Ascentis Arrangements for Vocational Qualifications in 2020-21

Updated 12/05/2021:

For Ofqual, CCEA & Qualifications Wales Regulated Provision:

On Wednesday 24th March 2021, Ofqual published the ‘VTQ Contingency Regulatory Framework (VCRF).’ This new framework replaces the Extended Extraordinary Regulatory Framework (EERF).

The regulators have confirmed that qualification assessments, including those on-demand, modular assessments for qualifications such as ESOL, English and maths should continue where possible, with or without permitted adaptations, subject to public health guidance and in line with the requirements of the qualification. 

For certain qualifications, the VCRF will permit awarding organisations to issue results on the basis of teachers’ judgements of learners’ performance, to be referred to as Teacher Assessed Grades (TAG) when assessments do not take place and/or when learners cannot complete all internal assessment as a result of the disruption caused by the pandemic.  As part of the VCRF, Ascentis qualifications have been categorised into one of the following:

  • Category A qualifications: are those which offer a licence to practise and which confirm occupational competence. Assessments will continue where they are critical to demonstrate occupational or professional competence, proficiency or act as a licence to practise, and can be delivered in line with public health measures. Where the assessment cannot take place safely, it will be delayed.  These qualifications will not be eligible for Teacher Assessed Grades (TAG).
  • Category B qualifications: are those which are important for progression to further or higher study or into employment, where the issue of results should be prioritised. Learners taking Category B qualifications may be eligible for alternative arrangements under the new framework, which could include teacher assessment grades (TAGs). Results may be awarded for these qualifications where not all assessments have taken place as a direct result of the disruption caused by the pandemic. 

To find out how a specific Ascentis qualification will be awarded this year, learners and centres can visit the Ofqual online 2021 Qualifications Explainer Tool.

Ascentis guidance for Centres on the Vocational and Technical Qualifications Contingency Regulatory Framework (VCRF):

Please see the below guidance document and associated forms which include an explanation, eligibility and the process for Ascentis qualifications as part of the Vocational and Technical Qualifications Contingency Regulatory Framework (VCRF). 

Ofqual Student guide to awarding: summer 2021

A student guide has been produced by the regulators which includes further information for Learners about how qualifications will be awarded in summer 2021.  Please access the document on the Learner page of the Ascentis website, here.

Ascentis permitted adaptations (1st August 2020-31st August 2021):

Ascentis have implemented adaptations to some qualifications to support with the impact of disruption to teaching, learning and assessment, and any ongoing disruption to or restrictions on the delivery of assessments, through the adaptation of qualifications and assessments. 

Ascentis have identified some qualifications where adaptations will be permitted in 2020-21. This will apply to the following Ascentis qualifications only:

Please click on the qualifications above to find out more information on the adaptations which are permitted by Ascentis.

These adaptations are in place for learners who are/were expected to sit assessments between 1st August 2020 and the 31st August 2021.

Where an adaptation is not clearly specified for a qualification, these must be delivered, assessed and internally verified in line with the normal requirements of the qualification specification and no adaptation should be made that compromises these standards.   

If you have any questions regarding this, please contact the Quality Assurance Team at

Access to HE Qualifications

The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) have published the arrangements for Access to HE qualifications in 2020-21. Ascentis have communicated with Centre Coordinators regarding the outcome of the QAA consultation and arrangements for 2020-21. Please initially discuss with your Centre Coordinator if you have any questions. Your centres allocated Ascentis Quality Assurance Manager will be able to support you with any queries you may have throughout this academic year.    

Supportive Documents:

Ascentis has a range of useful subject-specific resources to support all aspects of the delivery of our qualifications. For example, our brand new ESOL Skills for Life Handbook and Community Interpreting Centre Guidance. These documents and others are located in the Login Area of the Ascentis Website. 

EQA Activity:

All EQA activity will be completed remotely until further notice. Your allocated Centre Quality Reviewer and External Quality Assurer(s) should have been in contact to discuss arrangements for 2020-21. If you require further information on EQA activity, please contact  

Contact Information and Support

Our Customer Support Team will continue to support you in 2020-21, our main contact number is 01524 845046 or alternatively please email them at

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.

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.   


Centres have the option to receive e-Certificates only or hard copy certificates and e-Certificates.

Due to the national lockdown, all our staff are working remotely at the moment therefore the production of hard copy certificates has been paused. E-Certificates are available to download once results have been processed.

If you have any questions regarding certificates then please email the Registration, Verification and Certification Team at


In the meantime if you have any questions, please get in touch with your usual contact here at Ascentis or contact us at

Previous article

Watch Our Client Videos

Ascentis helps change the lives of over 170,000 learners each year. Hear about why our staff love working for us, and why our customers love working with us.

See all

Leicester Adult Skills and Learning Service Speaking about Ascentis English & Maths Stepping Stones

Ascentis has a fantastic suite of English and Maths Stepping Stones qualifications which enable learners to focus on specific skills, build their confidence and progress onto further learning. This testimonial video features Leicester Adult Skills and Learning Service who outline the benefits to them and their learners of using these qualifications.

Watch Video

The City of Liverpool College Speaking about Ascentis Access to Higher Education

Access to HE with Ascentis - We Make a Difference. Watch our Testimonial and hear how it makes a difference to learners and the opportunities it brings.

Watch Video

Best Practice People Speaking about Ascentis Short Online Qualifications

The Ascentis Short Online Qualifications are delivered in many centres across the UK and help to support learners’ Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare. Listen to Ascentis Customer, Best Practice People talk about how effective the Ascentis Short Online Qualifications are and how they successfully aid their NEET learners, improving skills and confidence in turn helping them secure employment.

Watch Video

Join hundreds of happy centres nationwide

Arrange a meeting

What our happy customers say

“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.”

Waltham Forest

“We have thoroughly enjoyed our first year with Ascentis. There has been support of a high quality throughout the academic year. Support has been provided through a variety of roles including the quality managers, lead EQA’s and subject moderators.”

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.”

Brent Start

“The transparency and support of Ascentis has been refreshing. Our moderation process has been a pleasure and developmental feedback has always been welcomed.”

Kensington & Chelsea College

12th May 2021

Ascentis Events

Join the Ascentis ESOL community: An overview of our ESOL suite including the new qualifications

An overview of our ESOL suite including the new qualifications in Volunteering to Support English language Teaching and Learning.

Read more

13th May 2021

Ascentis Events

Join the Ascentis ESOL community: An overview of our ESOL suite including the new qualifications

An overview of our ESOL suite including the new qualifications in Volunteering to Support English language Teaching and Learning.

Read more

22nd Jun 2021

IQA/Assessor Events

  • AELP
  • CPD Certified
  • FAB
  • Cyber Essentials
  • Natecla
  • Access to Higher Education
  • The Parliamentary Review
  • West Yorkshire Learning Providers
Ascentis customers please login to view full specifications, tracking sheets, sample papers, customer policies and key documents.


Specification Overviews

Key Documents