The UK Council for Graduate Education issued this guidance to assist institutions who, in the light of Covid–‐19, were rapidly adapting to making online vivas available to larger numbers of candidates who by necessity could not attend a face to face assessment with examiners.
Traditionally doctoral candidates studied on campus and, fieldwork apart, were in close proximity to supervisors throughout their studies. But in recent years there has been a rapid growth in the numbers of students undertaking most of their studies off-‐campus, often at a very considerable distance from the institution
Supervision is crucial in determining the quality of the experience of research students and the chances of their completing on time. It has long been recognised that appropriate criteria are needed to determine eligibility to supervise. In many countries, these are specified at national level, but in the UK, since 1992, it has been left up to institutions.