Instructions for using the yellow label service with NCFE assessments | NCFE

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Returning paper-based assessments: using the Yellow Label Service

This page contains information on how to send completed assessment papers for marking using the Yellow Label Service (eligible assessments only).

What is the Yellow Label Service and what can it be used for?

The Yellow Label Service is a traceable external assessment dispatch service provided by Parcelforce Worldwide which allows centres to arrange high security collections to return papers to us, at no cost to you. NCFE offers the Yellow Label Service for our T Level Technical Qualification core exam papers A and B, paper-based Functional Skills assessment papers (English and maths only), and Level 1/2 Technical Award (V Cert) qualifications.

What do centres need to do?

If papers for a qualification or assessment are eligible to be returned via the Yellow Label Service, you must prepare for this collection by packing all assessment materials (including completed papers and the invigilators’ register) into the grey envelopes received with the papers. Please then store the papers in a secure location in your centre until they’re collected by Parcelforce Worldwide. 

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You should: 

  • check that envelopes are securely sealed 
  • store packages securely until the courier arrives 
  • ensure all relevant colleagues are prepared for the collection and packages are clearly identified and ready to collect 
  • complete the dispatch log before the Parcelforce Worldwide driver arrives. 

Further details can be found here. 

When will the papers be collected? 
Scheduled collections 

If you have timetabled Yellow Label-eligible exams on three or more days during any week in the summer exam series (May to June), your centre will automatically have daily scheduled collections. 

Parcelforce Worldwide will contact you before the start of the exam series to arrange a mutually convenient two-to-three hour time window to collect your exam scripts. This will be tailored to your centre’s closing time and Parcelforce Worldwide’s schedules. 

Functional Skills and other unscheduled collections 

On days where you have daily scheduled collections (see above), you can hand over Functional Skills, T Level, or V Cert Yellow Label packages at the same time, and you don’t need to book a separate collection. 

If you have on-demand Functional Skills paper-based assessments, or any other NCFE Yellow Label-eligible assessments taking place on days where you do not have daily scheduled collections, you’ll need to book an ad hoc collection to return these exam scripts. 

To do this, contact Parcelforce Worldwide exams helpdesk to book your ad-hoc collection online. Alternatively, you can call the Parcelforce Worldwide examinations helpdesk on 0344 561 7998.

You will need to enter your NCN school reference number and postcode into the appropriate fields to validate your collection address.

Collections can be arranged up to 14 days before your first assessment and need to be booked at least 24 hours in advance. You’ll be given a booking reference number for each ad hoc collection, which you should note on the dispatch log for your reference. 

What should we do if the driver does not turn up? 

NCFE is not responsible for arranging or managing the collection process. You must contact Parcelforce Worldwide directly on 0344 561 7998 if a driver does not arrive. 

What should we do if we lose the yellow label? 

If a yellow label is lost or has not arrived within the allocated time, you can contact NCFE at [email protected] to apply for a replacement. Labels are valid for two weeks from the date they’re produced. You shouldn’t request them more than two weeks before the examination date. 

Replacement labels are dispatched within three working days. If the assessment is less than a week away, we may email the labels to you instead, to print yourself. 

We’ve got yellow address labels leftover. Should we have put more than one label on a package? 

No. All packages must be labelled individually so that the STA can track and trace them through the Parcelforce Worldwide system. Make sure you’re using the correct labels by checking the ‘label printed’ date and destroying any old labels. 

We have multiple yellow label packages that are going to the same address. Can we package them all together? 

No. All packages must be dispatched individually so that NCFE and the STA can track and trace them through Parcelforce Worldwide system. 

Our assessment papers have been dispatched using the wrong yellow address label. What should we do? 

If you’ve used the wrong pre-addressed yellow label, you should contact NCFE at 
[email protected] immediately. We’ll need details of the assessment papers that you’ve sent and the yellow label details, including the unique consignment number along the barcode. 

How can yellow label packages be tracked? 

You can track each package or consignment of assessment papers by using the unique consignment number noted on the exam dispatch log. Trace your package by visiting the Parcelforce Worldwide website and then entering the unique consignment number. 

How can I arrange for Parcelforce to collect my yellow label packages from an alternative address? 

Parcelforce Worldwide will only collect packages from centres that have a registered National Centre Number (NCN). You won’t be able to arrange collection from an alternative address without an NCN.  

If external assessments are administered on an alternative site, arrangements will need to be made for papers to be returned securely to the main site for collection by Parcelforce Worldwide. 

How do I update my National Centre Number (NCN) address details? 

The National Centre Number database is managed by Oxford Cambridge and RSA (OCR). Details on how to request an update can be found on their website. 

Please note, when you access the OCR website looking for details on the NCN register, you may find details on centre inspections. Where NCFE applies for an NCN on a centre’s behalf, these inspections will not apply as we only request entries to the “higher NCN” register which doesn’t require inspection (potential inspection by NCFE Assessment Audit Advisors may still apply and is unaffected by the NCN process). 

If you already have an NCN, you may have an entry on the 'standard' register, meaning an inspection applies. If you update your own details with the NCN, you will also need to tell us (via [email protected]) of that change so that our records match. 

PLEASE NOTE: The Yellow Label Service is not available for centres without a National Centre Number (NCN), centres operating outside of England, and Overseas BFPO schools. Centres without an NCN must return to NCFE themselves using a white label return.

White label returns

If an assessment is not eligible for the Yellow Label Service, or if your centre doesn’t have an NCN, we’ll send you a white label in the assessment pack. Use this to arrange return to the below address, using a secure, traceable courier or postage service, such as Royal Mail Special Delivery. Completed assessment papers must not be returned with only a stamped envelope.

Where a late booking is made meaning no label (either yellow or white) is received, please use the following addresses to return. Again this must be using a secure, traceable courier or postage service, such as Royal Mail Special Delivery.

Address for white label return:
Paper-based Functional Skills:

Q6, Quorum Business Park
Benton Lane
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE12 8BT

T Level, V Cert, and CACHE paper-based assessments:

Restore Digital
1 Dewar Square
Deans Industrial Estate
EH54 8SA