Credentialling Higher School Certificate courses: non-completion (‘N’) determinations and withholding of courses by NESA

ACE 8031

Last Updated: 1 April 2019

NESA may withhold a course if a student is found to have engaged in malpractice, a non-serious attempt or a non-attempt at the examination(s).

Where a student receives a non-completion ('N') determination in a course, that course will not appear on the student’s Record of Achievement. In some cases this will mean that the student will not meet the pattern of study requirements and hence will be ineligible for the award of the Higher School Certificate in that year.

Consequences of a non-completion (‘N’) determination or withholding of a course

An ‘N’ determination or NESA decision to withhold a course will have the following consequences:

  • the course will not contribute in that year to the required pattern of study
  • in a course in which a student is also studying a related Extension course, neither that course nor the related Extension course will contribute in that year to the required pattern of study. However, withholding of an Extension course or a non-completion in an Extension course has no effect on the related 2-unit course.

If the 'N' determination or NESA’s withholding of the course results in a student not satisfactorily completing the required pattern of study, the student may complete the pattern by either repeating that course or by undertaking one or more other courses within the five-year accumulation period.

If a student is found to have engaged in malpractice in examinations for more than one course in any single year, then all courses attempted in that year may be withheld by NESA. Students may, however, meet the requirements for the award of the Higher School Certificate within the five-year accumulation period.

NESA will not withhold the Higher School Certificate or Record of Achievement 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.

The basis for withholding the Higher School Certificate is the Education Act 1990, Section 95.