Derived Grade Updates

September 2020
- 1 Sep 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 20 October Pre-approval applications where the change in the examination timetable has resulted in a clash with a commitment made prior to 13 May 2020
1 October Derived grade online application tool opens
By 10 November  Pre-approval applications for National Representation required
By 12 November Derived grade applications for portfolio subjects (Design and Visual Communication, Technology, Level 3 Visual Arts and Level 3 Education for Sustainability) due to Principal’s Nominee and entered on-line
By 5pm 10 December Derived grade applications for examinations due to Principal’s Nominee
By 5pm 11 December Derived grade on-line application tool closes


Suggested things to do

Remind teachers of the process to manage student absence for:

  • DCAT and LCAT (Lea Faka Tonga, Korean, Cook Island Māori) use the NZQA derived grade application process
  • MCAT use the school’s missed assessment policy

Remind students of the process for pre-approval for a derived grade, as a result of the changes in the examination timetable announced on 13 May 2020. See Update #3


  • derived grade information with portfolio subject teachers
  • information relating to an injury to an arm or hand with Deans and SAC Coordinators
  • the pre-approval process for national representation with students and staff


  • markbooks are set up to send unexpected event grades with your monthly data file
  • those working with unwell students are aware of the derived grade eligibility criteria
  • staff managing practice examinations/using external assessment evidence gathering templates are aware of NZQA’s quality assurance requirements

 Topics in this Derived Grade Update

Gathering school-based evidence for external assessment

Report to confirm unexpected event grades are submitted to NZQA

Information for portfolio subject teachers of the derived grade process

Injuries to an arm or hand at examination time

Managing assessment programmes of known unwell students

National Representations – the pre-approval process and derived grade eligibility criteria

Gathering school-based evidence for external assessments

Schools must ensure evidence is collected for students’ externally assessed standards (Rule 5.5c). This ensures grades are available for derived grades or if an unexpected event is declared.

Information on gathering school-based evidence for external assessments is available here and includes:

  • how to gather evidence from formal assessment events and the learning process
  • the quality assurance of grades using a verification or justification process
  • a PowerPoint and templates to assist

NEW – Report to confirm unexpected event grades are submitted to NZQA

Schools are required to send unexpected event grades to NZQA (Rule 5.5c). Please ask Heads of Department to check markbooks are set up to include these grades with your monthly data file.

A report of the unexpected event grades submitted by your school is available in the Reports section of your Provider Login.  Please use this report to check these grades are in your data file for all external subjects students are entered for.

Information for portfolio subject teachers on the derived grade submitted

Applies to:

  • Levels 1, 2 and 3 Design and Visual Communication and Technology
  • Level 3 Visual Arts and Education for Sustainability

See the Submission Instructions on the individual subject pages for clarification of the derived grade process including that:

  • Standard specific work demonstrated in the portfolio and other student work can be used to determine the derived grade reported.
  • There must be sufficient evidence available to confirm the student is capable of performing at the level of the derived grade submitted.

Injuries to an arm or hand prior to a candidate’s examinations

Where the injury occurs prior to 1 October, the injury must be managed through Special Assessment Conditions. An application for Writer/Computer or Extra Time must be made.

Where the injury occurs after 1 October, a candidate should apply for a derived grade. Special Assessment Conditions are not usually available because of insufficient time to practise working with a writer/computer.

Managing assessment programmes of known unwell students

For those students suffering from an on-going illness, condition or trauma, the primary focus should be on providing the best possible conditions for the student to get well or recover. This includes modifying their assessment programme to reduce assessment load anxiety.

The provision of Special Assessment Conditions. such as separate or small group accommodation, can also assist in managing students’ ongoing health.

National Representation – the derived grade pre-approval process and eligibility criteria

National Representation requires the registered National Body to confirm the candidate has been selected to represent their country in a nationally selected team. There is a pre-approval process. It will confirm for the candidate their activity meets the eligibility criteria and the dates a derived grade is available for.

Links to derived grade information

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

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