COVID-19: Adaptations to your qualifications

In response to the on-going disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and recognising that the sector will continue to be affected in 2021/22, we have worked with Social Care Wales and Health Education and Improvement Wales to identify adaptations to assessment that will support learners to achieve their qualification. These arrangements will enable as many learners as possible to progress to the next stage of their learning or into employment whilst ensuring that employers and others retain their confidence in the validity of the qualifications.

We appreciate the difficulties in planning for 2021/22 delivery and assessment in an ever-changing environment. The adaptations outlined below will be kept under review throughout the 2021/22 year should the situation deteriorate.

Overview

As a result of discussions between Qualifications Wales, Social Care Wales, Health Education Improvement Wales, City & Guilds and WJEC, the adaptations for the Level 2 Core qualifications in Health and Social Care and Children's Care, Play, Learning and Development are being extended until 31 October 2021 for in flight learners only. The adaptations for the Level 2 Children's Care, Play, Learning and Development: Practice and theory are being extended until 31 December 2021 for all learners on programme during 2020/21.

Centres must continue to deliver all the content for these qualifications and ensure that learners are fully prepared before attempting each assessment. We have worked collectively with all stakeholders to put these arrangements in place to respond to the continued impact of the pandemic on learners in Wales.

We hope that this extension will enable as many learners as possible to progress to the next stage of their learning or into employment.

Qualification Breakdown

Further information on individual qualifications is available in the tabs below.

GCSE Health and Social Care, and Childcare

Summer 2021: Materials to support Centre-Determined Grades now available

Teachers/lecturers can also access Initial Qualification Assessment Frameworks and WJEC Assessment Creation Guide via our Secure Website.

GCE Health and Social Care, and Childcare

Summer 2021: Materials to support Centre-Determined Grades now available

Teachers/lecturers can also access Initial Qualification Assessment Frameworks and WJEC Assessment Creation Guide via our Secure Website.

WJEC Level 2 Children’s Care, Play, Learning and Development: Core

In response to the on-going disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and recognising that the sector will continue to be affected in 2021/22, we have worked with Social Care Wales and Health Education and Improvement Wales to identify adaptations to assessment that will support learners to achieve their qualification. These arrangements will enable as many learners as possible to progress to the next stage of their learning or into employment whilst ensuring that employers and others retain their confidence in the validity of the qualifications.

We appreciate the difficulties in planning for 2021/22 delivery and assessment in an ever-changing environment. The adaptations outlined below will be kept under review throughout the 2021/22 year should the situation deteriorate.

Learners due to complete their qualification by 31/10/2021

The current adaptations for the Level 2 CCPLD Core will continue to be available until 31 October 2021 for all in-flight learners ONLY.  Learners commencing their qualification from the 01 September 2021 will complete the full assessment strategy

These adaptations are applicable to all learners who are expecting to complete their learning and achieve their Core qualification by 31 October 2021.

Candidates completing the Children’s Care, Play, Learning and Development Core must successfully complete one internal assessment and the MCQ test or in exceptional circumstances only, successfully complete two internal assessments. The two-week revision period has been relaxed.

Core Guidance

Centres may also continue to offer assessment of the case study questions through verbal question and answer sessions with the learner. 

Application form for verbal question and answer (Core qualifications only)

Centres must continue to deliver all of the content for these qualifications and ensure that learners are fully prepared before attempting each assessment.

Any learners who completes their qualification by 31/10/21 must be entered into the November entry window to be eligible for these adaptations. 

Learners due to complete their qualification after 31/10/21

Candidates due to complete the Children’s Care, Play, Learning and Development Core after the 31/10/21 must complete all assessments. Candidates commencing their qualification from the 01 September 2021 will complete the full assessment strategy

These assessments consist of:

  • 3 x case studies
  • 1 x MCQ

Centres may also continue to offer assessment of the case study questions through verbal question and answer sessions with the learner.

Core Guidance

Application form for verbal question and answer (Core qualifications only)

WJEC remote invigilation service will be available for the external assessment (MCQ) in the near future. WJEC will communicate with centres when this is launched.

 

Certification windows for 2021/2022

WJEC Level 2 Children’s Care, Play Learning and Development: Practice and Theory

In response to the on-going disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and recognising that the sector will continue to be affected in 2021/22, we have worked with Social Care Wales and Health Education and Improvement Wales to identify adaptations to assessment that will support learners to achieve their qualification. These arrangements will enable as many learners as possible to progress to the next stage of their learning or into employment whilst ensuring that employers and others retain their confidence in the validity of the qualifications.

