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Quality Assurance

The ISTD achieved Government recognition in November 2000 and was further recognised to operate in the Qualifications and Credit Framework in 2010 (now the Regulated Qualifications Framework) by the Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (Ofqual). Ofqual is the Regulator for England and works in conjunction with Qualifications Wales, the Regulator in Wales, and the Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment, the Regulator for Northern Ireland, which recognise the ISTD and its qualifications in those countries. 

The Customer Services and Quality Assurance Department monitors the activities of the organisation and working of the examinations processes to ensure that the ISTD meets the criteria of the Regulators in every respect. It also monitors the work of teachers and examiners so the ISTD can provide the best possible level of service to its customers. The department is on hand to provide advice or assistance to those who require it, including giving advice on candidates who may have disabilities and handling the applications for adjustments to examinations that they might need. It also deals with the ISTD scheme for teachers in regard to recognising disclosures through the Disclosure and Barring Service. 

The department checks and records every examination result worldwide, and issues them to teachers. It also now issues all examination certificates both for UK and International examinations as part of a new extra secure system to prevent possible fraud. 

The ISTD is committed to providing an efficient service in stated timescales and the department monitors and reports on the work of the ISTD in order to continuously review and improve performance. 

To download further details of our policies and other related documents, please scroll to the bottom of the page. 


Reminders for Teachers

PRS for Music - Educational Exemptions within Dance Schools - 30 November 2015

PRS for Music has released a policy with regards to educational use within Dance Schools. These guidelines have been created to help clear up any confusion around when relevant exemptions are applicable.

Please be aware that SECTION B is a discretionary policy and no retrospective adjustment can or will be made by PRS for Music in respect of charges made before Licence Year commencing 2016.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact Emily Adams at PRS for Music on 0800 068 4828.


The Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988, as amended (“the 1988 Act”), permits educational establishments and other individuals to use copyright work for educational purposes without a licence.

In general the term “educational establishment” includes all schools and other institutions of further and higher education, including specialist dance and music conservatoires and colleges.

SECTION A: Dance Schools that are educational establishments:

Where a dance school qualifies as an educational establishment, section 34 of the 1988 Act provides that a public performance licence will not be required from PRS (or any other copyright owner) for performances before an audience of teachers and pupils/students at the school (and other persons directly connected with it) provided that the performance is given -

  • by a teacher or pupil in the course of the activities of the dance school; or
  • at the dance school by any person for the purposes of instruction.

SECTION B: Dance tuition provided by persons other than educational establishments:

Where copyright music is used for the purpose of dance tuition, a licence will ordinarily be required by the course provider. However, if the music is performed within the context of and for the purposes of a lesson and/or examination leading to a qualification aligned with Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) Level 1 or above, [for the purposes of calculating charges under the dance tuition session of the current DS tariff and proposed new Fitness and Dance Tariff], PRS is willing to treat such performance as if it were given in circumstances to which section 34 of the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988 applies and accordingly will not make any charge respect of that session.

New Candidates

We would just like to remind teachers, particularly when you have new, very young students, to look carefully at their ages to make sure that they are in the right group for their age.

The entry ages for our examinations vary depending on the type of examination and the Faculty, so please check their ages against what they are working towards, as it is very upsetting if we have to refuse entry close to an examination.

We do recognise that particularly those children who were born in the summer may be a problem if you hold examinations before their qualifying age – so we do make an extra allowance of 60 days from the examination date to include those who otherwise would fall outside the entry criteria.

At the same time, it is a good idea to register all your new candidates with us – it doesn’t matter when they are likely to take an examination, but it will speed up your entry at that time if all your pupils already have their pin numbers.

Candidates with Disabilities

The ISTD encourages candidates with disabilities to enter examinations. Please see the Equal Opportunities policy below for guidance, and the Application for Reasonable Adjustments form which can be downloaded, completed and returned by email or post to the Customer Services and Quality Assurance department.

