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We send our subject information update to all OCR exams officers each month but if you’re not an exams officer, and would like to receive your own copy, then just complete our quick and easy signup form.
If you’re an exams officer and you’re not receiving subject information updates then don’t sign up here, please get in touch with us. You may be missing out on other important updates.
Withdrawal of six units from the Life and Living Skills suite
Entry codes affected: 10160–10172 and 10181–10183
Please refer to the notice to centres below for more information
For any other queries, please contact the Customer Contact Centre on 02476 851509.
Extension of Advice and Guidance qualifications
Please refer to the notice to centres below for more information.
If you have any queries about this notice, please call our Customer Contact Centre on 01223 553998.
Understand how on-screen tests can work for you
If you want to learn more about how on-screen tests can work for you, why not attend our free training sessions? They provide feedback, quicker results and can be used as part of:
Courses are running on 17 November in Birmingham and 24 November in London. Bookings can be made through our CPD Hub.
You may also find our new support videos useful; these are available in our e-testing section.
If you have any queries about this notice, please call our Customer Contact Centre on 024 76 851509.
Anthology of texts - Paper 1
The new GCE Level English Language and Literature (EMC) Paper 1 anthology of texts is now available.
The anthology is an examination set text for AS and A level Component 1. It is also a teaching resource, providing a broad range of non-literary texts – spoken and written – from different periods, for linguistic analysis.
F965/01 Historical interpretations and investigations - June 2016
Please note an updated version is now available on the AS/A Level History A qualification page, under ‘Pre-release materials’.
Two of the source texts for Topic 3b, 3. Alfred the Great 871-899; Alfred’s Government (Interpretations B & C) have been amended, as follows:
For Interpretation B, line 2 “According to Asser he said…” has been replaced with “Alfred said…”
For Interpretation C, line 5-6 “Asser tells us that one of Alfred's own ealdormen, Wulfhere…” has been replaced with “Wulfhere, one of Alfred's own ealdormen…”
Production portfolio and use of templates
If you are entering candidates for Unit B324: Production Portfolio in Media Studies please remember you must not provide templates or model answers.
Further information can be found on page 26 of the specification and on page 8 of the JCQ Instructions for conducting controlled assessments which states that:
‘Centres must not provide model answers or writing frames specific to the task (such as outlines, paragraph headings or section headings) unless the specification or subject-specific guidance states otherwise’.
Teachers who do provide templates or model answers that are not permitted by the specification should be aware that this constitutes malpractice and will be dealt with accordingly. If templates and/or model answers are provided, candidates may gain an unfair advantage over others and this may impact the standard of assessment.
Extension of OCR’s Assessor, Quality Assurance, and Learning & Development qualifications
Updated basedata now available
The basedata for Cambridge Technicals, Functional Skills and Cambridge Progression has now been updated to reflect the fee information for 2015/16.
The updated files will need to be re-downloaded into your centre’s MIS to enable you to see the changes. The updated basedata files are available from our basedata section.
Updated pre-release data for summer 2016 exam now available
Please note: some changes have been made to the pre-release data for examination of unit H867/02 – Statistical Problem Solving – pre-release data for 2016.
Changes have been made to the following data columns:
The corrected version of the pre-release data is now available on our qualification page and via Interchange.
Free poetry anthologies
If you haven’t done so yet, you can order your free printed copies of Towards a World Unknown, the new set text poetry anthology for OCR GCSE English Literature (9-1) - J352.
Interactive digital poetry anthology for GCSE English Literature (9-1) - J352
You’ve ordered your printed anthologies…now you can access our free digital poetry anthology, covering all the poems in Towards a World Unknown.
Packed with creative, interactive resources to help bring poetry to life for students at Key Stage 4, this online support package is free to centres that register online.
The digital poetry anthology is designed to:
1 September 2015–31 August 2016
The OCR Instructions for conducting examinations (OCR ICE) has been updated and the 2015/16 version is now available on the OCR website. These regulations are applicable to the externally assessed components of Functional Skills, Cambridge Progression and Digital Employability Qualifications. A list, including the code and title, of these qualifications is provided at Appendix 12 of the document.
Please refer to the Notice to centres below for further information:
Please refer to the Notice to centres below for further information.
It has been brought to our attention that some versions of accounting software will not print certain documents after importing customer and supplier details from the CSV files we supply. Where this problem occurs, it may be avoided by entering customer and supplier details manually.