We appreciate the difficulties in planning for 2021/22 delivery and assessment in an ever-changing environment. The adaptations outlined below will be kept under review throughout the 2021/22 year should the situation deteriorate.

Cohort 2020/21

The below adaptations for the Level 2 Children's Care, Play, Learning and Development: Practice and Theory have been extended until 31 December 2021. This will allow learners on programme during 2020/21 to complete their qualification.  

The minimum work placement hours have been reduced to 196 hours (70% of the mandatory hours specified in the qualification specification)

Cohort 2020/21 should have completed Unit 216 Examination in January 2021 or been awarded a Centre Devised Grade in Summer 2021.

If this is not the case, learners can be entered for Unit 216 timetabled examination In January or June 2022 to gain their full qualification.

Any learners who complete their qualification (Practice units) by 31/12/21 need to be entered into the November entry window ready for EQA sampling in January 2022.

Cohort 2021/22

The below adaptations for the Level 2 Children's Care, Play, Learning and Development: Practice and Theory have been extended for the next academic year 2021/22.

The minimum work placement hours have been reduced to 196 hours (70% of the mandatory hours specified in the qualification specification)

Leaners will also have the opportunity to sit Unit 216 timetabled examination in January and June 2022.

 

Certification windows for 2021/2022

WJEC Level 3 Children’s Care, Play Learning and Development: Practice and Theory

Cohort 2020/2022

Candidates who started their qualification in September 2020 and due to complete their qualification in Summer 2022: 

  • the mandatory work placement hours will be reduced from 720 to 504.  
  • the reduction in work placement hours does not override the assessment requirements for the qualification. Successful completion of the assessment tasks will still be required for certification. Candidates who complete 504 hours of work placement but have not successfully completed the practice assessments and have therefore not demonstrated occupational competence will not be certificated for the qualification
  • centres seek to secure work placements for learners that go beyond the minimum 504 hours and, where possible, deliver the full 720-hours 

504 hours equates to approximately 63 days of placement required during the 2021/22 academic year which could be achieved through: 

  • a 3-day per week placement across the academic year, or 
  • a block four-week placement per term.

Unit 331 (extended investigation) 

Topics for the extended investigation are due to be issued in March 2022 as published in the qualification Specification. It is proposed that the topics for assessment in Summer 2022 are released a month earlier i.e., on the first Monday in February 2022. This will provide additional flexibility to centres to schedule the supervised aspects of the assessment and is aligned to similar adaptations that had been put in place for Summer 2021 for WJEC vocational qualifications with external controlled assessments. 

Unit 330 (external examination) 

Following the cancellation of the Summer 2021 examination, we will provide an additional assessment opportunity in October 2021.

Candidates will have two resit opportunities for this examination i.e. candidates can enter in October 2021 and resit in both January 2022 and June 2022 if needed.

Cohort 2021/2023

To support the new cohort of learners starting in 2021 the adaptations below acknowledge the unsettled work placement availability in the early years sector. We hope these adaptations will eliminate some of the challenges some centres are experiencing at the moment.

Candidates who started their qualification in September 2021 and due to complete their qualification in Summer 2023: 

  • the mandatory work placement hours will be reduced from 720 to 504.  
  • the reduction in work placement hours does not override the assessment requirements for the qualification. Successful completion of the assessment tasks will still be required for certification. Candidates who complete 504 hours of work placement but have not successfully completed the practice assessments and have therefore not demonstrated occupational competence will not be certificated for the qualification
  • centres seek to secure work placements for learners that go beyond the minimum 504 hours and, where possible, deliver the full 720-hours 

Unit 330 (external examination) 

Timetabled examinations will be available in January and June 2022 and 2023.

Unit 331 (extended investigation) 

Topics for the extended investigation are due to be issued in March 2023 as published in the qualification Specification. 

Certification windows for 2021/2022

City & Guilds Level 2 Health and Social Care: Core

H&SC Core Qualifications Adaptations Update

Learners due to complete their qualification by 31/10/2021

The adaptations for the Level 2 Health and Social Care: Core qualification already in place have been extended until 31 October 2021.

These adaptations are applicable to all learners who are expecting to complete their learning and achieve their Core qualification by 31 October 2021.

Depending on the pathway chosen, candidates completing the Level 2 Health and Social Care: Core qualification must successfully complete the following assessments: 

Adult or Children and Young People (Single pathway):

One internal assessment and the MCQ test or in exceptional circumstances only, successfully complete two internal assessments.

Please note that the two-week revision period has been relaxed.

Adult and Children and Young People Combined pathway:

Two internal assessment (190 and 193) and the MCQ test or in exceptional circumstances only, successfully complete three internal assessments, including 190 and 193.

