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Update September 2021

This November, we will again be running online exams, this time in conjunction with written exams. If you are taking exams online, you will shortly need to be installing the new version of the Exam portal. There has been a delay with the software company providing the new version but this should be available on the website from 28th September. After applications close on 30th September we will be sending an online registration to candidates taking the online exam to check your software and hardware are working correctly.

BBKA Modules Update - 1st July 2021

On 24th April, the BBKA Exam Board ran the Module exams for the first time using an on-line platform. We had 386 candidates who took 500 Modules. We wanted to find out what candidates thought of the new system in a survey open from 25th April till 10th May. Of the 386 candidates who took the modules, 307 completed the survey with 66% of them asking for the on-line option and 27% stating that they don’t mind either the on-line or hand written option in future. 

While 6% is a relatively small proportion for those wanting to take the Modules as a hand written option, we have decided that in November 2021 and in March 2022 we will offer both on-line and hand written for all Associations. In their exam applications, candidates will be asked to make ‘on-line’ or ‘hand written’ choice. The local Examination secretaries will only have visibility on how many candidates will take the modules as hand written in September after the closing date for the applications. Clearly, waiting until September to book venues is unpractical, as many Associations need to give long notice for their venue bookings. We would therefore ask Associations to book venues as normal and cancel in September if there is no demand for hand written Modules in their venue. 

Marin Anastasov, NDB

Chairman, BBKA Examinations Board

April Module Results - 15th June 2021 

The results for the April Module exams will be available within the next couple of weeks.  It has taken us a little longer than usual to process the results this year.  There are nearly double the usual number of candidates and the marking and moderation has extended well into the active bee season. 

Exam Board Statement about deferrals - 31st March 2021 

The systems of exam deferrals has, over the years, become increasingly complex to administer. As there are currently no outstanding deferrals in the system as a result of covid-19 cancellations, we felt this is a good opportunity to simplify the system.

We will no longer be offering deferrals for exams. Instead, if a candidate wishes to withdraw from an exam or assessment, they may cancel up until one calendar month before the exam and will receive a refund minus £10 to cover administration. No money will be refunded if there is less than 1 calendar month before the exam.

We think this change will make the system simpler to administer as well as simpler to understand. The change will take affect from 3rd April 2021.

Exam Board Statement about Practical Assessments and Theory Exams - 19th February 2021

BBKA members can now apply and pay for examinations and assessments online. The new examination application  administration system (EXA) went live as planned on February 15th and from this point candidates are now able to apply online rather than use a paper form. To get an online application form please ask your local Exam Secretary to email you a link. This link can be used to fill in the application form and and pay online. You will get an email receipt to confirm your application has been received.

For more information about the new exam process, please visit our FAQs page

Exam Board Statement about Practical Assessments and Theory Exams - 15th February 2021

BBKA members can now apply and pay for examinations and assessments online. The new examination application  administration system (EXA) should go live on February 15th and from this point candidates will be able to apply online rather than use a paper form. To get an online application form please ask your local Exam Secretary to email you a link. This link can be used to fill in the application form and and pay online. You will get an email receipt to confirm your application has been received.

Exam Board Statement about Practical Assessments  - 25th  January 2021

The Examinations Board is endeavouring to run practical assessments as usual this summer. This is dependent on what Covid-19 restrictions are in place at the time. Though we have an expectation that restrictions will have lifted to an extent that the practical assessments will be able to take place this summer, this is not guaranteed. We are hoping that it will be safe to run the assessments by this point and are proceeding on the basis that this will be the case. The last date for applications is 28th February.

This deadline does not apply to the Basic Assessment.

Examination Board statement about March 2021 Exams

The global outbreak of COVID-19 led to the cancellation of the March and November 2020 module exams as social distancing rules made the exams untenable. As we move into winter and another national lockdown, it seems likely that the coming months will offer little to change the situation.

Many institutions, such as universities, have been examining candidates using online invigilation systems. The Examination Board has been looking into this possibility and has been trialling suitable software.

We believe we will be able to hold the spring module exams on the weekend of 24th and 25th April 2021 using online invigilation, so people can take module exams online in their own homes. Unfortunately, we will not be offering the module exams as written papers this spring due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

The final application date for Module exams will be 31st January 2021 and candidates will be able to sit a maximum of two modules.  Anyone who has already applied and does not want to take the exam online can have their entry transferred to November 2021 at no cost, when we are planning to offer paper exams. 

November 2020.

Exam board statement about November Exams

'The global outbreak of COVID-19 has meant that we have had to limit socialising and gatherings, to help prevent the spread of this disease. Inevitably, this has had a huge impact on the BBKA exam system, that relies on candidates, assessors, and invigilators to meet in close proximity or travel some distance away from home.

Following the feedback from many associations and individuals on the matter, we have taken the difficult decision to cancel the BBKA assessments for the remaining part of 2020. These include Show Judge certificate in October as well as Module exams and Microscopy assessments in November.

The main concern of the Exam Board is the safety of all candidates, assessors and invigilators. While some associations have indicated that they may be able to facilitate the Module exams, others have advised against it. We want to offer equal opportunities to all members who wish to take the BBKA exams. With the current situation however, we do not feel this is achievable for all involved.

Candidates who have applied for assessments in 2020 will get free transfer for 2021, or get their fees refunded if they prefer. Due to the cancellations of the exams, the condition that candidates need to have taken all Modules within 12 years of the first module taken has now been removed.  

We know how much value beekeepers put on the BBKA exam system. To support those who continue on their learning journey, we are exploring alternative ways to hold the Module exams and hope to have solution in place for the early part of 2021.'

July 2020

Monday March 23rd 2020


Update Coronavirus - Message from Val Francis Exam Secretary 

It is less than a week since my last notice but things have already moved on with more restrictions and requirements for social distancing and isolation.  Officials are now warning that periods of social distancing could be a feature of our lives for at least a year.  With so much uncertainty the Exam Board has decided to cancel all practical assessments until September.  This will apply to Advanced Husbandry, General Husbandry, Bee Breeding, Bee Health, Basic and Junior Certificates.  We will review the situation in September regarding the Microscopy Assessments.

Candidates who have applied already will receive a free transfer to next year or a refund if they prefer.

URGENT UPDATE!!!!!! All exams for March 21st cancelled to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Here is a statement from the Examinations Board: 

Yesterday, there was a new statement that escalated the precautions we need to take to limit the spread of the coronavius to a different level. Consequently, it is with great regret that the Examinations Board has decided that they must act within the Government Guidelines and cancel the Examinations on March 21st. 

We know how much work the candidates have put into the preparation for these exams and the decision has not been made lightly but we do not wish to put invigilators or candidates at risk for an activity which is not essential. 

The free transfer of fees and applications will extend to March 2021.