This consultation has concluded

Download the full outcome

Consultation on autumn assessment opportunities for Vocational and Technical and Other General Qualifications

Ref: Ofqual/21/6779/1HTML

Consultation on autumn assessment opportunities for Vocational and Technical and Other General Qualifications

Ref: Ofqual/21/6779/1PDF, 301KB, 16 pages

Detail of outcome

Having considered respondent feedback, we have decided to implement the proposed Condition VCR8 with minor drafting changes.

Detail of feedback received

Our consultation ran between 24 March 2021 and 7 April 2021. The consultation included 3 questions and was published on our website with an online form for responses.

We received 22 responses to the consultation.

Original consultation


The vocational and Technical Qualifications Contingency Regulatory Framework: Consultation on proposed Condition VCR8 Assessment opportunity in 2021.

This consultation ran from

Consultation description

The impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has led the Department for Education (the Department) to reach the policy view that it is not viable for external exams to go ahead for some vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs) and other general qualifications.

The Secretary of State issued a direction to Ofqual on 25 February 2021 setting out his policy intention for how results should be awarded for 3 broad groups of VTQs and other general qualifications.

We consulted on the detail of the regulatory framework we proposed to put in place to enable awarding organisations to issue results to learners in line with the approaches set out in the direction. This regulatory framework will be called the VTQ Contingency Regulatory Framework (VCRF). This consultation ran between 25 February 2021 and 11 March 2021.

In the direction, the Secretary of State also set out an expectation for Ofqual to work with awarding organisations to determine whether there was a need for different provision of autumn and winter assessments beyond those already provided. This was so that learners would have the same opportunity as GCSE, AS and A level learners to sit an exam if they wished to improve on their Teacher Assessed Grade.

Therefore, as part of our consultation, we sought views on what arrangements we could put in place to provide this opportunity.

Taking into account the feedback to the consultation, we have decided that a very similar approach to last year should be adopted. We plan to include a condition within the VCRF (proposed Condition VCR8) to put this policy decision into effect. This condition requires awarding organisations:

  • who normally provide assessment opportunities between September and January of an academic year, to additionally make those assessments available to learners who were eligible to receive a result through a Teacher Assessed Grade as well as those who would ordinarily take an assessment at that time

  • who do not normally provide assessment opportunities between September and January to provide those opportunities where it reasonably considers there is sufficient demand and would be manageable to both the awarding organisation and centres

This will allow awarding organisations to make decisions appropriate to their qualification design and approach to awarding in summer 2021 to enable learners to improve on their result where it is based on a Teacher Assessed Grade.

We consider that this will serve the need for learners to access opportunities to sit assessments this autumn, and balances any potential burden for centres and awarding organisations that will result from this.

We have made some changes to the drafting used last year to reflect the context of 2021, including to permit awarding organisations, where appropriate, to make adaptations to assessments offered in the autumn and to revert to the arrangements for appeals that have been disapplied in the VCRF.


Consultation on autumn assessment opportunities for VTQs


Published 24 March 2021
Last updated 4 May 2021 + show all updates

  1. Final outcome and public feedback published, along with guidance, conditions and requirements documents.

  2. First published.