Having trouble seeing this email? Please see the online version

Welcome to Issue 46 of the VQ Bulletin. We are getting closer to the end of summer assessment period, with the final timetabled BTEC examination having taken place last week. We know GCSE, A Level and T Level assessments will also finish shortly, so we hope you will be looking forward to the summer break. We are planning to send one more VQ Bulletin before the end of term, with some special editions in the run up to results week(s) in August.  

This edition continues to focus on supporting you to make sure your Level 1/2 BTEC Firsts, Tech Awards, Level 2 BTEC Technicals and Level 3 BTEC Nationals Results Day(s) in August run smoothly. We have added a 'Getting ready for BTEC Results' summary video to our reminders, and we also recommend reviewing our support for eligibility processes.

Although we know it continues to be a busy time, we are looking ahead as part of the Level 3 Vocational Qualification reform and we would like to invite you to join our research community to inform the next generation of BTEC Nationals. We want to prioritise the teacher and learner voice in our qualifications and support materials. If you are interested in participating, please complete this form, and we will be in contact shortly. Thank you to those that have already been in touch, your collaboration is vital and appreciated.

In addition, we would like to thank you for your continued support and for your feedback on the examination and tasks that are also running at this time. You can offer any feedback that you may have on our website.   

Finally, where you have been allocated a Standards Verifier (SV), please ensure you send your samples to them as soon as possible (if you haven’t already) as the deadline for first samples has now passed. Late submission can impact on our ability to release results on time. If you are experiencing any issues with this, please let your SV know. 

Yours sincerely,

Jo Fowler
Assessment Director
BTEC and Apprenticeships
We have put together this short video, which includes a summary everything you need to know about BTEC results this year.  
Streamlined Assessment is an adaptation put in place for this academic year only, to give more time to teaching and learning. It permits teachers and tutors to assess fewer Learning Aims or Objectives. It was available to many, though not all, BTEC Nationals, Firsts and Level 3 Skills in 2021/22, with either one or two units being permitted to be streamlined.

The BTEC Tech Awards use in-unit adaptations that do not need to be reported into our systems, but should be referenced on your assessment plan. 

Streamlined assessment is only permitted for use this academic year, for unit assessment that is completed this academic year, meaning that we do not expect it to be available in 2022/23, where England’s regulator has advised:

“For other qualifications, including vocational and technical qualifications taught alongside or instead of GCSEs, AS and A levels, a range of adaptations were permitted in academic year 2021 to 2022. […] Given that public health restrictions are no longer in place, these adaptations are no longer necessary for the academic year 2022 to 2023 onwards.”

As such, it’s important that you report streamlined unit grades as part of this year’s Quality Assurance cycle, meaning grades are banked, for certification this year or for use in certification claims next year. For learners certificating next academic year, you should use the ‘interim claim’ function to report your streamlined grades:

Claiming internal units this academic year (information also available in the BTEC guidance)

Certificating in summer 2022

Certificating next year

Streamlined assessment 2021/22

BTEC Nationals, Firsts and Level 3 Skills
When adding grades for the Full Award Claim, select the relevant unit Grade and then use the ‘tick-box’ in the ‘Streamlined’ column.

Report grades by 5 July 2022 to ensure timely certification.
You can only use streamlined assessment for assessment that has been completed this academic year. When adding grades use the Interim Claim, select the relevant unit Grade and then use the ‘tick-box’ in the ‘Streamlined’ column.

Report grades by 31 August 2022 as the functionality will be removed after this date, as Streamlined assessment will no longer be permitted.
In-unit adaptations (Tech Awards)
Report grades normally, as the Tech Awards do not have streamlined assessment, the streamline column will not appear.
Report grades normally, as the Tech Awards do not have streamlined assessment, the streamline column will not appear.
We have spoken to some centres who have asked for consolidated guidance on how to ensure that BTEC Full Award Claims are processed in a timely way this summer. We know that many Examinations Officers and Quality Nominees may be new, or simply appreciate the reminder after a couple of years of having alternative processes in place. We have created the Vocational Qualifications: Eligibility Steps for Academic Year 2021/22 guidance, which we hope you find useful.

