Qualifications

Diploma & Master Exams - Support FAQ

Find out all about exam formats, technical requirements and rules

Diploma & Master Exams

IBD examinations regulations and the reasonable adjustments policy can be found here.

From June 2021, all candidates taking the Diploma in Brewing, Diploma in Distilling and Diploma in Packaging will be assessed by online invigilated (proctored) exam using the IBD online Examination Portal.

The digitisation of all our Diploma Qualifications means a much more secure method to assess your knowledge and facilitates a better experience to sit exams without the need to travel to an exam centre. The online invigilated (proctored) exam method also minimises the impact of any unforeseen disruptions (e.g. COVID restrictions, logistics, etc.) and eliminates travel time and costs.

There will be no changes in the syllabus you have studied during the preparation of the exam, which will comprise of:

Diploma Exam Format

Section A (Short Answer):

Section B (Long Answer):

30 questions worth 1 or 2 marks each for 40 marks

 

6 Questions worth 20 marks each

 

You are expected to answer all the questions in this section

 

You must only answer 4 questions of your choice

 

Can be one question worth 20 marks or broken down into 2 or 3 sub parts totalling 20

 

You will have a total of three hours to complete all of Section A and your choice of four questions from Section B, and you should allocate time to each section accordingly.

The total marks available are 120.

The pass mark for all modules is 45%. This is pre-set and applies to all the examinations. In addition, there are fixed marks for different levels of pass and fail grades.

Important Information:

  • There will be no multiple-choice questions in any of the Diploma papers
  • There will be no requirement for diagrams or sketches in any of the questions, although you may be required to label or explain diagrams as part of the question
  • There will be calculations required that will examine your knowledge to the same standard as previous exams
  • There will be an on-screen scientific calculator available in the Examination Portal that you can test before the exam. If you aren’t comfortable with the on-screen calculator, you are allowed to use your own non-programmable scientific calculator
  • No mobiles, tablets, ipads, or any digital device will be permitted on the desk
  • It's allowed the use of a pen and two sheets of blank A4 paper for you to take notes, but no other papers, notepads, or notes will be allowed during the exam
  • Only PCs or laptop computers can be used for the exam (tablets or mobile phones cannot be used)

The Diploma Exams are planned as follows:

 

Diploma in Brewing

Diploma in Distilling

Diploma in Packaging

Module 1

 8 June 2021

 8 June 2021

 8 June 2021

Module 2

 9 June 2021

 9 June 2021

 9 June 2021

Module 3

10 June 2021

10 June 2021

10 June 2021

Diploma Exam Grade Boundaries

Pass

Fail

Grade A = 75% and over

Grade E = 35 – 44%

Grade B = 65 – 74%

Grade F = <35%

Grade C = 55 – 64%

 

Grade D = 45 – 54%

 

From June 2021, all candidates taking the Master Brewer and Master Distiller Exams will be assessed by remote invigilated (proctored) exam using the IBD online Examination Portal. 

The digitisation of all our Master Qualifications means a much more secure method to assess your knowledge and facilitates a better experience to sit exams without the need to travel to an exam centre. The online invigilated (proctored) exam method also minimises the impact of any unforeseen disruptions (e.g. COVID restrictions, logistics, etc.) and eliminates travel time and costs.

There will be no changes in the syllabus you have studied during the preparation of the exam, which will comprise of:

Master Exam Format

Paper 1 (Short Answer):

 

Questions to total 100 marks. You must score a minimum of 55%

 

Paper 2 (Long Answer):

 

4 from 6 questions for 100 marks (25 marks each). You must score a minimum of 45%

 

You will have a total of two hours to complete each paper, with four hours in total to complete the exam, and you should allocate time to each paper accordingly.

