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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.
Please refer to the Notice to centres below for further information.
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.
If you have any queries about this notice, please call our Customer Contact Centre on 01223 553998.
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
NEW BUSINESS BANKING QUALIFICATION
The new OCR Level 2 Award in Business Banking qualification is now available.
Entry code: 10390
Qualification title: OCR Level 2 Award in Business Banking
Assessment: 11 credits
Qualification number: 601/4118/9
This qualification is intended for those working in, or aspiring to, a frontline service support role in business banking.
The learner will develop their understanding of the banking sector and business banking more specifically. They will also understand the range/types of business banking customers, their common needs and the products and services they utilise.
A dedicated webpage for this qualification is available and lists the handbook, unit and other supporting documentation: www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/vocational-qualifications-qcf-business-banking-level-2-award-10390
This is a single unit qualification and the assessment is in the form of a Computer-based test (multiple choice questions). For further information please visit the qualification webpage.
OCR Admin Guide and Entry Codes: 14–19 Qualifications 2014/15
The OCR Admin Guide and Entry Codes: 14–19 qualifications 2014/15 should have arrived in OCR centres registered for general qualifications during the week commencing 8 September 2014.
The online version is available to download at www.ocr.org.uk/admin-guides.
We have made some amendments as follows to this Admin Guide. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. This new version will be version number 1.2.
Assessment Year 2014/15: Pages ii, iii and 13
Please note that the key date for refunds for withdrawn entries for June 2015 for GCE, FSMQ, Principal Learning, Project and Level 3 Certificate has changed.
The last date for refunds for withdrawn entries for June 2015 for the above qualifications is now 21 April 2015.
Replacement pages of the assessment year 2014/15 and pages 13 and 14 are provided below – you may wish to update these in your hard copy Admin Guide.
If you have any queries about this notice, please contact the Customer Contact Centre on 01223 553998.
Download full notice and replacement pages
REMOVAL OF FOUR UNITS FROM THE LIFE AND LIVING SKILLS SUITE
The following four units are being withdrawn by the owning Awarding Organisation and it has not been possible for OCR to take ownership of these, so they are being withdrawn from this suite of qualifications from September 2015:
You may continue to deliver these units. However, you will not be able to make claims for certification for these units after 30 September 2015. Please ensure that your learners have achieved these units prior to this date. We will update all relevant documentation to this effect.
Note: the end date of 30 September 2015 applies only to C9, I1, M21 and M22 (and to G2 and N18, as detailed in previous SIU).
We are currently reviewing the Life and Living Skills Suite in order to better meet the needs of our centres; we will contact you shortly with more information on this. If you are interested in being involved in consultation for this review then please email your details to contactusLLS@ocr.org.uk.
FURTHER EXTENSION OF OCR’S ASSESSOR AND QUALITY ASSURANCE QUALIFICATIONS
We are pleased to announce that the last entry date for the Assessor and Quality Assurance qualifications has been further extended to 31 December 2015. The qualification details are as follows:
You may continue to enter candidates for these qualifications until the last entry date given above.
The last certification date is the last date on which OCR will issue certificates. Centres are therefore advised to plan for completion of all candidate assessment at least two months prior to this date.
THE NEW BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, CUSTOMER SERVICE AND MANAGEMENT & LEADERSHIP APPRENTICESHIPS
We are delighted to announce that the new Apprenticeship qualifications in Business Administration, Customer Service and Management and Leadership have now been launched.
These qualifications are designed to meet the changing demands of Apprenticeship frameworks. As such, at Levels 2–3 they combine the knowledge and competence components. This means that within each suite there is a single qualification per level, made up of both knowledge and competence units. Qualifications at Level 4 and above remain as separate competence and knowledge qualifications.
If you are enrolling apprenticeship candidates on apprenticeships in any of these areas, they must be entered for the new qualifications.
Download the notice for full details.
CREATIVE IMEDIA, CREATIVE AND DIGITAL MEDIA AND PREPARING TO WORK QUALIFICATIONS REVIEW
The following qualifications have been reviewed as still being fit for purpose, meaning that centres can continue to make entries to 31/12/2016.
Download this notice as a PDF file
OCR would like to remind centres entering for Unit B324: Production Portfolio in Media Studies that teachers must not provide templates or model answers.
This is made clear on page 26 of the specification. Further clarification is provided 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 should be aware that this constitutes malpractice and will be dealt with accordingly.
UPDATE ON ONLINE ON-DEMAND TESTING FOR OCR CAMBRIDGE PROGRESSION
We’re always looking for ways to improve our service and on 1 September we ran a pilot on on-demand online testing for OCR Cambridge Progression with some of the most popular units for Cambridge Progression English.
Following the successful launch of the pilot we will extend this to include the most popular Maths units on 29 September.
You will notice that there will no longer be separate assessment windows for these units. You simply make entries* and let learners sit the test when you want to: ‘online on-demand’ tests.
Just a reminder that our online on-demand service is designed to be even more convenient for you. You will be able to manage the scheduling of tests much more effectively – and you could get results within as little as two working days from the date a test has been taken for easier administration.
To find out more about the testing options and the processes involved, please take a look at the Cambridge Progression Admin Guide.
We have listened to your feedback regarding OCR Cambridge Progression pass marks and we will be publishing these on the website shortly.
Please keep your eye on the OCR website where you will find this information.
If you have any queries about this notice, please call our Customer Contact Centre on 024 7685 1509.
We currently are working with Ofqual to update the specification and prescribed works for AS Music H142 unit G353.
A provisional list of the prescribed works for 2015–2018, pending accreditation from Ofqual, is attached and will be updated on the OCR website as soon as possible.
Download this notice and the provisional list.
OUTGOING BUSINESS SKILLS QUALIFICATIONS LAST CERTIFICATION DATE – 31 DECEMBER 2014
As you may already be aware, the last certification date for the Level 1 and 2 Business Skills qualifications is 31 December 2014. OCR will continue to support and assess the qualifications up to the final certification date for these qualifications.
Download the full notice to see further details and to see the last certification date for the Level 3 qualification.
Download the full notice as a PDF
The OCR Admin Guide and Entry Codes: 14–19 qualifications 2014/15 will arrive in OCR centres registered for general qualifications during the week commencing 8 September 2014.
