Plan for February and March exams

The DFE confirmed yesterday that VTQ exams due to take place in February and March will not go ahead as planned, with the exception of online on-demand external assessments where learners are ready and able to complete. 

With this in mind, this web page will set out our latest advice on:

  • which exams will be cancelled in February and March
  • exams which take place in an assessment window
  • submission of independent self-study assignments 
  • bookings for cancelled exams in February and March 
  • continuation of online on-demand assessments  
  • adaptation templates for CACHE qualifications
  • remote invigilation solution – coming soon 
  • a reminder on January set-place, set-time exams
  • next steps and Ofqual consultation
  • further guidance from Government.

Cancellation of February and March exams 

A number of NCFE external assessments (in our V Cert, CACHE and paper based Functional Skills qualification suites) timetabled for February and March 2021 will now be cancelled, following this week’s announcement. 

For NCFE customers this means the following external assessments timetabled for February and March 2021 will now be cancelled:

February

QAN 

Qual 

Assessment Code 

Date 

603/3293/1 

NCFE CACHE Level 2 Technical Award in Child Development and Care 

TACDC 

08/02/2021 

601/4574/2 

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Child Care and Education (Wales) 

CCE3/CSAP 

08/02/2021 

601/3955/9 

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Preparing to Work in Early Years Education and Care 

EYE/SAE 

04/02/2021 

601/2147/6 

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

EYE/SAE 

04/02/2021 

601/8437/1 

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

DCE2 

10/02/2021 - 26/02/2021 

601/8438/3 

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

DEYEC2 

08/02/2021 - 24/02/2021 

601/8438/3 

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

EYE/SAE 

04/02/2021 

603/0844/8 

NCFE Level 1 Technical Award in Graphic Design 

External assessment 

08/02/2021 – 05/03/2021 

603/0845/X 

NCFE Level 2 Technical Award in Graphic Design 

External assessment 

08/02/2021 – 05/03/2021 

603/3294/3 

NCFE CACHE Level 2 Technical Award in Health and Social Care 

TAHSC/SAE 

04/02/2021 

601/8435/8 

NCFE CACHE Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care 

HSED2 

05/02/2021 - 22/02/2021 

603/5055/6 

Level 1 Functional Skills Qualification in Mathematics 

External assessment 

08/02/2021 - 12/02/2021 

603/5060/x 

Level 2 Functional Skills Qualification in Mathematics 

External assessment 

08/02/2021 - 12/02/2021 

603/5058/1 

Level 1 Functional Skills Qualification in English 

Reading & Writing 

08/02/2021 - 12/02/2021 

603/5054/4 

Level 2 Functional Skills Qualification in English 

Reading & Writing 

08/02/2021 - 12/02/2021 

 

March

QAN 

Qual 

Assessment Code 

Date 

603/2964/6 

NCFE Level 1/2 Technical Award in Art & Design 

External assessment 

08/03/2021  

603/2955/5 

NCFE Level 1/2 Technical Award in Business and Enterprise 

External assessment 

19/03/2021 

601/0048/5 

NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Business and Enterprise 

External assessment 

02/03/2021 - 15/03/2021 

603/2963/4 

NCFE Level 1/2 Technical Award in Engineering 

External assessment 

18/03/2021 

603/2650/5 

NCFE Level 1/2 Technical Award in Health and Fitness 

External assessment 

10/03/2021  

603/2960/9 

NCFE Level 1/2 Technical Award in Performance Skills 

External assessment 

17/03/2021  

601/8908/3 

NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Business and Enterprise 

External assessment 

24/03/2021 

603/2987/7 

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

AGAEYCE 

08/03/2021  

603/2913/0 

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

AGAHSC 

09/03/2021  

601/6779/8 

NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Music Technology 

Written 

12/03/2021  

601/6777/4 & 601/6774/9 

NCFE Level 1 Technical Award in Music Technology & NCFE Level 2 Technical Award in Music Technology 

Practical 

08/03/2021 - 12/03/2021 

601/6777/4 & 601/6774/9 

NCFE Level 1 Technical Award in Music Technology & NCFE Level 2 Technical Award in Music Technology 

Written 

08/03/2021 - 12/03/2021 


Exams which take place in an assessment window 

Where exams take place in an assessment window which opens in January but continues into February and/or March, these will not be cancelled for those centres who wish to continue. 
 
