Coronavirus - information and advice for customers and learners


COVID-19 FAQs

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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.  As you are acutely aware, this is a constantly evolving situation and we will continue to adapt our approach as new governmental, health authority and regulatory guidance comes to light, and we will keep you informed every step of the way.

NCFE is working closely with Ofqual and JCQ to develop a fair and consistent approach to assessment, ensuring that centres have clear guidance on the plan for each qualification. This will include how to apply an appropriate grade for learners who haven’t been able to complete their assessment. Work is already underway and we’ll provide more detail in the coming days.  Please see our FAQs which are updated daily for further information, and below for Ofqual’s full statement. Thank you for your patience.

We appreciate that you’ll have many questions and concerns on delivery and supporting your learners and apprentices, please use this central hub to access the latest information and guidance.

On this page you will find FAQs for:

03/04/20 - FAQ document updated

27/03/20 - Latest update for customers

Ofqual has published a statement on their website regarding arrangements for Vocational and Technical qualifications this year:

“We recognise learners on vocational and technical courses urgently need reassurance about how their qualifications will be assessed and awarded in the coming weeks and months. We are working as quickly as possible to develop an approach which enables learners to get the qualifications they deserve and that they need to progress.

For the wide range of vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs) used for progression and taken in schools, colleges and training providers, we are considering how similar arrangements to those set out for GCSEs, AS and A levels could be applied. Some form of teacher calculated grade, or other form of estimation based on assessment that has already taken place, will be possible in many cases. For other qualifications, it might be more appropriate to adapt the assessment or delivery arrangements so that everyone can have confidence in the outcome. And for some qualifications that signify occupational competence or award a licence to practise in safety-critical industries, assessment might need to be delayed in order to ensure public safety and meet the needs of employers.

There are many different types of qualification, awarding organisations, learner groups and assessment approaches, so the landscape is complex and it is clear that one size will not fit all circumstances.

We are working urgently with the Department for Education, awarding organisations, other regulators and the wider sector to develop and publish a clear approach for the different categories of VTQs in the coming days.”

At NCFE, we remain committed to communicating our plan for each qualification as soon as we can, as we continue to work on this as per the above. Thank you for your continued patience.

27/03/2020 - Latest update for learners

Following government guidelines, all NCFE and CACHE external assessments are now cancelled or rescheduled until further notice. The government has been very specific around the plans for GCSE and A Levels. Our qualifications fall into the category of Performance Table Qualifications (PTQ) and Vocationally Related Qualifications (VRQ). We are therefore working with Ofqual to come up with a contingency plan per qualification and will communicate this with your school, college or training provider when this is finalised.

The options we’re considering are whether to reschedule the assessment, adapt the assessment or use teacher estimations for marks and grades. Please be assured that we have you, the learner, at the heart of all our decisions when considering our options and we aim to ensure the least amount of impact during these unprecedented times. We understand your concern and we appreciate your patience.