Quality assurance documents and videos

Key documents

Essential forms and guidance on quality assurance processes and requirements for SQA Advanced, HN and vocational qualifications.

How to become an SQA centre and how to obtain approval to offer SQA qualifications. These documents should help potential new centres as well as existing centres.

Support for centres offering internally assessed qualifications.

Webinar recordings

Systems Quality Assurance Solutions webinar series

Throughout January 2021 we ran a programme of Systems Quality Assurance Solutions webinars to support employers and training providers. Based on trends in systems verification outcomes and the experience of Quality Enhancement Managers, our webinar recordings will help you to achieve better verification outcomes and enhance the quality of your systems policies and procedures.

Use the playlist button at top right to scroll through the six webinars.

These frequently asked questions from delegates who attended the 'Systems Quality Assurance Solutions' webinars provide useful additional information for centres.

Is a decision log the same as a standardisation log?

Decision logs are often used for standardisation purposes and therefore can sometimes be referred to as 'standardisation logs'. When used for this purpose, they help capture the agreements made by the assessment/ internal verification (IV) team.

As a new centre co-ordinator, do we require access to SQA's Secure website?

Not necessarily - everything required to operate as centre co-ordinator is on our website and, in particular, the systems verification webpage. Some centres may need to access the secure site depending on the qualifications they offer. For more information, contact the MyCentre team.

How can a centre stay on top of communications from SQA?

It's helpful to create a separate email folder for all SQA communications so you can quickly and easily find correspondence. You can also flag any emails that require action.

Do I need to consider GDPR when communicating with candidates at home?

The issue of GDPR rests with the centre's own operating practices and isn't covered by the systems quality assurance criteria. While SQA may require certain information to be communicated to candidates, we are not in a position to provide any guidance on GDPR compliance to centres.If the centre is a college, they will have access to a data protection officer as part of the shared services model - Higher Education/Further Education Shared Technology and Information Services, and if not they may want to seek specialist legal advice. It is also worth having a look at the Information Commissioner's website which has a wealth of information and guidance on data protection. There is a specific section dedicated to data protection and COVID-19 which may help answer this query.

Where is the best place to find up to date SQA guidance documents?

Within the main SQA website, you can find guidance on this page, or on the Systems Verification and Qualification Verification pages. Alternatively, there are links to the most up to date guidance on the new Centre Hub.

Must centres review all policies and procedures annually and present evidence of the changes made to each document to the systems verifier?

Centres must employ an appropriate system of version control and review for all policies and procedures relating to SQA qualifications, but the timescales for review can differ depending on the nature of the policy and/or size of the organisation. For example, equal opportunities and data protection usually only change with legislation updates.

Should all candidate evidence be retained for one calendar year?

For criterion 4.7, we mean the product produced by the candidate in the course of an assessment. If there are no exceptional circumstances (appeal/malpractice) and you have not been notified of an external verification visit, this evidence should be retained for three weeks after the completion date entered on SQA Connect. (An extension to this was introduced due to COVID-19.)

If the candidate raises an appeal against the assessment decision, or is involved in a malpractice investigation, the evidence needs to be retained for longer.

Details of current retention timescales for all candidate evidence can be found on our website.

I have created a separate COVID-19 guidance document, but I haven't included it in our centre handbook as I didn't think the pandemic would have gone on for so long. Would you recommend adding it in to our handbook?

As long as you can clearly show that staff and candidates have access to this information, this would suffice. Another option might be to include this guidance as a temporary annex in your handbook.

How can I stay on top of version control/history of changes in my centre's SQA documentation?

A 'change log' is a great tool for staying on top of changes. In a table or spreadsheet, you can quickly capture the date of changes, new version numbers (when applicable), a summary of the changes, the reason for the changes, and the impact of the changes.

Is there a limit to the number of times we can extend a candidate's completion date on SQA Connect?

No. If you have negotiated an extension with a candidate, you can update their completion date as many times as you need to. The entry should always reflect the current status of the candidate and the qualification. Data cleansing is very important, and we ask centres to be proactive in checking their open entries so that, when a completion date is approaching, the entry is resulted, withdrawn or extended before it becomes out of date.

Can only the SQA Administrator have access to SQA Connect?

No, it is possible for the SQA Administrator to create more users for your centre. It is always important to have very clearly defined roles, responsibilities and procedures for data management and, if you do have a number of people entering and resulting candidates, please ensure everyone involved is aware of these.

When registering candidates for qualifications which have optional units, can we register them for all units and then remove the ones that are not completed later?


Is there a way to enter many candidates for the same award at the same time?

Yes, you can do a bulk upload.

Is it possible to use the bulk upload spreadsheet to do multiple tasks at the same time, eg to create SCNs for some candidates; enter other candidates who have SCSs; result some candidates; withdraw some candidates?

Yes. Just fill out the details on the different tabs before submitting it.

Where do I find the template for bulk uploads?

It's in the SQA Connect 'User Guides' section.

How do I update centre co-ordinator details?

Email MyCentre - you can also do this yourself on SQA Connect.

What does HNVQ mean?

HNVQ refers to Higher National and Vocational Qualifications. We verify these qualifications along with SQA Advanced Certificates/Diplomas, Personal Development Awards and National Progression Awards. The verifier will confirm the qualifications they will be verifying when they make contact with your centre.

How do I access the HNVQ Centre Hub?

As an external user, you must have an SQA Office 365 account with an e-mail address and password.

If you don’t already have this, please e-mail the HNVQ team: operationshnvq@sqa.org.uk  They will request a SQA Office 365 account be created for you.  You will then receive an e-mail directly from our Digital Workplace team providing you with log in details.

Once your account has been created, you will be provided with guidance documents on how to access your Office 365 account and how to navigate and use the Centre Hub. 

SQA uses Microsoft Multi-Factor Authentication software to protect our data, and you may be asked to set this up when accessing your account – specific guidance is provided when you receive your Office 365 log in details. 

If you have any access issues at all, please contact operationshnvq@sqa.org.uk

What are the main differences from the previous Centre Hub?

The Centre Hub is now built using document libraries in SharePoint instead of using MS Forms to upload documents, so each centre has its own centre folder identifiable by your Centre ID number.

How does the Centre Hub work?

Once you access the Centre Hub SharePoint site, you will have a document library folder for your centre which is identifiable by your Centre ID number.

Within this document library there are three folders which you can upload evidence to, relevant to the verification activity:

  • Qualification Verification
  • Quality Assurance Documentation
  • Systems Verification

Some important points to note are:

  • For Qualification Verification, you should upload your evidence relating to each of the criteria within the specific criteria folders. 
  • Do not upload zipped folders – documents and folders in zipped files cannot be opened.
  • You can upload or drag and drop directly from your own network drive.
  • You can upload multiple files or folders at the one time.

Alternative Assessment Approaches

Following the publication of the updated guidance on alternative assessment approaches, a webinar took place to ensure the understanding of the roles and responsibilities of IQA panels in helping course teams to make effective use of the decision tree process outlined in the update document.

Group Award Verification – College Update

Moving into Session 21 – 22 and the introduction of Group Award Verification activity, a webinar took place to highlight the changes in process relating to this activity.