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Instructions to Candidates for the Advanced and Professional Level Remote Invigilation

This page contains important information regarding the administration of ICAEW Professional and Advanced Level remote invigilation exams. You must read these instructions carefully and make sure you are familiar with our processes and procedures before you start your exam(s). It is your responsibility to adhere to the following instructions. Failure to do so may result in a charge of misconduct which may include your exam script being awarded a mark of zero, or your script not being marked.

Remote invigilation guidance

This guide features key information relating to Professional and Advanced Level remotely invigilated exams. You should ensure that you review full guidance including the FAQs, remote invigilation checklist, the instructions to candidates below, access arrangements and special consideration guidance. You may print this guide off and have it with you during your Professional or Advanced Level remotely invigilated exam. Please show it to the invigilator along with other permitted texts where required, before starting your exam.

What you need to know before your exam day

Once you have booked your exam, you will receive an email notifying you that you have made an application. Review and check it at exams online.

It is your responsibility to:

  • Make sure everything on your application summary is correct
  • Keep your email address up to date, and check it regularly. This is how we will communicate key information regarding your exam to you. This email address will also be used to receive instructions regarding your remote invigilation exam, you must ensure that you can access this email at home or in the location you will be sitting your exam. You can update your contact details via your online training file.

System checks

You will be emailed instructions on how to complete the remote invigilation systems checks. Please be advised that students sitting the September Professional Level exam will receive a system check email shortly.

These MUST be completed before your exam day, and allow time to resolve any issues that you encounter.

Please ensure you have also gone through the technical and system requirements before your exam as these will provide you with additional steps to make sure your exam environment is ready.

You also need to ensure you have enabled flash to take your remote invigilation exam. To do this you should go to this page in Google Chrome and then:

  • Select the padlock icon on the address bar and choose ‘Flash’.
  • Select ‘Allow’ in the drop-down menu
  • Reload your instance of Surpass to enable Flash

How the exam is remotely invigilated

During the remote invigilation exam, your activity is recorded via three separate angles;

  • the computer webcam records your view from the front;
  • a mobile phone situated to your side, records additional coverage of the test environment, using the ProctorExam app; and
  • a recording of the screen shows what you are doing on-screen.

The exam itself will run in the same way as in an exam centre.

If students encounter any technical difficulties, they will be able to access the live online chat support.

Remote Invigilation - room requirements

Please note the following requirements:

  • You are alone in the room
  • Recommend to sit exam at a suitable desk
  • Your room is well lit
  • You have your ID to hand
  • Only materials permitted for the exam are on the desk
  • All note paper is blank
  • No headphones

What you can take into your exams

There are restrictions on what you can have in your exam environment itself and on/around your desk when you are completing your exam.

Permitted texts

Permitted texts are text books that ICAEW recommend you use in your studies and in your exam.

All Advanced Level exams remain open book, and the table below shows what each Professional Level exam allows. Read the full details of the texts, the specific editions ICAEW recommends, and restrictions on how you can and cannot annotate these on the permitted texts webpage.

allow only permitted texts (Y)
allow no texts (N)
allow any texts or materials (No restrictions)

Professional Level exams Permitted text
Audit and Assurance Y
Financial Accounting and Reporting Y
Tax Compliance Y
Financial Management N
Business Strategy and Technology N
Business Planning No restrictions

Please note: only original hardcopies of the permitted texts are allowed.


You are required to provide one form of identification. For example:

  • Passport
  • National Identification card
  • Driving licence containing a photograph and signature.

Only original documentation will be accepted, photocopies or digital copies of documents will not be accepted. We will accept identification that has expired within the last six months.

If you are not able to provide suitable ID, your exam may be invalidated.


You must provide your own calculator which must not be pre-programmable nor have additional functions built in capable of automatically computing NPV or IRR. You may be asked to show that the memory within the calculator is empty. This must be shown to the invigilation system within the environment set up prior to starting your exam. If you are unable to do so, you may be penalised when the invigilation video is reviewed. We therefore recommend you use a calculator without additional built-in functions.

Food and drink

Food and drinks are permitted.

However, if you spill something and damage your exam notes or equipment, you will not receive any special consideration or extra time.

Note paper

You may use blank sheets of note paper to use during your exam. These must be shown to the invigilator within the environment set up prior to starting the exam to show they have no notes on. They will not be marked.

What you cannot take into your exam

Watches or desk clocks

Please note that watches and desk clocks are not permitted in the exams. The timing of the exam will be managed by a countdown timer within the exam software. Therefore you are advised to practice the exams with a countdown timer, so you are confident in managing your time throughout your exam this way.


