FOI20/21 175 Surpass Viewer

Date published: 05/02/2021

FOI reference: 20/21 175

Date received: 14/01/2021

Date responded: 05/02/2021

Information requested

I would like to make the following request under FOISA.

•     Please release documents (such as briefing papers, or analyses of options) held by the SQA regarding the decision to make use of Surpass Viewer software.

•     Please release all internal communication discussing the decision to make use of Surpass Viewer software


As part of the ongoing work to provide a digital assessment service to our customers SQA works with our supplier (BTL) to ensure that the service provided is effective.   SurpassViewer was the BTL response to the decision by Adobe to cease support for Flash from January 2021, to enable SQA, at no additional cost, to continue to deliver flash-based assessment content and functionality.  This was delivered as part of our ongoing contract with them for the use of the Surpass eAssessment System, of which the viewer is a very minor part.

As explained in the FAQ paper provided whilst it would have been a preferred option for SQA to migrate over to more current technology, such as HTML5, the reality is that this was not a feasible option to offer all re-authored content in our question banks within the new HTML system by Jan 2021.  This means that SQA needs to continue the delivery of the current qualifications on the Flash based systems in place until their withdrawal. The use of Surpass Viewer is one part of this work and facilitates the delivery of current qualifications on the Flash based system.  In the attached document we have provided the published guidelines and FAQs for clients on the use of Surpass Viewer.   This is the only written information SQA holds regarding the decision to make use of Surpass Viewer software.


FAQs (18 KB)