Learners who were due to complete one of the following BTEC qualifications between 1 August 2020 and 31 August 2021 will be eligible for alternative arrangements - BTEC Level 2 Tech Awards, Firsts, Technicals and Level 3 Nationals. The Qualification-level Teacher Assessed Grade will only be required for learners that are due to certificate in summer 2021.
Existing adaptations and reduced internal assessment will continue for all qualifications and therefore applies to ‘mid-flight’ learners (learners who are registered on a qualification, but who are not due to certificate this summer).
The Qualification-level Teacher Assessed Grades will be requested from centres for all qualifications. This includes QCF qualifications (which do not have an element of external assessment) within the relevant in-scope suites (BTEC Level 2 Tech Awards, Firsts, Technicals and Level 3 Nationals), for learners due to certificate in summer this year. This means that learners due to finish their qualification this year will still be able to do so. ‘Mid-flight’ learners (learners who are registered on a qualification, but who are not due to certificate this summer) will still be eligible for existing mitigations, including reduced internal assessment.
No. Centres will be asked to use evidence, gathered during the breadth of a learner’s course, to inform their judgements on a Qualification-level Teacher Assessed Grade for certificating learners.This means that, in line with A level and GCSE grading this year, the emphasis will be on teacher judgement at Qualification-level. We will provide guidance to teachers to enable them to do this. Unit-level grades issued for the ongoing internal assessments which form part of the BTEC qualifications, should continue to be assessed in line with the relevant guidance. Unit-level results will not be issued for external assessments that have not taken place this year.
Some qualifications have a core purpose of providing a ‘license to practise’ or assess occupational competence. For these qualifications, as assessments or work placement requirements cannot be cancelled, qualification results may need to be delayed.
The Department for Education advised that the January examination series would go ahead, and that centres were permitted to run those assessments if they judged it right to do so.
We understand from many centres that they felt their learners’ performance may have been compromised in light of the uncertainty and disruption. Ofqual have provided guidance that those learners who sat external assessments in January should therefore also be permitted to be included in the alternative arrangements. Teachers can use additional evidence gathered through the breadth of the learner’s course, to support the submission of a Qualification-level Teacher Assessment Grade that may better reflect the learner’s achievement of the unit. Learners who were entered but did not sit their exams in January, will also be able to use the Qualification-level Teacher Assessment Grade where they are due to certificate on their course. ‘Mid-flight’ learners (those who are registered on a qualification, but who are not due to certificate this summer) will receive a deferred result.
We have reviewed all possible approaches to implementing Ofqual’s principles for the awarding of results this year. We have decided on this qualification-level approach for certificating learners to ensure a process that is manageable for teachers and centres, and fair for learners.
Centres will be asked to consider the evidence that their learners have produced over the course of their studies, and put forward the qualification-level grade they believe their learners are performing at. Unit level teaching and internal assessment should continue to support this process so learners can continue to develop their skills and knowledge, as they work to complete the course of study. For mid-flight learners (those who are registered on a qualification, but who are not due to certificate this summer), arrangements for awarding unit-level results will be confirmed later in the year. The existing ‘reduced internal assessment’ mitigations continue to apply to all registered learners.
It is essential that learners who are due to progress onto their next stage receive results in a timely fashion. We want to make this as straightforward as possible, by asking teachers and senior staff in schools and colleges to put forward qualification-level grades, in a similar way to how grades will beput forward for learners on General Qualifications (GCSE and A Levels). This is essential to ensure that learners on these qualifications, who may be competing for the same places at university, employment opportunities or other next steps, will be treated fairly.
Due to the nature of the arrangements this year, it would not be appropriate to issue the Notification of Performance and unit level results. As we will not be issuing unit-level results for external assessments, or for those internal assessment that are under the ‘reduced assessment’ mitigation, we have been permitted to align with the qualification-level results reporting that will take place in GQ. This will ensure learners are treated the same whether they have completed a general or vocational qualification.
We will issue more information on mid-flight learners towards the end of this year. We advise that all teaching, learning and internal assessment to continue. Centres should make external exam entries for mid-flight learners who were due to be assessed in summer 2021, so that these mitigations can be applied at the point of certification.
Functional Skills tests are offered on-demand where many other assessments are not. Therefore, a test can be taken at any time on any date which means there is flexibility embedded within the process enabling learners to take a test as and when they are ready to do so.
We are working through additional guidance with other Awarding Organisations and Ofqual and will confirm the permitted exceptions as soon as possible. You should plan for learners who have completed teaching and learning who you feel are ‘assessment ready’ to take a live test wherever possible, as this will remain the preferred option. While it will be possible, in extreme circumstances, to permit alternative grading, centres will need to demonstrate clearly why a learner who has completed teaching and learning, and where supporting evidence is available, is unable to access a live test.