From education to employment

Ufi and NCFE partnering to drive forward innovation in the assessment of vocational skills

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Ufi VocTech Trust and the awarding organisation NCFE have announced a new strategic partnership to harness the transformative power of technology to drive change and reform in the assessment of vocational training and skills.

Together, Ufi and NCFE aim to foster innovation and advance learning around the role technology can play in creating assessment methods and models that can adapt and respond to the needs of the changing UK economy.

The partnership will develop and deliver a jointly funded round of the NCFE Assessment Innovation Fund that seeks to encourage the development of learner-centric, inclusive and adaptable assessment solutions that meet the needs of learners and employers.

Opening in Spring 2024, the grant will support two organisations with up to £150,000 of funding each for large-scale impact studies centered around the impact of assessment on learners.  

Louise Rowland, Deputy CEO of Ufi VocTech Trust, said:

“I’m delighted our new partnership with NCFE is working to improve assessment of vocational training and skills in order to get more adults learning across the UK.

“Our research shows that the assessment and qualification system is holding the UK back from getting the skills it needs. Reform is needed to ensure we have an agile and responsive system that can give people and employers the skills they need for work.

“Technology is central to creating adaptive, responsive, and relevant forms of assessment and qualifications. Our new partnership with NCFE will help us to support innovators, showcase new digital approaches to assessment and champion the need for change in assessment practices.” 

NCFE is dedicated to promoting and advancing learning and breaking the boundaries of what’s possible within education; cultivating innovation that creates robust and reliable assessment.

The educational charity’s pioneering £1m Assessment Innovation Fund, launched in 2021, is a catalyst for change as it provides evidence-based, alternative assessment solutions, where the impact of a project’s ideas can be tested in real-life within a supportive environment.

More than 3,000 learners and over 200 educators have already participated in 12 funded pilots to date, exploring the use of VR and AR in assessment, digital badging, the effects of immersive and interactive story-based assessments, and online platforms.

Philip Le Feuvre, Chief Operating Officer at NCFE, said:

“We are delighted to announce this strategic partnership between NCFE and Ufi VocTech Trust. We have been working collaboratively for some time, and it is great we are now co-funding innovation in assessment for the benefit of the sector.

“Ufi has a wealth of experience as a funding partner and trusted supporter for innovators who are looking to implement vocational technology (VocTech). We believe that by combining this with our expertise in assessment, the Assessment Innovation Fund can serve as a catalyst to drive forward innovative, learner-centred, sustainable, and accessible assessment solutions that will improve outcomes for people of all backgrounds.

“We have long respected the work of Ufi VocTech Trust and we look forward to working together to achieve our shared goals.”

As part of the Week of VocTech 2023, the NCFE Assessment Innovation Fund team will be sharing practical insights on delivering the future of assessment. 

Join them tomorrow (14 November) at 3pm to explore how new technologies and approaches are being adopted across the assessment system, driving forward the transformation of assessment and supporting post-16 learners to thrive and achieve their potential.

Register your place here.

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