All reference materials that are normally available to the trainee, when
qualified and on the job site, should be placed in the board room prior to the
Beepers or pagers should be turned off during the oral board, if possible.
Telephones should be disconnected.
Interruptions should be on an "emergency only" basis.
Conduct of Oral Boards
The board chair ensures that all required training or operations documents necessary for the
board are present as indicated in the Oral Board Preparation section of this handbook.
When the oral board chair is prepared to begin, the trainee is asked to enter the board
room. The oral board chair should cover the board guidelines with the trainee. Appendix A
is an example of oral board conduct guidelines.
Oral board members should actively participate in questioning the trainee. The questions
may be asked in one area at time, or in a round-table fashion with board members asking
questions in their areas in-turn. However, each board member should grade only subject
areas in which he/she is qualified (as determined by facility procedure) to grade. Board
members should refrain from coaching the trainee to an answer by head-nods, smiles,
head-shaking, and the like.
The board chair should ensure that the board is conducted in a formal fashion, and that all
board members conduct themselves accordingly at all times. The facility procedure on oral
examinations should be present during all oral boards. The board chair should ensure that
no discussions concerning answers, grades, materials, or opinions take place until the
trainee leaves the room. Board members should not discuss grades until all board members
have completed grading the trainee. Each board member's grade should represent an
independent assessment of the trainee's performance (assigning grades in the topic areas
and overall board grade is discussed in the next section).
An oral board may last from one to three hours, depending on the complexity of the
qualification and the level of qualification (non-supervisory boards being shorter and
supervisory boards being longer). If the board lasts too long, the trainee and oral board