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During the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, we remain committed to supporting our centres and learners. On this page, we will provide updates and guidance as the situation develops.

We understand that many centres have already found ways to adapt their delivery to ensure that social distancing measures are met and that your learners are able to undertake their qualifications. However, you may be seeking further guidance.

Page last updated: 2nd March 2021

Access to HE – Provider flexibilities

Information Sheet: Provider flexibilities for supporting Access to HE Diploma students in 2020-21

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.

Remote Assessments for Essential Digital Skills Qualifications

Gateway Qualifications is allowing learners to take Essential Digital Skills live assessments remotely from 8th February 2021 during the current national lockdown.

More details and guidance on taking EDSQ Assessment Remotely are available here

The Vocational Contingency Regulatory Framework (VCRF)

On 25th February 2021, the Government announced the policy and scope of awarding vocational and technical qualifications in 2021. Ofqual also confirmed that it will implement a new principles-based qualifications framework, the Vocational Contingency Regulatory Framework (VCRF).

Ofqual proposes to withdraw the ERF and the Extended ERF, but proposes to carry forward provisions which are still relevant to the 2021 context into the VCRF. The VRCF will permit alternative awarding arrangements for in scope qualifications that include delaying assessments, adapting assessments including Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs).

Read more about the introduction of the VCRF

Vocational and Technical Awarding Arrangements 2021 – Webinar

Please join us at 12.30 pm on 11th March 2021 for a short, half-hour webinar that will introduce you to the VCRF and to give you an update on our progress for awarding arrangements this year.

Book your place on our webinar now

 

Adaptation Webinars

We would like to invite you to watch one of our adaptation webinars where we provide a regulatory update and details about the adaptations that will be permitted for our qualifications during 2020-21.

Our General Adaptions webinar is now available on-demand and covers all qualifications except ESOL Skills for Life and Access to HE qualifications.

Watch the general adaptations webinar now

We are holding an additional ESOL Adaptations webinar on 11th November 2020 at 2.30pm to specifically cover adaptations for ESOL Skills for Life qualifications.

Register now for the ESOL adaptations webinar

In recognition of the fact that some adaptation approaches are not suitable for use in the secure environment, we are also holding a webinar on 17th November 2020 at 3.00pm focused on adaptations for those delivering our qualifications in a prison context. Prisons delivering our ESOL qualifications are best-suited to attend this webinar but are welcome to join our ESOL Adaptations webinar too.

Register now for our Prison Adaptations webinar

Guidance Documents

The following guidance documents have been produced to assist Centres in making decisions about the adaptations which will be appropriate in their situation.

Centre guidance for adaptations to qualification delivery and assessment 2020-2021

Centre guidance for adaptations to delivery and assessment of ESOL Skills for Life qualifications 2020-21

Additional guidance for specific qualifications suites

Direct Observation in Health and Care Qualifications – the following documents from Skills for Health and Skills for Care and Development set out the adaptations permitted where direct observation in the workplace is required for assessment. This applies to the following qualifications:

Skills for Health assessment principles – flexibilities Sept 2020

Skills for Care and Development: Adaptions to Assessment Principles Covid-19

 

Direct Observation in Education and Training Qualifications – the following document from the Education and Training Foundation sets out the adaptations permitted where direct observation in the workplace is required for assessment. This applies to the following qualifications:

ETF additional guidance for qualifications in Education and Training

Centres seeking to make adaptations to these qualifications must seek agreement from us before applying those adaptations, by completing the form below.

Observations in Assessor and Quality Assurance Qualifications – the following document from the Education and Training Foundation sets out the adaptations permitted where direct observation is required. This applies to the following qualifications:

ETF additional guidance for Assessor/Quality Assurance qualifications

Centres seeking to make adaptations to these qualifications must seek agreement from us before applying those adaptations, by completing the form below.

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions
Which qualifications fall into scope of the Extended ERF?

All qualifications fall into scope of the Extended ERF but there are different flexibilities/requirements for individual qualifications.  Please refer to our website, the published guidance on adaptations and the assessment requirements within the published specifications for individual qualifications.

Are centre assessed grades permitted for learners due to complete in 2020-21?

No, this is not permitted under the Extended Extraordinary Regulatory Framework implemented by Ofqual.

Delivery Questions
Will content in the qualifications be reduced?

No, the guidance provided will assist providers to plan and deliver the qualifications through different ways to meet learner needs and to free up for teaching and assessment.

Please refer to the Centre guidance for adaptations to qualification delivery and assessment 2020-2021 – Gateway Qualifications for further information.

Where on the website is the education and training adaptation guidance?

Please refer to the Centre guidance for adaptations to qualification delivery and assessment 2020-2021 – Gateway Qualifications for further information.

This online webform should also be completed where adaptations are required.

Projects could be delivered long and thin is this ok or would it be better to deliver short and fat?

Projects may be delivered in whichever way is appropriate to the project objectives.  However, we would advise that learners complete assessments throughout their programme and bank units as soon as they have been assessed and QA’d.

Are adaptations permitted for EDSQ?

The only adaptation permitted is that tutors can access the observation record prior to the assessment being taken. This can be downloaded from QuartzWeb.

Assessment Questions
Is there a set proforma template available for recording oral assessments?

No, centres are able to use their own forms to conduct adapted assessments or centres may use proformas available on our website ttps://www.gatewayqualifications.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Centre-guidance-for-adaptations-to-qualification-delivery-and-assessment-2020-2021-Gateway-Qualifications.pdf

For ESOL Skills for Life qualifications centres should use the ESOL Skills for Life Observation Record that’s available within individual assessment packs.

Is an audio recording of oral questioning carried out via Microsoft Teams acceptable evidence or does it have to be written?

Yes, audio recordings would be accepted as valid evidence.

Can ESOL assessments be remotely supervised?

Writing assessments Entry 1 – Level 1 can be remotely supervised, for further details please refer to the Centre guidance for adaptations to delivery and assessment of ESOL Skills for Life Qualifications 2020/2021.

Speaking and listening assessments can be conducted online.

Reading cannot be remotely supervised

Can ESOL assessments be taken online?

Writing assessments Entry 1 – Level 1 can be remotely supervised, for further details please refer to the Centre guidance for adaptations to delivery and assessment of ESOL Skills for Life Qualifications 2020/2021.

Speaking and listening assessments can be conducted online.

Reading assessment cannot be taken online.

Can online assessments such as British Values or Mental Wellbeing be taken remotely?

No, but teaching and learning can take place remotely.

Do learners need to physically sign their work or is an electronic signature acceptable?

Electronic signatures are acceptable from learners as evidence of the authenticity of their work. This should be supported with a confirmation of learning statement completed by the tutor.

Please refer to the Centre guidance for adaptations to qualification delivery and assessment 2020-2021 – Gateway Qualifications for further information.

Awarding and Certification Questions
Can electronic portfolios be shared with EQAs?

Yes, we recommend that wherever possible the learner work is saved electronically.  This will facilitate sharing of work with EQAs.

Are we able to claim units as we go?

Yes, as soon as the work has been assessed and quality assured.

Can the EQA attend our (the centre's) online sessions to get validity on delivery/assessment?

Yes, our EQAs would be happy to attend online sessions.