04694 OCR Level 2 Certificate for the Children and Young People’s Workforce – QAN: 500/9792/1
04696 OCR Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce – QAN: 500/9186/4
Due to changes in the structure and the need to remove mandatory units or pathways, OCR is replacing these qualifications.
Withdrawal of emergency first aid unit
Unfortunately, it has not been possible to extend the Emergency first aid skills unit, as The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health have recommended that all Awarding Organisations remove it from their qualifications. This unit will be withdrawn from the suite of qualifications from 30 November 2014.
New MAPS e-portfolio
MAPS is an online e-portfolio system that can be used for the whole assessment and moderation process. It can be used by your candidates to upload their digital evidence, link it to allocated OCR qualification units and once complete hand it in to their teachers for marking. The teachers can then mark their candidates' work on-screen to confirm it meets all of the assessment criteria and then submit it to OCR for moderation.
The following qualifications are now available in MAPS for your centre to use:
For these qualifications the use of MAPS is optional not mandatory. However, we believe MAPS provides many benefits, so we will automatically setup your centre in MAPS if you make an entry after 23 June 2014.
If your centre does not want to use MAPS for either of these new qualifications then you should let us know by visiting the ‘Centre preferences’ page in Interchange and completing the opt-out.
If you have opted-out of using MAPS for a particular qualification, but we have already provided you with login details, then simply ignore these.
A number of support videos are now available in the Help section within MAPS. They cover all of the key tasks to be carried out in MAPS by students and teachers. In addition, within the Help section, the teacher’s user guide has been updated and includes a useful flowchart showing the workflow for using MAPS to deliver OCR qualifications in your centre. The student’s user guide will be updated soon.
It is now possible, for unnamed entries only, to create a claim directly from MAPS when submitting a batch of work for moderation. This avoids having to enter the students’ details into Interchange when creating the claim and will ensure the work is submitted in MAPS at the same time as the claim is created in Interchange.
The new claims integration process is covered in one of the new support videos mentioned above.
To allow claims to be automatically created in Interchange from MAPS, for unnamed entries only, it is necessary to collect students’ date of birth and gender. When setting up your students, either manually or using the csv import, please remember to include this data. For existing students in MAPS, you can you can update their details to include this data as required when submitting work for moderation.
Facebook single sign-on for students
From 16 June, students with an account in both MAPS and Facebook can link their accounts to allow them to login to MAPS using their Facebook login details.
The new Facebook single sign-on is covered in one of the new support videos mentioned above.
LiveAssess is a module within MAPS that allows for the real time capture of a candidates’ evidence using text, drawing, mindmap, audio and video tools. The evidence is saved within the candidates’ portfolio and is marked in the normal ways using the evidence checklist or the Red Pen Tool.
We are working with the supplier to create LiveAssess tasks for a number of units from the Employability Skills qualification. We will let you know when the LiveAssess units are available.
From 8 September 2014 OCR will be your first point of contact for support for either:
You can contact us in several different ways:
TAG Assessment will continue to respond to queries for a period of time as first line support is transitioned to OCR. However after this date they may ask you to contact OCR or transfer you directly to us.
A series of updates to MAPS3 for Creative iMedia have taken place.
MAPS2 v MAPS3
The developments summarised in this update apply to MAPS3 only and do not apply to MAPS2. MAPS3 is the latest version which offers a social network style user interface and in-browser on-screen marking and annotation of digital files using the Red Pen tool.
If you are still using MAPS2 then you may want to consider moving to MAPS3 at a convenient point in the delivery of your Creative iMedia course. This could be when:
You can have students in both MAPS2 and MAPS3 at the same time, but we recommend that you move to MAPS3 as this system is under active development.
A number of support videos are now available in the Help section within MAPS. They cover all of the key tasks to be carried out in MAPS by students and teachers. The teacher’s user guide has been updated and includes a useful flowchart showing the workflow for using MAPS to deliver OCR qualifications in your centre. The student’s user guide will be updated soon. The user guides are also available within the Help section.
The process for claiming units has previously involved creating a claim in Interchange and then using the claim number in MAPS when submitting a batch of work for moderation.
The new claims integration process is covered in one of the new support videos mentioned above and in the teacher’s user guide.
To allow claims to be automatically created in Interchange from MAPS, for unnamed entries only, it is necessary to collect students’ date of birth and gender. When setting up your students, either manually or using the csv import, please remember to include this data. For existing students in MAPS you can update their details to include this data as required when submitting work for moderation.
Students with an account in both MAPS and Facebook can link their accounts to allow them to login to MAPS using their Facebook login details.
If you still use MAPS2 you should continue to raise technical queries with TAG Assessment as necessary. Their contact details are as follows:
Controlled assessment materials June 2016 - Release date for Unit A291 - Marketing and enterprise
The release date for the June 2016 Controlled Assessment materials for unit A291 (Marketing and Enterprise) will be 1 September 2014. This is to ensure that there is no issue between the 2014, 2015 and 2016 materials being available simultaneously.
The materials will be available for download from OCR Interchange from 1 September.
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 December 2015.
Since the accreditation of the Level 1/2 Certificate in Living Texts (J945) in 2011, government policy about Key Stage 4 performance tables has changed. This was in response to issues identified in the Wolf report. In January 2012, the Department for Education (DfE) published a list of qualifications for 14–16 year olds that qualified for secondary school KS4 performance tables from 2014 onwards. In early 2013, the DfE released new criteria for qualifications receiving points from 2016 onwards.
The Level 1/2 Certificate in Living Texts (J945) did not appear on the DfE’s final list of qualifications published in March 2012 because it did not comply with one of the requirements – that it should include external assessment. In response, OCR considered re-launching the specification to include an examined unit, but ultimately decided that this would not be in the spirit of the specification.
Therefore, OCR will continue to offer only one version of the Level 1/2 Certificate in Living Texts (J945) and this will not be included in the list of qualifications that carry performance points.
The following scenarios provide exemplification:
If you would like any further clarification please contact us at OCR.LivingTexts@ocr.org.uk.
