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Technical qualifications

Updated 20 April

Technical qualifications –
Assessment arrangements 2021

We are continuing to work closely with the Government and regulators to overcome the ongoing challenges posed by Covid-19 to ensure that we can issue valid results for our Technical qualifications.

Updated 19 April. Technical Qualifications – Teacher Assessed Grades Centre Guidance

We have further updated our centre guidance, timeline and FAQs for Technical Qualifications on the determination and submission of Teacher Assessed Grades (TAG) for summer 2021.

Its important that you familiarise yourself with the latest changes in relation to the TAG process for this summer’s results, in particular the evidence submission requirements for the Exam component and Synoptic Assignment. You will find a version history table on page 3 of the centre guidance which highlights all revisions and any new information or sections.

TAG – Technical Qualifications Centre Guidance

A series of short helpful videos are being released over the coming days to support the process. You will find these in the ‘Centre support videos’ drop down menu.


Following Government guidelines issued on Thursday 25 February 2021 we are able to confirm the following details for our Technical Qualifications below. 

As we work through the process we are committed to supporting you, our customers, with guidance and support for you and your learners.

Timeline

Centre guidance

We have developed specific information for all Heads of Centre, Heads of Department and tutors on the determination and submission of Teacher Assessed Grades (TAG) for summer 2021.

It’s important to distinguish the approach this year (Teacher Assessed Grades) will be different to the process adopted in 2020 (Centre Assessed Grades).

TAG – Technical Qualifications Centre Guidance

Centre support videos

We’ll be releasing a series of short helpful videos over the coming days to support you with the TAG process. Please check back shortly.

Exams

Our dated Technical Qualifications Spring and Summer 2021 exam series have been cancelled, following the Ministerial directive. Therefore all eligible students will be required to have a result determined for the exam by Teacher Assessed Grades (TAG).

As a result, all centres will be required to provide Teacher Assessed Grades. Centres will use their professional judgements to determine these grades, supported by sources of trusted evidence, of which we will provide further guidance.

Centres will be required to provide evidence of how the grades were determined. These grades will be subject to external quality assurance by City & Guilds.

Synoptic Assignments

For internal assessments, such as the synoptic assignments for all our KS4 Technical Awards and our KS5 Technical Certificates and Tech Levels, we will use a teacher assessed grade process. However, where possible and where it is safe to do so, it is strongly advised that synoptic assignments should continue to be taken as normal or via the published adaptations.

The synoptic assignments will provide the best evidence to support the determination of TAGs. All synoptic assignments have been updated to include guidance around adaptations that will mitigate the ongoing impacts of Covid-19. This can be found at the beginning of the ‘Task instructions for centres’ section.

In order to ensure that evidence produced using synoptic assignments is robust and reliable, we recommend that they are completed under the levels of control detailed in the qualification and/or assessment materials. You will find these on the relevant qualification webpages. Where this cannot happen, we will provide further guidance on the other types of sufficient evidence that may be used. If there is insufficient evidence of occupational skills, then the synoptic assignment may need to be delayed.

Results dates

Qualification

Results available on Walled Garden to centres

Results can be released to students

Level 3

Monday, 9 August

Tuesday, 10 August

Level 2

Wednesday, 11 August

Thursday, 12 August


Support webinars

Our Technical Advisor team will be holding regular webinars to support you with the new arrangements for 2021. Please see dates and booking links below.

This presentation supports the guidance document: Alternative assessment arrangements for 2021 Technical Qualifications (PDF).

Webinar title

Date

Recording link

Digital/IT - Alternative Assessment Arrangements 2021, Technicals

Tuesday 23 March, 9.30am -10.30am

Access the recording >

BSE Alternative Assessment Arrangements 2021, Technicals

Tuesday 23 March, 16.00pm - 17.00pm

Access the recording >

Hospitality and Catering Alternative Assessment Arrangements 2021, Technicals

Wednesday 24 March, 3.30pm - 4.30pm

Access the recording >

Hair & Beauty Alternative Assessment Arrangements 2021, Technicals

Wednesday 24 March, 17.00pm - 18.00pm

Access the recording >

Construction Alternative Arrangements 2021, Technicals only

Tuesday 25 March, 14.00pm - 14.30pm

Access the recording >

Construction Alternative Assessment Arrangements

Wednesday 31 March, 13.00pm - 14.00pm

Register now >

Health, Care and Child Care – Alternative Assessment Arrangements, Technicals

Thursday 13 April, 9.00am - 10.00am

Access the recording >

Download the slides >


Updated 13 April 2021 - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

General

Will assessments go ahead this year as normal?

No. This year, centres will be required to submit Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs).

What is a Teacher Assessed Grade (TAG)?

TAGs will be holistic judgements based upon tutor’s assessment of the evidence on the students’ performance in the qualification. Judgements must be made on actual evidence rather than potential performance.

Do we need to submit just one TAG per student?

No, TAGs will be required to be submitted for each assessment component for the qualification, for each student.

When do I need to submit TAGs?

The deadline for the submission of TAGs is Friday 18 June 2021. This will ensure results are released on the published dates.

