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Category B Qualifications 25 May 2021

Qualifications that have been categorised into Category B are eligible for alternative assessment and teacher assessed grades (TAGs) where required. Each qualification will have their own minimum requirements and expected evidence. You can find out which group your qualifications are in from the main VCRF details page.

Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGS) are available for learners who have been unable to access an assessment (either face to face or remotely).

Further guidance for the 2 types of category B groupings can be found below.

How will I know if my learners are eligible?

This framework and category B offer applies to any learners who are registered on qualifications and due to sit an assessment on these qualifications between 1 August 2020 and 31 August 2021. This includes any resit options.

Adaptations

The adaptations that were originally available in the qualification handbooks in Autumn 2020 are currently being updated to reflect the latest guidance and minimum evidential requirements. These will no longer be available in the qualification handbooks but have been moved to be in the COVID subject specific pages found in the Category B sub-menu on the left of the screen.

Where there is an external assessment due to take place, any further adaptations are available in the COVID subject pages as is the minimum evidential requirements.

Centres should ensure that any changes to the planned assessments (or changes to component choices) are signed off by their internal verifier in advance of using the assessments and a record of this kept with their quality documents.

Minimum evidential threshold

The minimum requirements for each qualification can be found on the subject page in the subject's category sub-menu. 

Do my learners need to claim TAGs?

You should review the VCRF Evidence Guide to identify if you have sufficient evidence to cover the assessments without needing TAGs. If your learners have been unable to access their assessment then they may be eligible for TAGs and you should follow the guidance in the evidence guide to look at supporting documentation for TAGs.

Assessor responsibilities

There are some additional assessor responsibilities for TAG claims.  

If you are an assessor looking at TAG claims, please ensure that you have read these documents.

Learner evidence checklist

If you are wishing to claim a TAG for your learners, you must complete the VCRF Evidence Checklist which outlines the evidence you have and provides an overview of the scenario and challenges for your learner(s). This must be presented to your External Verifier/Approved Internal Verifier as part of your claiming process.

IQA responsibilities

There are some additional responsibilities on the Internal verifier for TAG claims.  

If you are an internal verifier looking at TAG claims, please ensure that you have read this document.
We are updating the proforma IV of Assessment Task and IV of Assessment Decisions to support your additional responsibilities.

To support your data review we have provided the following reports:

Approved Internal Verifier (DCS) responsibilities

Unlike the 2020 claims, the Approved Internal Verifier may verify TAG claims in 2021. All AIVs are being contacted directly to provide guidance and confirm plans.

If you believe that your centre will need to claim for TAGs and you are the Approved Internal Verifier who would verify these claims, you will be required to attend a short online seminar to explain your responsibilities and complete an online declaration. You must not make any TAG claims until you have been able to attend these sessions.

You can, if you choose, present these claims through external verification instead of direct claims.

If you are an Approved Internal Verifier looking at TAG claims, please ensure that you have read this document.

We are updating the proforma IV of Assessment Task and IV of Assessment Decisions to support your additional responsibilities.

Claiming Deadlines

In order to be eligible for the TAG claims all claims must be uploaded to the AIM portal in summer of 2021, you will not be able to claim for any TAG assessment at a later point.

  • Any eRAC with a TAG replacing an exam (All GAVFX and L2/3 Counselling Exams) must be uploaded by 15 June and submitted to your external verifier by 30 June to allow for awards boards.
  • Any eRAC for UCAS (GAVFX and L3 Counselling) - all assessments must be completed and claimed on the eRAC,  uploaded by 15 June and submitted to your external verifier by 30 June to allow for the UCAS deadline.
  • All other eRACs  (non examined assessment and/or non ucas) with a TAG claim on it must be uploaded to the portal by 31 August 2021 - any uploaded after this date will be returned uncertificated. The quality assurance can run in to September but the eRAC must be in our system by 31 August.

Claiming certification

Centres should continue with their delivery and assessment plans for learners on these qualifications and claim non-examined assessments as usual using the eRACs and presenting to the External Verifier for certification.

Head of Centre Declaration

Any qualification which will have a TAG requested must have a Head of Centre Declaration completed. This can be completed by the head of department or head of centre.

You must upload this to the AIM Portal as a document (you can find a video to support uploading documents here Uploading documents to the AIM portal).

You should also provide a copy with your learner evidence to your EV.

How do I claim a Teacher Assessed Grade via external verification?

  1. Review the evidence guide and complete the evidence checklist to summarise the evidence available for your learners meeting the requirements of the minimum evidential threshold for the qualification.
  2. Ensure your centre has submitted the Head of Centre Declaration Form and uploaded this on the portal and uploaded as a document (Video guide found here).
  3. Arrange your external verification activity by contacting your EV directly or request online here.
  4. Upload your eRACs, remember to complete any components which are TAG as a calculated achievement and any which are fully completed as a normal achieved/not achieved (or pass/merit/distinction). Please use the notes during your upload to identify TAG or No TAGS on that claim.
  5. Provide to your EV the head of centre declaration and evidence checklist. The EV will then contact you to agree the sample of evidence for EV and proceed with the external verification activity.
  6. The EV will confirm that the claim is sufficient and will verify the eRACs if appropriate.
  7. AIM will review the claims against expected qualification and centre claims and approve certification.

How do I claim a Teacher Assessed Grade via direct claims status?

  • Review the evidence guide and complete the evidence checklist to summarise the evidence available for your learners meeting the requirements of the minimum evidential threshold for the qualification.
  • Ensure your centre has submitted the Head of Centre Declaration Form and uploaded this on the portal and uploaded as a document (Video guide found here).
  • Ensure that the Approved Internal Verifier (AIV) has attended a VCRF update session with AIM and has been released to verify TAG claims. If not, please present the claims to EV.
  • Upload your eRACs, remember to complete any components which are TAG as a calculated achievement and any which are fully completed as a normal achieved/not achieved (or pass/merit/distinction). Please use the notes during your upload to identify TAG or No TAGS on that claim.
  • Provide to your AIV the head of centre declaration and evidence checklist. The AIV will then sample the evidence and proceed with the approved internal verifier activity.
  • The AIV will confirm that the claim is sufficient and will verify the eRACs if appropriate.
  • The AIV will retain the head of centre declaration and evidence checklist in their quality file alongside the QA5 form.
  • AIM will review the claims against expected qualification and centre claims and approve certification.

Appeals, Complaints, Special Considerations, Reasonable Adjustments and Recognition of Prior Learning

All of these policies continue to be applicable and have not been adapted for COVID-19. Please refer to centre handbooks and forms to access these.