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Prior verification and creating assessments

Prior Verification

SQA offers prior verification for centres that decide to develop their own instruments of assessment, and this page provides you with guidance and information to support whatever process you wish to undertake.

The pre-verification services that we offer are:

  • combined assessment support
  • prior verification

We are encouraging centres, particularly course teams, to consider and plan innovative approaches to assessment, and to seek opportunities to combine assessment where there is commonality or duplication across units of study.

It is important to align any combined assessment or internally developed instruments of assessment to the subject information or regulatory requirements as well as being in line with the qualification requirements. These services ensure your assessments are fit for purpose and take about six weeks to process but could take longer if an issue is found.

Subject specific information can be found here:

Centres should make assessment tools as relevant as possible to suit local needs and to enable candidates to demonstrate their skills/knowledge. We strongly recommend that you request prior verification before using a centre devised assessment with candidates and their associated marking schemes.

To support you to develop your own instruments of assessment our SQA Secure site hosts an online library of successful prior verification, and combined assessment applications. 

Requests for prior verification should be submitted through your SQA Co-ordinator, and please note that the form will ask for your permission to share your materials once verified, including newly accepted combined assessments, and these will be added to this library when approved by us.


During the period of 1 February – 31 May all submissions will be chargeable unless the request is as a result of a quality assurance action and the event ID is noted within the prior verification request form.  In this instance, the first submission will be free but any further submissions will be chargeable.

Outwith this period, from 1 June – 31 January, first submissions will be free with any further submissions being chargeable.

The charge for each submission will be £330. 

We hope that most centres can utilise this service during the non-chargeable period.  We are keen to encourage centres to develop valid and suitable instruments of assessment and to do so as early as possible in the session.


Prior Verification Request and Evaluation Form

Combined Assessment Support Form


Guide to Assessment

Combined Assessment Toolkit: Information and guidance for centre

Should you have questions regarding the changes to the pre-verification service, contact us by completing the form or call us on 0345 213 5928.