Non-exam assessment administration

The non-exam assessment (NEA) for this specification is an independent investigation which involves, but is not restricted to, fieldwork.

Visit 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 and teachers must complete and sign the Candidate record form (CRF).

Teachers must ensure that a CRF is provided with each student’s investigation.

The CRF must be retained with the investigation until after the moderation period and the deadline for Enquiries about Results (or until any enquiry is resolved). The CRF may also be subject to inspection by a JCQ Centre Inspector.

Students must complete the independent investigation proposal section of the CRF in the planning stages of the investigation process.

Students must sign the candidate declaration section of the CRF when the investigation is submitted to the teacher for marking to confirm that the work submitted is their own in accordance with the conditions set out in this specification.

All teachers who have marked a student’s work must sign the teacher declaration section of the CRF. This is to confirm that the work was conducted under the conditions set out by this specification. Students must have sufficient direct supervision by the teacher to ensure that the work submitted can be confidently authenticated. If students collaborate (where independence is compulsory) and/or are given assistance beyond the parameters indicated in ‘Guidance and feedback for students’, then you must record details on the CRF and take this into account when marking the work. You must award a mark which reflects the student’s unaided achievement. Failure to do so will be considered as malpractice.

Work that cannot be confidently authenticated must not be included in the student’s submission.

The CRF is an important means of confirming the authenticity and independence of a student’s work. If it is not:

  • submitted with a student’s investigation
  • signed by both the teacher and/or the student
  • fully completed

    then the work cannot be accepted for assessment.

If the proposal section of a CRF has not been satisfactorily completed, but nevertheless the moderator is confident on the basis of the work itself that the independence and authenticity conditions have been satisfied, the moderator will give details on the feedback form and the situation will be monitored in subsequent years.


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

  • work collaboratively when independence is required
  • 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
  • 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.

If malpractice is suspected, we will investigate. If malpractice is found to have taken place a penalty will be given dependent on the circumstances and severity of the malpractice. For full information regarding malpractice, please see JCQ instructions Suspected Malpractice in Examinations and Assessment.

If you identify malpractice before the student signs the candidate declaration, 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

You should consult your exams officer about these procedures.

Teacher standardisation

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

For further information about teacher standardisation visit our website at

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.

For further support and advice please speak to your adviser. Email your subject team at for details of your adviser.

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 some 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.


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

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

Work can be annotated using either or both of the following methods:
  • flagging evidence in the margins or in the text
  • summative comments, referencing precise sections in the work.

Annotation must be used, in addition to information on the Candidate record form (CRF), to explain how marks were applied in the context of any additional assistance given.

Submitting marks

You must check that the correct marks are written on the Candidate record form and that the total is correct.

The deadline for submitting the total mark for each student is given at

Factors affecting individual students

For advice and guidance about arrangements for any of your students, please email us as early as possible at

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 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

Special help: where students need special help which goes beyond normal learning support, please use the Candidate record form (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 the completed Candidate record form (CRF). After the moderation period and the deadline for Enquiries about Results (or once any enquiry is resolved) you may return the work to students.


You must send all your students’ marks to us by the date given at You will be asked to send a sample of your students’ NEA evidence to your moderator.

You must show clearly how marks have been awarded against the assessment criteria in this specification. Your comments must help the moderator see, as precisely as possible, where you think the students have met the assessment criteria. You must:

  • record your comments on the Candidate Record Form (CRF)
  • check that the correct marks are written on the CRF and that the total is correct.

The moderator re-marks a sample of the evidence 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. 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 are in a consortium of schools or colleges with joint teaching and assessment 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
  • 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 will allocate the same moderator to all schools and colleges in the consortium and treat the students as a single group for moderation.

All the work must be available at the lead school or college.

After moderation

You will receive a report from your moderator when the results are issued, which will give individual school or college feedback on the appropriateness of the tasks set, adherence to the correct administrative procedures, interpretation of the marking criteria and how students performed in general.

We will give you the final marks when the results are issued.

We will provide a general report on moderation across all schools and colleges that will be published when results are issued.

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