Guidance

NCA tools: managing access and troubleshooting

Information for schools and local authorities about managing NCA tools passwords and accounts for the 2018 to 2019 test cycle.

About NCA tools

NCA tools is a secure website designed to support primary schools and local authorities in the administration of national curriculum assessments, including:

  • the phonics screening check
  • key stage 1 (KS1) tests, including accessing electronic versions of test materials
  • key stage 2 (KS2) tests, including making applications for access arrangements, accessing pupils’ results and submitting teacher assessment data

Creating and deleting users

Each school can have one super user account, and up to 4 additional users. The additional users can be made up of ‘Nominated users’ or ‘Nominated +AA users’ (nominated users with access arrangements access).

Local authorities can have 2 super user accounts, and up to 4 ‘Nominated users’ and 4 ‘Nominated +AA users’.

Super users can create and delete nominated user accounts by logging in and clicking ‘Your account’. Each user will be listed with a ‘Delete user’ button. The super user is responsible for reviewing nominated users to ensure the appropriate people have access.

Please ensure:

  • you enter the correct email address for a new user
  • user email addresses are kept up to date
  • your organisation’s system is set up to receive NCA tools emails

To receive NCA tools emails, you need to be able to accept email addresses that end @education.gov.uk. If your system does not accept these email addresses, add assessments@education.gov.uk to your safe senders email list. This will stop spam filters blocking emails from NCA tools.

If a new user does not receive the registration email, contact the national curriculum assessments helpline on 0300 303 3013 or email assessments@education.gov.uk.

Passwords

Do not share NCA tools passwords.

Create a password

Existing users

All passwords expire at the end of each academic year. You will be prompted to create a new password and to reconfirm agreement of the terms and conditions when logging in for the first time in a new academic year.

To create a new password, follow the steps below:

  • click ‘Forgotten your password?’ on the homepage of NCA tools

  • enter your registered email address and click ‘Submit’

  • an email will be sent from assessments@education.gov.uk to your registered email address and will contain a link for a password reset (it may take several minutes to arrive)

  • click on the link in the email and NCA tools will open in a new window

  • in the new window, enter a new password and confirm it by entering it a second time.

  • click ‘Submit and log in’, this will generate a second email to your registered email address, confirming that the password has been changed

If your registered email address has changed, your super user will need to update your account.

New users

If you are a new user, you will need to log in using the temporary password you received from assessments@education.gov.uk. You will then be prompted to change this.

If you have not received an email containing a temporary password, it is likely that the account has not been created successfully. Your super user should follow the steps in the ‘Creating and deleting users’ section to resolve this.

Changing a password

You can change a password at any time by following the steps below.

  • log in to NCA tools

  • click the ‘Change your password’ link from the welcome menu

  • enter the current password in the space provided

  • enter the new password and confirm it by entering it a second time

  • click on the ‘Change password’ button

If you have forgotten your password

Your account will be locked if you enter an incorrect password 5 times. If you have forgotten your password, the super user can reset it or follow the steps below to create a new password:

  • click ‘Forgotten your password?’ on the homepage of NCA tools.

  • enter your registered email address and click ‘Submit’

  • an email will be sent from assessments@education.gov.uk to your registered email address (it may take several minutes to arrive)

  • click on the link in the email and NCA tools will open in a new window

  • in the new window, enter your new password and confirm it by entering it a second time

  • click ‘Submit and log in’, this will generate a second email to your registered email address, confirming that the password has been changed

Managing your details

Registered email address

If you are a super user and do not know your registered email address, contact the national curriculum assessments helpline.

For security reasons, registered email addresses must not be a web-based public email address, such as Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail. These email addresses will not be accepted by the system.

Other details

You can edit your details on the ‘Manage your profile’ page by following the steps below:

  • go to ‘Your account’

  • click the ‘Edit details’ button

  • change any or all of your details

  • click ‘Submit’

Troubleshooting

NCA tools will time out after 10 minutes of inactivity. Inactivity includes staying on the same page for too long without submitting any information. To avoid being timed out, have all relevant information to hand before starting your session. A banner will appear on screen to provide a warning when NCA tools is about to time out. Click ‘OK’ in the banner to extend the session.

When moving around NCA tools, particularly from applications or notifications, it is important not to use the browser’s back button. You should navigate the website using the links on screen or the ‘Back’ button within the application or notification form.

When using NCA tools, you should only have the website open in one browser window. Do not open NCA tools in multiple browser windows or tabs.

When starting a new application or notification, it is essential that each application or notification form is created from the beginning. Do not submit an application and then use the browser’s back arrow to start a new form.

You can often resolve any problems that you may have in accessing the website by clearing your browser history, deleting cookies and ensuring you turn off pop up blockers.

Help and support

Standards and Testing Agency

For general enquiries about national curriculum tests.

Published 26 October 2017
Last updated 29 October 2018 + show all updates
  1. Updated for the 2018 to 2019 test cycle.
  2. First published.