Please remember that tutors should work through each assignment in its entirety before candidates are due to sit these qualifications, this will help to identify any issues at an early stage and will ensure that all assessment criteria can be met by the accounting software you are using.
Once completed, worked copies must be kept under secure conditions and not made available to candidates.
Please refer to the Notice to centres below for further information:
The first tranche of the new reformed GCSE (9–1), AS, and A Levels are available for teaching in England and Northern Ireland* (see notice below for exceptions) from September 2015. If your centre is teaching a two-year GCSE (9–1), AS or A Level, or a one-year AS Level course this year (15/16) in any of the tranche 1 subjects, you need to be teaching the new reformed specifications.
Our new on-line spec-creator tool for our reformed A Level History qualification, first teaching 2015, is now live and ready for use here. Thank you if your centre is the one of the hundreds that has already used it to enter their course details. If you haven’t done so yet, please remember, it is mandatory to use spec creator to receive confirmation that your chosen combination of units is valid under the new subject criteria (you will need to use spec creator even if you have already checked your unit choices with us by phone or email).
The existing tasks for B011 and B012 have been extended until the final accreditation of the qualification in June 2018. The updated task sheets are now on Interchange and available to download. Please note that no divergence from the set tasks will be accepted. Therefore it is important to make sure that your centre is working from the versions of the tasks now available on Interchange. If you have any queries about this notice, please call our Customer Contact Centre on 01223 553998 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Changes to specification and sample assessment material
Please refer to the Notice to centres below for further information
There is a new mandatory approval service for the non exam assessment components of the reformed GCE English and History specifications for first teaching from September 2015. Teachers can submit their texts and/or tasks to OCR for approval via an interactive form on the relevant webpage:
Following moderation of the 2015 Controlled Assessment the existing tasks (B001 and B002) have been updated and extended until final assessment of the qualification in June 2017. The updated tasks are available on OCR Interchange and ready for centres to download.
Please note: no divergence from the set tasks will be accepted; therefore it is important to make sure that your centre is working from the versions of the tasks now on OCR Interchange. If you have any queries about this notice, please call our Customer Contact Centre on 01223 553998 or email email@example.com
It has come to our attention that there is a potential Health and Safety risk with the B713 Biology controlled assessment task, titled ‘Pupils’, for submission in June 2016. As a result, this task has been withdrawn with immediate effect.
An alternative Biology task will be uploaded onto OCR Interchange as soon as possible and we will let you know when this is available. If you have previously downloaded the ‘Pupils’ task for use at a later date, we recommend that you either use the alternative Biology task or one of the other B713 tasks for submission in June 2016 which are already available via Interchange.
Please be assured that if your candidates have already completed the ‘Pupils’ task the work is still valid for submission in June 2016.
These new qualifications have been designed to fit the funding requirements where qualifications need to be 45 guided learning hours (GLH) or larger. As our individual awards are often below 45GLH these ’wrapper’ qualifications allow maximum flexibility while providing an option that is smaller than our certificates.
This means that learners will have a variety of unit-sized awards to choose from – in combination these will form the ‘extended award’. The handbook will be updated with the rules of combination and further information shortly.
Some units can no longer be used towards the certification of the Cambridge National Certificate in ICT (J810) after the November 2015 series. These units can still be used towards the Cambridge National Diploma in ICT (J820).
We are pleased to confirm that the final entry date for the above qualifications has been extended to 30 June 2017. You do not need to take any action and can continue to deliver this suite to your learners.
The 2016 coursework tasks for the current A level science qualifications were published on the OCR Interchange website (under the ‘Science coordinator materials’, ‘GCE AS/A2 Upto 2015’ tabs) last month. Mark schemes will be published on the same page on 1 December 2015.
Our brand new digital anthology is packed with creative, interactive resources to help bring poetry alive for students at Key Stage 4. Developed in collaboration with the Poetry Society and the Wordsworth Trust, this in-depth online package of resources and support is designed to support students in developing key English skills.
B403: Classical Greek Prose Literature and B404: Classical Greek Verse Literature set text information.
We’re delighted to be able to let you know that the Skills Funding Agency (SfA) is due to update the 2015/16 Simplified Funding Rates Catalogue on 1 July and we have received confirmation that even more of our qualifications will be available for funding in 2015-16.
