Ofqual said that it is proposing an interim extraordinary regulatory framework, because the VTQ landscape is complex and no one size fits all. Its main concern is that candidates are not disadvantaged and still able to progress.

How is Ofqual going to change the way it awards VTQs this summer?

There are three approaches that will determine how to award the different suites of qualifications;

  • Calculate
  • Adapt
  • Delay

Which qualifications will they calculate?

Ofqual said that those qualifications used for progression to higher and further education, will be graded/assessed in the same way as for GCSEs and A-levels this summer, using calculating. Teachers will estimate student grades for:

  • BTEC Nationals;
  • Cambridge Technicals;
  • Functional Skills Qualifications;
  • UAL Diplomas;
  • International Baccalaureate;
  • Cambridge Pre-U;
  • and qualifications included under the umbrella term ‘Core Maths’. [This last bullet looks smaller than the others?]

How does calculating work in this instance?

Ofqual said any calculation on candidate’s grades/passes, who were due to complete their assessments in summer 2020, should have these elements: 

  • professional judgement and evidence from teachers;
  • unit or component results from units/components already sat and banked;
  • quality assurance such as comparison to historic centre outcomes;
  • national statistical evidence.

What if calculation isn’t possible?

Awarding organisations (AOs) will re-schedule assessments where estimation isn’t possible, in some cases. Ofqual has said that this approach will not be appropriate for all VTQs, such as those designed to support progression straight into employment and signal occupational competence (licence to practice qualifications), in which case assessments will be delayed.

A list of VTQs where grades cannot be calculated is being worked on but further arrangements will not be announced until later.

What is Ofqual doing about those qualifications where it would be better to adapt assessment models so that they can still take place even though centres are closed?

It is still working with awarding organisations (AOs) to identify those qualifications.

What does adapt mean?

Adaptation may include:

  • using on-line tests;
  • changing invigilation arrangements;
  • on-line invigilation;
  • waiving work experience;

Can candidates appeal against calculated results?

Candidates who do not feel their result reflects their ability will be able to appeal.

When will calculated grades need to be submitted?

It has not been decided yet when grades/passes/fails will be need to be submitted – that announcement will come after Easter.

When will awards for these qualifications happen?

VTQs that would have been awarded this year must be awarded at the same time as GQs.

Will Ofqual consult on any of these changes?

They may need to consult on some qualifications. Further details will be  released later.