An Application for Reasonable Adjustments form must be completed and sent to the Customer Services & Quality Assurance department each time the candidate takes an examination as their condition and the requirements of the examination may vary over time. It is important though, that teachers and parents realise that the reason for requesting the information is to make sure that we have time to adjust the examination conditions if necessary, and to fully discuss and inform the examiner. Sometimes it is important for us to just let the examiner know so that they can identify the candidate, but in addition changes can be made depending on the candidate’s disability, for example by allowing extra breaks and more time. It does not change the standard of the marking, as this would be unfair to all other candidates, so it is important that teachers and parents consider the reason for them taking the examination, especially if there is a chance they might not meet the minimum standard. It is important that the process is handled and recorded fully by the department, and teachers are requested to send the Application for Reasonable Adjustments form direct to Customer Services and Quality Assurance at least 3 weeks before they submit the timetable entry, so that adjustments can be made as necessary.

We appreciate that often a child with a disability may wish to take part to be like everyone else, but in some cases, this could mean they will not pass the examination, so in such cases please contact the Customer Services & Quality Assurance Department who are happy to discuss and advise, especially in complex situations. Over 700 such candidates entered our examinations in the last year, at all levels and with many different types of disabilities. Feedback from them shows that they were happy with their experience, the challenge it presented to them, and gained satisfaction in their achievements.

Applications for Reasonable Adjustments and the General Data Protection regulations – September 2018
Changes in data protection means that the information we need to be sent to us in order to make any reasonable adjustment, including just informing the examiner of any medical condition, is regarded as sensitive data under the new GDPR Regulations.

This means that we need the candidate’s signed consent if they are over 16, or the parent’s/carer’s signed consent for a child – NOT yours as the teacher. Application forms have been redesigned to include this, and we must reject them if not properly signed.

The permission is for us to hold the data for as long as necessary including time for any potential appeal, and to convey it securely to the examiner. We will securely destroy the information when no longer required, but may hold anonymised data to be aggregated for reports and analysis.

CD/Tape operators

There have recently been some cases where the CD or tape operator at an examination session has then appeared as a candidate for the examiner.

Teachers are reminded that the operator should not be the teacher, or a candidate, or a parent of a candidate; that they should not face the candidates or communicate with them; and that they should act professionally at all times.

Charges for re-writing report sheets/certificates

Teachers are advised that there may be a charge of £10 for the re-writing of candidate report sheets due to spelling errors made by the teacher, or where report sheets have been lost.

A similar £10 charge will be made for the re-issue of certificates in such cases. It is important therefore that teachers make sure that the checklist and timetable entries are correct on receipt and advise of any corrections before the examination.

Policies and Related Documents

Teachers should check the policy documentation below for the latest version. Please note that these policies are reviewed on a regular basis and are therefore subject to alteration. For further guidance please contact the Customer Services and Quality Assurance department. 


Related Documents

  1. Application for Reasonable Adjustments

    DOC 76kb Published on: 24 April 2019

  2. Application for Special Consideration

    DOC 723kb Published on: 08 January 2014

  3. Statement of Physical Limitation (Members only)

    DOC 78kb Published on: 20 June 2018

  4. ISTD Child Protection Policy (originated June 2008)

    PDF 233kb Published on: 06 May 2015

  5. ISTD Code of Professional Standards and Practice (originated March 2015)

    PDF 262kb Published on: 22 February 2016

  6. ISTD Conflicts of Interest Policy (originated Sept 2012)

    PDF 217kb Published on: 06 May 2015

  7. ISTD Customer Complaints Policy (originated Sept 2000)

    PDF 490kb Published on: 27 August 2019

  8. ISTD Customer Service Policy (originated September 2000)

    PDF 153kb Published on: 06 May 2015

  9. ISTD Endorsement of Resources Policy (originated Sept 2015)

    PDF 354kb Published on: 11 September 2015

  10. ISTD Equality and Diversity Policy (originated July 2016)

    PDF 530kb Published on: 27 August 2019

  11. ISTD Malpractice Policy (originated June 2013)

    PDF 514kb Published on: 27 August 2019

  12. ISTD Voluntary DBS Scheme

    PDF 316kb Published on: 22 April 2015

  13. ISTD Enquiries & Appeals Policy (originated September 2000)

    PDF 533kb Published on: 27 August 2019

  14. Accreditation of Prior Learning Information

    PDF 265kb Published on: 21 September 2016