Ofqual publishes regulatory arrangements on adapting vocational and technical qualifications and assessments in 2021.

We recognise that some learners taking vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs) have experienced lost teaching and training time as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and that appropriate arrangements need to be put in place to mitigate the impact of this disruption and respond to any ongoing or future public health measures.

We consulted on proposals to permit awarding organisations to adjust their qualifications and assessments, which took account of the different ways in which the qualifications are used – ranging from those taken alongside, or instead of general qualifications, to those used to signal occupational competency. On 7 September, we confirmed our decisions and that the proposed arrangements will be implemented in full.

Today (12 October 2020) we are publishing the Extended Extraordinary Regulatory Framework (ERF), on which we recently consulted, to put the arrangements into effect. The Extended ERF sets out the regulatory arrangements and statutory guidance with which awarding organisations must comply when adapting their qualifications. It includes 4 principles with which awarding organisations must comply when making their decisions around adaptations, supported by statutory guidance. We have also included statutory guidance on Special Consideration within our regulatory framework.

We are grateful to those who responded to the consultation, who were largely supportive of our approach. We are therefore implementing the Extended ERF with immediate effect, only minor drafting changes from the version on which we consulted.

Published 12 October 2020