VQ Bulletin - March edition
Welcome to the latest issue of the VQ Bulletin.
Last week, Ofqual announced three new deadlines for 2023 to ensure that awarding organisations issue on time vocational and technical qualifications results to students. We look forward to working with you to achieve on time results for all learners this year and will continue to keep in touch with your centre's Exams Officer with relevant learner-level information to mitigate any issues.
Earlier this month, we contacted Exams Officers, Head of Centres and Quality Nominees to share your learner level external assessment entry report. We’ve shared with you a list of learners where external assessment entries need to be made to be on track for their qualification results in August 2023. As there are no adaptations in 2022/23 it is essential that you make entries for external assessment, and this report will help you to do this. Read on to find out more about this activity, and the support you can expect from us for 2023.
And finally, congratulations to all your learners who will be receiving their external assessment results this week following the January series. If you have any questions about results don’t hesistate to contact us.
Assessment Director, Vocational Qualifications
22 March - January 2023 Restricted release of external assessment unit results to centres - BTEC Firsts, Tech Awards (2022) and Nationals (where eligible Full Award Claims have been made, qualification results will also be visible)
23 March - January 2023 Release of external assessment unit results to learners- BTEC Firsts, Tech Awards (2022) and Nationals (where eligible Full Award Claims have been made, qualification results can be issued to learners)
23 March* - Summer 2023 entry deadline - BTEC Firsts, Technicals, Tech Awards (2022), Nationals
5 April - January 2023 Restricted release of external assessment unit result to centres – Tech Award (2017)
6 April - January 2023 release of external assessment unit results to learners – Tech Awards (2017)
*The entry deadline for learners expecting results from January 2023 is 31 March.
*The entry deadline for learners expecting results from February 2023 is 20 April.
*The entry deadline for learners expecting results from March 2023 is 5 May.
Making your on-time entries for external assessments
There are no adaptations permitted to any assessments this year, which means you should teach and assess BTEC qualifications as normal, which includes learners sitting external assessments and fully assessing all internally assessed units. This means you must make entries for any and all external assessments learners will need to receive an overall qualification result. If you need support to make your external assessment entries this year, we have training, supporting data and our library of knowledgebase articles to guide you through making external assessment entries for summer 2023.
You can access our ondemand e-learning module for making external assessment entries on our website. This short interactive refresher takes you step-by-step through making entries on Edexcel Online, and also using EDI basedata.
You can browse our library of support articles on the Pearson Support Portal. Here are the top articles to guide you through making external assessment entries:
BTEC Entries: Booking an External Assessment (NQF/RQF)
So that you can easily identify where you need to make external assessment entries for your learners, on 8 March we sent a learner-level report to the Edexcel Online mailbox for Exams Officers and Head of Centres. Without making these entries, learners won’t be on track to receive an overall qualification result. It’s also important that you still make entries for any learners that are intending to resit. If you have any questions about the report you’ve received you can contact us through the Pearson Support Portal.
Contingency planning and invigilator recruitment tool
In case of disruption to the exam system, all centres must have contingency plans in place. There are three main categories of disruption.
- Candidates at risk of being unable to take examinations – centres remain open.
- Centres at risk of being unable to open as normal during the examination period.
- Disruption to transporting completed examination scripts.
Read the information and guidance provided by JCQ
Your Exams Officer and Head of Centre need to review your own centre contingency plans well ahead of the summer exam series to make sure they remain up to date and appropriate.
Together, you should ensure that your contingency plans cover a range of scenarios including the absence of key members of staff at exam time, disruption to power supplies or local transport networks, and extreme weather including extreme heat.
We know that most centres will be well advanced with their invigilator recruitment at this stage. If your recruitment isn’t complete you might want to consider using the NAEO exams recruitment and vacancy map for any remaining vacancies.
Access the NAEO recruitment and vacancy map
You should also ensure that you have contingency plans in place if you experience a shortfall of invigilation staff on a particular day. If your contingency plans include the use of centre staff, you should consider putting a training plan in place ahead of the exam series to ensure that all relevant staff are familiar with the requirements for invigilators.
