Vocational Qualifications

Check here for the latest information on how the range of vocational qualifications will be assessed this year.

Most vocational qualifications taken by learners in Wales are also available in other UK nations and as a result we have been working very closely with our fellow regulators as these decisions are being made. 

To ensure consistency for learners taking these qualifications, the same approach will be taken for learners in Wales as that set out by Ofqual. 

We are applying the same principles in deciding the right approach for qualifications designed specifically to meet the needs of learners in Wales.  

Our Chief Executive has written a blog on vocational qualifications which you can find here. 

I’m studying for a Vocational Qualification. Will I get a result this summer?

The landscape for Vocational qualifications is complex and large and a single approach is not appropriate. For vocational qualifications awarding bodies will award qualifications by either calculating results; adapting assessments; or, where neither approach is appropriate, and only as a last resort, delaying assessments until centres re-open.

This applies to learners who would have expected to have completed their assessments and/or received certificates between March and the end of July.

Learners on most qualifications that lead to progression to higher or further education will receive a calculated result this summer.  Calculated results will draw appropriately on a range of evidence, depending on the structure of the qualification. They may be based on part on teacher, trainer or tutor judgements of what result each learner would most likely have achieved had they been able to complete their assessments in summer 2020. Any centre assessment grade will be based on a range of evidence held by the school, college or training provider.

 

I’m studying a new Wales only Vocational Qualification in Health and Social Care and Childcare. Will I get a result this Summer?

We have been working closely with the relevant sector bodies and awarding bodies to agree the best way forward. This suite includes a range of qualifications, some of which assess knowledge while others also assess practical competence. Different qualifications will require different solutions. Details about the approach for each qualification can be found here.

I’m studying a Health and Social Care and Childcare qualifications which was designed to meet the specific needs of the Welsh workforce. Will I get a result this summer?

For level 1 qualifications which offer an introduction to the sector, awarding bodies will be issuing calculated results. For qualifications at Levels 2-5, we are asking awarding bodies to adapt their assessment approaches to enable learners that are near the end of their course to get their results this summer. A list of these qualifications can be found here.

 

I’m studying an Essential Skills Wales Qualification. Will I get a result this Summer?

All Essential Skills Wales learners due to complete their qualification before the end of July will receive a calculated result. The result will be based upon the outcome that their tutor/assessor believed they would receive had they taken the tests. These judgements will be subject to strict oversight by the awarding bodies. More information can be found here.

How will calculating results work in practice?

Depending on the structure of the qualifications, centres* may be asked to provide a centre assessment grade for the whole qualification, or for uncompleted modules or units.

There might be some instances where they are asked to provide a rank order of learners (as with GCSEs, AS and A levels). The awarding body offering the qualification will use any centre-assessed judgement, combined with other relevant information, to determine the most appropriate, calculated result. For example, many learners will already have completed assessments in some modules or units, which will be taken into account.

*Centres (typically schools, colleges or training providers) are bodies that deliver assessments (and other activities) to learners on behalf of awarding bodies.

 

Should I contact my awarding body directly?

Awarding bodies will be in touch with schools, colleges and training providers in the coming weeks to advise them on the information they will be expected to provide about their learners, and when and how it should be submitted. 

If you want to follow your awarding bodies latest updates, here are some useful links:  

 

 

AAT 

OCR 

Ascentis 

Pearsons 

Agored Cymru

Qualifications Network 

Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music 

Qualsafe Awards 

Cambridge Assessment English

RSL 

City and Guilds

STA 

EAL 

Trinity College London

Highfield Qualifications 

UAL

LIBF 

VTCT 

NCFE 

WJEC 

NOCN 

YMCA awards

When will I get my result?

We want this process to be completed in a timely way so that learners can progress, and the aim is for them to receive results at the same time as GCSEs, AS and A level results.  

What happens next?

We continue to work closely with awarding bodies, regulators in England and Northern Ireland and the wider sector to provide vocational learners with results this summer.  On Friday 24 April, Ofqual launched a consultation on proposals for awarding other general, vocational and technical qualifications. The aim is to deliver a process which is fair to learners and ensures they have grades which are as valued as those in any other year, so they can progress to the next stage of their lives without further disruption.

Further information will be available following the conclusion of their consultation.

Can schools and colleges consider evidence from specialist teachers or other professionals when making grading and rank ordering decisions?

A centre should, if applicable, seek further information from teachers and other education professionals who have been supporting a learner, to allow them to make secure judgements about centre assessment grades and a learner’s position in the rank order. This might include, for example, seeking information from teachers in another school, college, or alternative provision, such as a hospital setting. It could also include peripatetic or advisory teachers who may work across a number of centres, such as EAL teachers or qualified teachers of deaf, vision impaired and multi-sensory impaired children and young people.