AS/A Level Performing Arts extended
Following Ofqual publishing their most recent decisions on subjects to be reformed or withdrawn, we are now able to offer our AS/A Level in Performing Arts until final assessment in 2017.
We will take the opportunity with this extension to support centres through the changes and allow them more time to make the transition to alternative reformed qualifications. The extension will facilitate centres transferring directly to the reformed Cambridge Technicals in Performing Arts or the new AS and A Level in Drama and Theatre, both of which are available for teaching from 2016.
Extension of GCSE will help transition to Cambridge National
Following Ofqual publishing their most recent decisions on subjects to be reformed or withdrawn before first teaching in 2017, we are now able to offer our GCSE in Child Development until final assessment in 2018.
We will take the opportunity with this extension to support centres through the changes and allow them more time to make the transition to the Cambridge National.
We are still developing a Cambridge National Certificate in Child Development Level 1/2 for first teaching in September 2016, meaning that there will be a one-year overlap between the qualifications. This overlap will allow centres the choice to transfer at a time most suitable to them and their candidates and will particularly help centres plan their KS4 learning over three years.
We appreciate that there are implications regarding the set tasks for Controlled Assessment of the current GCSE qualification. As the 2018 decision is so recent, we are still reviewing this situation and will contact you again as soon as the final decision has been made.
When we have more information to share we will continue to update centres through our subject information updates.
If you have any queries about this notice, please call our Customer Contact Centre on 01223 553998 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following a review of the OCR Entry Level Award in Digital Literacy (01779) we have decided we will be withdrawing this qualification in 2016. In order to ensure continuity of provision, we will extend the qualification in the interim period.
Extension and withdrawal of Digital Literacy (01779)
Following a review we have decided we will be withdrawing this qualification in 2016. In order to ensure continuity of provision, we will extend the qualification in the interim period.
Updated version now available
We have updated the following pages of the OCR Admin Guide and Entry Codes: Vocational Qualifications 2014/15.
We have updated the following pages of the OCR Admin Guide and Entry Codes: Employability Skills 2014/15.
Revision of the Instructions for Conducting OCR Functional Skills and Cambridge Progression Qualification Examinations 1 September 2013 to 31 August 2014
Following a review, which took place following feedback from centres and consultation with key stakeholders, we have made revisions to the Instructions for Conducting OCR Functional Skills and Cambridge Progression Qualification Examinations. An updated version of the Instructions is now available on the OCR website.
The document is now titled OCR Instructions for conducting examinations (OCR ICE) and is applicable to the externally assessed components of Functional Skills and Cambridge Progression Qualifications. A list, which includes the code and title, of these qualifications is provided in Appendix 12 of the document.
A summary of differences between the OCR Instructions for conducting examinations (OCR ICE) and the Instructions for Conducting OCR Functional Skills and Cambridge Progression Qualification Examinations 1 September 2013 to 31 August 2014 is provided at the start of the OCR ICE. Changes are also highlighted in blue throughout the document.
The OCR Instructions for conducting examinations (OCR ICE) is valid up to and including 31 August 2015.
If you have any queries about this notice please call our Customer Contact Centre on 024 76 851509.
OCR Entry Level Certificate in English - Specification updated
We have updated the OCR Entry Level Certificate in English (R392) Specification, section 4.3 (moderation), page 12.
The specification has now been updated to include the correct moderation instructions.
An updated version of the specification is now available on our website.
Child Development GCSE to be replaced by OCR Cambridge National
Following our previous notice in February, we can confirm that Child Development as a GCSE will be discontinued as a qualification after its final assessment in June 2017.
In light of this we can confirm we will be developing a Cambridge National Certificate in Child Development Level 1/2. We will ensure that the qualification makes the transition between the GCSE and the Cambridge Nationals as easy as possible for teachers.
The first teaching of the new qualification is scheduled for September 2016 and we will have a range of materials ready to support the transition well in advance of this start date. We will keep you informed of progress through our subject information updates.
If you have any queries about this notice, please call our Customer Contact Centre on 01223 553998 or email email@example.com
Further extension of Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools qualifications
We are pleased to announce that the last entry date for the Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools suite of qualifications has been further extended to 31 August 2017.
Changes to Employee Rights and Responsibilities (ERR) Workbook - Message from Skills CFA
Skills CFA, the Sector Skills Council for Customer Service, Management and Business Administration, is currently going through a rebranding transition period and their new e-learning portal will be within the new branding of Instructus Skills.
