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Updated 31.03.2021 16:45

Ofqual has released their interactive 2021 Qualifications Explainer Tool to find out how your qualifications will be assessed and awarded in 2021.

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) have announced an additional discretionary option of a package of evidence and professional discussion to replace an EPA, for circumstances where it is not possible for an EPA to take place, or in exceptional circumstances where it would not be appropriate to proceed with a practical EPA in a salon environment. To read more, click here.

Following recent announcements by the Government on the lifting of coronavirus restrictions, Further Education Colleges and Independent Training Providers offering regulated qualifications can return to face to face teaching and assessment from the 8th March onwards.

Ofqual’s regulatory arrangements permit awarding organisations to make adjustments to qualifications and assessments to take account of the impact of the pandemic and the need to comply with public health guidance. Any adaptations we make will maintain the validity and reliability of occupational qualifications.

We are committed to supporting centres and learners throughout this time and have already published a toolkit of adaptations for different qualifications to support learners. We will keep these documents under review to take into account any decisions from Ofqual’s current consultation on their VTQ Contingency Regulatory Framework.

For information specific to Performance Table Qualifications (PTQs), please click here.

 

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Specific Qualification Information

Jump to:

Performance Table Qualifications (PTQs)

Vocationally Related Qualifications (VRQs)

National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs)

End-point Assessments (EPA)

 

New VTCT Infection Prevention Qualifications

Information on our suite of sector-specific Infection Prevention Qualifications can be found by clicking the button below.

Commencing 15th March VTCT is pleased to announce arrangements that provide greater flexibility to centres, to support learners with completing the mandatory pre-requisite Infection Prevention (COVID-19) qualifications.

VTCT now have a number of options for completing these qualifications via either online examination or downloadable paper-based exams, as well as other adaptions where appropriate. Certificates for these pre-requisite qualifications should now be claimed as per the standard process for all other VTCT qualifications. Guidance on how to complete certificate claims can be found in the Support Guides & Webinars section of Linx2. Alternatively, centres can contact our Customer Support team on +442380 684 500 or customersupport@vtct.org.uk for further assistance.

 

Certification Update

Following the re-opening of schools, colleges and training providers in England on 8th March, VTCT and iTEC are pleased to confirm that main certificate printing/dispatch services will resume from 1st April 2021.

Certificates posted to:

  • Centres in the UK are sent 2nd Class via Royal Mail’s Signed For service
  • Centres in the EU are sent 2nd Class via Royal Mail’s International Tracked and Signed service

If your centre is still not in a position to receive deliveries due to the impacts of COVID-19, please let us know by 1st April. You can contact the Processing Department directly at certification@vtct.org.uk or call our Customer Support Team on 02380 684 500.

If your centre is affected by future COVID-19 restrictions or lockdowns, please ensure VTCT/iTEC are kept updated. VTCT/iTEC cannot take responsibility for any loss due to unknown centre closures.

 

Centre Re-opening Information

VTCT want to support centres in re-opening safely and will shortly be updating the guidance information for centres to follow.

It will be the responsibility of the centre and training provider to ensure that the information is adhered to when preparing for internal practical assessments within the training environment.

 

Weekly Webinars

In 2021, the weekly webinars will be held on Tuesdays at 10am – Register here

Specific Qualification Information

Jump to:

Performance Table Qualifications (PTQs)

Vocationally Related Qualifications (VRQs)

National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs)

End-point Assessments (EPA)

Performance Table Qualifications (PTQs)

Following recent Government announcements about the return of students to schools and colleges on the 8th March 2021, we can now confirm our approach for awarding our Performance Table Qualifications, which support both completing and progressing learners to receive their results in Summer 2021.

Alternative arrangements including a predicted grades process through the use of Teacher Assessed Grades and other adaptions will apply for these VTCT qualifications.

We will publish guidance on how teachers must determine Teacher Assessed Grades and the minimum amount of evidence needed to support those grades.

