Coronavirus – Information and Advice for our Customers

Updated on Friday 3rd April

We are closely monitoring the current situation with regards to the COVID-19 outbreak. As you may be aware this is putting pressure on businesses across the country, however please be advised that we are following government guidelines and it is our aim to have minimal business disruption during this time. We are taking every measure to ensure business continuity is upheld.


Please click here for Access to HE Centre information.

Contact Information & Support

We have taken the decision to implement government recommended guidelines to keep all of our staff safe and have closed our head office in Lancaster, all staff will be remote working. We will continue to respond to our main contact number which is 01524 845046 during office hours.

If you need to get in touch with one of our teams, you can contact them directly on the following emails:

Staff will continue to respond to their emails, this will be the preferred method of communication.


Events & Webinars

We have now cancelled all our planned Quality Assurance webinars and face-to-face events to prevent non-essential travel in line with government guidelines.

We are still continuing to hold other webinars, therefore please refer to the events page on our website which will be updated on a regular basis.


Assessments

We understand that our centres may have concerns on how the outbreak may affect the delivery and assessment of Ascentis qualifications.

Ofqual/Qualification Wales/CCEA

For all externally set assessments (ESOL, Short Online Qualifications, English & Maths), these are flexible, on demand assessments therefore can be rescheduled to a later date by the centre.

All external verification visits have been suspended. If centres were due to be visited in the near future (and had set a date with the External Quality Assurer), the EQA will be in touch with centres directly. Centres will be offered remote verifications where possible and EQAs will guide centres on how to arrange this.

If your centre has not yet arranged verification activity for the 2019-20 academic year, but would like to, please contact your EQA. The EQA will discuss the possibility of a remote verification with you. Please do not send any work for remote verification until you have discussed this with your EQA.

We are getting a lot of queries from centres about learners claiming achievement when their assessments have been cancelled. We have considered Ofqual’s guidance and with the nature of our qualifications being on demand and flexible, the guidance is to re-schedule assessments for a later date. We are not in the position to estimate results as this is not possible for our qualifications. We can consider adaptations as a last resort but these must have been tried and tested previously. This would be in extenuating circumstances and would only be considered if re-scheduling the assessment is not feasible. We have to ensure the integrity of the assessments and that learners are neither advantaged nor disadvantaged across cohorts. If you are unable to reschedule assessments when your centre reopens due to extenuating circumstances, then please send a detailed rationale to the Quality Assurance team. 

With portfolio qualifications we ask centres to follow their own policies and find alternative means to communicate with learners remotely where possible, to help them work towards achievement and completion of their qualification.

We are working with our regulators and will continue to keep centres updated regarding any developments and decisions on vocational qualifications.  Information and support for centres is also available on www.gov.uk

For the latest statement from Ofqual click here

If you have any questions regarding achievements for Ofqual, CCEA or Qualifications Wales regulated provision, please contact qualityassurance@ascentis.co.uk 


Your centre

If circumstances occur which may further impact your learners please ensure that you inform us immediately so that we are better able to support you.

In light of the current situation as our staff are currently remote working we are refraining from sending out certificates to our centres until further notice.


Enquiries

In the meantime if you have any questions, please get in touch with your usual contact here at Ascentis or contact us at hello@ascentis.co.uk

These are very difficult times and we want to assure you that we are here to support you through this period.

We send our best wishes to you, staff at your centre and to your families.


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“We are very pleased that we made the move to Ascentis for all our ESOL exams. The exams are appropriate for our learners, and lecturers find the marking manageable. As an organisation, Ascentis is a pleasure to work with. Our queries are always dealt with quickly and we are extremely well supported by our verifier.”

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Bradford College

“We have been delighted with the impact Ascentis Extended Awards in Mathematical Skills (Stepping Stones) have had on our student’s progression towards their functional skills mathematics as well as preparing them for the completion of their GCSE. It has taught them the essential skills in mathematics which enabled them to deal with the practical problems and challenges of life – at home, in education and at work. These skills are valued by employers and further education, and are a platform on which to build other employability skills. We are also very impressed with the level of service and commitment shown by the staff of Ascentis, they are always available to help whenever help is needed.”

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