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Welcome to December’s VQ Bulletin.

I’d like to thank everyone who has worked with us to confirm the estimated completion dates for their registered learners so far. This activity is vital to give us a comprehensive view of all learners who expect a result in 2023. We can now provide support and work with you so that you can receive on-time results for these learners. You can read about maintaining estimated completion dates on the Pearson Support Portal. Please aim to complete this activity by 31 December 2022.

This month saw the publication of 2021/22 national results data for Level 2 and Level 3 BTEC qualifications, showing registration and results data for three main qualification suites: Level 2 BTEC Firsts (NQF) and Level 1/2 BTEC Tech Awards and Level 3 BTEC Nationals (2016 RQF). You can view the 2021/22 national results data, including our commentary on this year's results data on our website.

Last month we hosted the BTEC Awards, which recognise the hard work and dedication of BTEC learners, educators and providers.
Every year, we receive nominations containing truly inspiring stories. For our judges, 2022 was no exception. You can find out about our incredible winners on our website.

As this will be the last VQ Bulletin of 2022, we hope you have a well-earned rest over the winter break. Thank you for your ongoing support and hard work throughout the year. 

Best regards,

Jo Fowler
Assessment Director
Vocational Qualifications



05 December 2022
First January BTEC set task assessment window begins for selected subjects.
06 December 2022
There's still time to book onto our Exams Officer live Zoom session - Our monthly live Zoom session offers you the chance to hear about updates and upcoming events for your calendar, as well as useful resources on a wide variety of topics.
15 December 2022
Tech Awards from 2022 - Deadline for mark submission and upload of learner work for sampled learners for the December/January moderation series.
31 December 2022
Deadline for ensuring all estimated completion dates are accurate for your registered BTEC learners.
11 January 2023
First timetabled January BTEC exam.
18 January 2023
March entry deadline.
31 January 2023
BTEC deletion deadline.

If you have made entries for the December/January moderation series, learners should be completing work on the PSAs and internal centre assessment should be carried out in time for the mark and learner work submission deadline of 15 December 2022.

Moderators will be in contact with their allocated centres from early December. While the final deadline for uploading marks and learner work is 15 December, you will have access to the Learner Work Transfer system from 1 December if you wish to start the process sooner. View our Support Index for guidance on submitting marks and learner work.

Live online 'Getting Started' training sessions and 'Marking and Moderation' training sessions are continuing to run by popular demand. They are free to attend and fill up fast, so be sure to book your space. If you can’t attend, you can access recordings in our Tech Awards YouTube playlist.

We’ve pulled together all this key information and more to help you hit the ground running in the new year in our latest Tech Awards news article

Here’s our checklist for preparing to deliver external assessments in January and beyond:
  • Check you’ve made your entries - All external assessments require a booking. If you’re not sure, take a look at our guide to making external assessment entries.
  • Refresh yourself with our ondemand e-Learning - We have two modules which we’d recommend completing before January, 'Question paper security' and 'BTEC external entries and assessments'. You can access these on our ondemand e-Learning webpage.
  • Access our Exams administration support index - Take a look at our Exams Administration support index, which answers most of your frequently asked questions through an exam series.
  • Review your contingency plan - Please continue to monitor for any potential travel disruption. Centres are required to have contingency plans in place, which focus on ensuring that learners can sit their assessments. You can find additional information on contingency planning on the JCQ website.
  • Bookmark useful BTEC support documents and pages - You’ll find materials you’ll need to download for external assessments on our Secure Tests webpage. You can access our admin support guides on the BTEC subject pages. These include information such as secure material dispatch methods, and levels of supervision. The external Assessment overview document on our timetables webpage. These include information such as secure material dispatch methods, and levels of supervision.
  • View our video, preparing learners for external assessments - This is a short recording to provide an overview of the resources and support available to you to help prepare learners for external assessment
Annual Quality Declaration

Thank you to everyone who has completed and submitted the annual quality declaration (AQD).

All centres now have access to the AQD, and if you have not yet completed and submitted, please do this as soon as possible. If you are having any issues, please contact the Vocational Quality Assurance team via the Pearson Support Portal. Thank you for your support and patience while we have rolled-out the new digital AQD.

Holistic Review

For centres in scope, the Holistic Review is underway for BTEC qualifications, and your allocated Centre Assessment Standards Reviewer will be undertaking the visits and subsequent reports this term.

