Private candidates — information for learners

Private candidates include home-schooled learners ­who are taught by a parent, carer, or tutor.

If you are a private candidate and you wish to take SQA qualifications, you need to be entered for the qualifications by an SQA approved centre (such as a school, college, or training provider) that will act as your presenting centre.

What does a presenting centre do?

Your presenting centre will register you for your chosen qualifications and arrange for you to complete the required assessments, including any exams or coursework. They are also responsible for making sure that you complete your assessments under the conditions required by SQA – for example, under direct supervision or completing the assessment within a time limit.

How do I find a presenting centre?

You can contact your local schools, colleges and training providers and ask if they can act as your presenting centre. You can also approach your local authority education department. We strongly advise doing this as early as possible before the start of the academic year.

When you contact a centre, make sure you provide them with details of the qualifications you are looking to be entered for, including your chosen subjects. The centre will advise if they are able to enter you for those qualifications.

The centre may also arrange a discussion with you to find out more and to explain what’s involved.

Is there anything I need to discuss with the centre?

At an early stage, you should ask the centre about the assessments you will need to complete for your chosen qualifications. They will advise you what coursework and/or exams you will need to do and when these will take place.

If you are disabled and/or have additional support needs, you should also discuss these with the centre as soon as possible, so that they can agree appropriate assessment arrangements with you and ensure they are put in place.

If they agree to act as my presenting centre, what happens next?

Once a centre has agreed to present you as a private candidate, they will ensure that you are registered with SQA and have a Scottish Candidate Number (SCN). The centre will enter you for your chosen qualifications and provide you with all the information you need to know about your assessments – including coursework, any tests or internal assessments that take place throughout the year, and details of any exams you will be sitting.

They will also explain the rules and essential information you need to know about your coursework and assessments. It is important that you understand these rules because they are there to make sure that the assessments are fair to everyone doing SQA qualifications.