|OCR Entry Code||Qualification Title||Qualification Number|
|13996||OCR Level 2 Diploma in IT User Skills (ITQ)||600/1955/4|
|13999||OCR Level 3 Diploma in IT User Skills (ITQ)||600/1958/X|
We have prepared this guidance to support centres during 2020/21 in the delivery and assessment of our ITQ qualifications used in IT application specialist apprenticeship frameworks.
We have updated this guidance document following two consultations on the arrangements for assessment and awarding of VTQs in 2020-21:
- On 25 February 2021, the Department for Education (England) and Ofqual published the outcome to their joint consultation on arrangements for assessment and awarding of VTQs in 2021.
- On 24 March 2021 Ofqual published the outcome of its consultation on a VTQ Contingency Regulatory Framework (VCRF).
The Government’s policy position is that for VTQs used to enter directly into employment, exams or assessments should continue where they are critical to demonstrate occupational or professional competence, proficiency or act as a license to practice and can be delivered in line with Public Health England measures. It would not be safe to award these qualifications using alternative approaches to awarding such as a teacher judgement. Where the assessment cannot take place safely, it will need to be delayed.
ITQ assesses occupational competency. Their main purpose is to support progression into and within employment. We are keeping in place the adaptations in this guidance document. This centre guidance is to support you and your candidates to complete assessment, while following public health guidance.
Equalities and Objectivity
It is important that any adaptations to assessment consider the ability of students to access them and, as far as possible, ensure that any adaptations do not advantage or disadvantage any student.
For students with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), centres will be best placed to accommodate this when making adapted assessments available for their students. Reasonable adjustments and access arrangements must be made available and recognised wherever possible.
If you require any guidance or support about making reasonable adjustments for your students, please contact the OCR Special Requirements Team on email@example.com.
Professional discussions and witness testimonies must be fair and evidence-based to reflect what the candidate has achieved. When leading conversations, writing testimonies or reviewing evidence you should continue to be aware of the potential effects of students’ characteristics (including protected characteristics) on assessment judgements and ensure that they are not affecting your judgements. Protected characteristics are legally defined and include a learner’s sex, race, religion/belief, disability, gender reassignment or sexual orientation.
Guidance on the importance of objectivity and avoiding unconscious bias can be taken from the section in Ofqual’s publication for schools and colleges who are providing centre assessment grades for students taking GCSEs, A levels and other performance tables qualifications. The section ‘Unconscious effects on objectivity’ is applicable to centre assessment in general.
Permitted adaptations for 2020/21
The rationale for the types of adaptations is to mitigate the impact of disruption already caused to teaching and learning and to respond to any ongoing or future public health measures so that learners are able to complete their qualification and progress. Disruption may prevent learners from completing the qualification in the normal way.
These adaptations are for anybody taking qualifications from the ITQ suite, whether they are starting to work towards the qualification this year or continuing on programme and intending to finish this year or later. The adaptations are in place only for the academic year 2020-21.
Students who have been unable to complete their assessment due to the current extraordinary circumstances brought about by the Coronavirus are permitted to:
- use alternative methods to demonstrate how to print and/or reproduce documents if they cannot access a printer/scanner/copier
If for any reason you cannot adapt the assessments in the ways that have been described below whilst ensuring the required level of supervision and checks to authenticate the evidence that is being produced, the assessments will have to be rescheduled until it is safe to continue with them as normal.
Adjustments to assessment requirements for printing/reproducing hard copy
Assessment requirements in units/OCR assignments that require the candidate to print and/or to produce hard copy documents can be adapted. While arrangements for adaptation to assessment remains in place, students can use alternative forms of evidence to demonstrate competence. Alternative forms include:
- Cross-referencing to previous achievement in other units.
- Printing to pdf.
- Submitting a screenshot of the print preview screen.
- Professional discussion and witness testimony.
The centre assessor must be confident that the student has demonstrated competency
If you are not using an OCR set assignment, you must use the evidence checklist. The assessment criteria for each unit must still be covered but the evidence requirements can be met in different ways to those listed on the evidence checklists.
