In January 2020, we concluded an audit of Cambridge Assessment English's systems of control. This undertaking responds to concerns Ofqual raised as a result of the audit.

Documents

Undertaking given by Cambridge Assessment English (CAE) to the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual), in accordance with Condition B8 of the General Conditions of Recognition (the Conditions) - 17 November 2020

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Undertaking given by Cambridge Assessment English (CAE) to the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual), in accordance with Condition B8 of the General Conditions of Recognition (the Conditions) - 17 November 2020

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Details

Awarding organisationIssueAction takenCase status
Cambridge Assessment English (CAE)An admission that CAE failed to comply with General Conditions A5.1(a), A5.2(a) and A5.2(e), A6.1, G1.1(a), G1.3, G9.1, G9.2(a), H5.1, H5.2(a) and (b), H6.1(d) and (e) and I4.1(d)On 17 November 2020, Ofqual accepted an undertaking from CAEOpen

Overview

Details of undertaking received from CAE.

Ofqual undertook an audit programme reviewing the arrangements put in place by several awarding organisations in relation assessment material errors. At a high-level, the risks in the scope of the audit programme involved examining the systems of control put in place by awarding organisations in relation to assessment material errors, mitigating the impact of any errors and effectively capturing lessons and learning from such incidents.

During an audit, we use the information provided to us by each awarding organisation to determine how assured we are that the systems of internal control the awarding organisation has in place are designed appropriately and operating effectively in controlling the risks in scope of the audit.

In January 2020, we concluded an audit of the systems of control put in place by Cambridge Assessment English (CAE). We found significant weaknesses (limited assurance) in relation to the design and/or operation of systems of control in relation to each of the risk areas we reviewed.

In addition to the weaknesses identified in the audit, we reviewed a number of incidents relating to CAE qualifications.

Following the audit findings and a review of the incidents, we raised concerns with CAE regarding its compliance with the General Conditions of Recognition (Conditions) in relation to several areas including:

  • marking key errors
  • issue of incorrect results
  • errors implementing special consideration
  • workforce errors
  • training
  • leadership
  • governance

In response CAE promptly accepted that it had breached several Conditions. CAE actively reviewed its arrangements and took a number of immediate steps to address weaknesses. In addition, CAE provided an undertaking in which it has committed to further steps to secure compliance with the Conditions and secure improved performance in the development, delivery and award of its regulated qualifications. CAE has committed to providing Ofqual with updates on the progress on the steps it is taking.

In line with General Condition B8, CAE must now take all the steps identified in the undertaking. We will keep CAE’s progress under review and we may take further action if it does not follow through on its commitments.

Published 21 December 2020