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Technical Qualifications FAQs

Below are the answers to some of the most frequent questions we’ve been asked about City & Guilds Technical Qualifications.

About City & Guilds Technical Qualifications

What are City & Guilds Technical Qualifications?

Our new Technical Qualifications for 14-19 year olds deliver up-to-date and relevant skills in a specific industry sector.

Our Technical Qualifications have been designed for progression; supporting learners onto the next step, whether that’s to university, onto an apprenticeship or straight into a job.

They can be combined with City & Guilds Workplace Skills to form City & Guilds TechBac. Alternatively, they can be delivered as stand-alone qualifications or alongside GCSEs or A Levels.

What is a City & Guilds Technical Qualification equivalent to?

Our Technical Qualifications, which sit at the heart of TechBac, are comparable to academic alternatives in terms of rigour and quality.

  • Key Stage 4 (14-16) Level 2 Technical Award is equivalent in size to one GCSE
  • Key Stage 5 (16-19) Level 3 Technical Qualifications vary in size, but are typically much larger than an A Level. At Level 3, they carry UCAS points
  • Key Stage 5 Level 2 Technical Certificates are 360 or 450 GLH. These qualifications will be reported in the new headline measures from 2017

What certification does a learner get?

Successful learners will receive:

  • A Technical Qualification certificate outlining the units/modules achieved and the overall grade

Is there a minimum or maximum guided learning hours (GLH) for the work placement skills?

There are no GLH relating to work placements for the Employer Involvement requirements.

How can we identify a Technical Qualification by its title?

Technical Qualifications will always have a title that contains either 'Technical Award', 'Technical Certificate' or 'Technical Diploma'.

Are Learner Journals available for Technical Qualifications?

Learner Journals have been produced by publishing, for some but not all Technicals. They are listed on Walled Garden if available.


If candidates fail the exam, do they have to resit the full qualification or just the exam?

If a candidate fails the exam they will need to resit the exam in order to gain the full qualification. However their results for the other components (synoptic assessments, employer involvement, optional units) will be carried over.

Can a centre book a candidate in for both exam dates?

Yes, there is no reason for a centre not to book a candidate in for both exams (i.e. for both the April and June exams), if they are concerned that the candidate may require a resit. Please note that if they book in for a resit for the paper test and do not cancel the booking, the centre will be charged for the cost of printing and delivering the paper to them.

If a candidate sits the April exam can they resit on the June exam?


If a candidate passes their first exam in April, then decides to resit the exam again in May/June in hopes of improving their results, which score will stand?

The best score will always be the one that counts.

Will a candidate find out their results from the April exam before the June exam date?

Yes, candidates will get results from the April examination at the start of June. This leaves enough time to make bookings for the June resit if required.

Is there an option to choose between a paper-based or online exam for all City & Guilds Technical Qualifications? 

The only Technical Qualification which does not offer online exams is the Level 3 Technical in Engineering, which, due to the nature of the exam, means that we cannot deliver online. All other Technical Qualifications have the option to choose between paper-based or online for all exams. Level 3 Technical in Engineering is currently the only exception, and we will continue to provide paper and online tests for all qualifications going forward, unless the content makes it impossible.

Are tutors allowed to see the exams after all learners have completed them?

No, exams are not available for tutors to see once the candidate has completed them and submitted their responses. Paper exams need to be stored securely before and after the test, and should be returned in no more than 24 hours to ensure we meet our timescales for publication of final results.

Can tutors retain any spare exam papers?

No. All spare papers and exam papers must be returned in no more than 24 hours.

Can tutors photocopy and retain a copy of the paper-based exam?

No, this is not permitted. 

Will past papers be made available as samples in the future? 

We intend to expand our bank of sample exam papers. Current papers will only be released as samples once the marking and the issue of results is completed.  

Will online mock tests be available so learners get a feel for what it will be like to take the assessment online?

Yes. There is a mock test for e-volve, which is not subject specific, but can show a learner what evolve looks like. The example questions we already supply, gives the learner a flavour of the types of questions at subject level. 