Who are eligible students?

All students with a current and live registration and were planning to take the assessment(s) between 1 August 2020 and 31 August 2021.

What does the new Regulatory Framework cover?

The new VTQ Contingency Regulatory Framework (VCRF) covers certificating and non-certificating students who were expecting to take assessments (for ‘in-scope’ qualifications) between 1 August 2020 and 31 August 2021.

What does the new Regulatory framework VCRF do?

The VCRF will allow awarding organisations to use alternative arrangements when exams do not take place and/or when students cannot complete all internal assessment. This includes issuing results based on teachers’ judgements of students’ performance, to be referred to as Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs). This must be based on actual evidence.

Are the results days different this year?

Yes. For Level 3 the results will appear on Walled Garden on Monday 9 August and results can be released to students on Tuesday 10 August. For Level 2 the results will appear on Walled Garden on Wednesday 11 August and results can be released to students on Thursday 12 August.

What quality assurance requirements will there be for TAGs?

They will be subject to internal and external quality assurance prior to release of results.

Do I need to cancel my student’s bookings?

Please don’t cancel any bookings previously made in Walled Garden, as you’ll need these to be able to submit TAGs for your students.

If I haven't made any bookings yet, what should I do?

Centres must ensure all bookings have been made by 30 April 2021.

I did not make any spring exam bookings for my students. What do I do?

For exam components, any students who were not booked for the Spring exam series should be booked for the Summer exam date if you intend to submit a TAG. Please book the paper version of any dated entry exam, not the e-volve component.

If we registered for the evolve spring series, do we now need to re-register for summer paper series?

No. You would only need to make a summer (paper) booking if there had been no spring booking made.

 

Exams

Will the dated Summer series exams for Technicals go ahead?

No. They have been cancelled as a result of the Ministerial Directive.

Do I need to submit a TAG for the exam assessment component?

Yes.

How do I determine a TAG for the exam assessment component?

To determine a TAG, there is an expectation that all students must have completed the learning required for the knowledge requirements, as if they were going to sit the exam as normal. We will make available by Monday 12 April, resources (sample materials) to help assist with the determination of a TAG.

Will there be an Autumn assessment series?

This is still to be confirmed.

What do centres do if the exam TAG process indicates that the student has a Fail grade?

When considering a TAG for the theory exam, a range of evidence, including that from the additional assessment support material (set of questions) provided, any published past papers or sample questions, or any relevant examinations delivered under normal conditions, should be considered to help decide on the appropriate TAG. If the evidence is not sufficient then a Fail should be entered. The student will be able to re-sit at the next published opportunity, if the re-sit rule permits (one for Level 2, and two for Level 3).

Will City & Guilds set a date and time that we have to administer the additional assessment support materials (set of questions)?

No. However, centres should aim for all students in the cohort within your centre to take the set of questions (if used) at roughly the same time to support security of the assessment and hence the strength of the evidence.

Do the additional support materials (set of questions) need to be invigilated under JCQ requirements?

No. However, we would encourage centres to administer these set of questions securely and in supervised conditions to ensure you can validate authenticity.

How will additional assessment support materials (set of questions) be made available?

From w/c 12 April 2021, we will publish these specific additional assessment support materials (set of questions) on the industry specific sections of our webpages. In addition, we will publish tutor marking instructions/guidance as ‘Additional Assessment Support Materials (Marking guidance, mark schemes, grade boundaries and mapping)’. These materials will be password protected on the website. These can be printed off and administered to learners in a supervised environment such as a classroom and completed by hand or shared with learners electronically. There is template at the end of each set of questions for tutors to record their marking (although this does not have to be used where tutors are using their own marking records). 

Please note that some assessments may not be suitable for students to take electronically due to the requirement for symbols, sketches, drawings etc. This may include Engineering and Level 3 Electrical Installation.

The additional assessment support materials are password protected. Where do I find the password?

The materials are password protected to ensure that when you administer them to your learners, this is the first time they have seen them, and learners have not accessed them on our website in any way. The password will be the same used for the synoptic assignments for 2021 which can be found on the Walled Garden. We’ve used this password to save creating further passwords for tutors to find and remember, and that its highly likely tutors will know the synoptic assignment password already. 

Is it compulsory to use the additional assessment support materials (set of questions)?

No. However, we would highly recommend that it is used. Where the resource is not used, centres will need to carefully review other sources of evidence which demonstrates students’ knowledge.

Will the additional assessment support materials (set of questions) be in a format for students to complete on computer as handwriting is sometimes an issue?

Yes, we will provide additional assessment support materials (set of questions) answer booklet (or multiple-choice answer sheet) that can be completed electronically where centres wish to use them. Where centres decide to use their own versions for students to complete, they should ensure it clearly states the qualification and assessment details, centres details, student details, the date and the conditions the assessment was completed under (e.g. supervised in college or taken remotely).

 

Synoptics

Do I need to submit a TAG for the synoptic assignment assessment component?

Yes.

The students have started their synoptic assignment, should we continue and complete them if we can?

