Alternative assessment sites and remote assessment

SQA approved centres may use multiple assessment arrangements for operational or business reasons. We must be satisfied that these arrangements are appropriate to protect the integrity of our qualifications, the interests of candidates and the safety of our staff and appointees.

The process you should follow depends on whether you plan to offer SQA qualifications in the same country/UK nation as your base location, in a different country/UK nation, or to deliver remote assessment.

If you plan to offer a combination of remote and face-to-face assessment, please follow the alternative assessment site process.

Alternative assessment site (same country or UK nation)

If you are delivering in the same country or nation, you need to complete an AAS Site Checklist (34 KB) for any additional sites and keep this at your base location for future reference.

For arrangements involving employed candidates workplaces only, use the AAS Workplace Site Checklist (25 KB).

If you require further support progressing your proposal, please contact your SQA account manager.

Alternative assessment site (different country or UK nation)

If you plan to offer SQA Qualifications in a different country or UK nation from your base location, you need to seek approval from SQA. This applies whether you are:

  • establishing a satellite site for your centre
  • using other organisations' premises
  • working with a partner or sub-contractor
  • offering a combination of the above and remote assessment (blended model)

Procedure

Form guidance

Country appraisal

Please consider the safety, accessibility, and other aspects of the country as part of your proposal as this will form part of the appraisal process by SQA when considering your request.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) website provides useful information for UK-based centres that are considering operating internationally.

Offering SQA qualifications internationally

Check which qualifications can be offered in which countries.

Delivery mode and assessment

When you complete the form, you will be asked to confirm which of the following modes of delivery and assessment apply to the new proposal:

Multiple countries and/or delivery modes and assessment

If you plan to offer SQA qualifications in more than one country or by more than one mode of delivery and assessment, select the main country and/or method first - you will be prompted to add additional countries and modes of delivery later in the form.

If, after reviewing both the Use of Alternative Assessment Sites and Partnership Arrangements: Information for Centres and this guidance, you require any further assistance in completing the Alternative Assessment Site (AAS) Form, please speak to your SQA Account Manager.

What happens next?

Once you have submitted the form, we will review and appraise the contents to establish if SQA can support your proposal. When a decision is reached, you will receive one of two responses:

  • Authority to Proceed - this is a letter issued via email that provides confirmation that SQA support your proposal as detailed in the form, for the qualifications specified.
  • Rejection - this is a letter issued via email that provides the reason(s) why your proposal cannot be supported at this time in relation to our key appraisal criteria. Further information and guidance can be sought if required.

If you have any queries relating to your proposal while you await a decision, please get in touch:

Remote assessment

If you plan to offer SQA qualifications to candidates in different locations, to enable them to complete an assessment remotely, you need to declare this information to SQA.

Candidates may undertake assessments anywhere, including their own homes and workplaces, as long as assessments are delivered remotely and managed from a centre’s base location.

Procedure

Form guidance

Offering SQA qualifications internationally

Check which qualifications can be offered in which countries.

Remote assessment arrangements

Centres must provide SQA with details of their remote assessment arrangements. You will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Country where candidate(s) located
  • The number of candidates undertaking assessment of a qualification in the same location
  • Qualification type, i.e., what qualifications are you planning to deliver in this country, i.e., Advanced Diploma, National Certificate etc.
  • Qualification title and code*
  • Date when this arrangement will be effective from

*if the arrangements relate to a new Customised Award development, please add the proposed title of the award.

Conditions of Assessment

Conditions of assessment need to be met for remote assessment arrangements. This includes aspects such as:

  • authentication of candidates’ identity
  • online invigilation or proctoring arrangements
  • security of assessments

Please refer to the Use of Alternative Assessment Sites and Partnership Arrangements: Information for Centres and SQA's Remote Assessment guidance for further information and support.

You will be asked to confirm that you have read and understood SQA's terms and conditions for remote assessment as outlined in the remote assessment declaration form and within the guidance provided above.

Change to delivery mode and assessment

Centres must inform SQA of any proposed changes to how the centre delivers and assesses qualifications. Failure to do so could result in a hold on certification. If remote assessment changes to in-country delivery and assessment, please inform your SQA Account Manager straight away - they will direct you to the relevant Alternative Assessment Site process.

If after reviewing both the Use of Alternative Assessment Sites and Partnership Arrangements: Information for Centres and this guidance, you require any further assistance in completing the remote assessment declaration form, please speak to your SQA Account Manager.

What happens next?

Once you have submitted the declaration form, your centre can commence with the arrangements outlined in the form. SQA will review and note your arrangements, which will be checked during verification activity.

Which SQA qualifications can I offer?

Check which qualifications can be offered in which countries.