Lockdown announcement – NCFE’s latest response, advice and guidance on assessments

If you have any questions about January exams or any of the below information, please contact our Customer Support team on 0191 239 8000 or [email protected]

On Monday 4 January, Government announced further restrictions to limit the spread of Covid-19. In the announcement, it was confirmed that exams will not go ahead this summer – but that planned vocational qualification exams will still take place in January, where centres judge it right for them to do so. You can find Government’s full statement and associated guidance here

We are currently working with Ofqual and other sector partners to agree how we will adapt our qualifications and approach to assessment for the remainder of the academic year to ensure that learners are not disadvantaged. Please note that we are aware Government has issued advice around GCSE and A Levels but equivalent information for VTQs is not yet available – we will issue further guidance as soon as we can.

Whilst we do that, we appreciate that you need clear advice and guidance from us about assessment activity due to take place during January so that you can make decisions and arrangements in the best interests of your learners.   Please be assured that if you do not to go ahead with January exams, we will ensure that: 

  • we will award a grade for any learner who is unable to take their exams and has enough evidence to receive a certificate that they need for progression (not applicable for Functional Skills – see below section for more details)
  • learners unable to take their assessment this January may be able to take their assessment at a later date. If that is not possible, we will put arrangements in place to ensure they are not disadvantaged.

With that in mind, this web page sets out our latest advice on:  

  • arrangements for set-date, set-time exams due to be conducted in January
  • arrangements for exams completed in a January assessment window, including the additional time we will allow and a reminder of the flexibilities already in place 
  • arrangements for submission of independent self-study assignments due to be submitted in January, including information on additional time now allowed for submissions  
  • additional adaptations we are putting in place for V Cert synoptic projects
  • Adaptations for longitudinal study qualification components
  • availability of online assessment for Functional Skills qualifications
  • our approach to assessment for the remainder of the academic year.

Arrangements for set-date, set-time exams due to be conducted in January 

Consistent with Government’s advice, setdate, settime exams scheduled to take place in January will go ahead for those centres that want to stage them. 

If you decide not to go ahead with these January exams, please withdraw your learners as soon as possible by contacting our Customer Support Team. If you do receive exam papers for an external assessment which you later decide not to go ahead with, please ensure these are safely stored within your secure storage facility and not opened by anyone. We will be in touch with further instructions in this case.

Arrangements for exams completed in a January assessment window 

Consistent with Government’s advice, planned vocational qualification exams scheduled to take place in January, or where an assessment window begins in January (and extends into February or beyond) will go ahead for those centres that want to stage them.

As above, if you decide not to go ahead with these January exams, please withdraw your learners as soon as possible by contacting our Customer Support team. If you do receive exam papers for an external assessment which you later decide not to go ahead with, please ensure these are safely stored within your secure storage facility and not opened by anyone. We will be in touch with further instructions in this case.  There are further assessment windows throughout the year which can be found in our external assessment timetable.

Recognising that the disruption to the start of the term may affect the planned start date of these exams, we have extended the end date for the assessment window for a number of qualifications below:

QAN  

Qual  

Start date  

Existing end date  

New end date  

603/2914/2  

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Health and Social Care  

11.01.21  

27.01.21  

05.02.21  

603/2988/9 

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Applied General Certificate for Early Years, Childcare and Education  

13.01.21  

29.01.21  

05.02.21  

601/8434/6  

NCFE CACHE Technical Level 3 Certificate in Health and Social Care  

21.01.21  

08.02.21  

12.02.21  

601/8436/X  

NCFE CACHE Technical Level 3 Certificate in Childcare and Education  

22.01.21  

09.02.21  

12.02.21  

601/8438/3  

NCFE CACHE Technical Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Educator)  

22.01.21  

09.02.21  

12.02.21  

 

There will be no changes to the following assessment window dates:   

QAN  

Qual  

Date  

End date (if window)  

601/8898/4  

NCFE L3 Applied General Certificate in Art and Design  

25.01.21  

05.03.21  

603/0851/5 

603/0852/7  

NCFE Level 1 Technical Award in Interactive Media & Level 2 Technical Award in Interactive Media  

25.01.21  

05.03.21  

601/6779/8  

NCFE L3 Applied General Certificate in Music Technology  

27.01.21  

26.02.21  

 

Where possible, we will also add additional assessment windows later in the academic year, and will be working closely with Ofqual on the possible alternative assessments that could be considered.

