January 2020 BTEC assessment window information - BTEC Nationals (RQF) | Pearson qualifications

January 2020 BTEC assessment window information - BTEC Nationals (RQF)

Find out about changes we are making to the January 2020 assessment windows.

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Strengthening the integrity of BTEC Nationals assessments

We keep our assessments under review in order to improve the experience of learners, mitigate unfair advantage or disadvantage, and ensure the validity and reliability of the assessment.

As a result of our most recent review, six BTEC Nationals (RQF) units will be moving from an extended length assessment window to a morning, timetabled slot from January 2020. This change aims to increase the integrity of the assessment, and only affects assessments with a length of three hours or less. 

The level of control and security will not change, and these assessments should be conducted as in previous series and as outlined in the unit’s Administrative Support Guide (ASG) for the academic year.

We have discussed these changes with a selection of teachers and administrators in order to mitigate any challenges, and we've also analysed data relating to when assessments were actually being scheduled within a supervised window.

We've concluded that it is viable and beneficial to use a timetabled slot for these units, and where large learner cohorts exist, appropriate alternative arrangements can be used to ensure all learners can still access the assessment.

The units affected are shown in the table on this page, and in the updated exam timetable. We are working to update the relevant ASG in time for the new academic year.

See the updated exam timetable

BTEC Level 3 Nationals (RQF) in:

Unit title

Unit code

Applied Law

Unit 3: Applying the Law


Children’s Play, Learning and Development

Unit 4: Enquiries into Current Research in Early Years Practice


Health and Social Care

Unit 4: Enquiries into Current Research in Health and Social Care


Forensic and Criminal Investigation

Unit 5: Applications of Criminology


Forensic and Criminal Investigation

Unit 7: Applications of Criminal and Forensic Psychology


Music Technology

Unit 5: Music Technology in Context


In the event of a timetable clash, where a candidate has more than three hours of assessments in the morning/afternoon of the same day, you may start assessments later than, or earlier than, the published start time within the same day without needing permission.

Where the size of the cohort means that it is not possible for all candidates to sit the assessments at the same time, you may split the cohort into two groups. One group of candidates will sit the assessment earlier than or later than the published start time. 

Security of the assessment must be maintained at all times.

Find out more about how to manage larger cohorts

Support for you

Your subject advisor is also available to support centres with any other teaching or assessment queries.

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