Important Information:

  • There will be no multiple-choice questions in any of the Master papers
  • There will be no requirement for diagrams or sketches in any of the questions, although you may be required to label or explain diagrams as part of the question
  • There will be calculations required that will examine your knowledge to the same standard as previous exams
  • There will be an on-screen scientific calculator available in the Examination Portal that you can test before the exam. If you aren’t comfortable with the on-screen calculator, you are allowed to use your own non-programmable scientific calculator
  • No mobiles, tablets, ipads, or any digital device will be permitted on the desk
  • It's allowed the use of a pen and two sheets of blank A4 paper for you to take notes, but no other papers, notepads, or notes will be allowed during the exam
  • Only PCs or laptop computers can be used for the exam (tablets or mobile phones cannot be used)

The Master Exams are planned as follows:

 

Master Brewer

Master Distiller

Module 1

 8 June 2021

 8 June 2021

Module 2

 9 June 2021

 9 June 2021

Module 3

10 June 2021

10 June 2021

Module 4

11 June 2021

11 June 2021

Combined Master Grade Boundaries

Pass

Fail

80% - A /\

40% - E

70% - B |

30% - F

60% - C |

<30% G

50% - D

 

Our aim is to support all candidates by providing you with the optimum conditions to take the exam. 

If you are experiencing any issues accessing our learning material or have difficulties taking our online invigilated (proctored) exam, please get in touch with us by email: 2021exams@ibd.org.uk

Together, we'll aim to find a solution for you.

It is paramount for the IBD to ensure all candidates are treated fairly to maintain the credibility of your examination result.

Any exceptions will need to be approved before the exam. Please bear in mind that you will need to prove why you are unable to take the recommended online exam.

Online exams have become widely adopted due to the COVID pandemic. The IBD has made this decision to ensure that candidates have the best opportunity to progress their educational goal without needing to travel to examination centres or being otherwise restricted.

If you have a medical reason that prevents you from taking the online invigilated (proctored) exam, you will need to get in touch with us by email: 2021exams@ibd.org.uk

Together we’ll find the best solution for you. Please be aware that all exceptions need to be approved before the exam date and that you will need to prove the reason as to why you are unable to take the online exam.

You can choose the time slot for your exam from the different time options which take your time zone into consideration.

For Diploma and Master exams, the exam dates are fixed but you will be able to choose the best time for you when scheduling your exam in the IBD online invigilated (proctored) Examination Portal.   

Important Information:

Examinations must be scheduled at least 72 hours (3 days) prior to the date and time you wish to sit your examination.

 You will be expected to comply with these standard rules:

  • You are alone in the room
  • Your desk and work area are clear – just two blank A4 paper sheets and a pen will be allowed
  • Your PC or laptop is connected to a power source
  • No phones or headphones
  • No dual monitors
  • No leaving your seat
  • You will be able to have a 5-minute comfort break if you need it during the exam. Please note that the exam time will continue running during the break
  • No talking
  • Webcam, speakers, and microphone must remain on throughout the exam

Yes, as in previous years, you will have15 minutes to read the exam before starting to type your answers. This is a time that you can use to run through the questions, plan your answers and organise your time to ensure that you leave enough time for each question.

To support you in the process of taking the online exam, you may use two sheets of blank A4 paper during the exam. You can use them to make calculations, take notes and plan your answers.

Please note that these paper notes/calculations will not be marked and that you will need to show these papers to the online invigilator (proctor) before and after the exam.

Apart from these paper sheets, no other papers, notes, notepads, tablets/ipads or mobile phones will be allowed on your desk when starting/during the exam. The invigilator (proctor) will ask you to move your webcam or laptop camera to make sure that your desk is clear.

To make calculations, there will be an on-screen scientific calculator available in the Examination Portal that you can test before the exam. If you aren’t comfortable with the on-screen calculator, you are allowed to use your own non-programmable scientific calculator.

Yes, you will be able to have a 5-minute comfort break if you need it during the exam. Please note that the exam time will continue to run during this break.

