National Protocols for Test Administration
All states and territories administer the tests in accordance with nationally agreed protocols. The National Protocols for Test Administration document provides detailed information on all aspects of the administration of the tests. It specifies security requirements and uniform processes and procedures to ensure students complete the tests under similar conditions, which in turn will ensure that the results of the tests will be comparable across Australia.
In cases where individual students with disability require adjustments to access the tests, these adjustments are provided at the school in consultation with the relevant Test Administration Authority. Further information about adjustments is available in the Adjustments for Students with Disability section.
You can now download the 2013 National Protocols for Test Administration.
In order to maintain the integrity of the tests and the testing process these protocols must be followed carefully. Breaches of the National Protocols for Test Administration and allegations of cheating or improper behaviour are taken seriously and investigated thoroughly. Substantiated cases of improper behaviour may be reported publicly. To assist Test Administration Authorities and schools to understand what appropriate/inappropriate behaviours are, a code of conduct is included in the National Protocols for Test Administration, along with information on how breaches are dealt with.
The NAPLAN code of conduct is designed to uphold the integrity of the tests by outlining the fundamental principles upon which the tests are based. Undermining test integrity by breaching these principles, or the National Protocols for Test Administration, will lead to an investigation and, if allegations are substantiated, to potentially serious consequences. The code provides a summary of acceptable and unacceptable behaviours. At all times educators must ensure that tests are administered in a way that is fair and equitable for all students, in order to provide an accurate assessment of students’ capabilities at the time of testing.
ACARA, in cooperation with states and territories, will continue to review the National Protocols for Test Administration to ensure that tests are delivered in an appropriate and consistent manner across all states and territories. ACARA has full confidence in the ability of schools to administer the tests professionally.
Nationally consistent guidelines to support the investigation of test incidents have also been developed. The Guidelines for Managing Test Incidents document is available in the Test Integrity section.
2013 National Protocols for Test Administration
There are a number of important clarifications added to the 2013 National Protocols for Test Administration. In order to ensure that schools are across all changes and updates, principals and test administrators should read carefully through the entire document.
Overview of changes
A summary of the main clarifications is provided below, but this should not be used as a substitute for reading the updated document.
Key 2013 clarifications:
- schools should contact their TAA for specific advice if the Protocols do not provide adequate guidance or if there are problems in meeting the requirements in the Protocols
- host schools need to provide booklets for visiting students
- principals must notify their TAA immediately if test material security has been breached in any way, including in transit
- international fee paying students are identified by reference to the Education Services for Overseas Students Regulations 2001
- a student may have access to more than one disability adjustment
- poor handwriting in itself is not sufficient justification for the use of a Scribe
- explicit guidance on the role of a Scribe
- students using a Scribe must be aware of the need to advise of punctuation
- electronic test format materials are ordered in advance from TAAs
- Support Persons must adhere to the same test administration protocols as test administrators with respect to appropriate behaviours for administering the tests and providing instructions to students
- black and white books may to be copied onto coloured paper as disability adjustments
- the second security week is for schools that have been sanctioned to vary test dates, and not for catch up sessions for individual students
- incidents or suspicion of student cheating must be reported to the TAA as soon as possible
- catch up tests are not permitted for students who abandon the tests once they have started
- students removed from the test room must continue the test immediately in another room, or be deemed to have finished the test
- unused, un-named copies of test materials can be retained by schools for future reference and internal educational purposes
- investigations of breaches of protocol with respect to cheating must consider whether there was 'intent' to gain an advantage
A statement of skills being tested has also been included, to assist with decisions on suitability of adjustments for students with disability.