Information for schools and colleges on standardising marking for non-exam assessment, including how to undertake internal standardisation and details of AQA’s teacher standardisation.

Internal standardisation

Marking of non-exam assessment (NEA) work must be consistent with marking by all teachers delivering the same specification. Internal standardisation is compulsory and carried out in a school or college, normally overseen by the head of each department.

Internal standardisation must be delivered according to the criteria and guidance in the subject specification, and be confirmed on the centre declaration sheet. Failure to do so could disadvantage some or all of your students.

Good practice for 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 relevant reference material, such as previous work or examples from our website
  • teacher standardisation, as outlined below.

AQA teacher standardisation

Teacher standardisation is led by AQA, and is strongly recommended (in addition to internal standardisation) if marks have been significantly adjusted or if a specification is being taught for the first time. In any case, we advise that centres complete external teacher standardisation every year to help maintain standards and avoid the need for adjustments in the future.

This is normally done online, referred to as teacher online standardisation, or T-OLS.

Face-to-face teacher standardisation is only available for certain subjects.