BTEC Assessment and Quality Assurance update (UK)

16 September 2020

Following on from our previous communication, we wanted to summarise the support available for assessment and quality assurance this academic year, and highlight the key dates/milestones this term.

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Deadline for late submission of Centre Assessment Grade(s) and/or exam entries for summer 2020

We understand that some of you may have realised that one or more Centre Assessment Grades, or exam entries, had not been submitted to us for assessments that were due to be undertaken over summer 2020, due to an administrative error, and that you may wish to make a late submission. Please note that the deadline for late submissions to be considered is 17 September 2020. You can complete the SA16 form (PDF, 583KB) for this. 

Printing of certificates

Please note as a result of the BTEC regrading review, and in order to ensure that only correct certificates are printed, we have put a temporary hold on the printing of vocational certificates. We are aiming to print all certificates and have them in centres by 9 October 2020 (excluding for those learners with summer 2020 external assessment results). We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this. 

Certificates for learners with summer 2020 external assessment results will be in centres by 7 November 2020, as in previous years.

Online Standardisation of Centre Assessors (OSCA) 

We will release our centre assessor standardisation materials in October, and will keep you updated when these are available.

Lead Standards Verification (LSV)  

We have moved to our ‘risk-based’ quality assurance process, where we review data and evidence to assign Standards Verifiers, to support centres to be able to maintain standards through accurate assessment decisions. As we did not complete the full cycle of Lead SV last year, we will ‘roll over’ Lead SV decisions into 2020/21. This means the same risk rating that was applied in 2019/20 will apply in 2020/21.

Standards Verification 

As we have now finalised 2019/20 internal assessment grades based on your submissions, and a new registration year has started, we are no longer expecting to issue calculated results, except for a small number of late submissions as detailed above. This means we expect to offer Standards Verification this academic year, where a Pearson subject specialist will review learner work and your centre’s assessment decisions. This activity will be completed remotely, wherever possible, and is due to commence from January 2021. 

Internal assessment grade reporting 

We recommend that you report all grades in a timely way, and we encourage you to submit grades as soon as units/assessments are completed throughout the year (instead of doing a bulk upload towards the end of the academic year). This means we can assist with the verification and approval of learners’ grades and provide appropriate support. Many centres advised us that they faced challenges in completing this, as members of staff were not available to upload grades in the summer. Please make sure you have more than one person able to submit grades for your centre. 

Resubmitting assignments for internal units  

Learners who received Centre Assessment Grades (CAG) for internal units in summer 2020, will be able to submit assignments for these units in 2020/21, if they wish to. You will need to ensure the assessment plan is kept up-to-date and maintain a record of the CAG and the new attempt. 

Deferred calculated results for external units  

We know some of you have questions about when deferred calculated results would be available for learners, due to complete in 2020/21 or later, who did not meet the minimum evidence thresholds for determining external results in summer 2020. We can confirm that once full award claims are made, we will calculate grades for all entries marked as ‘Absent’ from the summer 2020 examination session, using the method that informed our review (PDF, 500KB). Grades will be calculated and released in line with the January series results day, or the June series results day (depending on when the full award claim is made). If learners choose to re-sit assessments in January, and/or June (prior to receiving their deferred calculated results), the highest grade will be applied to the qualification result.  

Resits for external assessments   

DfE have confirmed that where learners received a calculated result for external units in summer 2020, they will be able to resit the assessment, if they wish to. This is because learners did not get the opportunity to sit the assessment(s) this summer, so it does not count towards one of the allowed attempts within the DfE resit rules. 

Autumn exam series   

As previously communicated, we have put on additional external assessment opportunities this autumn for some of our childcare qualifications at Levels 2 and 3, where there is a ‘licence to practise’ element involved. Please see here for further details (under ‘Vocational Qualifications’).

The DfE have created this guide for schools and colleges outlining responsibilities for autumn exams. They have also published details of their helpful exam support service, for claiming for autumn exam fees, sites and invigilators for general and vocational qualifications (with exceptions detailed). This service applies to autumn 2020 or spring 2021 re-sits, where an exam entry was originally made in summer 2020 and there is a scheduled assessment opportunity.

January exam series    

Our next full external assessment series is planned for January 2021. The entry deadline for paper-based assessments is 19 October 2020.
It is essential to make entries on time, so we can support you appropriately, and ensure learners can access the assessment and receive results.

Adaptations to assessments in 2020/21    

As communicated last week, we have created teaching and learning guides to support delivery of BTEC qualifications in 2020/21. We are working with DfE and Ofqual to create detailed assessment guidance to mitigate against disruption to teaching, learning and assessment, as a result of COVID-19. We will update you once that is available.

We wish you and your learners all the best for this academic year.  Please contact us if you have any questions.

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