Below are the most frequently asked questions from teachers about the new Cambridge Technicals 2016 suite. If you have a question that you cannot find the answer to below, please email us at vocational.qualifications @ocr.org.uk or call us on 02476 851509.
Internal assessment is when a student is assessed by you or another tutor at the college, rather than sitting an exam. You’ll set the student an assignment and mark their work using the assessment criteria in the grading grid; you can even provide them with some feedback.
This will depend on the qualification size chosen, but the vast majority of the units are internally assessed.
Each of the internally assessed units has a unit document that tells you what the taught content is for that unit.
The teaching content in every unit states what has to be taught to ensure that your students are able to access the highest grades.
Anything which follows an i.e. details what must be taught as part of that area of content. Anything which follows an e.g. is illustrative.
It should be noted that where e.g. is used, learners must know and be able to apply relevant examples in their work, although these do not need to be the same ones specified in the unit content.
The grading grid tells you what your students must do in order to achieve a pass, merit or distinction grade. These are referred to as 'assessment criteria'.
The assessment criteria could be seen as a set of hurdles – in order to pass the unit your students must achieve all the pass criteria; to get a merit they must achieve all the pass criteria and all the merit criteria, to get a distinction they must achieve all the pass, all the merit and all the distinction criteria.
The assessment criteria will contain a 'command verb' such as explain, identify, demonstrate, or create. These verbs are what your students will do to demonstrate they can achieve the assessment criteria.
The command verb definitions document helps explain what the verb means and what it looks like with an assessment.
They are assignments you can use as they are, adapt to meet your local environment, or as the basis to create your own assignment.
Model assignments are there to use for every mandatory unit in the specification – it’s not a mandatory requirement that you use them.
For internally assessed units you need to ensure that any assignments you create, or any modifications you make to an assignment, do not expect the learner to do more than they have been taught, but must enable them to access the full range of grades as described in the grading criteria.
We provide a model assignment for every mandatory unit in the specification. As Cambridge Technicals are vocational, we think it’s really important for you students to be set assignments that reflect the local environment. This is why we’ve left the setting of assignments up to you.
No. But, if you’re concerned your assignment doesn’t meet the unit requirements, you can use our Assignment Checking Service. This isn’t a mandatory requirement – but it’s there if you need support.
We don’t state that you have to, but it’s always a good idea to have a copy of the assignment available to show your moderator, particularly if you’ve amended ours or created your own.
It shows what your students were expected to do. Whether this is electronic or paper it doesn’t matter.
You should assess your students when they’re ready. Students can take assignments for internally assessed units at any time within their course.
You don’t need to inform us when you’re going to assess your students.
Yes, you can provide feedback. There’s more detail on providing feedback, what you can and can-not say in the centre handbook on the respective qualification page.
You should mark the assignment using the assessment criteria in the grading grid. You should clearly annotate the students work to show where they’ve achieved the mark, and provide any feedback.
A URS is a unit recording sheet. You complete this form to record and justify your assessment decisions.
You must fill in a URS for each unit a student completes and make this available with the work during visiting moderation.
The URS does not really have room for this, the centre handbook states that:
“You can annotate your feedback on learner’s original work submitted for assessment or you can record it in your own separate document (whichever method you use it must be available to our moderator)”
It is up to you how you record previous feedback; however the URS should really be reserved of your assessment decisions.
Full qualification entry allows your students to have one attempt at each externally assessed unit/s and access to all of the internally assessed units.
Yes. External assessment is a DfE requirement for all Level 3 post 16 qualifications and forms part of the mandatory requirement for Cambridge Technicals.
We provide a January and June exam series; therefore over a two year study programme your students have four opportunities to choose when to sit their externally assessed units.
Unlike A Levels, Cambridge Technicals are not linear assessment; therefore we’d advise you enter your students when they’re ready, but taking advantage of the number of assessment opportunities and giving them the opportunity to re-sit.
Yes. DfE allow awarding organisations to offer one re-sit opportunity.
If a student fails a second attempt at a mandatory examined unit, we will issue an ‘Unclassified’ result for the qualification as it is no longer possible to obtain that qualification.
Yes. They can re-sit each externally assessed unit once, but the second attempt is charged for. They can re-sit if they failed their first attempt or just want to have another go to try and get a better result.