Is there any guidance on using extra paper for further evidence? Can they use the format supplied by JCQ?

In line with JCQ requirements, if any additional answer sheets are used, the learner will need to indicate how many additional pages have been used. The additional pages must then be stapled to the back of the exam paper, clearly labelling them with the candidate’s name, candidate number and centre name in BLOCK CAPITALS.

I have a learner with particular needs who requires additional time to complete their exam. How do I apply for this and what is the deadline on when the application needs to be done?

To add extra time to a candidates exam, you must apply for this prior to booking in the exam. Extra time cannot be added after the test is booked. To apply for permission for extra time, you need to book this through Walled Garden, which will give you an instant response.

For e-volve exams only, you need to add on the extra time when scheduling the test. If you need more than 25% extra time, City & Guilds will need to schedule the test for you.

For more information on extra time or other access arrangements, please call 0207 294 2772 or email policy@cityandguilds.com.

If a candidate fails to show to the first sitting of the exam, does this count as their first attempt?

If a candidate fails to show to the first sitting, they will automatically be marked down as absent. The automatic absenting will ensure the first exam does not count as one of the two attempts.

How do learners get booked in to resit their April/May exam for the June series?

The week commencing 22nd May, you will receive an email with your resit booking form to book learners who need to resit their April/May exam in June.

If learners need a paper exam resit, return resit booking forms for June exams to technicalsresits@cityandguilds.com by 9 June.
If learners need an e-volve exam resit for their April/May exams, book their resit for June exams through Walled Garden by 9 June.

If your learners want to resit their e-volve exam on a paper version, book them using the resit booking form you will receive the week commencing 22nd May. Return the resit booking form to technicalsresits@cityandguilds.com by 9 June.

Please note that the resit booking form is for candidates taking resits only. All other candidates must have their entries made by 8 May.

How do I order enlarged question papers?

Please email policy@cityandguilds.com to request any modified question papers, including enlarged and Braille papers. This should be done at least three months before the exam. The candidate must be entered for the paper-based version of the exam.

Quality assurance

What is the quality assurance process?

For our Technical Qualifications

Technical Qualifications are subject to quality assurance monitoring in the following ways:

  • External moderation of practical synoptic assessment
  • External quality assurance of other centre assessed components, e.g. optional units 
  • External marking of externally set examinations
  • External sampling of employer involvement (at Key Stage 5 only)

The quality assurance process is rigorous, and follows the following processes:

  • At Key Stage 4 (14-16) and Key Stage 5 (16+), all centres wishing to offer the qualifications will receive a centre visit from one of our EQAs as part of the qualification approval process
  • At Key Stage 5, qualification approval will also include a review of the centre’s plans for employer involvement at approval. Moderation will also involve a sampling exercise of employer involvement, towards the end of the Technical Qualification delivery.

Are Standardisation External Quality Assurers (SEQAs) only for TechBac?

No. Standardisation External Quality Assurers are responsible for managing teams of External Quality Advisors (EQAs), in all qualifications that have use of them.

Do QAPs (Quality Assurance Process) have to be submitted every year?

No, only for initial approval.

UCAS points

Do Technical Qualifications carry UCAS points?

All of our Level 3 Technical Qualifications carry UCAS points to provide opportunities for progression to university.

The Level 3 Core Maths, and the Level 3 Extended Project which can be delivered alongside a City & Guilds Technical Qualification, also carry UCAS points

Find out more about UCAS points and our Technical Qualifications.

When will we see our City & Guilds Technical Qualifications being advertised on University webpages? 

Universities tend to publish their prospectus in September, a year in advance. We are working closely with universities to ensure they include Technical Levels in their entry requirements on their websites.  

Do UCAS points show on their certificates? 

No, UCAS points do not show on any certificate. They are used as entry requirements to Higher Education only. 

Moderation process

What is moderation?

Moderation is a quality assurance process where City & Guilds review centre marking to ensure that it is consistent and meets agreed standards. It is carried out by moderators, who are trained to a national standard of marking. These moderators re-mark a sample of assessments from each centre. Their marks act as a benchmark to inform City & Guilds and centres whether the marking is in line with the national standard.

