New Accountability for Awarding rules confirmed

Ofqual has confirmed how awarding organisations will in future be expected to scrutinise the assessment judgements of training providers, schools and colleges (known as ‘centres’) offering their qualifications.

The decision follows a consultation and ensures the right level of control over centres while ensuring that qualification delivery meets the needs of users.

All awarding organisations will be required to introduce Centre Assessment Standards Scrutiny processes by no later than September 2021, although we will expect them to be working towards meeting them sooner where they can.

Through these, awarding organisations will be able to design the most effective controls for their qualifications in the context of the centres that deliver them, subject to minimum requirements.

Some qualifications – for example GCSEs, A levels and Technical Qualifications that will sit within the new T Levels, will continue to be subject to a process of moderation. This is a particular form of scrutiny, and requires awarding organisations to check the results for each group of learners, and make any adjustments they consider necessary, before they are issued. Awarding organisations may consider that moderation is appropriate for some other qualifications too. However, there are other forms of scrutiny, which could take place before or after results are issued on a periodic basis, which awarding organisations may consider more effective in other cases.

The proposed new rules minimise the extent of regulatory burden, while ensuring that awarding organisations consider carefully the risks to qualification standards when they do not make assessment judgements themselves. Ofsted has termed this, ‘accountability for awarding’. As part of their consideration, awarding organisations will need to think carefully about how they approve centres to make these judgements on their behalf and how they use the data and evidence available to monitor these centres to make sure they are doing so effectively.

Ofqual is also launching a technical consultation that includes proposed Conditions, requirements and guidance.

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