regulator in these circumstances before issuing new original certificates.

Certificate errors

If an error is made by the Awarding Body, no fee is charged for the replacement certificate and the studying member’s electronic record will be updated to show that another certificate has been issued, and the date. The certificate in this case will not have the word “replacement” on it.  However, the original certificate should be returned to the Awarding Body before the replacement certificate can be dispatched. The original certificate will be destroyed and this will be recorded in the certificate log book.

Other related CIM policies and documents

Other related CIM policies and documents can be found on MyCIM and on the Tutor Zone:

  • Malpractice and Maladministration Policy

Conflict of interest

Reference and introduction

Reference: TR336
Version: V11
Last updated: October 2019
Policy owner: Qualifications and Assessment Manager
Review period: April 2020

Download as a PDF


The CIM Awarding Body is regulated by Ofqual (England), CCEA (Northern Ireland) and QW (Qualification Wales). CIM is required by its Regulators to take all steps necessary to avoid any conflict of interest or breach of confidentiality that may arise which could have an adverse effect on any activities undertaken by the Awarding Body.

For the purposes of this document, CIM represents the interests of CIM qualifications.

Definition of conflict of interest

For the purpose of this policy, a conflict of interest is defined where:

  • Awarding Body activity, or any activity undertaken on its behalf, which has the potential to cause it to act contrary to its interests in the development, delivery and award of qualifications in accordance with the Regulators’ General Conditions of Recognition
  • A person who is connected to the development, delivery or award of qualifications on behalf of the Awarding Body has interests in any other activity that could have the potential to lead that person to act contrary to his or her own interests in the development, delivery or award qualifications in accordance with the Regulators’ General Conditions of Recognition.
  • A person who is connected to the Accredited Study Centre delivery network in any capacity who has the potential to act contrary to the interests of the Awarding Body or CIM learners in accordance with the Awarding Body’s examination centre guidance and documentation.
  • An informed and reasonable observer would conclude that any of these situations was the case.

  Examples of such conflict of interest are:

  • When an individual has personal interests or working interests that conflict with their professional association with the Awarding Body.
  • When an individual is marking for the Awarding Body and works for another organisation that delivers CIM qualifications and/or is involved in the delivery of CIM qualifications.
  • When an individual working for the Awarding Body has a friend or relation taking CIM qualifications.
  • When an individual has personal interests or working interests that conflict with their Accredited Study Centre activities and or duties.
  • When an individual invigilating has a relative or friend taking an examination.
  • When an examination officer has a relative or friend taking an examination.
  • When a tutor invigilates their own learners in an examination.
  • When an examiner is marking an assessment of a learner in whose results they have a personal interest.
  • When a learner is taking an examination at an examination centre at which they also work.
  • When an individual is a Level Verifier, Senior Examiner or Examiner or a qualified individual who writes CIM assessments and may also teach CIM qualifications.

This list is not exhaustive and it is the responsibility of the individual to communicate any possible conflict immediately to the CIM Awarding Body.


Identifying conflicts of interest

The Awarding Body will identify and monitor:

a) all conflicts of interest which relate to it

b) any scenario in which it is reasonably foreseeable that any such conflict of interest will arise in the future in order to ensure that its operations are not jeopardised.

Managing conflicts of interest

The Awarding Body will take all reasonable steps to ensure no conflict of interest or breaches of confidentiality that relate to its operations has an adverse effect. When this does happen, the Awarding Body will take all reasonable steps to mitigate the adverse effect as far as possible and correct it.

Appendix One contains further guidance with regard to maintaining confidentiality of assessment materials by anyone connected with these.


All Awarding Body stakeholders are required to sign an annual Declaration disclosing any potential conflicts of interest and breaches of confidentiality. This Declaration will help ensure that the Awarding Body is able to take all reasonable steps to remove or mitigate the conflict of interest or breach of confidentiality where necessary. 

Stakeholders include: CIM members of staff, examining team, proof readers, editors, associate sector specialists, associate technical specialists, the independent adjudicator, CIM Accredited Study Centre staff and CIM examination centre adjudicators/associated staff.

Responsibilities/reporting of conflict of interest and breaches of confidentiality by stakeholders.

  • The Director of Qualifications and Partnerships is responsible for ensuring this policy is communicated to relevant Awarding Body staff. All relevant members of staff will be required to sign on an annual basis a declaration stating they have read and understood this policy.
  • The Director of Qualifications and Partnerships is responsible for ensuring that staff in their Directorate are fully conversant with the requirements of this policy.
  • The Director of Qualifications and Partnerships is responsible for ensuring this policy is reviewed on an annual basis and that Awarding Body procedures contain measures that anticipate and manage potential conflicts of interest and/or confidentiality with and by CIM stakeholders. 
  • The Awarding Body must receive Conflicts of Interest Declarations in writing so that these may be logged and the appropriate action(s) taken. Serious cases of conflict of interest and confidentiality will be reported to the Director of Qualifications and Partnerships who may decide that an individual is not able to work with the Awarding Body and their contract may be terminated.

o   Every examiner and any other CIM contracted staff must notify the Awarding Body if they are involved in the preparation of an assessment or resource designed to support learners for the module for which they provide teaching support in the study centre network, to the email

o   The Awarding Body ensures that assessments are not compromised by any examiner being involved in the preparation of a resource designed to support learners for the module for which they are contracted, by maintaining electronic records of their involvement.

o   All internal and external stakeholders have responsibility for ensuring they are familiar with and are meeting the conditions laid down in this policy. If there is any doubt about a possible conflict of interest, they should report it in writing to the Awarding Body. 

  • Individual stakeholders should not take on any activities that may be considered to be conflicting or competing with Awarding Body activities. 

Security of information and confidentiality

For the purpose of this policy, any person working for or contracted by CIM for the purposes of Awarding Body activities must abide by this Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy.

Any person working for or contracted by CIM may provide and/or receive information from CIM authorised parties. They must ensure the security of such information and preserve confidentiality necessary for regulatory purposes. This information may be: 

  • Any details concerning CIM related projects or future CIM assessments (examination papers, case studies, assignments, projects, or online assessments).
  • Issues that are discussed during CIM Awarding Body meetings, including validation meetings, standardisation meetings, RAMIC committees, Appeals panels, and/or Exam Boards.

Those hearing, receiving and/or obtaining this information must not disclose it to others in whole or in part unless authorised to do so.

