ETF additional guidance for qualifications in Education and Training

Qualification mitigations issued 2 October 2020

Background

ETF is keen in these fast-moving times to provide a steer to Awarding Bodies as to appropriate mitigations to put in place rerefernce COVID-19 and the consequent disruption to the education and training sector. This is an update in a series of statements and follows that issued to cover the period to 30 September 2020. This document hopefully elaborates the appropriate responses in possible forthcoming scenarios.

It is recommended that to provide the best experience for learners, conditions during learning programmes should be as real and as close as possible to those likely to be experienced during their careers.

Diploma in Education and Training [DET]

It is in everyone’s interest to maintain the rigour and quality of the DET as the recognised teaching qualification for the FE sector and as this, in normal times, means competence to deliver face to face teaching and training, and employers would expect such from a qualification holder, it should always be borne in mind that it is a priority to seek to maximise face to face opportunities and assessments, wherever possible.

Therefore, in the case of the DET which is a large qualification, and opportunities for experience and assessment will extend through the year, centres should seek to delay such, insofar as possible, until face to face opportunities allow.

Any deviations from the full qualification guidance should be the exception rather than the rule and every effort to be compliant should be made: these mitigations are to be applied in extremis. It should also be noted that as we are in a dynamic environment: these guidelines may be subject to further review to ensure they are still appropriate.

Under the current COVID-19 related circumstances, it is recommended that learners on two-year programmes be observed a maximum of four times in year one, and that the unit ‘Developing teaching, learning and assessment in education and training’ be delivered and assessed in year two, with knowledge units delivered at the start of the programme.

Therefore, the current position is that centres should comply with the full guidance and 100 hours of teaching practice and 8 observations are required as previously should. However the current situation reference restricted access to face to face teaching opportunities persist or there is a return to lockdown [local or otherwise] the following is permissible with the agreement of the Awarding Body.

The requirement for 100 hours teaching practice remains, however:

  • this may include one to one, up to a maximum of 15 hours
  • this may include live remote delivery, ie delivery where the tutor and learners are simultaneously present online and engaged and there is live interaction.

The requirement for 8 observations remains, however:

  • this may include observations of one to one [to a maximum of 2]
  • this may include observations of live remote delivery.

The above are deviations from normal, established assessment practices, and therefore centres must obtain the agreement of their Awarding Body, stating clearly their justifications, before proceeding with them.

These conditions apply to DET courses throughout the duration of the 2020/21 academic year ending by 31 July 2021, and may be subject to further review during this period. These conditions may also apply to DET courses which are ending before 31 December 2020

Certificate and Award in Education and Training [CET & AET]

This guidance is broadly similar to that above in that there should be an attempt to provide face to face experience on these courses and that exceptions to the full qualification guidance are only allowed in extremis and with Awarding Body permission. Should the current situation reference restricted access to face to face teaching opportunities persist or there is a return to lockdown [local or otherwise] the following is permissible with the agreement of the Awarding Body.

For the CET

The requirement for 30 hours teaching practice remains, however:

  • this may include live remote delivery, ie delivery where the tutor and learners are simultaneously present online and engaged and there is live interaction.

The requirement for 3 observations remains, however:

  • this may include observations of live remote delivery.

For the AET

  • the micro teach may be a live remote session with AO approval.

The above are deviations from normal, established assessment practices for the CET and AET, and therefore centres must obtain the agreement of their awarding body beforehand. These conditions apply to CET or AET courses throughout the duration of the 2020/21 academic year ending by 31 July 2021, and may be subject to further review during this period.

ETF additional guidance for Assessor/Quality Assurance qualifications

Qualification mitigations issued 2 October 2020

General

Awarding Bodies have a responsibility to uphold standards and ensure qualifications are fit for purpose. Therefore, any deviations from accepted qualification specifications must be in extremis and subject to awarding body approval beforehand. The situation surrounding COVID-19 presents challenges for qualifications which require in person observation. Where possible in person observation should be undertaken but where this is impossible some adjustment may be made in line with the following guidance.

It is recommended that to provide the best experience for learners, conditions during learning programmes should be as real and as close as possible to those likely to be experienced during their careers.

Assessor qualifications

Whilst the current situation persists, live remote observation may be permitted providing all participants are present during the live observation (i.e the person assessing the candidate assessor, the candidate assessor and the learner) and they have a clear view and are able to hear the detail of the assessment activity for the duration of the activity. Recordings of the live remote observation must be securely stored and made available for IQA and EQA purposes.

Centres must discuss with and get the agreement of their Awarding Body, with clear justifications for using live remote observations before proceeding with them. Additionally, centres should be mindful of any additional guidance issued by the relevant Awarding Body covering the qualification actually being assessed [by the assessor candidate]. The onus resides with the Awarding Body to ensure this process is valid, sufficient and clear.

Additionally, recordings should be maintained such that evidence can be subject to EQA. It is recommended that centres start their programmes with the knowledge unit.

Internal Quality Assurance qualification

The IQA qualification requires only one assessed observation, which in normal circumstances must be conducted live, face to face with all participants in the same room or location at the same time. Where this is not possible, centres may conduct the assessed observation remotely on condition that:

  • they have the approval of their Awarding Body before carrying out the assessment
  • all participants must be present during the live recording.

It is strongly recommended that centres delay assessment until a suitable opportunity for face to face assessment does become available, and that delivery and assessment of the knowledge content is prioritised. This guidance remains only for as long as the current COVID-19 circumstances continue. 

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