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

This is following the policy decision by the DfE that it is not viable for external exams to go ahead for some VTQs and other general qualifications.  Ofqual implemented The Extended Extraordinary Regulatory Framework (Extended ERF) in October which gave awarding organisations (AOs) the flexibility to adapt their assessments and qualifications to mitigate against the disruption the pandemic has caused.

Ofqual is now proposing to implement a revised version of this framework which would:

  • allow AOs to continue to offer adapted assessments for qualifications in scope of the framework
  • enable AOs to award qualifications where exams have not taken place
  • allow AOs to award qualifications where there is incomplete assessment evidence as learners have not been able to complete assessments subject to minimum evidential requirements
  • not apply to some qualifications that demonstrate occupational competency or act as a licence to practise, Ofqual proposes that the provisions in the Extended ERF will continue to apply.

Full details of the consultation are available on the government’s education and childcare during coronavirus webpages.

Ofqual has also released a blog by Simon Lebus, Chief Regulator, requesting views on the consultation from centres, learners, parents or carers of a student.

The consultation closes on 29th January 2021.

What’s next?

Following the outcomes of this consultation, Ofqual will then undertake a further technical consultation.  Once this is concluded and Ofqual has confirmed the revised extraordinary regulatory framework, we will then be able to confirm our awarding approach to our centres.

Centres should be mindful that at this stage these are proposals and not firm arrangements.  It is important that learners continue engaging in teaching, learning and assessment in accordance with Public Health guidelines.