Alternative arrangements for Essential Skills Wales qualifications in 2021

Tuesday 09 Feb 2021

We are announcing alternative assessment arrangements for Essential Skills Wales qualifications. Centres will be able to provide a Centre Determined Grade for learners who are unable to access the adapted methods of assessments due to the impact of COVID-19. The arrangements will allow greater flexibility for centres to support as many learners as possible to complete their qualifications by allowing a wider range of evidence to be used to demonstrate the learner has the relevant skills. The alternative assessment arrangements will apply to all Essential Skills Wales qualifications[1], including Entry Level, and will be available to learners due to complete their qualifications before 31 August 2021. 

What this means

  • Where learners are able to complete the adapted assessments they can continue to do so. The adaptations to the assessments remain in place and remote assessment and invigilation options are being made available.
  • If learners are unable to complete their assessments, the centre may consider delaying the assessment until later in the course if this is unlikely to cause a negative impact for the learner.
  • If learners are likely to be negatively impacted by a delay and there is a risk to their successful completion of the qualification and future progression, then the centre can move to a Centre Determined Grade approach.
  • Centres will need to inform their awarding body if they intend to use Centre Determined Grades.
  • The Centre Determined Grade must be supported by good evidence that shows that the learner has demonstrated they have the necessary essential skills at the relevant qualification level.
  • Awarding bodies will provide further guidance on the types of evidence that can be used and on the quality assurance arrangements in early March.

We understand that many learners are waiting to complete their Essential Skills Wales qualifications so that they can progress to employment or further study.  This approach allows flexibility in how learners complete their Essential Skills Wales qualifications while disruption to teaching and assessment continues and allows centres to make decisions that are in the best interests of their learners. 

[1] Application of Number, Communication, Digital Literacy and Employability