Alternative forms of evidence include witness testimonies, professional discussion, tutor observations or audio/video evidence of a real or simulated work activity.
The Centre Handbook provides useful information on these forms of evidence including advice on their use. Most importantly, witness testimonies and professional discussion cannot be used to evidence achievement of the whole qualification.
Taking assessments in an alternative setting
There are no changes to arrangements surrounding the use of either OCR set or centre devised practical activities/assignments to generate evidence for ITQ units. The OCR set assignments will remain on the OCR website and can be shared with students by email if they or someone else cannot download them.
Adaptations are required when it comes to the use of CLAiT and CLAiT Plus assignments. Under normal circumstances, these assignments would be taken under controlled conditions.
For this period of time, we are relaxing the confidentiality requirements surrounding the use of Level 1 CLAiT 2005-2006 Set A and B Live Assignments and datafiles and Level 2 CLAiT Plus 2005-2006 Set A and B Live Assignments and datafiles. Although you will still need to access these assignments via OCR Interchange, you are now permitted, as in summer 2020, to share these assignment with students via email or alternative means:
- Level 1 CLAiT 2005-2006 Set A
- Level 1 CLAiT 2005-2006 Set B
- Level 2 CLAiT Plus 2005-2006 Set A
- Level 2 CLAiT Plus 2005-2006 Set B
At a time to be determined, these assignments will be removed from OCR Interchange and they will not be available to be used for future assessments. We will let you know when they are to be removed.
It is important to remember that these assignments were originally designed to be taken under controlled conditions. Therefore, you need to follow the advice that is provided in the previous section of this guidance when it comes to validating and authenticating the work that is being produced.
All of the assessment criteria still have to be met and you still need to mark them with the same level of rigour as specified in the marking criteria sections of the Assessment Marking Handbook.
If a student does not pass the CLAiT assignment they cannot retake the same assignment. Centres can either design their own task or the candidate must wait until it is safe to take a CLAiT assignment under the normal supervised conditions.
Where adaptations are not permitted to assignments
Adaptations are not possible when it comes to the use of assessments available on OCR Interchange for units 33, 39, 45 and 91 (previously webwise). These assessments must be taken under controlled conditions and take the form of a multiple-choice test and associated practical activities.
Due to the nature of these assessments a form of adaptation is not possible. As a viable alternative, students can use real work or centre devised assignments to generate the required evidence. Two of these units (33 and 39) can be evidenced using CLAiT Unit 8 as an alternative (using 2005-2006 Set A and B) at home.
Summer 2020 adaptations that have been removed
Evidence review forms
Evidence review forms are provided to generate evidence of parts of the mandatory unit at Levels 1 and 2.
The summer 2020 adaptations permitted teachers to hold a conversation with a student and capture the individual and authentic responses of the student. This adaptation has been removed and the students must now complete the information in the form independently with teachers/assessors marking the student output as usual.
It is important for all internal assessments that robust monitoring processes are implemented by your centre whether or not assessment is adapted. These monitoring processes should include effective dialogue with students where needed to ensure the evidence being generated is both individual and authentic.
There are no changes to the sampling rules for these internal assessments. We require you to submit the same amount of work for external moderation as you would under normal circumstances.
These adaptations are in place for 2020/21. There is no set date during this year by which assessments using adaptations must be completed but we encourage you to complete the assessment and submission process at the earliest opportunity.
You must complete an ‘Adaption Declaration’ included within a 2020/21 cover sheet, that replaces the standard submission cover sheet when you submit candidate evidence and a copy of the Interchange claim. This 2020/21 cover sheet can be downloaded below. You will need to confirm that any adaptations to assessment are in line with the permitted adaptations for 2020/21 outlined here.
Completed assessments can be submitted to OCR in the normal way for external moderation. We would strongly advise the use of electronic evidence during this period, guidance for which can be found in the Centre Handbook.
If we are able to deliver ITQ as usual within our centre, with no adaptations, can we submit work to the moderator as usual?
Yes, you can submit as usual with the exception of the submission cover sheet. Please use the 2020/21 version and indicate that assessment has been conducted with no adaptations.