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Co-ordinator Update

2023-24 visiting assessment for Dance, Drama, Music and Advanced Higher Gàidhlig and Modern Languages

Preparations for the 2023–24 visiting assessment (VA) diet are well underway.

The Guide for SQA Co-ordinators for 2023–24 includes a discrete section on visiting assessment.

Visiting assessment periods

The VA periods for session 2023–24 are:

12 February – 22 March        

12 February – 19 April

22 April – 10 May

Centre release

SQA relies on the agreement of centres to provide release for visitor assessors (VAs) where requested. This important aspect of candidate assessment can only be sustained by working in partnership.

We are very grateful to all centres for releasing VAs for training and face-to-face visits in 2022–23, and hope that we can continue to count on your support in 2023–24. It is essential for the smooth running of visiting assessment that centres allow their teachers and lecturers to be absent from their centre to conduct assessment for all candidates throughout Scotland.

It is acknowledged that VAs may require to reduce the number of centre visits or withdraw from VA duties due to various reasons. It is requested that centres only ask teachers and lecturers to withdraw from SQA duties in exceptional circumstances. When a VA withdraws from duties, the centre needs be re-allocated to another VA – this can result in a delay in dates being arranged, and increases the time that VAs are away from their own candidates. Keeping the number of withdrawn VAs to a minimum will help improve the experience for candidates, centres, teachers and lecturers, and SQA appointees.

Centre visits

Information for teachers and lecturers is issued for each subject and contains all instructions on the preparation required in advance of visiting assessing.

Centres must be as flexible as possible when agreeing visit dates with their VAs. VAs can be allocated a number of centres to visit and will also have their own centre's visits to accommodate. Centres should have a number of possible options of dates to negotiate with their allocated VA.

Centres must treat them with the same importance as question paper exams and ensure that suitable accommodation is available. Teachers and lecturers will also require to be off timetable to support the running of these exams. Candidates must be available for the duration of the assessment periods and must not miss the assessment due to a holiday arrangement.

These assessments are worth up to 80% of candidate grades for these courses.