Guidance documents following Ofqual VCRF

Last week we provided you with information following the publication of Ofqual’s regulatory framework, VTQ Contingency Regulatory Framework (VCRF), providing our preliminary guidance on the approach to categorising and awarding qualifications in 2021.

We understand that it has been a disruptive period for centres and learners for some time and we have been working intensively over recent days with the regulators and other awarding organisations to agree our approach to awarding. 

We are communicating the detailed guidance as quickly as possible before the Easter break to give you as much time as possible to get plans in place. 

Centre Guidance Documents

Guidance documents are now available on the links below, which outline the awarding approach for the following:

Reminder - Categorisation of Qualifications

The majority of EAL’s Vocational Technical Qualifications (VTQs) do not have characteristics with GCSEs, AS, A-Levels and in line with Ofqual’s Vocational Contingency Regulatory Framework, results can only be issued on the basis of evidence from exams and other assessments.  These qualifications assess occupational or professional competency, proficiency or act as a licence to practise, where it would be safe to award these qualifications using alternative evidence. We have given due regard to the guidance and direction provided by Ofqual to determine our approach to awarding and we are outlining the approach for occupational/licence to practise/professional qualifications and those where a Teacher Assessed Grade (TAG) may play a part in awarding.

Occupational qualifications / Licence to practice  / Professional 

The approach to assessment and awarding is that: 

  • Assessments should continue. 
  • Adaptations continue under the provisions in the Vocational Contingency
    Regulatory Framework (VCRF) for some qualifications; further adaptations may be possible/needed. 
  • Where results are awarded on the basis that assessments have taken place. 

This approach is taken because it is not possible to award qualifications safely, reliably and validly if key knowledge/skills/behaviours and occupational skills have not been demonstrated and assessed.  

For these qualifications, as far as possible, we will continue to make exams and other assessments available to learners, remotely or in-person where it is safe to do so. We are permitted to carry forward the adaptations already made under the Extended Extraordinary Regulatory Framework or can make further adaptations where this can be done without undermining the validity and reliability of the qualifications. This is to enable as many learners as possible to receive results.

The preferred form of assessment used within EAL qualifications should remain as those prescribed within the specific qualification manual and unit materials. 

Where adapted assessments are not suitable then assessments will need to be delayed or rescheduled until a time where they can be carried out in line with qualification requirements. 

The above approach is to ensure that any certificates issued to learners hold the same value within the industry as those from previous or future years. 

Teacher Assessed Grades (TAG)

The approach to assessment and awarding for VTQs/Other general qualifications, similar to, GQs will be:   

  • Assessments may or may not continue.   
  • When not all assessments (exams or internal assessments) have taken place, results can still be awarded including using Teacher Assessed Grades (TAG).   

This approach is taken because these qualifications are important for progression to further/higher education and relate only to performance table qualifications (PTQ’s) listed below: 

  • EAL Level 2 First Certificate in Engineering Technology                          600/6867/X 
  • EAL Level 1 Foundation Certificate in Engineering Technology                601/4560/2 
  • EAL Level 2 Intermediate Diploma in Electrical Installation                     601/4561/4 
  • EAL Level 2 Intermediate Diploma in Plumbing                                    601/4562/6 
  • EAL Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Electrical Installation                         601/4563/8   (excluding N18ED3/1 Understand the Requirements for Electrical Installations BS 7671:2018) 
  • EAL Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Engineering Technology                    601/4564/X 
  • EAL Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Plumbing                                         601/4567/5 

We would also refer you to the Qualification Checker on our website where we have indicated:

  • which qualifications Teacher Assessed Grades will play a part in awarding
  • which qualifications Teacher Assessed Grades won’t play a part in awarding 

In exceptional circumstances, where learners are ready to take an assessment for a qualification but are not able to do so because of public health and safety guidance, we have in place arrangements for awarding which includes a TAG where this is indicated against the qualification on our Qualification Checker.

We have aligned our approach, as far as possible, to that of other awarding organisations offering similar qualifications and is based on the principles of fairness, consistency and collaboration. 

Looking ahead we look forward to working with you to support learners and in the meantime, we provide below further resources of interest.


Ofqual has launched a qualification explainer tool for 2021 showing what is happening in the coming weeks and months for exams and assessments that were scheduled to be taken up to 31 August 2021.  It covers qualifications regulated by Ofqual, Qualifications Wales and CCEA Regulation (in England, Wales and Northern Ireland respectively).

You can search for and select your qualification and find out the arrangements being put in place by EAL and other awarding organisations to assess and issue a result for that qualification.

If you are not a learner in England, Northern Ireland or Wales, you will need to check with your school, college or training provider what approach is being taken for your qualification.


We will continue to support you over the coming weeks to ensure learners can be recognised for their achievements and progress on to their next step in their career. 

We will continue to keep you updated through our dedicated website page.  In the meantime, you can also access FAQs on our website.

You are welcome to contact us with any queries or concerns by contacting our Customer Experience Team at Customer.Experience@eal.org.uk or 01923 652400.