Update 17: 20/21 Adaptations to OCN NI qualifications

Dear Colleague,

On 17th September 2020 the DfE Minister stated that Vocational & Technical Qualifications (VTQs) including Essential Skills NI qualifications will go ahead in line with normal arrangements in 2020 to 2021 as they are the fairest form of assessment. Acknowledging the challenges to delivery and assessment due to the pandemic (COVID-19), DfE, in line with the joint regulators (Ofqual, Qualifications Wales and CCEA Regulation) has directed that awarding organisations should provide guidance around delivery and assessment to mitigate the risk to learner achievement.

Please find below a link to OCN NI’s Extended ERF qualification guidance document for assessment adaptations.  Your centre should apply these adaptations in order to mitigate the risks of interruptions to education and training.

The adaptation guidance provided are addenda that should be read in conjunction with the existing qualification specifications.


OCN NI would like to highlight the document entitled ‘General Qualifications’, this permits centres to apply to OCN NI for additional adaptations, OCN NI felt it was important to allow centres the opportunity to devise an adaptation which best suits their delivery methods and learners.  To ensure the adaptations suggested are in line with the principles of the Extended ERF, approval will be required prior to the introduction of the suggested adaptation. 

For further updates, please see our Centre COVID-19 Update Bulletin Board section of the website.  As always, our team are available to answer your queries and provide support. It is our aim to make our assessments as accessible as possible to centres so that valid achievement can be assured.

Your sincerely,

Simon Hamilton

Director of Compliance and Audit