Please note that the two-week revision period has been relaxed.

Core Guidance

Centres may also continue to offer assessment of the case study questions through verbal question and answer sessions with the learner.

Application form for verbal question and answer (Core qualifications only)

Centres must continue to deliver all of the content for these qualifications and ensure that learners are fully prepared before attempting each assessment.
Centres should plan their assessments to ensure that there is sufficient time for learners to resit the assessment (if required) prior to 31 October 2021.

Learners commencing their qualification from 01 September 2021

Candidates commencing the the Level 2 Health and Social Care: Core qualification from 01 September 2021 must complete all assessments.

For the single pathways the assessment consists of:
• 3 x case studies
• 1 x MCQ test

For the combined pathway the assessment consists of:
• 4 x case studies
• 1x MCQ test

Centres may also continue to offer assessment of the case study questions through verbal question and answer sessions with the learner.

Core Guidance

Remote Assessment

The City & Guilds Tests at Home will continue to be available by application until 31 August 2021

 Remote Invigilation

The new City & Guilds Remote Invigilation service went live on the 07 June 2021 and will continue to be available by application.  Please find more information HERE

External Quality Assurance

Centres should contact hclw.quality@cityandguilds.com to schedule their EQA activity.

Adaptation Submission form for City & Guilds HSC Core and Level 2, Level 3 Practice qualifications:

Find the Adaptation Submission form here – this document replaces the learner declaration form.

Please follow the following steps to access the process of submission:

  1. Contact our HCLW Quality Team to advise them of your intention to progress your learners for certification.  Please use our dedicated email address hclw.quality@cityandguilds.com and ensure that you include your centre name and number in the subject box of your email.
  2. Download and complete the “Adaptation Submission’ form ensuring that all requirements for the chosen adaptations have been met, per qualification type. 
  3. You can choose to use a different information system to share this data with us as long as all the fields indicated are included and the information has been validated by the Head of Centre.
  4. Once completed please submit the information to your EQA

Please note that failure to meet any of the conditions and statements required by each mitigation could affect City & Guilds’ ability to issue certificates and may constitute malpractice.

WJEC Level 2 Health and Social Care: Principles and Contexts

Adaptations for summer 2021

Work placement

This qualification includes 10 days of sector engagement which includes 5 days of mandatory work placement.

  • The mandatory requirement for learners to experiences a 5 day work placement has been removed for assessment in 2021.
  • Centres must ensure that the sector engagement requirement remains. This could include professionals giving lectures/talks in person or remotely or use of pre-recorded interviews.
  • Centres are asked to consider providing block work placements later in the academic year if social distancing requirements are relaxed.
Unit 1: Promoting health and well-being throughout the life stages

External Examination = 40%

There are no changes to this assessment as all content may be delivered via face to face or remote teaching.

Timetabled exams will be scheduled for June 2021 have been cancelled.

Unit 2: Health and social care to support outcome-focused provision for person-centred care

Internal non-examination assessment = 60%

Assignment 1: There is no change to this assignment.

A choice of two case studies will be available to centres on the first Monday in March 2021

Assignment 2:

Adaptation: Candidates will not be required to complete Assignment 2: Work placement and sector engagement.

Rationale

The removal of the requirement for learners to experiences a 5-day work placement will allow for additional teaching and learning time to be focused on the other parts of the qualification, mitigate against lost teaching time and lack of access to suitable placements.

Producing a resource pack to support learners for Assignment 2 that could combine a video resource (if one can be sourced as it will not be possible to create a bespoke resource within current restrictions) and mock reflection log, will allow learners to fully access the assessment.

WJEC Level 3 Health and Social Care: Principles and Contexts

Work placement

There is no work-placement requirement in the Certificate units however

Centres must still encourage sector engagement, which could include professionals giving lectures/talks in person or remotely or the use of pre-recorded interviews.

Unit 1

Subject content can be taught in the classroom or remotely.

Adaptation: Candidates will not be required to complete Task 2: Information Pack

A choice of two case studies will be available to centres on the first Monday in March 2021

Unit 2

There will be no change to subject content.

The timetabled examination to assess the full range of content that was scheduled for June has been cancelled.

Unit 3

Subject content can be taught in the classroom or remotely. No adaptations are required.

Awarding the WJEC Health and Social Care: Principles and Contexts qualifications in Summer 2021

In light of the on-going disruption to teaching and learning caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Qualifications Wales wrote to centres to confirm that the approach to awarding the Health and Social Care: Principles and Contexts qualifications will align with the approach to awarding QW Approved GCSEs, AS and A level qualifications in summer 2021.