We know there are some centres who may have already made secure plans to continue with these, and prepared learners accordingly. Therefore, as with other vocational exams in January, we will continue to enable centres to decide where it is safe and appropriate to continue with these exams.  

As with other January exams, if you decide not to go ahead with exams in these windows, or you feel that your learners are not suitably prepared for the assessment, please withdraw your learners as soon as possible by contacting our Customer Support team on 0191 239 8000 or [email protected]. We will put arrangements in place to ensure these learners are not disadvantaged. Ofqual has confirmed they will launch their consultation on Friday where views on alternative arrangements for these qualifications will be sought. 

Submission of independent self-study assignments 

For those assessments in February and March which are independent self-study, we are very aware that learners may wish to undertake these because they have already begun these assessments / are prepared and ready to start / are still attending school or college. 

Where this is the case, we can confirm that we will still accept the submission of these assessments by the dates below, and they will be marked and results issued as per the timetabled results release dates:   

QAN 

Qualification Name 

Submission Date 

Results Release 

603/5355/7 

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care (Adults) (Northern Ireland) 

02/02/2021 

06/04/2021 

600/7093/6 

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma for Children’s Care, Learning and Development (Wales and Northern Ireland) 

25/03/2021 

03/06/2021 


However, as with exams in January, if a centre decides to not go ahead with any of these exams or you feel that your learner is not suitably prepared for the assessment,  please withdraw your learners from the assessment as soon as possible by contacting our Customer Support team on 0191 239 8000 or [email protected]. We will put arrangements in place to ensure these learners are not disadvantaged. Ofqual has confirmed they will launch their consultation on Friday where views on alternative arrangements for these qualifications will be sought. 

Bookings for cancelled exams in February and March 

For those exams which are now confirmed as being cancelled in February and March, no further bookings need to be made, and centres do not need to withdraw learners.   

Continuation of online on-demand assessments  

As set out in the DfE communication, where assessments for qualifications can take place online and  learners are ready to take them in the coming weeks, assessments should continue as planned. For NCFE, this includes Functional Skills Qualifications, Dental and the following CACHE qualifications: 

  • Understand How to Set Up a Home-Based Childcare Service (CYPOP 5) 
  • the online, on-demand external assessment within the NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in the Principles and Practice of Dental Nursing (601/2251/1). 

For learners who are unable to access assessment in this way, alternative assessment arrangements will be put in place following the outcomes of the consultation. 

If you decide not to go ahead with any of these exams, please withdraw your learners as soon as possible by contacting our Customer Support team on 0191 239 8000 or [email protected]. 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. 

 


Adaptation templates for CACHE qualifications 

We're working on updating our adaptation templates for the following qualifications to provide more information to support centres. We will communicate the specific details to impacted centres as soon as possible:  


Remote Invigilation solution – coming soon 

We’re delighted to announce that we will be launching our Remote Invigilation solution for Functional Skills to all customers in the coming weeks – enabling your learners to sit their assessment anytime, anywhere. We are nearing the end of a robust pilot of the system to ensure the system, process, and support materials are all safe, sustainable, effective, and meet the needs of providers and learners. As a result of this testing, our solution and accompanying support materials are set to be best in class. Next week, we’ll be updating you on further information including a launch date for our solution, as well as how you can register your interest. Read more.


Next stepsand Ofqual consultation 

We want to again reassure you and your learners that we will put arrangements in place for learners who are now unable to take their external assessments, to ensure they are not disadvantaged.  

Ofqual has confirmed they will launch their consultation on Friday 15 January  where views on alternative arrangements for these qualifications will be sought.  The consultation will cover arrangements for issuing grades this year for regulated VTQs, as well as arrangements for external assessments for the remainder of the academic year.   


A reminder on January set-date, set-time exams 

As communicated last week, set-date, set-time January exams are going ahead as planned, where centres judge it safe to do so.  More information about the adaptations we’ve already put in place to support can be found here.

We are aware that there are exams that take place in an assessment window that begin in January and continue into February/March. We are considering what alternative arrangements can be put in place for these and will provide further updates as soon as we are able. If your learners have already commenced assessments in these windows, they can continue to completion, where centres judge it safe to do so.

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 on 0191 239 8000 or [email protected] 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.


Further guidance from Government 

Guidance for schools and colleges on who should enter students for exams, the health arrangements for exams and the support DfE is providing can be found here. 

More information 

Please continue to check our regularly updated Covid hub for the latest information, and you can also contact our Customer Support team on 0191 239 8000 or via [email protected].