External Quality Assurance COVID-19 FAQs

We understand and appreciate the range of enquiries we are receiving from our centres during these challenging times and we are continuing to work closely with our education providers, employers, and learners, to try and provide answers and solutions to all of your concerns and challenges as quickly as possible. We are monitoring guidance from Ofqual on these matters and will share further announcements made by the government as they happen.

To supplement our direct correspondence support, we will be publishing answers to some of our most frequently asked questions (FAQs)* here for you.

*We will be updating this page regularly, so we encourage you to please check-in and stay up to date with our latest information here (last updated 14/01/2021).

Can assessments be postponed by centres?

As your Awarding Organisation, we will support and stand by our centres’ decisions to postpone assessments where they feel this is a necessity due to the direct impact of COVID-19.

Where assessments have been postponed, we know centres are doing all that they can to provide support to their learners, reassuring them that these will be reinstated as soon as possible, to allow learners to quickly pick up where they left off.

Are there any further updates to EQA visits at this time?

EQA visits are being converted to remote activities where practical, or otherwise being postponed where this is not, and we thank our centres for their support and flexibility at this time.

Can I now request a face-to-face visit?

  • If a centre is unable to provide digital evidence for remote EQA access, then a postal sample, or in-person pick up of materials is acceptable – provided government social distancing and safety measures are strictly adhered to.
  • If a remote EQA activity cannot be carried out in a valid way (for example, the centre is unable to provide access to the necessary learner evidence and records or is closed) then we will look to delay the activity until access can be given – provided that learners will not be disadvantaged as a result (for instance, causing certification delays which may affect promotion opportunities). 
  • If a face-to-face visit is considered urgent, unavoidable, and is deemed logistically possible after discussions with our QA team, then the centre must give assurance that government COVID-19 guidelines on safe working will be adhered to by signing our EQA Visit COVID-19 Risk Management Declaration form and provide a Centre Risk Assessment of the planned visit. (COVID-19 Risk Management Declaration and Centre Risk Assessment of the visit must be emailed to your EQA 15 working days prior to the visit date)
  • The visiting EQA will then review the Centre’s Risk Assessment document to ensure the measures in place satisfy the government guidelines. If any concerns are raised following receipt of the risk assessment, clarification will be sought from the centre.

The SFJ Awards EQA Team are here to support you during these difficult times.
Please contact us for advice on any issues or to keep us updated.

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