COVID-19 Adaptation Arrangements for Assessment and Awarding in 2021

Whilst the disruption to learners’ and centres’ activities due to COVID-19 are ongoing, we want to assure you that we are here to continue providing the support you need to meet these challenges.

Our priority remains to mitigate the impact of any restrictions caused by the pandemic to ensure that the quality, validity and reliability of our qualifications and assessments can be maintained for the best possible learner and centre outcomes.

In October 2020, Ofqual joined forces with several organisations involved in assessments, to release a joint statement on Vocational and Technical Qualifications (VTQs), demonstrating their commitment to work together and streamline communications for the current academic year. In response we published our own guidance on acceptable assessment adaptations and the supportive decisions we have for VTQs.

Recently updated to include guidance for SIA Security licence-linked and First Aid qualifications, our own Adaptation Arrangements for Assessment and Awarding in 2020 to 2021 has been developed in collaboration with our stakeholders including sector bodies, centres, our EQAs, and associate subject matter experts. made to remain compliant with Ofqual’s Extended Extraordinary Regulatory Framework principles.

Published on January 13, 2021, Ofqual have now written a letter to the Secretary of State for Education saying:

“Consistent with the approach agreed when we introduced the Extended ERF (and indeed the ERF before that), our starting point is that we cannot prescribe a single approach and that we will develop regulatory arrangements which enable awarding organisations to take decisions regarding the most appropriate approach to awarding based on their qualification design and delivery. We propose to develop guiding principles to underpin awarding organisations’ decisions, and we will put in place arrangements to support the development of consistent approaches across different awarding organisations, and qualifications, as far as possible. The consultation will cover the principles of the regulatory framework that we intend to put in place to meet the policy steers you have provided.”

Our Quality Assurance and Compliance Manager, Paul Kelly, the Quality Assurance Team, and your EQA are here to continue the conversation around assessment adaptations, and we are always ready to support centres with any advice on maintaining high internal quality assurance standards, so please do not hesitate to get in touch today.

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