Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board

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Examination process

1.0 The setting of examination papers


1.1 Examination draft

Board appointed examiners produce first examination drafts aligned to the competencies published in the appropriate Gazette Notices and the scope given in the relevant guidance documents.

These first drafts are then peer reviewed by Board appointed reviewers to critique their technical content and the overall examination level.  Comments are then considered by the examiners and drafts amended accordingly.

1.2 Moderation meeting

Moderation meetings are convened as necessary.  These meetings are attended by examiners, representatives of all training providers and the Board appointed examination expert.

The purpose of the moderation meeting is to consider examination questions for publication in the Board's examination papers.

The draft examination papers are sent to all attendees in advance of the meeting.

Training provider representatives are required to research their training packages to ensure that the following criterion applies:

  • the subject is relevant and is taught in relevant training packages;
  • the questions and answers are placed at the correct level, i.e. level 4 tradesman registration or level 5 certifying registration;
  • the questions and answers are in the correct topic category as set out in the competencies;
  • the vocabulary used is relevant, clear and concise; and
  • the marks awarded are fair and reflect the required knowledge in the answer.
The Board appointed examination expert reviews these drafts and:
  • critiques questions and answers in terms of best examination practice;
  • suggests minor alterations to wording where there may be any chance of ambiguity or lack of clarity;
  • checks alignment between the questions and the topic weightings requirements;
  • checks the layout, pagination and formatting to ensure clarity and correct spacing for candidates' answers.
Questions moderated and agreed to are compiled and sent for amendments to the graphic designer.

1.3 Examination trial

Examination drafts are sent to Board appointed contractors who sit the proposed examinations. This process aims at identifying any possible misinterpretation of questions, ensuring the time allocation for the papers is appropriate and proofing the examination papers as such.

Any feedback following the sitting of these trials is considered by the examiners and amendments are done where appropriate. 

1.4 Review and sign-off

The examinations are sent to the Board appointed examiners for final review and comment.

The result of this review is compiled and changes, if any, are included in examination papers.

Final versions are sent to the printers for proof-printing and then presented for final sign off by the Board appointed examiners.


2.0 The marking of examination papers and results notification


2.1 Marking schedules and candidate code lists

The week prior to the first examination marking schedules and the candidate code lists allocated to each marker are sent to the examiners.

2.2 Sample marking moderation meeting

A meeting of markers and the Board appointed examinations expert is convened for two weeks after the last examination date of the cycle. Representatives from all training providers are invited to attend to provide moderation to the marking processes.

Each marker brings ten marked question and answer booklets (or 10% of the total assigned for marking, whichever is greater) per examination paper to be discussed.

During this meeting, the Board appointed examinations expert will remind the markers and attendees of the standard practice procedures for marking examination papers and will go through examples of what must be avoided in the marking process.

Training provider representatives and markers discuss and agree on marking approaches to specific questions that may cause concerns; alternative answers are considered for the markers’ benefit and additional answers are considered for inclusion in marking schedules.

2.3 Check marker meeting

Within the two weeks prior to the release date of examination results for each examination cycle, a meeting is convened with the markers. The markers will bring all question and answer booklets they have marked.

All booklets with a result between 55 and 59.5 marks are re-checked to see if any further marks could be awarded.

All examination papers are checked to ensure marks have been added correctly.

The back pages of all examination booklets are stamped ‘Marks checked and verified.’

The examiners approve any additions or alterations to the marking schedules following the check marking meetings. These schedules are sent to the graphic designer for the final version of the answer schedule.

2.4 Data entry and result notifications

Examination results are entered into the examinations’ database, result notices are issued and posted out to the individual candidates together with their question and answer booklets.

All candidates with pass marks will also receive information on the registration process relevant to the examination they have passed.

All candidates not achieving a pass mark will also receive an ‘Application for re mark or reconsideration’.

2.5 Re-marks

Candidates finding mechanical errors in the addition of the marks on their question and answer booklets or unmarked questions should return their booklets to the Board by the date advised in the application for remark. The booklet is checked and, if needed, sent back to the original marker for the appropriate correction of the final mark. The result is entered in the examinations database and a new results slip issued.

2.6 Reconsiderations

Candidates wishing to have their examination papers completely re-marked by a different marker should send their question and answer booklets together with application and payment for reconsideration.

Payment is processed and the papers received for reconsideration are sent to a different marker for marking.

After having the papers reconsidered by the new marker the results are compared to the original marking; whichever final mark is greater is entered into the examinations database as a final result of the examination paper and a new result slip is issued if needed.

This result is final.

Contact the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board

Phone: 0800 743 262, Email: registrar@pgdb.co.nz, Post: PO Box 10655, The Terrace, Wellington 6143
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