Derived Grade Updates

October 2020
- 1 Oct 2020


Derived Grade and Unexpected Event Grade Updates are issued each term. They are available in the Derived grade section of your school’s Provider Login and complement information on the NZQA website.

Updated Derived Grade 2020 timelines

Extended to 1 November Pre-approval applications where the change in the examination timetable has resulted in a clash with a commitment made prior to 13 May 2020. See Update #3. This can include repatriation flights
By 12 November Derived grade applications for portfolio subjects due to NZQA.
By 5pm 10 December Derived grade applications for examinations (including DCAT and LCAT) due to Principal’s Nominee.
By 5pm 11 December Derived grade on-line application tool closes.


Suggested things to do

  • Check mark books are set up to send unexpected event grades in data files
  • Use the Unexpected Event Grades Report to monitor subjects where these grades have not been submitted
  • Check students absent for the DCAT and LCAT (Lea Faka Tonga, Korean, Cook Island Māori) have completed and submitted a derived grade application form
  • Use the Guidelines to assist schools to provide advice to inform students and parents
  • Check those providing advice are familiar with the derived grade guidelines and eligibility criteria
  • Ensure your links and paper copies of the derived grade application form for staff and parents are for 2020
  • Put copies of the derived grade application form at the school office for students/parents to collect.
  • Review Derived and Unexpected Event Grade Update #4 – available in the Derived Grade area of your school’s Provider Login
  • Review SAC Update #9 – it has derived grade information where SAC may also be involved

Topics in this Derived Grade Update

Links to Covid inclusion pre-approval derived grades and Covid inclusion unexpected event grades

Use the Unexpected Event Grade Report to check these grades are being submitted to NZQA

2020 Changes to the derived grade application form and on-line tool

Key points when making a derived grade application

Requests for additional information to support an application

Events not normally grounds for a derived grade

Derived Grade and Unexpected Event Grade Check list

Covid inclusion pre-approval for derived grades at alert levels 2 and 3

Check out recent Covid Inclusion information emailed to Principals and Principal’s Nominees on:

Use the Unexpected Event Grade Report to check grades are being submitted to NZQA

Unexpected event grades are particularly important this year as there is a risk that a change in COVID-19 Alert Levels could require some or all students to stay home. Use the Unexpected Event Grade Report in your school’s Provider Login to check these grades have been submitted and are accurate for all external standards. (Assessment Rule 5.5c).

2020 Changes to the derived grade application form and on-line application tool

The 2020 candidate’s application form separates applications into Medical/Trauma or Event/Misfortune and parallels the on-line tool. Please familiarise yourself with the new form. The changes simplify the application process and evidence requirements.

Key points when making derived grade applications

  • A candidate specifies the standards a derived grade is applied for. They should have the choice to not apply for a standard where the school holds a Not Achieved grade.
  • Schools must submit all applications received from students whether they support them or not. NZQA does not inform students that their school did not support the application.
  • Only submit an application once all the information (subjects, standards and grades) has been entered.
  • If you need to make a change, after the application has been submitted you must notify NZQA.  Use this form (DOCX, 21KB). A link to the form is also provided in the derived grade on-line tool.
  • Ensure all the information required for an application is gathered and entered into the on-line tool so that the NZQA Derived Grade Team can fairly evaluate it against the eligibility criteria.
  • A medical certificate from a Doctor will not meet our information requirements, unless it states the evidence requested on the application form.
  • Where insufficient evidence is provided to confirm that an application meets our eligibility criteria, the application will be declined.
  • When an application is declined, the student is informed (by letter) and Principal’s Nominee (by email with a copy of the student letter). NZQA peer reviews all declined applications.

Requests for additional information to support an application

We will request a copy of a completed application form and supporting evidence where the school provides insufficient information to enable us to make a fair decision. Please provide requested information in a timely manner.

The following events are not normally grounds for a derived grade

  • a disturbance during a Language recording - the tape is played 3 times to mitigate a brief interruption
  • fire alarm – schools and ECMs have procedures to follow when this happens
  • a candidate contends the teacher did not cover/teach the work - this should be resolved at a school level
  • digital examinations when a student has to move to paper because of a technical issue - students are aware of this process prior to examination.

Unexpected event and derived grade check list

Attached is an Unexpected Event and Derived Grade Check list (DOCX, 21KB) that you may like to use with Heads of Learning or Teachers to confirm credible grades are reported to NZQA.

Links to derived grade information

Information for Candidates and Caregivers and for Principal’s Nominees.

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