Following on from our previous communication regarding the summer 2020 assessment series, NOCN is pleased to announce further details of how we will be supporting our centres and learners during this unprecedented time.
NOCN have been provided direction by Ofqual that we must ensure that the maximum number of learners who have been affected by the disruption receive valid results, that accurately reflect, as far as possible, the most likely result they would have achieved if they had been able to undertake their assessments as planned. NOCN believes that many of our qualifications can be safely awarded using the ‘normal’ model of assessment for the qualification or with minor adaption, e.g. Construction NVQs having more evidence from other means than just site observation. For these types of qualifications, NOCN will instruct centres to adapt their qualification delivery model.
Where it is not possible to adapt the assessment model, NOCN is informing centres, in line with the guidance published by Ofqual, that learners who have been unable to complete their qualification must be issued with a calculated result. This will be based on a on Centre-made assessment grade. NOCN will quality assure Centre-made assessment grades to issue learners with a calculated result. The calculated result will hold as much merit as other results issued to learners who have not been affected by the COVID-19 disruption.
Only as a last result will NOCN instruct centres to delay assessment until the current period of disruption eases.
In this communication, NOCN will:
Please follow the links below for further information:
1. Which assessments will be calculated and which can be adapted?
2. How does adaptation work?
3. What is a centre assessment grade?
4. What kind of evidence can be considered to determine an assessment grade?
5. Is there a minimum evidence threshold to allow for a calculated result?
6. What procedure must we follow in determining an assessment grade for a learner?
7. Do we need to consider Reasonable Adjustments and Special Considerations?
8. How will assessment grades be submitted to allow for calculated results to determined?
9. What should our Centre be doing between now and the publication of the Special Arrangements for Calculated Results and Adaptations spreadsheets?
10. What will NOCN do with the supplied information on the Special Arrangements for Calculated Results and Adaptions spreadsheet?
11. How will estimated results be claimed?
12. What happens if we have forgotten to register a learner?
13. Sector Specific Guidance
The decision of whether to adapt an assessment or issue a calculated result has been made by NOCN per qualification and has taken into account the content of the qualification, how the qualification is assessed, whether the qualification leads to employment or higher education and ensuring that standards can be maintained.
A full list of qualifications, alongside whether they must be adapted or a calculated result issued can be found here.
For a small minority of qualifications, NOCN has determined that they cannot be safely adapted or a calculated result be issued and therefore learner assessment must be delayed until lockdown restrictions have eased. NOCN will amend its permission on these qualifications as soon as it is safe to do so.
Sector specific guidance can be found towards the end of this guidance.
For each unit where evidence is not sufficient to claim for learner achievement or, where a unit signals professional competency, centres should look to adapt assessment to ensure fairness to its learners and support learner progression.
Where adapted assessment is necessary, the following are types of learner assessment evidence should be considered to generate evidence for key outcomes of learning:
Centres must be able to provide evidence to support their assessment decisions. Internally quality assurance and standardisation activities must continue in line with a Centre’s IQA policy and requirements and all records must be retained for external quality assurance.
Centres and curriculum areas must also ensure that any amended assessment methods are:
Full records of adaptations must be kept at the Centre and details submitted to NOCN. The submission process is explained in point 8.
A Centre assessment grade will be decided by centres by drawing on a variety of sources of trusted evidence to form a judgement on what the learner would have achieved if they had been able to complete their assessment. For the majority of NOCN qualifications, this will be either pass or fail. The assessment grade will primarily be based on Tutor and/or Assessor judgements of a learner’s likely performance and attainment if the COVID-19 disruption had not occurred. NOCN will support centres during this process if required. The judgement must be based on the assumption that the assessment would have been no easier or harder than previous years to prevent learners from being disadvantaged.
The Centre assessment grade will be quality assured by NOCN to issue a calculated result for each learner for whom a Centre submits an assessment grade. The calculated result will be used to claim learner achievement of the qualification and therefore must be robust enough to still meet qualification and sector requirements. Learners who receive a calculated result will be issued with the same qualification certificate that they would have expected to receive if they completed their qualification outside of the COVID-19 disruption.
NOCN understands that centres may not have complete records of assessment and therefore the evidence used by centres will vary for each learner, for each qualification. Centres must only make judgements based on the evidence that they have available.
Different sources of evidence will have different levels of trust applied to them and therefore NOCN will request that centres rank evidence used to calculate a result from which they believe has the highest level of trust to least. Where evidence provides insufficient trust to determine an assessment grade, centres should consider alternative options. This will be for the Centre to decide dependent on the individual situation of the learner.
Evidence that could be used includes, but is not limited to:
To ensure a robust process, NOCN suggests a minimum evidence threshold of one completed summative assessment for portfolio-based units, which can be supported by other available forms of formative assessment where available.
Centres must make a professional judgement of whether the learner has undertaken sufficient assessment for them to be awarded a valid and fair assessment grade for their overall qualification.
For Functional Skills qualifications, Centres must consider all valid evidence. The evidence should be used to form a judgement about whether the learner would pass or fail the component.
Centres will need to develop their own policy and procedure for determining assessment grades for affected learners. Centres are supported through this process via discussion and agreement with the NOCN Quality Assurance Team.
All assessment grades must be internally quality assured by the Centre’s IQA and signed off by the Centre’s Head of Organisation before submission to NOCN.
For further guidance regarding Functional Skills, please click here.
For further guidance regarding ESOL Skills for Life, please click here.
Yes. NOCN promotes the use of a range of methods to assess the skills and knowledge of all learners. Fair assessment is the process by which the assessments and assessment methods used are designed to give all learners appropriate opportunities to demonstrate achievement, whilst considering any reasonable adjustments.
