What is endorsement?
Endorsement is the annual quality assurance process that ensures the quality and comparability of internal assessment for General, General (Extension) and Applied (Essential) subjects in the new QCE system.
What type of internal assessment requires endorsement?
What subjects require endorsement?
All General subjects (including Extension subjects), and Essential English and Essential Mathematics require endorsement of summative internal assessment.
Assessment instruments in Applied subjects (other than Essential English and Essential Mathematics) do not require endorsement. Instead, assessment will be quality assured through annual moderation meetings. These will include a review of judgments about student responses.
What is an assessment instrument?
For endorsement, an assessment instrument comprises:
- item/s constructed in the endorsement application
- the ISMG (included as a PDF attachment)
- stimulus, if required
- an answer scheme or indicative responses, as appropriate.
What is the endorsement application?
The endorsement application is the ICT platform through which endorsement processes are completed. Schools use the endorsement application in the QCAA Portal to:
- develop and submit assessment instruments for endorsement
- receive endorsement decisions
- develop comparable assessment.
How frequently do assessment instruments need to be endorsed?
All three summative internal assessment instruments need to be endorsed annually.
Developing and submitting assessment instruments
When do schools submit their internal assessment instruments for endorsement?
The endorsement application opens at key dates during the year for schools to develop and submit their summative assessment instruments. All submitted assessment instruments are evaluated at an endorsement meeting. See key dates for endorsement for more information.
When and how will endorsement decisions be communicated to schools?
Endorsement decisions are communicated to schools after the endorsement meeting for each event. All schools are notified of endorsement decisions on the same day, in the week following the endorsement meeting. See key dates for endorsement for more information.
What support does the QCAA provide to schools if an assessment instrument is not endorsed the first time?
If an assessment instrument is not endorsed the first time, the QCAA provides directives and the process and timeline for resubmission. Schools seeking additional guidance may contact the lead endorser. Schools are provided the contact details for the lead endorser with the endorsement decision.
What further support does the QCAA provide if an assessment instrument is not endorsed a second time?
If an assessment instrument cannot be endorsed a second time, the chief endorser works with the school to enable them to make suitable changes to their assessment instrument to meet the endorsement criteria.
If endorsement cannot be achieved for multiple subjects, the QCAA works with the school’s principal. The QCAA will support schools to develop assessment instruments but will not provide schools with endorsed instruments to use.
Can schools submit QCAA sample assessments for endorsement?
Schools must not use QCAA sample assessments in place of their own assessment instruments. QCAA sample assessments are provided as guides only — they suggest what an endorsed instrument might look like, providing schools with a starting point to develop assessment that meets the needs of their school context. Schools must not use these samples for endorsement as they are not secure and may have been viewed by students, which compromises the validity of the assessment.
Can a school submit the same internal assessment instrument for endorsement as another school?
Schools are required to develop and submit their own summative internal assessment instruments for each subject requiring endorsement. While it is valuable for teachers and school clusters to work together to share ideas and build common understandings about their syllabus and assessment design, different schools must not submit identical internal assessment instruments for endorsement. Summative internal assessment instruments need to be developed for the school’s local context, and take into consideration teacher expertise, available resources and student interest.
Is there an assessment bank for teachers and schools to use?
No. The QCAA has not developed an assessment bank. Instead, sample assessment instruments and instrument-specific quality assurance tools have been developed for teachers and schools to use as a stimulus to guide and quality assure assessment planning. These are available in the QCAA Portal.
Please note that schools should not use QCAA sample assessment instruments in place of their own assessment instruments. Summative internal assessment instruments need to be developed for the school’s local context, and take into consideration teacher expertise, available resources and student interest.
Can a summative internal assessment instrument include the use of colour?
Yes. Schools can choose to provide students with colour or black and white copies of the assessment instrument.
Can a school use a word-processed version of the summative internal assessment instrument to distribute to students?
No. Summative internal assessment instruments administered to students must only be printed from the endorsement application in the QCAA Portal to ensure the integrity of the instrument. Attachments included with the assessment instrument can be provided in their original format instead of the PDF required for submission.
If a school has more than one campus, does it need to submit multiple assessment instruments for endorsement?
The number of campuses a school has does not affect the number of assessment instruments required to be submitted for endorsement. An exception to this is if each campus has a different QCAA school code.
Amendments to endorsed assessment instruments
Can a school amend an internal assessment instrument after it has been endorsed?
Yes. A school may amend an internal assessment instrument after it has been endorsed. This process will be managed through the endorsement application in the QCAA Portal. For more information, see Section 9.5.3 of the QCE and QCIA policy and procedures handbook.
When might a school require an amendment to an endorsed summative internal assessment instrument?
After endorsement, a school may wish to amend an endorsed assessment item before the summative internal assessment instrument is administered with the cohort of students. An amendment to an endorsed summative internal assessment instrument may include substitution of stimulus items, questions or topic. An amendment is not an adjustment for access arrangements and reasonable adjustments (AARA), nor is it used to cater for students who were absent at the time of assessment. For more information, see Section 9.5.3 of the QCE and QCIA policy and procedures handbook.
What happens when an amended assessment instrument cannot be endorsed?
When an amended assessment instrument cannot be endorsed, the school is required to administer the endorsed summative internal assessment instrument. For more information, see Section 9.5.3 of the QCE and QCIA policy and procedures handbook.
Comparable assessment instruments
What is a comparable assessment instrument?
A comparable assessment instrument is an alternative assessment instrument that is used when an endorsed assessment instrument cannot be used for an individual student or small groups of students within the cohort due to illness or misadventure or when managing a school-approved absence for an examination. The comparable assessment instrument provides students the opportunity to demonstrate the assessment objectives, instrument specific marking guide (ISMG) or instrument specific standards matrix (ISSM) and topics of the syllabus. For more information, see Section 7.4 of the QCE and QCIA policy and procedures handbook.
What changes are acceptable in the development of a comparable assessment instrument?
Schools are best placed to decide how different the comparable assessment instrument needs to be when compared to their endorsed assessment instrument. These changes may include replacement of items or variation to:
- the stimulus material
- text within items
- numerical values within items
- parameters within short response items.
For more information, see Section 7.4 of the QCE and QCIA policy and procedures handbook.
Endorsement and AARA
Do assessment instruments need to be resubmitted for endorsement if a reasonable adjustment is required for one or more students?
No. The access arrangements and reasonable adjustments (AARA) process is not a part of endorsement. Principals consider the limitations and restrictions and functional impact of the disability, impairment, medical condition or other circumstances and the specific types of adjustments that allow each student to access the assessment and/or demonstrate what they know or can do. Schools then apply for or report adjustments to endorsed tasks for each individual eligible student as required. For more information, see Section 6.4 of the QCE and QCIA policy and procedures handbook.