Coronavirus - information and advice for customers and learners

On 9 April, the Secretary of State for Education advised Ofqual that assessments for vocational and technical qualifications cannot proceed as planned this summer, given the Covid-19 pandemic.

With this in mind, we would like to update you on our plans for the assessment of NCFE and CACHE qualifications, under the guidance provided and in line with our vision - every learner will gain access to their appropriate achievement prior to September 2020 and can move on as planned to the next stage of their lives.


Results release and appeals

We now have a dedicated page which gives full information on results release, next steps and what to do if the results aren’t as expected, including our appeals process. Read more.


Submission of Centre Assessed Grades

The extended deadline for submitting CAGs was 24 June and we’d like to extend a big thank you to all of the centres who made huge efforts to complete this process in a limited timescale, under difficult circumstances. If you submitted your grades prior to the deadline, we can confirm that your learners will receive their results within the published results window. If there were any issues with your submission, you should have received an email from us to ensure any corrections are made and that the process is fully complete.

If you’d like more information on this process, this can be accessed here.


Adaptation and delay

For qualifications which have a mitigation of adaptation or delay, the below guide provides information for over 125 of our adapted qualifications which you can view by sector. This document has now been updated to include the 4 qualifications which were previously out of scope and now have a primary mitigation of adapt (as highlighted in the document):

NCFE Guidance on summer 2020 awarding: Adaptation and Delay

We’ve received some queries around the 31 July deadline for adapted assessments, with some extension requests.  The reason for 31 July deadline is to enable us to release our results in line with Centre Assessed Grades (CAGs), supporting learners to move on as planned to the next stage of their lives from September 2020.

However if you’re unable to meet this deadline and do not require results in the 13-20 August window for your learners’ progression, we can still accept adaptations to assessments after the deadline (31 July) and results will be issued (following EQA sign off) but without a guaranteed results release date.

We do expect that once we move into September, there will be no further need for adaptations to assessments. Where centres are unable to operate as normal after September, this can be reviewed on a case by case basis and you can raise this with your External Quality Assurer (EQA).


Our assessment approach and timescales

NCFE continues to work closely with Ofqual on an assessment approach per qualification based on the guidance given. We are committed to supporting you through this journey and are aligning our processes and timelines as closely as possible to JCQ and other awarding organisations to help ensure this has as minimal impact as possible on your resources. It’s important to note that we are bound by the guidelines and timelines set by Ofqual, and are reviewing and adapting our own processes to ensure compliance.

It might be useful for you to take a look at a top level timeline, outlining some key milestones in the coming months.

Mitigated assessments

You can access a full list of NCFE and CACHE qualifications in scope for exceptional arrangements and how they will be assessed – through estimation / calculation, adaptation or delay (rescheduling). In scope qualifications pertain to those at entry level to level 6 and approved for funding as defined by the ESFA and Ofqual.


Government updates

Latest updated:

14/07/20 - Providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

This document sets out guidance for apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisations in response to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).

18/06/20 - Letter from Sally Collier, Chief Regulator at Ofqual, regarding the awarding of results in vocational and technical qualifications in summer 2020.


Resources

The government has published some guidance on online educational resources for schools and parents to help children to learn at home. You can access this here.

We have created a list of resources which can be used by learners, parents and centres. These resources can be found here.

You can also access other elearning support and useful resources through Skills Forward. This includes free access to our Skills Review platform for EPA Plus customers to help assess learners’ gateway readiness.

We understand that the Covid-19 pandemic brings a huge range of challenges when it comes to mental health and general wellbeing. With this in mind, we’ve collated a list of websites and resources which may prove to be a useful reference tool during this time and you can access this here.

In this area you will find guidance for:

 

Results release

Keep up to date on information on results release and the appeals process

Find out more...

Functional Skills results

Functional Skills results were released on 31 July and you can find more information on results and appeals on our dedicated page here

Read more...

Timeline

Review a top level timeline and key milestones.

View Timeline...

Download list of NCFE and CACHE qualifications in scope for exceptional arrangements and how they will be assessed - have now added additional in-scope qualifications (highlighted)

Download now...

External assessment timetable

Details of our next external assessment opportunities can be found in our external assessment timetable.

Read more...