Appeals 2021

Information for centres

Alternative Certification Model 2021: Appeals Service for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher Courses: Information for centres (211 KB)

Includes details of eligibility for the appeals service, the learner appeals registration service, and the requirements for evidence and supporting information that centres must submit for each request. It also provides information on the three types of appeals:

and the approach to reviewing appeals submitted under each of these types. In addition, the document details key dates relating to the appeals service.

Answers to your questions about appeals

What are the key dates I need to be aware of?

The key dates for the 2021 appeals service are:

Activity Dates
Deadline for centres to submit provisional results to SQA 25 June 2021
Learner appeals registration service opens on SQA website 25 June 2021
Learners receive certificates 10 August 2021
Centres are able to submit appeals requests via SQA Connect From 10 August 2021
Digital upload window opens 10 August 2021
Learner appeals registration service closes 12 August 2021
Closing date for priority appeals requests 24 August 2021
Digital upload window closes for priority appeals 24 August 2021
Closing date for all other appeals requests 27 August 2021
Digital upload window closes for appeals (uplift of physical materials dates to be confirmed) 27 August 2021
SQA issues results for type A (Academic judgement)* priority appeals to centres 6 September 2021
SQA issues results for appeals TBC
Replacement certificates issued to learners TBC

*SQA will endeavour to resolve priority type B (Administrative error) and C (Discrimination) appeals by the UCAS deadline. However, as these are complex matters, it may not be possible to resolve all of these appeals in this timeframe.

How can my learners appeal their provisional results?

As part of the alternative certification model, you will be discussing your learners' progress over the course of the year and, before the summer break, will tell them what their provisional results are, based on the assessments your learners have completed. SQA will not change these results. You must either talk to or write to your learners to:

  • confirm how their provisional results were determined
  • discuss the assessment evidence that was used to support your awarding decisions
  • explain the quality checks you have used - locally and nationally - to make sure the provisional results you have awarded your learners have been assessed fairly, and in line with the national standard.

If, after that conversation, your learners are still unhappy, they can register that they want to appeal direct to SQA from Friday 25 June.

The service will be open until Thursday 12 August.

Schools, colleges or training providers cannot stop an appeal request, but a learner can ask you to register an appeal for them, if they prefer.

When will I/my school/my centre find out if a learner has submitted a request for an appeal?

Learners can register that they want to appeal directly through the SQA website from Friday 25 June. From Tuesday 10 August, SQA will notify all centres of the learners who have registered that they want to appeal.

What support do schools/centres need to put in place for learners who have requested an appeal?

Stage 3 of the alternative certification model, from the end of May to 25 June, is when schools, colleges and training providers are to provide ongoing feedback to learners regarding their progress and assessments, including, at the conclusion of the course, provisional grades based on evidence of demonstrated attainment.

You must either talk to or write to your learners to:

  • confirm how their provisional results were determined 
  • discuss the assessment evidence that was used to support your awarding decisions
  • explain the quality assurance checks you have used - locally and nationally - to make sure the provisional results you have awarded have been assessed fairly, and in line with the national standard.

What information do schools/centres need to provide to SQA once an appeal has been confirmed?

If a learner is appealing against the academic judgement made:

SQA will ask you to provide all the necessary evidence and materials that were used to determine the learner's result.

If the learner is appealing against an unresolved administrative error or are appealing on the grounds of discrimination contrary to the Equality Act

As part of the registration process, we will ask learners to provide a short, written explanation of what they believe has happened. If they need to, or prefer to, they can ask a parent or carer to help them.

SQA will review the learner's submission in discussion with you.

You can also advise SQA of any administrative errors that you identify.

Will there be priority appeals?/Which appeals will be prioritised?

Priority will be given to those learners who are waiting on a result for a university or college place or for an employment or training programme. Learners must register that they want to appeal these results to SQA by Thursday 12 August.

From Tuesday 10 August - Tuesday 24 August, a learner can ask you to submit a priority appeal to SQA for them.

Consultation results

We consulted and engaged widely with education stakeholders and representatives of parents and carers and young people during the development of the 2021 appeals service.

Where permission to publish has been provided, the consultation responses are now available to view online.