The Skills CFA Employee Rights and Responsibilities (ERR) workbook will be removed from the Skills CFA website on 1 May 2015. From this date you will be able to access the online Instructus Skills ERR workbook via the new e-learning portal.
Change in moderation details for Entry Level English - R392
We have updated the OCR Entry Level Certificate in English (R392) Specification, section 4.3 (moderation), pages 12 and 13.
The text on page 12 currently states:
‘The sample should consist of six candidates selected by the Centre. They should represent the ability range of the candidates entered for the examination.’
The revised text will state that:
‘Once marks have been submitted to OCR and your moderator, centres will receive a moderation sample request. Samples will include work from across the range of attainment of the learners’ work.’
The following text will be removed from page 13:
'It is the responsibility of the centre to select the sample of candidates’ work to be sent for moderation’.
An updated version of the specification will soon be added to our website and we will let you know when this is available.
Unit A664 - Literary heritage prose and contemporary poetry
Contemporary poetry (Section B of the question paper)
We would like to remind centres that the wording of some questions in Section B of the Literary Heritage Prose and Contemporary Poetry question paper changed in September 2013 for first assessment in June 2015.
Previously, part (b) and part (c) of each question in Section B offered students a choice of two poems. From June 2015, part (b) and part (c) will only name one poem in each part, rather than two.
Free poetry anthologies now available to order
If you’re planning to teach our new GCSE English Literature (9–1) J352 specification from September 2015, you can now pre-order free paper copies of the poetry anthology set text, Towards a World Unknown.
The online ordering system is for the new specification only; all centres will need to complete an online order form to receive their anthologies.
There is no change to arrangements for the current OCR GCSE English Literature J360 specification.
Order your free anthologies
Addition of two new units to the life and living skills suite
Two new units have been accredited and are open for entries from 1 April 2015.
Your views sought - A message on behalf of the Education & Training Trailblazer Group
In 2013 the Government announced reforms to the way apprenticeships will be designed and implemented in England. New standard-based apprenticeships will replace current frameworks in 2015 as part of the Government’s employer driven Trailblazer Strategy.
A group of Education and Training employers working on behalf of the Education and Training sector have been leading this redesign. We are asking key stakeholders to get involved and have your say on the essential knowledge, skills and behaviours that teachers should display on completion of their Education and Training Apprenticeship.
Please read and consider the four Education and Training Standard documents which accompany this Notice and consider what you, as an Education and Training employer or teacher, would expect to see from your apprentices.
We would ask you to:
Your input is very much appreciated and will help shape the next generation of teachers.
To view the standards at each level, view a YouTube video presentation and watch a Webinar Recording please visit http://www.intouchcare.co.uk/.
Revision of the instructions for conducting OCR Functional Skills and Cambridge Progression qualification examinations
Following a review, which took place following feedback from centres and consultation with key stakeholders, we have made some revisions to the Instructions for Conducting OCR Functional Skills and Cambridge Progression Qualification Examinations. An updated version of the Instructions will be added to the website shortly and we will let centres know when this is available.
We hope these revisions will provide further clarity of the required regulations for the delivery of the externally assessed components of Functional Skills and Cambridge Progression qualifications.
In response to feedback we have initially revised Section 6.3 (Invigilation arrangements).
We have updated the following pages of the OCR Admin Guide and Entry Codes: 14–19 Qualifications 2014/15.
The Business Administration, Customer Service and Management and Leadership stand-alone qualifications have been extended until 31 August 2016.
Please note that the last certification date is the last date on which OCR will produce certificates and therefore it is advised that centres plan for completion of all candidate assessment at least two months prior to this date.
We have updated the following pages of the OCR Admin Guide and Entry Codes: Cambridge Employability 2014/15
Future of OCR Essential Skills Wales and Wider Key Skills (Wales) qualifications
This is a reminder that the last date for entry for OCR Essential Skills Wales and OCR Wider Key Skills qualifications will be 31 August 2015.
In response to a qualifications review, changes in legislation and discussions with stakeholders, we have made some changes to our CPC (Certificates of Professional Competence) qualifications.
The last entry date of the ITQ scheme codes 03991–03999, 13995 has been extended to 31 August 2017.
Following a review of our vocational languages qualification provision, we have taken the decision to extend French, German, Spanish and Welsh vocational language suites until December 2017.
