A NSW Government website
Assessment Certification Examination (ACE)
NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA)

Satisfactory completion of an HSC course: non-completion (‘N’) determinations

ACE 8021

Last Updated: 1 April 2019

NESA has delegated to principals the authority to determine if students seeking the award of the Higher School Certificate at their school have satisfactorily completed each Board Developed and/or Board Endorsed Course in which they are enrolled in accordance with the requirements issued by NESA.

Principals therefore will determine if there is sufficient evidence that each student has applied himself or herself with diligence and sustained effort to the set tasks and experiences provided in the course by the school.

For post-compulsory students, principals may determine an appropriate attendance pattern(s) that will allow each student to achieve the outcomes of each course being studied.

While NESA does not stipulate attendance requirements, principals may determine that, as a result of absence, the course completion criteria may not be met. Clearly, absences will be regarded seriously by principals who must give students early warning of the consequences of such absences. Warning letters must relate the student’s absence to the non-completion of course requirements.

'N' determinations may not be made for reasons related to school management or codes of conduct, such as non-payment of fees, participation in prohibited activities, non-wearing of school uniform or misuse of school equipment.