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COVID-19: Advice for our centres, learners, EPA providers and apprentices

 

Posted on 23 March 2021

To see the latest government advice as we begin the route out of lockdown please click here.


Qualification Awarding in 2021:

Following the announcement by the Secretary of State for Education on 6 January, which confirmed that GCSEs, AS and A level exams will not go ahead this summer, Ofqual has been working at pace with the Department for Education to make arrangements that will enable results to be awarded to learners who are due to be taking exams and assessments this year.

The outcomes of Ofqual’s consultation on alternative arrangements for the award of VTQs and other general qualifications in 2021 were released on 25 February. For full details, please follow this link.

This has led to the proposed launch of the Vocational Contingency Regulatory Framework (VCRF), which incorporates the ERF and the EERF. This is currently under technical consultation until 11 March, and we anticipate that the VCRF will then be launched at the end of March. Learners registered to take assessments that would have led to the issuing of a result between 1st August 2020 and the 31st August 2021 are eligible to be awarded their qualification under the VCRF. 

Qualifications will be categorised based on the following descriptions.

Category A qualifications:


Qualifications used to demonstrate occupational or professional competence to enter directly into employment.  

For Active IQ, this will incorporate the majority of our qualifications – for example, gym instructing, personal training and all our work-based learning qualifications. Assessments will need to be completed in order for learners to be certificated, as these qualifications demonstrate competency and can lead to employment. However, it may be appropriate for the assessments to be adapted based on government guidance.

Category B qualifications:


Qualifications from entry level to Level 6 that support progression to further or higher study or into employment, and in which the issuing of results to learners should be prioritised. These have then been split into two sub-categories.

Category B1 qualifications:


Qualifications similar to GCSEs, AS and A levels, used for progression to further or higher education. This will include VTQs approved for performance tables including Applied General Qualifications, Tech Levels and Technical Awards.

For Active IQ, this will include our Technical Certificate and Tech Level qualifications. Once the full details of the VCRF are confirmed, we will provide detailed guidance on the requirements for awarding these qualifications this summer. We will be asking centres to gather evidence and provide judgements on their learners where assessments have not been able to take place. This evidence will need to be sent to Active IQ by 14 June to allow sufficient time for the external quality assurance and certification process to take place prior to results day. Results day has now been moved to 10 August for A levels and equivalent qualifications, and to 12 August for GCSEs and equivalent qualifications.

Category B2 qualifications:


These are qualifications that are not similar to GCSEs, AS or A levels, and which are used for mixed purposes. These tend to be smaller qualifications, they may not run to an academic timetable, and students only sit the assessments when they are ready to do so. They tend also to be at lower levels. This will include qualifications such as Functional Skills qualifications, and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Skills for Life qualifications.

It is unlikely that Active IQ will have any qualifications in this category.

Ofqual has produced an explanatory document and infographic specifically for centres. Please click here to download these documents. Ofqual has also launched its ‘explainer tool’ again for this summer.

Performance table, category B qualifications


For Active IQ centres offering performance table qualifications we have developed specific guidance which details the information and evidence we will require in order for learners to receive a grade and certification of the following qualifications:

  • Active IQ Level 2 Diploma in Physical Activity, Fitness and Exercise Science (601/6041/X)
  • Active IQ Level 3 Diploma in Physical Activity, Fitness and Exercise Science (601/6042/1)
  • Active IQ Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training for Health, Fitness and Performance (601/9003/6)
  • Active IQ Level 3 Extended Diploma in Personal Training for Health, Fitness and Performance (601/9002/4)
  • Active IQ Level 3 Diploma in Fitness Instructing and Physical Activity (603/1162/9) 

Vocationally-related and competency-based qualifications:


For Active IQ centres offering vocationally-related and competency-based qualifications, we continue to recommend that remote delivery is used for the continuance of education.

Active IQ has a range of approved adaptations in place that can be used under the VCRF. We encourage all centres, where they can, to make use of the adaptations available and to bank assessments as soon as possible.

Useful links:

With the increase in cases of coronavirus globally and in the UK, the UK has moved the threat level from low to moderate. Active IQ's Chief Medical Advisor has written this brief Q&A, which aims to provide key information to our Active IQ centres.

Please click here to read the full statement >

At Active IQ, we want to assure you that we are here to support your rapidly changing needs. Our first webinar in our new series took place on the 20 March with James Clack, our Learning & Skills Development Manager.

James answered questions that were submitted prior to our first live webinar and also provided some insight into delivery options should the COVID-19 virus present the potential for longer-term disruption to business.

As more incidences of COVID-19 are being diagnosed around the world it is an ever-growing reality that organisations may be tasked with temporarily switching their learning from face-to-face to blended or fully online as a means of facilitating business continuity. We understand the complexities and the potential to feel overwhelmed particularly if you are new to alternative delivery models.

To view the recorded the webinar, please login to your Skills Hub account and click on the Teaching and Learning tab.