Scheme of assessment
The set of examination components –including terminal examinations and coursework –through which candidates’ achievement in relation to a particular qualification are determined.

The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework. Equivalent to the NQF in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Scribe (See also ‘amanuensis’).
A person who writes down what the candidate dictates when the candidate is unable to write. Permission is required from an awarding organisation in advance, though it can be given at short notice for unexpected occurrences. (See Access arrangements and Special consideration.)

Once a question paper or answer book has been completed by a candidate, it is referred to as a script.

Series (See also examination series)
A group of examinations in the same range, for example GCE, GCSE, with a common closing date for entries. The series is defined with a series year, code and name.

SEN or SEND candidates
Special Educational Needs candidates as defined in the Education Act 1996. Candidates who have a record of specific learning difficulties and whose learning is assisted by a special educational needs department. Such candidates may need access arrangements and/or special consideration. The D is used when the term is intended to cover candidates with a disability other than a specific learning difficulty.

Special Educational Needs Coordinator. A designated teacher responsible for the day-to-day operation of the school’s special educational needs (SEN) policy. SENCOs manage the learning provision of pupils and candidates with SEN, or those who need the assistance of a special educational needs department. The D is used when the coordinator is also responsible for pupils with a disability other than a specific learning difficulty. (See Access arrangements and Special consideration.)

Senior Leadership Team(SLT)
Members of the senior leadership team. In some Centres this group is known as the Senior Management Team.

Senior Management Team
See Senior Leadership Team.

A period in a day in which an examination may take place, i.e. am or pm. Each session is usually of not more than three hours’ duration.

Shelf life
The length of time for which a unit or qualification is accredited. Unless informed to the contrary, current specifications have indefinite shelf lives but a specification may be phased out in the future and notice will be given of the final series when examinations for that subject will be set.

Skills Funding Agency

See Senior leadership team.

Senior management team. See Senior Leadership Team

Special consideration
Consideration given to candidates who have experienced difficulties close to or during examinations. Applications for special consideration must be made to the relevant awarding organisation within seven days of the last paper in a subject being taken.

Special Requirements
Some candidates have special requirements which have to be met by awarding organisations. By meeting these special requirements candidates are able to access examinations without being given an unfair advantage or being at a disadvantage. Special Requirements are normally made known to awarding organisations before an examination series is underway. Examples of special requirements include enlarged (modified) question papers, or candidates being given access to word processors rather than having to write answers manually. See also Access Arrangements.

The complete description – including optional and mandatory aspects – of the content, assessment arrangements and performance requirements for a qualification. A subject specification forms the basis of a course leading to an award or certificate. Formerly known as a ‘syllabus’.

Specification code
A four-digit code that identifies a specification.

Scottish Qualifications Authority. The national body in Scotland responsible for the development, accreditation, assessment and certification of qualifications other than degrees. Formed 1 April 1997.

Staged assessment
Assessment arrangements that test candidates’ understanding of the connections between the different elements of a subject.

Standards review
An investigation and report on the consistency of standards of awards across awarding organisations or over time in a particular subject or sector.

Standards-setting body
An organisation – usually a national training organisation – recognised by the regulatory authorities as responsible for formulating standards of competence for an employment sector and keeping them under review.

A process by which awarding organisations ensure that assessment criteria is applied consistently by teachers, examiners and moderators.

Statement of Entry
A document showing school/college and student information, the qualifications entered and exam details.

Statement of Results
A statement of provisional results provided to students on results publication day.


Subject award
The overall grade for a subject.

Subject Officer (also known as an ‘assessment leader’).
A member of staff of an awarding organisation who is responsible for the administration of one or more specifications. The first point of contact when enquiring about a specific subject qualification.

Succession planning
A process by which one or more successors are identified for key posts and career moves and/or development activities are planned for these successors. Successors may be fairly ready to do the job (short-term successors) or seen as having longer-term potential (long-term successors).

Support Staff
Centre staff who are not teachers. However, within the teaching community literature support staff actually mean teaching support staff often have no reference to other support staff such as exams officers.

See Specification.

Synoptic assessment
A form of assessment that tests candidates’ understanding of the connections between the different elements of a subject. Advanced level award specifications include a mandatory synoptic assessment.