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Vocational Technical Qualifications

Updated 13 July 2020

Every centre with current registrations has been sent a list of the qualifications that have registrations on and a confirmation of the agreed mitigation for that qualification. This was sent by email to the centre quality contact between 27 May and 4 June. 

Eligible qualifications are now falling under the Extraordinary Regulatory Framework (ERF). Within the ERF different mitigation options may be applied to the VTQ qualifications, but you can also choose to not apply any mitigation and claim certification as usual. The approved mitigation will depend on the purpose of the qualification.
These are:

  • Calculated Grade
  • Adapted Assessment
  • Delayed Assessment
  • No learners expected to be certificated
  • No changes needed

You can also check the mitigations on the Ofqual website. When searching for your qualifications, please ensure that you have the correct qualification number (QAN) as there are some qualifications with the same name. This update, and the tool, can be found on the ofqual website

Ofqual has determined that some qualifications are not in scope for the Extraordinary Regulatory Framework (ERF), these are mostly qualifications which are not eligible public funding. Where your qualification is out of scope, the mitigations are not governed by the ERF but the usual General Conditions of Recognition and we may need to apply these differently. These qualifications may not appear on the Ofqual tool, please do not be alarmed if you cannot see them. 

If you believe the mitigation announced on the tool is incorrect, please contact AIM via the enquiries@aim-group.org.uk (If you are a learner, you should inform your centre who will inform AIM). The tool is a dynamic and live tool therefore where changes can and may be made to the outcomes on there, but only if we are informed of any errors noticed.

Implementing the Extraordinary Regulatory Framework (ERF)

Ofqual have provided the following documents which you should ensure you and your teams are familiar with: Ofqual documentation on awarding qualifications Summer 2020

These documents provide:
•    updated information for heads of centres
•    updated information for teachers, students, parents and carers
•    guidance on Objectivity in grading and ranking 
•    guidance for centres: the awarding of vocational and technical qualifications and other general
•    qualifications in summer 2020
•    summer 2020 results for vocational, technical and other qualifications

Centre activity

Applications for mitigations are now closed and the EV team are working their way through them and contacting centres to arrange samples. If you haven’t requested any mitigations and think you should have done, please contact enquiries@aim-group.org.uk in the first instance to establish if your learners are eligible. 
If you haven’t already done so, please ensure that your eRACs are uploaded asap to allow the EVs to select accurate samples for review. 

Mitigation Guidance

Please see below an update on AIM’s approach to certificating learners on VTQ’s and providing evidence which will support assessment decisions for calculated grades. You should ensure that you are familiar with the plans and that you have followed the requirements set out in the mitigation guide that relates to your qualifications.

As part of the checklists we asked you to establish whether you need to apply the mitigation to your cohorts and if so, identify the evidence you have available to support your assessment judgements. It is not mandatory that you access the learner’s evidence to support this but always useful if you can access some of it. 

The evidence checklists are reviewed by the special considerations panel at AIM and a decision made as to whether the level of evidence on offer is likely to be sufficient to generate a robust assessment decision and allow certification. We will then contact you to arrange external verification and certification.


If your learners are on programme currently and are impacted by closures, you must ensure that they are registered on the programme they would have been expected to undertake during the COVID-19 centre closures. If learners are not registered, we will not be able to communicate to you the mitigations we plan to apply to the programmes nor apply them if the learners are not registered on the correct programme. The easiest way for you to check this is via the AIM portal. 

It is vitally important that learners are not disadvantaged, therefore if a learner would have normally completed additional units and achieved the full qualification during these months of closure then mitigations will be in place to ensure completion is able to take place. Where it is a calculated grade, any incomplete units would be able to be applied for based on the evidence/achievement of the ones already calculated. Centres should not be reducing the qualifications down to smaller sizes (ie Diploma to Certificate) to just cover what was already completed as this would not be fair on learners who would have achieved normally. You also need to be sure that any rules of combination are still being met, the rules of combination are firm so to switch to a smaller or bigger qualification would mean these need to be checked by yourselves.

This will apply to all learners on programme and therefore will also apply for Y10s going into Y11 and Y12’s going into Y13. The units they would have completed in Y10 during closure will be eligible for mitigations, with Y11 units being completed as normal (with Y10 early units completed being used as evidence to support Y11 unit completion as normal).