The BBC recently advised on their website that the WebWise resources that provide the underpinning knowledge and skills for candidates to pass the WebWise assessments would be removed from their current location on 31 July 2014.
OCR was not consulted about this change and we have been working with the BBC to provide alternative resources.
Unfortunately, due to technical issues, it proved impossible to retain the resources in their original format beyond the end of July 2014. However we are pleased to advise that we now have access to some of the resources on a new WebWise page and we have been able to add additional links to other resources that will enable centres to continue to offer the WebWise assessments as evidence for the ITQ and CLAiT International qualifications.
The full list of resource links can be found under Support Materials on the qualification pages for ITQ and CLAiT International below.
If you have any queries about this notice, please call our Customer Contact Centre on 024 76 851509.
The latest update of the simplified funding rates catalogue from the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) confirms that all levels and units of OCR’s Cambridge Progression qualifications are now funded.
Back in June, the SFA published new guidance on funding for QCF English and maths qualifications. We welcome the new guidance and are pleased to confirm that all of the Cambridge Progression suite of qualifications will remain fundable for learners looking to improve their English and maths skills. The original announcement in June confirmed funding for the vast majority of Cambridge Progression qualifications. This has now been extended to Level 2 certificates and to all the units of one or two credits.
A list of the approved qualifications can be found on GOV.UK.
Please note that there are two tabs:
We’ve produced a series of frequently asked questions to support centres in this funding announcement.
If you have any queries about this notice, please call our Customer Contact Centre on 02476 851509 or email email@example.com.
The availability of model answers to live controlled assessment tasks for two units of GCSE Computing J275 on a number of public websites means OCR has had to act so that the assessment is not compromised and all students receive the results they deserve.
One course of action that OCR follows if sensitive information such as this is available is to ask public websites to remove the information as soon as possible. After a school got in touch last week to raise its concerns, OCR reviewed the options in line with regulatory requirements.
We have now completed that review - and while there is no suggestion of widespread malpractice - we have to act to avoid the slightest possibility that one candidate could gain an unfair advantage over another. As a result, we have decided that with immediate effect OCR will withdraw the existing controlled assessment tasks and will be replacing them for the next academic year on Interchange by 15 September 2014. To avoid penalising the vast majority of hard-working students and teachers, those candidates who have completed or just started their controlled assessment tasks with entries in June 2015 will still be able to submit their work. Schools and colleges will however be asked to submit the names of their candidates and the tasks for each unit by the end of September, and we will be in touch over the coming weeks with further details. OCR’s examiners will be extra vigilant when overseeing the marking process and will use a range of tools to ensure that no candidate has gained an unfair advantage.
We apologise for the disruption caused by this decision, and for an earlier communication posted in error on our website on Friday before today’s decision was reached.
For answers to common questions, please download our FAQs below.
Please note that the last entry date for the Administration (Business Professional) suite has been extended to 31 August 2015..
You may already have received a letter or an email about this specification. To ensure that all centres that may be teaching or about to teach this specification are aware of this important information, we have released this update as a Notice to Centres, in order to reach all relevant Heads of Department and Examinations Officers.
After running two History A Levels for the last six years, OCR has reluctantly decided that it will not submit a new draft specification for History B for accreditation as part of its wider programme of qualification reform.
This means that the current GCE History B specification will be available to teach in September 2014 but not beyond and the last assessment for this specification will be in June 2016. We will confirm the situation regarding resit opportunities once Ofqual has confirmed with all awarding bodies the arrangements for resits of qualifications ending in 2016.
OCR will be formally withdrawing GCE History B from the Ofqual list of accredited qualifications, in line with Ofqual’s Conditions of Recognition, using the final assessment opportunity dates above. We will take all reasonable steps to protect the interests of Learners in relation to this qualification and its withdrawal.
While this is disappointing news for many, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your dedication and commitment in supporting this distinctive A Level over a number of years. We also hope you will consider the benefits of transferring to a new broader single specification – GCE History A – that, once accredited, will encompass the approach and interests favoured by users of our current History B specification.
The major reason for the decision not to offer a reformed GCE History B qualification for 2015 is low uptake. The present GCE History B entry numbers have remained stubbornly low (under 1200 candidates) over the last five years, despite much input and support from ourselves and the wider History community, and there is no evidence to show that numbers will grow. This figure compares poorly with the numbers taking History A which are over 12,000 and rising. There are also some technical challenges and compromises involved in making a new ‘co-teachable’ History B specification and the development of this qualification comes at a time of the enormous commitment and cost of the largest programme of qualification reform in a generation. Although OCR is a ‘not for profit’ organisation, we are forced to make hard choices in the current climate and the expense of offering a second specification given its relatively poor reach is no longer justifiable.
We are determined to offer history teachers and students choice through our new and expanded History A specification. Once accredited for teaching from 2015, History A will offer over 58 topics, including some exciting new options which have never featured on an A Level specification before.
OCR will be concentrating its efforts on supporting and managing the single new History A specification. Our history team will be contacting schools to offer support in transferring to the new GCE History A specification for September 2015. We will offer every support to schools wishing to make this transition, including detailed mapping documents to the closest equivalent History A topics (for those who want to preserve their content choices and resources), specially-produced transition guides on changing the teaching approach, and comprehensive guidance on the requirements of the History A qualification. We will also be offering free INSET specifically for schools making this transition.
We would like to take this opportunity to confirm that we are committed to supporting the current GCSE A (SHP) specification and to redeveloping this in line with the timetable for GCSE reform. Once again, we regret having had to reach this decision and appreciate the impact on your school. If you have further queries, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01223 553998 to speak to Mike Goddard or Grant Robertson of the History team.
Scheme codes: 05923, 05924, 05925 & 05926
It has not been possible to extend the Emergency first aid skills unit, as The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health have recommended that all awarding organisations remove it from their qualifications. This unit will be withdrawn from the suite of qualifications from November 2014:
You may continue to deliver this unit up to November 2014. However, you will not be able to make claims for this unit after 30 November 2014. To ensure that you are able to certificate this unit, final claims must be confirmed via DCS or External Verification processes prior to this deadline. We will update all relevant documentation to this effect.
