Coursework and controlled assessment

Coursework and controlled assessment measure subject-specific skills that cannot always be tested by timed written exam papers. 

We've changed the way schools and colleges send internally-assessed coursework and controlled assessment marks and grades to us and to the moderator. See submit marks.

View our coursework and controlled assessment video and accompanying slides for step-by-step guidance on the process.

Additional information

Internal standardisation of marking

Centres must have consistent marking standards for all candidates and must carry out internal standardisation (and confirm this on the centre declaration sheet).

Our moderation procedure assumes that each centre has carried out internal standardisation according to the procedure described in the specification; moderation is not designed to compare the marking of different teachers/assessors. Failure to adequately standardise internally could possibly disadvantage some or all of your candidates.

Internal standardisation may involve:

  • all teachers marking some sample pieces of work and identifying differences in marking standards
  • discussing any differences in marking at a training meeting for all teachers involved in the assessment
  • referring to suitable relevant, reference material such as previous work or examples from our website
  • for many subjects, online standardisation is available using our teacher online standardisation system, T-OLS.

Consortium centres

If more than one teacher is marking the work for the group, you must carry out internal standardisation.

The closing dates for consortium applications are:

November1 October
January31 October
March21 January
June31 January

For more information and to apply, please use the JCQ centre consortium arrangements form.

Controlled assessment

Controlled assessment applies to some GCSE subjects (see your guide to GCSE controlled assessment) and Functional Skills

Controlled assessment is a form of coursework where control levels for each stage of the process (task setting, task taking and task marking) have been strictly defined by the qualifications regulator.

Like coursework, controlled assessment allows students to produce an extended personal response to part of the specification.

The requirements for each subject are different and you will find more detail about what you'll need to prepare in the subject specification.

Generally teachers will need to:

  • teach an overview of the chosen topic or task before students set to work
  • give students the context they need to understand the topic
  • teach students any skills they will need for their tasks, such as research skills
  • support and guide students throughout the research, drafting and write-up stages.

You can find further guidance on controlled assessment on the JCQ website.

Accreditation scheme

We operate a scheme of accreditation for internally-assessed work in A-level Applied Business and Applied Science.

For more information, please read Accreditation scheme for centres offering Applied A-level.

Email us at if you have any queries about the scheme.


Information and guidance about malpractice can be found on our malpractice page.