A note from our CEO, Martin Flynn

Hi everyone,
I hope that you are all doing well and still successfully navigating through the current unusual circumstances that we find ourselves in!
Firstly, I would like to  thank all our recognised centres and their staff for the hard work and additional pressures you undertook during the March to July period of academic year 2019/20.  This was an unprecedented time for everyone involved in the delivery and assessment of learning and required more than ever, significant collaboration between teaching/tutoring staff and awarding organisations. Through this collaboration, OCN NI was able to consider calculated grades (CAG) on an individual learner basis, using the most trusted sources of evidence to validate achievements. Consequently, we agreed with the overwhelming majority of CAGs submitted. This is a testament to the hard work and professionalism of our centres, their tutors/teachers and internal verifiers.
As we begin the new academic year 2020/21, there is a risk of further disruption to teaching, learning and assessment due to localised lockdowns or other circumstances where learners are not able to attend centres as they normally would. OCN NI has therefore created some ‘Guiding Principles for Delivery & Assessment’ which centres can take to mitigate the risk of interruption of learning through localised lockdowns.

Ofqual has begun a consultation on the arrangements for the assessment and 
awarding of vocational, technical and other general qualifications in 2020 to 2021. This consultation is in relation to an Extended ERF (Extraordinary Regulated Framework), which will include revised principles and statutory guidance developed to guide awarding organisations’ decisions around adaption of its qualifications. The consultation is open from 7 September and ends on 20 September 2020. OCN NI  would encourage all teachers, tutors, exam staff and other representatives from schools, colleges, training providers and third sector organisations to respond.

We will publish further detailed guidance within the next few weeks to all our centres to clarify how our migration will operate under the extended ERF (Extraordinary Regulated Framework). Rest assured, our arrangements for 2020 to 2021 will seek to assist in mitigating disruption to teaching, learning and assessments so that, as far as possible, learners have the opportunity to receive fair results and are not disadvantaged by the longer term impacts of the pandemic.

Kind Regards

Martin Flynn
Chief Executive Officer