Centre Request for Return of External Assessment Materials

Information for centres

Centres and candidates can request to have non-exam material returned after it has been externally assessed. We appreciate that some assessment materials cannot easily be retained as copies (such as recordings, photographs, illustrations and some evidence submitted for Results Services) and may also be of monetary or sentimental value.

If you have any queries about the Return of External Assessment Materials service, please e-mail return.materials@sqa.org.uk

Materials that can be returned

The following document provides a list of all external assessment materials that can be requested for return. It also contains information on the arrangements for returning English portfolios and items submitted for Results Services.

Items not specified on the list will not be returned to centres.

External Assessment Materials Available for Return (57 KB)

Arranging returns

Requests can be made by centres, candidates or a candidate's parent/guardian using a Request for Return of External Assessment Material form.

If you are submitting a request on behalf of your centre, please use the following forms and send them to return.materials@sqa.org.uk or to the postal address provided:

If you would like us to return materials that have been submitted as part of the Exceptional Circumstances Consideration Service, please complete and submit the following form.

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

All forms must be received by 27 September 2017. Any requests received after this date will incur an additional late charge (see Late Requests section below).

Individual candidate requests should be made on a specific request form, which can be found on the candidate web page. Where a request is made by both the candidate and centre, the materials will be returned to the candidate.


The following document details the charges that will be applied for returning requested materials:

The return of materials service is exempt from VAT and is charged on the basis that we shall recover our costs in full. Each subject and level is charged separately, so you may find it more cost-effective to co-ordinate requests on behalf of candidates.

Late Requests

Any requests received after 27 September 2017 will incur an additional late charge of £14.50 per candidate, level and subject. This includes any late requests for 3D Art & Design work. Late requests will be accepted until 8 December 2017 when the returns procedure ends.

Additional information

Can exam scripts be returned to centres?

No. Exam scripts are exempt from the right of subject access as detailed in the Data Protection Act 1998 (paragraph 9, Schedule 7) and it is SQA policy not to disclose such materials.

Will Advanced Higher Art and Design work be automatically returned?

No. Advanced Higher Art and Design work is no longer automatically returned to centres following the external assessment event. Centres are now required to submit a Request for External Assessment Materials form and pay the appropriate charges. Design and Expressive materials should be requested on the same form and will be charged as one level – e.g. if requesting the return of 2 x expressive portfolios and 3 x Design portfolios, the charge for 5 candidates will be apply.

When will my centre receive the materials?

Materials will be returned to centres once Results Services procedures have concluded. We will begin dispatching materials at the end of October and this will continue through to mid-December. We will only return materials, including packaging and/or portfolio cases, where a request has been submitted. Where a request has not been submitted, the material will be disposed of at the end of the year.

Please note that if you have submitted a request for the return of Exceptional Circumstances evidence, or the material has been used as part of our Post-results Services, we are required to retain this work for 12 months after the final decision has been made on the grades awarded.

Can I arrange to collect the items instead?

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

What happens to items that have been damaged?

SQA will endeavor to return submissions in their original condition; however we are unable to guarantee this due to the large volumes of work and handling 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.

We will not return items that have been damaged in transit to SQA or during assessment and there will be no compensation for any damaged artwork materials.