Planning ahead for 20-21

Our approach to mitigating Covid-related risks in 2020/21

As colleagues will be aware, on 22 September, Ofqual, FAB, JCQ and other sector partners issued a joint statement on how awarding organisations would work together and communicate with centres to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on technical and vocational assessment and awarding 2020/21 – working under the Extended ERF.

In that statement, we committed that awarding organisations would, by 23 October 2020, begin to communicate with colleges and training providers about the ways in which we will adapt our assessment and awarding processes to address the challenges posed by the pandemic.

We are currently finalising our plans for the year, in consultation with colleagues and customers across the sector – and learning the lessons of the year just completed.  In doing that we are thinking carefully about:

  • whether and how we might need to adapt any of our qualifications
  • whether and how we might need to adapt our assessments, at different times and under different pandemic-related scenarios; and, crucially,
  • how we can support centres in a much wider set of ways to support students through the year ahead including through eg the resources and support we might offer

We are very keen to take customers’ advice on all of the above.  If you have questions or suggestions that you would like us to consider, please contact our customer support team on 0191 239 8000 or by emailing [email protected].   Having taken your feedback, we will communicate detailed advice by the agreed 23 October date.

Conscious that centres are already working with learners, and need an early steer from us on certain points, we have already taken the decision to begin to make changes to our external assessment timetable.  Please see details of these changes below.


Qualification adaptations in 2020/21

As referenced above, we are currently in consultation across the sector to look at how we might need to adapt our qualifications for the year ahead. We are working on qualification specific guidance, and further information will be uploaded to this page as it is available.

We have had some specific queries on adaptations for the NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in the Principles and Practice of Dental Nursing and you can find more information on that here.


External Assessment Timetable in 2020/21

We are continuing to work closely with centres in order to support learners and ensure that they are not disadvantaged by the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic.  As a result, it has been necessary to add flexibility to our external assessment timetable.  We are aware of concerns from some centres about the impending assessments scheduled for October and November in terms of the readiness of learners following disrupted learning and teaching.  However, we are mindful that many centres and learners are preparing to sit the assessments and expect them to go ahead.  We have therefore introduced the following changes to our external examination timetable.

  • External assessments scheduled for October and November will go ahead as planned.:
    • NCFE L2 Cert in Business and Enterprise 05/10/2020
    • NCFE L1/2 Tech Award in Art & Design 16/11/2020
    • NCFE L1/2 Tech Award in Health and Fitness 18/11/2020
    • NCFE L1/2 Tech Award in Performance Skills 25/11/2020
    • NCFE L1/2 Tech Award in Engineering 26/11/2020
    • NCFE L1/2 Tech Award in Business and Enterprise 27/11/2020

However, an additional opportunity to sit the above examinations will be added to the timetable for the summer.*

  • NCFE CACHE L2 Tech Award in Child Dev and Care 01/10/2020 will go ahead as planned.

However, an additional opportunity for this assessment will be scheduled in February.*

  • NCFE external assessments scheduled for January will be rescheduled to February:
    • NCFE L3 Applied General in Art and Design 11/01/2021-19/02/2021
    • NCFE L1 Technical Award in Interactive Media 11/01/2021-19/02/2021
    • NCFE L2 Technical Award in Interactive Media11/01/2021-19/02/2021

We will confirm the dates of additional opportunities and rescheduled external assessments and update the timetable as soon as possible.

*The overall number of opportunities to sit external assessments for these qualifications remain as two.  Centres may need to reconsider their bookings for earlier assessments should they wish to take up the additional summer opportunities.


Functional Skills information

Read the latest information on our Functional Skills offer here. We are actively working on an option to support remote invigilation for Functional Skills and will be ready to communicate more about this with our customers in the coming weeks.


Independent self study assessments for CACHE qualifications

For the following qualifications, centres should be submitting their external assessment paperwork electronically only rather than in physical form to the office. This applies to all CACHE assessments for the Autumn 2020 window, as listed below:

Qualification code: 601/3999/7
Qualification name: NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Childcare and Education
Assessment code: EYE/EPS
Submission date: 25/09/2020

Qualification code: 601/4000/8
Qualification name: Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (EYE)
Assessment code: EYE/EA
Submission date: 21/09/2020

Qualification code: 601/2147/6
Qualification name: Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (EYE)
Assessment code: EYE/RS
Submission date: 24/09/2020

Qualification code: 601/2147/6
Qualification name: Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (EYE)
Assessment code: EYE/EE
Submission date: 05/10/2020 

Qualification code: 601/6109/7
Qualification name: Level 3 Certificate in Health and Social Care
Assessment code: HSC/CEA
Submission date: 22/09/2020

Qualification code: 601/6110/3
Qualification name: Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care
Assessment code: HSC/EDEA
Submission date: 07/10/2020

Qualification code: 600/7093/6
Qualification name: Level 3 Extended Diploma for Children's Care, Learning and Development (Wales and NI)
Assessment code: CCLD
Submission date: 23/09/2020 and 26/11/2020

Centres can request a file sharing link by emailing [email protected]. A member of the Assessment Delivery team will then provide information and a link to which the centre can upload their assessment paperwork.