Here are some key points to note:

  • BTECs are modular qualifications, meaning multiple unit grades must be submitted by centres, and exam results achieved, in order to meet ‘eligibility’ requirements. These requirements are always outlined in the specification, and you can confirm you have the required units, and unit grades to achieve a qualification outcome using our BTEC Grade Calculators.
  • Q-TAGs will not form part of qualification results this academic year – all learners with affected assessment from 2020/21 must have U-TAGs submitted from their centre, or they will not be eligible for a qualification result. If you have not completed that process, you will need to use the late U-TAG submission process.
  • As outlined from page 8 in the guidance, U-TAGs have been awarded a ‘midpoint’ score. Please ensure you use this score when using the grade calculator, or your own MIS data systems. 
  • It is essential you achieve a Standards Verification ‘Release’, otherwise certificates will not be issued, and grades will not be sent to centres, or (where relevant) UCAS.
  • You must submit a ‘Full Award Claim’ once all internally assessed grades are submitted, where learners are expecting a qualification result this summer.
  • All ‘ineligible’ claims will appear as such and must be resolved in advance of results day to ensure timely results.
In the table below, you will find a list of key activities that must be completed by centres:

Assessment Type


Due Date

Further Information

Internal and External Assessment that was due to take place in 2020/2021
Submit all Unit-level Teacher Assessed Grades for assessment that was ‘reduced’/due but not assessed in 2020/2021.
All centres should have taken this step in the Autumn term, using this guidance.

Please contact us with any late submissions as soon as possible and we will do our best to support you.
Internal and External Assessment that was due to take place in 2020/2021
Ensure all learners who have continued onto larger sizes of the qualification have their Q-TAG (from 2021) converted into Unit-level Teacher Assessed Grades.
All centres should have taken this step in the Autumn term, using this guidance.

Please contact us with any late submissions as soon as possible and we will do our best to support you.
Internal Assessment (either one or two units)
Submit ‘streamlined assessment’ grade, for units where you have used this adaptation. Note: these unit grades will not appear any differently on the Notification of Performance, the streamlined ‘flag’ is required for our own records and reporting processes.
5 July 2022
You can find a list of qualifications where you can use Streamlined assessment in our guidance.

Information on how to input these unit grades is on pg 20 of our BTEC guidance.
Internal Assessment
Where sampling is required by Pearson, a Standards Verifier will have been allocated. Samples must be submitted to the SV, with first sample feedback (reports) provided back to centres.
Overdue! Please submit samples to your allocated SV.
All first samples and SV reports should have been completed by 31 May. Centres who require second samples should complete this process by 30 June to ensure timely results issue.
Internal Assessment
All relevant unit grades must be submitted by the centres, with the relevant ‘rules of combination’ followed.

You should have ensured that all planned units have been taught and assessed this year. You must also ensure that any learner Topping up, has had their Q-TAG from 2021, translated into Unit grades (U-TAGs) otherwise claims will not be eligible.
5 July 2022
Check our new consolidated eligibility guidance.

Please check specifications to ensure correct pathways for eligibility. You can also use the BTEC Grade Calculators.
External Assessment
Ensure all learners are entered for external assessments, where they are required.
If you have not made entries for external assessments, but they are required for the course, please contact us urgently to resolve.
External Assessment
Special Considerations applications should be submitted within 7 days of the assessment taking place – if you have an approved special consideration for an absence in January 2022, assessed grades (also known as aegrotats) will be provided by Pearson on the scheduled results day, where all other eligibility criteria are met.
Within 7 days of affected assessment.
More information on managing absences in BTEC is available in our Managing BTEC Exams guidance.

In addition, you can take a look at our general special considerations guidance.
We have shared guidance on how we will return to normal aggregation this academic year, meaning that the summation of unit grades will determine the qualification outcome. This means it is essential that centres ensure all unit grades are entered, and relevant external assessments sat.

We updated centres in Issue 38 of the VQ Bulletin with information from Ofqual on the expected approaches to standards setting in 2022 and have created a guide for centres, which sets out how BTEC qualification grades will be awarded by Pearson in 2021/22.

In March 2022, Ofqual released a student guide to exams and formal assessments in 2021 to 2022, which explains what is in place to support learners in taking exams and assessments, as well as providing other information about this year’s arrangements.

We have also created guidance for students should they have questions about Pearson’s approach, and we would be grateful if you could share this information with them.

We wanted to remind centres of a few of the aspects for standards setting this year: 

1. Pearson will set grade boundaries at unit level for external assessments (internal assessments are criteria-referenced, and centres will be awarding grades, with Pearson verifying those grades). A range of qualitative (review of learner responses) and quantitative evidence will be used to ensure that there is fairness, validity and robustness in the grade boundaries set in the external assessments. Part of the evidence, when we set grade boundaries for summer 2022, will be looking at how all the individual unit grades contribute towards a final qualification grade. Learners will have a range of unit grades, which may include banked unit teacher assessed grades from last academic year. Reviewing how all of these come together to form the qualification grade, may mean that the summer 2022 unit-level grade boundaries are not too different from when exams were last sat.   

