This is very much an overview as the VTQ qualifications landscape is so complex.

Detailed further below are the technical and policy requirements for VTQ assessments. The specific approach that each centre takes needs to be in dialogue with the educational professionals who deliver the qualifications and oversee them.

We would anticipate that discussions would be based around (for example):

  • A collaborative Centre approach to assessment
  • Teacher judgement of the methodology adopted
  • Teacher view of how the Centre transmits the information to students and preserves the trust in the teacher
  • Supporting learners up to and after the exams
  • Supporting teacher decisions and working together to co create a fair system of assessment
  • Supporting teachers in reducing workload from other areas if necessary
  • Colleges may consider in these extraordinary times designating teacher leads in each area that give teacher views of the respective stages and aspects of the assessment process.

Further guidance

  • The earlier you plan as a whole school or college, the more likely you are to avoid excessive workload. Your timetable for the summer term should already include sufficient time to undertake this duty.
  • Work together to map out the time that you will need to prepare:
    • gather;
    • mark;
    • and judge evidence of student performance, as well as then being involved in the internal quality assurance.
  • Be as specific as possible, both in the amount of time you will need, and the dates by which the work needs to be done.
  • Make sure you are following the Ofqual and awarding organisation guidance, and that you are not doing more than is required.
  • Agree this plan with your head of department and head of centre.
  • Agree amongst members in your school and college and with leadership/heads of department what tasks you might normally do within directed time that can be postponed around peak points for the grading process.

Some suggestions might include:

  • A break in assessing and marking other work or books from other year groups
  • No requirement to attend staff meetings
  • No requirement for additional duties at the beginning and end of the day

However, it may be a better use of time to find ways to free up larger blocks of time, by extending planned PPA time for example. It may well be that your school or college needs to employ additional staff, for example supply teachers, to free up time for this important work. You may wish to explore with the SLT whether there will be entry fee rebates from the exam boards, or other ways of releasing additional budget.

The way that Ofqual has divided VTQs for the purposes of awarding this year are as follows

  • Qualifications most similar to GCSEs and A levels, for example BTECS and Cambridge Technicals:
  • Qualifications not similar to GCSE and A levels, for example Functional Skills and Skills for Life qualifications
  • Qualifications with occupational proficiencies, for example nursing and construction etc

Overview of arrangements for awarding this summer

Qualifications most similar to GCSEs and A levels, for example BTECS and Cambridge Technicals:

  • with no occupational competency requirement
  • grades created by teacher or lecturer assessment
  • taken only in schools and colleges
  • various sources of evidence used
  • results no later than for GCSE and A levels
  • submission date 18th June.

Qualifications not similar to GCSE and A levels, for example Functional Skills and Skills for Life qualifications

  • with no occupational competency requirement
  • assessments should continue as normal where possible - where this isn't possible lecturer assessments will provide the grade
  • various sources of evidence used
  • taken in schools and colleges and other places, eg training providers
  • results no later than for GCSE and A levels
  • submission date 18th June
  • Awarding Organisations will decide which evidence is required.

Qualifications with occupational proficiencies, for example nursing and construction etc

  • assess occupational skills
  • taken in other places, eg training providers
  • assessments can continue as normal where possible
  • assessments maybe delayed
  • assessments may be adapted

Basket of evidence where required:

  • marks and/or grades for completed assessments in Units/ Components to date. This includes
    •  external assessments
    • internal assessments
    • centre assessed grades from Summer 2020
  • information provided by Centres in relation to learner’s performance at qualification level (‘Qualification Level Teacher Assessed Grade’). This includes for example:
    • partially completed internal assessments
    • classwork or homework assessments
    • mock examinations
    • informal assessments
  • evidence from specialist Teachers and other educational professionals such as special education needs coordinators (SENCos) who have worked with the learner where appropriate
  • banked units
  • project work
  • recordings (e.g. of practical performance)
  • evidence from work experience where relevant to the qualification
  • tracker of achievement and attainment over the course
  • witness testimonies or teacher observation records when used in conjunction with other forms of evidence
  • records of the learner’s performance over the course of study in the relevant qualification, including, for example:
    • progress review data;
    • classwork;
    • participation in practical activities or demonstrations and performances.

(Pearson 2021)

The Teacher Assessed Grade

The grade you put forward should:

  • reflect the evidence that is available. It is not a prediction
  • be based on the evidence available for the content that has been taught
  • be a reflection of the grade the learner is performing at.

Qualifications that lead to a Licence to Practise

Those components of the qualification that are linked to the licence to practise will need to be completed as part of the basket of evidence. For example, CPLD, all units that have underpinning licence to practise criteria will need to be assessed and completed, along with all other requirements of the licence, but the optional units will not need to be assessed.

Qualifications underpinned by CIMPSA standards – those units will need to form part of the basket of evidence. These qualifications will still receive an overarching QTAG but will need certain units to be completed in full to be awarded.

Mid-flight learners

  • Awarding Organisations (AOs) will request Qualification-level or Unit-level Teacher Assessed Grades for mid-flight learners, at the appropriate point of certification next academic year.
  • AOs anticipate that this will be in January 2022 for March completers, and June 2022, for summer completers. Further detail will be confirmed closer to the time.
  • TAGs will only be permitted for those learners where there are ‘reduced assessment’ flags and/or external assessment entries in place this academic year (applicable between 30 August 2020 and 31 August 2021, in line with the eligibility window for the VCRF). (Pearson 2021)

Please see the links below to some of the major awarding organisations that award VTQ qualifications for more detail on what may apply to the qualifications that you as a centre are offering.

VTQ AOs – links to websites