Covid response hub – 2020-21

Today (25 February), Ofqual will publish the outcome to their recent consultation on ‘Alternative Arrangements for the Award of VTQs and other General Qualifications in 2021’. We’re committed to keeping you at the forefront of all developments in terms of what the consultation means to you, as well as NCFE’s response, as we work together towards learner success for 2021.

These pages will be updated later today to provide you with more information on our approach for 2020-21. 

At NCFE, four principles have driven our response to the pandemic:

  • Supporting learning progress: in looking at our qualifications, assessment methods and the wider support we offer we have focussed relentlessly on how we can support learners’ achievement and progression in spite of the pandemic.
  • Maintaining rigour and robustness: particularly in the current circumstances, we understand the importance of rigour, robustness and maintaining the validity of our qualifications as validation of learners’ knowledge, skills and understanding.
  • Streamlining and supporting centres: we appreciate that centres and your staff are working in acute circumstances to support your learners – so we need to help you by making our awarding arrangements as simple and streamlined as possible, and by providing you with exceptional support and customer service.
  • Working in partnership for the benefit of learners: the current context demands that partners across the sector work proactively and effectively together in support of centres and your learners; we’ve done that throughout, for example by working with other awarding organisations and sector partners to consider particular adaptations.

We recognise the urgency with which you need to know the detail on our approach, and therefore later today, we will be letting you know:

  • how we will support you for the rest of the year
  • which of our qualifications are in and out of scope
  • our updated approach to adaptations at both qualification and assessment level
  • information on our general approach to alternative arrangements.

In the meantime, in this hub you will find detailed information for centres, learners and parents on:

  • Our overall adaptations approach and blueprint (last updated 18 January 2021 – due to be updated further following Ofqual consultation outcome)
  • Plans for assessments in February and March (last updated 19 February 2021)
  • Functional Skills specific information (last updated 12 February 2021)
  • V Cert and schools specific information (last updated 12 February 2021)
  • EPA support and news (last updated January 2021)
  • Resources to support with remote learning – for teachers, parents and learners (last updated 19 February 2021).

Plans for assessments in February and March

Read more on:

  • Registering and withdrawing learners
  • V Cert and CACHE external assessment bookings
  • CACHE specific advice – submission of independent self-study assignments and adaptations for longitudinal study qualification components
  • exams cancellations in February and March
  • advice if you didn’t go ahead with January exams
  • exams which take place in an assessment window
  • continuation of online on-demand assessments.

Functional Skills

Find out specific information on Functional Skills including certification end dates for legacy Functional Skills qualifications and Remote Invigilation.

View now


Read more on our qualification and assessment adaptations for 20/21, where you can access our qualification blueprint and take a look at the detail per qualification through QualHub.

Read more

V Certs and schools

Read more on our adaptations for synoptic projects, and removal of controlled regulations and set hours for completion.

Read more


Discover how we’re supporting customers digitally to keep end-point assessment on track.

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Resources and information for learners, parents and providers

An area of information including resources to support remote learning and mental health support in light of the second national lockdown

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Case study: Learners at Burnley College achieve successful outcomes despite interruptions of Covid-19

Burnley College put together a comprehensive remote learning programme to support their Childcare and Education learners to achieve without access to the classroom.
Read more

Media contact

For all media enquiries, please contact Lindsay Plumpton, Communications and PR Manager, with your request and she’ll get back to you as soon as possible. You can reach Lindsay at [email protected]

If you have questions on any of the below, please contact our customer support team on 0191 239 8000 or by emailing [email protected].