Skip navigation

Qualification Categories for Alternative Arrangements

Information regarding the category each qualification has been placed in for the 2020/1 alternative arrangements

Please note the guidance on this page was for learners expected to complete assessments prior to 31st August 2021. From 1st September all qualifications have moved into Category A. For information regarding NOCN's approach to awarding from 1st September 2021, please click here.



Update From 13th April 2021

There have been some amendments to the categorisation of qualifications. Please refer to the Qualification Categories for Alternative Arrangements for the latest list below, where the amendments are detailed in orange for ease of reference.

Although this list is required to be kept under review and NOCN encourages centres to keep referring to the latest version, NOCN is confident that conversations across sectors are now firmed up and does not expect there to be any major amendments to the categorisation of qualifications moving forward.

Centres and learners are also encouraged to check the Ofqual Summer 2021 Qualification Explainer Tool which provides the arrangements for all in scope qualifications across all Awarding Organisations. 


Update From 29th March 2021

NOCN has reviewed the content and purpose of each of its qualifications to determine whether it is a Category A, Category B1 or Category B2 qualification.

Category A qualifications are used to demonstrate occupational or professional competence, or to enter directly into employment. For these qualifications, the completion of assessments is critical for the qualification to be awarded reliably and safely and therefore assessment should continue as normal, ensuring Public Health England measures are adhered to. Where assessment cannot take place, it will need to be delayed.

Category B1 qualifications are those most similar to GCSEs, AS and A levels, that are used for progression to further or higher education. These qualifications are taken alongside or instead of GCSEs, AS and A-Levels. NOCN expects that learners studying this style of qualification will have experienced disruption to their education as a result of the limited access to centres by learners. The assessments for these qualifications should be cancelled and awarded through the use of a Teacher Assessed Grade, where appropriate.

Category B2 qualifications are those which are taken for mixed purposes and do not necessarily have to follow an academic cycle, such as Functional Skills and ESOL qualifications. For these qualifications, assessments should continue where it is possible and/or where these can be delivered remotely or through adaptations. Where this is not possible, alternative arrangements can be considered.

Please download the latest list of qualifications, alongside their assigned category, below.

Downloads