Yes. You can choose to make a re-entry for the full qualification. Below is an example of how will this work in practice, based on a two examined unit qualification:
No. They cannot 'top-up' to a larger qualification when they’ve already had two failed attempts at a mandatory examined unit. Top-up doesn’t give any additional attempts.
A qualification re-entry is classed as a new full qualification entry, i.e. access to all internally and externally assessed units.
Any previously passed units will automatically be used towards the re-entered qualification. There is no 'carried forward' option or anything like that needed. They just need to pass the remainder of the required units.
Yes. All previously achieved units will be carried over to the new full qualification entry and the best grade used.
We’ve produced a short guide for you about setting and maintaining the standard.
You will be allocated a moderator who will check that you’ve made the correct assessment decisions.
Your moderator will visit your centre and confirm or adjust the grade you’ve given to your students work, and provide you with some feedback.
No, your moderator will select a sample of the work to moderate.
No, we do not provide DCS for Cambridge Technicals.
You must make a claim for each student and every unit they complete in advance of a moderation visit. Your moderator will include these within their sample and grades confirmed at the visit.
Every centre receives two free moderation visits per academic year for Cambridge Technicals.
At this visit we’ll look at Level 2, Level 3 2012 Cambridge Technicals and Level 3 2016 Cambridge Technicals.
You can have as many visits as you wish, however additional visits will be charged for after the first two per academic year.
This will depend upon the number of units you’re claiming. Your moderator will look at a sample of your claim.
So, if you’re claiming units from Level 2 and Level 3 2012 specification and units from Level 3 2016 specification the total number of units in your moderator's sample may be more than they can look at in one day. In this case your visit will last for two days.
Your moderator will be able to tell you this once they’ve selected their sample.
Once you’ve made a qualification entry you’ll be allocated a moderator.
Your moderator should make contact with you, introduce themselves and discuss with you when you’d like your visits.
You’ll do this directly with your moderator.
This is up to you, but you should plan them to suit the delivery of your course. Most tutors choose to have one visit mid-way through the course.
If you’re new to delivering Cambridge Technicals you could choose to have your first moderation visit after your students have completed just a couple of units. This will make sure you’re understanding of the assessment criteria is correct and allow feedback and support from your assessor to help the rest of your delivery.
Tutors often have their final moderation visit towards the end of the academic year. This enables all outstanding units to be moderated and final qualification grades to be awarded. However, it’s worth remembering to give yourself enough time to have a further visit should any students work need to be re-submitted.
Yes. If your students require their qualification grade for UCAS you must make sure their final moderation takes place before 30 June.
Your moderator will have told you what sample of work they want to see. You must make this readily available for the moderator to view. You must also have each URS available and evidence of your internal standardisation.
Your moderator will review each portfolio, and make a decision on whether they agree or disagree with your assessment.
If they agree, your assessment decisions for all students’ work claimed for moderation on that occasion will be confirmed.
If they disagree, your moderator will provide you with some feedback. Disagreement is usually down to one of the following:
Good news! All students you claimed for that unit for that moderation will have their unit grade confirmed and awarded.
Don’t panic! Your moderator will provide you with some feedback on where the issues were. At this point they’ll also adjust the grade (this could be moving it up or down).
You will have the opportunity to re-submit students work in order to improve their grade.
Internally assessed units can be re-submitted without a new entry and without withdrawing the old mark. You would simply make a claim again on Interchange for the unit at the higher grade for a subsequent moderation visit.
For the 2016 suite, internally assessed units are not 'greyed out' once they are claimed on Interchange. The centre can claim it a second time.
No. Withdrawals for the 2016 Cambridge Technicals suite are reserved for admin errors only (or catastrophic misunderstandings of the requirements).
Yes. You can re-submit a student so that they can improve their grade.
Your students can use their original assignment. You can also provide them with some feedback. However, you must use your professional judgement and discretion as to whether this is in your students' interest.
Your moderator will provide a full report including comments on the accuracy of assessment and centre actions, if appropriate, for future assessments.
Your moderator will also confirm the assessment decisions and submit the claims to us for processing.
No. But, we would suggest you plan when you would like your visits to take place. Remember, that over a two year course you’ll have four opportunities to have your students’ work moderated.