In February 2021, the Department for Education (DfE) and Ofqual confirmed that exams would not go ahead for students taking Cambridge Nationals and Cambridge Technicals this summer and certificating students would receive grades based on teacher judgement. This will be very similar to the process for awarding grades for GCSEs and A Levels to ensure parity across the qualifications.
We’ve today published new guidance to help you determine and submit teacher assessed grades for your Cambridge Nationals and Cambridge Technicals students this summer. Our document covers the key processes from quality assurance to results, and includes the guidance on grading that we published on Wednesday 24 March.
Our priority is to work with you to make the process of determining and submitting Cambridge Nationals and Cambridge Technicals grades as manageable as possible and help your students progress to the next stage of their lives.
Our new guidance is aligned wherever possible to the guidance issued today by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) on grades for GCSEs, AS and A Levels. Much of the JCQ guidance applies to our Cambridge Nationals and Cambridge Technicals. As Cambridge Nationals and Technicals are different in structure and content however, exact alignment of processes and guidance is not always possible.
The table below lists the key processes in teacher assessment which are outlined in the JCQ guidance. The column on the right shows where we’ve produced specific OCR guidance for Cambridge Nationals and Cambridge Technicals, for example in grading, on the use of additional assessment materials, and on sampling as part of the quality assurance process.
To support your grading decisions, there are links within the guidance to the final version of Ofqual’s guidance on submitting teacher assessed grades and regulatory framework, which were published on 24 March 2021. A link to Ofqual’s guidance on objectivity is also available.
There are three stages set out in the quality assurance process, the starting point of which is the centre policy. Schools and colleges will have to submit their centre policy and a summary form by 30 April. A centre policy for general qualifications will also cover Cambridge Nationals and Cambridge Technicals. The process for Cambridge Nationals and Cambridge Technicals, including creating a centre policy, aligns with the JCQ guidance, with one exception. We’ve provided specific guidance for you on the sampling of evidence which forms part of the final stage of quality assurance.
Between 31 March and 19 April, we’ll publish a package of support materials on our grade submission system to help you make grading decisions for Cambridge Nationals and Cambridge Technicals. This will include examples of sets of evidence with grading rationales, and additional assessment materials. This package of support can be used alongside the past papers and examiners’ reports we normally provide.
Please be aware that from 19 April, additional assessment materials and grade descriptors will be available to students on this public website.
We’re committed to supporting you and your students every step of the way this summer. We will continue to keep this guidance document updated. We’re working closely with Ofqual, the DfE and with other awarding organisations so our guidance stays up to date, is as consistent as possible with other boards, and meets the latest regulatory requirements.
We provide regular updates via email, on social media, on our website, through our extensive FAQs, and through online events. Our customer support centre is always here to support you on 01223 553998 or firstname.lastname@example.org. So please sign up to receive our weekly email updates, if you haven’t already.