Prior Verification - HN and SQA Advanced

SQA offers prior verification for centres that decide to develop their own instruments of assessment.

For session 2020-2021, we built a suite of pre-verification services to support centres, with guidance and information to support whatever process you wished to undertake. This suite of support has been updated for session 2021-22.

Pre-verification services are made up of three activities:

We are encouraging centres, particularly course teams, to consider and plan more innovative approaches to assessment, and to seek opportunities to combine assessment where there is commonality or duplication across units of study. We will also offer, wherever possible, flexibility around conditions of assessment, making delivery more accessible for staff and students.

It is important to align these to the subject information or regulatory requirements as well as being in line with the qualification requirements. The service ensures assessments are fit for purpose and takes about six weeks but could take longer if an issue is identified.

These approaches to assessment are discussed in detail in the guidance document Supporting the delivery, assessment and verification of SQA units, session 2021-2022 (456 KB).

Details of where to find subject specific information depending on the product type you are undertaking:

These changes have been necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic and will therefore be available as a free service at present. We intend to build up an online library of successful pre-verification adaptions and combined assessment applications and see this as a dynamic, ongoing support service which centres can use to share ideas and build expertise.

We strongly recommend that you request prior verification before using a centre devised assessment with candidates. Requests for prior verification should be submitted through your SQA Co-ordinator.

Centres should make assessment tools as relevant as possible to suit local needs and to enable candidates to demonstrate their skills/knowledge. You are encouraged to seek prior verification of locally devised instruments of assessment and their associated marking schemes.

The subject-specific pages on our website will show any adaptions that have been signed off by external verifiers and deemed acceptable by us to allow centres to use these adaptions in your own work. Our secure site will also show prior materials shared by other centres, including newly devised combined assessments. Please note that the form will ask for your permission to share your materials once verified, including newly accepted combined assessments, and these will be added to this library when approved by us.

Prior verification forms and guidance (in documents library).

Should you have questions regarding the changes to the pre-verification service, email or call us on 0345 213 5928.