The Department for Education (DfE) and Ofqual have published a joint consultation on the proposals for the assessment and awarding of vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs) and other general qualifications in 2021/22.

The government’s intention is that teaching, learning and assessment for vocational, technical and other general qualifications will go ahead in the next academic year. However, it is recognised that due to the significant disruption faced by learners adaptations implemented in the current academic year will need to continue in 2021/22 in order to free up teaching time.

The consultation is in two parts. In Part A, the Department for Education is consulting on the equalities impacts of the government’s policy that all exams and assessments of VTQs will go ahead. Part A also considers the need for further possible contingency arrangements due, for example, to regional variations or a further national lockdown.

Ofqual is consulting on its regulatory arrangements to implement the Department’s policy position in Part B of the consultation.  Awarding Organisations will be permitted to continue with adaptations implemented in the current academic year and make further adaptations where necessary and appropriate.

In line with the government policy, qualifications in 2021/22 will be awarded based on evidence from exams and assessments and not Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs).

Ofqual and the Department for Education want to hear the views of students of all types of assessments and external exams, their employers, parents and carers, their teachers and trainers, college and school leaders and others who have an interest, including further and higher education providers.

Full details of the consultation are available on the government website: Arrangements for the assessment and awarding of vocational, technical and other general qualifications: 2021 to 2022

Associated VTQ documents including changes to the regulatory framework conditions and requirements and guidance are also available from the following links:

The consultation closes on 26th July 2021.

For those of you who also offer GCSEs and A levels, an additional consultation for these qualifications can be found at Proposed changes to the assessment of GCSEs, AS and A levels in 2022. This consultation is open until 1st August.

What’s next?

We fully expect to continue with the adaptations that we have implemented this year but will confirm this position once the outcomes of the joint consultation have been published.