Myth # 7: Selection of work for external moderation

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  • The samples selected for external moderation must be verified as part of the internal moderation process.

  • NZQA requires all internally assessed work to be stored for three years.

  • All work from the previous year must be kept in case it is required for external moderation.

  • NZQA requires hard copies of student evidence.


  • The external moderation sample is selected once internal moderation is complete.
  • NZQA requires a sample for external moderation comprising:
    • six samples of student work for standards where candidates could gain Achieved, Merit or Excellence results. Samples must include:
      • one sample each at N, A, M, E and two more from A, M, E. If a sample at a grade is not available, replace with one at the nearest grade available
      • a selection of samples that is representative of the range of student work that has been assessed
    • Four pieces of student work for standards where candidates can only gain Achieved results.
    • Where the total number of students assessed for the standard is smaller than the minimum requirements, all student work must be submitted.
    • No more than two samples with a reported grade of Not Achieved, for any standard.
  • For external moderation, schools need to store only the selected samples for each standard assessed. These should be kept until the standard is next assessed, or for two years.
  • A standard will not be selected for external moderation if it has not been assessed in the last two years.
  • Digitally generated or stored student evidence can be submitted online for external moderation.

More information

Guidelines for the selection of student work for moderation (PDF, 70KB)

External moderation

Suggestions for managing workload

  • Select your external moderation sample soon after verification of assessment decisions for each standard assessed


  • You should follow your school's procedure for filing or storing the selection of student work.
    • Clearly label work generated digitally and store it in an accessible place in case it is selected for external moderation.
    • Clearly date all evidence so that it can be replaced by new work and discarded as necessary.
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