Extraordinary Regulatory Framework

When does the grade collection proforma need to be submitted to Agored Cymru?

The grade collection proforma must be submitted to Agored Cymru no later than 5 June 2020 and must be done so via secure file transfer, not by email.

Can centres estimate grades for learners in cases where grade profiles for assessments before 20 March are not safely accessible?

Judgements regarding grade estimations can only be based on available evidence and centres are advised to ensure that appropriate levels of internal moderation are applied in relation threshold indicators that include cases where there are grade omissions in the records of prior attainment (assessment/unit grades not provided).

Do centres have to submit the completed evidence coversheets for each Access to HE learner receiving estimated grades by 5 June 2020 along with the grade collection proforma?

No. The evidence coversheets must be completed for each learner and Agored Cymru will select a sample for external moderation/testing soon after the submission of the grade collection proforma.

Do centres have to submit the completed internal moderation records with the grade collection proforma on 5 June?

No. Internal moderation records will be requested along with samples for external moderation soon after the 5 June.

Do centres have submit any other documentation on 5 June alongside the grade collection proforma?

A senior course manager will be required to submit the following declaration when the estimated assessment grade and calculated unit grade data is submitted:

‘I confirm that the estimated assessment and calculated unit grades are accurate and represent the professional judgements made by the course tutors, and that entries were appropriate for each student. Having reviewed the data and completed relevant quality assurance processes, including internal moderation, I am confident that they honestly and fairly represent the grades that these students would have been most likely to achieve if they had completed the assessments after 20 March 2020 as planned, and that they have not been disclosed to the student. I understand that AVAs will undertake quality assurance measures with QAA, and that, if the profile of grades submitted is substantially different from what might be expected based on my centre's historic results and the prior attainment of this year's students on course, the grades for my centre will be adjusted to bring them into line with national grade outcomes.’

Agored Cymru will investigate any attempts to undermine this system which might be regarded as malpractice or maladministration.

Can learners that are below the 50% threshold for the completion of planned assessment before 20 March 2020 receive estimated grades?

Centres must make a judgement as to whether there is sufficient evidence available to substantiate any grade estimations for learners who have less than 50% in regards to completed assessments before 20 March 2020. Where this is not the case learners’ end date can be extended and extenuating circumstances considered, so that the requirements related to those learners due to complete after 31 July will apply.

Will learners who have an end date after 31 July 2020 be eligible for estimated grades for assessments with submission dates after 20 March 2020

Learners who plan to complete their Access to HE Diplomas after 31 July 2020 will be supported to complete their studies through changes to the delivery of teaching and assessment of the course. Information was sent to centres on 14 May 2020. Please contact Agored Cymru if you would like this to be resent. 

Are centres required to carry out internal moderation of grade estimations for assessments with submission dates after 20 March 2020.

Yes. Centres must internally moderate a sample of learners for each Access to HE Diploma based on the QAA testing strategy that centres received on 29 April along with proformas on which to record the internal moderation process. Please contact Agored Cymru if you would like these to be resent.

Are centres required to complete the evidence coversheet for all learners or just those sampled for internal and external moderation? 

Centres must complete an evidence cover sheet for each learenr due to complete their Access to HE Diploma by 31 July 2020. This document must provide a clear rationale for all grade estimations for assessments with submission dates after 20 March and refer to the evidence that has been used to inform these judgements.

There are two versions of the evidence coversheet. Which one should we use? 

One version of the coversheet includes additional columns in table 2 into which to enter grade indicators against listed assessments. This does duplicate the information that is to be presented via the grade collection proforma, but this will support the internal processes to be followed by some centres. Where centres agree that this duplication is not necessary, they can use the version of the document on which table two does not include these columns. We ask centres to use only one of the two versions across all provision.

What types of evidence can be used to inform grade estimations?

Centres must only use available evidence that can be used to substantiate their judgements. Where evidence is not available and cannot be presented for quality assurance purposes it must not be cited.  

Evidence will include a learner’s prior attainment on course – graded (and ungraded) achievement in summative assessments submitted before 20 March. Formative assessments that have been completed before or after 20 March might also support estimations along with other records of student performance. Examples of what other records of student performance might be used are listed in the supporting documents sent to centres on 29 April. Please contact Agored Cymru if you would like this to be resent.

When will centres need to submit samples for external moderation?

Using the testing strategy, Agored Cymru external moderators will select samples across all Access to HE Diplomas from each centre and a sample request will be sent by 15 June. Centres must submit requested samples within five working days of receiving the sample request.

What evidence are centres required to submit for external moderation?

For the learners named in the sample request, centres must submit the following:

  • Completed evidence coversheet listing all assessments for which grades have been estimated
  • Supporting evidence for each learner (if used) and  to include formative assessments and any other records of student performance 
  • Records of internal moderation

Can centres inform learners of the grades that have been estimated?

No. Centres will not share estimated grades until students' final results have been confirmed. This is to protect the integrity of the tutors' judgements and to avoid tutors feeling under pressure to submit grades that are not supported by evidence.

When will learners’ final results be released?

Results will be released at within the same timelines as previous years to allow timely transfer to UCAS and higher education providers. Once actual assessment, estimated assessment and calculated unit grades have been confirmed through the moderation and standardisation processes, the provider may inform learners. Certification will take place after results are transferred to UCAS. Leaners will be issued with e-certificates 

Will learners be able to appeal their estimated grades?

If a learner does not feel their calculated grades reflect their expected performance, they will have the opportunity to appeal or they may choose to sit their assessments at the earliest reasonable opportunity (when all centres are operating normally). Learners should be made aware that taking their assessments later may impact their progression to university in September. Also, if a student does not believe the correct process of assessment for the award of the Access to HE Diploma has been followed in their case, they will be able to appeal.

Full details of the appeals process will be made available shortly.