We have released the provisional winter 2024 timetable earlier this month. You can submit any feedback to us through email@example.com, until the 21 April. The final timetable will be released on 26 April.
May/June series internal assessments
We have heard from teachers that the May/June window for completing internal assessments has been challenging due to a number of factors. If your learners are experiencing loss of assessment time you can request an extension using our support portal.
When submitting your request please using the following classifications:
- Request type – Coursework & Controlled/Internal Assessment
- Category – Deadlines & Dates
- Sub Category – Extension to Deadline
If you have learners taking a Pearson Set Assignment (PSA) for the May/June series, you must make entries to allow us to allocate a moderator to your centre. You can do this using the basedata for EDI entries, or directly through Edexcel Online. Entry deadlines can be found in the Key Dates Schedule.
New PSAs are released for use in each new series, so please ensure that learners are using the PSAs for the May/June 2023 series.
Learners who have sat internal assessments in the December/January 2023 series, and wish to retake them, can be entered for May/June assessments after results have been issued on 23 March, and no late fees will be charged. The entry deadline for learners retaking assessments is 1 April.
If you intend to withdraw any learners from the assessment, this must be done by 1 May in order to avoid one of the entries included with your registration fees being used. We are unable to accept entries after 2 May without approval from the Assessment team, please ensure you make all your centres entries by 2 May 2023.
Further guidance on making entries, withdrawing entries and other key processes for new Tech Awards can be found in our Tech Awards Support Index.
Earlier release of Pearson Set Assignments from September 2023
We’ve listened carefully to your feedback over the first series of the new Tech Awards and will be releasing our Pearson Set Assignments (PSAs) one month earlier within each series. This will give you more time to spend preparing for and administering these assessments. This change does not affect Performing Art and Art & Design.
From September onwards, the PSAs will be released as follows:
- December/January assessment series - Pearson set assignment release early September – all subjects (Art and Design Practice does not include December/January series assessment)
- May/June assessment series - Pearson set assignment release Early January – all subjects (with the exception of Art and Design Practice released early November, and Performing Arts released early December)
Results for December/January series internal assessments
Results for the December/January series were issued to centres on 22 March, and can be released to learners on the 23 March. On learner results day, the Exams Officer and anyone with relevant profile permission within Edexcel Online will have access to the Moderator Reports (on Edexcel Online) which include feedback on your marking, and you’ll be able to download Principal Moderator reports from the relevant subject qualification pages, detailing outcomes of the series overall and giving helpful guidance for future series.
After reviewing your moderator report, if you have concerns about your results, you can request a Post Results Service: Review of Moderation (Service 3) (RoM) from learner results day until 20 April, you must obtain permission for any review. Post Results Service requests cannot be submitted until all learners have received their results.
You can refer to our Tech Awards Support Index for information on how to access learner results, moderator reports and request post-results services:
BTEC Tech Awards 2022: Search for Results
BTEC Tech Awards 2022: Results Reports (Bulk Download)
BTEC Tech Awards 2022: Post-Results Services (PRS)
BTEC Tech Awards 2022: Accessing & Downloading Moderator Reports
Final assessment of legacy Tech Awards (2017 specifications)
The legacy (2017) Tech Awards qualifications have their final external assessment opportunity this May/June 2023 (except for Engineering which has been extended but will no longer be on Performance Tables from 2024).
Learners registered for legacy (2017) Tech Awards (excluding Engineering) must certificate this summer as there will not be another opportunity to sit or resit any assessments after summer 2023. All internally assessed units must be reported by 5 July 2023 to ensure qualification results are delivered on time. If you have any questions or need further support, please contact us.
Specifications available in Welsh
Specifications for all the Tech Awards 2022 subjects available for delivery in Wales have now been published in Welsh language. They can be downloaded directly from the relevant subject qualification pages of the Pearson website. Translated Sample Assessment Materials will follow over the coming months.
Changes to video evidence requirements for Construction and the Built Environment
The requirement for video evidence for Component 2 'Construction in Practice' will be removed from September 2023. This change has been made following feedback from centres about manageability concerns. Instead, centres will need to submit an observation record accompanied by photographs demonstrating skills applied during the construction process, along with photographs, measurements and tolerances of the completed product.
