26 October 2020

Following feedback from schools and colleges about the volume of communication being received we have created a vocational qualifications bulletin covering some of the key aspects of assessment for 2020/2021.

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Overview and update on our adaptation proposals

Following on from our communication on 29 September 2020, in which we shared with you our proposal for adapting assessments for the academic year 2020/2021 that we have submitted to Ofqual and DfE, we would like to provide an update.

BTEC Nationals, Firsts, Technicals and Tech Awards 

We are still waiting for final feedback from Ofqual and DfE on our adaption proposal for internal assessment which means we are unable to confirm our approach, however, we hope to communicate this to you in the coming week. We are able to confirm the adaptations to external assessments, which are outlined in the BTEC External Assessment section below.  

In the meantime, we encourage you to continue teaching and assessing focusing on the mandatory units first. In addition, to mitigate against future disruptions, we ask that you ‘bank’ learners’ achieved internal assessment grades onto our systems throughout course delivery (using the ‘Interim claim’ function), rather than waiting to submit grades at the end of the academic year. We have issued a range of BTEC Teaching and Learning Guides to support you in this process. 

Other Qualification suites  

Below is the summary of the confirmed adaptations to assessments for our other suites of qualifications:

Qualification suite Adaptation
BTEC Level 1 and Below No adaptations to assessments - Teaching and Learning guidance will be available shortly
Work-Based Learning Continue to adapt assessment as per our guidance updated for 2020/21 
Functional Skills and ESOL No adaptations to assessments - delivery guidance and support available here
Essential Skills Wales
 
Further information with regards to adaptations

BTEC External Assessment

Some externally-set tasks for the BTEC Nationals (RQF), BTEC Firsts (NQF), BTEC Tech Awards and BTEC Technicals in the following sectors will be adapted to support centres to adhere to public health guidance: 

  • Applied Science
  • Creatives 

The adaptations include increasing the assessment window time, reducing the performance time and allowing for solo work. Please refer to our external assessment adaptation guidance to understand the adaption applicable to each qualification. The guidance is available here

Reminder: The entry deadline for the January/February external assessment session is 1 November, late fees will be charged from 2 November, in line with the deadline for BTEC registrations. 

BTEC Timetable update

As you are aware, we are proposing to align our BTEC exam timetable to the revised exam timetable for General Qualifications, as per the recent government announcement. This means our BTEC timetabled assessment window would start on 24 May and end on 2 July. Please find more information here

Although we are not proposing to push back our timetabled assessments for the January/February/March series, we have proposed some adaptations to a handful of assessments being offered in both January and June series (see above under ‘BTEC External Assessment’). Those changes are confirmed above and reflected in our draft timetable. We are pleased to be able to share the BTEC Assessment draft timetables with you today. They are available on the Provisional timetables page.

Please note we will keep this timetable as ‘draft’ until the General Qualifications timetable is finalised. You are also able to provide feedback on our BTEC draft timetable via timetables@pearson.com

Overview of BTEC Quality Assurance activity for 2020/21

Centre Guide to Quality Assurance

We have published this year’s Centre Guide to Quality Assurance here, which includes many of the Frequently Asked Questions from  customers and further details on the activities to be undertaken. To further support you with BTEC quality assurance activity for this year, we are also running online events, if you are interested in attending you can register here

Annual Centre Declaration (ACD)

Every BTEC centre will need to submit their annual declaration by 6 November 2020. This year, we have introduced a Microsoft Form for you to complete which can be accessed here. We have extended the deadline in recognition of the newly published guidance for the Blended Learning Policy.

Centre Standardisation Materials (CSMs)

We are pleased to confirm that all Centre Standardisation materials (CSMS) are now available on the ‘OSCA’ platform which you can access in the usual way through Edexcel Online. 

We have extended the deadline for completion of these materials to 20 November 2020.  

Lead Internal Verifier (LIV) Registration 

Registration for LIVs is now open through the OSCA platform on Edexcel Online. Please ensure you register a LIV as soon as possible as the deadline was Friday 23 October 2020. You can find more information and a short video explaining how to register as LIV here.

