Last updated: 20 May 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
The government recently set out proposals for awarding vocational and technical qualifications in the summer 2020 and ran a consultation on what was outlined. In the consultation, they sought views on a number of features of the exceptional arrangements for awarding vocational and technical qualifications in 2020. The consultation closed on 8 May 2020. You can find more information here.
Qualifications in scope
We are continuing to work closely with Ofqual to determine which of ASDAN’s qualifications are in scope of the proposed exceptional arrangements. Qualifications in scope will be those that fall into one of the following categories as identified by the Department for Education (DfE):
- qualifications where the primary focus is progression to HE/FE
- qualifications where there is a dual-mixed purpose; progression and licence to practice
- qualifications where their primary use is licence to practice or occupational competency
We will be providing more details on the agreed approach as soon as we can. Please note that final decisions on this will be made by the DfE and Ofqual.
Qualifications deemed outside of the categories
Any qualifications that are not deemed by Ofqual to fall into one of these categories will not be subject to the exceptional arrangements and we will need to consider the best approach for these to ensure as many learners as possible will be able to gain a result, while remaining compliant with the existing regulatory conditions.
Our overall intention is to act in line with the government’s and regulators’ aims to ensure all learners can receive a result for their qualifications this summer so they can progress to the next stages of their lives without further disruption, that the results will be as valued as those of any other year, and that the approach will be fair, with no learner being disadvantaged. We are especially aware of the need to minimise any potential disadvantage to learners with special educational needs and disabilities.
On Friday 3 April, Ofqual provided guidance relevant to ASDAN centres with students undertaking our EPQ.
Many students will be taking other general and vocational or technical qualifications instead of or alongside GCSEs, AS and A levels. While the guidance published by Ofqual on 3 April does not apply to those qualifications, the same aims apply. We are working as quickly as possible to develop an approach and we will provide further information as soon as we can.
We will at all times comply with our policy and procedures for reasonable adjustments and special consideration, as applicable to the circumstances.
Actions for centres
There are a number of actions you can take to help us move forward with our plans to award qualifications while we await the regulators’ decisions.
- If you had booked a moderation date before the end of August this year, please confirm that the candidates you wish to submit had completed their work in its entirety before centres closed on Friday 20 March. Please confirm this to us in writing by email by Friday 22 May. This will enable us to arrange to moderate the work remotely.
- Please register any candidates who had not completely finished by 20 March but whose work you were planning to have moderated this summer by Friday 22 May to ensure they are included. It is important that you include on the registration form all the units you were planning to submit, including those units learners have not been able to fully complete because of centre closures. This will enable us to plan our approach to awarding this summer when we receive further guidance from Ofqual.
- Please contact our Centre Support team if you have not delayed your centre’s moderation until the next academic year, but would now like to do so.
- You need take no further action if you have already asked for your centre’s moderation to be delayed beyond the summer term.
Ofqual has issued a document (14 May) called Guidance for centres – the awarding of technical and vocational qualifications, and other general qualifications, in summer 2020. This is in response to demand from centres and sets out what centres can expect from awarding organisations in the coming days and weeks.
Thank you to all centres that have registered candidates for awarding this summer. As outlined above, please submit your candidates to us by the deadline of 22 May if you are yet to do so. We will then be in touch when Ofqual has confirmed its final guidance, to outline our procedure and explain what evidence we will ask you to submit, and what the next steps will be.
Audit and approval
For centres with approval or audit visits booked, your external quality assurer (EQA) will be in contact to rearrange the date or make arrangements for a virtual visit by video conferencing, for example via Skype.
Update for centres delivering ASDAN programmes
Personal Development Programmes (PDP) and Preparing for Adulthood (PfA) moderation
We will not be undertaking moderation for our PDP and PfA programmes in the usual way this summer due to the ongoing situation. It is our intention to adopt a procedure that ensures learners will not be disadvantaged as a result of the impact of centre closures and the lockdown measures. We are now working on the final details for how we will award this summer.
Centres that are eligible for Direct Certification Status (DCS) have been sent an email requesting them to enter learners for awarding and certification using the DCS method. You can check your centre’s eligibility for DCS here if you think that your centre is eligible for DCS but has not received an email from us to confirm this.
For all centres, including those with DCS and those without DCS, our aim is to award certificates this year on the basis of your intended curriculum and the work that you believe each of your learners would otherwise have completed even though there may be elements of your students’ portfolios which may not be complete. Please claim certification on this basis.
Please email email@example.com by Friday 5 June if you would like to arrange a PDP or PfA moderation for your learners this term. We will be in touch to inform you of the next steps as soon as possible.
Thank you for your continued patience and support. Please be assured we are committed to providing you with all the guidance you need to support your learners to receive their awards this summer wherever possible
As our office is currently closed, we regret that we are unable to print learner certificates at this time. We are continuing to monitor guidance and hope that we will be in a position to print and send certificates in the near future.
Please note that certificates for Short Courses and Key Steps can be downloaded in pdf format free of charge from our website.
Information for all centres
All ASDAN events have been cancelled until further notice. Please do continue to seek support from your regional relationship manager or our Centre Support team.
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
We send our very best wishes for your health and wellbeing in the coming weeks and months.
The ASDAN team