We are aware that this is an extremely challenging time for all of our centres. Please bookmark this page to keep track of all Vocational Qualification updates and COVID-19 guidance.
Ofqual Consultation – 14th October 2020
We are pleased to tell you that Ofqual have ended their consultation about the Extended Extraordinary Regulatory Framework, details of which can be found here...
This means that we are able to confirm our proposed adaptation for internal units only. Please refer to our ‘RSL VQ Internal Assessment Adaptations 2020-21’ document for specific details of the adaptations allowed.
The DfE have still not confirmed the requirements surrounding performance table qualifications, which means we are unable to confirm whether our proposals for controlled external assessment will be acceptable. We appreciate this is extremely frustrating given how close we are to the release of the Controlled External Assessment Briefs and can assure you we share your frustrations. As soon as we have confirmation from the DfE, we will communicate this to you. For now, please plan as though the usual controlled conditions will be in place.
In addition to the adaptations we have outlined, RSL has also brought in a new process for centres to propose adaptations that fall outside of our guidance, which is only to be used if a centre has no other way of conducting assessment. This will apply for internally assessed units only. You do not need to submit a form to implement any of the adaptations described in the attached ‘RSL 2021 Proposed Adaptations for Delivery and Assessment’ document, this process is just for any additional adaptations that are absolutely necessary for assessment to take place.
Your External Quality Assurer will be able to discuss possible adaptations with you but all adaptations will need to be signed off at Head Office to ensure consistency. In order to propose an adaptation for your centre, please complete the ‘RSL VQ Application for Proposed Adaptations for 2021’ form and return to firstname.lastname@example.org. The proposed adaptations will be reviewed by RSL’s Academic Team and a response sent within 10 working days of receipt. To ensure an adaptation can be agreed in a timely manner, please submit your proposals as soon as possible and at least 10 working days prior to starting assessment. Please note that in order to ensure consistency across all centres, we will not be able to discuss adaptation proposals over the phone and all requests will need to be put in writing.
Head of Centre Declaration – 23rd June 2020
In our guidance, we identified that centre assessment grades had to be signed off within the centre before submission to RSL and centres must keep a record of the process. Following additional advice from Ofqual, we now require an additional declaration to be submitted, which can be downloaded below.
A new document type has been created in the cloud.rslawards.com site specifically for this document. Please only use the document type ‘Head of Centre Declaration for Centre Assessment Grades.’ If another heading is used, the document may be missed and your centre may risk being delayed certification. Please complete and upload this document by Monday 29th June 2020.
We are pleased to announce you will be able to input your centre assessment grades to the site at https://cloud.rslawards.com, using your usual logon details as of Monday 1st June 2020. The window for inputting centre assessment grades is 1st June – 12th June 2020.
We have adapted our usual grade input system at cloud.rslawards.com to allow for centre assessment grades and have updated our guidance in a How to Guide. We are hoping that amending our current system will make the process of inputting grades smoother for centres as it is a system you are familiar with.
If you have not already, please ensure you refer to Ofqual guidance about centre assessment grades, particularly their ‘Guidance for Heads of Centre, Heads of Department and teachers on objectivity in grading and ranking’ which can be found here...
We are pleased to share two of four narrated presentations around the recent guidance for VQ certification this year.
This first presentation gives a brief overview of certification, the new terminology being used, timelines for certification, as well as information on the upcoming data collection activity including the submission of Centre Assessment Grades.
This second presentation gives an overview of the quality assurance flowchart, along with a more detailed look at Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the quality assurance process.
Our third presentation offers guidance on RSL’s approach to moderation and the statistical analysis that will take place following the moderation stage.
Please find below the fourth and final narrated presentation guiding centres through the recent guidance for VQ certification this year. This final presentation offers guidance on the RSL Assessment Board and the different actions RSL may take following this board that lead to certification.
Please make sure to share these presentations, and the associated guidance documentation, with any colleagues at your centre who will be involved in the certification process. Please also see the YouTube descriptions to see timings for particular slides.
Update: 21st May 2020
Guidance on Certification
Following our last correspondence to you on the 15th May 2020, we are writing to you to share our detailed guidance regarding certification for this year. We have put together two documents to support you with the process for this year.
The first is ‘VQ Summary of Actions for Certification.’ This is a concise summary of the timelines and the steps that centres will need to take in order to certificate learners this year. This document is designed as an overview.
The second is a technical document, ‘RSL Centre Guide for Certification for the Academic Year 2019-20.’ This is a significantly more detailed document which outlines all the processes that will be followed this academic year.
There are also a large number of FAQs, which we hope will answer any questions you may have.
Our IT team are continuing to work on the development of our submission system for the input of grades and we will update centres when this is available. We anticipate that this function will be available sooner than 1st June and as soon as our system is ready, we will contact all centres to let them know it is available to input the grades. Please do not input any grades until we ask you to.
We will be creating a series of short videos to support the written documentation, which will summarise each of the stages. We will let centres know when they are available.
