V Cert assessment support | NCFE

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V Cert assessment support

Updated on 21  February 2024

On this page, you’ll find reminders of everything we have in place to support you and your learners throughout V Cert assessments. Please ensure to share this with your colleagues, especially your exams contacts.

Key dates and deadlines 

Tuesday 30 April is the deadline for 

  • registering learners for both the NEA (non-examined assessment) and external assessment (EA), and deciding whether you’d like to sit the EA online or paper-based – see below for more details on online assessments 
  • the submission of learner marks for the NEA – see below for more details. 

Throughout April you should also ensure to: 

  • confirm that all staff responsible for submitting marks on the Portal have the ‘Moderation’ permission added to their Portal account (take a look at the Manage Users section of the Portal User Guide) 
  • complete your schedule of assessment (see an example on our preparing for moderation webpage, in the maintain accurate assessment records section) 
  • consider mop-up sessions for learners who may miss hours due to absences 
  • document learner attendance at each session through a record of attendance  
  • mark the NEA using the learner feedback sheets (see the assessment materials pack for guidance) 
  • complete internal quality assurance processes 
  • share centre marks with learners – there is no opportunity for learners to resubmit, but you should make sure that they have time to request an appeal
  • ensure learners know how and when they can appeal. 

Friday 3 May (23:59pm) is the deadline for: 

  • Uploading evidence for all learners of cohorts with 15 or less. 
  • Uploading evidence for all learners on your sampling plan for the NEA (if you have a cohort of 16 or more learners). See the uploading evidence section below for more information.  
Upcoming key dates for Model 5 v Certs
Date Action

30 April

Deadline for:

  • registering learners for both the NEA (non-examined assessment) and external assessment (EA), and deciding whether you’d like to sit the EA online or paper-based
  • the submission of learner marks for the NEA (after they’ve been assessed and internal quality assured).

1 May

Sampling plan generated (for cohorts of 16 or more learners).

3 May
(23:59pm)

Deadline for uploading evidence for learners on sampling plan.

May-June

  • Moderation stages – please check your emails during this time to ensure any requests from us are actioned quickly
  • External assessments take place – see External Assessment Timetable for more information

21 August

Embargoed results released to centres.

22 August

  • Results released to learners
  • Chief Moderator and Chief Examiner reports available where applicable • Final moderation report available
  • Post-results services open.

30 August

Deadline for priority access to scripts.

20 September

Deadline for enquiries about results.

26 September

Deadline for review of moderation.

4 October

Deadline for non-priority access to scripts.

Paper modification and reasonable adjustments for external assessments

You should also ensure to check our External Assessment Timetable for assessment dates, as paper modification requests need to be made within the below timescales: 

  • Requests for Braile and enlarged papers must be submitted 30 working days before the published date of assessment or the start of the assessment window. 
  • Requests for coloured paper must be submitted 15 working days before the published date of assessment or the start of the assessment window. 

Reasonable adjustments should be put in place before the assessment takes place to reduce the effect of a disability or difficulty that places students at a substantial disadvantage during an assessment. They should be declared at the point of registration but can be added to the Portal up to the date of the assessment. 

Special considerations 

Special considerations are intended to support students who face an unexpected disadvantage at the time of an assessment for reasons outside of their control. Requests can be applied for after an assessment, but the deadline is five working days following the date of the assessment or the last day of a window. 

Paper-based assessments
  • Please note that for paper-based assessments, papers will arrive at centres no more than 3 working days before the date of the assessment. 
  • Please return papers using the Yellow Label service. Papers must be returned after each assessment. 
  • There is no need to return unused assessment papers. 
Online assessments

Please open SecureClient on the devices that will be used during the assessments to allow updates to run prior to the first assessment. We recommend that this is done at least one day before the assessment, not on the same day as any scheduled assessments. 

Supporting your delivery of qualification content and assessments

Please ensure you:  

  • access our frequently asked questions (FAQs) 
  • read the tutor guidance to support your delivery of each NEA – find this in the ‘support materials’ section on the qualification page on our website 
  • download the sample NEAs and exemplar NEA responses which will support you to understand how marking grids should be applied, and can be useful for internal standardisation activities (these are found in the ‘assessment materials’ section on the qualification page on our website)*  

*We suggest that standardisation activities continue throughout the assessment window, transitioning from the exemplar materials to live learner work, which will ensure marking is being completed consistently.  

V Cert Non-Examined Assessments (NEA)

Please ensure that everyone at your centre who needs access to the assessment materials has log-in details for the NCFE Portal. If you need to create an additional account, you can do this by following the instructions in the Portal User Guide.   

Once in the Portal, you can access the NEA assessment materials by clicking on ‘bookings’ then ‘view assessments’.  Further support on uploading and downloading assessment materials can be found on our accessing assessment support webpage.  

