Ofqual Handbook: Essential Digital Skills Qualifications

Assessment (Condition EDSQ7)

Rules about assessment in Essential Digital Skills Qualifications

Condition EDSQ7 - Assessment

EDSQ7.1 An awarding organisation must ensure that in respect of each assessment for an EDS Qualification which it makes available, or proposes to make available, it complies with any requirements, and has regard to any guidance, which may be published by Ofqual and revised from time to time.

Assessment requirements

Condition EDSQ7.1 allows us to specify requirements and guidance in relation to the assessment of EDS Qualifications.

We set out our requirements for the purposes of Condition EDSQ7.1 below.

Setting assessments

An awarding organisation must set all assessments for an EDS Qualification that it makes available.

Adaptations at Entry level 3

An awarding organisation may permit a Centre to adapt questions or tasks in assessments at Entry level 3 for the purpose of making those assessments more accessible to Learners.

Where an awarding organisation permits a Centre to adapt questions or tasks, such adaptations must relate only to the context presented by that question or task. An awarding organisation must not permit a Centre to amend –

  1. (a) the knowledge, skills or understanding that a Learner is required to demonstrate in the question or task,
  2. (b) the Level of Demand of the question or task, or
  3. (c) any specified conditions under which the assessment must be completed, including in particular the time within which the assessment must be completed (unless any such amendment is part of a Reasonable Adjustment or for the purposes of Special Consideration).

Assessment structure

With respect to Condition G1.3, an awarding organisation must ensure that the criteria against which Learners’ performance will be differentiated in each assessment for each EDS Qualification require the allocation of numerical marks based on the level of attainment each Learner has demonstrated.

Marking of assessments

Evidence generated by a Learner in an assessment for an EDS qualification may be marked –

  1. (a) by the awarding organisation or a person connected to the awarding organisation,
  2. (b) by a Centre, or
  3. (c) through a combination of (a) and (b).

In any event, the awarding organisation must demonstrate to Ofqual’s satisfaction in its assessment strategy that –

  1. (a) it has taken all reasonable steps to identify the risk of any Adverse Effect which may result from its approach to marking assessments (and to Moderation where appropriate), and
  2. (b) where such a risk is identified, it has taken all reasonable steps to prevent that Adverse Effect or, where it cannot be prevented, to mitigate that Adverse Effect.

Guidance for Centres

Under Condition G9.2(a) an awarding organisation must ensure that every assessment for a qualification which it makes available is fit for purpose on delivery.

Under Condition C2.5 an awarding organisation must provide effective guidance to a Centre in respect of the parts of the delivery of a qualification that the Centre undertakes.

Under Condition H1.1 an awarding organisation must ensure that the criteria against which Learners’ performance will be differentiated are applied accurately and consistently by all Assessors.

Taking these obligations together, and without prejudice to any other action that they might require, an awarding organisation must provide effective guidance to Centres in respect of the adaptation, delivery and marking by Centres, as relevant, of assessments for an EDS Qualification which it makes available, or proposes to make available.

Guidance on assessment availability

Condition EDSQ7.1 allows us to specify guidance in relation to the assessment of EDS Qualifications. We set out our guidance for the purposes of that condition below.

We have not set any requirements with respect to when an awarding organisation must conduct assessments for an EDS Qualification that it makes available.

This means that an awarding organisation may choose its own approach to when assessments are taken. It may, for example, choose to set a number of assessment windows each year, and/or it may offer ‘on-demand’ assessments which can be taken by a Learner at any time.

Whatever approach an awarding organisation adopts to the availability of assessments, it must ensure that it meets the requirements in the General Conditions of Recognition in relation to the maintenance of standards, comparability and avoiding predictability (for example, Conditions D1, G1, G9, H2 (where applicable) and H3).

Different approaches to assessment availability will give rise to different risks with respect to these issues and, as outlined in our requirements for the qualification, we will expect an awarding organisation to set out in its assessment strategy how it has sought to identify and deal with such risks.