The process for the registration and standardisation of LIVs remains the same as in previous years. LIVs should remember that for QCF qualifications, OSCA accreditation ceased to exist on 31 August 2019. By registering as LIV for a QCF programme you are confirming standardisation will take place within your centre. 

Lead SV Activity

This academic year, your centre will receive support from a BTEC Lead Standards Verifier (Lead SV) through either:  

  • a virtual remote activity and a desktop thematic policy review or
  • a desktop thematic policy review only 

The type of activity undertaken by your centre has been determined by the following criteria:

Centres who are new to BTEC from September 2020 Virtual remote activity and a desktop review of policies
Centres who were new to BTEC from April 2019, did not participate in a Quality Management Review (QMR) activity and who were not subject to either BTEC Lead SV visit or remote activity in 2019/20 Virtual remote activity and a desktop review of policies
Centres who may require additional support or guidance on quality management Virtual remote activity and a desktop review of policies
Centres who have existing BTEC provision and were subject to either BTEC Lead SV visit or remote activity Desktop thematic policy review

Centres who are new to BTEC from September 2020

 

Virtual remote activity and a desktop review of policies
 

Centres who were new to BTEC from April 2019, did not participate in a Quality Management Review (QMR) activity and who were not subject to either BTEC Lead SV visit or remote activity in 2019/20
 

Virtual remote activity and a desktop review of policies

 

Centres who may require additional support or guidance on quality management
 

Virtual remote activity and a desktop review of policies

 

Centres who have existing BTEC provision and were subject to either BTEC Lead SV visit or remote activity
 

Desktop thematic policy review
 

Centres who are new to BTEC from September 2020

 

Virtual remote activity and a desktop review of policies
 

Centres who were new to BTEC from April 2019, did not participate in a Quality Management Review (QMR) activity and who were not subject to either BTEC Lead SV visit or remote activity in 2019/20
 

Virtual remote activity and a desktop review of policies

 

Centres who may require additional support or guidance on quality management
 

Virtual remote activity and a desktop review of policies

 

Centres who have existing BTEC provision and were subject to either BTEC Lead SV visit or remote activity
 

Desktop thematic policy review
 

Centres who are new to BTEC from September 2020

 

Virtual remote activity and a desktop review of policies
 

Centres who were new to BTEC from April 2019, did not participate in a Quality Management Review (QMR) activity and who were not subject to either BTEC Lead SV visit or remote activity in 2019/20
 

Virtual remote activity and a desktop review of policies

 

Centres who may require additional support or guidance on quality management
 

Virtual remote activity and a desktop review of policies

 

Centres who have existing BTEC provision and were subject to either BTEC Lead SV visit or remote activity
 

Desktop thematic policy review
 

We have written to customers to confirm if they will be subject to virtual remote activity and a desktop review of policies. If you haven’t heard from us by now, you will be subject to the desktop review of policies activity only. 

Programme Ratings 

For programmes which were subject to a rating in 2019/20, we will be mapping across the ratings into this year. Therefore, the ratings which were confirmed with you at the beginning of March, including any appeals outcomes, will be the ratings applied to your BTEC programmes in 2020/21.  

For programmes being delivered for the first time in 2020/21, a rating will be generated for these programmes and will be Medium Control.  

If you are a centre who will be undertaking virtual, remote activity with your Lead SV, the programme ratings will be subject to review as part of the activity. 

If you are a centre who will be undertaking the Thematic Policy Review activity only, the programme ratings will not be subject to review. 

Should you require a copy of the programme ratings, please ask your Lead SV who will be able to provide them for you. 

Standards Verification 

We plan to deliver the Standards Verification process remotely this year. This means that you will submit a sample to your Standards Verifier digitally or where that isn’t possible through the post. Standards Verification will run from January to June 2021. We will publish further guidance in the Centre Guide to Standards Verification which will be available on our website from 9 November 2020. 

Here to Help

Please contact us via our Support Portal if you have any questions and a member of the team will be happy to support. You can also find our Frequently Asked Questions section on the website which is regularly updated.  

We will continue to keep you updated.

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