Awarding of OCN London qualifications in 2020-21

Date: Tuesday 5 January 2021

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement last night to return to a national lockdown, with schools and colleges closed, we can assure centres and learners that we will be working with our regulators (Ofqual and QAA) and we will communicate any information as soon as it becomes available.

We would like to extend our thanks to all those working in centres who contributed to learners’ achievement through the Ofqual Extraordinary Regulatory Framework for Vocational and Technical Qualifications in summer 2020, and to confirm our commitment to supporting you in delivering our qualifications in what will inevitably be another challenging year. 

In October, Ofqual published the final version of its Extended Extraordinary Regulatory Framework (EERF) which permits awarding organisations to adapt their qualifications in 2020-21 where necessary to address any continuing disruption to teaching, learning and assessment that learners may experience as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

OCN London is pleased to provide our guidance on the assessment, moderation and awarding of our qualifications in 2020-21, in the context of the EERF. This guidance was also sent directly to centres on 23rd October.The nature of our qualifications is such that we anticipate only very limited adaptations to their content. In a small number of cases particular assessment criteria or prescribed assessment methods may need to be adapted to enable internal assessment to continue in situations where face to face engagement with learners is not possible. We will advise centres likely to be affected by any such adaptations directly. 

However, for most of our qualifications the flexibility of the assessment strategy will mean that any necessary adjustments can be made within the parameters of the published qualification specification. The EERF makes no provision for a repeat of the summer 2020 calculated results process, and it is intended that the award of OCN London qualifications in 2020-21 will be based as usual on external moderation of assessment decisions. 

Owing to the continuing public health situation we anticipate that external moderation will need to take place remotely at least until April 2021. We are therefore making provision for centres to upload assessed work and other related materials ahead of planned dates for external moderation.

It is important that centres keep in regular contact with their external moderator(s) and arrange for moderation to take place at agreed times through the year. In this way qualifications completed early in the year can be awarded in a timely fashion and for year-long qualifications credit achieved up to mid-year can be ‘banked’, which will reduce the volume of moderation that needs to be carried out during the summer months. 

We will maintain regular communication with centres throughout the year to ensure that you have access to the most up-to-date information, and we will be pleased to provide guidance for any particular situation you may be faced with. Initially, during November and December we will be carrying out review meetings online to reflect on the summer 2020 awarding process and any lessons to be learned and to agree plans for 2020-21 and, where necessary, any specific adaptations. 

To arrange a review meeting please contact our Quality Team at For centres that also deliver Access to HE Diplomas, please note that there are separate arrangements for adaptation in place that accord with QAA requirements. 

We look forward to continuing to work with you through the coming year.

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