Any CIM employees and contracted individuals of the CIM Awarding Body must never make copies or distribute copies of any CIM or CAM material to persons other than those authorised by the Director of Qualifications and Partnerships/Operations Manager/Qualifications and Assessment Manager, or other CIM Awarding Body staff who require it for business purposes.

How to report any actual or suspected conflicts of interest and breaches of confidentiality

Declarations of conflict of interest may be sent to the Awarding Body using this email address:

CIM will maintain and monitor all actual and suspected conflicts of interest electronically. 

Other related CIM policies and documents

Other related CIM policies and documents can be found on MyCIM, and on the Tutor Zone:

  • Malpractice and Maladministration Policy


Appendix one

Guidance for members of CIM’s examining team and CIM contracted staff

CIM’s examining team: this is defined as comprising the Chief Examiner, Technical Authorities, Level Verifiers, Senior Examiners, Subject Examiners, Moderators, Assessment Writers, Content Writers, Case Study Writers and Proof Readers.

CIM contracted staff: this is defined as comprising any persons who have an employment contract with CIM.

At the heart of this guidance is the principle of not compromising the confidentiality of assessment materials for any CIM qualification.

Regulators’ General Conditions of Recognition – G4

Teacher training events held by CIM or other parties

The Regulators defines a training event as an event where people are present physically or remotely by simultaneous electronic communication. The Regulators define prohibited training as where an individual who has written or has had access to confidential assessments and assessment materials, is present at a teacher training event.

If any persons contracted by CIM have written an assessment or confidential assessment materials on a module or hold information on these materials and intend to take part in a training event covering that module, they must notify CIM’s Qualifications and Assessment Manager in writing immediately.

The Qualifications and Assessment Manager’s permission to provide, endorse or attend such a teacher training event must be gained. Permission will only be given if it will not lead to prohibited training as defined above.

If any examiner is in doubt, they must contact the Awarding Body in the first instance for advice. Please contact:


Customer service

Reference: TR338
Version: V9
Last updated: October 2018
Policy owner: Associate Director of Customer Experience and Operations
Review period: October 2019

Download as a PDF

CIM aims to provide a service that is responsive, helpful, efficient and effective. We strive to:

• Answer phone calls and webchat promptly
• Reply to emails and letters with a personalised response within five working days, with the exception of complaints which can take up to 20 working days for a full response (see our ‘Membership Complaints Policy’ for further details)
• Processing all event, membership and assessment registrations accurately and efficiently, and in line with other applicable policies

Members can help us achieve these standards by ensuring your contact details are up to date.

How to get in touch

For general enquiries, our Customer Service team are available on +44 (0)1628 427120 between 08:00-18:00 Monday-Friday (excluding UK Bank Holidays).

For specific enquiries, please contact:

Your data rights:

We are also contactable via our Facebook page or Twitter.
You can also write to us at: Customer Experience, CIM, Moor Hall, Cookham, Berkshire, SL6 9QH, UK

Evaluating customer service

CIM is committed to evaluating its customer service and improving it. Our Customer Experience team monitors its performance on a regular basis through regular monthly quality checks. Any necessary actions are highlighted to the Senior Management Team at CIM. Change that will improve CIM’s customer service will be implemented wherever possible.

Other related CIM policies and documents

  •          Membership Complaints Policy

Deferral guidance

Reference: TR383
Version: V5
Last updated: September 2019
Policy owner: Director of Customer Experience and Operations
Review period: September 2020

Download as a PDF


CIM understands that studying members may not be able to submit their assignment by the published deadline or be able to sit their examination, and would therefore wish to apply for a deferral to a future session. If you are unable to sit your examination or submit your assignment by the CIM deadline date, you may decide to transfer the booking to a future assessment session.

There may be a different assignment brief/case study, and you must be enrolled with an Accredited Study Centre (ASC) as well as a current member of CIM to submit/sit an assessment.

Please note this policy only refers to moving the date of a booked assessment and not changing the subject of the unit.

There are three periods for deferring an assessment:

Free Deferral Period (FDP) – Until the Assessment Booking deadline, you are able to change your session free of charge. You are not required to complete a claim form but you should notify your ASC. Contact Customer Experience on or +44 (0)1628 427120 to arrange your deferral.

Payable Deferral Period (PDP) – After the FDP has closed and until the published Paid Deferral deadline you are able to apply for deferral. No reason needs to be given, although you do need to consult with your tutor/ASC to ensure they can continue to support your studies. A cost per assessment is payable.

Emergency Deferral Period (EDP) – After the PDP has closed, and up to two weeks after the assessment, deferrals will only be accepted when a situation has arisen which could not have been foreseen.  Examples include serious injury, illness, or death or serious illness of a close family member. You will need to provide evidence along with your claim form. Please note that work and/or other commitments which have restricted your time to complete or prepare for an assessment is not deemed a valid reason under EDP and should be applied for during PDP.  A cost per assessment is payable.

Applying for a Deferral

When applying for a Payable or Emergency Deferral you need to discuss this with your tutor/study centre support first, as only they have access to the deferral claim form. Their signature is required on the deferral claim form, showing they support your application.

Upon receipt of the claim form at CIM, it will be reviewed to see if you meet the criteria for an assessment deferral. If CIM agrees to a deferral, you will be required to pay the deferral fee per unit and once payment is received your assessment booking will be transferred to the requested assessment session.

Responsibilities of ASCs and Studying Members

If the deferral is agreed by CIM, studying members should be aware of the additional tuition fees that ASCs may require when submitting an assessment to a future session which may have a new assignment brief/case study. Your ASC is not obliged to provide additional tutorial support to studying members who have applied for a deferral; this is entirely at the ASC’s discretion and they may pass on the associated costs to the studying member concerned. For candidates deferring an assignment it is the responsibility of the studying member to contact their ASC to ascertain whether this will be subject to a new brief and if so when the new brief is available and ensure it is received at the appropriate time.

Studying members may also need to renew their CIM membership to cover the assessment submission period. Please also note that no refunds can be given for assessments which are deferred, but never undertaken.

Responsibilities of CIM

Upon receiving your deferral claim form, CIM will contact you within ten working days to request payment. Following payment, you will receive confirmation of the deferral via email. A Final Assessment Booking Confirmation will also be sent approximately four weeks before the assessment, confirming the details. Deferrals for which payment is not made to CIM by the given deadline will not be processed. 

