The emergency grade process

In an exceptional event beyond the control of students which stops them from attending an examination or impairs their performance in an examination, NZQA may invoke the emergency grade process, 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.”

Unlike derived grades which are intended to be used for individual students and must be applied for, emergency grades will generally be applied to groups of students affected in a similar way by a common single event, although they may be used for a single student in special circumstances, and are invoked at the discretion of NZQA.

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. The appeal is made to the school.

When the emergency grade process may be invoked

NZQA may invoke the emergency grade process following an exceptional event beyond the control of students which prevents their attendance, or impairs their performance in an examination. This could include situations such as a natural event, technical failure or public medical emergency. For example:

  • examinations were not held (e.g. the school was closed post an earthquake while buildings are declared safe), or an examination session was disrupted by an incident beyond the students' control
  • examinations were 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.

If emergency grades are being submitted the school should ensure the affected students are made aware of this, and that they do not have to do anything.

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.

Process for submitting emergency grades

A result must be reported for every external entry

All candidates with an entry in an externally assessed standards must 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 must 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).

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. The emergency grade will be applied, irrespective of examination attendance.

1. If submitting emergency grades for all your students through your student management system(SMS):

  • notify the NZQA 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.

2. If submitting a .csv file extracted from your SMS 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, emergency grade
  • submit the .csv file to the NZQA 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 8 December.

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

Either:

  • send an email to the NZQA data team (emergencygrade@nzqa.govt) that clearly lists each of the students entered for the subject, their NSN, the standard numbers they are entered for and their emergency grades
  • ensure the email has a subject line that identifies the school and the provider code
  • CC into the email your School Relationship Manager
  • ensure that the email is sent to NZQA by 8 December.

OR:

  • Submit a normal derived grade application through your NZQA Provider login – list the reason as "emergency grade event of … (brief description of the event)". A Derived Grade Application Form does not have to be completed by the student.

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 must email the details to their School Relationship Manager.

Appealing a result where it is not an emergency grade

If the final result was not an emergency grade, students should apply for a review or reconsideration in the normal way through their Learner login. This will be the case where the submitted emergency grade was either the same as, or worse than, the grade achieved by the student in the examination. In this case the emergency grade would not have been applied. Applications for a review or reconsideration must be made online by the cut-off date and the original answer booklet sent to NZQA.  We recommend that students keep a copy of the original booklet.

 
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