To do so, please follow these rules:

  • Request a chat with your invigilator/proctor by clicking the speech bubble at the top of your screen.
  • Once the invigilator has connected with you, you should tell them that you are leaving your desk. You do not need to wait for their response before leaving your desk. 
  • Once you have returned, please use the chat function again to let the invigilator know you have returned.
  • Have your ID with you at all times as the invigilator may wish to verify it once you return to your desk.

If you are a candidate whose first language is not English, you may use a paper language translation dictionary on the day of the exam.

Please be aware that to do so, you will need to let us know in advance that you need the dictionary and that this exception needs to be approved by the IBD Board of Examiners in writing. After that, we will confirm your exception to the invigilator (proctor) so they are aware that you are planning to use it during the exam.

You are expected to know the formulae which govern key scientific principles which are vital to achieve good production results.

Where there are references in the syllabus to chemical compounds, you are expected to know the scientific principles and significance of their role in the process. Knowledge of complex formulae and advanced chemistry is not required. Where there are references in the syllabus or learning materials to mathematical equations and simple calculations, you are expected to use straightforward mathematics in the specified applications that are relevant to brewery or distilling operations.

To help you with the calculations, there will be an on-screen scientific calculator available in the Examination Portal that you can test before the exam. If you aren’t comfortable with the on-screen calculator, you are allowed to use your own non-programmable scientific calculator.

An on-screen scientific calculator is provided on the Examination Portal. However, you may prefer to bring your own non-programmable scientific calculator.

We advise you to use the on-screen calculator in the Practice Exam to become familiar with the controls. If you are not comfortable with the on-screen calculator, you are allowed to bring your own.

Examination Portal - How It Works

In order to access the IBD Examination Portal, you will be required to reset your password by following the link that you should have received in our communications.

If you haven't received it, please check your junk folder. 

To reset your password in the Examination Portal, you will need: 

  • Your username, which is your IBD candidate number. your ‘P Number’
  • When you follow the reset link, you will be prompted to type your email or your P Number
  • Click your Request Password Change button to receive a new link by email 
  • Click the link in that email, and you will be sent to the Change Password page in the Examination Portal 
  • Then, you can choose a new password by following the instructions carefully
  • Click the Save Password button to be directed to the IBD Examination Portal
  • After Changing your Password, you can Create your Profile and Schedule your Exam

Watch this video which explains the process step by step. 

If you have issues logging into the system, please email us at 2021exams@ibd.org.uk

Once you have reset your password following the previous steps, you will automatically be signed into the Examination Portal. No additional login details are required.

Follow these steps:

Create your profile. Click on ‘My Profile’. Your first and last name and email address will already have been added to the system. Please add your telephone number and select your time zone.

  • Upload a picture of your ID (save a copy of this to your PC/laptop in advance). It must be a government-issued photo ID passport, driving license, et
  • Select and answer 3 security questions – This information will be used for future verification, so please select information you can easily remember
  • Perform a Biometric Keystroke match. You will be asked to enter your first name and your first and last name a couple of times. This is used to measure the speed and rhythm of your typing for authentication purposes.
  • Complete the computer requirements check to ensure your system has everything you need to sit the examination via remote invigilation. This check is available on your profile at all times, so you can check your system as often as required. We recommend using Google Chrome as the preferred browser for optimal experience.
  • Check your computer/laptop is ready – You will be required to ensure your computer/laptop is functional and enabled for real-time communication with the exam invigilator (proctor). The system requirements check is available within your invigilator/proctor profile, so you can check your system as often as required. 

Watch this video which explains the process step by step.

 

If you have issues logging into the system, please email us at 2021exams@ibd.org.uk

Once you have set up your profile, you can schedule your exam by clicking on the ‘Schedule Exam’ icon on the invigilator/proctor dashboard. Please follow these steps:

  • Select your course name and exam name from the dropdown
  • Select the time you wish to sit your exam
  • Once you have scheduled your examination you will receive a confirmation email and exam-day instructions directly from the IBD Examination Portal
  • Don’t forget to add your examination appointment to your calendar

Please Note: Examinations must be scheduled at least 72 hours (3 days) prior to the date and time you wish to sit your examination.

