Teacher assessment moderation: standardisation process

Information for local authorities about the process and training for moderators of key stage 1 and 2 English writing in 2017 to 2018.

The standardisation process

Standardisation provides schools with assurances that local authority (LA) moderation teams have the required knowledge to undertake moderation of key stage 1 (KS1) and key stage 2 (KS2) English writing, ensuring consistency and accuracy across England.

The process also ensures that moderators are familiar with the changes to the KS1 English writing frameworks and KS2 English writing frameworks for use in the 2017 to 2018 academic year.

LAs are required to moderate a minimum of at least 25% of maintained schools, and 25% of academies and participating independent schools that opt to be included in the LA’s external moderation process.

After attending regional training events provided by STA in November and December 2017, moderation managers were able to download and print materials from NCA tools and complete the paper-based standardisation exercise 1. STA have now emailed the outcomes to moderation managers and strategic leads to confirm the results. Moderation managers and/or lead moderators are now responsible for cascading the training to all pool moderators within their LA, to enable them to complete standardisation exercises 2 and 3.

All materials from the events, including slides and accompanying materials, are available now for LAs and schools to download. If LA moderators choose to use these materials for standardisation training, they must not be changed or adapted. We recommend LAs deliver their training and moderators complete the exercises on separate days.

Details of the full processes and standardisation exercises which must be successfully completed are included in the timeline below.

We will issue approval letters to moderators who successfully complete an exercise. Only those who successfully complete an exercise will be approved to moderate in 2018.

Standardisation timeline

Moderation managers and/or lead moderators

Activities Dates
Regional training events for moderation managers/lead moderators November and December 2017
Completion period for standardisation exercise 1 for moderation managers/lead moderators Monday 8 January to Friday 12 January 2018
Outcomes and commentaries for exercise 1 sent to LA strategic leads Friday 19 January 2018
Materials from the events made available to LAs and schools on NCA tools Monday 22 January 2018

Pool moderators

Activities Dates
Registration period for pool moderators Monday 20 November to Friday 19 January 2018
Paper-based standardisation exercise 2 for pool moderators (and any moderation managers/lead moderators who did not successfully complete exercise 1). Moderation leads to return collated exercise responses. Monday 5 February to Friday 9 February 2018
Answers and commentaries for exercise 2 sent to moderation managers Friday 16 February 2018
Paper-based standardisation exercise 3 for pool moderators who did not successfully complete exercise 2. Moderation leads to return collated exercise responses. Monday 5 March to Friday 9 March 2018
Answers and commentaries for standardisation exercise 3 sent to moderation managers Friday 16 March 2018

All moderators

Activities Dates
STA to have issued all approval letters to successful moderators Friday 23 March 2018


If you have any queries about the standardisation process, contact the national curriculum assessments helpline on 0300 303 3013 or email

Published 10 October 2017
Last updated 29 January 2018 + show all updates
  1. Updated to reflect progress through the standardisation process.
  2. Updated following the delivery of the national teacher assessment standardisation training events.
  3. First published.