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VCRF Summer 2021

updated 16 Sep 2021

In March 2021, in response to the ongoing impact of the pandemic and the government’s decision that it was not viable for some exams and assessments to take place, Ofqual introduced the VTQ Contingency Regulatory Framework (VCRF). The VCRF included provisions targeted at two groups of qualifications: 

For Category A qualifications, assessments were expected to continue but awarding organisations were permitted to make adaptations to their assessments and qualifications to take account of the ongoing impact of the pandemic, where they could do so without undermining the validity and reliability of the qualifications 

For Category B qualifications, awarding organisations were permitted to award results using alternative evidence, including Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs), where exams and assessments did not take place 

Qualification grouping

Find out which category your AIM qualifications came under for Summer 2021 by downloading our spreadsheet (rev 1 April) and filtering this to your qualifications.

By including the two separate categories permitting different approaches, Ofqual’s intention was that the VCRF would be sufficiently flexible to enable it to regulate qualifications beyond summer 2021 without requiring major changes to the provisions within the regulatory framework. 

Supporting links:

Previous frameworks

For the avoidance of doubt, the VCRF overrides the previous framework (EERF) which will be removed and supersedes the ERF framework that covered assessments in the first COVID-19 closures.

Framework Period covered
RQF All assessments prior to 20 March 2020 and all out of scope qualifications up to 31 July 2020
ERF All assessments due to take place on eligible qualifications from 20 March 2020 to 31 July 2020
EERF This was intended to cover all assessments on all RQF qualifications during the 2020-21 academic year but will be replaced
VCRF This will cover all assessments that have taken place and are due to take place during the 2020-21 academic year (1 Aug 2020 - 31 Aug 2021)


  • Ensure you have the correct qualification title and QAN number
  • AIM have some similar qualification titles and old qualifications which have been replaced by new ones; the QAN number will avoid these being confused.
  • Both qualification title and the QAN number can be found in the introduction section of your qualification handbook (see example below). The QAN number is usually an 8 digit code for example 603/1527/1