Our new on-line spec-creator tool for our reformed A Level History qualification, first teaching 2015, is now live and ready for use.
We have updated some pages of the OCR Admin Guide and Entry Codes: 14–19 Qualifications 2014/15.
Unit G151 - Specification coverage and schemes of assessment
We would like to remind centres that candidates are expected to study all the content for G151 English Legal System. Questions in the examination paper, in both Section A and Section B, can be asked from any part of the specification which includes:
Centres are also reminded that candidates should be prepared to answer four questions in total, at least two from Section A and at least one from Section B.
For more information please refer to H134 Specification for OCR Advanced Subsidiary GCE in Law: Section 4: Schemes of Assessment.
Business Enterprise qualifications have been extended for a further 9 month period until 31 March 2016.
The future of the subject isn’t forgotten
Many centres have been querying the future of Child Development as a GCSE. In line with recent DfE announcements, Child Development is due to be discontinued after its final assessment in June 2017. OCR however want to reassure teachers and students of this subject that we are looking at providing alternative qualifications and hope to make further announcements about this in the coming few months.
Students who are currently in Year 9 will be the last cohort able to take the current GCSE qualification. We would encourage all Heads of Department to keep an eye out for future announcements as we are very aware of the call from many centres to retain a similar style qualification in order to fulfil the future needs and requirements of their students.
Delayed a year
On Friday 16 January the DfE announced that the reform of GCSE Design & Technology will be delayed a year, therefore first teaching will be in September 2017. The announcement explains the reasons for the delay.
As a result of the delays existing specifications will continue to be available until their final assessment in the summer of 2018. We will be in contact in due course to notify you when the specifications are anticipated for release, but it is hoped that the delay will in fact give us longer to work with centres preparing and training you for successful delivery of the new qualification.
Change to the specification
Mechanics 2 (4729), Statistics 2 (4733) and Decision 2 (4736)
We have made minor changes to the specification with regards to the preamble for these three units. For each of these units the knowledge of the specification content of Modules C3 and C4 is no longer required.
New qualifications for those working in residential childcare are being introduced on 1 February 2015. They are the required qualifications for the workforce and will be named in new Regulations from April 2015. The new qualifications are:
The Department for Education expects all new staff commencing work in children’s homes, who do not hold a relevant qualification, to undertake one of these qualifications.
For those working in Residential Childcare, these qualifications will replace:
The Department for Education considers the new qualifications to be ‘equivalent’ qualifications.
This means that as of 1 February 2015, any learners wishing to work in residential child care should not be registered on the current Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce social care pathway (OCR scheme code 10392). This qualification, however, will continue to be offered to those learners who wish to work in child care outside of the residential setting.
The OCR Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People’s Services (Children and Young People’s Residential Management) – 10396 and 09621 will be closed for entry with a final entry date of 31 January 2015.
Learners registered on either 10392 or 10396 prior to 31 January 2015 will not be affected and will be allowed to complete their qualification.
For further information on the replacement qualifications, view our child development qualifications.
If you have any queries about this notice, please call our Customer Contact Centre on 02476 851509.
We are pleased to announce that the last entry date for the vocational ICT Systems and Principles for Professionals (PROCOM) suite of qualifications has been extended to 31 December 2016.
Updates to model assignments for assessment
Updated versions of all of the Cambridge Nationals in Sport Science (R042-R046) and Sport Studies (R052-R056) model assignments are now available on the OCR website.
The amendments are to some of the surround material in terms of information for teachers and some of the templates for witness statements, and therefore will not affect you if you are in the process of using the previous versions of the assignments as nothing fundamental has changed about the tasks themselves.
If your centre is entering candidates for A911 or A913 in the June 2015 series, you can download the 2015/16 controlled assessment tasks and mark schemes from OCR Interchange. Please note that the previous 2013/14 controlled assessment tasks and mark schemes are no longer valid for live assessment. To download the 2015/16 controlled assessment tasks:
Pre-release material for Unit F297 - Strategic management
OCR would like to apologise for the temporary withdrawal of the pre-release material for F297 Strategic Management. This was due to the need to amend figure 3 the product development diagram on page 5. The updated material can now be found on the GCE Business Studies page.
Update regarding the end date of GCE Applied Business following publication of Ofqual consultation outcome
We have had confirmation from the regulator, Ofqual, that Centres will be able to offer GCE Applied Business to candidates starting from September 2015 but only if they currently offer the qualification. The last award of this qualification will be in the summer of 2017.
