Monitoring of standards over time

For SQA, ‘comparability over time’ means that a Course or Unit has remained equally demanding over time, even if it has been reviewed or replaced. Candidates in one year must be set tasks that are just as demanding as in any other year. We also have to ensure that items of evidence that are similar receive the same judgement.

SQA’s Monitoring Standards programme checks whether our qualifications and Units are awarded on the basis of standards that are comparable to those in the past.

The programme samples qualifications at various levels and across different areas in the main qualification types.

Panels monitoring standards in National Qualifications are composed of a Principal Assessor (PA) and two Senior Markers (all usually practising teachers). For Higher National, panels are composed of the Senior Verifier and two other Verifiers (all usually practising subject experts). The panel answers a series of questions about the following aspects:

For National Qualifications the evidence looked at consists of:

For Vocational and Higher National Qualifications the evidence looked at consists of:

To ensure improvement, this methodology is under review.

Monitoring of standards over time - reports 

Reports for monitoring standards over time activity are listed below:

Reports for 2015

National Qualifications:

  • Advanced Higher History
  • Higher English
  • Higher French
  • National 5 Administration and IT

Higher National Units:

  • Electrical Engineering
  • Sports Coaching
  • Communication

Scottish Vocational Qualifications:

  • Health and Social Care (Adults)
  • Health and Social Care (Children and Young People)

Monitoring Standards Over Time 2015 (503 KB)

Reports for 2014

National Qualifications:

  • Advanced Higher Graphic Communication
  • Higher Art and Design
  • Higher Geography
  • Intermediate 2 English
  • Intermediate 2 Mathematics

Higher National Units:

  • Business
  • Administration and Information Technology
  • Accounting

Monitoring Standards over time 2014 (620 KB)

Reports for 2013

National Qualifications:

  • Advanced Higher Geography
  • Advanced Higher Modern Studies
  • Higher French
  • Higher Physics
  • Higher Chemistry
  • Higher History
  • Intermediate 2 Geography
  • Intermediate 2 Graphic Communication
  • Intermediate 2 Psychology

Higher National Units:

  • Hospitality: Financial and Control Systems
  • Food and Beverage Service
  • Hospitality Supervision
  • Research Analysis in the Social Sciences
  • Social Science Research and Methodology

Monitoring Standards over time 2013 (414 KB)