Centre Request for Return of External Assessment Materials

Information for Centres only

SQA provides a service to return non-examination material submitted to us for assessment. The following information will assist you while requesting SQA to return non examination materials submitted to us for assessment.

Although we ask that you encourage candidates to make and retain a copy of their work before it is submitted for assessment, we appreciate that some material, eg recordings, photographs, illustrations, items of monetary or sentimental value is not so easily copied. It is for this reason that SQA provides the return service to centres and candidates.

Late Requests

The closing date for request forms was 27 September 2017. Any requests now received will incur an additional late charge of £14.50 per candidate, level and subject. A separate charge of £14.50 will apply to any late Art & Design three-dimensional requests. Late requests will be accepted until Friday 8 December 2017 when the returns procedure ends.

Returnable Material

Please see the list of returnable materials. Items not specified on this list will not be returned.

NB: If a Marking Review/Exceptional Circumstance is requested for any returnable materials, we are required to retain this work for 12 months after the final decision is made on grades awarded.

Can examination scripts be returned to centres?

Examination scripts cannot be returned to centres on request. Examination scripts are exempt from the right of subject access in terms of paragraph 9 of Schedule 7 to the Data Protection Act 1998 and it is SQA’s policy not to disclose such materials.

Arranging Returns

Centres, candidates or a candidate's parent/guardian may request materials to be returned using a Request for Return of External Assessment Material form.

Individual Candidate requests should be made on a specific request form; this can be found on the dedicated Candidate web page. Where both the candidate and centre request the return of materials, the work will be returned to the candidate.

Centres should use the following forms when making requests:

A separate form must be completed for each subject and level. This allows us to process each request efficiently and apply the appropriate charges. Any incorrect or incomplete requests forms will be returned.

Charges are calculated per subject and level. Please refer to the table of charges below for each subject and each level when calculating costs.

The closing date for request forms was 27 September 2017. Any requests received after this date will incur an additional late charge. See Late Requests above.

All materials will be returned after completion of the Results Services procedure. Late requests will be returned by mid-January. All unrequested material will be disposed of. Where a request has not been submitted, packaging and/or folio cases cannot be returned.

Exceptional circumstances

If materials are submitted as part of exceptional circumstances (e.g. a candidate wasn’t able to attend the exam), we will not send these back automatically. If you’d like these materials back, you need to follow the guidance on this page and submit an Exceptional Circumstances Request form.

Advanced Higher Art and Design

Please note, as of 2016, we do not automatically return Advanced Higher Art and Design materials to your centre when assessment finishes at the end of June. If you would like these materials back, you need to submit a return request form as we will not send these back automatically. The usual charges will apply.

Collecting Items

If you would prefer to collect your requested materials, please indicate where appropriate on your request form(s). We will contact you when the requested materials are ready for collection. Administration charges still apply for uplifted items.

Damaged Items

SQA will endeavor to return submissions in their original condition; however we are unable to guarantee this due to the large volume of work during the marking process. Items are handled and moved on a number of occasions, including site relocation. If it is critical that a candidate’s 3D work remains in its original condition, we recommend that a photograph (or series of photographs) is submitted in its place.

If an item is damaged either in transit to SQA or during assessment, it will not be returned.


Please use the following table for details of the charges for the return of late requested materials:

The return of materials service is exempt from VAT and charged on the basis that we shall recover our costs in full.

As each subject and level is charged separately, you may find that it is more cost-effective for centres to co-ordinate requests on behalf of candidates. We can send invoices to centres if required. If you would prefer to be invoiced, please e-mail your completed request form to return.materials@sqa.org.uk. If you would prefer to pay by cheque, please print a copy of your completed request form and send it together with your payment for the appropriate amount, made payable to SQA, to:

Events Servicing
24 Wester Shawfair
EH22 1FD

Art and Design

The charges detailed above may not apply to certain pieces of artwork that are three-dimensional. Charges for returning three-dimensional pieces are calculated differently depending on the size and volume of the material. Please contact Event Servicing at return.materials@sqa.org.uk for details of the charges that will apply.

If material comprises both two and three-dimensional artwork, the charges for both two and three-dimensional pieces will apply. In the event of a dispute as to what constitutes either two or three-dimensional artwork, SQA’s decision will be final.

Three dimensional requests made after the deadline date are also subject to late charges. See Late Requests above.