COVID 19 CONTINGENCIES UPDATES – Updated 24 March 2021
As you will be aware, as a result of some exams and assessments being cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic situation in 2021, the government has now announced the policy and scope of awarding vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs) in 2021, and Ofqual has today (24 March) published the outcome of its technical consultation on this.
Ofqual has now published the VTQ Contingency Regulatory Framework (VCRF) for Awarding Organisations (AOs) offering VTQs, and these regulatory arrangements will enable AOs to be sufficiently flexible to support as many learners as possible to achieve qualifications, whilst still retaining the integrity of those qualifications.
The infographic from Ofqual illustrates the following three categories of qualifications under the VCRF:
- Category B1 (left hand side, blue)
Alternative arrangements to written exams (similar to those being proposed for GCSEs, AS and A levels) are needed for those VTQs and other general qualifications most like GCSEs, AS and A levels, such as Applied General qualifications, Tech awards, and Core maths. Many of these were subject to calculated results last summer, and it is likely that some form of teacher assessment will be most appropriate this year.
- Category B2 (middle, purple)
Assessments for other VTQs (including Functional Skills or ESOL Skills for Life, and others) which do not share the characteristics of GCSEs, AS and A levels (eg do not have fixed exam series/dates, do not have results days, and can be assessed at any time and on an ongoing basis throughout the course) can and should go ahead wherever possible and in line with PHE guidance, and can be adapted where necessary to take account of issues associated with the pandemic. Teacher assessed grades may play a part in awarding these qualification but only if assessment cannot take place, or alternatively assessments may need to be delayed.
- Category A (right hand side, yellow)
Where qualifications are used to demonstrate occupational or professional competency or proficiency or to gain a licence to practise, then assessments for these qualifications should continue wherever this is possible, subject to PHE guidance. If assessments cannot take place, then they need to be delayed. Teacher assessed grades cannot play a part in awarding these qualifications.
We have identified which of our qualifications fall into which category, and are now finalising details of what centres need to do and when, so that as many of your learners as possible can be awarded qualifications fairly and validly.
Centres told us last year that the spreadsheets we sent to every centre with a list of their courses registered with us, and which category every course/qualification fell into, were very helpful, so we are currently producing these for you. This means it’s critical that you register all courses with us very urgently as we’ve previously requested, so that the data we send you is accurate and complete, and we know which qualifications you are looking to award between now and the end of August. Additions can be made later, however the more accurate information we have now, the better we can help you.
Please be assured we’re prioritising this work now we have all the information we need from DfE and Ofqual, and we will be in touch again very soon with your spreadsheet and information on every course you have registered.
- How qualifications will be awarded in 2021 – an article from Chief Regulator, Simon Lebus
- Simon Lebus responds to the Secretary of State’s direction of 23 February 2021
- Regulatory arrangements for the awarding of vocational and technical and other general qualifications in 2020-2021 – consultation outcome published 24 March 2021
- Ofqual Summer 2021 Qualification Explainer Tool
WE HAVE MOVED!
You MUST use our new address for all post including exam paperwork (whether by Royal Mail or courier). If you do not use the new address we cannot guarantee that we will receive your papers, and if we do receive them there will be a delay in processing them so we cannot guarantee to meet our usual turnaround times. Furthermore we cannot be held responsible for what may happen to papers, and personal data within them, which are not sent to the correct address – this will be your responsibility and any loss would have to be reported to the ICO as a personal data loss.
Our new address is: Cobb House, 2-4 Oyster Lane, Byfleet, KT14 7DU.
Our telephone numbers have not be changed.
Welcome to Laser Learning Awards
Laser Learning Awards (LASER) is an international awarding organisation regulated by Ofqual to offer qualifications, and is approved by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) to offer licence-linked qualifications in the security sector under the brand name Trident Awards. LASER is also a QAA regulated Access Validating Agency for Access to Higher Education qualifications. In addition, we provide a wide range of education and training related support and services which can be tailored to meet your individual needs.
To find out more, please choose from one of these main areas of our website.
Access to Higher Education
Information on our QAA regulated qualifications which offer progression routes onto university degree courses
Access to Higher Education
Information on our qualifications regulated by Ofqual, and unregulated (bespoke) qualification provision, offered under the LASER brand, and also for our training, support and consultancy services
Trident Awards Security
Information on our Ofqual and SIA approved licence-linked qualification in the security sector, offered under the Trident Awards brand
Trident Awards Security