External moderation for Secondary Schools/Kura

National external moderation provides an assurance that assessment decisions, in relation to assessment standards, are consistent nationally.

External moderation of internally assessed standards in secondary schools/Kura ensures that assessment judgements (marking of students' work) are at the national standard.

Where issues are identified with assessor judgements, the assessment materials used (tasks, activities or tests) may be moderated to check that they are at the national standard.

Schools/Kura can access the report for each standard, including moderation outcomes, through the External Moderation Application.

Each school has an annual submission date for external moderation. The submission date is confirmed early in the new year when schools are advised which standards have been selected for moderation.  Schools can suggest standards to be considered for inclusion towards the end of the current year. Schools may choose to submit materials for moderation earlier than their annual submission date.

Schools must store material until it is replaced with new material, or until 2 years have elapsed, whichever is sooner.

Using the External Moderation Application, schools need to submit the following:

  • A copy of the task and/or supporting resources
  • A copy of the assessment schedule
  • Selected samples of student work+ consisting of the key materials that the assessor has used to make an assessment judgement.


+Selection of student samples:

  • Six samples of student work for standards where Not Achieved, Achieved, Merit or Excellence grades are available. Samples should include:
    • one sample each at N, A, M, E  (if a sample at a grade is not available, replace with one at the nearest grade available, but only send a maximum of two samples at N). Where possible these should be a typical response for the grade, not borderline.
    • two more from A, M, E. These could be borderline or particular pieces of work you wish to have moderated.
  • Four samples of student work for standards where only Not Achieved or Achieved results are available.

Where the total number of students assessed for the standard means there is insufficient samples of learner evidence available all student work must be submitted, but only a maximum of two samples at N.


For more information about the selection and moderation requirements see the Assessment (including Examination) Rules for Schools with Consent to Assess.


Mythbuster 7 – Selection of work for external moderation (PDF, 269KB)

Questions and answers about selecting work for moderation (PDF, 70KB)

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