Projects and Updates

E-assessment teacher and student

This area provides information on SQA activities, including research, projects and initiatives where SQA collaborates with others. The area should be of interest to all including, centre staff and SQA Appointees. We have included an Archive in the main menu listing where you can find resources which are no longer live.



Collaborative work and projects

Colleges e-Assessment Group (CEAG)
SQA works with centres and other stakeholders wherever possible to encourage and support the use of e-assessment. Currently work is ongoing with the college sector through a Colleges' e-Assessment Group (CEAG). The group is seeking ways to support colleges as they expand and embed the use of e-assessment , including ways or the national agencies to collaborate to provide the resources and support colleges need to do this.

CEAG includes representatives from further and higher education, Education Scotland, the College Development Network, the Jisc RSC Scotland, the NUS, Student Participation in Quality Scotland and SQA.

An e-portfolio sub-group has also been established to identify how the national bodies together can support colleges in developing the use of e-portfolios to support learning and assessment which, in turn, will influence the ease with which SQA can access and review assessment evidence contained in e-portfolios.

Open Badges
SQA has announced its intention to investigate the opportunities presented by an innovative approach to displaying individuals' learning accomplishments online. To read the full press release from 09/10/2013 please click the following link. SQA investigates opportunities with Mozilla's Open Badges.

A digital badge is an online representation of a skill you've earned. Open Badges take that concept one step further, and allows you to verify your skills, interests and achievements through credible organizations. And because the system is based on an open standard, you can combine multiple badges from different issuers to tell the complete story of your achievements — both online and off. Display your badges wherever you want them on the web, and share them for employment, education or lifelong learning.

To review more information of Mozilla Badges please visit

This section will provide documents, relevant links and information from SQA's collaborations with other agencies investigating how badges can develop in a way that is complementary to our existing education system, links clearly to policy priorities including CfE, Developing the Young Workforce and Career Long Professional Learning for teachers and and reflects the needs of learners.

Digital Badges, Open Badges what are they? (270 KB) pdf, this document provides additional information on what badges are, possible uses for badges, some of the challenges faced in using badges and other sources of information.

Key Stakeholder Awareness Raising Event, Wednesday 4th February 2015


The event was instigated by a working group comprising membership from Scottish Government, Education Scotland, ADES and SQA which was established in January 2014 with the aim of seeking to ensure coherence in the way open badges develop in Scotland.

The purpose of the event was agreed as being to:

  • raise levels of understanding and awareness of open badges amongst key stakeholders in the Scottish education system
  • contribute to ensuring that open badges are implemented in Scotland in a way that adds clear value for learners and in particular acts as a motivator for learning
  • seek to identify some principles we should adopt take to ensure that badges are used in a way that is complementary to the overall objectives of education, in particular the aspirations of CfE, and to existing approaches and ways of working.

The event was attended by representatives from the agencies who form the working group and by GTCS.

Agreed principles

The group agreed the following key principles as points which could help to focus and inform future open badge developments:

  1. Open badges have the potential to enhance the way we recognize and capture achievement. They have a particular part to play for achievement that is more difficult or not appropriate to reward through other, existing, forms of recognition.
  2. Open badges can recognize learning at whatever age or stage it occurs. They can equally well reward the achievements of a primary pupil or an experienced teacher who has developed new skills or knowledge that enhances their professional practice including through work with SQA as an Appointee. In some contexts they provide a means of recognising learning and development that has to date been unrecognized in any formal way and that enhances an individual's capabilities.
  3. There is strong alignment between open badges and the principles of a number of current key national programmes e.g. Curriculum for Excellence, Developing the Young Workforce and Career Long Professional Learning for teachers and existing initiatives such as GTCS's Professional Recognition Awards
  4. To further explore and clarify the potential of badges and how they can best support our ambitions, we plan to undertake a small number of small-scale pilot projects. These will be designed to explore the application of badges in a number of different contexts. They will take account of the challenges, opportunities and actions identified on 4 February.
  5. These pilot projects will be scoped, developed and delivered in a way that is mindful of the challenges, opportunities and actions agreed on the day and of the need to balance recognition of current pressures on the education system with exploring the potential of new approaches.

The existing multi-agency Working Group will maintain an overview of these pilot projects and of the benefits and issues they highlight. It will review the lessons learned for what they tell us about the distinctive contribution that badges could make to improve outcomes for learners in Scotland.


Use of e-Assessment in Controlled Assessment
SQA is a member of the UK Regulatory Authority e-Assessment Research and Development Forum. In 2012 group members representing England, Wales and Northern Ireland carried out research on the use of e-assessment for the Controlled Assessment components of General Qualifications (GCE and GCSE). While previous research had indicated lack of confidence among practitioners in relation to e-assessment, this study found that Awarding Organisations were gaining confidence, and findings revealed positive responses in terms of capacity and teacher readiness for e-assessment.

Centre Readiness for e-Assessment
In 2013 SQA participated in a second piece of research with CCEA Accreditation and the Welsh Government.  This time the study focussed on centre readiness for e-assessment.  The research looked at common issues across Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales in relation to this issue, including the e-assessment environment, government policy, strategy and assessment conditions.  The study also included desk research undertaken in Northern Ireland and Wales, looking at the readiness of schools and colleges to use e-assessment for qualifications for 14-19 year olds.  The research report concludes that a co-ordinated effort is needed to further promote and encourage the development of e-assessment.

Regulatory principles for e-assessment
SQA and the other UK Qualifications Regulators, Ofqual, the Welsh Government and CCEA, collaborated to produce Regulatory Principles for e-Assessment. During 2009/10 the qualifications regulators surveyed Awarding Bodies on these regulatory principles.


We will update this in due course. If you have any areas of interest please contact Derek McFarlane on