 

Technical Award and Applied General Qualifications

Our Technical Award and Applied General qualifications align closely with the approach taken for GCSEs, A and AS levels. We will seek to ensure parity of approach between these qualifications and will largely mirror the process that will be applied for GCSEs, A and AS Levels.

 

Technical Certificate and Technical Level Qualifications

Our Technical Certificates and Technical Level Qualifications have a mixed purpose where learners can progress to further training or employment, providing services to the public. Therefore the most appropriate approach to awarding with be through a combination of Teacher Assessed Grades and adapted assessments.

Support VTCT will provide and where to find it

We will run a series of webinars around key milestones in the process and workshops for centres, specific to each type of Performance Table Qualification, (Technical Awards, Applied Generals, Technical Certificates and Technical Level Qualifications), and publish additional guidance documents.

Further information on our approach for each specific type of Performance Table Qualification will be released in March, followed by a programme of centre communications including webinars, guidance documents, e-shots through March, April and May.

We have put together a number of guidance resources to support and explain what this means for you further. Please see the documentation and webinars below.

Documentation

Webinars

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Vocationally Related Qualifications (VRQs)

VTCT has been working closely with our regulators, to ensure the most appropriate way forward is in place for learners to progress with their vocational and technical qualifications. VTCT has been working through each of the qualifications in our portfolio and aligning them to a mitigation approach. The approach to awarding will depend on the qualification’s primary purpose. VTCT has identified that a majority of our VRQs are appropriate for the adaptation mitigation approach.

VTCT has put together a number of guidance resources to support and explain what this means for you. Please see the documentation and webinars below.

Documentation

Checklist for re-opening VRQ and NVQ Hairdressing and Barbering
Sample Risk assessment
VRQ Centre Adaptation Guidance for Hair and Beauty– UPDATED
VRQ Centre Adaptation Guidance for Hospitality – UPDATED
VRQ Centre Adaptation Guidance for Sport – UPDATED
COVID-19 Operational Guidance for Centres
Client Health Declaration
COVID-19 Centre Declaration Form
VTCT Learner Health Declaration
Professional Discussion Form
Witness Statement Form

 

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National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs)

Documentation

NVQ Centre Adaptation Guidance for Hair and Beauty – UPDATED

 

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End-point Assessment services

It is anticipated that from the 14th April 2021, most apprentices registered with VTCT will still access the practical aspects of their EPA in line with the assessment plan, or via the previously existing Covid-19 flexibilities and dispensations (as per Autumn 2020).

However, the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education have announced an additional discretionary option of a package of evidence and professional discussion to replace an EPA, for circumstances where it is not possible for an EPA to take place, or in exceptional circumstances where it would not be appropriate to proceed with a practical EPA in a salon environment.

The high-level principles for eligibility, for apprentices who will have already met the existing gateway requirements, are set out below:

  • Where close contact/personal services are not available (due to national or regional lockdowns or other restrictions) and the apprentice does not wish to delay
  • Where the apprentice cannot undertake close contact work for personal medical reasons (e.g. shielding) or similar
  • Difficulties in accessing appropriate venues (e.g. feasibility issues due to commercial difficulties)
  • Where the employment situation of the apprentice has changed or is changing

The above principles are not exhaustive – they set out the high-level areas which will be considered by VTCT when determining the appropriateness of granting this discretion.

  • Apprentices can only be allocated a maximum of a pass grade if the optional discretion of a professional discussion is applied.  (This limitation is due to the on-programme qualification used as an evidence base only being assessed at pass/fail)

VTCT will consider any request for apprentices to be eligible for the discretionary option on its merits, and the key test is the degree to which it would, or would not be possible for the EPA to be delivered in line with the assessment plan, or via the previously existing Covid-19 flexibilities and dispensations (as per Autumn 2020).

Rescheduled End-point Assessments will be available as normal from the 14th April 2021 onwards for the vast majority of apprentices. Where it is not possible for an EPA to take place, the discretionary option of professional discussion will be available from the 1st May 2021.