Related Policies

  • Booking Assessment Policy
  • Reasonable Adjustments Policy
  • Special Considerations Policy

Enquiry about results

Reference: TR328
Version: V30
Last updated:  October 2019
Policy owner: Operations Manager
Review period: October 2020

Download as a PDF

Accredited Study Centres (ASC) with candidates who have not achieved the grade(s) that were expected of them may wish to pursue an Enquiry about Results (EAR) on behalf of one or more candidates.


The EAR service includes:

• A procedural check of the marking process

• Reassessment of the submission (the mark may go up, down or remain the same)

• A report showing the original mark per task, and the EAR mark per task

• Brief feedback by task.

Before applying

Prior to submitting an EAR, ASCs should discuss results with candidates. It is recommended that reference is made to the previous Senior Examiner Reports which offer specific information relating to how candidates generally approached the assessment, outlining the positive and negative aspects as well as recommendations on how to improve assessment performance.

CIM closely scrutinises all assessments; in addition, any assessments with a mark in the range of 43 to 51 are routinely verified by a Senior Examiner prior to the release of results.

An EAR request must be received by CIM within ten working days from the date results are issued. Details on specific dates for each assessment window are available on the CIM Important Dates webpage on the Tutor Zone , and on MyCIM

CIM will not process an EAR after the published deadlines.

The EAR process

The Associate Director of Qualifications and Partnerships is responsible for overseeing the EAR process.

Following the issue of results, a candidate is advised to make an EAR application through their ASC. If they feel unable to do so, the candidate should contact CIM directly.

Please note that the grade may go up, stay the same or go down pending the result of an EAR.

The EAR application form is available on the Tutor Zone To apply for an EAR, the ASC submits the completed form, signed by the candidate, within ten working days from the date results are issued. This should be emailed to

Upon receipt of the EAR acknowledgement from CIM, the fee of £75 per candidate per module is then payable using a credit/debit card, by contacting the Studying Membership Team on +44 (0)1628 427120. The EAR will be processed within 15 working days of CIM receiving payment. This fee will be refunded in full if the candidate’s assessment subsequently achieves a pass grade as a result of the EAR outcome.

Possible outcomes of an EAR are:

• If the result goes up, changing the assessment from a fail to a pass, then the ASC and candidate will be sent an email notification. The grade will be amended, the enquiry fee refunded to the payer and replacement documentation will be issued without further charge.

• If the result goes up, but the assessment remains as a fail, then the ASC and candidate will be sent an email notification. CIM will retain the enquiry fee.

• If the Enquiry confirms the original grade, the ASC and candidate will be sent an email notification. CIM will retain the enquiry fee.

• If an Enquiry decision is to downgrade the original grade, the ASC and candidate will be sent an email o notification and the result will be amended. CIM will retain the enquiry fee.

The candidate may appeal against the decision made by CIM following an EAR. Please refer to the Appeals Policy for this process.

Other related policy documents

• Appeals Policy

Policy Owner: Operations Manager
Review Period: October 2020

Equality and diversity

Reference and introduction

Reference: TR339
Last updated: November 2015
Policy owner: Human Resources
Review period: November 2016

Download as a PDF

CIM recognises the benefits of a diverse workforce. We are an equal opportunities employer that is committed to achieving equality for all. We are committed to ensuring that our recruitment process and workplace are free from unlawful or unfair discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marital status, or pregnancy and maternity.

The aim of this policy is to ensure that all employees are treated fairly, achieve their full potential and that the working environment is one free from discrimination, harassment and victimisation. It provides a mechanism for employees to challenge any discrimination or victimisation.  All employees are expected to treat fellow employees, visitors, customers and suppliers with respect and to adhere to this policy. 

We are dedicated to eliminating discrimination and creating an environment where diversity is respected and valued. We oppose all forms of unlawful or unfair discrimination. It is our policy to promote an environment free from discrimination, harassment and victimisation.

Any reference to ‘the employer’ refers to CIM.  The ‘appropriate level of authority’ should be determined according to the CIM scheme of delegation.

The policy applies to all employees, regardless of length of service, but does not form part of the contract of employment and may be amended from time to time.

This policy applies not only to treatment, behaviour or conduct in the workplace, but outside the workplace e.g. business trips, training courses, work related social activities as well as comments made via social media such as Facebook, Twitter etc.

Specific arrangements for CIM Accredited Study Centres (ASCs) are detailed in Appendix 1. All CIM ASCs are expected to act in accordance with the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 and provide any information requested to support the CIM Awarding Body in maintaining full compliance with the Ofqual ‘General Conditions of Recognition’ – in particular Conditions C2.3h, D2, G6 and G7.

CIM has a separate harassment and bullying at work policy.

1. General principles

1.1 CIM will not tolerate discrimination, harassment or victimisation and will ensure that management and employees at every level understands this.  All allegations of discrimination will be taken seriously and dealt with promptly and confidentially.  It is the responsibility of management to ensure that all employees understand the policy, that it is adhered to and to deal with behaviours that are in breach of this policy. Where it is found that discrimination has occurred, the appropriate action will be taken which may include dismissal for gross misconduct.

1.2  Employees who make a complaint of discrimination, or support an employee in making a complaint in good faith, will not suffer any less favourable treatment, retaliation or victimisation.  Any employee who feels that they have suffered such treatment should raise this with their line manager, their line manager’s manager or Human Resources. Allegations of retaliation or victimisation will be dealt with under the disciplinary procedure and may be treated as gross misconduct and may result in dismissal, whether or not the discrimination complaint was upheld.

1.3 Even where a formal complaint has not been raised, management are required to deal with any treatment, behaviour or conduct, which they become aware of and which is contrary to this policy, such as inappropriate banter, aggressive attitudes or insensitive jokes.

2. What is discrimination?

2.1 Discrimination varies in definition and applies to those with a Protected Characteristic as defined by the Equality Act 2010:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender Reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

2.2.1  Direct discrimination – when someone is treated less favourably than another person because of a Protected Characteristic that they have, are perceived to have.

  • E.g. promoting a man rather than a woman because of their gender or refusing a promotion due to their race

2.2.1 Associative discrimination or discrimination by association – direct discrimination against someone because they associate with another person who possesses a Protected Characteristic. 

  •   E.g. treating someone differently because their son has undergone gender reassignment, or because their daughter is disabled.

2.2.2  Discrimination by perception – direct discrimination against someone because it is thought that they possess a particular Protected Characteristic even if they do not actually possess it.