If you have a question that cannot be answered by our FAQs, please contact the team via email@example.com
External Assessment Feedback
This section of the email is in regards to centres with learners registered to complete externally assessed units this academic year. If this does not apply to you, please disregard this section.
As we confirmed to you previously, centres will need to produce centre assessment grades for units which under ‘normal’ circumstances would be externally assessed. To support centres with generating centre assessment grades for externally assessed units, RSL External Assessors have reviewed the evidence submitted for outcomes which were identified by centres as complete. RSL External Assessors have provided feedback and provisional grades for these learning outcomes, which can be used to support centre assessment grades for the external units. These provisional grades will not be input into the RSL system and feedback sheets will be available for centres to download via the External Assessment section of the site, on the published external assessment results day of 21st May 2020. Please click here to find the previously sent FAQs which include a section on external assessment which will hopefully answer a number of your questions.
To download the feedback sheets, the simplest way will be to download a ZIP file via the ‘External Assessments’ tool.
- Select ‘External Assessments’ from the drop-down menu on the right-hand side of the screen
- Select the ‘External Assessment Results’ button then follow the onscreen instructions.
- Alternatively, follow this link (you will need to sign in) and select the ‘External Assessment Results’ button.
While every endeavour has been made to review outcomes marked as complete by centres, there may be some instances where a learner has not been reviewed or an incomplete outcome reviewed where it should not have been. As all feedback is in support of centre assessment grades, RSL assessors will not be reviewing any more learner work and any unseen evidence can be used to support centre assessment grades where you feel it is indicative of the relevant grade for that learner.
Where evidence uploaded was inaccessible, we have not asked centres to reupload evidence as centres would be generating centre assessment grades. It was felt the time taken to reupload the evidence (often large video files) would be unnecessary when centres would be generating the grades themselves. If this applies to your centre, you should have received an email from us about it.
Thank you for your continued patience during this difficult time.
Update: 15th March 2020
Following our correspondence on the 5th May 2020, we would like to provide you with an update on the certification of RSL qualifications this year. On the 14th May 2020, Ofqual published their Guidance for Centres for awarding vocational qualifications which you can find here...
In our communication of the 5th May 2020, we confirmed centres will be asked to produce centre assessment grades for each learning outcome for each unit completed this year, and asked centres to focus on internally assessed units. We can now confirm that this approach will also apply to units which, under ‘normal’ circumstances, would be externally assessed.
To support centres with generating centre assessment grades for externally assessed units, RSL External Assessors have reviewed the evidence submitted for outcomes which were identified by centres as complete. RSL External Assessors have provided feedback and provisional grades for these learning outcomes, which can be used to support centre assessment grades for the external units. These provisional grades will not be input into the RSL system and feedback sheets will be available for centres to download via the External Assessment section of the site, on the published external assessment results day of 21st May 2020.
Centres will need to input their centre assessment grades for the externally assessed units in the same way as for internal units. We will update centres when our systems are ready to accept these grades, which will be by the 1st June 2020 at the latest.For centres who submitted a sample for EQA before lockdown but have not yet had their report, any sampling reports which have been completed but not yet released will be made available to centres on 21st May 2020.
Since centre closures, RSL have been working diligently to produce a plan and support for centres to ensure as many learners can be certificated this summer as possible. Following the additional guidance released by Ofqual, and the end of their consultation on 8th May 2020, we are currently finalising our guidance for centres to ensure it reflects the most up to date information, provides as much detail and answers as many of your questions as it can. We will be making the guidance available to centres on Thursday 21st May 2020 via email and also on this web page.
We appreciate centres are anxious to read the plans for certification and to support further, we have updated the FAQs we sent on the 5th May 2020, available via the button below. Please ensure you read the document carefully and pass on to any members of staff who may need this information.
The deadline we set out in our email of the 5th May for submitting centre assessment grades between 1st and 12th June 2020 still stands and our IT team are working to ensure our system is able to support the new process of centre assessment grades.
Please do not hesitate to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org
Update: 5th March 2020
Since the beginning of the lockdown period and the announcement that GCSE and A’ Level examinations would be cancelled for the academic year 2019/20, RSL has been working with Ofqual and other UK regulators to reach a solution which allows learners to progress on to further or higher education or into the workplace with the vocational qualifications and certificates they have worked so hard to achieve.
Paramount in RSL’s approach is that no learner should be disadvantaged by circumstances beyond their control, and at every stage during the formulation of our approach this has been at the forefront of our minds.
RSL has now made Ofqual aware of its plan to calculate results and how we will approach the formulation of those grades. We await the conclusion of Ofqual’s consultation on ‘Exceptional Arrangements for Assessment and Grading in 2020’, the deadline for which is May 8th 2020.
In advance of the feedback from the consultation, please read the statement below which outlines our approach and what steps you can begin to take in preparation for submitting data to RSL.
In the meantime if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us via email@example.com