Non-exam assessment administration

The non-exam assessment (NEA) for this specification is made up of a single design and make task.

Visit aqa.org.uk/8552 for detailed information about all aspects of NEA administration.

The head of the school or college is responsible for making sure that NEA is conducted in line with our instructions and Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) instructions.

Supervising and authenticating

To meet Ofqual’s qualification and subject criteria:

  • students must sign the Candidate record form (CRF) to confirm that the work submitted is their own
  • all teachers who have marked a student’s work must sign the declaration of authentication on the CRF (this is to confirm that the work is solely that of the student concerned and was conducted under the conditions laid down by this specification)
  • teachers must ensure that a CRF is attached to each student’s work.

All practical work that is submitted for assessment must be completed under direct supervision. If a student needs to undertake some work that cannot be completed in school/college no credit can be given for the work undertaken off site. You must ensure that you are familiar with the prototype before it is taken off site and also verify it after any off site work has been completed to ensure that the only work that has been completed off site is what has been discussed beforehand.

Students must have sufficient direct supervision for the written element to ensure that the work submitted can be confidently authenticated as their own. If a student receives additional assistance and this is acceptable within the guidelines for this specification, you should award a mark that represents the student’s unaided achievement. Please make a note of the support the student received on the CRF and sign the authentication statement. If the statement is not signed, we cannot accept the student’s work for assessment.

Avoiding malpractice

Please inform your students of the AQA regulations concerning malpractice. They must not:

  • submit work that is not their own
  • lend work to other students
  • allow other students access to, or use of, their own independently sourced source material (they may lend their books to another student, but they must not plagiarise other students’ research)
  • include work copied directly from books, the internet or other sources without acknowledgement
  • submit work that is word-processed by a third person without acknowledgement
  • include inappropriate, offensive or obscene material.

These actions constitute malpractice and a penalty will be given (for example, disqualification).

If you identify malpractice before the student signs the declaration of authentication, you don’t need to report it to us. Please deal with it in accordance with your school or college’s internal procedures. We expect schools and colleges to treat such cases very seriously.

If you identify malpractice after the student has signed the declaration of authentication, the head of your school or college must submit full details of the case to us at the earliest opportunity. Please complete the form JCQ/M1, available from the JCQ website at jcq.org.uk

You must record details of any work which is not the student’s own on the CRF or another appropriate place.

Consult your exams officer about these procedures.

Teacher standardisation

We'll provide support for using the marking criteria and developing appropriate tasks through teacher standardisation.

Example material and guidance will be available at teacher standardisation to help schools and colleges understand the quality of the work associated with the different mark bands and how to apply the assessment criteria.

For further information about teacher standardisation visit our website at aqa.org.uk/8552

In the following situations teacher standardisation is essential. We will send you an invitation to complete teacher standardisation if:

  • moderation from the previous year indicates a serious misinterpretation of the requirements
  • a significant adjustment was made to the marks in the previous year
  • your school or college is new to this specification.

Your school or college will be assigned an NEA appointed adviser who will be able to assist you in matters relating to the NEA.

For further support and advice email your subject team at dandt@aqa.org.uk

Internal standardisation

You must ensure that you have consistent marking standards for all students. One person must manage this process and they must sign the Centre declaration sheet to confirm that internal standardisation has taken place.

Internal standardisation may involve:

  • all teachers marking sample pieces of work to identify differences in marking standards
  • discussing any differences in marking at a training meeting for all teachers involved
  • referring to reference and archive material such as previous work or examples from our teacher standardisation.

Commenting

To meet Ofqual’s qualification and subject criteria, you must show clearly how marks have been awarded against the marking criteria in this specification.

Your comments will help the moderator see, as precisely as possible, where you think the students have met the marking criteria.

You must record your comments on the CRF.

Submitting marks

You must check that the correct marks are written on the CRF and that the total is correct.

The deadline for submitting the total mark for each student is given at aqa.org.uk/keydates

Factors affecting individual students

For advice and guidance about arrangements for any of your students, please email us as early as possible at eos@aqa.org.uk

Occasional absence: you should be able to accept the occasional absence of students by making sure they have the chance to make up what they have missed. You may organise an alternative supervised session for students who were absent at the time you originally arranged.

Lost work: if work is lost you must tell us how and when it was lost and who was responsible, using our special consideration online service at aqa.org.uk/eaqa

Extra help: where students need extra help which goes beyond normal learning support, please use the CRF to tell us so that this help can be taken into account during moderation.

Students who move schools: students who move from one school or college to another during the course sometimes need additional help to meet the requirements. How you deal with this depends on when the move takes place.
  • If it happens early in the course, the new school or college should be responsible for the work.
  • If it happens late in the course, it may be possible to arrange for the moderator to assess the work as a student who was ‘educated elsewhere’.

Keeping students' work

Students’ work must be kept under secure conditions from the time that it is marked, with CRFs attached. After the moderation period and the deadline for Enquiries about Results (or once any enquiry is resolved) you may return the work to students.

Moderation

An AQA moderator will check a sample of your students’ work. Your moderator will tell you which students’ work to send them. If you're entering fewer than 20 students (or submitting work electronically) it will be the work of all your students. Otherwise it will be a percentage of your students’ work.

The moderator re-marks the work and compares this with the marks you have provided to check whether any changes are needed to bring the marking in line with our agreed standards. In some cases the moderator will ask you to send in more work. Any changes to marks will normally keep your rank order but, where major inconsistencies are found, we reserve the right to change the rank order.

School and college consortia

If you're in a consortium of schools or colleges with joint teaching arrangements (where students from different schools and colleges have been taught together but entered through the school or college at which they are on roll), you must let us know by:

  • filling in the Application for Centre Consortium Arrangements for centre-assessed work, which is available from the JCQ website jcq.org.uk
  • appointing a consortium coordinator who can speak to us on behalf of all schools and colleges in the consortium. If there are different coordinators for different specifications, a copy of the form must be sent in for each specification.

We'll allocate the same moderator to all schools and colleges in the consortium and treat the students as a single group for moderation.

After moderation

We will return your students' work to you after the exams. You'll also receive a report when the results are issued, which will give feedback on the appropriateness of the tasks set, interpretation of the marking criteria and how students performed in general.

We'll give you the final marks when the results are issued.

To meet Ofqual requirements, as well as for awarding, archiving or standardising purposes, we may need to keep some of your students' work. We'll let you know if we need to do this.