  •   E.g. treating someone less favourably because it’s perceived that they are gay when they are not.

2.3 Indirect discrimination - occurs where an individual’s employment is subject to an unjustified provision criterion or practice which is discriminatory in relation to a relevant protected characteristic.

For example, where one’s sex or race or nationality or age group finds a requirement more difficult to meet, although on the face of it the provision, criterion or practice is ‘neutral’. Such as a uniform policy banning headwear, may put Muslim women or Sikh men at a disadvantage.

2.4 Harassment – unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual. It does not matter whether or not this effect was intended by the person responsible for the conduct. You may complain of such offensive behaviour even if it is not directed towards you personally.

2.5 Harassment by a third party – harassment of employees by third parties such as customers or clients.

2.6 Victimisation – when an employee is treated less favourably because they have made or supported a complaint or raised a grievance under the Equality Act 2010 or are suspected of doing so.

2.7  The following is a list of examples of behaviour that may be deemed to constitute as discrimination or victimisation when conducted in relation to a Protected Characteristic:

  • Offensive, abusive or intimidating comments,  insensitive jokes or pranks, derogative or stereotypical remarks
  • Displaying or distributing pornographic material, abusive literature or graffiti or other material that some people may find offensive
  • Deliberately excluding someone from conversations or work activities
  • Unwelcome sexual advances or suggestive behaviour
  • Unwanted physical conduct including touching, pinching, grabbing
  • Ridiculing, humiliating or belittling someone
  • Spreading malicious rumours or insulting someone by word or behaviour
  • Preventing employees progressing by intentionally blocking promotion or training opportunities.
  • The use of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter or information from YouTube to bully or harass others.

2.8  The above list is not exhaustive. What one employee finds acceptable, another may not and therefore, as a minimum, all employees must ensure that they treat one another with respect. Additionally, it is not necessary that the treatment, behaviour or conduct in question was directed at the employee, as harassment or bullying can include behaviour which creates an intimidating and offensive environment for the employee and anyone else who may witness that behaviour.

2.9  Where, following an investigation, it has been determined that an employee has been subject to legitimate, constructive and reasonable criticism of their performance or conduct, this will not amount to bullying or harassment. 

3. Complaints against third parties

3.1 Sometimes the allegation of bullying or harassment may be against someone you come across as part of your work e.g. a customer, supplier or visitor. In this case the complaint should be made to your line manager, who will then discuss with you how best to deal with the situation. Where your line manager in unavailable e.g. due to sickness or holiday, you should raise your concern with your line manager’s manager.

4. Our commitment

4.1 Our aim is that our workforce represents all sections of society and that our employees feel respected and valued. We are committed to ensuring that all of our employees and applicants for employment are protected from unlawful and unfair discrimination in throughout all stages of employment; recruitment, promotion, opportunities for training, pay and benefits, discipline and selection for redundancy.

4.2 We commit to:

  • Create an environment in which individual’s differences and contributions of all our staff are recognised and valued.
  • Ensure that every employee is entitled to a working environment that promotes dignity and respect to all. No form of intimidation, bullying or harassment will be tolerated.
  • Ensure that all recruitment and employment decisions will be made on the basis of fair and objective criteria. 
  • Ensure that person and job specifications shall be limited to those requirements which are necessary for the effective performance of the job. 
  • Ensure that interviews will be conducted on an objective basis and personal or home commitments will not form the basis of employment decisions except where necessary and relevant.

4.2.1  All employees have a right to equality of opportunity and a duty to implement this policy. This policy is fully supported by senior management, and will be monitored and reviewed annually.

5. Procedure

5.1  If you believe that you have been subjected to treatment, behaviour or conduct which is contrary to this Equal Opportunities Policy, you can raise a complaint either informally or formally.  The procedure that you need to follow to raise your complaint is set out in the CIM Grievance Policy and Procedure.

5.2  If you require further help, advice or assistance about how to deal with a complaint of discrimination or victimisation, you should speak to your manager, or a member of the Human Resources team.  Where CIM is investigating a discrimination or victimisation complaint, CIM may suspend the alleged discriminator/ victimiser on full pay, or arrange other temporary working arrangements, or look at transferring the alleged discriminator/ victimiser to another work area. This will depend on the nature and potential seriousness of the allegations. 

6. Mediation

6.1  As an alternative to pursing a complaint under the grievance procedure you also have the opportunity to access informal mediation, provided by the HR team.

6.2  Mediation is a confidential process that seeks to help employees resolve disputes in the workplace. Mediation is an informal process where employees involved in a dispute or whose relationship is under strain, have the opportunity to air their differences in a voluntary, safe, confidential meeting with the other party, in the presence of a mediator. 

6.3  Mediation can be used at any point in the procedure, for example where other informal approaches have been unsuccessful, or if you do not feel that the formal procedure is the right option, you may want to consider mediation as an alternative to the formal procedure.  Mediation is a voluntary option and it can only be used when both parties agree to take part. There is no penalty or detriment if you choose not to participate in a mediation process.

6.4  If both parties agree to engage in the mediation process as a way of resolving their issues, then the manager involved must contact HR as soon as possible so that mediation can commence. 

6.5  If you go through mediation and it is not successful, you can then go through the formal grievance procedure.

6.6  If you have raised a grievance and decide to pursue mediation, the grievance may be paused while the mediation is taking place.   If the issue is resolved informally or through mediation, the formal grievance will be closed.

7. Disability

7.1 Reasonable adjustments

In order to ensure that disabled people can overcome any substantial disadvantages they may have doing their jobs and progressing in work, CIM will make reasonable adjustments as and when necessary. It is recognised that ensuring equal opportunities for disabled people may involve adjustments being made to the working environment or other employment arrangements. These adjustments will be made wherever reasonable and within a reasonable time frame.A failure to make reasonable adjustments also amounts to disability discrimination.

7.2  Many reasonable adjustments involve little or no cost and could include:

  • making changes to a disabled person’s working pattern
  • providing training or mentoring
  • making alterations to premises
  • ensuring that information is provided in accessible formats
  • modifying or acquiring equipment
  • allowing extra time during selection ‘tests’

7.3  Time off for disability related illness shall be recorded separately to general sick leave and taken into account when calculating sick leave. You will have to ensure that HR are aware when time off is for disability-related reasons, e.g. attending a hospital appointment. Where possible, CIM will offer unpaid disability leave or allow extra time off as annual leave.

