Guidance for the delivery of the Education and Training qualifications and the Assessor/Quality Assurance qualifications
We are committed to supporting our centres during the challenges presented by the COVID-19 outbreak. We recognise that staff and student teachers involved in the FE initial Teacher Training programmes and Assessor/Quality Assurance qualifications require support and guidance.
As a result, the Education and Training Foundation (EFT) has provided the following recommendations.
Award, Certificate, Diploma Education and Training qualifications
Our centres are working through challenges that are caused by the COVID-19 outbreak which have affected both their staff and student teachers involved in the FE Initial Teacher Training programmes. We are keen to ensure that this does not unfairly work against those student teachers who were progressing well and had every likelihood of satisfactory completion of the course.
As a result, the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) has provided the following recommendations to those student teachers undertaking a one-year full time Diploma in Education and Training (DET) programme or those who are in the second year of a two-year part-time programme. They believe those in the first year of a two-year part time programme should have adequate opportunity to complete the programme in the second year.
Providing that the student teacher has satisfactorily completed all other in course assignment work, the ETF will deem it acceptable for Awarding Organisations to award a Pass to student teachers who have:
- completed at least 70% of their teaching placement hours (providing that a majority is group teaching rather than private e.g. one-to-one teaching)
- completed at least 6 of their 8 observations where the most recent 4 have been satisfactory.
Additionally, where there are insufficient observations completed and the placement is continuing, but the provider team is unable to complete any observations, these may be done in this instance by the placement mentor.
Hopefully, the above measures mean that promising students who have shown competence to date will not be disadvantaged, whilst not compromising the quality of those progressing to the workforce.
Alternatively, where the centre and the student wish to ensure that all the programme requirements are fully met in terms of total teaching hours and observations, it will be quite acceptable to extend the programme well into the autumn term/period. This will allow more time for the 100 hours teaching to be completed and for tutors and/or workplace mentors to carry out the full quota of eight observations. Some consideration could also be given to the observation of any ‘online teaching' which may be taking place via the student teacher’s workplace during the forthcoming ‘lockdown’. It would be quite acceptable to recognize some of these hours and related observations in the student teacher's final assessment profile.
The ETF has also provided recommendations for the Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training and the Level 3 Award in Education and Training. This applies to registrations prior to 10 March 2020, to allow trainee teachers to complete courses, and does not apply to any new candidates registered after this date.
Where Level 4 Certificate candidates have satisfactorily completed all other in course assignment work, the ETF will deem it acceptable for Awarding Organisations to award a Pass to student teachers who have:
Completed 20 hours of teaching practice complete with 2 satisfactory observations (1 of which may be remote).
Where Level 3 Award candidates have satisfactorily completed all other in course assignment work, the ETF has recommended that the micro teach session be carried forward until it can be completed on a face-to-face basis. Alternatively, consideration could be given to the delivery of the micro teach remotely using digital means. However, the conditions of the micro teach must replicate those of a face-to-to session, including opportunities for peer evaluation. The sessions must be recorded for internal and external quality assurance purposes
If you require any further guidance and support on this matter please contact Pearson via our customer service portal.
Assessor/Quality Assurance qualifications
These are exceptional circumstances and Pearson will be as flexible as possible, although we must maintain the integrity of the standards. We do appreciate, however, that there may be operational priorities for some learners to achieve their qualification at this time.
The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) has provided the following recommendations:
The ETF recognises that the current extreme situation means disruption for both providers and learners undertaking Assessor/QA programmes. They are keen that this does not unfairly work against those who were progressing well and had every likelihood of satisfactory completion of the course. Therefore they are issuing the additional following recommendations to Awarding Organisations to cover this particular period with regard to reasonable adjustment for Assessor/QA qualifications. This applies to registrations prior to 10 March 2020, to allow learners to complete courses, and does not apply to any new candidates registered after this date:
Assessor awards including Assess Occupational Competence in the Work Environment, or Assess Vocational Skills, Knowledge and Understanding – for assessor candidates who have achieved at least one satisfactory observation per practical unit with positive feedback prior to 10 March 2020, the remainder of their assessed observations can be conducted remotely.
Any relaxations (i.e. taking place remotely) would only be allowed for those learners who have started these qualifications prior to 10 March 2020 – i.e. to allow learners to complete, not for new starts.
These are temporary measures, and we expect centres to adhere to the regular guidance and rules once the wider situation returns to normal.
Hopefully the above means we will not disadvantage those promising students/learners who have shown competence to date whilst not compromising the quality of those progressing to the workforce.
