Emergency Bulk Derived Grades - Frequently Asked Questions

Bulk Grade process:

How many students are needed for bulk derived grades?

There is no specific number.

Is an application form needed for every student for a bulk derived grade?


What evidence is there of the situation needed to apply for bulk derived grades? 

Specific evidence of the event does not need to be gathered for individual students. By submitting the application, the school attests to the emergency or exceptional circumstance for all students covered in the application. 

Emergency Grade Scenarios:

How many exam sessions can a school use the bulk derived grade process for? 

For as many exam sessions as are required by the circumstances. This will be based upon the school’s judgement of the needs of their students.

Who should be included in a bulk application?

The school makes this judgement based on their knowledge of the student and their circumstances.

With the bulk process does a school have to submit a Not Achieved grade for a student?  

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 or an Absent (Y) result should be provided as appropriate.

For what period of time can the derived grade process be in place? 

The process can be used for as long as the school deems valid and appropriate. The school knows how the circumstances have impacted on their students. The process may develop in stages:

  1. the school submits emergency bulk derived grades for all students
  2. the school submits emergency bulk derived grades for the criteria the school establishes through a school-based application process
  3. the school submits emergency derived grades for individual students stating the reason as “emergency derived grade for (brief description of the event)“ in the comment box on the NZQA secure online application process for Derived Grades.

Can a Further Assessment Opportunity be offered after the examination to generate a derived grade?

No. The attendance and sufficiency criteria may be applicable if the student attended the examination. For further information, contact your SRM.

How can an emergency circumstance be indicated in an individual application?

State the reason “emergency derived grade for the (brief description of the event)” in the comment box of the NZQA online application process for Derived Grades.

Do any of the following circumstances arising from the situation; lack of sleep, need to prepare to and/or evacuate or transport issues, leading to a state of stress during exams meet emergency derived grade criteria? 


Is there a possibility of derived grades for a student who either thought the NCEA exams were cancelled or who misunderstood that the school was closed for instruction but open for exams, and therefore did not show up?

Investigate the particular circumstances. Base the decision on the evidence the school gathers from the event as to why confusion might have existed.

If a student continues to have other issues that prevent them attending the exams after the event, will they need to make an individual application? 

It depends whether the issue is related to the emergency event or is due to another reason.

What happens if a school was shut and a student completes their examination at another centre? 

The student’s papers will be marked. These students are still eligible for derived grades.

If a student sits the examination, what grade counts?  

An emergency derived grade can still be submitted, and the "best" grade will be reported.

What if a student could not get to the exam because an unexpected family situation caused by the emergency? 

Investigate the particular circumstances. Evidence would be required to establish that the situation meets the derived grade guidelines.

Does the student need to complete a Derived Grade Application Form?

No. In the emergency derived grade situation the school is making the application on behalf of the student. The school may develop its own application process when not all students have been affected by the event. NZQA does not need this information.

What happens if students have left your school after the 1 September file submitting external entries has been processed?

Students cannot be withdrawn from external entries after 1 September. If the school holds a derived grade for this student it should be reported. The "best" grade will be reported if the student sits the examination elsewhere.

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