1.7 Expenses

Travelling, subsistence and other expenses incurred in connection with SQA business will be reimbursed, as detailed below. All claims for expenses must be submitted on the appropriate claim form, copies of which will be provided.

You should make every effort to ensure that arrangements:

  • are efficient and cost effective to SQA
  • use public transport wherever practical and cost effective
  • support Government initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of travel

For more information on SQA’s environmental conservation objectives relating to travel, see section 1.12.

We aim to reimburse expenses within three weeks of receiving your claim.

Conditions and Rates applicable from 1 April 2009

Travelling expenses

Public transport
You should use public transport wherever possible. Although we will pay for standard class travel by public transport, please use reduced rate travel where available. Air and rail travel must be booked for you by SQA with the exception of low cost rail travel (please see below). All tickets or itemised receipts for transport must be included with your claim for expenses. Please contact Assessment Planning (0131-271 6753/6707) for further information.

Low cost rail travel
Low cost rail tickets, less than £50.00 (return), must be purchased at local stations and claimed back using the expenses claim form.

Rail travel costing £50.00 (return) or more must be booked via SQA using a travel and accommodation request form (TARE). This form is available on SQA’s website at www.sqa.org.uk.

Fast ticket machines
All rail tickets booked by SQA will be e-tickets unless there is no Fast Ticket Machine available at the departure station. You will be required to insert your personal credit or debit card to retrieve your ticket. Your card will not be charged as this is for identification purposes only.

Private car or motor cycle
A mileage allowance can be claimed as follows:

Private motor car: (regardless of engine size) 32p
Private motor cycle: (regardless of engine capacity): 16p


An additional rate per passenger of 2p per mile can be claimed.

We will normally calculate the mileage allowance for attendance at meetings using the shortest distance between the place of departure and the place of the meeting or procedures. If you have not travelled by the shortest route, please provide details on the reverse of the claim form. Travel claims in respect of journeys of a distance greater than that from your usual address will not be met unless SQA’s approval is obtained in advance.

When you are travelling by car or carrying passengers on SQA business, you do so entirely at your own risk, and are advised to check that your own car insurance covers such travel. No claim will be accepted by SQA in respect of any liability arising directly or indirectly from such use.

SQA will only reimburse car hire costs where all other means of transport are not practical, and this can be demonstrated if challenged. Claims made that cannot be justified will not be reimbursed. Full details on insurance arrangements will be provided for individual car hire bookings.

Taxis should only be used where there is no suitable public or private transport. You must include receipts for taxis with your claim for expenses. Taxis should not be taken for journeys within safe walking distance.

Overnight accommodation
All overnight accommodation must be booked by SQA as we have a procurement arrangement in place which is designed to achieve cost efficiencies through negotiated government rates. Overnight accommodation will only be permitted when your journey would exceed two hours in each direction.

The only exception to this will be for meetings lasting two or more consecutive days or when early attendance is required to support an event. Please provide us with detailed information when submitting your TARE form to assist in processing your request.

If you have any queries regarding overnight accommodation please contact Assessment Planning (0131-271 6753/6731).

Subsistence expenses

Actual expenses incurred for meals and snacks during necessary absences from home on SQA business will be reimbursed. The limits are set out below and will be reimbursed only on production of itemised receipts for purchases of £5.00 and over. No allowances are paid. Claims sent without appropriate receipts will be returned.

Subsistence limits

For an absence of: Up to:
More than 4 hours but not more than 8 hours £04.15
More than 8 hours but not more than 12 hours £08.95
More than 12 hours but less than 24 hours £10.40

For absences of more than 24 hours, the total maximum payable will comprise the 24 hour amount plus the appropriate amount for the balance of time in excess of 24 hours.

Catering provided free of charge by SQA
Where catering is provided for you, reductions will be made from the limits to reflect this. Expenses incurred on substitute arrangements will not be reimbursed. As a guide, where lunch is provided free of charge a reduction of £4.15 will be made to the limits.

Claims must be supported by itemised receipts (not credit card slips) for all purchases of £5.00 and over.

Incidental expenses

Expenses for postage and telephone calls will be reimbursed where necessarily incurred. Expenses other than these will be reimbursed only if you have obtained written authorisation in advance from SQA. A copy of this authorisation should be submitted with your claim.

Childminding costs will not be reimbursed.

Special requirements

Where special arrangements are required for your travel, overnight stays and/or dietary requirements, you should discuss these with Assessment Planning (0131-561 6830).

Submitting claims

Please submit your claims for expenses within four weeks of incurring them. Claims received after the end of the tax year, for work conducted during the previous task year, may not be reimbursed if they are outside this four week period.

Expenses will be paid direct to your bank or building society account by means of Bank Automated Clearing Services (BACS).