2. Qualification grade boundaries are set in the specification, meaning that it is the combination of unit grades (and points) that define the qualification grade. 

3. U-TAGs awarded by Centres in 2020/2021 for external assessments that were due, but did not take place in that academic year, were awarded a ‘mid-point’ score. This was explained in our guidance (pg 8), please refer to the correct points score when using the Grade Calculators or your own MI data systems:

Learners getting the same U-TAG grade on a unit will all get the same point score. In the absence of the raw mark detail, it is considered fairest for the midpoint of the point score range for each grade to be awarded as the point score for learners awarded with a U-TAG. Where the midpoint is not a whole number, then the notional number of points will be rounded up to the nearest whole number above, e.g., where the midpoint is 9.5 the notional number of points will be 10. We have also looked to align with other VTQ Awarding Organisations to ensure consistency for your centre.  

The notional points score that we will use for the L3 BTEC Nationals (RQF) and Level 1/2 Tech Awards external assessment units are shown in the tables below: 
Last month, Ofqual confirmed the subject content and assessment arrangements for qualifications in the following academic year (2022/23). They confirmed that:

“For other qualifications, including vocational and technical qualifications taught alongside or instead of GCSEs, AS and A levels, a range of adaptations were permitted in academic year 2021 to 2022. […] Given that public health restrictions are no longer in place, these adaptations are no longer necessary for the academic year 2022 to 2023 onwards.”

This means our main adaptation of streamlined assessment will not be available in 2022/23, so you should plan to teach and assess the BTEC qualifications as normal.

Ofqual have indicated that they will review the external assessment arrangements for General Qualifications after this summer, as well as the approach to grading. Our priority will be to continue to ensure that there is parity for BTEC students. 
We have launched a range of new Quality Assurance guidance and bitesize videos for our new BTEC Tech Awards, aimed at 14-16 year-olds. These qualifications include moderation of internal assessment, but also continue to benefit from our wider BTEC Quality Assurance principles. Check out our new Quality Assurance quick guide, and our full Centre Guide to Quality Assurance.

We have created a new Tech Award Assessment Record template that can be found in the teaching and learning materials section of each qualification page and on the BTEC assessment and IV templates page

To support you in understanding the key processes, we also have a range of bitesize videos available in the BTEC Tech Awards 2022 section on our Quality Assurance webpage covering:
  • Introduction to Quality Assurance
  • Completing the Assessment Record
  • Guide to applying Mark Schemes
  • Moderation Process
If you have any questions related to the new BTEC Tech Awards, please contact your Subject Advisor or Vocational Quality Assurance Manager via the Pearson Support Portal
As part of the Level 3 Vocational Qualification reform, we would like to invite you to help influence the next generation of BTEC Nationals. We want to ensure that we capture the teacher and learner voice in our qualifications and support materials. If you are interested in participating, please complete this form, and we will be in contact shortly. 
On 11 May 2022, the DfE published the provisional list of qualifications that will no longer be funded from the 2024/25 academic year for 16-19 learners in England due to overlap with T Levels in Waves 1 and 2.

Pearson are appealing 14 qualifications on this list as we do not believe they meet the criteria to be defunded.

We need evidence from employers and HEIs to appeal some of these qualifications and need to collect this before the appeal submission date on 8 July 2022. You can help ensure the qualifications remain funded in 2024/25 by putting us in touch with the employers or HEIs you work with to show that these qualifications:

1) have been used regularly in the last 3 years to support entry to occupations in the industry, or
2) are used and accepted as a current entry requirement for progression to relevant HE courses.

If you able to support us, please get in touch with your details and we will work with you and your contact to produce a letter that can be used to support our appeal.

We are looking for employer support for the following eight engineering qualifications:
  • 601/7582/5: Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Manufacturing Engineering
  • 601/7589/8: Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Manufacturing Engineering
  • 601/7583/7 Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Mechanical Engineering
  • 603/5840/3 Pearson BTEC Level 3 Foundation Award in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering (Development Technical Knowledge)
  • 601/9053/X: Pearson BTEC Level 3 Award in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering (Development Technical Knowledge)
  • 601/9049/8: Pearson BTEC Level 3 Certificate in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering (Development Technical Knowledge)
  • 601/9054/1: Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering (Development Technical Knowledge)
  • 601/9060/7: Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering (Development Technical Knowledge)
We are looking for HEI support for the following two Construction and Health & Social Care qualifications:
  • 603/0862/X: Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Construction and the Built Environment
  • 601/7194/7: Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Health and Social Care
For further information on the reforms, please see our website.
We are aware that some of the BTEC alumni, who completed their BTEC Level 3 National in 2021 and received a Qualification Teacher Assessed Grade (Q-TAG), may be applying for HE in the UK or internationally for the coming academic year or may plan to apply in subsequent academic years.

