Derived Grade Updates

November 2019
- 26 Nov 2019

Derived Grade Update 4

Copies of Derived Grade Updates are available in the Derived Grade area of the school’s secure provider login. Updates will be published each term and complement online information.

Please ensure you pass relevant information to teachers, as appropriate.


Key Dates

By 5pm 4 December Student application form states derived grade applications for examinations and portfolios due to Principal’s Nominee. This is to allow Principal’s Nominees time for processing
By 5pm 6 December Derived Grade on-line application tool closes

Suggested things to do

  • Review Derived Grade Update #4 – available in the Derived Grade area of the school’s secure Provider login
  • Send requested additional information to the Derived Grade Team promptly
  • When a submitted application is amended (further subjects and standards) notify NZQA of the change using the form in the derived grade application tool
  • Check applications for candidates with pre-approval for national representation have been made in the derived grade on-line tool
  • Contact your SRM where you have a potential late derived grade application
  • Keep candidate application material secure and remove access to derived grade on-line tool, where appropriate to meet privacy obligations
  • HOFs/HODs use the attached derived grade review tool to confirm derived grades submitted are based on authentic standard specific assessments that have been quality assured or justified

Topics in this Derived Grade update

Reminders from Derived Grade Update #4

  • Changes to the application tool and process for 2019
  • Measles information
  • Providing advice and/or submitting candidate applications
  • Why derived grades may be declined
  • A candidate specifies the standards a derived grade is applied for
  • Requests for additional information to support an application
  • Derived grade web pages updated
  • Events during NCEA examinations that are not normally grounds for a derived grade
  • Clarification of the decline process

Amendments (additions and deletions) to submitted applications

Where changes (subjects, standards and/or grades) are made to a submitted application NZQA must be notified using the link to the form in the derived grade application tool or here.

Derived Grade Application reminders and clarifications

  • A candidate specifies the standards being applied for
  • Candidates should be told that they can choose not to apply for a derived grade for a standard where a Not Achieved grade would be reported
  • Submit all applications received whether you support them or not. Signal if you do not support an application. NZQA does not inform applicants that their school did not support the application
  • The NZQA Derived Grade Team evaluates all applications against the eligibility criteria
  • All declined applications reflect the decision of two members of the Derived Grade Team
  • Applications are declined because:
    • they do not meet the eligibility criteria
    • insufficient information is provided to confirm the application meets the eligibility criteria
  • Only when an application is declined is the student (by letter) and Principal’s Nominee (by email with a copy of the student letter) informed. There is no notification that the application has been approved.
  • Declined applications can be appealed
  • Where candidates appeal a decline decision, the outcome is notified to the candidate and the Principal’s Nominee
  • Use the derived grade web pages to provide guidance on eligibility criteria to parents and candidates:
    • candidates and parents
    • Principal’s Nominees and schools

Derived Grades vs Unexpected Event Grades

DERIVED GRADES are intended for individual students and must be applied for. They are for candidates who, just before or during the examinations, suffer a temporary illness/injury, trauma or an event beyond their control. Applications must be supported with independent evidence to justify the application.

UNEXPECTED EVENT GRADES (UEGs) are generally applied to groups of students affected in a similar way by a common single exceptional event that stops students from attending or completing an examination or impairs their performance. Examples include death of a candidate, bus accident, or localized flooding. NZQA approves the event and the school applies on behalf of the students.

Requests for additional information to support an application

Principal’s Nominees are contacted with a request to submit a candidate’s application where further information is required to confirm an application meets the eligibility criteria. This request recognises that Principal’s Nominees summarise the information in a candidate’s application for the online tool. Thank you to Principal’s Nominees for providing requested information in a timely manner.

Late Application Process

NZQA may accept late applications after applications close on December 6 where the circumstances were beyond the control of the candidate. The Principal's Nominee must contact their School Relationship Manager to discuss the reason for the late application and request a Late Application Form. Please note no application can be accepted after results have been released in January (Assessment Rule 7.1.5 (h)).

Securing application forms and restricting access to derived grade information

The information contained in a candidate’s applications is considered private and sensitive. Please ensure application material is secure and amend the online security access of staff, as appropriate, using your Electronic Provisioning Authority (EPA).

Derived Grade Self Review Tool

A Derived Grade Review Tool has been created for schools that may like to provide to HOFs/HODs. This is to ensure subject assessment processes for submitted derived grades applications are authentic, standard-specific and have been subject to a quality assurance or justification process.

Derived Grade Review Template for HOD's (DOCX, 21KB)


Please refer any enquiries relating to this circular to your School Relationship Manager.

School Relationship Manager
School Quality Assurance and Liaison
Telephone: 04 463 3000

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