For centres looking for an alternative GCE course to replace Applied Business, we would recommend our new GCE Business qualification.
Unit M01 - Life and Living Skills qualifications
It has recently been brought to our attention that there was an issue with Unit M1 on our website. Unfortunately, due to a technical issue with loading documents to the webpage in July, some content was missing from the M1 unit.
This has now been rectified and the full, correct version is now available on the qualification page.
If you have any queries about this notice, please call our Customer Contact Centre on 024 7685 1509.
Clarification to specification
In the specification, section 4.4, page 82, we have added the sentence:
It has always been the case that OCR has issued different set tasks for B951 each year. Therefore this is not a change to the assessment, but a clarification. This will particularly apply to any candidates who may be re-sitting the unit in the next year; they have to complete a different task.
Administering internal assessment
We would like to provide clarification about the rules surrounding the production of evidence for internally assessed units for Cambridge Nationals.
Model Assignments are available for all internally assessed units. Centres must select from the model assignments available when assessing their learners, which are available from the OCR website. Centres can make modifications to the model assignments that OCR provides to enable the assignments to be put within a local context that learners might relate to more easily, or to allow for differences in the materials, equipment and facilities at different centres. Guidance on what can be modified is given in each assignment in the section Information for Teachers under Scope of permitted model assignment modification. No other changes are permitted. If modifications are made to the model assignment, whether to just the scenario or to both the scenario and tasks, it is up to the centre to ensure that all learning outcomes can be met and that learners can access the full range of marks.
Any changes made to model assignments over those permitted are liable to be reported as suspected malpractice by the moderator. These will be investigated by OCR and any sanctions/penalties imposed in line with the JCQ Suspected Malpractice in Examinations and Assessments Policies and Procedures.
Templates and writing frames cannot be used for the creation of assessment evidence.
Learners must independently choose layouts and make decisions about formatting when creating documents, etc. and when presenting their assessment evidence. This is detailed in Section 4 of each qualification’s specification:
‘Teachers/assessors must not provide templates, model answers or detail specifically what amendments should be made’.
It is essential that centres follow the JCQ Instructions for Conducting Coursework. In particular, the instructions which clarify what can be considered to be the candidates’ own unaided work.
Providing candidates with worksheets, writing frames and/or additional instructions or prompts, or providing formative feedback whilst the evidence is being produced, constitutes help over and above that permitted, and is liable to be reported as malpractice by the moderator. These will be investigated by OCR and any sanctions/penalties imposed in line with the JCQ Suspected Malpractice in Examinations and Assessments Policies and Procedures.
If you have any concerns about work not being produced in line with a specification’s guidance and JCQ Instructions for Conducting Coursework you should contact OCR’s Customer Contact Centre (please see contact details below).
Any help provided to candidates that conforms to a specification’s guidance and JCQ Instructions for Conducting Coursework must be considered when awarding marks. All JCQ documents referred to are available via the JCQ website.
Changes to wording of GCSE Media Studies examination papers
From June 2015 onwards there will be some minor changes to the wording of the instructions for question 4a and question 4b in Section B of the following two GCSE Media Studies examination papers:
The two following examples show Section B of the 2014 paper and a mock-up of the 2015 paper with updated wording that is intended to clarify instructions for candidates. Please note that the mock-up example used in 2015 shows two texts for both question 4a and question 4b. Please remember that in the exam one or two texts may be asked for in either question 4a or question 4b.
Over recent months we have received many communications from Centres requesting further information about the future of GCE Applied Science and whether Centres will be able to start teaching a 2 year course from either September 2015 or September 2016.
We have now had confirmation from the regulator, Ofqual, that Centres will be able to continue to offer GCE Applied Science to candidates starting from both of these dates. So, the last award of this qualification will be in the summer of 2018.
We are still awaiting further information about the redevelopment possibilities for GCE Applied Science for first teaching from September 2017 but we will keep you informed.
If you have any queries about this notice, please call our Customer Contact Centre on 01223 553998
Over recent months we have received many communications from Centres requesting further information about the future of GCE Human Biology and whether Centres will be able to start teaching a 2 year course from September 2015.
We have now had confirmation from the regulator, Ofqual, that Centres will be able to offer GCE Human Biology to candidates starting from this date but only if they currently offer the qualification. The last award of this qualification will be in the summer of 2017.