We also want to remind you about the additional flexibilities we have put in place to support both set-date, set-time exams, and exams completed in an assessment window.  We have:  

Arrangements for submission of independent self-study assignments

To support your workload and reduce your admin at this busy time, we are extending the submission deadline for a number of assessments. This is not for additional teaching and assessment but to cover the additional administrative burden you may be facing.

Of course, centres are welcome to submit assessments any time up to the new deadlines outlined below:

Qualification   number 

Qualification title 

Assessment

code  

Existing

Submission

date  

New submission

date   

  

Other available submission dates  

601/6109/7  

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Health and Social Care  

HSC/CEA1 & HSC/CEA2  

07/01/2021  

20/01/2021  

10/05/2021  

22/09/2021  

601/3999/7  

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Childcare and Education  

EYE/EPS1 and EYE/EPS2  

11/01/2021  

20/01/2021  

06/04/2021  

24/09/2021  

601/6110/3  

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care  

HSC/EDEA1 & HSC/EDEA2  

18/01/21  

20/01/2021  

17/05/2021  

07/10/2021  

601/2147/6  

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (EYE)  

EYE/RS1 & EYE/RS2  

15/01/21  

20/01/2021  

07/05/2021  

22/09/2021  


There will be no change to the submission dates for the following qualifications:

Qualification number   

Qualification title  

Assessment code   

Existing submission date   

Other available submission dates   

601/4000/8   

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (EYE)   

EYE/EA1 and EYE/EA2   

20/01/2021   

18/05/2021   

21/09/2021   

600/7093/6   

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma for Children's Care, Learning and Development (Wales & NI)   

CCLD T1 - T7   

28/01/2021   

25/03/2021   

26/05/2021   

24/06/2021   

23/09/2021   

601/2147/6   

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (EYE)   

EYE/EE1 & EYE/EE2   

22/01/2021   

15/05/2021  

05/10/2021   

 

We are also looking to add additional submission opportunities for all these qualifications. As soon as these new dates have been added, we will communicate this to you and add them to this web page.

 Additional adaptations we are putting in place for V Cert synoptic projects

Due to national lockdown and centres moving to online delivery, we know that the synoptic project for our V Cert qualifications (listed below) cannot be delivered in the usual way with the existing control measures.

Qualification number  

Qualification title  

603/2650/5  

NCFE Level 1/2 Technical Award in Health and Fitness (Model 4)  

603/2955/5  

NCFE Level 1/2 Technical Award in Business and Enterprise (Model 4)  

603/2960/9  

NCFE Level 1/2 Technical Award in Performance Skills (Model 4)  

603/2963/4  

NCFE Level 1/2 Technical Award in Engineering (Model 4)  

603/2964/6  

NCFE Level 1/2 Technical Award in Art & Design (Model 4)  

 

As this is an internal assessment and marked by the centre, we are putting additional adaptations in place to allow this assessment to be completed remotely, without the same levels of control or supervision. You can find this information here.  


Adaptations for longitudinal study qualification components

We have now released some specific guidance around additional adaptations to the longitudinal component of the following qualifications:

Please take a look at the individual qualification pages on QualHub for the most up to date guidance on this.

 

Availability of online assessment for Functional Skills qualifications

Our online assessment for Functional Skills Qualifications (FSQ) remains open for those centres that can complete the assessments safely, as per Government guidelines and in line with our Regulations for the Conduct of External Assessment

We have already put in place an invigilation exception request for Functional Skills to provide additional support to you.

Over recent months, we have been developing and piloting a remote invigilation solution for Functional Skills.  We are working towards a full roll-out of this in the coming weeks and will be in touch with further information soon.

Remote invigilation for these external assessments is only permitted at this stage if you are part of our remote invigilation pilot – our Customer Support team can advise further on this.

Our approach to assessment for the remainder of the academic year

We are working intensively with Ofqual and other sector partners to determine how we will further adapt our qualifications and assessments in response to the latest Government advice.  In doing that, rest assured that our prime concern will be supporting learners to progress in their chosen qualification and in their subsequent progression to the next stage of their education/careers.

If you have any questions about January exams or any of the below information, please contact our Customer Support team on 0191 239 8000 or [email protected]

If you have any questions about January exams or any of the information on this page, please contact our Customer Support team on 0191 239 8000 or [email protected]

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