Exam News 2021
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  6. News
  1. Licensing
  2. Membership
  3. Qualifications & Careers
  4. Publications & Resources
  5. Get Involved
  6. News

Exam News 2021 - Certificate in Railway Control Engineering Fundamentals and Advance Diploma of Railway Control Engineering 

This page will be kept up-to-date with information for Candidates and Sponsors for the 2021 exam modules

14 December

All Module B, C, D and 2 candidates were emailed on 14 December to bring them up-to-date:

Progress to date

  • Exam Committee have met and examiners were expected to hand over their results (see below)
  • Reviews are taking place of information which anti-plagiarism and remote proctoring software have flagged.  Examiners have been made aware of any potential plagiarism incidents and the IRSE exam team are doing some initial cross-checks against potential incidents found by the remote proctoring software
  • Module 2 is "on hold" while the examiners complete marking for other modules

Next steps

  • Examiners will hand over their results for final moderating and checking
  • IRSE exam team will be in touch with Module B, C and D candidates where initial investigations cannot resolve any remote proctoring incidents
  • Plagiarism incidents and any non-resolved remote proctoring incidents will be referred to a sub-committee of Education & Professional Development Committee
  • Results for Modules B, C and D will be released as soon as possible, given the process above.  Some results may be withheld pending investigation rather than make all 71 candidates wait
  • Module 2 papers will be released to the examiners early in 2022 and the same process described above will take place.  Module 2 candidates will be kept up-to-date with progress 

9 November

Education & Professional Development Committee have announced that results for 2021 Certificate in Railway Control Engineering Fundamentals (Module A) candidates are delayed, with an expected release date of end of November.  This is due to ongoing moderation of the results, taking the effect of the failure of the remote proctoring software into account, which is taking longer than anticipated.  Apologies to all impacted by this and results will be issued as soon as possible.

3 October

The 2021 exam is now closed. Please see FAQ 22 for an expectation of when results will be published.

We are continuing to read and respond to all emails and we continue to investigate the issues which arose on exam day.  If you wish to contact the exam team, please do so via exam@irse.org giving as much detail as possible, including your candidate number.

<2 October 08:25 UTC and 09:55 UTC

Urgent message for all Certificate / Module A candidates:

We are aware that there is an issue for some candidates not having access to the remote proctoring (invigilation) / Smowl software. Please continue your exam without the remote proctoring (invigilation) / Smowl software running - You will not be penalised as we can see who is effected by this issue.

We apologise for all the disruption and frustration caused by this issue.

We are working on a solution, meanwhile please continue your exam without the remote proctoring (invigilation) / Smowl software running - You will not be penalised as we can see who is effected by this issue.

Message for all candidates:

If you have registered for the remote proctoring (invigilation) / Smowl software, your dashboard will remain empty until your exam time. Please do not worry, this is normal.

If you have not registered, then your registration module will be available to you until 30 minutes after your module time window opens.


1 October 2021

Information for all candidates at 17:00 UTC - the exam team are now finishing for the evening to get sufficient rest before covering tomorrow's exam day (01:00 to 23:00 UTC). We are sorry that we are unable to get back to you today.

Information for Certificate (Module A) candidates:

  • Thank you to some candidates who have fed back about a query in the practice paper - It appears that there is an error in the numeric answer for the level crossing question.  The lead examiner has confirmed that the correct answer is 10. They will investigate the problem after tomorrow's exam and have confirmed that they will specifically check the results of any questions which have a numeric answer to ensure that the marking system works correctly.
  • Please note that your login to the Certificate software (ExamOnline) is the same login as your Moodle login and will look like 1111ward and your password is the original password sent to you, not your updated Moodle pasword.

Information for Modules B, C, D and 2 candidates:

  • Thank you to those who are confirming they will be using a second screen tomorrow.  Sorry we do not have capacity to acknowledge these today - we will do so over the next week.

30 September 2021

URGENT UPDATE: We have now been told that candidates who have already registered do not need to do so again via the Smowl software.  Please check the "enrolment check link" (see candidate guide) and if it displays the message below, then you do not need to re-register and this message confirms that this is the case - please do not phone or email the exam team for further confirmation.  

