The major function of the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) is to oversee national examinations in Kenya. KNEC is a national body established by the Kenya National Examinations Council Act.
The Council is a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal and shall, in its corporate name, be capable of—
- suing and being sued;
- taking, purchasing or otherwise acquiring, holding, charging or disposing of movable and immovable property;
- borrowing money or making investments;
- entering into contracts; and
- performing all other acts or things for the proper performance of its functions under the Kenya National Examinations Council Act which may lawfully be done or performed by a body corporate.
The membership of the Kenya National Examinations Council should consist of—
- a Chairperson appointed by the President;
- the Principal Secretary of the Ministry responsible for matters relating to education or a representative of the Principal Secretary;
- the Principal Secretary to the National Treasury or their representative;
- the officer in charge of quality assurance and standards in the Ministry responsible for matters relating to education;
- the Director of the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development;
- the Secretary of the Teachers Service Commission;
- the following persons appointed by the Cabinet Secretary for matters relating to education—
- one member to represent the interest of persons with disabilities;
- one person to represent the post-school technical and business training institutions in Kenya, including polytechnics;
- one person to represent the private sector involved with the management of Education as the Cabinet Secretary may determine;
- the Chief Executive Officer of the Council.
The Chairperson and the appointed members of the Council should serve for a term of four years. They should be eligible for re-appointment for one further term. The Chief Executive Officer should hold office for five years and should be eligible for reappointment for one further term.
The functions of the Kenya National Examinations Council should be to—
- set and maintain examination standards, conduct public academic, technical and other national examinations within Kenya at basic and tertiary levels;
- award certificates or diplomas to candidates in such examinations; such certificates or diplomas, should not be withheld from the candidate by any person or institution;
- confirm the authenticity of certificates or diplomas issued by the Council upon request by the government, public institutions, learning institutions, employers and other interested parties;
- issue replacement certificates or diplomas to candidates or diplomas to candidates in such examinations upon acceptable proof of loss of the original;
- research on educational assessment;
- advise any public institution on the development and use of any system of assessment when requested to do so, and following such terms and conditions as should be mutually agreed between the Council and the public institution;
- promote the international recognition of qualifications conferred by the Council;
- advise the Government on any policy decision that is relevant to, or has implications on, the functions of the Council or the administration of examinations in Kenya;
- do anything incidental or conducive to the performance of any of the preceding functions.
In the performance of its functions above, the powers of the Kenya National Examinations Council should be to—
- make rules regulating the conduct of examinations and for all purposes incidental thereto;
- make rules regulating the confirmation of examination results and for purposes incidental thereto;
- make rules regulating the conduct of issuance of replacement certificates or diplomas and for all purposes incidental thereto;
- make rules regulating the conduct of issuance of certificates or diplomas and for all purposes incidental thereto;
- withhold or cancel the results of candidates involved in examination irregularities or malpractices;
- appoint any officer responsible for education or training, including heads of education and training institutions to assist in the administration of examination as may be prescribed by the (Kenya National Examinations) Council in consultation with the Cabinet Secretary (in charge of matters related to education);
- equate certificates issued by accredited foreign examining bodies with the qualifications awarded by the Council;
- conduct examinations on behalf of foreign states or entities upon request by such states or entities;
- conduct academic, technical and other examinations outside Kenya on request;
- offer examination services and other advisory services relevant to examinations to private institutions in Kenya upon request by such institution and on such terms as the Council may determine;
- invite such body in or outside Kenya, as the Council may consider necessary, to conduct on its behalf, academic, technical and other national examinations within Kenya, or to conduct these examinations jointly with the Council and to award certificates or diplomas to successful candidates in such examinations;
- co-operate with such (invited) bodies (in or outside Kenya) in the performance of its functions;
- advise the bodies invited above upon the adaptation of examinations necessary in Kenya and to assist any such bodies to conduct such examinations;
- align its Regulations on the collection and processing of information which consists of personal data with the Data Protection Act.
The Council should have all powers necessary for the proper performance of its functions, including the power to—
- enter into association with such other bodies or organisations within or outside Kenya as it may consider desirable or appropriate and in furtherance of the purposes for which the Council is established;
- offer services to any person, institution or foreign government upon such terms as the Council may from time to time determine; and
- undertake any activity necessary for the fulfilment of any of its functions.
For more information on the functions of the Kenya National Examinations Council, see the Kenya National Examinations Council Act and their website at knec.ac.ke.