How does the moderation process work?

Once the practical synoptic assessment has been marked by the centre, the centre will submit the marks and a sample of work to the Moderation Portal. This sample is checked then re-marked by the moderator. There are three possibilities:

  • If the centre’s marks for the sample are within tolerance of the moderator’s marks, then the marks for all the learners at the centre are accepted
  • If the centre’s marking is more severe or lenient, the marks are adjusted to align them with the national standard
  • If the centre does not match the national standard, but there is not a clear, fair adjustment that can be made, a re-mark of the whole sample may be required

Once moderation is completed, the boundary marks for Pass, Merit and Distinction are set through the awarding process.

When will the moderator make contact with my centre?

First, the Moderation Support team will contact the centre to determine some key information about the centre’s delivery of the synoptic practical assessment. Then, the moderator can be allocated to the centre.

Moderator details will be provided to the centre by the Moderation Support team.

Once the allocation is confirmed the moderator will contact the centre to arrange next steps, for example a centre visit.

When does moderation take place?

Moderation takes place after the deadline for the submission of marks and evidence to City & Guilds. The precise timescales for submission of marks and evidence for the synoptic assessments, as well as the examination dates, are detailed in the City & Guilds Technicals Examination Timetable for 2017

What is the size of the sample re-marked by the moderator?

The sample size will depend on the number of learners at the centre. With small cohorts, the moderator may review the marks and evidence for all the learners; for larger groups it will be between 10 and 20 candidates. For more information, please see the Technical Qualifications – Guide to Marking & Moderation document.

How will the marks and assessment evidence be sent to the moderator?

The learner evidence will be prepared and gathered by the learners and tutors and then marked within the centre. The marks and a sample of evidence is then submitted to City & Guilds digitally via the Moderation Portal. If centres are unable to submit work digitally they must contact City & Guilds to discuss alternative options. For more information, please see the Technical Qualifications – Guide to Marking & Moderation document.

When will the moderation platform be available?

Access to the Moderation Portal will be provided to centres from mid-March. This is in good time to allow the centre to submit learner results and samples of evidence by the May and June deadlines.

Are samples of evidence (for moderation) required for each learner?

No. A sample of learners' grades and evidence will be requested by the moderator via the Moderation Portal. The sample will be dependent on the size of the cohort of learners.

Moderation verification

Does external verification play a part with Technical Qualifications?

Certain elements of the Technical Qualification will not be moderated, so will still be subject to an external quality review, such as the employer involvement in the delivery or assessment, or the optional units. This will take place remotely.

What are the advantages of moderation over verification?

With this type of internally-marked assessment there will always be variation between centres’ interpretations of the standards. Controlling this across large numbers of centre-based markers is impractical. Moderation is a mechanism to centrally adjust for this variation. Controlling the overall standard amongst a small group of moderators is more manageable with fairer results, and more consistent and reliable results nationally.

Do centres have to book the moderator for the observation of the synoptic assignment (practical test) or will the request come via the Exams Department?

The Quality Delivery Team will contact centres in February to discuss provisional dates for delivering the synoptic assessments. This will then be passed onto the moderators who will confirm the dates directly with the centre.

Moderation platform

What training will be provided for the moderation process?

There will be training and guidance for centres on how to conduct the practical end assessment and mark and submit evidence for moderation, along with support before and during the submission process:

  • On-going support will be provided by the Moderation Support Team. They can be contacted on the following details Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm:


01924 206 719

  • A step by step guide to the process is provided in the Technical Qualifications – Guide to Marking & Moderation.
  • Once the Moderation Portal is rolled out to centres in March webinar training and guidance documentation will be provided to centres
  • Additional support materials such as standardisation materials and guidance on forms will be available on the website from mid-February.

How do I use the moderation platform?

The platform has been designed to simplify the submission of results and evidence for moderation and external quality assurance. Training and support will be provided to centres once the platform is rolled out in mid-March.