7.3  We are pleased to support the Government initiative Disability Confident and to help achieve their aim of improving employment outcomes for disabled people, and championing a new perspective on disability employment.

8. Religion

8.1 Religious holidays

CIM will seek, wherever possible, to allow employees to use their holiday entitlement to observe special religious holidays or festivals. All employees, whatever their religion or belief, will be treated equally in this respect.

8.1.1 If you wish to take annual leave for religious holidays, you should make an application for such leave to your line manager, as per the normal annual leave notification procedure. You are advised to give as much notice as possible in order to maximise the chances of securing the holiday dates of their choice.

8.1.2 Where a number of employees all seek holiday leave on the same date(s), the organisation will grant holiday leave on the basis of "first come, first served". CIM is sympathetic to request for religious holiday, however the organisation may refuse to grant time off on the dates requested, e.g. where an employee requests time off at a particularly busy time.

8.2  Religious observation during work hours.

8.2.1  It is our policy to endeavour, on request, to alter an employee's working pattern so that breaks can be granted at times that coincide with your needs for religious observance. CIM will, where appropriate, endeavour to grant employees reasonable time off during working hours for religious observance insofar as this is possible and practicable, taking into account the needs of the business and whether or not  it might cause disruption.

8.2.2 CIM reserves the right to refuse to grant some or all of any of the time off requested, taking into account the business needs and where the time off is unreasonable or excessive.

8.2.3  All employees, whatever their religion or belief, will be treated equally in respect of requests for time off for religious observance or requests for alterations to their working patterns for religious reasons.

8.2.4  The organisation provides a dedicated quiet room [prayer syndicate room, upper Thames House] for the purpose of allowing employees to pray or undertake religious observance. This room is open to all employees, whatever their religion. Employees who do not adhere to any religion or belief may also use this room for the purpose of quiet contemplation or rest, the Think Zone can also be used for this purpose. Employees who choose to use the Prayer room provided for these purposes are requested to respect the rights of other individuals to observe their personal beliefs.

9. Sexual orientation

9.1  CIM is an inclusive employer and believes that people perform better when they can be themselves. Homophobia will be taken as serious as all discrimination forms. 

10. Diversity data

We have the facility on our HR database Cascade to allow employees to update their personal equality and diversity data themselves in the ‘Equal Opportunities’ section on the Main screen. This information provided is optional, confidential and used solely for monitoring purposes. The information provided enables CIM to monitor and analyse the effectiveness of our Equality and Diversity policy through all of CIM’s functions, policies, processes and procedures. CIM will not publish any data where an individual may be identified. This information can only viewed by the individual employee and HR. Managers do you have access to your personal information. If you have any concerns, please contact HR.

11. Effective date

11.1  This policy and procedure was adopted by CIM on 01 January 2016.

11.2  The Head of HR or other delegated person will periodically review this policy, following changes in employment legislation, to reflect changes in recognised best practice, or for the purposes of regulatory compliance.

Appendix 1 - Special arrangements for CIM ASCs

 1.    Qualification and assessment development:

In the development and delivery of qualifications and assessments, the Awarding Body processes and practices ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure there are no barriers to entry to the qualifications and assessments that it develops and delivers, marks and/or offers.

We are committed to:

  • ensuring the accessibility of the qualifications that we provide
  • ensuring equality of opportunity for learners to access our examinations and assessments
  • ensuring fairness in our approach to applications for reasonable adjustment and special consideration

Quality processes and procedures undertaken during the development of our qualifications and assessments mean that we will consider any reasonable request relating to access to our qualifications and assessment that are requested, with the exception of any request that is not reasonable and has the potential to undermine the assessment or qualification criteria and integrity of the qualification.

It is also expected that centres review their equality and diversity responsibilities with the support of the Network Managers, such as:

  • operating a diversity and equality policy
  • operating an inclusive appeals procedure
  • carrying out any assessment and examination processes fairly
  • adhering to equal opportunities legislation     
  • operating an effective contingency procedure

2.    The delivery of qualifications and assessments:

CIM will ensure, by checking during the annual accreditation process, that all of our ASCs have an equality and diversity policy and related policy documentation that is robust and fit for purpose. CIM Network Managers will monitor this at every visit by way of a standing agenda item and provide support with any issues arising.

3.    The accreditation process for CIM ASCs:

All CIM ASCs must have their own equality and diversity policy. It should clearly demonstrate a commitment to equality and diversity, describing the ways in which the centre deals with any issues arising and monitors the same over a period of time. The policy should cover activities specifically in relation to CIM studying members.

Evidence of an ASC’s commitment to equality & diversity might be in the following form:-

a) a policy statement setting out the ASCs commitment to equality & diversity

b) examples of how the policy is disseminated to staff, contractors, and CIM studying members

c) records of any staff training on equality issues / legislation / complaints

d) information on how the policy relates specifically to the delivery of CIM qualifications and programmes

e) guidance on how to identify those who may be vulnerable to discrimination within the ASC

f)  guidance on how to identify those who may be vulnerable externally – ie distance learners

g) guidance to centre staff on what constitutes or could constitute anti-discriminatory practice in the delivery of CIM qualifications

h) guidance on how the centre promotes this practice in the interests of studying members registered for CIM qualifications

i) details of how the ASC ensures full access to buildings, facilities, learning, learning support and assessment

j) meeting agendas with equality issues as standing items along with meeting notes

k) details of the mechanisms for dealing with discriminatory practice within the ASC

l) guidance on the mechanisms for regularly reviewing and revising the policy

m) records relating to the equality & diversity policy and its implementation, including any complaints or appeals.

4.    Evaluation and monitoring of equality and diversity:

The CIM Awarding Body takes proportional and appropriate action on all requests for special consideration and extenuating circumstances. These are logged and reviewed by the Reasonable Adjustments and Mitigating Circumstances Committee (RAMIC). Actions taken as a result are closely scrutinised and then ratified by the Chief Examiner.

Feedback from studying members, ASCs and all other stakeholders is logged, dealt with and the impact / outcomes are recorded. Lessons learned are reviewed by the Head of Awarding Body to ensure that the correct decisions were reached and no disadvantage has been incurred.

If the provision of services has had a detrimental impact on studying members, this will be recorded and reviewed. Any adjustments following this review will be fed back into the qualification and assessment development process and modifications will be made to assessments where necessary.  Any required amendments to the qualifications will be part of the formal cycle of review.

For further information, please also refer to CIM Awarding Body’s Reasonable Adjustment and Special Considerations Policies.

