Gateway Qualifications continues to work closely with its regulators (Ofqual, QAA, Qualifications Wales) to ensure delivery and assessment can continue to take place during the 2020-21 academic year.
We are also following Public Health England guidance to protect our staff, EQAs and Moderators during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
We will continue to add to this page to provide updates to our response and any actions Centres should take as the situation develops.
The frequently asked questions section should help you find the answers to the most common queries we are receiving.
Page Last Updated: 2nd March 2021
Regulators’ web pages
QAA for Access to HE Diplomas – https://www.accesstohe.ac.uk/
Ofqual for RQF qualifications – https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ofqual
Delivering, Assessing and Awarding learners during the academic year 2020-21
Our latest guidance on the new Vocational Contingency Regulatory Framework (VCRF), its predecessor, the Extended ERF, and the adaptations centres may wish to consider are on our dedicated Supporting Centres in 2020-2021 webpage.
Update 2nd March 2021: QAA has released an update for Access to HE students and providers on the Assessment and Award of the Access to HE Diploma in 2020-21.
Update 25th February 2021: Ofqual has confirmed that it will implement a new Vocational Contingency Regulatory Framework (VCRF) for awarding vocational and technical qualifications in 2021. Read more about this announcement in our news update.
Update 5th February 2021: Gateway Qualifications is allowing learners to take Essential Digital Skills live assessments remotely from 8th February 2021 during the current national lockdown.
Update 13th January 2021: The Department for Education has clarified that assessments which have been scheduled during January 2021 may still take place. If you have scheduled an externally set assessment, for example for Essential Digital Skills or ESOL, you can go ahead and conduct the assessment if you are able to do in a safe way. Alternatively, since all our assessments are available on-demand, you may rebook the assessments free of charge, following our normal processes.
Update 19th October 2020: Additional guidance on the Extended ERF and the adaptations centres may wish to consider are now on our dedicated Supporting Centres in 2020-2021 webpage.
Update: 12th October 2020: Ofqual has confirmed that it is implementing its proposals for the Extended ERF from today. Gateway Qualifications Centres should attend one of our two webinars to find out more and hear details about the adaptations that will be permitted for our qualifications during 2020-21.
General Adaptions Webinar – this webinar covers all qualifications except Access to HE Diplomas and ESOL Skills for Life.
Update: 22nd September 2020: AoC, AELP, HOLEX, FAB, JCQ and Ofqual, have released a joint statement outlining their commitment to work together and streamline centre-facing communications over the current academic year. As a first step, they have jointly agreed that, by 23 October, awarding organisations will have started to communicate to centres their planned approach to any adaptations to their qualifications for 2020/21, to assist in mitigating disruption to teaching, learning and assessments so that, as far as possible, learners have the opportunity to receive fair results in 2020 to 2021 and are not disadvantaged by the longer-term impacts of the pandemic.
We appreciate that managing how you support your learners this academic year will be challenging and may vary across locations as the need for social distancing and additional local restrictions continues.
Our qualifications and assessment approaches include a high degree of flexibility which we believe will enable you to meet your requirements in most cases.
Ofqual is consulting until 20th September on a further draft version of the Extended ERF as it implements its approach to the assessment and awarding of Vocational, Technical and other General Qualifications in 2020 to 2021.
In parallel to Ofqual’s development of the Extended ERF, we are developing guidance to help Centres deliver, assess and award our qualifications in the uncertain circumstances of this academic year. Once the Extended ERF is confirmed and implemented, we will be providing further support to help Centres ensure they are able to meet their learners’ needs and local requirements when delivering and assessing qualifications.
Flexible delivery and assessment methods are a feature of most of our qualifications, meaning that many of the challenges Centres are facing can already be overcome within the requirements for our qualifications. Please do ensure that when adapting your delivery models you are still able to meet the requirements set out in the Centre Handbook and relevant Qualification Specifications.
In order to make awarding your learners as straight forward as possible in the event of any disruption to learning or assessment this year you might also want to consider;
- Registering learners as early as possible to ensure they are recorded on our systems.
- Selecting units as soon as you know what you will be delivering. This will allow us to plan more effectively and offer more targeted support in the event that courses cannot be completed in the usual way. Please follow our usual guidance when doing this: Registering Learners – Selecting Units at Registration and Registering Learners – Selecting Units at a Later Date.
- Claim regularly for completed qualifications or partial achievement of larger qualifications. There is no limit to the number of times you can claim, and you will not be charged any more for doing so. By “banking” achievement throughout the year, you will ease the evidence burden in the event that learning is disrupted later in the course.
External Quality Assurance, Moderation and Remote Sampling
The requirements for remote sampling and any visits are the same as we would require when an EQA visits a Centre.
We are continuing with external quality assurance and moderation activity and have put in place a system to undertake this activity remotely. We have prepared this guide to help you prepare for remote sampling and visits.
Please continue to contact us in the usual manner, all staff have access to email and we recently introduced a new phone system which enables all staff to have full access to our telephone system when away from the office so all calls to our office numbers will be answered.
If you know which member of staff you need to speak to you may find it quicker to contact them on their direct dial number. Contact numbers and emails for each department can be found on our meet the team pages.
Awarding Learners due to complete by 31st July 2020
Having worked within the Vocational and Technical Qualification extraordinary regulatory framework provided by Ofqual, we have been able to assign grades to our learners to enable them to progress to the next stage of their learning or employment, despite the extraordinary circumstances that we have all found ourselves in this year.
In some limited cases, claims under the ERF can still be made. If you have any learners who cannot be awarded using our normal procedures, please contact us to find out if they are eligible and how to proceed.
Access to HE students have received calculated grades in line with QAA guidance for all those due to complete by 31 July 2020. These results have been confirmed and uploaded to UCAS. The appeals process has now concluded in line with QAA timescales.
More details about how awarding took place during the summer of 2020 are still available on our dedicated webpage for reference only.
We have now returned to our usual RAC and Direct Entry results submissions processes.