Ascentis Arrangements for Vocational Qualifications in 2020-21

Update 26/02/2021:

For Ofqual, CCEA & Qualifications Wales Regulated Provision:

In January 2021 the regulators launched a consultation on Alternative arrangements for the award of VTQs and other general qualifications in 2021and the outcome has been published.  Ofqual have confirmed that they will be introducing a new regulatory framework ‘VTQ Contingency Regulatory Framework (VCRF).’

For certain qualifications, the VCRF will permit awarding organisations to issue results on the basis of teachers’ judgements of learners’ performance (to be referred to as Teacher Assessed Grades) when assessments do not take place and/or when learners cannot complete all internal assessment as a result of the disruption caused by the pandemic.  These provisions will only apply to specific qualifications identified by the Department for Education in the direction issued to Ofqual.  Further details on the qualification types and the outcome of the consultation are available in the above link.

Ofqual have also published a Infographic on how vocational and technical qualifications will be awarded in 2020-2021

The regulators have confirmed that on-demand, modular assessments for qualifications such as Ascentis ESOL, English and maths should continue where possible, with or without permitted adaptations, subject to public health guidance and Awarding Organisation requirements.


Next Steps:

Ofqual have launched the second phase of the consultation Regulatory arrangements for the awarding of vocational and technical and other general qualifications in 2020-2021 which closes on 11th March 2021.  The consultation includes specific details of the regulatory framework that Ofqual propose to put in place to enable awarding organisations to issue results to learners taking these qualifications so that they can progress to the next stage of their education.

Ascentis will email the Centre Quality Nominee with further information on the outcome of the consultation. We will provide guidance about eligibility for alternative arrangements and the learner evidence that will be required to determine Teacher Assessed Grades. We will also inform you about the internal quality assurance arrangements we will expect of centres and what information you will need to provide to us. We will also let you know how we will quality assure teacher assessed grades.

Ascentis will support centres via comprehensive guidance documents and we will offer webinars for centres to explain the processes. These will be available to book on the Events page of the website in the coming weeks.

Please continue to refer to all of the information on this page, including the below arrangements for the 2020-21 Extended Extraordinary Regulatory Framework.


The current arrangements for 2020-21: the Extended ERF

This is the current regulatory framework which builds on the previous VTQ framework (ERF) that we implemented over the summer of 2020.

The purpose of the EERF is to enable Awarding Organisations to assist with mitigating the impact of disruption to teaching, learning and assessment, and any ongoing disruption to or restrictions on the delivery of assessments, through the adaptation of qualifications and assessments. 

Ascentis identified some qualifications where adaptations will be permitted in 2020-21 under the Extended ERF. This will apply to the following Ascentis qualifications only:

Please click on the qualifications above to find out more information on the adaptations which are permitted currently under the EERF.

These adaptations are in place for learners who sit assessments or are due to complete their qualification by 31st July 2021.

Where an adaptation is not clearly specified for a qualification, these must be delivered, assessed and internally verified in line with the normal requirements of the qualification specification and no adaptation should be made that compromises these standards.  

To further support you, we are continuing to host QA webinars on the above qualifications.  Please visit our Events page here for further information or to book a place. 

If you have any questions regarding this, please contact the Quality Assurance Team at qualityassurance@ascentis.co.uk

Access to HE Qualifications

The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) have published the arrangements for Access to HE qualifications in 2020-21.  Ascentis have communicated with Centre Coordinators regarding the outcome of the QAA consultation and arrangements for 2020-21.  Please initially discuss with your Centre Coordinator if you have any questions.  Your centres allocated Ascentis Quality Assurance Manager will be able to support you with any queries you may have throughout this academic year.    

Supportive Documents:

Ascentis has a range of useful subject-specific resources to support all aspects of the delivery of our qualifications. For example, our brand new ESOL Skills for Life Handbook and Community Interpreting Centre Guidance. These documents and others are located in the Login Area of the Ascentis Website. 

EQA Activity:

All EQA activity will be completed remotely until further notice. Your allocated Centre Quality Reviewer and External Quality Assurer(s) should have been in contact to discuss arrangements for 2020-21. If you require further information on EQA activity, please contact qualityassurance@ascentis.co.uk  

Contact Information and Support

Our Customer Support Team will continue to support you in 2020-21, our main contact number is 01524 845046 or alternatively please email them at hello@ascentis.co.uk

If you need to get in touch with one of our teams, you can contact them directly on the following emails:

Staff will continue to respond to their emails; this will be the preferred method of communication.

Your centre

If circumstances occur which may further impact your learners please ensure that you inform us immediately so that we are better able to support you.   

Certificates

Centres have the option to receive e-Certificates only or hard copy certificates and e-Certificates.

Due to the national lockdown, all our staff are working remotely at the moment therefore the production of hard copy certificates has been paused. E-Certificates are available to download once results have been processed.

If you have any questions regarding certificates then please email the Registration, Verification and Certification Team at operations@ascentis.co.uk

Enquiries

In the meantime if you have any questions, please get in touch with your usual contact here at Ascentis or contact us at hello@ascentis.co.uk

 

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Quality Assurance Events

ESOL Quality Meeting Webinar

This is a free quality-focused event that Ascentis offers for all centres approved to deliver Ascentis ESOL. The event provides the opportunity to share best practice and centre concerns this academic year, and to receive updates on regulatory matters this year. We will also update you on adaptations for speaking and listening assessments that will be permitted for the rest of this academic year under the Extended ERF (EERF). Who can participate in the Quality Meeting? All approved Ascentis centres delivering Ascentis ESOL qualifications – centre co-ordinators, tutor/assessors, exams officers and those involved in the Internal Quality Assurance of these qualifications – are invited to attend. Who facilitates the Quality Meeting? It will be delivered by our experienced Lead ESOL External Quality Assurer (EQA), Ruth Simons. Ruth is a subject expert in the field of ESOL and also works in centres as an EQA so has a vast knowledge of Ascentis expectations and processes. Why attend? You will take away useful materials and information that will help with the delivery and assessment of these qualifications. Each delegate attending will receive a certificate of attendance which counts towards Continuing Professional Development. Feedback from previous delegates includes: • “Excellent understanding and supportive attitude towards centres” • “Fabulous support” • “Very informative” We very much hope you will take up this opportunity to join with our centres to participate in important quality assurance activities. Please note that this is a ticketed event for Ascentis centres only and places are limited. Please book your place using your centre email address to avoid disappointment.

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