Covid-19 FAQs

We know that the ongoing pandemic situation and the recent announcement of a second lockdown in England has had a profound impact on the delivery and assessment of vocational qualifications affecting many learners.

 

VTCT is working closely with colleagues at Ofqual and a small expert group of specialist education professionals to continually respond to the changing situation.

 

You will find answers to frequently asked questions below.

November 2020 lockdown

Can we still teach close contact services, such as hair, beauty etc?

Education remains open (including private education and training providers offering nationally regulated qualifications, exams and assessments) throughout the national lockdown period. This means that summative practical assessments and external theory examinations for all VTCT & ITEC VRQ, NVQ and PTQ qualifications will go ahead as planned if scheduled for November or December. Learners are still able to go ahead and undertake planned summative assessments in this period using clients from within their support bubbles.

Why can we teach Hairdressing while Hairdressers are forced to close?

Workplace assessments cannot go ahead until December 2020, the reason for this, is these business types are closedEducational settings remain open, whereby learners have access to essential tools, and equipment and where assessments can take place in controlled and simulated environments, including the possibility of working on clients from; linked households’ or even synthetic blocks for some qualification types. There are a variety of contexts of delivery and assessment across a range of VTCT qualification types, however. Centre management are responsible for any decision to proceed with internal assessments. Where centre management deem it appropriate to proceed with practical activities, it is the centre’s responsibility to ensure that all adequate safety measures are in place to minimise the spread of the virus, including limiting access to the centre for members of the public and ensuring that all learners complete the relevant VTCT COVID-19 Infection Prevention qualification prior to undertaking any practical activities.

What about learners that don’t have suitable people in their support bubbles?

If centres decide that they wish to proceed with assessments in educational settings for learners on a VTCT or ITEC Vocationally Related Qualification (VRQ) and the learner is able to use a client model from within a ‘linked household’, then simulation should be considered by the centre assessor. Examples of simulation include using block heads where appropriate. If the learners are completing NVQs, no simulation is allowed.

If learners are not in bubbles, can they go ahead with formative and summative assessments if social distancing?

Assessments in workplace settings should not go ahead at this time. The decision to proceed with formative or summative assessments in educational settings is the responsibility of centre staff and centre management. Where centre management has decided to proceed with practical assessments, the centre should ensure that all learners have completed the relevant VTCT COVID-19 Infection Prevention pre-requisite qualification in advance of undertaking any practical observations. The centre should also ensure that adequate safety measures have been put in place in the educational setting to reduce the risk of virus transmission. If learners are clinically vulnerable and shielding due to the pandemic, centres can apply for special considerations for those learners whereby additional flexibilities, such as home-based options may apply. For further information please contact the VTCT External Quality Assurance Team

Do you have any direction/guidance for teaching?

VTCT have a range of teaching resources available, including PowerPoints and a learner workbook for the VTCT COVID-19 Infection Prevention qualifications. These are located here.

VTCT also has a range of free online teaching and learning resources hosted by the Pivot Point LAB platform 

In addition, to support delivery planning during the pandemic, VTCT has appointed a team of expert Partnership Planning Managers to support centre staff in adjusting their course delivery and teaching plans during the pandemic.

What does this mean for my insurance?

Under the legislation published by government on the 3rd November for England, assessments in workplace settings should not go ahead at this time. However, with regard to educational settings, as long as centre management have conducted a risk assessment and put in place adequate safety measures to reduce virus transmission in the learning environment (including the completion of the relevant VTCT COVID-19 Infection Prevention qualification), then VTCT does not expect any direct impact on insurance policies arising from a centre’s decision to continue with teaching, learning and assessment activities. However, VTCT cannot provide individual insurance advice, so please contact your insurance provider directly, should you have concerns about your insurance policy during the pandemic.

Is there any specific information for Sports Massage qualifications?

VTCT has published a range of teaching and learning resources to support the VTCT COVID-19 Infection Prevention qualification for Sports Massage.

In addition, VTCT will very shortly be making a range of teaching and learning video resources available to centres, to support online and blended delivery of sports massage courses. Also, we will shortly publish adaption guidance for Sports Massage, which largely mirrors the approach taken for VRQs in other discipline areas.

Where can I find information on mitigation?

The government’s approach to pandemic mitigation for vocational qualifications has changed since Summer 2020. Calculated or estimated grades is not a mitigation option that will be employed again. For the vast majority of vocational qualifications, a range of flexibilities and adaptions will be used to mitigate against the impact of the pandemic on learners. Adaptation guides for VTCT qualifications are located here.

In addition, every Wednesday VTCT holds a weekly webinar for centres, whereby all the latest updates on adaptions are communicated and discussed. Information on the Weekly Webinar schedule can be found here.

Advice and guidance on specific adaptions within the context of your learners and your centres is also available by scheduling a one to one remote video call with someone from the VTCT EQA team or by contacting one of our Partnership Planning Managers or by contacting our Customer Support team.

Certificates

Will my learners still receive their certificates?

All learners that have achieved their qualification and are eligible for a certificate will still receive them; we are maintaining a normal service as much as possible however please be aware our normal SLAs may be stretched.

Certificates are posted to training centres so unless we have been instructed to hold onto them whilst Government advice is in place, learners should expect to receive their certificate from their training centre as normal.

All VTCT learners who achieved their qualification post-2009 have access to our free online certificate service, Linx2Validate. Upon creating an account, learners will be able to view a digital copy of their certificate, order a replacement (if originally awarded more than six months ago) and authorise third parties to view their qualification(s).

If there is any change to the situation VTCT will endeavour to keep you informed however should you have any other queries relating to certification, please send an email to certification@vtct.org.uk.