Note: the end date of 30 November 2014 applies only to Emergency first aid skills (Y/600/1250)
We would also like to confirm that the qualification end date for the above qualifications has been extended to 31 December 2016 (with the exception of the above unit). If this unit is not included in your programme of learning then you do not need to take any action and can continue to deliver this suite to your learners.
Scheme codes affected: 10160-10172 and 10181-10183
We confirm that the qualification end date for the above qualifications has been extended to 31 December 2015 (with the exception of two units – see below). If these units are not included in your programme of learning then you do not need to take any action and can continue to deliver this suite to your learners.
We are currently reviewing the Life and Living Skills Suite in order to better meet the needs of our centres; we will contact you shortly with more information on this. If you are interested in being involved in consultation for this review then please email your details to contactusLLS@ocr.org.uk
It has not been possible to extend the following two units, due to regulatory requirements, so they are being withdrawn from this suite of qualifications from September 2015:
You may continue to deliver these units. However, you will not be able to make claims for certification for these units after 30 September 2015. Please ensure that your learners have achieved these units prior to this date. We will update all relevant documentation to this effect.
Note: the end date of 30 September 2015 applies only to G2 and N18.
Please note that the last entry date for the Text Processing (Business Professional) suite has been further extended to 31 March 2017. Further information will be available shortly.
Set texts for examination in June 2016
Unit code A144 data analysis task: Wave speed
It has come to our attention that there is a problem with the A144 data analysis task, Wave speed, for submission in 2015. As a result, this task has been withdrawn with immediate effect.
To be fair to all candidates, this task will no longer be valid for submission in June 2015. An alternative task will be uploaded onto OCR Interchange as soon as possible.
If your candidates have already completed this task, this will not be valid. They will unfortunately have to complete the alternative task or one of the other data analysis tasks for submission in June 2015.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused as a result of this issue.
New developments, extensions and withdrawals information
OCR will launch new apprenticeship qualifications in Business Administration on 1 September 2014.
At Levels 2 and 3, the apprenticeship qualifications will combine the knowledge and competence components of the frameworks, meaning that there will be a single qualification per level, made up of both knowledge and competence units. Framework components at Level 4 will remain as separate competence and knowledge qualifications.
As a result of the newly-developed apprenticeship qualifications, the following changes to our pan-sector qualifications have been made:
New Apprenticeship qualifications
The New Apprenticeship qualifications detailed on the table below are due to be launched on 1 September 2014. At Levels 2 and 3, these will replace the existing, separate competence and knowledge qualifications as apprenticeship framework components from this date. At Level 4 a new NVQ qualification has been developed and will directly replace the existing NVQ on the framework. The existing OCR Level 4 Diploma in Business and Administration (10337) will continue to be included as the knowledge component on the higher framework.
If you are enrolling apprenticeship candidates on apprenticeship qualifications in Business Administration after 31 August 2014, they must be enrolled on the new qualifications identified.
OCR will launch new apprenticeship qualifications in Customer Service on 1 September 2014.
At Levels 2 and 3, the apprenticeship qualifications will combine the knowledge and competence components of the frameworks, meaning that there will be a single qualification per level, made up of both knowledge and competence units.
As a result of the newly-developed apprenticeship qualifications, the following changes to our Customer Service qualifications have been made:
The New Apprenticeship qualifications detailed on the table below are due to be launched on 1 September 2014. These will replace the existing, separate competence and knowledge qualifications as apprenticeship framework components from this date.
If you are enrolling apprenticeship candidates on apprenticeship qualifications in Customer Service after 31 August 2014, they must be enrolled on the new qualifications identified.
OCR will launch new apprenticeship qualifications in Management and Leadership on 1 September 2014.
At Levels 2 and 3, the apprenticeship qualifications will combine the knowledge and competence components of the frameworks, meaning that there will be a single qualification per level, made up of both knowledge and competence units. Framework components at Level 5 will remain as separate competence and knowledge qualifications.
The New Apprenticeship qualifications detailed on the table below are due to be launched on 1 September 2014. At Levels 2–3, these will replace the existing, separate competence and knowledge qualifications as apprenticeship framework components from this date. At Level 5 a new NVQ qualification has been developed and will directly replace the existing NVQ on the framework. The existing OCR Level 5 Diploma in Management and Leadership (10336) will continue to be included as the knowledge component on the higher framework.
If you are enrolling apprenticeship candidates on apprenticeship qualifications in Management and Leadership after 31 August 2014, they must be enrolled on the new qualifications identified.
Autumn 2014: OCR screen reader and legal audio-transcription units
Please note that there will be no Autumn 2014 series for the following units:
Summer 2015: OCR Welsh Text Processing
Please note that in 2015, there will only be one session available for the Welsh Text Processing units (listed below). This will be in Spring 2015. There will be no Summer 2015 session.
We have reviewed our vocational languages qualification provision. In the light of changes in market demand and funding arrangements, OCR has taken the decision to extend French, German, Spanish and Welsh vocational language suites and to withdraw from provision of our remaining vocational language subjects.
In order to avoid scripts going missing and results being delayed, here is our advice when returning scripts, particularly when two papers have been sat in the same slot:
Reminder for candidates producing evidence for moderated and verified qualifications
It is the centre’s responsibility to ensure that candidates comply with the Data Protection Act when producing evidence for summative assessment.
Candidates must not reference another individual’s personal details in any evidence produced for summative assessment. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure that any evidence which includes another individual’s personal details is anonymised to comply with the Data Protection Act.
We will be adding this information to centre handbooks for new qualifications and all moderated and verified qualifications when they are reviewed.
New Business Administration, Customer Service and Management & Leadership Apprenticeships
As advised in April, OCR have worked with Skills CfA to revise the following apprenticeship qualifications:
The intention is that new apprenticeship qualifications will be available in each of these areas from 1 September 2014.
The new apprenticeship qualifications have been designed to meet the changing demands of apprenticeship frameworks. As such, at Levels 2–3, the revised qualifications will combine the knowledge and competence components of the frameworks. This means that, within each suite, there will be a single qualification per level, made up of both knowledge and competence units. Qualifications at Level 4 and above will remain as separate competence and knowledge qualifications.