Submitting learner marks 

Marks must be uploaded before Tuesday 30 April, and you can edit submitted marks up until this date Your learner marks must be assessed and internally quality assured before entering them in the NCFE Portal. Here’s a short video on how to submit marks for moderation.   

If you don’t submit marks for all of your learners on time, this will result in delays to the sampling plan being generated and in turn delay results for all of your learners.   

If you have small cohorts of learners (15 or less), you can upload evidence at any time during the assessment window (1 September - 30 April). As you’ll need to provide evidence for all learners, you don’t need to wait until the sampling plan is generated on 1 May. If you have cohorts of 16 or more learners, you’ll need to refer to your sampling plan to see which learners’ evidence we need.  

See the drop downs below for more information on how to upload learner evidence. 

Where and when will I get the sampling plan? 

If you’ve submitted NEA marks for all your learners, a sampling plan will be available on the Portal on at 00:01 on Wednesday 1 May. You’ll then need to upload evidence for all learners on the sampling plan within 3 working days (by 23:59 on Friday 3 May). If you don’t submit evidence for all of your learners on time, this will result in delays to the moderation process and the issuing of results for all your learners.   

 What is the best way to upload evidence efficiently? 

We know this can be a very busy time, so we wanted to share some hints and tips to support the reduction of time spent on uploading learner evidence.    

Taking some time to consider the following could be key to uploading learner evidence in the most efficient way:   

  • file type   
  • file size   
  • internet speed   
  • file quality.   

We’ve produced this guide to show how these factors can impact on upload times and speeds.   

What support is available around accessing the sampling plan and uploading evidence?

Here’s a short video on how to view students selected for moderation and upload evidence.  Download our guide to uploading digital evidence. 

Preparing for the moderation process

We also have resources available to support you with the moderation process, including information on how to maintain accurate assessment records, how to submit marks in the Portal and how to see which learners are selected for moderation. Visit our preparing for moderation webpage.  

Please regularly check for any email communication from us and action requests as soon as possible, to ensure moderation and results are not delayed. If we need to contact you regarding your learners, we will email and provide you with details of what we need you to do. 

Online assessments – what you need to know 

We’re continuously striving to enhance the assessment process for you and your learners. This is why we're excited to announce that online assessments will be available for our Model 5 V Cert Technical Awards. Find out more about the benefits of online assessments and how to book your learners onto them.  

Our online assessment system, Surpass, is secure, free and easy to use - giving you full control over booking and managing your learners’ assessments.   

  1. Engaging assessment experience: By moving assessments onto screens, we aim to create a more interactive and engaging environment for learners during exams. 
  2. Enhanced accessibility: Subjects like Music Technology, where students need to listen to audio tracks, become more manageable with online assessments. 
  3. Reduced exam anxiety: With the growing familiarity and confidence in using digital tools, online assessments can alleviate some of the stress associated with traditional pen-and-paper exams. 
  4. Environmental sustainability: Embracing online assessments means saying goodbye to printing exam papers, contributing to a more sustainable approach to education. 
  5. Real-world preparation: Providing learners with the opportunity to complete assessments online better prepares them for digital work environments, aligning with the skills needed in today's world. 

To ensure a seamless transition, here are some steps you can take to set up your school for online assessments:  

  1. Review the user guide: Familiarise yourself with the Surpass system by reviewing the user guide and understanding its features.  
  2. Install and test Surpass: Make sure Surpass is installed and tested on your systems well in advance to allow time for testing before the live exam date.  You can test Surpass using this demonstration version. 
  3. Watch the tutorial video: Watch our instructional video to get a comprehensive understanding of how to navigate Surpass effectively.  
  4. Make the leap: If you're ready to embrace online assessments, simply select the online assessment window option when registering your learners. The Portal User Guide can support with this.  
Results and post-results services 

Results will be released embargoed to centres on Wednesday 21 August, ahead of learners receiving them on Thursday 22 August. On 22 August, the following will also be available: 

  • Chief Examiner/Moderator report where applicable 
  • Final moderation report – highlighting areas where your provider has performed well and areas for improvement, as well as the mark used for each moderated component 

Once the post-results window opens, you’ll be able to access a range of services, if your learners are disappointed with their results. Please see a list of these and their relevant deadlines below: 

Service 

Deadline for request 

Access to scripts 

Priority access – 30 August  

Non-priority access – 4 October 

Enquiry about results 

20 September 

Review of moderation – this service is not available for individual learners, requests must be made by unit/component for all learners in a cohort.  

26 September – requests must be submitted within 25 working days of results release  

Further support 

If you have any queries about the NEA or V Certs in general which aren’t answered by the information above, please contact our Customer Support team at [email protected] or via Live Chat on our website. You can also stay up to date with our latest updates through our service newsletter or service news webpages.