Customer Engagement Surveys

At NCFE we love to hear your feedback so that we can continue to improve our services and build relationships with you.

We also like to respond to your feedback and below you can see some frequently asked questions that have come as a result of our surveys in recent years.

We also like to respond to your feedback and below you can see some frequently asked questions that have come as a result of our surveys in recent years..

What are you doing to improve the website, make it easier to find things?

We're developing the help section of our website and provide you accurate help and support across a wide range of topics. We've also recently introduced a new 'voice of the customer' platform to our website which allows us to gain a better cross-section and insight of customer feedback; it means that we can listen more to what you tell us so that we can bring you the changes and features you want!

We continue to use a range of online tools to help us understand how you use the website, so we can make sure that it's easy as possible to navigate and find exactly what you're looking for.

Can we have a way of sharing our views/feedback/best practices with NCFE and other Centre’s e.g. online forums/ discussion groups? 

We have recently launched a Facebook page for Exams Officers - we'd like to encourage all of our Exams Officers to share their views and feedback with us and other centres on this page.

We also have a general Feedback page on our website where you can send your feedback and ideas directly to us.

Are NCFE able to provide more local training & networking events?

We host regular engaging webinars which are more accessible and more cost effective for customers saving on travel costs. We have committed to 1 per month. Which have seen good engagement and attendance. We have discussed popular topics such as FELTAG, funding, the Study Programmes, V Certs and our Health and Safety for employment qualifications.

For Assessor and IQA training we can host a bespoke event specifically for you and your colleagues at a location of your choice. If you have limited numbers you can join one of our national events.

Why have you chosen a one price for all approach to the annual admin fee/could a lower fee be charged for smaller centres/those with fewer learners/could fees be paid in instalments?

We charge a single price per centre which covers your approval and the general administration of your centre for the year.  This fee is reduced by 50% for schools, where learner volumes are much lower. We believe this is the fairest approach to structuring fees and one that helps us to keep our qualification fees affordable for you. NCFE has been able to maintain qualification fees with relatively little increase over the last 5 years. We feel that this rewards centres for their business with us.

What are you doing to improve NCFE Functional Skills and make them more comparative to those of other Awarding Organisations?

Functional Skills papers are written to standards that are stipulated by Ofqual and we've had approval for our papers. You may be aware that Ofqual carried out a recent Thematic Review on Functional Skills to address some of the criticism levied at Functional Skills across all of the Awarding Organisations.

We are pleased to be able to say that a lot of the recommendations and actions from Ofqual in relation to NCFE papers had already been addressed by us following an independent review that we commissioned in 2014. Those customers that have used NCFE for a few years will have already seen the changes that we made including our 6 working day turnaround of results, changes to our online assessments and the new formatting that our papers follow.

We are committed to continually improving our Functional Skills offer and listening to our customers to make the changes that you need.

Can more be done to improve streamlining of Quality Assurers and consistency of their approach?

There should be consistency between different quality assurers as they are recruited, trained and standardised in the same way. If you or your centre has a concern relating to a quality assurer or the consistency of the quality assurance process then we would be very interested in talking to you about it to rectify the situation - please call 0191 239 8000 or email your feedback to [email protected]

Do you have any plans to fill the gaps in your portfolio where there are subjects you don't offer and/or where there isn't a clear progression route from Entry Level to Level 3? 

During 2014-2015 we've launched over 280 new products to market in support of your curriculum needs, including our fantastic V Certs and new substantial qualifications as part of the Study Programme for 16-19-year-old learners. In addition, we've reviewed, evaluated and maintained over 100 of our existing qualifications and we're not stopping there. We're committed to developing new products to expand the depth and breadth of provision available within the sectors in which we operate. 

How do you plan to keep your qualifications in line with new government requirements/curriculum changes so they're still recognised by Further/Higher Education institutes and Employers?

All NCFE regulated qualifications have review dates, operational dates and certification end dates, and throughout the lifetime of a qualification we continually review the qualification, and take on board any feedback we receive to ensure that each qualification remains current and valid. The qualification review date is the date by which we'll have carried out a review of the qualification and the date is shown against each qualification on the NCFE website. We review qualifications up to 18 months before their review date, working with sector representatives and experts to make any changes necessary to meet sector needs and to reflect recent policy and industry developments. We're always looking to improve our qualifications so if there's something that you think we could do better, or anything that you think we're doing really well, we'd love to hear from you.

We also understand that it's important that our qualifications are recognised by Further/Higher Education institutes and Employers, so we've been working hard to develop such relationships in support of our qualifications. This year, for the first time, we've secured UCAS points in support of our new Level 3 Diplomas in Photography and Uniformed Services qualifications and we'll be doing more work over the coming months to expand this further across our Level 3 portfolio. In addition, we're also working to increase our work with employers as a way to gain formal endorsements and support for our qualifications.