Updates from your Quality Assurance team
Standards Verification activities continue throughout the spring term, and we would encourage colleagues to work with their Standards Verifier to ensure sampling is underway as soon as possible. We have made a small change to the sampling requirements attached to the Enhanced Control Measure and this is clearly explained in the Centre Guide to Standards Verification; please read this and share with your curriculum teams as appropriate.
The Annual Quality Declaration is now overdue. Please ensure that this is submitted at your earliest opportunity to avoid any negative impact on the level of risk attached to your centre in the coming months.
We continue to offer a range of online CPD events and encourage you and your colleagues to attend those that are relevant. Please also note the range of self-paced, on-demand CPD options available on the QN Hub.
Entry Level – Standards Verifier Allocations
If you are delivering Entry Level Functional Skills, you should have been contacted by your Standards Verifier to begin the monitoring and sampling process for this year. You can find details of who your allocated SV is on Edexcel Online. If your SV has not contacted you yet, please let us know.
Pearson’s Functional Skills Context Review 2023
As part of our commitment to being learner-centred, in 2023 Pearson will be carrying out a review of the contexts for its Functional Skills Assessments. It is important that your voice is captured on this, so we have created two surveys that we ask you to complete and to share with colleagues:
You can find out more about our context review on our website, or by reading our new Functional Skills Blog.
You can also sign up to our practitioner workshop to discuss our contexts on the 19 April.
Student Registration Deletions
From 1 January 2023, the period for being able to request a student deletion changed to 49 days from the student start/enrolment date. Any deletions after 49 days are classed as a withdrawal. Read more about deletions on our website.
‘Banking’ HN Unit Grades in EOL
Pearson has made it easier for all centres to enter interim grades onto Edexcel Online annually at the end of each assessment cycle. Entering grades annually ensures transparency in relation to student achievement and progression. It is not necessary to print an interim Notification of Performance, but printing can be requested if needed.
HN Student Survey 2023
The HN Student Survey launches on the 3 April 2023, all BTEC Higher National Students are invited to take part. Links to the survey will be emailed out to Quality Nominee and access will be available via HN Global.
Findings from the survey play a part as a key role in shaping the development of the Higher Nationals, therefore we strongly recommend the active promotion of participation.
Pearson has a responsibility to consider and act on information received. We will seek to address what may be common issues, and where necessary we'll provide appropriate support to both students and our providers.
Marketing tool kits will be available via HN Global shortly.
External Examiner Opportunities
We’ll shortly be advertising for recruitment of new External Examiners for the 2023/24 academic year to help with growing sectors.
We’ll include more details in the next VQ bulletin but if you or your programme team would like to develop your skills and best practice further plus getting a closer insight into the Higher Nationals then the External Examiner post is an excellent opportunity.
Congratulations to our T Level learners who received their Results for the 2022 Autumn series T Level core and ESP exams last week.
You can read the latest T Level bulletin on our website.
Reminder – Booking Tests
If an apprentice fails a tested component, the remaining EPA components are required to be taken by the apprentice, before re-booking the tested component. This is to ensure that accurate grade data is reported to OFQUAL and ESFA based on the overall EPA grade for that attempt.
If the apprentice has taken all the remaining EPA components, a resit request must be processed through ACE360 first otherwise the test result could be voided as a result (if a repeat occurrence).
Read more about booking resits on our website.
Reminder – EPA Approved status and test bookings
To avoid a multiple-choice from being voided, please check that learners have reached ‘EPA Approved’ status before booking tests on Edexcel Online, and that resits have been requested on ACE360 prior to booking a learner’s second test attempt.
Annual Quality Declaration (AQD)
You centre Annual Quality Declaration was due to be submitted by 18 November. For Work-Based Learning centres who have not yet completed the AQD, please work with your Lead Standards Verifiers, to complete (including the WBL Section (Centre Self-Assessment) as soon as possible, as further delays will impact your centres risk rating.
For further guidance to complete the WBL section, please see the AQD Guidance Document.
Lead Standards Verifier (LSV) (remote) visits
LSV remote visits should now be complete for most centres. If yours is still outstanding, please work with your LSV to book in a date to arrange a remote visit as soon as possible.