In this final blog of this academic year we thought we would update you on the developments around the Level 3 qualification. For the foreseeable future the current suite of QCF qualifications will continue to be available for all centres. Although at present, Pearson are in the development of a new suite of qualifications that will replace the existing qualifications. At present there is no set date for first delivery.
It is important that moving forward, the consideration of assessment changes that are set to be implemented in September 2014 are considered by all staff. The rules will impact all new registrations from September 2014. However, the rules will not apply to the learners who are currently registered on the course.
What are the new rules? (in short)
The new rules will reduce the number of submissions that a learner will be allowed to have for each assignment; the rules will also reduce the amount of support that an assessor can give a learner when the assignment has been handed out to the learners.
The rules will also require learners to ensure that they meet set deadlines and complete all parts of an assessment. Failure to do either of these will result in the learner not been able to resubmit evidence from the assignment. A resubmission should also only be permitted if the assessor believes that the learner has the ability to meet the demands of the pass criteria.
Another key rule is that learner are required to declare on submission that the work that they submit for assessment is their own, as well as learners completing a declaration that the work submitted is their own, the assessor has to sign a declaration on the summative assessment form (Pearson documentation) that states that as far as the assessor is aware, the work submitted is the learners own work.
If the learners are given the opportunity to re-submit they will be given only one opportunity to resubmit the evidence, this must be done within 10 days of the feedback been given from the learner receiving their summative feedback from the assessor. Learners will only be given one opportunity to resubmit their work. From a centres perspective, if learners are to be given the opportunity to resubmit it is really important that a formal process is but in place to monitor and record this.
For learners who do not complete the assessment on time or in full, the learner will be required to complete another assignment. The assignment that the learner completes must be different to the first assignment that they completed. In this assignment the learners will only be able to achieve the pass criteria. Again the assessor must be confident that the learners are capable of achieving the pass criteria to allow the learners to complete this alternative assessment.
The new rules will have a significant impact on the attainment of QCF qualifications, as in order to pass the overall qualifications learners must pass all units. It is therefore important that learners pass all units of the qualification.
The rules around feedback have also changed. Assessors now cannot provide learners with any support during the assessment process.
When the learners have submitted the final evidence, the feedback upon the learner work should only be limited and simply demonstrate in the margins of the learner work where criteria have been met in part or in full. The assessor should not provide any other commentary or support on the learner evidence apart from this.
Summative feedback sheets should now only comment upon the criteria that have been met in a particular assessment by the learner. For the criteria that the learner has not met the assessor should not give written advice and guidance upon what the learner needs to do.
Pearson have developed a number of new pro-forma’s that I would strongly advise centres use to ensure that the administrative element of the course is carried out effectively and in line with the required format.
In preparation for the new rules I would suggest that the centre considers the following areas to support the assessment process and the learners;
– Consider the submission dates of assignments – possibly delay these?
– Ensure learners are ready to complete the assignment tasks
– Ensure all appropriate unit content has been delivered to learners prior to the submission of assignments
– Leaners should fully prepare for the assignments and keep an orderly file and prior to starting assignments they should compile an assignment plan that details what they are required to do in part of the assessment.
Finally it is important for the new rules changes and standards verification purposes that assignment briefs are fit for purpose to support the learners. However, when developing assignments it is also important that centres remember that BTEC qualifications are vocational qualifications and because of this all assignments and tasks within assignments must be contextualised to the programme area.
Administrative information, all assignment briefs must include the following;
Unit number and title
Internal verification name and date of internal verification
Hand in and hand out date
All assignments must have an appropriate vocational context that includes an appropriate role for the learners. The context of the scenario should flow through the assignment tasks. Assignment tasks should not just be the assessment criteria. Unit content should also be built into the tasks to ensure that learners can met the requirements of the assessment tasks in full.