If you are enrolling apprenticeship candidates on apprenticeship qualifications in any of these areas after 31 August 2014, they must be enrolled on the new qualifications. The existing, separate NVQ and knowledge qualifications will not be included on the apprenticeship frameworks after this date (with the exception of a small number of Level 4 and above knowledge qualifications which may still be appropriate).
New apprenticeship web pages will soon be available on the dedicated apprenticeship area of the OCR website. Please visit this area for regular updates, including draft units and rules of combination for each new qualification.
We are aware that many of our centres offer qualifications in these subjects to non-apprenticeship candidates. As such, we are still likely to offer stand-alone NVQs and knowledge qualifications in these areas from September 2014. Further updates regarding our intended non-apprenticeship provision from September 2014 will also be posted to the web pages as they become available.
You can sign up for email updates in these subjects to ensure that you receive direct updates via email, and join our social networks where regular updates are posted.
Are you aware of the last entry/certification notification for vocational qualifications?
The Last entry/certification notification for vocational qualifications is a list of vocational qualifications with last entry or certification dates coming up in the next six months. It also includes the dates for the last exam window/session/date for qualifications where this is applicable.
This notification can be found in the key dates and timetables section of the OCR website.
Regularly checking the latest version of this list will help you ensure your candidates are entered for qualifications before the last entry dates and that all certificates are claimed by the last certification dates. Please be aware that the final certification date is the last date that OCR will produce certificates. We therefore advise that centres plan for completion of all candidate assessments at least two months prior to these dates.
The Last entry/certification notification for vocational qualifications was formerly known as the Last entry/certification notification for post–19 qualifications. It has been renamed to clearly signpost the full range of qualifications included in this notice.
For information about OCR’s vocational provision, including updates on new and revised qualifications, please view the Vocational Education and Skills page of the OCR website.
OCR Art and Design GCE, GCSE and ELC: Key information and guidance for visiting moderation - June series 2014
This guidance has been issued in order to clarify and update the procedures and processes for the 2014 moderation of the above Art and Design qualifications.
Please ensure that this is read by all teachers that deliver OCR Art and Design qualifications in your centre. The guidance is to support teachers and centres in their effective administration of OCR Art and Design qualifications.
It is to be read in conjunction with the individual specification information, Instructions to Centres and relevant Teacher’s Handbook available on the relevant qualification pages of the OCR website.
Much of the process will remain exactly the same as that given for June 2013. You should continue to make entries and submit marks to OCR and your Visiting Moderator by the required date. Arrangements for the visit can be discussed with you Moderator. Work should be set out in rank order, by individual unit for GCE, GCSE and for ELC by component for the moderation to take place.
On the initial telephone conversation to arrange the visit, the moderator will run through a series of checks, to ensure that all the correct paperwork has been sent to OCR. The moderator will then arrange the date for the visit. Whilst every attempt will be made to be accommodating, the demands of the brief moderation period require the moderator to inform the centre of the time and date of availability. Your moderator will then email the sample required and confirm the date and time of the visiting moderation. This email will be sent to your centre’s official email address.
Team Leaders or Senior Moderators will accompany the visiting moderator in selected centres as part of the OCR quality assurance process. On occasion, it may be necessary for a senior moderator to undertake a follow-in visit. You will be informed of this by your visiting moderator or Senior Moderator. The Team Leaders or Senior Moderators will also choose work for either the Grade Award or training and educational purposes in accordance to the JCQ and Ofqual requirements for all awarding bodies. Only one unit of work per candidate will be chosen. The UPS courier service will be used to collect work. This is very simple and clear to use, and your moderator will be able to give guidance where necessary.
It is expected that all candidates will photograph their work where appropriate to create an e-portfolio for reference purposes when applying to College and University. This will also assist centres to build centre resources. Further guidance is available on the relevant qualification pages of the OCR website. Please note that Candidate Permission forms are no longer required (see JCQ instructions to awarding bodies).
On completion of the moderation visit, your moderator will no longer give an abbreviated verbal report to one designated member of staff. This is to fulfil the Ofqual Code of Practice for all Awarding Bodies for GCE, GCSE and ELC qualifications. The Centre Report, which will be sent to centre when results are issued, will consist of the moderator’s findings with regard to the sample seen, observations and scaling, the moderation display, the overall trend within the centre. It will also inform the centre of how and when to access the advice, support and training available, including how to contact the Subject Specialist and Subject Area Support (SAS) team for Art and Design specifications.
The Moderator will notify OCR of the outcome of the moderation. Centres will receive the outcome of moderation and the enhanced written report of the moderation in the August release of results.
All centres have the right to request a review of moderation post results through the formal Enquiries about Results (EAR) procedure. This follows the JCQ guidelines for centres and awarding bodies. Details can be found on the JCQ website, or in the OCR Admin guide and entry codes: 14-19 qualifications available to download via the OCR website.
We are pleased to announce that OCR’s Level 3 Certificate in Quantitative Methods (MEI) has received the following UCAS tariff points:
Revised basedata for June 2014
We have updated the General Qualifications basedata files for the June 2014 series to include the QN codes in the Option file for GCSE English J350 and GCSE English Language J355 units and certification.
The updated files (Issue 4) are available from the OCR website and should be downloaded in the usual way to ensure your management information system is up to date. Please note that downloading the basedata again will not affect any data already sent to OCR.
Live assignments for Creative iMedia levels 1, 2 and 3 (entry codes 04304–04312)
All OCR live assignments for the Creative iMedia suite Levels 1–3 have been reviewed. This is to ensure that the assignment tasks are consistent with the full range of assessment criteria for each unit.
Please note that for all future submissions, the updated assignments must be used and centres must destroy copies of the previous versions. Changes are as follows:
Level 3 live assignments: In general, many of these had an extra task in the evaluation section. This required learners to 'Provide an explanatory narrative on the creation process, identifying for example key stages, tools and techniques used'. This is not a separate assessment criterion in any unit and therefore it has been removed. In a similar way, several units were asking for slightly more in the tasks than was required by the assessment criteria – these too have been amended.
Important information about Units 304 and 305
Unit 304: There have been changes made to the OCR live assignment for Unit 304. A version had been available on OCR Interchange where there was an inconsistency against the criteria that related to Learning Outcome 1 and 2. This version has now been replaced in OCR Interchange with an amended assignment.
