On this page you can find answers to the most frequently asked questions about the BTEC Tech Awards for 2022.

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General FAQs

Most of the new Tech Awards are based on the previous Tech Awards or First Awards, and the content, external assessment and the structure of new Tech Awards qualifications have remained very much in line with these. You'll find them easy to pick up and deliver. New DfE requirements for Performance Tables from 2024 have resulted in some changes, mostly to internal assessment. You can learn about all of these in more detail in our Tech Awards 2022 Brochure (pdf 1mb).

Internal components will be conducted using Pearson Set Assignments (PSAs). The first PSAs will be released in early October 2022 and will be moderated from December 2022 to January 2023. Note that for Art and Design, the PSA will be released in November for May/June moderation as it does not include a December/January assessment series.
The first External Assessment will be available in January 2024 (May/June 2024 for Creative subjects which are externally assessed using task-based assessments).

There are 2 assessment series per year for internally and externally assessed components. For internally assessed components, new Pearson Set Assignments will be released for each series. Please see following table of Assessment Availability.

Note that Art and Design does not have a December/January assessment series, and that Creative subjects do not include a January External Assessment due to the extended task-based nature of the assessment.

  Early October Early December to end of January January March
Annual Dec/Jan assessment series Release of PSAs for both internally assessed components.

Moderation.

Submission of centre marks and sample marked learner work deadline approx. December 15th.

External assessment Results

 

 

  Mid-February Early April to end of June May August
Annual May/Jun assessment series Release of PSAs for both internally assessed components.

Moderation.

Submission of centre marks and sample marked learner work deadline approx. May 1st

External assessment Results

Centres who are currently approved to deliver the Tech Awards or BTEC Firsts will be automatically approved to deliver the redeveloped Tech Awards.

New DfE requirements mean that internally assessed components must now be Moderated instead of the Standards Verified (SVd). We have designed a new moderation process unique to the Tech Awards which is closely aligned with the SV process, and offers some big benefits over traditional moderation. You’ll also be happy to hear that the moderation process will significantly reduce the administration and paperwork required for you to deliver and assess the internal components compared to the SV process.

Like Standards Verification, Moderation is a quality assurance process used to check the accuracy of centre assessment through the sampling of marked learner work. In Pearson's moderation process, where assessment is found to be inaccurate when compared with national standards, the centre will receive immediate feedback and will be given time to adjust their marks if they wish to. Following any amendments, if the centre's marks are reasonably accurate, they will be the final marks awarded for the component. If assessment it still out of line with national standards, an adjustment to the centre's marks will be applied as is the case with any process of moderation. However, as marks can be amended following feedback, any adjustment through moderation is likely to have much less impact than in other moderation processes where there is no immediate feedback or opportunity to address assessment issues. 

Moderation will be done remotely using digital transfer of a sample of learner work to the moderator. The number of learners sampled is determined by the size of your cohort. For any class of fewer than 100 learners, this will be sample of 10. Each internal component will be sampled through moderation.

Moderation will be available twice a year. The deadline to complete internal assessment and upload marks and the sample of learner work to Pearson will be mid-December for the December/January series and the first week of May for the May/June series, however, we will be opening the assessment window from early December and early April to allow you to complete moderation earlier if you wish to.

The Tech Awards are designed as a 2-year programme for 14-16 year olds, however, we acknowledge that there are some centres that choose to run the programme from year 9, and our new delivery guides will include 3-year models to ensure this is supported. If you currently deliver the Tech Awards over three years, we know you will be keen to start delivering the redeveloped Tech Awards this academic year, and we are running free Getting Started training events and have published approved specifications, sample assessments and other supportive materials to help you deliver.

New DfE requirements require the awarding organisation to set the internal assessments, so the PSAs must be used. However, every component PSA will use the same structure of tasks and the marking criteria remain the same each year, with only the vocational context/scenario changing, so you will be prepared for what to expect.

PSAs will be released twice each year for all subjects except Art and Design. They are released in early October for December/January assessment, and in mid-February for May/June assessment. The first PSAs will be released in early October 2022. The PSAs for each assessment series will be available to download through the secure area of the Pearson website using an Edexcel Online password.

Yes, it should be given to learners to read and ensure understanding prior to commencing any supervised sessions for responding to the tasks. In the General Guidance section of the Teacher Guidance of each PSA, it says 'You should direct learners to read the information given in the vocational context and each task section of this assignment carefully. Tasks often link to one another, so it is important to check that learners understand all tasks before they start the assignment.' Learners should be given the opportunity to read the PSA and clarify any potential areas of confusion with teachers before the commencement of the formal assessment sessions - only once formal sessions are begun can any work be accumulated toward the PSA assessment.

Yes, learners are allowed to refer to course notes while responding to tasks in the PSAs unless dedicated Monitored Preparation time has been included. Monitored Preparation has been included in some subjects to prepare notes specifically in response to the PSA where independent research is required. Where it has not been made explicit in PSAs that course notes may be used, this is being added to ensure clarity.

