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10.4 External assessment venues

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Schools are the external assessment venues for:

  • students enrolled in subjects offered by the school as the MLP, even if they are enrolled in one or more subjects at another learning provider
  • other students as required by the QCAA, e.g. students enrolled with a distance education provider as their MLP.

Students who are approved to sit their external assessment at a venue other than their MLP will be required to show photo identification to the venue supervisor. For more information about learning providers and MLPs, see Section 13.2.2: Learning providers' responsibilities and Section 6.3: Roles and responsibilities for AARA.

10.4.1 Variations to venue

Students are generally expected to sit external assessments at their MLP. The QCAA recognises that in certain circumstances it is appropriate for a student to sit an external assessment at an alternative venue. Examples may include circumstances where:

  • an eligible student is unable to sit the assessment at their MLP
  • the student’s MLP
    • is not suitable as an external assessment venue, e.g. due to natural disaster or excessive noise
    • is a distance education provider (Note: Students who are studying a subject/s through distance education, but the school of distance education is not their MLP, will sit their assessment at their MLP.)
    • has students located across multiple campuses.

In these circumstances, schools and/or students should apply to the QCAA for a variation to venue.


If a student or cohort is unable to sit the external assessment at their MLP, the school should apply for a variation to venueto request an alternative venue. Applications are completed on the relevant online form (for either schools or students) at Variation to venue.

All student applications must be endorsed by the principal.

Student applications may also require supporting documentation, such as:

  • a copy of official correspondence advising that the student has been selected to represent their country or state for an official duty, including relevant departure and return dates
  • evidence from the student’s parent/carer or employer verifying the need for the student to be outside Queensland during the assessment period
  • a medical certificate/other medical documentation.

Applications must be made in the year in which the student will be sitting the external assessment, and must be received by the QCAA after the External assessment timetable is published, and no later than the dates for a variation to venue application published in the SEP calendar.

Before a variation to venue application can be approved, the QCAA must be satisfied that the supervisor and venue are suitable. Each case will be assessed on its own merits.


Costs will be payable by the school, student or parent/caregiver in the following circumstances:

  • School variations — If a school requires a venue variation, the school must pay the room hire and storage costs for the alternative venue.
  • Individual student variations — If the student’s application is approved, the QCAA will invoice the student for administration costs if required. If there is a venue fee, the student or parent/caregiver will be responsible for these costs. For more information see Variation to venue.

Eligibility requirements

Student eligibility

To be eligible to apply for a variation to venue, a student must be:

  • enrolled at an approved Queensland education institution
  • unable to sit the assessment at their MLP for reasons beyond their control.

A variation to venue may be approved if the student:

  • is geographically isolated
  • is representing Australia or their state in an official capacity at a sporting, academic or cultural event
  • is currently residing outside of Queensland
  • has an illness or injury that prevents them from attending their MLP
  • has another valid reason for requesting an alternative venue.

Note: Events such as family holidays, birthdays and weddings are not considered valid reasons.

Venue eligibility

Examples of suitable venues include educational institutions and government organisations.

To be eligible, the proposed venue must be able to:

  • provide a secure, quiet space where the student is able to complete the assessment/s
  • agree in writing to all QCAA assessment requirements
  • allow access to QCAA-authorised persons to administer or quality assure the assessment processes as required
  • confirm security arrangements for materials, as outlined on External assessment variation to venue: Information for schools factsheet and in the application form.
Supervisor eligibility

Before agreeing to be nominated, a proposed supervisor should be fully aware of the role and responsibilities of the supervisor position. To be eligible, the proposed supervisor must:

  • not be a family member or relative (including by marriage), family friend, colleague of a family member, or tutor of the student
  • not have a conflict of interest
  • be able to communicate in English
  • meet the criteria listed in the External assessment variation to venue: Information for schools factsheet and in the application form
  • have access to suitable computer, printing and scanning technology to receive and/or return assessment materials.

The QCAA will contact the proposed supervisor directly to confirm their eligibility for the position.

Senior External Examination venues

It is the role of Queensland schools and teaching centres to host the Senior External Examination for their own students who are enrolled for tuition. These examinations are hosted using their own venue’s rooms without cost to the QCAA.

Adult students who nominate to study independently, or with a personal tutor, will need to sit their Senior External Examination/s at an available examination venue.

See Senior External Examination for more information.

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