Watch this video which explains the process step by step.

If you have issues logging into the system, please email us at 2021exams@ibd.org.uk

On the day of your examination, please remember to:

  • Bring identification - On the day of the examination, you will be required to show a government-issued photo ID to the invigilator (proctor) via webcam. This must be the same ID that you scanned into your invigilator/proctor profile.
  • Login to the IBD Examination Portal 
  • Click on ‘Schedule Exam’ where you will be automatically directed to the invigilator/proctor dashboard
  • Click on ‘Start Exam’ and then ‘Connect to Proctoring’. The launch link for your examination appointment will be active within a window of 15 minutes prior to the start time of the actual appointment. Click on the link to start your appointment. Please note that you may need to wait for the examination invigilator (proctor) to become available if you do access the link prior to your examination start time.
  • Once the invigilator (proctor) becomes available the Zoom session will launch. You will be required to select ‘connect with audio’ and you will need to click on ‘start video’ and ‘share screen’. The proctor will be able to assist you with these steps.

Authentication process:

  • Validate your ID by holding this up to your webcam for the invigilator (proctor) to validate
  • Answer your security questions
  • Complete the biometric keystroke match
  • Agree to examination rules
  • Complete a room pan using your webcam
  • Once authentication has been approved the invigilator (proctor) will allow you to click on ‘Begin Exam’

Please note that if you are based in China and Hong Kong or you are taking your exam in French, you will be using a different Examination Portal and the above information is not relevant to you.

You should have received the joining instructions from our examination partners or through your business. To access the portal, you will need to set your password and use the same email that you have used to register for the IBD qualification you are taking.

After completing this stage, you would be able to take a Practice Exam to become familiar with the functionality of the system and schedule your exam.

If you are one of these candidates and you have not received any information about this, please get in touch with us at 2021exams@ibd.org.uk

Before the exam starts, the remote invigilator/proctor will ask you to show on camera one of these documents:

  • Passport with your photo
  • Driving license with your photo
  • Any official document with your photo issued by a Government 

Please bear in mind that the invigilator/proctor could ask you at any time during the exam to show this document.  

Exam Technical Requirements

You will need to have access to a good internet connection, and a laptop or desktop PC with a webcam and a microphone.

We recommend that your desktop PC or laptop browser is Google Chrome.

To make sure that the supervisor can see you and your desk, you will need to have a webcam that is moveable, whether that’s by moving a laptop or moving the web camera.

The IBD online invigilated (proctored) Examination Portal works well on both Mac and Windows operating systems. 

For peace of mind, you and your fellow candidates taking the IBD online invigilated (proctored) exam will be able to access the IBD Examination Portal to become familiar with the platform and its functionality. 

To support you in the process of taking the online exam, you may use two sheets of blank A4 paper during the exam. You can use them to make calculations, take notes and plan your answers.

Please note that these paper notes/calculations will not be marked and that you will need to show these papers to the online invigilator (proctor) before and after the exam.

Apart from these paper sheets, no other papers, notes, notepads, tablets/ipads or mobile phones will be allowed on your desk when starting/during the exam. The invigilator (proctor) will ask you to move your webcam or laptop camera to make sure that your desk is clear.

You will be required to make calculations in the Diploma and Master exams. To help you with the process, an on-screen scientific calculator is provided on the Examination Portal. However, you may prefer to bring your own non-programmable scientific calculator.

We advise you to use the on-screen calculator in the Practice Exam to become familiar with the controls. If you are not comfortable with the on-screen calculator, you are allowed to bring your own.

An on-screen scientific calculator is provided on the Examination Portal. However, you may prefer to bring your own non-programmable scientific calculator.

We advise you to use the on-screen calculator in the Practice Exam to become familiar with the controls. If you are not comfortable with the on-screen calculator, you are allowed to bring your own.