Unit 305: The assessment criteria for 4.3 and 4.4 for Unit 305 refer to a 3D character. The learning outcome is in the context of evaluating the 3D effects against a client brief for sound effects – so 3D characters are for sound. This version has now been replaced in OCR Interchange with an amended assignment, reflecting that the assessment criteria concerns 3D sound.
If your candidates are part way through an assignment, you must make sure their evidence meets the assessment criteria in the unit (please note our instruction about Unit 305 above). Where centres create their own assignments, it is the centres’ responsibility to ensure that their assignments still meet the requirements of the assessment criteria or learners are at risk of not evidencing the unit fully.
Please be advised that OCR will not be issuing a new list of set texts for A Level English Literature in 2014. Due to the timetable for General Qualifications Reform, we will continue with the current lists of set texts until the end of the life of this specification.
The new GCE English Literature specification will be available for first teaching from 2015. We anticipate accreditation from Ofqual by September 2014, at which point draft versions of the new specification, along with new set text lists, will be available on the OCR website.
Following a review of our qualification offer in the light of falling market demand, OCR has reluctantly decided to withdraw selected Learning, Development and Support Services qualifications. OCR will of course continue to support and assess the qualifications up to the final certification date.
OCR are currently working with Skills CfA to revise the following vocational qualification suites:
The intention is that new qualifications will be available in each of these areas from 1 September 2014.
The Skills CfA-led revisions are focusing on qualifications designed to meet the changing demands of Apprenticeship frameworks. As such, it is intended that at Levels 1–3, revised qualifications will combine the knowledge and competence components of the frameworks. This means that within each suite there will be a single qualification per level, made up of both knowledge and competence units (with both types of unit being included in the mandatory group). Qualifications at Level 4 and above are likely to remain as separate competence and knowledge qualifications.
The revision and quality assurance process for these qualifications is currently underway and we will make the revised units available on our web pages as soon as final versions become available. Please visit our qualification webpages for further updates regarding the units and accreditation timescales:
Vocational Qualifications (QCF, NVQ, NQF) - Administration
Vocational Qualifications (QCF, NVQ, NQF) - Business
We are aware that many of our centres offer qualifications in these subjects to non-apprenticeship candidates. We have sent a survey asking for your views on suitable qualifications for these candidates moving forwards. Further updates regarding our intended non-apprenticeship provision from September 2014 will also be posted to the qualification webpages as they become available. It is likely that we will continue to offer both competence and knowledge qualifications suitable for non-apprenticeship candidates.
Please sign up for email updates in these subjects to ensure that you receive direct updates via email. You can also join our social networks where regular updates are posted.
Please note that from the June 2014 series onwards there will be a change to the number of samples of candidate work we request for moderation purposes.
The following details show the total sample sizes which will be requested:
For units moderated by post and via the OCR Repository, this should reduce the frequency of any requests for additional samples, which we recognise have often been requested inconveniently late in the moderation process.
Due to the system changes required for this development, there is an important impact on Cambridge Nationals units which are to be assessed by visiting moderation. This will impact the June 2014 series only.
As these system changes are implemented, and in order to ensure that there is no detrimental effect on the moderation process, the sending of sample request emails and the main moderation visit window will take place later than planned.
You will not receive your sample request email immediately following the receipt of your marks for units moderated by visit (which are due by 31 March) – the sample request email will be sent when the main moderation window opens, which is now early May.
No visiting moderation for Cambridge Nationals will take place until after 15 May 2014. Your moderator will contact you over the next few weeks to arrange a mutually convenient date for your visit. If you have been contacted already and your agreed visit date falls before early May, your moderator will contact you again to rearrange your visit.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused regarding visiting arrangements this series.
Following a review of our qualification offer in light of falling market demand, OCR has reluctantly decided to withdraw the ALL (00339) and NSP (00330) schemes. Due to the length of programme learners typically follow, two years advance notice is being given to centres.
Claims for certification for these schemes will not be available after 31 August 2016.
Following queries regarding the submission of controlled assessment tasks for the specifications listed above, we are clarifying the rules under the new linear assessment structure.
From June 2014 and for all subsequent examination series, all units must be entered at the end of the course when candidates are certificating. For controlled assessment units where prescribed tasks are set by OCR, such tasks are made available two years in advance of the relevant series (for instance, tasks for 2016 submissions will be made available in Summer 2014).
Centres must ensure that the controlled assessment tasks relate to the year in which the course is being completed. For instance, candidates intending to certificate in the June 2014 or November 2014 resit only examination series must submit responses to the 2014 controlled assessment tasks. Where tasks differ from unit to unit, even if the assessment criteria and mark schemes are identical (for instance, the Imaginative Writing essays in Unit A642 and Section B of Unit A651), the tasks attempted must be those set for the unit being entered.
The same is true of work produced for a different Awarding Body which uses the same marking criteria (for instance, work produced for AQA’s GCSE English controlled assessment). The work cannot simply be marked and submitted for OCR, as the prescribed tasks for any other Awarding Body will not be valid.
Responses to controlled assessment tasks for any other year, unit or Awarding Body will not be accepted and any marks relating to such tasks will not be credited towards certification. According to the JCQ Instructions for Conducting Controlled Assessment, it is the centre’s responsibility to ensure that work is completed on the appropriate set tasks:
"The centre must make arrangements for candidates to undertake the correct task. Awarding bodies will do all they can to protect candidates’ interests but in some cases it may not be possible to accept work based on the wrong task. Centres should therefore, take great care to ensure that they issue the correct task to candidates." (Section 3, p7).
The only exception to this is where candidates have previously certificated, are resitting externally assessed units and carrying forward controlled assessment marks from a previous series. In this instance, it is the uniform mark only which is carried forward. The actual work which originally produced the mark is not relevant to the series in which the carry forward entry is made.
Candidates can only carry forward the result of a controlled assessment unit that has already been used towards their last certification of the same qualification. Please be aware that controlled assessment uniform marks may only be carried forward if they have been used for certification once already.