For centres looking for an alternative GCE course to replace Human Biology, we would recommend our new GCE Biology B (Advancing Biology) qualification.
Following the withdrawal of the Diploma Aggregation Service (DAS) and launch of Cambridge Nationals in Engineering, OCR has decided to withdraw the Level 2 Principal Learning in Engineering. The last full examination series for this qualification will be June 2015, with a re-sit opportunity in January 2016. OCR will of course continue to support and assess the Level 2 Principal Learning in Engineering up to the last certification date.
The revised version of the GCE Music (H142/H542) specification has been accredited by Ofqual and is available to download from our website.
The update is to the prescribed works for G353 and can be found on page 26 of the specification. This is the only change to this specification.
A list of prescribed works, for teaching and assessment from June 2015 is included in this notice.
Centres need to be advised that the qualification number (QN code) has not changed, however, the unit QN codes have changed for administrative purposes. Entries cannot be made against any previous unit QN codes.
Your exams office will receive confirmation of the unit QN codes shortly.
Unit B353 - Examination period for June 2015 series
The period in which this unit may be examined is: 05 March to 05 May 2015.
Individual centres will decide on a convenient date within this window and, once decided, that date will become part of that centre’s examination timetable.
This examination must be delivered inside the stated window, without exception.
Centres are reminded that each candidate’s submission must be accompanied by a completed Creative Task Cover Sheet and by a track list if the tasks are submitted on CD.
When completed, candidates’ work must be sent to the appropriate examiner immediately and not stored in centre until the end of the examination period.
Please note that this is an examined unit and the work should not be sent to the moderator for Units B351 and B352.
The Cambridge Nationals in Creative iMedia qualification (J807, J817, and J827) has been reviewed following its successful first year of delivery. As a result of this review a series of minor typo graphical amendments have been made to the content of the specification, to provide greater clarity. A revised version reflecting these changes will be available online shortly at www.cambridgenationals.org.uk.
Update on new Cambridge Employability Suite
Following our recent communication which was sent out in October and can be found here, we would like to update you on the progress of the development.
New Cambridge Employability qualifications
We will be publishing new qualification specifications and delivery guides in February 2015 for your planning and preparation. However, we recently received a communication from the SFA which stated that they will not be considering any funding applications in December 2014. This means that we have had to revise our launch dates accordingly.
The new qualifications will be live for entries from 2 March 2015. These will be offered from Entry Level 3 to Level 2 (Awards and Certificates). Final unit specifications and all other relevant qualification documents will still be available from February as we originally planned.
Current suite (2013)
The current suite (scheme codes 10345-10350) will be withdrawn from 28 February 2015, as previously stated. No entries will be accepted after this date. For all learners on programme (registered on the ILR) prior to this date, the final certification dates are as follows:
Transfer of entries
In the last communication we said we would update you further on the credit of unused unnamed entries. If you have purchased unnamed entries which are unused by the 28 February 2015 and you wish to transfer to the new qualifications, then please make entries for the new qualifications and inform OCR so that we can raise a credit for the equivalent unused entries for the 2013 suite. You have up until 31st March 2015 to use this option. This is not automatic, so please ensure you inform OCR that this is the case. Please put this in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have purchased named entries but have not yet started on the programme and you wish to transfer to the new qualifications, then we can transfer named entries without you having to make new entries. To inform us that you wish to do this, please email the relevant candidate details to email@example.com
If you wish to continue with the current 2013 suite, you can do so up to the final certification dates provided that:
If you have any questions, please call our Customer Contact Centre on 02476 851509.
The Cambridge Nationals in Engineering specifications have recently been reviewed. As a result of this review a number of minor typographical amendments have been made to the content of the specifications, in order to give greater clarity. Revised versions reflecting these changes will be available online shortly at www.cambridgenationals.org.uk.
Withdrawal of current Cambridge Employability Suite
Scheme codes affected: 10345–10350
Following valuable feedback from centres, OCR has taken the decision to replace the Cambridge Employability suite and will withdraw the current offer from 28 February 2015. We will offer a direct replacement, which we believe will better meet your needs. We will continue to consult with centres as we would like to gain as much feedback as possible. Please contact us if you haven’t been involved and would like to be. Further information on this replacement will be sent to you as soon as possible.
What is OCR planning to do?
We are redeveloping the current qualifications and a direct replacement will be available in February, so we will withdraw the current suite from 28 February 2015.