Centres must consider their Access to Fair Assessment Policy when determining assessment adaptations and making a judgement regarding Centre assessment grades to ensure that the assessment methods are relevant and meet the needs of all learners.
The summary of this process can be seen in the timeline created by NOCN. This can be downloaded here.
Centres must ensure that all learners who the Centre were expecting to receive a certificate for that qualification (or a result of an assessment component) this summer are registered with NOCN, in the usual way, via Quartzweb, as soon as possible.
From the 8th June, Centres will be able to run a report from Quartzweb which will contain a full list of active learners who have been registered by the centre. This report will be automatically stored on the Quartzweb system as an Excel spreadsheet. This will be referred to as the ‘NOCN Special Arrangements for Calculated Results and Adaptions’.
The Special Arrangements for Calculated Results and Adaptions spreadsheet must be used by centres to record their Centre-assessment grades and to record their adaptations of assessments. Centres should try to complete the document as far as possible to prevent any unnecessary delays.
Centres must submit their completed spreadsheet back to NOCN via Quartzweb by no later than 31st July 2020. Once submitted, please confirm this to our Quality Team at firstname.lastname@example.org to trigger the next stage of the process.
For One Awards centres: centres must submit their completed spreadsheet to One Awards via Quartzweb by no later than 31st July 2020. Once submitted, please confirm this via email to Quality@oneawards.org.uk
Centres are encouraged to populate the spreadsheet and submit to back to NOCN as soon as they are able to complete the judgement of grades and adaptations process within their Centre. They do not need to wait for the deadline.
Instruction on how to access and upload the spreadsheet on Quartzweb will be issued to all Approved Centres in due course.
A process flowchart illustrating the calculated result process from start to finish can be downloaded here.
Centres should now be working internally to create their own policy for forming a judgement of learner assessment grades where learners have not been able to complete their assessment for qualifications which are marked as ‘calculated result’ on the full list of qualifications published above.
For qualifications which are marked as ‘adapt’ centres must devise their own internal assessment model, ensuring that the assessment follows the requirements of point 2 of this guidance.
Where a Centre is unable to complete this process due to the COVID-19 disruption, or wishes to delay assessment until disruption eases, please contact the Quality Assurance Team as soon as possible.
To ensure a fair and robust determining of assessment grades, NOCN will implement a quality assurance sampling activity prior to the confirmation and release of calculated results to centres. This will be completed by the Quality Assurance Team and NOCN External Quality Assurers.
NOCN and its team of External Quality Assurers will review the information provided by centres. At this point, NOCN may request evidence used by centres to calculate an estimated result to be provided to NOCN for external quality assurance purposes.
Once quality assured, NOCN will confirm acceptance of Centre adaptations of assessment and will issue confirmed calculated results for each learner. Once confirmed by NOCN, the Centre can claim the calculated results using Quartzweb, in the usual way, to claim for certification.
Once claimed, results will be certificated following normal NOCN procedures.
If a Centre inputs grades on Quartz before the spreadsheet is approved by the EQA, then this will be identified and the Certificates retracted at the Centre’s cost. Centres can continue to claim for learners which sit outside of this process and have been able to complete their qualification as normal.
If learner is missing from a Centre’s spreadsheet, please contact your EQA or our Customer Services Team, who will be able to identify the best course of action.
For centres working with One Awards please contact email@example.com
Accounts and Finance
As per the ‘Accounts and Finance’ tab on the spreadsheet found in point one of this guidance.
For construction trade NVQs and NOCN’s training qualifications, as per the ‘construction’ tab on the spreadsheet found in point one of this guidance.
Please refer to the COVID-19 Addendum to the Consolidated Assessment Strategy issued by CITB for the delivery of S/NVQ’s as a temporary revision of the CAS.
Digital and Productivity
NOCN expects that learners will be able to complete their qualifications as normal due to the nature of these qualifications.
As per the ‘Employability’ tab on the spreadsheet found in point 1 of this guidance.
As per the ‘Engineering’ tab on the spreadsheet found in point 1 of this guidance.
Forest School and Volunteering
Due to the nature of these qualifications, it is not possible to adapt delivery or issue a calculated grade and therefore learners must have their assessments delayed until lockdown restrictions are eased.
Hair and Hospitality
As per the ‘Hair and Hospitality’ tab on the spreadsheet found in point 1 of this guidance.
Management, Team Leading and Employee Rights and Responsibilities
As per the ‘Management, Team Leading etc’ tab on the spreadsheet found in point 1 of this guidance.
Nursing, Health and Medical
As per the ‘Nursing, Health and Medical’ tab on the spreadsheet found in point 1 of this guidance.
Public Services (Security, Facilities Management)
As per the ‘Public Services’ tab found on the spreadsheet found in point 1 of this guidance.
NOCN is currently exploring remote invigilation for Security qualifications which are examined.
Due to the nature of the NOCN Working as a Door Supervisor qualification, centres must delay any future delivery of the qualification until lockdown restrictions have eased.
Religion and Celebrancy
As per the ‘Religion and Celebrancy’ tab found on the spreadsheet found in point 1 of this guidance.
As per the ‘Retail’ tab found on the spreadsheet found in point 1 of this guidance.
Teaching and Lecturing
As per the ‘Teaching and Lecturing’ tab found on the spreadsheet found in point one of this guidance.
As per the ’Trade Union’ tab found on the spreadsheet found in point 1 of this guidance.
NOCN has worked with the TUC to determine a common approach. Centres should contact NOCN or their Regional Education Officer for further information.
As per the ‘Youth Work’ tab found on the spreadsheet found in point 1 of this guidance.