If candidates have previously certificated and are resitting externally assessed units and submitting new controlled assessment responses, their responses must be to the controlled assessment tasks for the examination series, unit and Awarding Body in which they are re-certificating. Should a fresh attempt be made (with the appropriate tasks) and used for certification, it will then be the uniform mark for that fresh attempt which may be carried forward for use in any future resit entries.
The last entry and certification dates for the Text Processing (Business Professional) suite have been extended. The last date for entries for all the qualifications is now 31 December 2014.
Some of the unit reference numbers, provided by Ofqual, have also been updated. The content of the units remain unchanged and OCR’s systems recognise the ‘old’ and ‘new’ unit reference numbers as equivalents. You can therefore continue to make entries and claims as normal.
For more information, please see the PDF document below:
When this qualification suite was launched in September 2013, OCR provided draft Candidate Evidence Booklets for those centres who wished to use them, as an interim before final booklets were launched. These draft booklets were removed and replaced by final versions on the OCR website in November 2013.
It is essential that the draft Candidate Evidence Booklets are not submitted to your OCR Moderator after Friday 14 March 2014. Draft booklets submitted after this date will not be accepted unless mapped to the Candidate Evidence Checklist as they will be moderated as alternative tasks.
Remember that centres wishing to use the Candidate Evidence Booklets may change any task, or part of a task, to make the context more appropriate for their learners. However, alternative tasks or naturally occurring candidate evidence must meet the assessment criteria and be accompanied by a Candidate Evidence Checklist. All evidence must be marked and internally assessed within the centre before submission. Centre assessors must use the OCR Assessment Guidance for the unit when assessing the work. Please see Section 5 of the Centre Handbook and the Introduction for Tutors in the Candidate Evidence Booklet for more information regarding the assessment of these qualifications. These are available to download on the qualification pages of the OCR website.
Please note that for Unit 2 Learning to be financially aware and Unit 10 Learning to be financially capable (Assessment Criterion 3.1) the teacher/tutor may provide learners with information in order for the learner to identify their total income for one week, but the learner needs to identify their own total income independently.
The Tutor may provide information to learners regarding income possibilities. For example, which benefits they may receive, or list alternative income possibilities, such as pocket money or a Saturday job. The learner can use the information provided in order to identify their own income. The figure itself should not be provided by the Tutor, as currently stated in the Teaching Content of the units. This announcement also applies to the outgoing Employability Skills qualifications (10178–10180 and 00017–00019) for Units 2 and 10 Learning to be financially capable.
The Employability Skills suite of qualifications has a wide selection of free resources available, including delivery guides, lesson elements and resources links. Please visit the OCR website to find out more.
Visit our Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hub to download more free resources, watch a webinar or book on to a face to face event for Employability Skills, at: www.cpdhub.ocr.org.uk.
The BBC WebWise e-assessments were removed from their website at the end of 2013. OCR is pleased to advise that we have been granted a licence to offer these e-assessments, with effect from 1 February 2014.
The assessments are based on the resources available on the BBC website, which will continue to be available.
There are three assessments for each of the four units available. These have been uploaded to OCR Interchange and can be found under ‘CLAiT & ITQ’ > ‘Computer based assessment’.
The assessments can be downloaded and completed on-screen, or completed as a paper-based submission. Currently, OCR does not have the full digital version available, but if the assessments are completed on-screen, the candidate answers for the multiple-choice section update to a summary sheet for easy marking. The assessments must be sat under controlled conditions.
Centres will now be required to send (either electronically or paper-based), both the completed script and the centre-marked summary sheet as evidence to the moderator. An evidence checklist will not be required. Only candidates who have achieved 100% for each unit should be submitted. Candidates for CLAiT International may only submit WebWise assessments (‘Using Email’ and ‘Using the Internet’), as evidence for CLAiT Level 1 Unit 8.
Revised basedata file for January 2014: FSMQ, Level 3 certificate, Principal Learning, Project, Entry level certificate, Level 1/2 certificate, Level 2 award, Cambridge Nationals.
Following feedback from centres regarding the omission of some discount codes for the basedata for the January 2014 series, we have updated the file to include the correct codes. The basedata file January 2014 series 1a - z1a14_03 has been updated and is available for you to download. It is the option file o1a14_01.X03 which has been updated.
The updated file is available from the basedata page and should be downloaded in the usual way to ensure your management information system is up to date. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this causes.
We have updated the General Qualifications basedata files for the June 2014 series. Please see below for the details of the updated files.
The updated files are available on the basedata page and should be downloaded in the usual way to ensure your management information system is up to date. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this causes.
June 2014 series 6a - z6a14_01: GCSE, Entry Level Certificate, Level 2 Award, Level 1 and 2 Certificate and Cambridge Nationals qualifications.
The basedata has been updated to include:
June 2014 series 6b - z6b14_01: GCE, FSMQ, Level 3 Certificate, Principal Learning and Project qualifications.
Following a review of our qualification offer in the light of falling market demand and changes to the funding regime, OCR has reluctantly decided to withdraw the Skills for Life, Living and Employment qualifications listed below.
OCR will of course continue to support and assess the qualifications up to the final certification dates.
Please be aware that the last certification date is the final date OCR will produce certificates. Centres are therefore advised to plan for completion of all candidate assessment at least two months prior to this date.
OCR will continue to offer suitable alternative qualifications including Employability Skills, Personal Life Skills and Life and Living Skills. For further details, please visit the Vocational Qualifications section of the OCR website.
We are pleased to announce that the last entry dates for the following Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools qualifications have been extended to 31 December 2014 to allow time for a review of the national occupational standards that underpin these qualifications.
From the June 2014 series onwards, the units listed below will no longer be provided in the form of a combined question and answer booklet. Instead, there will be a question booklet and candidates will write their answer in a separate generic answer booklet.
Specimen papers are available on the OCR website to illustrate the format of the question papers at www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/gcse-ancient-history-j151-j051-from-2012.
After the conclusion of the summer 2013 series, OCR are no longer offering the mixed-science papers A141, A142 and A143 for GCSE Science A. All candidates certificating Science A from summer 2014 onwards will sit the A161, A171 and A181 question papers (separate Biology, Chemistry and Physics papers) in their terminal session. These will be coupled with the existing Controlled Assessment Unit A144 (Case Study and Practical Data Analysis).