Malpractice and maladministration

Reference: TR340
Version: V8
Last updated: October 2019
Policy owner: Director of Qualifications and Partnerships
Review period: February 2020

Download as a PDF

This policy aims to:

• Define malpractice and maladministration in the context of CIM studying members, Accredited Study Centres (ASCs), examination centres, invigilators and CIM staff members.

• Set out the rights and responsibilities of all parties regarding malpractice and maladministration.

• Establish the malpractice and maladministration procedures.

• Describe the procedure to be followed if malpractice or maladministration is suspected.

Defining malpractice

For the purposes of this policy, malpractice is defined as “any act through which an individual has gained advantage and/or that threatens the integrity of CIM qualifications and/or assessments, and/or their proper certification, and/or compromises the reputation of the CIM Awarding Body.”

Defining maladministration

For the purposes of this policy, maladministration is defined as: 

• “ineffective management and control systems,

• failure to follow written instructions

• maintain appropriate systems, policies, procedures and instructions

• falsification of records, documents or systems

• plagiarism

• other academic misconduct.”

Please refer to Condition A8 in the Regulators General Conditions of Recognition

Malpractice and maladministration policy include:

CIM staff members

Malpractice or maladministration by CIM staff members and contracted CIM resource is described below, but this is not an exhaustive list. Malpractice or maladministration in the CIM Awarding Body should be reported to the Director of Qualifications and Partnerships.

Examples of CIM staff malpractice or maladministration might include:

• Failure to keep examination question papers and other assessment materials secure, before, during or after an examination.

• Assisting or giving candidates answers to examination question papers and assignment briefs.

• Failure to act on recognition of maladministration or malpractice.

Every member of the CIM Awarding Body, including assessment writers, examiners and CIM Print and Mail staff, are required to sign a declaration of conflict of interest and confidentiality annually. 

Studying members

Studying members are responsible for ensuring they follow CIM guidelines for examinations and assignments. Malpractice and/or maladministration by studying members is described below, but this is not an exhaustive list.

Examples of studying malpractice might include:

• Plagiarism.

• Collusion between studying members.

• Impersonation of another studying member during an examination or assessment.

• Alteration of any results documents, including certificates.

• Possession of unauthorised material in the examination or assessment room.

• Failure to adhere to CIM’s published assessment regulations.

• Disruptive behaviour in the examination room, eg offensive language, aggressive, violent or noisy conduct.

Please refer to MyCIM for the Student Assignment Submission Manual and Examination Guidance for Candidates:

 Accredited Study Centres (ASCs)

ASCs are responsible for making their students aware of CIM policies relating to assessments published on MyCIM. ASCs are also responsible for reporting any suspected cases of malpractice and/or maladministration regarding both staff who deliver CIM courses and their students.

 ASCs are also required to have their own policy and procedures on malpractice and maladministration. CIM expects ASCs to report to the Head of Partnerships any cases of suspected malpractice or maladministration.  

CIM also expects ASCs to investigate to see if the suspected malpractice or maladministration threatens or compromises the integrity of CIM qualification delivery/assessment processes/validity of certification.

Examples of ASC malpractice or maladministration might include (this is not an exhaustive list):

• Assisting studying members in the production of work for assignments or examinations beyond the accepted level of good educational practice. 

• Allowing evidence to appear in an assignment or examination that ASC staff know is not the studying member’s own.

• Misusing conditions set for special learner requirements

• Falsifying CIM records or CIM certificates.

• Failure to keep studying member computer files secure.

• Allowing/obtaining unauthorised access to assessments prior to the examination or test.

• Failure to adhere to CIM’s regulations relating to invigilation.

• Failure to meet CIM published deadlines for the submission of assessments.

• Failure to adhere to CIM’s instructions relating to the handling of completed studying member assessments. This includes examination scripts and assignments.

• Failure to report a suspected case of studying member malpractice or maladministration, including plagiarism and collusion, to CIM.

Please refer to the Tutor Zone for ASC Assignment Submission Manual, Examination Guidance for Candidates and the Sanctions Policy:

Examination centres, invigilators

Examination centres and invigilators are responsible for ensuring guidelines regarding the conduct of examinations are followed at examination venues and for reporting any suspected cases of malpractice or maladministration.

Examples of examination centre malpractice or maladministration might include: (this is not an exhaustive list):

• Failure to keep examination question papers and other assessment materials secure, before, during and after an examination.

• Allowing a candidate to possess electronic devices/materials forbidden in the assessment rules.

• Allowing candidates to work beyond the allocated examination time.

• Leaving studying members unsupervised during an examination.

• Assisting or prompting candidates with answers.

• Allowing candidates to take in additional preparatory work into the examination in excess of stipulated pages.

• Allowing teaching staff to invigilate their own module.

Process for Appeal

CIM studying members, Accredited Study Centres (ASCs), Examination Centres, Invigilators and CIM staff members may appeal against the CIM’s decision regarding malpractice and/or maladministration. The Appeals policy and Notice to Appeal form are available on MyCIM and the Tutor Zone. Please note that the completed Notice to Appeal form and supporting documentation must be returned to CIM within five working days of the date of the malpractice and/or maladministration decision communication being sent. CIM will respond within 20 working days upon receipt of the Notice to Appeal form.

Other related CIM policies and documents.

Other related CIM policies and documents can be found on CIM Learning Zone under Assessments, Policies and processes, and on the Tutor Zone.

• Student Assignment Submission Manual

• ASC Assignment Submission Manual

• Examination Guidance for Candidates

• Sanctions Policy

• Appeals Policy

Policy Owner: Director of Qualifications and Partnerships

Review Period: February 2020

Membership Complaints Policy

Reference: TR335
Version: V7
Last updated: October 2018
Policy owner: Associate Director of Customer Experience and Operations
Review period: October 2019

Download as a PDF


This policy is aimed at CIM members and relates to the services provided by the Customer Experience Team. For other CIM products and services, please contact the relevant CIM department for details on their Complaints procedures.

CIM strives for high standards in service delivery and welcomes feedback from students, tutors, members, employers and other service users, on all aspects of CIM services. Such feedback is invaluable in helping the organisation to evaluate and improve its work.

The objectives of the Membership Complaints Policy are to ensure that:

• Individuals are provided with a fair and effective way to complain about the service provided
• Everyone knows how to provide feedback and how a complaint will be handled
• Complaints are dealt with consistently, fairly and sensitively within clear time frames
• Complaints are acted upon and where appropriate, used to improve CIM services.