There were some issues with availability of the practice exams earlier but these have been resolved - these are now available to all candidates again.

We apologise for any confusion and concerns these issues have raised.

29 September 2021

Urgent update for all candidates: The remote proctoring (invigilation) / Smowl software issue has been resolved with a software update released and tested - This means that registration for the remote proctoring (invigilation) / Smowl software is now open - All candidates are asked to re-register, even if they have done so already.

The candidate guide has been updated and can be found in the document library below and here.

27 September 2021

Urgent update for all candidates: Unfortunately the remote proctoring (invigilation) / Smowl software issue has not yet been resolved.  We are continuing to work on this and share your frustrations. We of course will be extending the recommended registration deadline accordingly - we cannot announce a date for this until we have the system fully up and running again.

23 September 2021

Urgent update for all candidates: We have identified some issues with the remote proctoring (invigilation) / Smowl software for registration for the exam. This has now been taken offline while we resolve it. Please note that the practice papers remain available.

We will update you all as soon as possible via email and updates here.

21 September 2021

We emailed all candidates today informing them that the registration for the remote proctoring (invigilation) / Smowl software is now open.  We have also reminded all candidates that the practice exam sessions are available for them, as less than half candidates have accessed these so far.

18 September 2021

We emailed all candidates yesterday (17 September) with further details for registering with the remote proctoring (invigilation) / Smowl software and dates for when the Module 2 base plans will be available, along with other "FAQs".  We will send out more information next week.

Good luck with your studies and don't forget to make use of the practice papers online.

16 September 2021

We will be emailing all candidates tomorrow with updates and FAQs from some of the queries we have had from some of you, and we are sure that will be of interest and help to others.

Tip for logging into Moodle once you have already logged in and out - In some browsers it helps to close the browser window, or at least the tab, when you log out, otherwise it sometimes fails to log you in.

10 September 2021

All candidates have been sent their practice exam login details and the times for their exam modules on exam day, Saturday 2 October. Further information about registering for the remote proctoring software and how to contact the exam team on exam day is to be issued later.

Please ensure that you have read the detailed candidate guide for full information.

Module B, C and D candidates who have not paid their membership subscriptions by Wednesday 15 September will not be able to sit the exam on Saturday 2 October.

6 August 2021

All candidates have been emailed asking for their preferred time zone to sit their module(s) on Saturday 2 October 2021. Please complete this survey by 23 August.

1 August 2021

Booking has now closed for the Certificate and Advanced Diploma for October 2021. Good luck to all candidates for their studies.

30 July 2021

This is a final reminder that booking for anyone intending to sit the Certificate or modules towards the Advanced Diploma on 2 October 2021 must have booked and paid by tomorrow, 31 July 2021.

25 June 2021

Education & Professional Development Committee have confirmed that Module 2 Signalling the Layout will be available to be sat on 2 October 2021 for the final time - Only those who had booked to sit it in 2020 and did not withdraw from the exam will be able to sit it.  Candidates have been emailed today with the latest information.

3 May 2021

All prospective candidates are reminded of the requirements for this year's exams, as detailed in the guidance document:

All are welcome to sit the Certificate in Railway Control Engineering Fundamentals, whether you are an IRSE member or not - you just need to be registered on the IRSE website.

For those who are interested in sitting the advanced modules (Module B, Module C and/or Module D), you are reminded that you must be a fully paid-up member of the IRSE and either have already passed an exam module or (for 2021 only) have permission from a sponsor (a MIRSE or FIRSE).

If you are struggling with your booking, please contact our exam team on exam@irse.org who will get back to you during UK office hours.

19 April 2021

Booking has opened for all candidates wishing to sit the 2021 IRSE exams.  All are asked to read the guidance document in detail, including terms and conditions of the exam. To book, please click here to take you to the events page or type irse.info/bookexam21 into your browser.

Note that all checks will take place after you have made your booking, so please ensure that you have booked the correct module(s) and that you send in your SDF (if required).

Module 2 candidates: E&PD Committee are still working on a solution for you to sit module 2 in 2021.