Notification for ASDAN centres on Covid-19 can be viewed here

Last updated: 20 October 2020

ASDAN would like to reassure centres that we are here to support you as best we can during the ongoing Covid-19 situation. 

We have been operating virtually since Monday 23 March and our Centre Support team and regional team will continue to be available by phone and email. Our premises are open for deliveries at pre-arranged times but otherwise we continue to work remotely.  

Update for centres delivering ASDAN qualifications 

Summer 2020 update

As required by the regulators, all qualification results have been released for the summer of 2020 awarding. ASDAN qualifications can be broken down into two categories, namely the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and all other qualifications called Vocational and Technical Qualifications (VTQ). There were two regulatory frameworks used in the awarding of results for this period namely, the Extraordinary regulatory framework: EPQ  and for the remainder of the ASDAN VTQ qualifications, the Extraordinary regulatory framework: VTQ.

It should be noted that the statistical standardisation approach used in A levels and GCSEs was not used by ASDAN for the calculation of results for the VTQs. As a separate regulatory framework, which was designed to provide the flexibility needed to cater for the diverse nature of the Vocational and Technical qualifications landscape, the decision by the regulator and government to revert to centre assessment grades (CAGs) does not extend to the VTQ qualifications offered. The full statement by Ofqual can be found here Ofqual statement on grading of VTQs, 18 August 2020

Should there be any queries, please contact qualifications@asdan.org.uk.

Academic year 2020-2021

ASDAN has been made aware that an extension to the current (ERF) Extraordinary Regulatory Framework is being drafted to provide guidelines by which centres and awarding organisations, such as ASDAN, can operate during a potentially disruptive academic year in 2020–21 due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. On 3 August 2020 Ofqual published the Vocational and technical qualifications and assessments 2020/21 paper outlining the process to extend the current ERF.

Ofqual has launched the first in a two-part consultation on the arrangements for the assessment and awarding of Vocational and Technical Qualifications (VTQs) in 2020–21. Building on the approach set out in the VTQs' position paper linked above, this first consultation covers the overall approach to 2020-21. 

The approach aims to:

  • ensure that VTQ learners are neither advantaged nor disadvantaged compared to their peers taking GCSEs and A/AS Levels and competing for the same progression places
  • mitigate disruption to learning and exams for VTQ students caused by the Covid-19 pandemic
  • ensure that assessments lead to the award of valid qualifications and that standards are maintained
  • maximise assessment manageability, where this will allow for an increase in teaching time in order to minimise the impact on outcomes
  • develop, as far as possible, consistent approaches across similar qualifications, while recognising a single approach would not be feasible across the diversity of the VTQ landscape
  • proactively support other parties, including government, in reducing disadvantage to learners where those risks cannot be addressed through the regulation of qualifications

During this initial consultation period, Ofqual will continue to engage with awarding organisations, such as ASDAN, and the other regulators, on the development of more detailed statutory guidance to support the 2020–21 approach. Once that document has been developed, the second stage of the consultation will start on the guidance that will be included in a revised Extended ERF.

The new draft version of the E-ERF document follows on from the ERF, by allowing awarding organisations to review possible adaptations to their qualifications in 2020 and 2021. This is in recognition of the fact that, although assessments may take place after summer 2020, learners will have experienced disruption to teaching and learning because of the pandemic. The final E-ERF will be published in October 2020.

ASDAN has been reviewing each of its qualifications to identify where adaptation of the design, setting, delivery or marking of an assessment may be appropriate. This may enable candidates to access and achieve the qualification in the academic year 2020-2021, while still meeting the needs of users and without compromising confidence in the qualification. Both the statutory guidance from the regulator and any possible recommendations for adaptations that ASDAN is considering will be finalised later in October and communicated to centres before 23 October 2020.

Adaptations to assessment and delivery of ASDAN qualifications

In response to the Covid-19 outbreak, ASDAN has been working closely with Ofqual, Qualifications Wales, CCEA (Council for Curriculum, Examination and Assessment) and other awarding organisations to identify alternative assessment or delivery methods to ensure that learners are not disadvantaged during what could be a disruptive academic year in 2020-2021.

While we do not yet know what this academic year holds, particularly in relation to the full impact of Covid-19 on the teaching and assessing of our qualifications, we recommend that you focus on the completion of unit evidence as a priority at this stage. This will aid learner progression in the event of any later disruption.

Extending the Extraordinary Regulatory Framework

The regulators are in the process of finalising statutory guidance on how the ERF (Extraordinary Regulatory Framework) that was developed to assist with the summer 2020 awarding process can be extended for the next academic year, 2020-2021.

The extended ERF (E-ERF) refers to awarding organisations reviewing possible adaptations to the assessment and delivery of qualifications in 2020-2021. This is in recognition of the fact that, although assessments may take place after summer 2020, learners will have experienced disruption to teaching and learning as a result of the pandemic.

ASDAN has been reviewing each of our qualifications to identify where adaptation of the design, setting, delivery or marking of an assessment may be appropriate.

Mandatory requirements

In light of the adaptions that ASDAN will be reviewing, this is a reminder that from September 2020 it became a mandatory requirement that centres provide records of internal moderation and a copy of at least one assessment plan for the units in their submission.

Please ensure that these are included when you send your portfolios for moderation as all adaptations to assessment will need to be reviewed by the external moderator.

Supporting members

As we have been preparing for the regulators' new statutory guidance, we will be in a position to supply you with individual qualification guidance on possible adaptions as soon as the regulators have finalised the E-ERF.

Update for centres delivering ASDAN programmes 

Programmes certificates 

Our Centre Support team have been and continue to be busy printing and despatching certificates for ASDAN programmes. If you are yet to receive your certificates, we ask you to please be patient as we are still operating on reduced capacity for this function. We will get them to you as soon as we can.

Please note that certificates for Short Courses and Key Steps can be downloaded in pdf format free of charge from our website

Personal Development Programmes and Preparing for Adulthood programmes

For the autumn term we will be offering postal moderation for Personal Development Programmes (Bronze, Silver, Gold) and Preparing for Adulthood programmes (New Horizons, Towards Independence, Transition Challenge, Workright).

Due to the pandemic, we are not able to offer moderation meetings currently.

Moderations will be undertaken during the fortnight beginning 30 November 2020.

Please book your postal moderation and enter your learner details by Friday 6 November 2020.

We will then email you to confirm which portfolios we require you to post to your ASDAN regional relationship manager for external moderation. We will provide you with an address where you can send the sample portfolios.

Sample portfolios must arrive with your ASDAN regional relationship manager no later than Thursday 26 November 2020.

Information for all centres 

ASDAN workshop programmes will now be delivered remotely by webinar. Please see our training pages for more information. It is our intention to deliver in-service training (INSET) remotely in the autumn term. Please see our INSET page for details on how to book an INSET.

ASDAN’s relationship management team will be offering centres support by phone, email or video conferencing.  Contact details for the team are available on the ASDAN website

Please contact ASDAN’s  Centre Support team if you have any specific concerns in the first instance: 

Phone: 0117 954 8316  
Email: info@asdan.org.uk  

We send our very best wishes for your health and wellbeing in the coming weeks and months.  

The ASDAN team