As a result of your feedback, we want to improve our Employability offer. The new suite will offer units that are clearer and more concise, using language that is relevant to the end user. We will achieve this by working closely with centres and employers to produce an improved qualification. We will be providing new resources and surrounding support to help you to deliver these qualifications and to improve engagement of your learners.
When will this happen?
The new suite will be available from February 2015.
The withdrawal date for the 2013 suite will be 28 February 2015.
For all learners already on programme (registered on the ILR) the final certification dates are:
How does this impact on centres?
We want to ensure that the impact on our centres is minimal. However, we understand you may have some questions:
Entries and funding
We recommend that you use up any entries that you have purchased prior to 28 February 2015 and do not buy extra entries.
Learners already engaged in learning/evidence gathering
If your learners are part-way through their learning on the current Employability suite, but you do not wish to continue and certificate on this suite and you prefer to transfer to the new suite, then we will map assessment criteria to the new specification.
How will OCR support us?
Our commitment to you and your learners is to ensure continuity in the following ways:
What are the next steps?
In November we will contact you by telephone as a follow up to this letter. We will also make draft units available on our website, as soon as possible, in order to inform you of proposed content. In addition, we will confirm arrangements for transferring to the new qualification at this time.
We would like to consult with you in order to gather as much feedback as possible. Therefore, it would be helpful if you could complete this survey (you can also indicate your desire to be involved further here).
In the meantime, if you have any questions, please call our Customer Contact Centre on 02476 851509.
To avoid overlap between the content of the Special Study papers (G154/6/8) and the Option papers (G153/5/7), questions on the Option papers will not relate to the special study theme for that same academic year.
This will be applicable from June 2015 onwards.
We are pleased to announce that the last entry date for the Retail Skills qualifications has been extended to 31 December 2015.
Set texts for AS GCE Classical Civilisation unit F384.
Set texts for examination in 2015, 2016 and 2017
We would like to remind teachers that the set texts listed below will be examined for the first time in the June 2015 series. These details are also available on pages 22 and 23 of the GCE Classics specification.
From June 2015 to June 2017, inclusive, the F384 set texts will be:
Candidates must be prepared to answer commentary questions on passages taken from any of the material prescribed for the unit.
Candidates may use any complete translation of the texts. Where a translation is printed on a question paper it will be taken from:
AS GCE unit F362 (Level 2) Latin verse and prose literature
Errata for set text for examination from 2015 to 2017
Cicero: De Imperio: An Extract: 27–45
Commentary notes and vocabulary by Katharine Radice
Introduction by Catherine Steel
We would like to bring your attention to the following errors in the Latin text of this new edition of Cicero De Imperio.
Further minor errors have been found in the rendering of Latin in the Notes and Introduction. A full list of these can be provided by Bloomsbury and will be corrected in an imminent reprint. Please contact Alice Wright, Commissioning Editor at Bloomsbury Academic.
Free eBook copies with the fully corrected text will be available from Bloomsbury to those centres / students that have already bought copies. To receive the free eBook, please contact Alice Wright.
Entry Level Certificate - Sample requests for moderation
In a change to previous series moderation arrangements, to bring monitoring of Entry Level Certificate more closely into line with the requirements for moderation at GCSE, we will now be requesting a sample of work from all centres who are entered for Entry Level Certificate moderation.
Free CPD training for Cambridge Nationals in Engineering
We’ve created a range of stimulating and informative free face-to-face courses to provide you with a thorough understanding of the new Cambridge Nationals in Engineering qualifications and to offer you the support you need in delivering them.
To find out more about the course objectives, dates and locations and to book your place, take a look at the courses below using the following links:
These courses are free and will include a set of essential course materials. Refreshments and a light lunch will also be provided.
For further information about our CPD programme, please call us on 02476 496398 or email the CPD team.
For any other queries, please contact the Customer Contact Centre on 01223 553998.
Extension of Vocational Qualifications (QCF, NVQ, NQF) - Policing qualifications
We are pleased to announce that the last entry date for the vocational Public Services, Policing suite of qualifications has been extended to 31 December 2015.
OCR Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People’s Services (England) Level 5 Diploma – QAN 600/1250/X
The qualification comprises six pathways with the following scheme codes:
Due to changes in the structure and an increase in the mandatory credit, OCR is replacing this qualification. OCR will of course continue to support and assess the current qualification up to the final certification dates for this qualification.