To book your EPA or apply for the optional discretion please email epa@vtct.org.uk

 

Re-scheduling of EPAs

The UK Government has announced that ‘personal care services’ such as hairdressing salons, barbershops, beauty salons and nail salons in England can re-open on the 12th April under Step 2 of the Government’s roadmap. In response to this, VTCT will now be scheduling End-point Assessments from Wednesday 14th April. These schedules may be subject to change following any additional Government instructions.

If you wish to schedule bookings from the 14th April onwards or have any queries, please email the EPA Team directly.

If you have any questions regarding this please contact epa@vtct.org.uk or customersupport@vtct.org.uk.

VTCT (ITEC) Level 2 Award in Infection Prevention (COVID-19) for Hairdressing and Barbering Services

In order to help embed best practice and assist with building the confidence of both our Training Providers/employers, apprentices and their clients on how to “return back” safely, VTCT have released the Level 2 Award in Infection Prevention (COVID-19) for Hairdressing and Barbering Services.

VTCT has drawn upon a wide variety of reference materials applicable to the personal services sector which include the World Health Organisation (WHO) and national authorities in the UK and around the world, as well as from our experiences through our International activities in Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore where we have seen the reopening of businesses since the COVID-19 virus outbreak.

Each qualification will allow learners to develop knowledge on the causes, transmission and effects of COVID-19, the importance of social responsibility and the methods used to control transmission such as correct hand hygiene and the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). They will also gain an understanding of the safe working practices required to protect themselves and their clients.

Documentation

• Checklist for Apprenticeship Assessors (Step 8 of the 10 step process for Hair Professional and Step 10 of the 12 Step process for Beauty Professional)
Checklist for Re-opening Hairdressers and Barbers
Hair Professional End-point Assessment Guidance Document for COVID-19
Beauty Professional End-point Assessment Guidance Document for COVID-19
Sample Risk Assessment form
Hair and Barbering Apprentice Health Declaration form
Beauty Therapy Apprentice Health Declaration form
Hair and Barbering Client Health Declaration form which includes client guidance for End-point Assessments
Beauty Therapy Client Health Declaration form which includes client guidance for End-point Assessments
Hair and Barbering Generic Health Declaration form
Beauty Therapy Generic Health Declaration form

Webinars

End-point Assessment Guidance during COVID-19 webinar recording
End-point Assessment Guidance during COVID-19 webinar slides
Exceptional arrangements for Technical and Vocational qualifications in 2020 webinar recording
Exceptional arrangements for Technical and Vocational qualifications in 2020 webinar slides 
Exceptional arrangements for Technical and Vocational qualifications in 2020 collated FAQs

 

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Customer support

While we continue to work remotely wherever possible, the VTCT Customer Support team will be running with a reduced line capacity.  As a result, if you have a non-urgent query, please contact Customer Support via email at CustomerSupport@vtct.org.uk.

If your query is urgent, please call VTCT Customer Support on 023 8068 4500.  If we are unable to answer your call, due to high call volumes, please do call back again later. Customer Support will then take your contact details and a representative will call you back within two hours.

Thank you for your understanding, commitment and support during these unprecedented times, where our focus must be on preserving public health and wellbeing, whilst retaining capability to provide effective support to centres.

Business Continuity

VTCT has an established business continuity process, supported by a designated Covid-19 Task Force (C-19TF). The latter is drawn from senior representation from across the organisation, all with a strong understanding of the key processes and systems, and the needs of our employees, centres and stakeholders. Business continuity arrangements are being reviewed and managed in line with the latest government advice regarding Covid-19 and as the situation evolves. The C-19TF will continue to meet frequently to review the ongoing situation and latest UK Government and World Health Organisation (WHO) official advice. This team is responding to queries and preparing and issuing guidance, ensuring the organisation is prepared to respond to the changing situation.

Working together with, and guided by the qualification regulators, VTCT is monitoring the ongoing Covid-19 situation. We understand that centres may have queries or concerns as to how this may impact the delivery of any VTCT qualifications and any upcoming assessments.

Irish centres please visit the iTEC Ireland website for specific information related to Ireland