There are changes to this qualification based on the outcomes of the joint Ofqual and DfE consultation on adaptations to be made to assessments in 2021/22 for vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs) such as Cambridge Nationals.
We are carrying forward the unit level changes that allow alternative approaches to produce work for assessment and permission to produce work from home. If teachers need to free up time spent on assessment to help address students’ loss of learning, we will allow a reduction in the number of assessments of moderated units for Cambridge National Certificate size qualifications.
On 6 August, Ofqual and the Department for Education (DfE) published the outcome of their joint consultation on adaptations to be made to assessments in 2021/22 for vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs) such as Cambridge Nationals. The adaptations can be found below.
Adaptations are available to all students regardless of which year they complete their qualification, however, the adaptations can only be used in the academic year 2021/22. It is expected that all units planned for 2022/23 are completed as normal, without any adaptations.
If teachers need to free up time spent on assessment to help address students’ loss of learning, we will allow a reduction in the number of assessments taken of moderated units. Delivering the content is vital for your students’ progression so if you use reduction in assessment, you must still teach all the content for the unit.
The adaptation means that, if required, the number of assessments due to be taken in 2021/22 can be reduced by one optional moderated unit, or, where circumstances require it, one mandatory moderated unit:
Schools and colleges are best placed to decide if they need to use this adaptation. Where possible, it is best for your students to take all assessments to support their wider learning and progression. However, these adaptations are there if you need them and can apply to all students due to complete assessments during 2021/22.
You will not be permitted to use a reduction in assessment after 2021/22. It is expected all units planned for 2022/23 are completed as normal. During the 2021/22 academic year, you will be required to tell us which unit assessment(s) will not be taken by your students. We will ask for this information during 2021/22, even if they are certificating in 2022/23 or beyond.
Any reduction in the assessment of moderated mandatory units, including if you’re teaching a course with only mandatory units, should be as a last resort. It is only permitted where all other options to complete mandatory unit assessments have been exhausted.
This qualification has one mandatory examined unit, one mandatory moderated unit and two optional moderated units. We’ll continue to assess knowledge and understanding in the examined units for which there is no option to reduce the assessment.
Students certificating in 2021/22 must take assessments this year.
Teachers can continue to assess work that has been produced from home for all students due to take assessments in 2021/22. Please see our guidance on producing work from home. This guidance, first published in November 2020, can still be used for assessments taken during 2021/22.
This adaptation is intended for students who cannot be directly supervised by a teacher or attend school when they are due to take the assessment for reasons related to the Covid-19 pandemic. For example, the student needs to self-isolate, but they are still well enough to work on their assignment. This adaptation can be used with all students that require it, regardless of which year they complete their qualification. However, the adaptation can only be used for assessment taken during the academic year 2021/22.
Our guidance from 2020/21 on using unit-level adaptations such as alternative forms of evidence e.g. professional discussion in place of performance, has been republished.
Our changes are designed to make units to be taken in 2021/22 possible to complete in the event of any further disruption as a result of a changing public health situation and to make sure that the learning outcomes and assessment criteria can still be met. Please read this information alongside the specification.
These adaptations are available to be used with all students, regardless of which year they complete their qualification. However, these adaptations can only be used for assessments being taken during the academic year 2021/22.
OCR’s team of expert subject advisors is here to guide you through these changes and help you prepare your students for their assessments in 2022.
We also add to our frequently asked questions regularly on our online support centre.
You can contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter @OCR_vocational or call on 01223 553998.