Will assessment evidence for all learners need to be submitted to City & Guilds?

For small cohorts we will need to see the evidence of all learners. For large cohorts a representative sample of evidence will be required for moderation.  Centres may also be required to submit additional learner evidence in some instances, which will be communicated by the moderator. For more information, please see the Technical Qualifications – Guide to Marking & Moderation document.

How can the evidence for the practical tasks within the practical end assessment be collected and submitted digitally?

For assignments, the evidence will be able to be captured in a form suitable for digital submission such as word, PDF, photographs, or video clips. Guidance on the type of assessment evidence is contained within the assessment pack.

Where observation of a performance is carried out, the tutor will be expected to make notes that adequately inform the marking decisions, using the practical observation form. The tutor will need to ensure that these notes provide a clear description of the quality of a learner’s performance. The tutor notes may also be supported with other forms of recording (for example photographic, audio, expert witness testimony). However, rich media evidence should only be used where it can support and supplement the evidence provided by the tutor observations. All evidence will need to be submitted in a digital format.

Where there is a significant practical element, the moderator may need to visit the centre and the Moderation Support team and the moderator will work directly with the centre to set up the centre visit.

Is there any other evidence I need to collect for the qualifications?

All evidence requirements for the assessments is specified within the qualification assessment packs.

How is work submitted to City & Guilds?

Work will be submitted through the Moderation Portal.

Moderation visits

What are the objectives of a moderation visit?

For certain qualifications ephemeral evidence plays a significant part in the assessment and evaluation of candidate performance. In these cases, the online moderation may be supported with a visit to the centre by the moderator. This will only be required in specified qualifications.

The objectives of the moderation visit are to:

  • Ensure that end assessment evidence gathered by the tutor is sufficient, valid and reliable enough to support any subsequent marking or moderation of the end assessments
  • Allow the independent collection of evidence by the moderator. This provides a benchmark which the tutor-produced evidence can be compared to, especially where photographic and video evidence cannot provide valid or complete backing to support tutor evidence

For more information, please see the Technical Qualifications – Guide to Marking & Moderation document.

When will the moderation visit happen?

The moderation visit if applicable will be arranged with the centre from the end of February-early May.

The date that is shown on Walled Garden is the final date that marks and evidence must be submitted onto the moderation platform for moderation to take place. For synoptic assignment this date is 19 May. This is the date shown on Walled Garden and the one you will need to select.

Will the moderation visit take place when a centre is marking synoptic assignments?

The moderation visit will take place at some point during the practical section of the synoptic assessment. The date of the moderation visit will be arranged by the Moderation Support team who will contact centres from the middle of February to determine potential dates.

If I don’t have a moderation visit, how will the marks for the synoptic assessment be moderated?

The marks will be moderated on the basis of the assessment evidence specified in the assessment pack and submitted via the Moderation Portal.

Will moderators answer queries from centres?

Moderators will contact centres to request learner evidence samples and may answer questions related to the moderation process that they are working through with the centre. However, they will not provide general support.

General support throughout the moderation process will be provided by the Moderation Support team and Customer Services as required.

What happens if the moderator finds evidence of malpractice?

If the moderator finds evidence of malpractice they will escalate initially to their principal moderator and the Quality team. This will then be forwarded to our Investigation & Compliance team for further investigation.

Employer Involvement

Is employer involvement required?

At Key Stage 5, Level 2 and 3, it is a DfE requirement that employer involvement is included in the design and delivery/assessment of the qualification. More information can be found in our Employer Involvement guidance

How do I submit an employer involvement plan?

Employer Involvement evidence and outcomes for learners will be submitted for quality assurance by the moderator through the Moderation Portal.

What happens if centres miss the submission deadlines for results and evidence?

If the deadline for the submission of learners’ marks and evidence is missed, City & Guilds cannot guarantee that the final grades will be issued to centres by the published dates. If a centre has any concern about meeting submission dates they need to contact the Moderation Support team.

Does the candidate or centre find the employer?

The centre is responsible for arranging all employer involvement activities.

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