This means that:

  • learners who are certificating this summer will have their qualification awarded through a Centre-Determined Grade model
  • deadlines and controls for Non-exam assessment (NEA) are being removed, however centres are encouraged to undertake NEA to build learners’ learning and skills

We have published guidance for centres allowing candidates to complete non-examination assessment from home. We have also published a Timeline for Centres providing an overview of when further information and supporting materials will be published for the qualifications. You can access these documents from the qualification page of the www.hclw.wales website.

Please note, as we will not be awarding unit outcomes for the Level 3 Certificate in Health and Social Care: Principles and Contexts in Summer 2021 and will therefore not be awarding UMS, it will not be possible for the grade awarded for the Certificate to contribute to the Diploma award in Summer 2022. This aligns with decisions taken regarding the relationship between GCE AS and A Levels in 2022.

Arrangements for awarding the Diploma in Summer 2022 are still under discussion. We will provide a further update when more information is available.

City & Guilds Level 2 and Level 3 Practice qualifications

Where possible all centres will prioritise the full assessment strategy including direct observation by assessor however considering the continued uncertainty regarding assessor access to the workplace the existing adaptations for the following qualifications will continue to be available to ALL learners throughout the new academic year 2021/22:

  • Level 2 Children’s Care, Play, Learning and Development: Practice
  • Level 3 Children’s Care, Play, Learning and Development: Practice
  • Level 2 Health and Social Care: Practice (Adults)
  • Level 3 Health and Social Care: Practice (Adults)
  • Level 3 Health and Social Care: Practice (Children and Young People)

Permissible adaptation:

In circumstances where public health Covid-19 restrictions impede assessor access to the workplace, direct observation by a qualified assessor can be replaced by triangulation of Expert Witness Testimony, Professional Discussion and Learner reflection. 

External Quality Assurance

Centres should contact hclw.quality@cityandguilds.com to schedule their EQA activity.

Adaptation Submission form for City & Guilds HSC Core and Level 2, Level 3 Practice qualifications:

Find the Adaptation Submission form HERE – this document replaces the learner declaration form.

Please follow the following steps to access the process of submission:

  • Contact our HCLW Quality Team to advise them of your intention to progress your learners for certification. Please use our dedicated email address quality@cityandguilds.com  and ensure that you include your centre name and number in the subject box of your email.
  • Download and complete the “Adaptation Submission’ form ensuring that all requirements for the chosen adaptations have been met, per qualification type.
  • You can choose to use a different information system to share this data with us as long as all the fields indicated are included and the information has been validated by the Head of Centre.
  • Once completed please submit the information to your EQA
  • Please note that failure to meet any of the conditions and statements required by each mitigation could affect City & Guilds’ ability to issue certificates and may constitute malpractice.

City & Guilds Level 4 and Level 5 Qualifications

The assessment strategies of the Level 4/5 suite of qualifications supports a robust process of sequential teaching and learning followed by assessment, which is some instances is unit related. 

The current assessment strategies champion a digital approach for some aspects of external assessment however further, more specific guidance has been provided regarding permissible adaptations for assessor observation and for the management of the internal assessment process, should ongoing disruption continue.

Where possible all centres will prioritise the full assessment strategy, including direct observation by assessor, however considering the continued uncertainty regarding assessor access to the workplace the document below outlines the available adaptations at both qualification and at assessment task level. 

Level 4 & 5 Adaptation Table August 2021

These adaptations will be available to ALL learners throughout the new academic year 2021/22.

External Quality Assurance

Centres should contact hclw.quality@cityandguilds.com to schedule their EQA activity.

Adaptation Submission form for City & Guilds HSC Core, and the Practice or Practice related qualifications Level 2-5

Find the Adaptation Submission form HERE – this document replaces the learner declaration form.

Please follow the following steps to access the process of submission:

  • Contact our HCLW Quality Team to advise them of your intention to progress your learners for certification. Please use our dedicated email address quality@cityandguilds.com  and ensure that you include your centre name and number in the subject box of your email.
  • Download and complete the “Adaptation Submission’ form ensuring that all requirements for the chosen adaptations have been met, per qualification type.
  • You can choose to use a different information system to share this data with us as long as all the fields indicated are included and the information has been validated by the Head of Centre.
  • Once completed please submit the information to your EQA
  • Please note that failure to meet any of the conditions and statements required by each mitigation could affect City & Guilds’ ability to issue certificates and may constitute malpractice.

Useful Links

You can also find the latest information about COVID-19 from the following websites:

City & Guilds COVID-19 Website Page

WJEC Website

Welsh Government 

Qualifications Wales

Social Care Wales

Health Education Improvement Wales

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