Sitting the examinations

You must be at the examination room at least 30 minutes before the start of an examination. Your seat number will be shown on a list outside the room, together with a seating plan. You should find your seat number before entering the examination room. You will be required to show an invigilator proof of your identity which includes a photograph - for example, a passport.

You will be allowed to enter the examination room 15 minutes before the start of an examination.

You must not take any books or sources of information, other than the permitted examination material, into the examination room. You will be disqualified if you are in possession of unauthorised material.

The times of examinations will be:

There will normally be one Chief Invigilator in every examination venue and one invigilator for every 20 candidates.

If you arrive late, you may not be permitted to enter the examination room. You cannot leave the examination room during the first 30 minutes of an examination, or during the last 15 minutes, unless you are ill. If you leave because of illness, an invigilator must accompany you. You will be allowed to return to the examination room, provided you were supervised during your absence and your examination material remained in the examination room.

You will be given an examination booklet containing the questions and space for your answers. This booklet remains the property of SQA at all times.

It is the candidate's responsibility to arrange their own travel, parking, accommodation and lunch prior to the examination taking place. SQA are not responsible for these arrangements.

Exam instructions

An invigilator will read the following instructions before the examination:

  • Personal belongings such as briefcases or handbags must be left at the front of the room.
  • The use of calculators is not permitted.
  • Mobile phones must be switched off.
  • You must write in ink only.
  • You must enter your name and seat number on the examination booklet, and sign it.
  • No separate time is set aside for the study of questions and you may begin writing immediately. However, you are advised to read through the examination paper before attempting to answer the questions.
  • You are reminded that you may answer questions in any order. It is recommended that you attempt questions that you feel are more straightforward first, so giving yourself the maximum time in which to tackle questions of which you feel less confident.
  • During the examination you must not communicate with any other candidate; you must not copy from his or her booklet; you must not use any book or source of information on the subject of the examination other that the permitted texts; you must not in any way infringe the conditions necessary for the honest and orderly conduct of the examination. You must only write in the examination booklet. You must not remove any sheets from the examination booklet. Breaches of these rules will be reported to SQA. SQA will then take such action as appears appropriate.
  • SQA instructs its examiners to report any case of suspected copying. If the evidence of copying appears indisputable, SQA will cancel ALL subjects of the candidate concerned.
  • Candidates will be advised of the final 30, 15 and 5 minutes of the examination.
  • No candidate may leave the examination room during the first 30 minutes or in the last 15 minutes.
  • Candidates are only required to record references to the 2009 'Carriage of Dangerous Goods And Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations' where one has been specifically asked for in a reference box within the examination paper.
  • Candidates are reminded that illegible handwriting may result in a loss of marks.
  • Invigilators can expel candidates from the examination room should serious disorder occur. The Chief Invigilator will report any incidents of irregular behaviour to SQA.
  • As we have said, SQA instructs its Markers and Invigilators to report any irregular behaviour. SQA may then cancel the papers of any candidate involved and may bar the candidate(s) from sitting the examinations again.
  • To ensure that examination conditions are uniform throughout all centres, no additional information or modification to an examination will be given to candidates without the authorisation of SQA.
  • An Invigilator will open the sealed envelope(s) containing the examination booklets in the examination room in the presences of candidates not more than 10 minutes before the examination start time.
DGSA review process

All material will be collected and the Chief Invigilator will make a report to SQA. The examination books will be sent to the Marker(s). SQA administers the marking process, in consultation with the Department for Transport. Before any results are issued, they will be scrutinised and approved by the Examination Review Board.

Issue of results

We will issue results no later than eight weeks after the examination date. You will be sent a letter showing your results in each subject. Results are identified on a pass or fail basis only. Marks are not issued to candidates. If you have passed three examinations - core, one mode and All Classes paper - you will be issued with a VTC, which you must sign and date when you receive it. Your VTC will be valid for five years, after which you will have to extend its validity if you wish to continue to operate as a DGSA.. You can do this in the same way as gaining your original VTC up to 12 months before it expires.

If you have failed any examination(s), you can apply to SQA to sit again at any later examination date. However, you are advised to wait until you have your results before reapplying. You can hold any subject passes, but you must pass an appropriate combination of three papers within 12 months to qualify as a DGSA. If you do not, any passes become invalid and you will have to attempt the subject(s) again.

In no circumstances will SQA issue candidates' results over the telephone.

Lost certificates

A replacement certificate or results letter may be replaced by SQA on payment of the appropriate fee. This is currently £30. All DGSA VTC holders should complete our replacement certificate form.

Additional subjects

You may decide to extend the scope of your certificate by sitting additional modes. If you are successful, you will receive another certificate reflecting this. The new certificate will be valid for the same time as the original - so, if your original certificate was valid until November 2013, the new certificate will also be valid until then.

Revalidation of a Vocational Training Certificate

Extension of validity certificates will be issued if you have not changed your original mode, ie your original validity date plus five years. If you change your mode, the certificate issued will be new, ie five years validity from the date resulted.

Candidates who are applying to extend the validity of an existing certificate should note that if an extension is required to all subjects currently held, each subject would require to be re-taken regardless of the date achieved. For example, if you achieve Core, Road and All Classes in September 2010, each subject pass is valid until November 2015. If you then achieve Rail in July 2012 the validity of this pass will also be November 2015 (not July 2017). If you chose to revalidate Core, Road and All Classes, the Rail pass will not be carried forward.