You will only be able to take medication into the exam environment with you if you have been authorised to do so by ICAEW via access arrangement. This includes any painkillers or cough sweets/lozenges.

Electronic devices

Only the electronic devices required for the remote invigilation process are permitted in your exam.

Your conduct

As an ACA student, we expect you to act in a professional manner and in accordance with the ICAEW Student and ACA Assessment Regulations.

During your exam you must at all times follow the instructions provided to you. Failure to do so will be considered misconduct which may include your exam script being awarded a mark of zero.

Please consider the below behaviours:

  • You must remain seated during the exam.
  • Toilet breaks are permitted, but each break must be no more than 5 minutes long. Your exam time will not be paused.
  • If you want to finish the exam early and you do not want to return, you must complete the ‘Finish’ exam process, and exit from the remote invigilation software.

What is misconduct?

Misconduct is any action or conduct that the invigilator reports as unacceptable or against ICAEW regulations or instructions given within these Instructions to Candidates.

The invigilator will complete a report which will be sent to ICAEW. In addition to this, you must also provide a statement in writing within seven days of the incident, and email it to specialconsideration@icaew.com.

All reports of misconduct are discussed with the Assessment Committee who will consider the appropriate action for each case.

Disciplinary action may include awarding your exam script a mark of zero, voiding the attempt or any other measure deemed appropriate by the Committee. Cases of misconduct may also be referred to ICAEW Professional Standards and involve further disciplinary action.

You will be made aware of the Assessment Committee’s decision and given the opportunity to appeal.

Misconduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • Not complying with invigilator instructions
  • Not complying with guidance within these Instructions to Candidates
  • Speaking with any third parties who enter the exam room
  • Taking unauthorised materials or objects into the exam room
  • Cheating
  • Breaking exam conditions

Below is a list of violations that you may be disqualified for.

  • Looking at mobile phone/tablet other than the computer
  • Continuously looking around room
  • Continuously looking up or down
  • Continuously looking to the left or right
  • Continuously looking under desk
  • Reading your questions out loud
  • Looking at hands or wrists
  • Accessing any web pages
  • Accessing other applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or their folders/windows explorer
  • Other people entering the room
  • Using multiple screens
  • If your room is too dark
  • Wearing sunglasses or smart glasses
  • Wearing a watch
  • If your webcam or laptop is angled up/face obscured
  • Opening drawers or cupboards under your desk
  • Looking at post-it notes around the room*

*This is not applicable to Business Planning and Advanced Level as these are open book exams, meaning you may refer to printed materials and notes.

What if something goes wrong?

If you encounter any technical difficulties during setup or the live exam, you will be able to access the live online chat support. You will find this in the bottom right hand corner of your screen.

We are unable to allocate extra time to complete the exam if any problems do occur, however if you feel your exam attempt has been unduly affected you should raise a special consideration request.

If you are ill on exam day or affected by other adversity e.g. bereavement or shock, you should consider withdrawing or deferring your exam attempt, as you may not be eligible for special consideration if you attempt your exam.

Special consideration

The special consideration process addresses circumstances specific to an individual exam, which are outside of your control, and which may impact exam performance. It is your responsibility to understand the special consideration process before you sit an exam.

Only you may apply for special considerations for your exam attempt. Any information confirmed to, or forms completed by, the invigilator are used to verify what you state in your application. They are not considered a special considerations application on their own.

To apply visit special considerations.

What to expect on exam day

Once you have completed your system check another email will be sent prior to your exam date - please check your junk email folder. This email contains the link to your exam.

15 minutes before you are due to take your exam, click on the exam link in your live exam email. This will take you through to the ‘on-boarding’ process. Follow the ID check, environment set up instructions including showing blank note paper, any permitted texts and calculators.

Please ensure you have gone through the technical and system requirements for taking your exam. These will provide you with additional steps to follow to make sure your exam environment is ready.

You will be recorded from your computer and smart phone during your exam. This footage will be reviewed by a remote invigilator and ICAEW.


It is your responsibility to be ready and start the exam on time. Late entries may be disqualified.

During your exam

It is your responsibility to ensure that the area that you are taking your exam in is free from distracting noises or activity, or anything that may affect your exam attempt.

If you feel your exam attempt has been unduly affected, you should apply for special consideration.

At the end of your exam

Your exam will automatically shut down once your exam time has finished.

Once you’ve completed the exam, please ensure you click on ‘Finish’ in Surpass, and then click on ‘Finish Exam’ in ProctorExam.

You remain under exam conditions until the remote invigilation software is closed down and you are no longer being invigilated.