Whilst UK universities were able to waive unit requirements for 2021, due to the disruption caused by the pandemic, we know that this is not the case for applying to HE in 2022 onwards. Therefore, we recommend that you retain assessment records relating to BTEC Level 3 Nationals for 2021, principally the assessment plan with details of:
  • Units studied
  • Unit grades not on EOL (which may already exist).
This means we will be able to work with you to support any BTEC 2021 alumni with their HE applications in the UK or internationally. We will be able to provide alumni (that require it) a letter detailing their notional unit grades, which we can work out once we have confirmation of units studied and any existing unit grades you may have.

Please be reassured that this will not involve or require you to retrospectively determine U-TAGs or retain learner work beyond the Ofqual requirement above. We would be grateful if you could retain the assessment plan as a minimum, so we can correctly identify which units students studied as part of their course, when we provide a letter. It is advised that you retain the assessment plan for as long as possible, we expect most queries from alumni over the next 2-3 years, with diminishing queries in subsequent years. 
At Pearson, we are committed to ensuring that equity, diversity, and inclusion are embedded into everything we do. Our qualifications and assessments should reflect the wide diversity of our learners.

The following survey focuses on the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion implications for how you teach and assess particular BTEC qualifications, understand how you implement adjustments, and identify any areas where Pearson need to make changes to help ensure all learners have equitable opportunities to access our qualifications, assessments, related products and services.
Please consider these questions from all aspects of the Equality Act (2010)'s protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnerships, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

We would appreciate your feedback by Friday 1 July 2022. 
You can find guidance on managing external assessments, including absences, on our main 2021/22 Teaching and Assessment pages.

As always, we have a large selection of Knowledge Articles that have been designed to help Exams Officers and Quality Nominees. You can look through our most-viewed articles or use the search bar to help you find the specific information you’re looking for.

You are welcome to contact us with any queries or concerns, keep informed by following @PearsonBTEC where we will update you with the latest information, or access our FAQ page, which is updated frequently. Our social media is monitored from 8am-4pm, Monday-Friday and we welcome, and will respond to, any suggestions or feedback you have for us.  You can also review past bulletins if you’ve missed any or sign up to receive future updates if you have not already done so, via the link at the end of this bulletin.
Pearson’s June E-Bulletin was published and included the following:
  • Q&A Networks and Training events
  • August 2022 Results information
  • Provider Approval and Provider Monitoring
  • Draft Key dates Schedule 2022-24
Level 3 progression to Higher Nationals training

Join our interactive training session and explore the journey from BTEC Level 3 to Higher Nationals. Aimed at tutors and progression advisors, the focus of this session is to outline the further education support available for both tutors and students. Find out more and register your place for Thursday 7 July 4-5pm (BST). The session will also be available on Tuesday 12 July 12-1pm (BST). You can register your place here.
Updated Support Articles

We have recently refreshed and updated our support articles, detailing answers to our most asked questions.

Controlled Assessment Conditions

With the increased number of apprentices working from home, additional measures will be introduced to ensure that the remote assessment is conducted in line with controlled assessment conditions. This may mean, the independent end-point assessor (IEA) will ask the apprentice to move their web camera around the room, to ensure no unauthorised material is present, which could provide an unfair advantage during the assessment.

EPA assessment – work-based evidence and notes

We are seeing several instances of apprentices entering their EPA assessment with substantial amounts of work-based evidence, to help support them in their assessment. Whilst work-based evidence is permitted, please ensure that the number of evidence items does not exceed the permitted number. Further information can be found within the EPA Resource Pack or Additional Documents of the standard.

Some EPA assessments also allow the use of notes to be brought into the assessment. Where apprentices choose to bring notes, please ensure that the EPA Resource Pack or Additional Documents is consulted to ensure compliance with the standard. 

Recruitment of Independent end-point assessors

We have a number of roles for Associates to be involved with End Point Assessment assessments. If you are interested, please take a look at our live vacancies page
For further information on our general qualifications for 2022, please visit our summer 2022 support page. We will be updating this page regularly.

Please sign up to receive our regular Pearson Qualifications Bulletin on our website where you’ll also be able to read past issues.

Pearson Customer Services

The Lighthouse, Manchester, M50 3BF

Unsubscribe - Unsubscribe Preferences