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As the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic continue to impact teaching and assessment, we remain committed to supporting our centres and learners. On this page, we will provide updates and guidance for the academic year 2021-22.

Following the lifting of most restrictions announced in July 2021, we expect that the majority of centres will be able to return to teaching and assessing qualifications in line with our usual requirements as set out in the relevant qualification specifications.

Many of our qualifications and assessments already have flexibilities built-in which enable centres to adapt their delivery to meet their local needs. Centres will be able to continue to use these to ensure compliance with any local public health considerations whilst enabling learners to undertake their qualifications.

It has also been announced that existing adaptations made under the VCRF can continue for 2021-22 and we will permit the use of these adaptations where they are needed. Updated adaptations guidance is available below.

Centres will be expected to teach all of the content of qualifications in 2021-22, making use of adaptations where needed. Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs) will not be permitted in 2021-22.

Page last updated: 6th September 2021

Latest Updates
6th September 2021

QAA has put safeguards in place to support Access to HEvstudents and providers in the form of an Extraordinary Regulatory Framework (ERF) in 2021-22.

The arrangements will:

  • ensure students have the opportunity to achieve their Diploma by being taught and assessed
  • continue to safeguard against any potential future disruption as a result of the pandemic

The framework will provide flexibility so that our providers can work alongside Gateway Qualifications to put in place arrangements that fit local needs, and that meet the individual needs of learners. Use the following links to view the full guidance published by QAA:

Provider guidance

Student guidance

Gateway Qualifications will continue to support centres in meeting the challenges faced and the requirements of the ERF, and provide the guidance that ensures students are not disadvantaged whilst studying their Access to HE Diploma.

26th August 2021
6th August 2021

Ofqual and the Department for Education (DfE) have published the outcome of their recent public consultation on the arrangements for exams and assessments for Vocational and Technical Qualifications (VTQs) in 2021-22.

Read the full results on the government website

Adaptations

We will be retaining any adaptations that have been made to qualifications, as many of you have fed back how useful these have been in enabling you to continue teaching and assessing throughout the pandemic. 

Guidance Documents

We have revised our guidance documents 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 2021-22

Centre guidance for adaptations to Essential Digital Skills Qualifications 2021-22

Centre guidance for adaptations to ESOL Skills for Life qualifications 2021-22

Centre guidance for adaptations for Surpass Online Multiple Choice Assessments 2021-22

Additional guidance for specific qualifications suites

ESOL
ESOL Adaptations

Guidance for adaptions for ESOL qualifications is in our Centre guidance for adaptations to ESOL Skills for Life qualifications 2021-22.

Essential Digital Skills Qualifications (EDSQ)
Remote Assessments for Essential Digital Skills Qualifications

Gateway Qualifications is continuing to allow learners to take Essential Digital Skills live assessments remotely.

More details and guidance on taking EDSQ assessments remotely

EDSQ Adaptations
Online Multiple-Choice Assessments
Remote Assessments for Online Multiple-Choice Assessments

Gateway Qualifications is continuing to allow learners to take online multiple-choice assessments remotely.

More details and guidance on taking online multiple-choice assessments remotely

Centre guidance for adaptations for Surpass Online Multiple Choice Assessments 2021-22

Online Multiple-Choice Assessment Adaptations
Qualifications requiring direct observation
Health and Care Qualifications

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

Education and Training Qualifications

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.

It is expected that with lockdown restrictions lifted and FE delivery returning to ‘normal’, that the covid mitigations will cease to apply. Further details are included in our Centre guidance for adaptations to qualification delivery and assessment 2020-2021.

Assessor and Quality Assurance Qualifications

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.

It is expected that with lockdown restrictions lifted and FE delivery returning to ‘normal’, that the covid mitigations will cease to apply. Further details are included in our Centre guidance for adaptations to qualification delivery and assessment 2020-2021.

Centres seeking to make adaptations to the above Education and Training, or  Assessor and Quality Assurance 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 VCRF?

Qualifications from Entry to Level 6 fall into scope of the Vocational Technical Contingency Qualification Framework (VCRF).

Are teacher assessed grades permitted for learners due to complete in 2021-22?

No, teacher assessed grades are not permitted this year.

Delivery Questions
Will content in the qualifications be reduced?

The expectation is teaching and learning of all units should take place. Where learners are enrolled on a large qualification e.g. Diploma size, a degree of adaptations are permitted, please refer to the Centre guidance for adaptations to qualification delivery and assessment 2021-22.

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

Please refer to the Centre guidance for adaptations to qualification delivery and assessment 2021-22. 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 quality assured.

Our Holistic Learning Programmes guide may assist Centres wishing to deliver in this way.

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.

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 2021-22.

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 2021-22.

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?
Awarding and Certification Questions
How do I produce eCertificates?

Full guidance on producing eCertificates is provided here: Claiming Certificates – How to Produce eCertificates

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.