Coronavirus - information and advice for customers and learners

We understand the challenges and disruption that you are facing during these difficult times and are doing all we can to minimise this and put in place measures to support you.

Guidance documents

NCFE Guidance on summer 2020 awarding

Download this guide to find out more about the principles of estimation, trusted forms of evidence, the 3 key elements of estimation and the process itself. The guide also includes general requirements relating to adaption. We have now added new/updated information on the following which is highlighted in purple:

  • what preparation can be done now
  • centre assessment grades and rank ordering
  • head of centre declaration
  • in-flight learners
  • deadlines for adaption claims.

Full Q&A from our webinar on General Guidance on Estimation and Adaption of Qualifications. Download here.


NCFE Functional Skills guidance

 Download this guide to find out more about the process of estimation, particularly relating to Functional Skills qualifications.

Full Q&A from our webinar on Functional Skills. Download here.

Functional Skills Pass Descriptors

As referenced in our Functional Skills Guidance (above), we have now released our pass descriptors for the reformed Functional Skills maths and English at Level 1 and 2 to enable you to make an informed decision for those learners currently going through the Calculated Assessment Grade process.

NCFE Registration Guidance

Download this guide to find out the specific information you need about the registration of eligible learners and the process you need to follow to do this. 

Please note that the information provided within these guidance documents is correct as of 21 May. We will update the guidance on a regular basis when we have further details to share.

Our assessment approach

NCFE will continue to work closely with Ofqual to develop an assessment approach per qualification based on the guidance given. You can read more about our plans for the assessment of NCFE and CACHE qualifications here. In this section you will find:

  • a full list of NCFE and CACHE qualifications in scope for exceptional arrangements and how they will be assessed – through estimation / calculation, adaption or delay
  • assessment information on Health and Social Care / Childcare qualifications available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • guidance documents on summer 2020 awarding, Functional Skills and registering learners
  • key information regarding eligibility timeframe and providing evidence
  • a top level timeline, outlining some key milestones (subject to regulator approval and in alignment with other awarding organisations)
  • what you can be doing to prepare.

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.

Government updates

The Education Secretary on 9 April issued to Ofqual some clear direction on how the government expects vocational and technical qualifications to be assessed and awarded in the coming weeks and months, confirming that as far as possible these qualifications will be awarded a calculated result. You can read more detail on this here.

22/05/20 - Ofqual consultation for Exceptional arrangements for assessment and grading in 2020

This consultation has now concluded and you can download the full outcome here.

Guidance for Heads of Centre, Heads of Department and teachers on objectivity in grading and ranking

You may find this guidance helpful in relation to help ensure this year’s grading is as fair as possible  Read more

14/05/20 - The awarding of vocational and technical qualifications, and other general qualifications, in summer 2020

Ofqual has now released a guidance document for those working in centres where assessments for vocational and technical (VTQs) qualifications were scheduled to be taken in summer 2020. In this guidance, there is detailed information on what can be expected in the coming weeks and months for the awarding of VTQs. It also sits alongside a comprehensive set of Frequently Asked Questions.

07/05/20 – Guidance on maintaining education and skills training provision: further education providers

Further operational guidance has been released containing detailed information on new arrangements and responses to questions for organisations delivering further education including general further education colleges, sixth form colleges, and other providers. The guidance will be updated and expanded as further information becomes available and in response to questions from colleges and other providers. You can read more here


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.

Download list of NCFE and CACHE qualifications in scope for exceptional arrangements and how they will be assessed

Download now

In this area you will find guidance for:


Review a top level timeline and key milestones.

View Timeline

Register on our webinars

Due to high demand, we now have additional dates:

General guidance on estimation and adaption of qualifications: Wednesday 27 May, 4.00 – 4.45pm, register HERE

Guidance on estimation of Functional Skills: Thursday 28 May, 4.00 – 4.45pm, register HERE