Emergency Grade Applications

Where a significant situation occurs which stops students from attending an examination or impairs their performance in an examination, the Emergency Grade application process is available, in line with the Assessment (including Examination) Rules for Schools, 7.1.5.(o):  "NZQA reserves the right to apply an emergency grade where a group of Candidates is significantly disadvantaged by extraordinary circumstances beyond their control.”

Principles used in the awarding of emergency grades

  1. Emergency grades can only be applied with the approval of the NZQA Chief Executive.
  2. The school can apply for emergency grades where a valid entry exists for a student on the date of the external examination.
  3. The emergency grade is based on standard-specific evidence collected by the school prior to the start of the external examination period.
  4. An emergency grade of not achieved grade must be reported where the student has had an adequate opportunity for assessment.
  5. Where the student attends the examination, the better of the emergency grade or examination grade will be awarded. If the examination result is a ‘void’ grade, this will take precedence over a ‘not achieved’ emergency grade.
  6. The emergency grade will be applied, irrespective of examination attendance.
  7. Students can appeal an emergency grade.

When to use Emergency Grades

Handy tip

If a school is submitting a "bulk application" for emergency derived grades, ensure the affected students are made aware of that, and know they don't have to do anything else.

Emergency Grades are available following an exceptional event beyond the control of students which impairs their performance. This would include situations such as a natural event, technical failure or public medical emergency, and the:

  1. examinations could be held but:
    • there has been significant disruption to prior teaching and learning, preparation and performance
    • some students are prevented from attending the examination session by the situation (e.g. by flooding, blocked roads or by order of the Medical Officer of Health), to the satisfaction of the school.
  2. examinations were not held (e.g. the school was closed), or an examination session was disrupted by an incident beyond the students' control.

Emergency situations should lead to Emergency Grades for a single student, or a group of students. A bulk grade process is used for groups of students.

Eligibility

Candidates are only eligible for consideration for an emergency grade in standards for which:

  • approval has been given by the NZQA Chief executive
  • a valid entry exists at the date of the examination and
  • the school holds standard-specific evidence that has been collected prior to the start of the examination period.

Submitting Emergency Grades

The school makes the application for emergency grades. Not Achieved grades must be included if the candidate has had an adequate opportunity for assessment but has failed to produce results at Achieved or better.

1. If submitting Emergency Grades for all your students by your Student Management System

  • Notify the data team by sending an email to emergencygrade@nzqa.govt.nz
  • CC into the email your School Relationship Manager
  • Ensure the email has a subject line that identifies the school and the provider code
  • Ensure that the final data file is submitted to NZQA by 1 December 2016.

2. If submitting a .csv file extracted from your Student Management System as only a portion of your students are eligible or your SMS system does not have the capacity to submit Emergency Grades

  • The .csv file must contain three fields – NSN, standard number, recommended grade
  • Submit the .csv file to the data team by sending an email to emergencygrade@nzqa.govt.nz
  • CC into the email your School Relationship Manager
  • Ensure the email has a subject line that identifies the school and the provider code
  • Ensure that the final .csv file is submitted to NZQA by 9 December 2016.

3. For a small number of students (fewer than 10)

Send an email to emergencygrade@nzqa.govt.nz and CC a copy to your School Relationship Manager

  • This email must clearly list each of the students entered for that subject, their NSN, the standard numbers and the derived grade
  • Ensure the email has a subject line that identifies the school and the provider code, OR
  • Submit a normal derived grade through your NZQA high security site – list the reason as "Emergency Grade event of … (brief description of the event)". A Derived Grade Application Form does not have to be completed.

4. A result must be reported for every external entry

All candidates with an entry in an externally assessed standards should have a result reported. The possible results are:

  • N – Not Achieved
  • A – Achieved
  • M – Merit
  • E – Excellence
  • Y – Absent
  • V – Void (Standard Not Attempted).

If a candidate received a result of Not Achieved from the standard-specific evidence held by the school, this grade should be reported to NZQA as part of the Emergency Grades process as it is a valid assessment outcome.

If the school has no or insufficient standard-specific evidence for the candidate because they did not attempt or complete the standard(s), then a Standard Not Attempted (V) result should be provided or an Absent (Y) result where appropriate.

Not Achieved (N), Absent (Y) or Standard Not Attempted (V) grades will not be reported on the students Record of Achievement (ROA).

Reporting emergency grades

If a student attends an examination for which an emergency grade application is also approved, the better of the emergency grade or examination result will be awarded.

However, if the school reports a Void grade, this will take precedence over a Not Achieved grade, and not be reported. The emergency grade will be applied, irrespective of examination attendance.

Appealing an emergency grade

How students can appeal an emergency grade

Where the final result awarded to the student was an emergency grade, the student should appeal to the school for a reconsideration. As the school is responsible for that result, their appeal procedures will apply. Where the appeal is upheld and a change in the emergency grade is required, the school should email the details to their NZQA School relationship Manager.

Appealing a result where it is not an emergency grade

  • A student should apply for a review or reconsideration in the normal way if their final result was not an emergency grade. This will be the case if the submitted emergency grade was either the same as, or worse than, the grade achieved by the student in the examination and as such, it would not have been applied.
  • Applications for reconsideration or review must be made online by Friday 17 February 2017 and the original answer booklet must be sent to NZQA. We recommend that students keep a copy of the original booklet.
 
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