The General Data Protection Regulation/Data Protection Act 2018 (GDPR/DPA 2018) entitles an individual to make a subject access request in order to obtain a copy of any personal data held about them. Personal data is any information that relates to an identifiable individual, including information about their performance in an examination such as marks and examiners’ comments.
All subject access requests submitted to the University are processed centrally by the Information Compliance team in the Council Secretariat. Under no circumstances should examiners, assessors, or administrative staff respond to direct requests for disclosure of information relating to the exam. Those wishing to make such a request should be advised to contact the Information Compliance Team in the Council Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org. Under GDPR/DPA 2018, fees are no longer charged for subject access requests.
The right of subject access under GDPR/DPA 2018 means that students may access information that is otherwise treated as confidential. By making such a request a student may obtain all personal data generated as part of the exam process, including:
- all marks held, including raw marks;
- copies of markers’ comments on their work;
- (if identifiable separately from other individuals) comments recorded about their performance, whether by name or candidate number, in material presented to or in the minutes of examiners’ meetings; and
- any other information relating to their performance, such as information about medical problems.
However, due to a specific provision in GDPR/DPA 2018, exam scripts are exempt from this general right of access, although a student is still entitled to any marks or comments recorded in the margins of a script.
It should be noted that when responding to a subject access request for exam-related information, the Information Compliance team redacts the names of examiners in order to preserve the anonymity of the exam process. For the same reason, the team will also transcribe any handwritten comments, although may need to ask individual examiners to do this where the handwriting is not legible.