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Teacher Assessed Grade Information up until 31st August 2021

Information regarding the use of Teacher Assessed Grades as part of the 2020/1 alternative arrangements

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

What is a Teacher Assessed Grade?

A Teacher Assessed Grade (TAG) is a judgement of learner achievement against the requirements of an assessment by a Tutor/Assessor, where it has not been possible for the learner to access the assessment that would usually be required. The use of a TAG must be applied for and approved by NOCN on an individual learner basis and its use must be subject to both internal and external quality assurance.

A TAG can be used by centres where they are able to evidence that a learner cannot access a particular assessment and to ensure their progression. Centres will be required to apply for a TAG at a unit/component level, therefore centres will need to be able to demonstrate sufficient evidence of achievement for each individual unit that they wish to request a TAG for.

Who is Eligible for a Teacher Assessed Grade?

A Teacher Assessed Grade may be possible for a learner who meets all of the below requirements:

  • Is studying a qualification which has been placed into Category B1 by NOCN.


  • Is studying a qualification which has been placed into Category B2 by NOCN, is assessment ready and is not able, or will not be able, to access the required assessment for the qualification (including through adaptations) prior to 31st August 2021.


  • Was expected to complete their assessment prior to 31st August 2021. This includes if a learner was expected to take an assessment for a unit within a qualification, but was not expected to receive their full qualification certificate (sometimes referred to as a non-certificating learner).
  • Was due to have their qualification awarded in the UK.

It is important to note however that even if a learner does meet the above requirements, they may still not be able to receive a Teacher Assessed Grade. This will entirely depend on whether the Centre is able to collate or facilitate the production of sufficient learner evidence to allow them to determine a grade that is valid, sufficient and in line with qualification standards.

What must our Centre consider in using a TAG?

Where a Centre is considering the use of Teacher Assessed Grades for their learners, they must first ensure that they have read and understood all of NOCN’s published guidance to ensure sufficient understanding. Where a Centre is considering the use of a TAG, they must ensure that they continue to deliver training and assessment to learners, ensuring that learners engage with assessment as far as possible.

Centres will need to ensure that they are in the best possible place regarding the amount of evidence they have available for each of their learners to ensure that they are able to determine a TAG that will allow a safe award. Centres must avoid suspending training and assessment, as where centres do not have sufficient evidence to determine a TAG, delaying assessment may be the only option available.

NOCN has also produced a decision tree for centres to use to help aid Centre decision making around the use of TAGs and where this is appropriate and should be considered. Please click here to access.

What are the evidence requirements around TAGs?

The evidence used by centres to determine a TAG will depend on the specific unit(s) being assessed and what gaps require addressing. For further information, please refer to the NOCN Approach to Awarding in 2020/1 in the downloads below.

How does our Centre apply for the use of a TAG?

Where a Centre believes that they may have some learners where a TAG may be used, they must complete and submit the NOCN Teacher Assessed Grade Expression of Interest Form to express their interest in the process. Please note that submission of the form is not approval of the use of TAGs. Following the submission of the form, an NOCN EQA will contact the named contact within the Centre to provide advice and guidance to dedice if the process may be applicable. This will also provide the Centre with an opportunity to raise any issues or queries they have and for the EQA to provide any required information, advice or guidance. 

How will the TAG process work?

Centres should familiarise themselves with the NOCN process around the collation, submission and quality assurance of TAGs to ensure that they can facilitate and take part in the various stages. NOCN has summarised the 7 key stages of the TAG process in the diagram below:

How will TAGs be quality assured?

Centres must ensure that they have a full audit trail of the assessment and internal quality assurance decisions around the determination of TAGs. For the full requirements around internal quality assurance, please refer to the NOCN Approach to Awarding 2020/1 - Guidance for Centres document.

Centres are able to use their existing assessment and internal quality assurance forms and templates and may wish to adapt them to include specific references to TAGs. Centres must ensure that they use appropriate documents and forms which are in line with their standard practices. NOCN has a suite of assessment and internal quality assurance templates centres may wish to use/adapt to record their decision making. These can be found on our website here.

The external quality assurance process regarding TAGs will be arranged and conducted in a similar manner to the usual external quality assurance activities centres receive from NOCN. For further information on the TAG quality assurance processes and requirements, please refer to the NOCN Approach to Awarding in 2020/1 – Guidance to Centres document.

What support is available?

Centres can continue to contact NOCN with any questions they may have regarding the awarding arrangements for 2020/21. Please continue to contact our Quality Assurance Team at or if you are a One Awards Centre.

To further support centres, NOCN is holding webinars exclusively for NOCN and One Awards centres to talk through NOCN’s guidance and expectations around awarding assessments this academic year. If you are interested in attending, please register your attendance using the links below:

Tuesday 20th April 2pm-3pm
Thursday 22nd April 10am-11am*

*This webinar was originally planned for the 8th April, however has unfortunately had to be re-arranged.

Additional Support for Functional Skills Qualifications

Where a Centre is considering the use of a Teacher Assessed Grade for an examined Functional Skills component at Levels 1 and 2 (i.e. ICT, Mathematics, Reading and Writing), centres must still continue to register learners.

Please register your learner using the run start date of 31/08/21 and state that this is part of a TAG request in the run notes section. You will still need to apply for TAGs through the Expression of Interest form and for TAGs to be individually approved by your EQA.