The final assessment and certification for the current specification is summer 2023. Final 2-year cohorts should start in September 2021. From 2022, learners starting on 2-year programmes should use the new Tech Awards.

The First Awards will remain available throughout the transition to the redeveloped Tech Awards. However, as they are no longer on performance tables after 2023, the redeveloped Tech Awards offer the best alternative programme on performance tables, and are based on years of experience in delivering both First Awards and Tech Awards. We will review the First Award following the transition period to the redeveloped Tech Awards, and will communicate any decision well in advance of final registration dates should we decide to retire them.

DfE terminal assessment requirements mean that the external assessment must now be taken at the end of the programme. Internally assessed components can be taken both prior to and in the same assessment series as the external assessment, just not after the external assessment.

No. There is no longer a Level 1 Pass requirement in any component including the externally assessed component, so even a result of U (Unclassified) could allow for certification based on sufficient points from other components. This means the qualifications are now fully compensatory.

For internally assessed units in most BTEC suites, each Learning Aim is graded and where a learner demonstrates a range of achievement across Learning Aims in a unit, the grade outcome for that unit is based on the lowest of the grades achieved. Although the previous Tech Awards had some compensation at component-level, the new BTEC Tech Awards are fully compensatory.

The DfE now require assessment for Technical Awards to be applied using numerical mark schemes rather than grades. Marks will be applied to each task or Learning Outcome in the assessment, then added together to give the final mark for the component. This makes the assessment fully compensatory as the total marks for a component combine both higher and lower achievement in different tasks/Learning Outcomes.

Marks for each component will be converted to UMS points based on the scale published in the specification. The points for each component are added together for the overall qualification. This also makes the qualification fully compensatory, meaning learners can achieve a final grade through any combination of points from any component. Furthermore, as there is no longer a Level 1 Pass requirement in any component. A grade of U (Unclassified) in any component is considered an outcome and will allow learners to certificate given they have gained sufficient points from other components.

Yes. All SAM questions from the new Tech Awards will be available in Exam Wizard. Exam questions from the previous qualifications are being reviewed in line with redeveloped Tech Awards. For most subjects, questions from previous qualifications map directly and a large pool of questions will be available on Exam Wizard. We will continue to add further questions from Additional SAMs coming later in 2022, and after each live external assessment takes place.

Yes. We will be holding free Getting Ready to Assess events later in 2022 which will feature marked learner work and these sessions will be made available as recordings to review. We will also be providing annual teacher standardisation with updated examples of marked work. The archive of marked learner work will become more extensive after each live assessment series, and will be readily available to you as teachers of Tech Awards.

Updated versions of all current paid-for resources are in production and will be released in 2022 prior to first teaching. This includes student books, e-books, teacher resource packs, revision guides and workbooks for those subjects which currently offer them. Samples will be availble from May and full digital versions from July 2022. You can get more information and register for updates on our dedicated webpage.

Resubmission, retakes, resits and certification

For internally assessed components, after marking learner work, the centre may make the decision to allow learners who may not have achieved their expected potential one opportunity to resubmit work. The current rule of 15 days to resubmit work will continue to apply. General feedback can be given to tell the learner which areas they may need to improve work, but no specific instruction can be given to tell them specifically what to do to improve their responses.

Resubmission of evidence for internally assessed components does not require a full new set of evidence. Learners should focus on improving evidence in areas where they did not achieve to their expected potential. For this reason, the time given to learners to improve evidence may not require the full approximate time stated on the PSA. However, learners may be given up to the full time if necessary. Following submission of marks for moderation by the mark submission deadline, there is no further opportunity to resubmit improved evidence based on the same completed assignment.

Following moderation, if the outcome is still not satisfactory and the learner would like to retake the internal assessment to improve their mark, they may be given one retake opportunity using the new PSA in a later assessment series. For internally assessed components, the highest result will be carried forward towards the qualification outcome.

Yes, they can sit in the January/February series and resit (if necessary) in the May/June series. Internal component assessments must be sat either prior to or in the same series as the external assessment to fulfil the terminal rule. Learners are allowed one resit of the external assessment within the programme. Please note however that the external assessment for Creative subjects are task-based, conducted over a longer period of time and therefore available in the May/June series only. As such, on-programme resits for these subjects are not available.

If the learner is happy with the results achieved from their January/February sitting of the external assessment, the centre can claim certification for them before the certification deadline for the January/February series. However, if a learner is not happy with the result from that sitting and intends to resit in May/June, we would advise that the January/February sitting is not used to claim certification, as it is the first certification claimed that will count on Performance Tables for the centre.

In line with new terminal assessment requirements, the final external assessment sitting that is certificated will be used for the learner’s qualification outcome, even if it is lower than the previous sitting, so even if both January and June are certificated, only the June sitting can be used for the learner’s grade outcome. Please note that this does not apply to Creative subjects which do not feature a January external assessment series or resits.

How does certification work if a learner sits the external assessment in the January series? (PDF | 104.6 KB)