We understand you may have further questions regarding the delivery of the Assessor and Quality Assurance qualifications at this time. We have therefore produced some answers in response to recent frequently-asked-questions from our centres.
We have used the following terminology:
Assessor - the person assessing the qualification
Learner - the person undertaking the qualification
- Candidate - the person being assessed or quality assured by the learner.
Yes – our current suite of qualifications is being extended to 31 July 2021.
Centres should follow the ETF guidance of 25 March. Providing the learner undertaking the competence-based Assessor qualifications has achieved at least one satisfactory observation per practical unit, with positive feedback prior to 10 March 2020, the remainder of their assessed observations can be conducted remotely.
As a minimum, there should be evidence of one face-to-face observation between the Assessor and the learner, who in turn is observing one of their two candidates. All other assessments can be conducted remotely.
This relaxation is also appropriate for the competence-based Internal Quality Assurance qualifications.
Remote observations must be recorded where participants cannot be in the same room. There are two layers of observations to consider: firstly, the learner could be observing or assessing a candidate in a work environment/other environment; secondly, the Assessor could be observing a learner remotely, who in turn is also assessing a candidate remotely.
This is possible and would need to be well-organised and carefully recorded. There are different ways this could be achieved.
The Assessor could look at a video recording of the learner observing or assessing a candidate. Another way would be a collaborative two-way or three-way observation in real time using online collaboration software such as Teams or Skype. Whatever method is used, it should be recorded in the normal way with planning, observation/assessment reports and feedback with a clear audit trail.
When using video or online collaboration software, centres should ensure:
they obtain the permission of all participants involved in the activity before remote observation is undertaken
the video image and sound are of sufficient quality for a countersigner, Assessor, Internal Quality Assurer and Standards Verifier to make a judgment. This includes ensuring that the level of detail required by the qualification is clearly evident, and that the learner’s performance is original and not influenced by others in their remote location
there must be verification by key participants (e.g. the learner, their manager/supervisor or other reliable witness) that the activity in the video is genuine and the video represents a true reflection of the learner’s performance
the software allows the assessment to be recorded for verification by the countersigner, Internal Quality Assurer and Standards Verifier
arrangements comply with the latest Government advice on keeping safe (unless the candidates are performing activities where close contact is essential to the occupational role, e.g. healthcare)
the Assessor and learner can communicate easily and confidentially with key participants in real time
the video is made available to the Assessor in an unedited format
there is an opportunity for recorded questioning and feedback.
We have always encouraged the use of IQA evidence to support the performance of learners. Sector-specific IQA observations can be used provided:
at least one Assessor observation has taken place with positive feedback prior to 10 March 2020
these are sufficiently detailed to capture targeted criteria
the IQA meets the requirements of the L&D assessment strategy
these are not completed retrospectively.
The purpose of the IQA qualification is to ensure the learner can manage and support multiple Assessors, who in turn are managing multiple candidates. Therefore, this would not be an acceptable adjustment. We recommend seeking an alternative Assessor should the learner be required to complete the qualification at this time.
A pragmatic approach to this unit should be considered, particularly where remote sampling is undertaken. Evidence could include:
the use of evidence gathered from sampling using an e-portfolio (including screenshots) – all candidate evidence must be anonymised before submitting to the learner’s portfolio
the use of witness testimonies from centre personnel
- discussions between the learner and centre personnel (for example when the learner is providing feedback to the centre. With permission, the Assessor could also be in attendance. Online collaboration software could be used. The session could be recorded for the Assessor to view in real time at a later date.
There must be evidence of effective planning and opportunities for questioning and feedback. These processes could also be captured using online collaboration software and recorded where necessary.
Continuing to work during the COVID-19 emergency situation
Centres could consider the following:
Training sessions could be delivered online and learners encouraged to work towards the knowledge-based unit of their qualification, or consider the knowledge required to achieve the knowledge-based criteria in future.
Support sessions are encouraged which could take the form of phone calls, emails or by using online collaboration software.
Learners could be encouraged to read support materials or textbooks supplied by the centre.
Learners could be encouraged to speak with their countersignatures or other available qualified Assessors and IQAs to discuss their experiences of this role. Learners could reflect on the discussions as part of their development.
Learners could review professional training sessions available on YouTube, social media channels or the ETF as part of their CPD with a reflection on how to develop their practice.
Professional discussion between the Assessor and the learner could be planned around existing evidence.
If you have any further questions, please contact us via our customer service portal.