Are you able to provide help and advice on funding?

In the changing funding landscape, NCFE can offer you qualifications that help you to optimise your budget and meet your learners’ needs. If you have any queries you can talk to our dedicated funding team by calling 0191 239 8002 or emailing [email protected]

The NCFE website also provides some key information on funding and the funding eligibility of NCFE qualifications - you can check out our funding page, or using our qualification finder, choose to only see fundable qualifications.

You can also see the latest funding updates on our blog and news feed.

Will NCFE develop more V Certs or increase their offer of GSCE & A-Level Equivalent Full-time courses that are graded, attract funding and/or performance/UCAS points?

We know that Department for Education changes have vastly reduced the number of vocational qualifications that count in the school performance tables and we understand that this makes it difficult to develop a curriculum that offers both academic and vocational qualifications while also getting recognition for your school. This is why we’ve developed V Certs.

V Certs are a suite of engaging and flexible vocational qualifications that carry performance points in subjects from Art and Design to Computer Technology. V Certs also count in the ‘other approved qualifications’ group for the new Progress 8 measure.

Visit the NCFE V Certs homepage for more information about our Level 1 and 2 V Cert qualifications.

We also understand that your time is precious and that V Certs are new qualifications. We know from working with schools that you want resources that can really help you get the most from the qualifications. This is why we offer a number of free downloadable resources, that will help you deliver any of our V Cert qualifications. For more information visit our V Certs resources page.

We also understand that it's important that our qualifications are recognised by Further/Higher Education institutes , so we've been working hard to develop such relationships in support of our qualifications. This year, for the first time, we've secured UCAS points in support of our new Level 3 Diplomas in Photography and Uniformed Services qualifications and we'll be doing more work over the coming months to expand this further across our Level 3 portfolio.

Are NCFE still on track for A2C and/or will the NCFE Portal be improved to bring it to the standard offered by other AOs?

Yes! NCFE is actively involved in the A2C project and work is going well. Our aim is to go live with a fully integrated system that works for the customer in the best possible way, and we've been talking to customers and have built strong working relationships with the MIS providers to get this right. We're looking forward to the pilot.

We're continuing to make improvements to the NCFE Portal so if you have any ideas please let us know.

If you're interested in working with NCFE to share your experience and give your feedback as A2C progresses or how we can improve the NCFE Portal, we'd love to hear from you.

Please contact [email protected] for more information.

Please can you explain NCFE's marking windows, is there any flexibility?

NCFE has marking windows for qualifications which have external assessments. We try to ensure that our marking windows are aligned to the sector to ensure that you receive your results in a timely manner. Because we work with a number of different types of customers it isn't always possible to have marking windows that meet everyone's needs but we would be very interested in any comments you may have if you feel these could be improved - please call 1019 239 8000 or email [email protected] with your feedback.

How can I be kept informed of changes to NCFE qualifications in line with new government requirements/curriculum changes, in particular if a qualification is being withdrawn?

All NCFE regulated qualifications have review dates, operational dates and certification end dates, and throughout the lifetime of a qualification we continually review it, and take on board any feedback we receive, to ensure that each qualification remains current and valid.  The qualification review date is the date by which we'll have carried out a review of the qualification and the date is shown against each qualification on the NCFE website. We review qualifications up to 18 months before their review date, working with sector representatives and experts to make any changes necessary to meet sector needs and to reflect recent policy and industry developments. We're always looking to improve our qualifications so if there's something that you think we could do better, or anything that you think we're doing really well, we'd love to hear from you. Call us on 0191 239 8000 or email [email protected] with your feedback.

How can we be more involved in qualification development?

Within the product development team we’re really keen to engage with the users of our qualifications and co-create our products with them, rather than for them.

We’d love it if you, or your colleagues, would like to get involved with any future developments.

Your level of involvement is totally down to you and your availability. It could be anything from scoping an idea, to writing content, reviewing content etc. And we can do this remotely or face-to-face depending on the availability of the range of stakeholders involved in the development.

Please contact our Development Team Leader, Leigh Mills at [email protected] so she can discuss this further with you.

Are you planning to introduce more Learning Resources/Support Materials/Past assessment papers? 

We’ve expanded the range of learning resources for our qualifications, which includes our range of Digital Books to support our substantial qualifications that are available to use in our Study Programme package and many more across the portfolio. In 2015-2016 we'll continue to grow our learning resources offer in support of the NCFE portfolio and we'll keep you informed (via the website) when they're launched. Check out our Learning Resources pages for more information.

We are constantly working on improving our bank of sample and past assessment papers, however if the live papers change format or structure then we sometimes have to remove the sample and past papers as they don't represent the live papers and could be misleading. This is unfortunately one of the downsides of the continuous improvements that we make with our assessments, however we continue to ensure that we have a number of sample and past papers for your learners to practice on.