Centres are advised that teaching, learning and assessment should continue, as far as is possible and if it is safe to do so. Therefore, completed synoptic assignments (with or without permitted adaptations) could be used as the sole evidence to form the basis for a TAG. 

What are the adaptations for the synoptic assignments?

All synoptic assignments have been updated to include guidance around adaptations that will mitigate the ongoing impacts of Covid-19. This can be found at the beginning of the ‘Task instructions for centres’ section. In order to ensure that evidence produced using synoptic assignments is robust and reliable, we recommend that they are completed under the levels of control detailed in the qualification and/or assessment materials. 

There are some parts of the synoptic that we simply cannot complete in full, what do we do?

Where it is not possible to complete the synoptic assignment in full (with or without adaptations) then centres can use a range of evidence that maps clearly to the gaps in the assessment. Types of evidence are listed in the guidance document.

Our teaching and learning has been severely affected and we are not confident that we will be able to determine a TAG by the deadline date. What are my options?

  1. TAGs can be submitted for any student intended to take the assessment within the eligibility period.  Any submissions after 18 June we cannot guarantee will be available for results day.  There is no cut-off date for TAGs for students within the eligibility period.
  2. You can delay/defer the teaching, learning and assessment until such a time when it’s safe to do so, which could be the next academic year. 

Is it fair for synoptics to go ahead when students have had very little practice?

The learner should only take the assessment when they are prepared to do so and can do so safely. If there is not sufficient evidence, then the TAG should be delayed.

Can the synoptic practical tasks be done after all the written tasks?

The sequencing, or any time bound restrictions, will be included in the updated guidance within the synoptic assignments.

Is there any chance that the synoptic window closing date will be extended to later in the year to give us a chance to get students back into college for practical tasks?

The deadline for submission for the synoptic TAG is 18 June. However, TAGs can be submitted up to 31 August 2021. However, the results will be processed at a later stage than the published results dates.

How flexible can we be with a student progressing to Level 3, or in the first year of a two-year programme?

The adaptations and TAG process applies to the assessment(s) mid-flight students were due take within the eligibility period. However ultimately those students assessments may need to be delayed, and this would be at the discretion of the centre.

Do I still need to complete the usual forms for synoptic assignments as normal moderation is not taking place this year (e.g. the Practical Observation and Candidate Record forms)?

As synoptic assignment grades will be submitted as a Teacher/Tutor Assessed Grade (TAG) and will not be subject to moderation, we do not require you to complete our template forms (such as the Practical Observation form). However, centres can use these if they still wish to, or continue to use their own versions of these forms, in order to accurately capture evidence to support the determination of TAGS. We recommend that these forms and templates are still used as normal as they are designed to support assessors in noting practical observations, standardisation and internal quality assurance, all of which will encourage tutors in making consistent holistic decisions on the grade they will submit for their learners. In some cases, City & Guilds may wish to view the evidence that was used to determine the grade for learners, and centres will need to evidence this in a clear auditable way, demonstrating the processes they followed meet IQA and EQA requirements when generating learner performance evidence and the process they followed to determine grades.

There are some parts of the synoptic that we simply cannot complete in full, what do we do?

Where it is not possible to complete the synoptic assignment in full (with or without adaptations) then centres can use a range of evidence that maps clearly to the gaps in the assessment. Types of evidence are listed in the guidance document.

Our teaching and learning has been severely affected and we are not confident that we will be able to determine a TAG by the 18 June. What are my options?

  1. TAGs can be submitted for any student intended to take the assessment within the eligibility period. Any submissions after 18 June we cannot guarantee will be available for results day.
  2. You can delay/defer the teaching, learning and assessment until such a time when it’s safe to do so, which could be the next academic year. 

If we submit TAGs after 18 June, when can we expect the results?

We will aim to release results submitted after the deadline within 32 working days of a correct TAG submission.  

 

Other centre assessed units

Do I need to submit a TAG for all other centres assessed components, such as optional units?

Yes, a TAG will need to be submitted for all other centre assessed components, including optional units. 

The students have started their optional units, should we continue and complete them if we can?

Centres are advised that teaching, learning and assessment of other centres assessed components, such as optional units should continue, as far as is possible and if it is safe to do so. Completion of these components will provide the best evidence to support the determination of TAGs.

 

Work experience/Employer Involvement (EI)

Do I need to make a booking for Employer Involvement?

Yes. You must make a booking for EI for all students. However, you will not be required to submit anything, this will be completed by City & Guilds for all students.

Do I need to make a booking for the mandatory work experience unit/component?

Yes. However, the requirement to complete work experience has been waived for this year. By making the booking, this enables us to process the overall qualification and ensures the rules of combination are met.

Extended Project Qualification (2935)

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) will be assessed using Teacher Assessed Grades this year. We have developed specific information for all Heads of Centre, Heads of Department and tutors for summer 2021.

Download the guidance

Contact us 

This year, all support for Technical Qualifications and the Teacher Assessed Grades process will continue as normal through our Quality team:

E: technicals.quality@cityandguilds.com

T: 0300 303 53 52 (option 2, option 3)