Similarly, we will no longer offer the mixed-science papers A151, A152 and A153 for GCSE Additional Science A. All candidates certificating Additional Science A will sit the A162, A172 and A182 question papers (separate Biology, Chemistry and Physics papers) in their terminal session. These will be coupled with the existing Controlled Assessment Unit A154 (Practical Investigation).
As you are probably aware, all science GCSEs will be assessed using a 'linear' (i.e. 100% terminal) model from 2014 onwards. As a result, it will no longer be necessary to have two routes to GCSE Science A and two routes to GCSE Additional Science A, because candidates will sit all of the externally assessed units at the end of the course. Therefore, different teaching routes through the modules will no longer have any impact on the order in which candidates sit the examinations.
Another impact of the removal of mixed papers is that it will no longer be possible for candidates to certificate for a mixed science qualification (Science A, Additional Science A, Further Additional Science A) and any of the separate science qualifications (Biology A, Chemistry A, Physics A) in the same series. It will only be possible to certificate for Science A, Additional Science A and/or Further Additional Science A, or Biology A, Chemistry A and/or Physics A in the same series. It is still permissible to take Science A in Year 10 and then Additional Science or separate sciences in Year 11.
For the June 2014 series, a moderation sample will be requested from all centres making candidate entries for R591 Entry Level Certificate in Science.
Centre assessed marks and Centre authentication forms should be submitted to your moderator as per the normal moderation process. For details of this process, please refer to the OCR Admin guide and entry codes: 14-19 qualifications (including Cambridge Nationals) 2013/14. Section 7.11 of the Guide has been updated to reflect this information.
Over the last few months, all Awarding Organisations have been working with the regulator, Ofqual, to strengthen the controls, moderation and administration in place for practical assessments for GCE science qualifications. These changes are intended to increase the level of confidence that we all can have in the validity of the outcomes for these assessments.
Changes will be introduced over the next six months to achieve the degree of strengthening which is necessary. These changes have been agreed with the regulator.
Starting in the summer 2014 series, moderators will apply a slightly tighter tolerance for the following GCE coursework / practical skills units:
For each of these units, the moderator tolerance will reduce from three marks to two marks. This change is intended to improve the consistency with which the mark schemes / assessment criteria are applied across all centres. Centres should take note of this change when assessing and carrying out internal moderation of candidate work prior to submitting the centre marks to OCR in May 2014 and subsequent years.
Availability of mark schemes
In line with other Awarding Organisations we have agreed to delay the publication of the mark schemes for practical skills tasks from June until the following December. This will commence for tasks to be submitted in the 2015 series. The 2015 tasks and confidential teacher instructions will be published via the OCR secure Interchange website on 1 June 2014 as normal. We appreciate that teachers may be concerned about allowing candidates to undertake the assessment without being fully aware of the expected outcomes. To address this concern, and to ensure that practical procedures work in centres as intended, additional information or guidance may be given in the confidential teacher instructions. The mark schemes will be published on Interchange on 1 December 2014. It will still be permissible for centres to carry out the tasks at any time after publication and in advance of having access to the mark schemes.
This change will apply to the following GCE coursework / practical skills units:
This change is intended to provide more security for the confidential mark schemes.
Please note that the entry deadlines for the following qualifications have changed. The last date for entries for all of the following qualifications is now 31 August 2014.
The OCR Admin Guide: Vocational Qualifications 2013/14 has been updated: www.ocr.org.uk/admin-guides.
Following a review of our qualifications on offer, in the light of falling market demand and changes to the funding regime, OCR has reluctantly decided to withdraw the Logistics qualifications listed below.
OCR will of course continue to support and assess the qualifications up to the last certification date for these qualifications.
These qualifications affected are as follows:
Please note that the last certification date for this qualification has been brought forward.
Some of these qualifications form part of Intermediate and Advanced Level Apprenticeship Frameworks within the Logistics sector. Centres offering these apprenticeships will need to take these dates into account with their Apprenticeship candidates.
Some of the unit numbers, provided by Ofqual, have also been updated. The content of the units remain unchanged and OCR’s systems recognise the ‘old’ and ‘new’ unit numbers as equivalents. You can therefore continue to make entries and claims as normal.
The OCR Admin guide: Vocational qualifications 2013/14 has been updated to reflect these changes The qualification pages of the OCR website are currently being updated to include the new unit codes.
The new unit reference numbers are listed overleaf.
The new OCR Level 4 Diploma in Professional Competence for IT and Telecoms Professionals (10351) is now accredited and live for entries.
It is assessed in the workplace and is suitable for candidates working in the IT and Telecoms sector.
If you wish to apply for approval to offer this Level 4 verified qualification, please complete the centre approval form, which is available from the approvals page.
The OCR Admin guide: Vocational qualifications 2013/14 has been updated to include details of this qualification.
If you have any queries about this notice, please call our Customer Contact Centre on 024 76 851509
Following a review of our qualifications on offer, in the light of falling market demand and changes to the funding regime, OCR has reluctantly decided to withdraw the two qualifications listed below.
The qualifications affected are as follows:
Please note that OCR will continue to offer suitable alternative qualifications including Children’s Care, Level 3 Learning and Development, and Level 3 Diploma in Children and Young People’s Workforce. For more information on these qualifications please visit the qualification pages.
The last entry and certification dates for the Administration (Business Professional) suite have been extended.
The Level 1 end dates will be updated in line with the other end dates when the Level 1 units have been reviewed by the CFA.
The OCR Admin guide and entry codes: 14–19 qualifications (including Cambridge Nationals) 2013/14 has been updated with the correct information regarding resit rules for the Level 2 Award and Level 1/2 Certificate. This is now consistent with the information already provided in the specifications.
This information applies to three specifications only:
The OCR Admin Guide and Entry Codes: 14–19 Qualifications has been updated to include details of the following rules for the Level 2 Award and Level 1/2 Certificate:
Replacement pages are provided below with details of these changes. You may wish to update these in your hard copy Admin Guide. Please replace the current pages 13 and 14 with the new pages 13, 13A and 14 below.
You can find the latest version on the Admin guides page.