Importing Examinations Basedata using the Auto Import process
In this guide, we will cover the updated process for Importing Basedata as of the 2021-22 Academic Year. The contents of the guide are as follows;
- Importing Basedata (from 2021-22)
- Automatic Process
- Automatic Process for Series not Imported last year
- Checking for Updates
- Manual Process
- Updating Imported Basedata
Access: The minimum permissions you will need to follow this guide are found in the Examination Module of Config>Setup>Roles & Permissions.
As part of the broader A2C project, Bromcom has updated and improved the process for managing basedata in the MIS. Basedata is used to allow approved institutions, known as exam centres by awarding organisations, to submit all their entries and receive the associate results through an electronic mechanism called EDI.
A centre traditionally is required to go to each awarding organisation’s website periodically through the year and select appropriate basedata corresponding to the “series” of examinations. Bromcom facilitates the upload of this basedata .zip format and can unpack multiple the zip files, ready for the examination officer to process.
The first step is to select a series and follow a series of actions before finally importing the required examination options. Each one must be administered individually and the examination officer needs to have the correct information to hand. Historically, schools tend to follow similar patterns and many options remain the same from one year to the next.
This is where Bromcom has reviewed its processes and has improved the whole mechanism of not only importing the basedata but also helping the examination officer by presenting a full set of available basedata, drawn directly from the awarding organisations.
Please see below for details of how the process has been changed. The option to import basedata manually has been retained and will still be required where the awarding organisation provides its basedata as a download from their secure portal.
Importing Basedata (from 2021-22)
The process for setting up Season Patterns and Seasons to hold basedata has not changed. This preparation is not covered in this guide. For more information on Season management, please refer to the Help Centre documentation.
To reduce the possible number of files available, it would be good practice to deactivate any Exam Boards that are not required for the upcoming season. Config>Examinations>Exam Boards.
This process means that when you import/update basedata for the first time the system will automatically add all the qualifications/components that were present in the previous Exam Season with the same Season name. For example Summer 2022 will automatically add the components from Summer 2021
On the Manage Basedata page select Action>Import Basedata.
The automatic process now starts and the examination officer will be presented with a similar screen to the manual method but with some key differences.
The system will identify any Series imported to the previous equivalent Series from last year.
For example, if AQA was used in November 2020 then the system will find the basedata for AQA November 2021 and place it in the available File selector window.
On the same page, a new process will begin. The system will present the examination officer with a list of pre-selected Exam Options based on the entries for the previous year.
These can be unchecked if no longer required and the view can also be changed to Show all available Exam Options. The Search field is available to filter the options accordingly.
Once the required Exam Options have been checked, the examination officer will click the Import button.
This will import the basedata as normal and then return to the Import Basedata page so that the examination officer can select the next file. Selecting Close will close the page.
Imported files will be moved to the bottom of the list. Hovering over them will display the either the filename if not yet imported or the last Imported on Date accordingly. Note also the slightly paler font for imported files.
Automatic Process for Series not Imported last year
Occasionally, a new exam Series is required for the upcoming Season and this Series was not used in last year’s equivalent Season. In this instance, there is still no need to download the basedata.
The basedata series can be selected by clicking Show All Files. Using the Board filter will display only related Series.
The only difference is that by default, the Show all available Exam Options will be selected. Click each Exam Option as required and then click Import.
Checking for Updates
As all public files will appear on the their website when released by the awarding organisations, if a new version of the basedata has been released, selecting Import Basedata will also present this new file. The examination officer can select and import this file without affecting basedata already imported using an earlier version.
All active Exam Boards with an imported series will be checked for updates and the later versions will appear towards the top of the File selector window. Where a new version of basedata produced in the awarding organisation extranet is generated, this requires the process to be toggled to manual, as described below.
The Manual process for importing basedata is still available and can be actioned by simply switching the Auto Upload toggle next to the File window.
This should only be required where the basedata is not available in the public domain on the awarding organisations’ websites. Selecting Manual will revert the page to the existing manual process.
All active board files if imported manually or displayed through prior relationship will be displayed in the File selector window, regardless of method of import.
Updating Imported Basedata
All files previously imported for the Season remain available for editing and follow the same process. The difference here, however, is that manually imported files will also appear in the File window, even if the process is set to Auto Upload.