In April and October 2020, we confirmed ATHE’s assessment arrangements in light of the impact of COVID-19 and the Regulator’s guidance during the year. We highlighted that with ATHE qualifications being primarily assignment and/or task based, bringing together a portfolio of evidence and not being time-bound, this offered centres flexibility in the timing and management of assessment. The opportunity to adapt delivery and assessment to suit remote working and online engagement already existed and as such we were not seeking to vary our existing guidance for centres.
In effect this meant that wherever learners are working in the UK or internationally the rules remained the same and the standards were maintained. We anticipated that the majority of learners should be able to complete their studies at home and submit their work remotely to centres for assessment and internal verification. The process for submitting learner results to ATHE via the registration portal and providing access to learner work electronically for external quality assurance would be unchanged.
During 2020 we have found in practice that this flexibility of assessment inherent in ATHE qualifications has allowed centres to adopt flexible approaches where appropriate, to enable learners to demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes at the standards provided and complete their portfolio of evidence for the qualification.
We wish to continue to support centres and learners in line with decisions taken by the Education Secretary in January 2021 and information supplied by Regulators. We remain convinced that ATHE qualifications can be delivered flexibly with remote working and online engagement and at a pace which meets the needs of individual learners and tutors.
Wherever possible it is important that centres continue with and complete assessments according to the curriculum plans, either within existing flexibilities or with adaptations agreed with ATHE in line with our Adaptations to Assessment Policy [https://www.athe.co.uk/policies-and-procedures]. This will ensure assessments can be banked in the portfolio of evidence, in preparation for external moderation or verification.
However, we also wish to re-emphasise that centres should approach ATHE with any concerns over their learners’ ability to complete their studies in the months ahead, so we have full understanding of individual circumstances and can take appropriate action. This should be done without delay, so that we are able to support centres and learners in a timely manner.