CIM will ensure that it:

• Liaises with the you, our member, unless express permission is granted that CIM should liaise with a third party
• Handles all complaints in a confidential manner, wherever possible
• Investigates the complaint fully, objectively, and within the stated time frame
• Records, stores and manages complaints accurately and in accordance with relevant legislation
• Notifies the individual making the complaint of the results of the investigation
• Informs the individual making the complaint (where appropriate) of any action that will be taken in order to ensure that there is no re-occurrence
• Will monitor the number of complaints received, the outcome of investigations and any actions taken as a result.

Complaints Process

Each complaint will be acknowledged within five working days of receipt, and when further investigation is required, responded to within 20 working days by the Quality and Complaints Executive. If individuals are not satisfied with the response, they may seek further clarification from the Quality and Complaints Executive who will then notify the Head of the specific department for further action/advice if necessary.

CIM reserves the right not to enter into further correspondence once this process has been followed and our findings have been communicated.

Complaints concerning studying members and Accredited Study Centres (ASC)

Individuals who wish to make complaints about partner organisations, including training venues, etc, should send their complaint directly to that organisation. Members who have a complaint about ASCs should follow the ASC’s complaints procedure in order to seek a resolution. If the issue remains unresolved, then escalation to CIM is appropriate via this policy.

Complaints concerning a CIM qualification

Studying members who have a complaint about the syllabus, assessment briefs, or other processes carried out by the CIM Awarding Body, should in the first instance contact their CIM course tutor who may then contact CIM on your behalf if appropriate.

Monitoring complaints

Complaints provide important feedback which, with data provided by user feedback, surveys and focus groups, allows CIM to improve the services it provides. If a complaint uncovers a failure in an assessment process, the CIM Awarding Body will take all reasonable steps to identify any other studying member who may have been affected by the failure, and correct or mitigate any adverse effect, and take steps to ensure that the failure does not reoccur.

Data protection

CIM will hold personal data about an individual making a complaint. It is held securely and in accordance with relevant legislation. The identity of the person making a complaint will only be made known to those who need that information to consider the complaint. However, it may not be possible to preserve confidentiality in some circumstances, for example, where legislation applies or allegations are made that involve the conduct of third parties.

Complaints procedure

All complaints will be handled initially by the Quality and Complaints Executive.

Complaints can be sent by:

Post: Quality and Complaints Executive, CIM, Moor Hall, Cookham, Berkshire, SL6 9QH, UK
Telephone: +44 (0)1628 427120

Other related CIM policies and documents

  •          Customer Service Policy

Reasonable adjustments

Reasonable adjustments policy

Reference: TR343
Version: V9
Last updated: March 2019
Policy owner: Director of Qualifications and Partnerships
Review period: February 2020

Download as a PDF


Definition of Reasonable Adjustments

Reasonable adjustments enable a candidate with additional requirements to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and understanding to the levels of attainment required by the relevant CIM qualification specification. CIM ensures its Reasonable Adjustments Policy aligns to regulatory and legal requirements.

Reasonable Adjustments

The Equality Act 2010 requires an awarding organisation to make reasonable adjustments where a candidate, who is disabled within the meaning of the Act, would be at a disadvantage in comparison to someone who is not disabled. CIM is required to take reasonable steps to overcome that disadvantage.

A reasonable adjustment is unique to an individual. Whether an adjustment will be considered reasonable will depend on a number of factors which will include, but are not limited to:

  • the needs of the disabled candidate/learner;
  • the effectiveness of the adjustment;
  • the cost of the adjustment; and
  • the likely impact of the adjustment upon the candidate and other candidates.

 An adjustment will not be approved if it:

  • involves unreasonable costs and/or timeframes; or
  • affects the security and integrity of the assessment.

In these cases, the adjustment is not deemed to be “reasonable”.

It is not reasonable for adjustments to be made to assessment objectives within a qualification. To do so would undermine the effectiveness of the qualification in providing a reliable indication of the knowledge, skills and understanding of the candidate.

A list of possible reasonable adjustments is included in Appendix One (view PDF). This list is not exhaustive.

Process for Reasonable Adjustments

When commencing a course, candidates are advised to inform their Accredited Study Centre (ASC) of any additional support required for their learning and/or assessments. ASCs should provide a clear, confidential process whereby candidates are able to notify their ASC of any reasonable adjustment they believe they require for an assessment, so that a request can be sent to CIM.  

The Reasonable Adjustment application form is available from the ASC on the Tutor Zone. The form must be completed and submitted with evidence the first time a reasonable adjustment claim is made for a candidate. For on-going reasonable adjustment claims for that candidate, CIM must be notified by the ASC, but the application form does not need to be completed. However, should the candidate’s condition and/or requirements alter, a new reasonable adjustment application form must be completed and submitted with evidence attached.

All application forms and evidence should be sent by ASCs on behalf of candidates to no later than the assessment booking deadline for the relevant session. The candidate must have made an assessment booking for their examination. CIM will send an acknowledgement upon receipt of the application form, before arranging a suitable adjustment. The candidate will be informed of these and the information logged on their record. Invigilators and examination centre staff will be informed of the arrangements in order to assist the candidate.

CIM will ensure that any reasonable adjustment given does not over-compensate for a condition which would give a candidate an unfair advantage over others. CIM reserves the right to suggest suitable alternative reasonable adjustments to those requested and will consider each request on a case by case basis. A response will be provided within 5 working days of receiving the application. 

Any questions regarding reasonable adjustments can be directed to the Exam Services Team on +44 (0)1628 427049 and by email to

Should the ASC and/or candidate wish to appeal against CIM’s decision not to make a reasonable adjustment, or a specific reasonable adjustment, the Appeals policy and Notice to Appeal form are available on MyCIM and the Tutor Zone. Please note that the completed Notice to Appeal and supporting documentation must be returned to CIM within 5 working days of the date of the decision communication being sent. CIM will respond within 20 working days upon receipt of the Notice to Appeal form.

All appeals against reasonable adjustment decisions must be accompanied by supporting evidence/documentation. If the appeal is upheld in the candidate’s favour, the Appeals Secretary will inform the candidate.

Monitoring and evaluation

CIM is obliged by its regulators Ofqual, Qualifications Wales and CCEA to record information relating to reasonable adjustments. Confidentiality will be maintained in accordance with UK data protection requirements. Information detailing action taken is produced for the Head of Qualifications who will, if necessary, direct staff to enhance or alter the department’s procedures. Names of candidates are not included in this information.

