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Vocational Qualifications

Gateway Qualifications is working closely with its regulators (Ofqual, QAA, Qualifications Wales) and the Department for Education (DfE) to ensure a swift and fair resolution for the 2019-20 academic year.

We are also following Public Health England guidance to protect our staff, EQAs and Moderators in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

We will add to this page to provide updates to our response and any actions Centres should take as the situation develops.

A frequently asked questions section has been added to the page to help you find the answers to the most common queries we are receiving.

Page Last Updated: 3rd April 2020

Updates from Regulators

QAA for Access to HE Diplomas – https://www.accesstohe.ac.uk/

Ofqual for RQF qualifications – https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ofqual

Awarding Approach for 2019/20

We are currently developing principles with regard to the awarding of learners’ work during the 2019/20 academic year. We are being guided by the regulators and we will be providing an update as soon as possible.

Changes to Delivery

We appreciate that managing how you support your learners is going to be your priority right now.

If your Centre is making significant changes to the way you deliver any qualifications, please use this form to notify us so we can provide appropriate support.

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.

Getting Ready for Remote Sampling and Meetings – Centre Guidance March 2020

Contacting Us

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. These numbers can be found on our meet the team pages and in our email signatures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Assessments
Can I delay or rebook an assessment?

Yes – If an externally set assessment needs to be rebooked (e.g. ESOL assessments or Online multiple-choice assessments) you should follow our normal process for cancelling or rebooking an external assessment. There is no charge for cancelling or rebooking.

Can I conduct an assessment via video conference?

If the assessment is a presentation, discussion, Q&A or similar, then yes, a video conference can be used to carry the assessment out. Please ensure that you are able to verify the learner’s identity and meet the assessment and quality assurance requirements and controls.

This answer includes all qualifications including Access to HE. This does not apply to externally set assessments (see below).

Can I invigilate an externally set assessment via video conference?

No, currently we are unable to approve these being carried out remotely.

Are all your assessments cancelled?

The vast majority of our qualifications are centre-assessed via a portfolio of evidence. In many cases, it will be possible to continue to teach and assemble a portfolio remotely.

Where qualifications have an externally set assessment these are unlikely to be able to be taken in the current situation, we are currently developing principles with regard to the awarding of learners’ work during the 2019/20 academic year. We are being guided by the regulator and we will be providing an update as soon as possible.

My ESOL learners were due to sit an assessment but can't attend to take it, what should I do?

Where possible assessments may be delayed until a later date.   We are currently awaiting further guidance from the regulator on the approach to be adopted where assessments have not been completed.

Are ESOL assessments cancelled like GCSEs and A Levels?

ESOL assessments are available on demand.  These assessments may be delayed.  We are currently awaiting further guidance from the regulator on the approach to be adopted where assessments have not been completed.

Are Access to HE assessments cancelled like GCSEs and A Levels?

The DfE and QAA today announced that Access to HE students due to complete their course by 31st July 2020 will now receive calculated grades for all remaining assessment with submission dates after March 2020.

More information is included in our Access to HE Students to receive calculated grades article.

Can I carry out an ESOL assessment via video conference?

Currently, we are unable to approve these being carried out remotely.  We are waiting for further guidance from the regulator.

Awarding and Certification
Are you still certificating?

We will continue to process results as normal and have enabled eCertificates for all Centres. We are not currently printing certificates so please follow the guidance on how to produce eCertificates if you require a certificate urgently. Once we are able to resume certificate printing, we will provide printed certificates for Centres that require them.

Can I claim for the work learners have completed so far?

Yes you can. We will issue you an eCertificate for any achievements. You can still claim again if the learners are able to complete additional units.

I am concerned that my learners will be unable to complete the qualification as we are unable to move to online delivery and assessment, can they be awarded?

We appreciate that there will be cases where learners cannot complete work due to limited or no online access. We are currently developing principles with regard to the awarding of learners’ work during the 2019/20 academic year. We are being guided by the regulator and we will be providing an update as soon as possible.

This answer includes all qualifications including Access to HE.

My learners are key workers/carers/self-isolating and cannot attend lessons, can they be awarded?

We appreciate that some learners are key workers/carers/self-isolating and may not be in a position to complete work on join online activities.  We are currently developing principles with regard to the awarding of learners’ work during the 2019/20 academic year. We are being guided by the regulator and we will be providing an update as soon as possible.

This answer includes all qualifications including Access to HE.

Can I get a replacement certificate?

We are also not currently able to print or post replacement certificates. If you require a replacement certificate, please follow the usual process and we will process your request once printing resumes. If you urgently require a replacement, please complete the appropriate form and then email enquiries@gatewayqualifications.org.uk with details.

Delivery
I need to change my delivery or assessment method, what should I do?

If your Centre is making significant changes to the way you deliver any qualifications, please use this form to notify us so we can provide appropriate support.

This answer includes all qualifications including Access to HE.

Can I claim for the work learners have completed so far?

Yes you can. We will issue you an eCertificate for any achievements. You can still claim again if the learners are able to complete additional units.

Can I use a unit from a different qualification to replace a unit I can no longer teach?

Unfortunately, despite the circumstances, we are not able to revise qualification structures.  However, we are able to support the centre in advising on alternative delivery approaches or selecting alternative units in order that learners can complete the qualification.  If you are unable to deliver a unit remotely, due to its practical nature you may choose an alternative unit from the qualification provided the rules of combination can still be met.

This answer includes all qualifications including Access to HE.

Learners are unable to complete what do I do?

If your Centre is ceasing delivery or making significant changes to the way you deliver any qualifications, please use this form to notify us so we can provide appropriate support.

You can claim for any work the learners have completed and we will issue an eCertificate. You can still claim again if the learners are able to complete additional units in the future.

We are currently developing principles with regard to the awarding of learners’ work during the 2019/20 academic year. We are being guided by the regulator and we will be providing an update as soon as possible.

This answer includes all qualifications including Access to HE.

Do you have any resources I can use to support learning from home?

Yes, we have a list of suggested resources to support your delivery which you may find helpful if you are required to set additional work for learners to complete independently or remotely. If you have any other resources you would like to share, please email qualdev@gatewayqualifications.org.uk

I am having to postpone my course do I need to extend my cohort end date on Quartz?

This won’t be necessary as claims can be made even after the end date of the course, this allows the flexibility required to meet various learner requirements.

We would recommend if you are selecting units at a later stage to ensure this is done before the cohort end date as the ability to select units is removed once the end date has passed.

General
Is the office still open?

We are following government advice and have implemented home working for all staff. Staff are contactable through the usual routes and we are confident that we can continue to provide the high levels of service you expect from us.

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. These numbers can be found on our meet the team pages and in our email signatures.

Face to Face meetings are still taking place with customers through the use of a number of different video conference and virtual meeting solutions and we are happy to arrange this when required.

Can I post completed assessments or portfolios to you?

We have introduced electronic submission and remote sampling for all qualifications.

Please avoid sending any learner work by post whilst the office remains closed. Please store any originals securely in line with the guidance provided in the Centre Handbook.