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Compensation and condonement

Many UK universities’ examination board rules include some allowance for compensation or condonement of limited failure in one or more modules, where this is compensated by a stronger performance across the programme as a whole.

The Engineering Council has adopted a definition of compensation and condonement, which is set out in our ‘Compensation and Condonement Policy’, for use in consideration of the accreditation of undergraduate and postgraduate engineering degree programmes. 

The Engineering Council has also published a ‘Guidance Note on Compensation and Condonement’, which should be read in conjunction with the ‘Compensation and Condonement Policy’. The Guidance Notes supplements the information provided in the policy and illustrates how the limits on compensation apply in practice. This guidance does not replace or materially alter the ‘Compensation and Condonement Policy’.

The Guidance Note refers to the Learning Outcomes set out in the Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes (AHEP), which is available at

Compensation and condonement review update

Driven by international standards for engineering graduates and in pursuit of consistency between Professional Engineering Institutions, the Engineering Council decided to implement a new mandatory policy for compensation and condonement that would be applied by all its licensed members. Following a detailed review, involving engineering academics in consultation with members of the Engineering Accreditation Board, the policy was introduced in November 2018. The new policy made compulsory the Engineering Council’s existing guidance which already limited the amount of compensation permissible within an accredited degree programme and stated that condonement should not be allowed.

Guidance published in 2019 provided clarity and examples following initial feedback and queries. It was also confirmed that the policy would be phased in to apply to all students joining accredited degree programmes from September 2022 and would not be implemented retrospectively.

When agreeing for the policy to be published, the Engineering Council’s Registration Standards Committee requested that its implementation should be monitored, and any feedback collated to inform a future review.

A working group was established in autumn 2020 to review the Engineering Council’s written policy statement and guidance considering feedback received during the first academic year since publication.

As the working group’s terms of reference made clear, and in common with other Engineering Council reviews, the purpose was to consider whether changes were needed to the original policy based on feedback received since it was first introduced.

It was hoped that the review would take place over a six-month period starting in November 2020. The timeline was subsequently extended to allow the working group members to consider evidence from a new consultation which had been instigated by the Engineering Professors Council on the policy.

Compensation and Condonement Review Chair's summary of decisions

Compensation and Condonement Q&A

If you have a query about compensation and condonement, or any other accreditation issue, please contact


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