Weekly Webinar

Systems & uploading Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs)

We held a special webinar with the latest updates on TAGs for the Technical Award (AM20530) on Friday 7th May 2021 as an extra edition of our Weekly Webinar series. You can access a recording of this webinar in the secure area of our website here (Centre login required)

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Frequently Asked Questions

Below we will add any frequently asked questions that we receive relating to this webinar.


When do we submit the TAG for the graded assessments?

For Technical Certificates and Technical Level Qualifications VTCT are only collecting TAGs for the synoptic practical assessment. All unit graded practical assessments must be undertaken by the learners. The webinar on 14 May will cover how centres will submit the synoptic assessment TAG. There is no fixed deadline as it is dependent on the learners’ progression through the unit graded practical assessments.

Why is the deadline 21st May when it is18th June for other examination boards?

It is important to set out that VTCT’s timeline for our qualifications is different to the General Qualifications deadline of June.

The deadline for the submission of TAGS for the external examinations is 21st May 2021. This is to allow VTCT to carry out the external quality assurance of TAGs, issue results and allow for centres to claim learner certificates before the end of the academic year.

Is it a TAG per unit? Or one overall?

For PTQs, centres are required to submit TAGs at the assessment component level, not the overall qualification grade.

When is the deadline for scheduling learners on the AM20530?

The deadline for schedules to submit TAGs for the Technical Award qualification is Thursday 20th May 2021.

What is the deadline for the Head of Centre declaration?

Head of Centre declarations should be submitted to VTCT when the TAG grades are uploaded into XAMS. This should be parallel activity. VTCT cannot start to process and quality assure TAGs until the Head of Centre Declaration has been submitted.

Where can we find the VTCT IQA form?

The IQA documentation is on the Covid-19 PTQ area of the website.

I’m concerned that for various reasons resulting from Covid, my learners may be disadvantaged. What can I do?

Please refer to the Guide for Teachers document on the range of sources of evidence centres can use to underpin TAG judgements. For summer 2021 TAGs must be based on the evidence available for the learner. Non-certificating learners will be eligible for resits in the next academic year.

Is prior learning used as evidence?

We would encourage centres to evaluate each source of evidence, using the prompts within the Guide for Teachers, to ascertain if the source demonstrates the learner’s level of attainment and therefore is suitable to underpin TAG judgements. However, if this query relates to an assessment component that will not have a TAG generated then we would recommend discussing recognition of prior learning with your EQA.

Does the schedule deadline of 20th May cover Paper 1 and Paper 2?

Each assessment component will need a separate schedule made in the XAMS system. The deadline for scheduling all assessment components is 20th May. For Technical Certificates and Technical Level Qualifications this is for both paper 1 and paper 2.

What date is required when creating the new schedules?

When scheduling to upload TAGs the date will default, we recommend centres select a date and time in the future to ensure the schedule can be saved. If the date and time is in the past the schedule will not save.

Are VTCT offering any objectivity/bias mitigation training for awarding TAGs?

We have published guidance on objectivity within the Guide for Teachers document available for each type of PTQ. In addition, we have shared Ofqual’s specific guide for centres on objectivity. Both documents contain a range of recommendations and instructions on how to ensure TAGs are free from bias.

Are VTCT expecting centres to submit a TAG policy/strategy or are they accepting the JCQ uploaded Centre Policy?

We will not be expecting centres to submit a specific policy or strategy, however, the stage one TAG EQA meetings will discuss your centres preparations and readiness for the TAG process. The discussions in the meetings will include the processes centres are putting in place for the internal policy JCQ and GQ exam boards are collecting.

Can you please confirm who creates the schedule on Linx2Achieve for the technicals?

Typically the exams officer would create the schedules for the learners, due to the access rights required. Or the member of staff who usually schedules learner’s exams in the XAMS system.

If we have a completing learner who hasn’t completed an assignment, do we submit a tag as a “fail” or not submit a tag at all for that assignment?

We would invite you as a centre to reflect on whether a fail TAG grade is the best course of action for your learners. Is it a case of there being insufficient evidence or if there is evidence to signify a fail grade? Please refer to the guidance document on sources of evidence that can be used and ensure that you have a robust record of your decision making to support all TAGs submitted.

Does the form have to be completed by the Head or can it be the lead of Hair and Beauty?

The Head of Centre form should be completed by the Principal or Head Teacher. If the Head of Centre is unavailable to sign the declaration, then they are able to delegate to a deputy or someone within the senior management team of the centre. It is not appropriate for Head of Centre Declarations to be completed by a teacher/tutor of the learners.

Does the Head of Centre need their own log in?

Heads of Centres will complete an email validation process to access the declaration. Heads of Centre will not require a specific log in.

Can I confirm that we have one day to submit TAGS once they have been scheduled? Or can these be entered as soon as the TAG has been scheduled?

Centres can schedule and upload TAGs at any point up until the deadlines published.

Can we claim for certificates now for students who have completed all required units?

Certificate claiming processes remain the same. If learners have completed the qualification and do not require TAGs then centres can claim certificates in the usual way.

Will the graded practical assessments still require an EQA visit? When will these start?

Remote EQA visits will continue for the verification of the unit graded practical assessments. VTCT’s team of EQAs are currently scheduling these visits. Please contact the quality assurance department for more information.

Is there a requirement for 2 electronic signatures?

The template that VTCT has published is a Word document and so we recognise that in this extraordinary period of activity, we need to be flexible to the needs of the situation. VTCT’s requirement is that two teachers sign off the grade. In this case, it is acceptable for the signature to be electronic (such as a typed name or inserting an image of a signature).

Do I only create a schedule for those pupils certificating this year?

Centres are required to create schedules for any assessments components they wish to submit TAGs for in the XAMS system. This may be for both certificating and non-certificating learners if they were due to take assessments in summer 2021.

When and how do we upload the IQA document?

Centres will only be required to upload IQA documentation if VTCT specifically request them during the stage EQA process for TAGs. Please be alert to communications from VTCT requesting additional evidence.