T Level

The first Monitoring Activity must take place in Term 1. Please work with your T Level Quality Reviewer to ensure this one-hour telephone call is scheduled and takes place before Christmas. 
There is a change to our normal booking process for paper based on-demand tests over the winter break. You are usually able book Functional Skills paper based on-demand tests up to two weeks ahead of any planned test date. However, around the Christmas period we need to make some changes to these arrangements to ensure that we can produce test materials and dispatch them to you in good time for the test date booked.

We have released a new document, which provides guidance on how to manage assessment absences for T Level learners and how to manage assessment opportunities.

Deletions for Higher Nationals  

From 1 January 2023, deletions for all Higher Nationals, regardless of whether your programme follows an academic year, must be made within 49 days of the student starting the programme of study (not from the date of registration). From 1 January 2023, any deletions made 50 days or more after the student’s start date will not be eligible for a full refund. 

Read more about making deletions for Higher Nationals on our website.

Annual Programme Monitoring Review

The Annual Programme Monitoring Review (APMR) was released to Quality Nominees last week. This year, the APMR is shorter and simpler, with less duplication and less written narrative required. The emphasis of the report has a centre level focus to reduce duplication, and time needed to complete.

The deadline to complete the APMR is 25 February 2023.

For guidance on accessing and completing the AQD, please read our Annual Quality Declaration FAQs on the Pearson Support Portal. For further assistance regarding the APMR, please contact hnqa@Pearson.com.

UK Higher National External Examiner Allocations

UK Higher National external examiner allocations were released this week. Quality Nominees will receive contact from their External Examiners shortly. Please check all programmes being delivered this year, to ensure your learners are registered.
AQD access for Lead Standards Verifiers (LSV)

LSVs have now been granted read-only access of your centre’s submission of the Annual Quality Declaration. This will help LSVs plan their remote visits and to provide you with the relevant support. LSVs will not have edit access; this will remain solely with the Quality Nominee.

Face-to-face visits for Construction and Security –sector programmes

Due to the high-risk nature of the qualifications, BTEC Security, and BTEC L1 Health and Safety in a Construction Environment have returned to face-to-face verification visits. Further details will be communicated via the sector pages on our website and via communication emails to your registered Quality Nominee.

Higher Education updates

External Examiner allocation release

External Examiner allocations for Higher Education qualifications have now been released. Once your External Examiner (EE) has accepted their allocations, they will be in contact with you to introduce themselves and arrange sampling, so please look out for their emails. You will also be able to see who your allocated EE is on Edexcel Online, once they have accepted the allocation.

Higher Education Handbooks

The following handbooks have been updated and published on the Quality Assurance webpages:
  • Pearson BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art, Design & Media Practice Centre Guide to Quality Assurance and Assessment 2022-23
  • BTEC Professional Centre Guide to Quality Assurance 2022-23
  • BTEC Professional Centre Guide to External Examination 2022-23
Self-Regulatory Framework (SRF) updates

Standards Verifier allocations for SRF qualifications have now been released. Your allocated Standards Verifier(s) will be in touch to introduce themselves, so please look out for their email. The Pearson Self-Regulated Framework (SRF) Quality Assurance Handbook 2022/23 has also now been published and is available on our website.  
ACE360 Data Cleanse

So that the data we hold is accurate for all aspects of assessment and certification, please ensure that any changes to apprentice details and/or employer details are updated in ACE360. This will reduce any delays in the assessment and certification process. Read our guide to updating an apprentice record on our support portal.

Final assessment date in 2022

The final assessment for apprentices to receive their results before the Christmas and New Year break will be the 16 December. Any assessments conducted after this date; results will be available on ACE360 week commencing 2 January 2023.

Support teams and mailbox closure

To ensure all queries and questions are directed to the most appropriate team, please take a look at our contact details. As a reminder, we will shortly be closing the epadelivery@pearson.com mailbox, where emails will not be automatically forwarded.

New assessment plans

With the new assessment plans being published on the IFATE website for, Healthcare Support Worker, Senior Healthcare Support Worker and Sporting Excellence Professional – we are commencing work on providing updated specifications and EPA Resource Packs to support you in delivery. Further information will be communicated as the development work progresses.

Sports Coach Assessment Plan changes

We have updated our materials in line with the changes to the assessment plan. You can access the new Sports Coach assessment plan, which is version 1.1 on our website. Please ensure that you use this version for preparing your apprentices.  
For information on our general qualifications for 2023, please visit our summer 2023 support page. Make sure you keep up to date with all your subject qualification news by signing up to receive our regular Subject Advisor updates.

You can also sign up to receive our regular Pearson Qualifications Bulletin, plus read all our past issues

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