Yes, you will have time to experience the Examination Portal. 

Closer to the exam date, we will send you a link to the IBD Examination Portal to access a Practice (non-technical) Exam to understand the functionality of the system. This will help you to become familiar with the exam in its typed form and to navigate the Examination Portal.

If you have any issues accessing a laptop or a desktop with a webcam on the day of the exam please let us know in advance by email: 2021exams@ibd.org.uk

Together we’ll find the best solution for you. Please be aware that this needs to be approved prior to the exam date.

Yes. As this is an online exam with an online proctor, you’ll be able to take the exam wherever is most convenient for you. Just make sure that you have a good internet connection and a desktop or laptop with a webcam that can be articulated/moved to show the invigilator (proctor) your desk.

If you can foresee any issues accessing a good internet connection on the day of the exam, please let us know in advance by email: 2021exams@ibd.org.uk

Together, we’ll find the best solution for you. Please be aware that this needs to be approved prior to the exam date.

If you can foresee any issues accessing a laptop or desktop with a webcam on the day of the exam, please let us know in advance by email: 2021exams@ibd.org.uk

Together we’ll find the best solution for you. Please be aware that this needs to be approved prior to the exam date.

In the event that you are not able to complete the examination due to technical difficulties or loss of contact with the remote invigilator, the Examination Board will review the submitted paper and determine whether it should be submitted for marking or further process is required to establish your knowledge level.

If you experience a technical issue during the exam which prevents you to submit your answers, you will need to get in touch with us by email: 2021exams@ibd.org.uk to provide you with another slot/day for the exam. Be aware that the invigilator/proctor will let us know if that is the case or you have decided to quit without finalising the exam.

Yes. All the online invigilated (proctored) exams are recorded to make sure that all candidates are following the examination rules and to guarantee that all candidates are taking the exam in the same circumstances.

Exam Results Publication Dates

The IBD has put in place strict internal procedures to ensure that the exams are marked correctly and the results data is correct. We would need a few weeks and several internal reviews before publishing your results.

Candidates taking the General Certificate in Brewing, Distilling, Packaging, Malting and Cider Making in May can expect their results by the end of the first week of June. For those taking the exam in November, the results will be published by mid-December.

For the June exams, candidates taking the Diploma and Master Exams can expect the publication of the results by mid-September.

You will receive an email from us. The email will announce that the results have been published on our website on https://www.ibd.org.uk/my-ibd/my-qualifications/. Just simply go to this page, access our platform with your login details and find the results there.

Certificates

In the same way the IBD has digitised the exams, we have done the same with our certificates to provide you with a more environmentally friendly certificate. You will receive an email from us announcing that your certificate is ready to be downloaded.

We do understand that some of you prefer to receive the certificate in paper. That’s why the downloadable certificate file format can be printed by any printer. You just need to choose the paper you prefer to do it on.

Learning Support Programmes

For the Diploma in Brewing Module 1, 2 and 3, Diploma in Distilling Module 1,2 and 3 and Diploma in Packaging Module 3, we have created a specific support programme called Tutor Guided Learning (TGL). 16 international tutors, including Prof. Chris Boulton, will provide personalised tutoring to small groups of maximum 20 delegates to help you practice past exam questions and get feedback and tips to be fully prepared for the final test.

TGL runs each year from the 3rd week of January to the 3rd week of May just before the Diploma exams in June.

You will get:

  • Personalised learning to candidates with a more dynamic, agile and flexible solution.
  • Live online sessions delivered to small study groups by dedicated IBD tutors who are experts in their field, certified in online learning delivery and located around the globe.
  • IBD Tutors will get to know candidates and tailor their tutoring to the areas that will benefit them the most.
  • The programme, that runs for 18 weeks before the exams, has been designed for the candidates to practice past exam questions and get feedback and tips so that they are fully prepared for the final exam.

Find out more about Tutor Guided Learning.