Other related CIM policies and documents.

Other related CIM policies and documents can be found on MyCIM and on the Tutor Zone:

  • Reasonable Adjustments application form (Tutor Zone only)
  • Special Consideration Policy
  • Customer Service Policy
  • Appeals Policy

Appendix one

Examples of Reasonable Adjustments that may be approved by the Awarding Body

All applications for Reasonable Adjustments for candidates need to be made by the ASCs.

This list is not exhaustive and each candidate will be judged individually based on the evidence submitted. Consideration will be given to the assessment(s) for which the application has been made.

Condition Allowance 
 Ankylosing Spondylitis ( stiffness of spine and joints) 45 minutes of extra time
Arthralgia (painful joints, wrists, elbows and knees)  30 minutes of extra time
Arthritis 30 minutes of extra time (or 45 minutes/computer if recommended in report)
Back condition Time added on to allow for rest breaks (up to 30 minutes)
Broken finger 30 minutes of extra time or computer
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome  45 minutes of extra time 
Cerebral Palsy  1 hour of extra time 
Crohns Disease  30 minutes of extra time and seated near door 
Diabetic  Medication/snack to be taken into exam room 
Double Vision  30 minutes of extra time 
Dyslexia  30 minutes of extra time (standard), 25% extra time if recommended in report, use of computer if recommended in report
Grand Mal (form of epilepsy) Separate room if required
 Hand injury 30 minutes of extra time for rest breaks, computer too if recommended in report
Head injury (slow reading/writing) 45 minutes extra time
Hearing impairment

15 minutes of extra time

Multiple Sclerosis  30 minutes of extra time and use of computer

30 minutes of extra time

Pregnancy Maximum 15 minutes of extra time to allow for rest/toilet breaks
Repetitive Strain injury 30 minutes of extra time, use of computer if recommended in report

Special consideration

Reference: TR374
Version: V14
Last updated: May 2019
Policy owner: Director of Qualifications and Partnerships
Review period: May 2020

Download as a PDF

Definition of special consideration

Special consideration may be applied for in cases where the learner has been fully prepared for the assessment but their performance in their assignment or attendance on the day of the examination has been affected by factors beyond their control, such as ill health, an accident or a family crisis that is likely to have had an impact on the candidate’s performance.

Special consideration is consideration given to a candidate just before or on the examination day or the date for submission of an assignment. CIM aligns its Special Consideration Policy with regulatory requirements.

Candidates who decide not to submit an assignment cannot apply for special consideration, and instead, should review CIM’s Guidance on Deferrals on MyCIM. Tutors can access this information on the Tutor Zone.

CIM is responsible for the process of special considerations; this is not administrated by Accredited Study Centres (ASCs) on behalf of CIM and therefore only completed applications received directly from candidates will be accepted.

Examples of when special consideration may be given:

  • Candidates who have suffered temporary illness, injury or an accident at the time of the examination or assignment submission date. 
  • Candidates who have suffered a bereavement at the time of the assessment.
  • Candidates who have had a domestic crisis at the time of the assessment. 
  • A serious disturbance during an examination, eg excessive noise outside the examination room.
  • Accidental events at the time of assessment, such as being given the wrong examination paper, failure of practical equipment, failure of materials to arrive on time, etc.
  • Failure by the examination centre to implement previously approved access arrangements. 

Process for special consideration

CIM will consider each request on an individual basis.

The Special Consideration claim form is available on MyCIM and the Tutor Zone and can be sent via email to, or post to: Registrar, Awarding Body, CIM, Moor Hall, Cookham, Berkshire, SL6 9QH, UK.

Supporting evidence to underpin the Special Consideration claim form must be sent at the same time. Evidence could include, for example, hospital and/medical reports or letters from the candidate’s doctor. Please refer to the Important Dates document available on the Tutor Zone and MyCIM with regard to deadlines for application. 

Acknowledgement of the Special Consideration claim form is sent to the candidate by email. The outcome of the Special Consideration claim will be based upon previously established criteria. These include severity of the situation and the date of the examination/assignment deadline in relation to the circumstances. Prior to the release of assessment results, a further communication will be sent to the candidate confirming whether or not the consideration has been granted. If special consideration is not granted the candidate may appeal against CIM’s decision. The Appeals policy and Notice to Appeal form are available on MyCIM and the Tutor Zone. Please note that the completed Notice to Appeal form and supporting documentation must be returned to CIM within five working days of the date of the decision communication being sent. CIM will respond within 20 working days upon receipt of the Notice to Appeal form.

Monitoring and evaluation

Confidentiality will be maintained in accordance with the UK Data Protection Act 2018. Information detailing action taken is produced for each CIM Exam Board. Names of candidates are not included in this information. All findings are reported to the Director of Qualifications and Partnerships and ratified by the Chief Examiner.

Other related CIM policies and documents

Other related CIM policies and documents can be found on MyCIM and on the Tutor Zone:

• Reasonable Adjustments Policy

• Customer Service Policy

• Guidance on Deferrals

• Appeals Policy

You can download the Special Consideration form here.

Use of languages

Reference: TR345
Version: V5
Last updated: January 2019
Policy owner: Qualification and Assessment Manager
Review period: January 2020

Download as a PDF

CIM's definition of use of language

CIM’s language of assessment is to use the (British) English language, as English is the globally recognised business language. All assessment papers issued by CIM will be written in (British) English and all studying members will be required to complete these assessments in English also.

Learners taking CIM qualifications may be assessed in British Sign Language or Irish Sign Language where it is appropriate under Reasonable Adjustment.

If English is not the studying member’s first language, CIM expects accredited study centres to recruit with integrity and as such require that studying members have followed a programme of English equivalent to C grade at GCSE or higher, or have undertaken an initial diagnostic test to assess suitability, to enable them to access our qualifications and assessment. CIM may at any time request evidence of this.

Alternative English qualifications that can be considered by accredited study centres, taken within the last two years: IELTS Academic Module with an overall score of 6.5 (each component pass mark must be 6.0 or above), or the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE), grade C or above.

Other materials

Materials used for training, standardisation, training and centre guidance will only be made available in English.

Contact details:


Tel +44 (0)1628 427120

Customer Experience, CIM, Moor Hall, Cookham, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 9QH, UK